“By adjusting neurons, doctors can enhance happiness in marriages and friendships, and diminish violence in criminals. This new mind science has slashed divorce rates and reduced crime and violence worldwide.”
So basically, in a world in which people are effectively immortal and enjoy eternal youth, you’re going to have doctors fiddling with people’s brains in order that couples can enslave each other in marriage for literally…thousands of years?
Isn’t a traditionalist, conservative pro-marriage position a little at odds with a secular vision of the future in which no-body dies and nobody ages? Do you think this is a good recipe for solving global population problems? Will this re-wiring of the human brain by people in white suits involve enforcing a desire for monogomy? For wives or just husbands? Will it be voluntary?
Marriage was a system for producing and raising children in a world in which most people died or were decrepit by the age of 40. Monogomy won’t survive a world in which everybody is always young and good looking, and which we will presumably have 100% safe and effective contraception. Or at least it will be hugely pointless. Perhaps we should be re-wiring the brains of those mentally ill people who would still possess the highly dysfunctional and selfish desire for monogomy?
Posted by Christian Corralejo on 06/03 at 11:03 PM
For the most part I agree with you. Though I’m with the group that want marriages to last and be happy (I personally know several that do), it should never be forced on people, especially through brain tinkering. Otherwise it’s not real happiness. However, if you are serious about “re-wiring the brains of those mentally ill people who would still possess the highly dysfunctional and selfish desire for monogomy” (that sounds like a very mislead notion by the way), then how’s that any less totalitarian than re-writing brains to keep marriages? That’s just imposing your own views on that person, and before anyone try to make a religious connection with that (I have very good feeling someone will), we don’t “impose our views” on people and were never supposed to. Also, has it crossed your mind that many people (secular or otherwise) just want to get married because they want to be with that person and that there could be people who would want to live forever with the person they love? It may even be a reason why some people would want to live forever. Yes, divorces do happen, but no relationship is perfect and there will need to be compromises on both sides. That’s what I think many people fail to realize. There are certain cases when divorce is justifiable like when one partner is cheating on the other. But seriously there will be times where people get angry at each other or can’t stand each other or even find each other unattractive. But is it really worth not having any lasting ties just because a couple of bad things happen in your relationship?
Posted by Intomorrow on 06/03 at 11:32 PM
“...before anyone try to make a religious connection with that (I have very good feeling someone will), we don’t’ ‘impose our views’ on people…”
Right, because the religious are being fought every step of the way to make sure they cannot impose their views.
Posted by Christian Corralejo on 06/04 at 01:35 AM
Correction, we don’t impose our views and beliefs on other people (though that depends on which religion or faith you’re talking about since Christianity isn’t the only one out there) because it is not what our doctrine tells us to do (right know I’m talking about Christianity). We share it with other people. If they want to learn more about it they are very welcome. If not, then they don’t have to listen. It’s just when people have some many unfair and false assumptions and views about religion and become obsessed with making the enemy out of it that becomes somewhat irksome.
Posted by Khannea Suntzu on 06/04 at 02:02 AM
My personal conviction is that the institution of marriage is an undesirable atavism. Marriage serves no purpose but to ritualize a imprisoning contract in a larger agricultural society. I am fairly certain may be contrary to genetic programming, judging how many of these force contracts fail in more enlightened/free/modern society - most people want out of these contracts after ten years or so, “apparently”.
Marriage should not be a societally or statist enforced constraint. It should be a private engagement between citizens. The only thing a state can demand is to create binding child protection clauses in whatever engagement people wish for themselves. A minor part should be to ascertain that enough people are born, and those people become productive citizens - but only if this is the democratic desire of the people.
The idea that science be abused to enforce a narrow (and arguable pathological) cultural atavism of a long bygone generation of short-lived, mostly malnourished, largely primitive, habitually traumatized people from the distant past is asinine. We must strive to discards outdated and dysfunctional constraints that are uncomfortable and don’t work and only keep what has been proven to work. As far as I am concerned the old understanding of marital imprisonment is deeply dysfunctional and has become wholly counter-productive in modern society.
If people in a marriage would however want to self-impose some kind of neurological scarring as to artificially cultivate some kind of cult or mental BDSM-like or otherwise fetishistic bonding, then they should be free to do so, as long as they fully understand the implications and don’t hurt anybody else. I would however be somewhat cautious to have children raised by people who use “neurological mental surgery techniques” on themselves to scar their own minds in to being devoted spouses. These people should by default be regarded with suspicion as to be suitable to be parents, but that is just my opinion.
In my perfect world there would be an ecology of relationship contracts offered by a multitude of memetic agencies. Some of these contracts would be sexual in nature (take Iranian one-night marriages as an example) whereas others would have a spiritual connotations, others would be a business deal and yet others would be about proper parenting. Yes, I do think the state should impose certain fundamental obligations to prospective parents (not engage in abusive parenting, and to provide somewhat objective and broadly educated world view being one). Yes I think that people should by default be barred from parenting unless they qualify. I am in favour of proper parenting certification - if you need a license and training to operate a vehicle, all people most certainly need a license to raise a kid.
My personal preferences include primarily to be young and pretty(ier) for starters, and I do not want to subject me at age 35+ to any other human being. My idea of (long-term) sexuality and intimate relationship starts with me (and human beings) being healthy and youthful. I regard ageing as a severe and incapacitating disease and I do not want to subject the consequences of this to anyone else. I regard (my) ageing as sufficiently undignified as embarrassing as to make me decide not suitable for relationship at over aforementioned age. For me long term relationships are sexual in large part and the first thing is desirability. To me most people over 30 are not desirable (with a few very acute exceptions! You know who you are!) and this extends to my assessment of myself. The perfect combination of desirability to my tastes is someone who is physically in their early 20s, and experientially/mentally over 80.
As a consequence I’d regard either the mentally very young / physically aged as unsuitable for long term relationships, by my very constrained default standards.
The rare poetic exceptions to these standards are however what makes life so very interesting (you know it when I am referring to you eh?
Maybe the (my) best web of relationships is more like an extended tribal community - not constrictive and contractual but more facultative and liberated. Modular?
Maybe I have too many Bonobo genes
Posted by Intomorrow on 06/04 at 03:56 AM
“Correction, we don’t impose our views and beliefs on other people (though that depends on which religion or faith you’re talking about since Christianity isn’t the only one out there) because it is not what our doctrine tells us to do (right know I’m talking about Christianity). We share it with other people. If they want to learn more about it they are very welcome. If not, then they don’t have to listen. It’s just when people have some many unfair and false assumptions and views about religion and become obsessed with making the enemy out of it that becomes somewhat irksome.”
Generally you are right, Chris, a small percentage of Christians take the notion of being fisherman of souls too literally and try to scoop up as many ‘souls’ (victims) as they can. However the majority of Christians have learned how being too aggressive in ‘witnessing’ can be counterproductive.
What IMO is wrong is Christians telling straights or gays who they ought to sleep with, or live with or marry. I don’t trust anyone anymore in authority—not to write we can’t arrive at modus vivendi with authorities, yet trusting them is virtually out of the question. When Christians urge a personal relationship with God, they don’t know how right they are, they can’t be trusted so if one is to be a Christian that leaves only God to trust by having a personal relationship with God; and Jesus, since the Father and Son live at the same address
In God we trust, all others pay cash.
Remember, Gang; all of our technologies will advance as we wind through the years; with speeds similar to Moore’s Law: doubling every year and a half or two years.
Today, in 2012, humanity is indeed a sorry lot, suffering overloads of ‘stinkin thinkin’ and facing awesome threats of violence, pain, and poor healthcare.
As we enter the 2020s, things will pick up a bit. Stem cell therapies and genetic engineering procedures could be in full swing, rejuvenating our bodies and showering us with optimism. Our view of life will improve drastically during this decade.
Then in the 2030s, all kinds of toys will surface, such as skycars, human-like android servants, and breakthroughs in unraveling the mysteries of consciousness.
Understanding human thought could provide the most radical changes our species has ever experienced. A growing number of neuroscientists believe that neuron interactions dictate our emotions and physical actions. Once this is more clearly understood (with tomorrow’s enhanced brains); humanity will be in a position to achieve incredible levels of happiness.
Will a better understanding of the human brain lead to happier relationships? I would hope that it would, but it may not. I don’t think anyone today can predict the effect tomorrow’s neuroscience advances may have on our lives.
In the 2030s, indefinite lifespan may still be beyond reach. However, in the 2040s, nanotechnology, information technologies and artificial general intelligence could advance to the point where immortality could be insured for every human who opts for enhancement.
In addition, scattering our populations to the stars in a massive space exploration mode is definitely in humanity’s future. From the 60-Minutes TV interview last night of Elon Musk, to the ‘Mars One’ organization’s aggressive goal to create a Mars colony by April 2023; then send four astronauts every two years to the red planet. By 2033, 20 people will live and work in their new offworld home.
By 2062, many reading this post may still be alive and wondering how they could have ever existed in such a crude world of 2012. That’s the dream, anyway.
Posted by Intomorrow on 06/04 at 08:05 PM
Such a good, concise, comment, Dick, there is nothing to add to it.
I’m only tired of over-optimistic discussion which becomes smarm after a while, well off future-enthusiasts talking down to the wretches at the bottom:
“you poor dumb things, never you mind: life will improve circa midcentury, if you should live that long.”
Posted by iPan on 06/05 at 12:51 AM
Today, there are humans connected to electronic devices via implanted arrays of electrodes, and can send emails and tweets with them.
EEG headsets can be used to control video games.
Revolutions are hyper accelerated by social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter (fulfilling at least in part Marshal McLuhan’s predictions).
Actual telepresence robots (simple ones) are already in use, but not accessible to the mainstream (still a little expensive).
3D rapid prototyping (aka 3D printing) is exploding right now - paving the way for the next ‘industrial revolution’.
But, the best of all, is the rise of the exo-cortex technologies, and the devices that enable access by the majority of the planets human inhabitants.
Wiki’s and smartphones. Smartphones are now growing faster than any other technology in all of human history - and the Wiki’s are externalizing the collected sum total of all human knowledge, and then disseminating that knowledge to any human being with internet access.
The Cybernetic Dreamtime is here.
This is Act 2, Act 1 was the rise and installation of the internet.