21 January 2016 By Peter Kuryla [Link to Original] Michael Bess is a historian with a remarkably inventive turn of mind, a …
Michael Bess talks with Chapter 16 about Our Grandchildren Redesigned, a speculative look at the near future.
Sci-fi author Ted Chiang will be speaking with Our Grandchildren Redesigned‘s author Dr. Michael Bess in Seattle at Pivot Art + Culture on …
Over the coming decades – probably a lot sooner than most people realize –the next great wave of technological change will wash over our lives. Its impact will be similar in sweep and rapidity to the advent of computers, cell phones, and the web; but this time around, it is not our gadgets that will be transformed – it is we ourselves, our bodies, our minds. This will be a shift that cuts even more deeply than the great industrial revolutions of the past. It will not only alter how we make a living, communicate, and interact with each other, but will offer direct and precise control over our own physical and mental states.
Innovation Hub radio interviewed Michael Bess about how the emerging field of epigenetics may soon change the way people modify themselves and their children. Listen to the interview.
Rejuvenation therapies that could potentially extend human lifespans to 160 years or more, chemical or bioelectronic cognitive enhancement that could double or triple IQ scores, bioelectronic devices for modulating brain processes including “pleasure centers”, so-called “designer babies”, and much more are poised to cross the threshhold from science fiction to reality in the near future. Michael Bess offers a sober prediction of how such advances will directly affect human society, and the ethical dilemmas that could result. Our Grandchildren Redesigned is fascinating from cover to cover and near-impossible to put down. Highly recommended!
“Think of it as ‘Humans XP, Humans 7, Humans 10.’ Just like the Microsoft software, there’s going to be a continuous rise in what is considered the standard or norm.”
Unless humanity changes its direction, life might get ugly in the bioengineered society of our grandkids.
An exuberant account of how biotechnology will vastly enhance not only our health, but our physical and mental abilities as well.
This process, writes Bess (History/Vanderbilt Univ.; Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II, 2006, etc.), is already underway, with drugs, bioelectronics, and genetics all playing leading roles. Familiar names like Prozac, Viagra, and Adderall reveal that the progress of drugs has already come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Thought-controlled prostheses and bioelectronic implants for the deaf and blind remain rudimentary, but in the coming years, we should expect to see impressive advances.