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Why Does Silicon Valley Want to Reengineer Humans?

Human beings are not the problem. We are the solution

To many developers and investors in Silicon Valley, humans are not to be emulated or celebrated, but transcended or, at the very least, reengineered. These technologists are so dominated by the values of the digital revolution that they see anything or anyone with different priorities as an impediment. This is a distinctly antihuman position, and it’s driving the development philosophy of the most capitalized companies on the planet.
In their view, evolution is less the story of life than of data. Information has been striving for greater complexity since the beginning of time. Atoms became molecules; molecules became proteins; proteins became cells, organisms, and, eventually, humans. Each stage represents a leap in the ability to store and express information.
Now that we humans have developed computers and networks, we are supposed to accept the fact that we’ve made something capable of greater complexity than ourselves. Information’s journey to higher levels of dimensionality must carry on beyond biology and humans to silicon and computers. And once that happens, once digital networks become the home for reality’s most complex structures, then human beings will really be needed only insofar as we can keep the lights on for the machines. Once our digital progeny can care for themselves, we may as well exit the picture.
This is the true meaning of the “singularity”: It’s the moment when computers make humans obsolete. At that point, we humans will face a stark choice: Either we enhance ourselves with chips, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering to keep up with our digital superiors, or we upload our brains to the network. If we go the enhancement route, we must accept that whatever it means to be human is itself a moving target. We must also believe that the companies providing us with these upgrades will be our trustworthy partners — that they wouldn’t remotely modify equipment we’ve installed into ourselves, or change the terms of service, or engineer incompatibility with other companies’ enhancements or planned obsolescence. Given the track record of today’s tech companies, that’s not a good bet. Plus, once we accept that every new technology has a set of values that goes along with it, we understand that we can’t incorporate something into ourselves without also installing its affordances. In the current environment, that means implanting extractive, growth-based capitalism into our bloodstreams and nervous systems. Read more via Medium

Pemo Theodore

Pemo Theodore is a Media Publisher and a great people connector. She was Founder Silicon Valley TV which has served the San Francisco Bay Area for 10 years! She has produced Silicon Valley Events for Investors & Startups for 10 years. Pemo loves to video interview venture capitalists & founders to engage the human behind the success stories.. She has been Executive Producer of FinTech Silicon Valley for 6 years, organizing twice monthly FinTech talks & panels in San Francisco & Palo Alto and audio podcasts. She believes in learning through a great discussion with experts in the domains. Pemo has a talent to bring the right people together and is an incredible networker. Pemo's events have been seen as supporting Venture Capitalists & Angels in sourcing great deal flow from startups who attend her events. Many founders have received funding through meeting investors at her events. Her favored medium is audio & visual media and she has built up a great body of work of videos of panels & interviews and podcasts in Silicon Valley startup ecosystem. She has lived & worked in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, London, Northern Ireland & Silicon Valley. Bio

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