We ask author and researcher Ryan D. Gable if humans can remain human in a technological world. Transhumanism is a worldwide philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making available sophisticated technologies to enhance the human intellect and physiology.
Radio Wasteland: Humans for at least 150,000 years that we know of in our current form have basically stood on the side of a stream naked in the sun eating fish. You know, it’s like, are we capable of being happy if we’re not doing that, you know, how hardwired are we to do this? And is that kind of what you’re saying? It’s like a bike. Are we offset because Prometheus gave us fire too early? I dunno. And going off on a tangent there, I think, no, I know what you’re saying. It sounds like
Ryan D Gable: There’s a quote I read and I don’t have the, the thing memorized. It’s something to the effect of, I think it was, um, it, I think it was either Alan Watts or manly hall. I’d have to look it up. But it’s, technology has provided us with more efficient ways of moving backwards and that’s what it really seems because in the, in the, The Technological Elixir Book, uh, we also looked at, and there are so many factors to this. I, I’m, I’m fully aware of that. Things with food and water environment, Ted talks and things like that affect IQ and attention span.
Ryan D Gable: But one of the major things that affects attention span in IQ is also the proliferation of screen time. And this has just proven over and over and over and over again in studies with babies, with toddlers, with younger kids, teenagers, adults, the elderly, the more time you spend in front of a screen, it literally leads to melancholy. It, it leads to depression. It leads to loneliness. Call it social media. It’s antisocial media. It provides you with a safe platform, a safe space where you can delete people, you can block people, you can yell at somebody runaway, you can put everything in capital letters. There’s no repercussions to your actions unless you do something that’s outside of the, uh, the acceptable standards of Facebook, which they’ll change at an, at a moment’s notice for political correctness and other political controls. But it’s a safe place. And that’s what these platforms provide us with. So as a result of that, we don’t connect with each other as much in social interactions. It becomes harder to maintain friendships or even obtain friendships.
Radio Wasteland: Yep. And because of that,
Ryan D Gable: seems like there’s a slow social degression as well. And funny enough, I looked up that term. Um, like we, like we talk about regression, uh, or uh, or the advancement, um, like biologically, like an evolution and there, I don’t think scientists, when I look this up, they don’t actually have a, have a word for that kind of regression. So it’s like basically a by a biological regression, a social regression. It, it’s, it’s, it’s essentially taking what you explained the human element, rewiring it and expecting it to survive in concrete and machines. And that, that doesn’t necessarily come from the standpoint of a hippie who thinks that you should go. Not that hippies are bad people. I’m more of a hippie than anything myself, but that you should, you should, you should be placed back into a more natural environment. I mean, you go out into the woods and I feel connected when I do that. I mean, I, I feel like I belong in those kinds of settings as opposed to between a couple of walls
Radio Wasteland: I totally agree. Um, you know, one thing to back that up, I read this article that, uh, the, it was the science of basically, uh, Alzheimer’s and dementia and that for years we’ve been told to do, crossword puzzles and stuff like that. And, uh, this article was basically saying the best thing you can do for your brain to fight off dementia and Alzheimer’s is to go running. Because what that really does is use your brain for what it was built for it to basically track your balance, track what’s going on around you and, and actually utilize your brain for what it was built for. Because it sure as heck was not built to do crossword puzzles.
Ryan D Gable: Yeah. That’s essentially, I mean, that’s a simple way of saying it. That’s essentially what we’re getting at. Um, and, and I think there’s a healthy balance between the two. Objectively speaking. I think that, I mean, if it wasn’t for technology, define it any way you want. We wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Right. We wouldn’t have an internet connection. We wouldn’t have computers.
Radio Wasteland: We probably might have both died of polio.
Ryan D Gable: Precisely. We might’ve both died of Polio. I mean, and there’s another thing that’s interesting you say that because we talk about modern medicine and a lot of people attribute like modern health to modern medicine and that’s not even necessarily accurate because a lot of modern health as a result of better hygiene in the 20th century. So in terms of technology,
Radio Wasteland: not necessarily that black and white, like we said, right? Yeah. I read another article that basically said that the number one invention in all time that saved the most amount of lives, the number one human invention of all time saved the most amount of lives was refrigeration. Yeah.
Ryan D Gable: I think I read the same thing or something similar. Yeah.
Radio Wasteland: It’s interesting what we take for granted. I guess.
Ryan D Gable: It was Aldous Huxley who said that technological progress has merely provided us with a more efficient means of going backwards. I think that sums it up very well.