As I watched this piece of fiction, a realization dawned on me – transhumanism ! I had read about the concept briefly, but the true meaning sunk in when I watched this video. And it made my skin crawl.

I went right back to Wikipedia where I had first read about this, and here it what it says about transhumanism:

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label “posthuman”.

The fundamental ideas of transhumanism were first mooted in 1923 by the British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane in his essay Daedalus: Science and the Future, which predicted that great benefits would come from applications of advanced sciences to human biology — and that every such advance would first appear to someone as blasphemy or perversion, “indecent and unnatural”. In particular, he was interested in the development of the science of eugenics, ectogenesis (creating and sustaining life in an artificial environment) and the application of genetics to improve human characteristics, such as health and intelligence.

Tru Skin, to me, epitomizes transhumanism. It portrays humans acquiring robotic features. Not just features but almost every imaginable part of the human body can be acquired – for a price and with a warranty. Oh, by the way, did I forget to mention designer brands of limbs, eyes, etc ? Normal, entirely organic humans are portrayed as an inferior, suffering race, equated with deformed beggars, who fall sick, who die. And not to miss the signage that says “Seriously Not Hiring Naturals”. Being natural is a curse.

A futuristic Thailand where, in order to blend in, one has to do a complete “makeover” to a transhuman. A city where the latest “gadgets and gimmicks rule. Replacing one’s eyes is the “easy” part – skin, not so easy, but doable.  Anything can be had for a price. Even the love of another transhuman can be bought – for a price. Payments depend on the duration.

And not to forget the option of backing up one’s memory for safekeeping  – just in case something was to happen to your natural self, so that it could easily be implanted in the new “you” ! Wow ! That is why it is crucial to sign-up for the daily back-up program, so that one never “loses a moment”, and can try to live forever.

So what are you waiting for ? Back-up your memory, then choose death for your “natural’ self at the click of a button, and transfer all your memories into the new “you”, and bingo ! You live forever !

Definitely not my cup of tea. This one literally made my “skin” crawl. Technology lover though I may be, I draw the line at simply using technology, and not letting it take over my life.

Advertisements