stop GNR - Kevin Menear 12/05/05 Minds and Machines Section...

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12/05/05 Minds and Machines Section 4 NOTEBOOK QUESTION #3 “Or maybe we should just shoot ourselves now, while the bullets still actually work.” (p. 98) claims Bill McKibben, author of ‘Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age’. This statement is in response to the seemingly endless capabilities of nanobots 1 , including the ability of humans to duel through the nanobot’s eyes by the use of “telepresence” (p. 98). Yet, in “Enough”, McKibben comments on realities of the modern world which are much more troubling than virtual dueling. McKibben comments on the possibilities of Genetics, Nano- and Robotechnology 2 . With the growth of these new technologies, McKibben claims there will be many unconsidered repercussions. In his strongest argument, McKibben states that the growth of GNR “threaten[s]—indeed, they promise—to destroy the meaning of our lives.” (p. 92). In support of this claim, McKibben describes what science has promised to make of the world. In this world of transhumans 3 and nanobots, every aspect of our lives which now seems less-than-pleasurable will be done away with. These new technologies will increase the output to input ratio so dramatically that humans will be retired from the very moment of birth. There will be no need for humans to work; rather, “Social Security payments begun at birth would subsidize a long, comfortable retirement for the entire original-model human race” (p. 93). But, as McKibben states, “Work is one of the things 1 Nanobots are robots which function at the size of individual atoms. 2
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course IHSS IHSS 1051 taught by Professor Vanorman during the Spring '08 term at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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stop GNR - Kevin Menear 12/05/05 Minds and Machines Section...

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