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On my way back from Hawaii with the long-form bio
02:24 PM on 09/05/2011
Click, click, cluck, clack.

...I'd translate that for you mere human 1.0s but most of you have already read that novel anyway I'm sure.
feelthy liberal! ...and not just a pretty face!
02:07 PM on 09/05/2011
The future of our brains? Think of a cheese puff...
To live with a cat is to live with cat hair.
03:25 PM on 09/05/2011
"The future of our brains?" ???

I think of fried eggs.
Pull over, buddy, let's see your poetic license
02:02 PM on 09/05/2011
Fascinating stuff. Drawing a rough analogy with the transition from the industrial age to the technological age, I wonder if successful neuronal recycling would have the same potential to make the leap from largely arithmetic progressions to geometric, and what the implications would be.
01:55 PM on 09/05/2011
An interesting approach to the question of "what's next for humans", but I question whether the "cyborg route" is as dependent on AI as you make it seem. Much research *and fiction* regarding man/machine hybrids focuses on grafting a piece of hardware to a person's body and letting the body learn to interpret the signals from the hardware (and in some cases, to send controlling signals).

Even in the novel that coined the word "cyborg" (Cyborg, by Martin Caidin), the main character was given physical enhancements that were quite inintelligent. The intelligence was provided by his brain.

So, fundamentally, the "cyborg" track is fundamentally similar to your "nature-harnessing" track and sci fi authors like Caidin, Stephenson and even Stross are envisioning a future consistent with yours.

And it all really boils down to this: The brain has evolved to process and - especially - find patterns in sensory signals and sensory signals are really just impulses in neurons. So the easiest next major step in human advancement will be to create neuronal impulse streams that do not come from our existing set of sensory organs. This could be IR vision, ultrasonic hearing, magnetometers, or even human-to-human or human-to-cloud interfaces that bypass the bandwidth limited senses of hearing and sight.

I look forward to reading Harnessed...