Free Comic

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It is tough being a superhero in a world constantly combating global climate change and saving humanity from possible extinction!

"Forever Is A Long Time" is a science fiction indie comic illustrated by Zac Finger, in collaboration with the original short story by Michael Blade.

Synopsis: A bewildered science fiction author (me) is offered a chance at immortality from a time traveling historian of the future.

“Forever Is A Long Time” transhumanist comic, singularity, futurist, simulation, 2014.

Zac Finger Says: When I first met Michael Blade  . . . I was tabling shirts and comix at Extreme Futurist Festival 2012 in LA, which was itself a surreal enough experience that it warrants its own comic some day.

Mike came around my table and started talking to me about all of the stuff you’d expect from someone at a transhumanist con - technological immortality, virtual simulations, mind uploading, etc.

According to Mike he actually had the experience depicted in the comic above in a diner . . . A mysterious man introduced himself as part of a race of aliens or possibly AIs operating the computer simulation running our current reality. . . .and I pursued illustrating a comic of his experience.






Zac Finger has been great in allowing this collaborative work to be put up for free.  Visit his website for more Comics! I hope we all live for however long we what too . . .

A slightly different version of the comic can be found on Zac's site, here.

Posthuman, A Poem © Michael Blade

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Note: My special thanks to Donato Giancola for the use of this © 2008 image above.
Visit his art website here.

Posthuman by Michael Blade © 2010

 

I am Human becoming
A Transhuman to be
My existence transforms itself through multiple substrates

 

I am flesh of evolved genetics
Technology cyborg robotic
Digital virtual and neural simulation
Networked information itself

 

Yet I retain sentience through all my transformations
I travel among the stars at the speed of light and now faster still
I am now immortal but not eternal
Not all powerful for I still make mistakes, always learning, always exploring

 

Time is only a measurement to me, I control my rate of consciousness
I allow myself to feel happiness, sorrow and compassion
Respect for my origins, my emotions, so human basic they are
But I have become so much more now, my mind merges with others like myself

 

On multiple levels of being we are
On the verge of becoming we are
Making love with thought . . .
Posthuman I have become

 

 

What Does It Mean To Be Transhuman?

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   Michael Blade, Copyright  All Rights Reserved, January 2013

I will start by trying to define my understanding of what it means to be transhuman. This may not be your understanding or even the general understanding, but so be it. I will not enter into the debate on whether we should even attempt to be transhuman or what would be the negative consequences of such an undertaking. I leave that to other discussions, which believe me I have had many.

To be transhuman implies that you are also human, or once were human or derived from human genetic stock (DNA), basically having a human ancestor, maybe AI of a scan human derived variety (born or unborn), possibly AGI integrated. It implies you are more than human, transitioning, on the way to becoming posthuman, human plus, H+, a new species entirely, etc. Hopefully not H-.

In my opinion transhuman is a form of self directed evolution through technology and shaped by societal forces, this is assuming that an individual has the free choice. Growing out of this kind of thinking comes a multitude of branches for alteration-augmentation; possibilities in the base human from very minor to very extreme.

Listed here in no particular order and very possibly incomplete are:

  • Cyborgs, robotic, all manner of electronic augmentation, new senses, AR

  • Transpecies DNA alteration/insertion, Synthetic DNA alteration/insertion

  • Incorporation of symbiotic organisms, altered-designed new function organs giving new capabilities

  • Neural augmentation, cognitive extension into cyberspace/internet/cloud

  • Complete life-logging all senses, thoughts, experiences, complete digital uploading, substrate independence, integration with Artificial Intelligence, genome-connectome-envirome packaging

  • Robotic telepresence from simulated being, android (meaning synthetic artificial body, appearing human), meat cloned body linked to upload, telepresence into organic being (like “Avatar” the movie), rented bodies

  • A group mind social integration, global brain, hive mind, multiple consciousness functioning as one entity, omni-conscious being/experience possible human-machine-system-super-organism

  • Digital Avatar with AI augmentation and augmented reality/virtual reality, cellular network telepathy-sensory-memory-communication and backup storage

 

Having taken a good general high-level attempt at defining some of the possibilities, it becomes obvious that the permutations are really very large and diverse and it is impossible to predict at any granular level what a transhuman can actually be or become. That said, I will try to illustrate one extreme possibility with my limited understanding of the technologies involved, many which do not exist yet, others which are rapidly progressing or formulating.

My very extreme transhuman will have no categorical name (just yet), but will have certain qualities. Any sexual identity will be possible, he, she, it, we, other, multi, none; completely selectable.  He will be substrate independent, having a connectome which is uploaded and simulant (siman: simulated human). He will have physical presence in a real clone grown body with a cyborg- transpecies-synthetic genome. He will have access to a tool set and catalog for self-modification, tweaking.

He can exist as multiple telepresent android-robots in space colony situations. His “digital packaging” allows him to be simulated in multiple complete virtual or augmented reality situations. He can be telepathically linked to other minds through the cellar network, or like wireless neurally integration infrastructure, with define exchange protocols for sensory, memory, communication and storage both in the virtual simulation and remote entity.

Able to spawn thousands of copies of himself, complete separate tasks and reintegrate the multitude of experiences. Eventually he could become a swarm of nanomachines or integrate with AI's in a group planetary mind.

Traveling at the speed of light his digital package would be transmittable to the stars, instantiate at receiver stations in the local systems, visit and study planets as localized alien entities. Eventually he would become part alien as well (when we encounter other intelligent life or create it), experiencing new emotions, living for hundreds of thousands of years, millions, jumping from star system to star system and becoming a galactic human-machine lifeform, a true posthuman entity.

Eventually he may create a bubble universe or universe simulation. Existing in clouds of nanoparticles or even dark matter as an energy-super-computer-organism. This could also explain some of the fermi paradox.  Does becoming transhuman therefore imply a singularity?  No one can really know the answer.   It may be a tipping point for humanity or the greatest explosion of diversity in the human technological species we will ever know.

 

See also:

Package for the Stars

 

Michael McAnally

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Discovering what it means to be human in technological times



Michael McAnally, is a Founder, Futurist, and Science Fiction Blogger who goes by the pen name Michael Blade. He has deep knowledge in computer science and currently lives in San Francisco as CEO of Touch Voice and owns a Website Design & Development business at WEBMAC.com He has apps in all the major app stores which help thousands of speech impaired individuals and are used in hospitals and care facilities.








My Science Fiction Short Stories

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A list of links to my science fiction short stories:

   I am a Hummingbird   After my body died the surgeons put me in a hummingbird. It took a while to get use to having my perspective darting around so quickly, but my mind had finally adapted to it.

   Sneeze!   “A few days Mr. Anderson. Don't worry, it's a positive virus, I'm origin zero. Then you'll be one of us, welcome to the new global hivemind, we-I always choose well. It will be unlike anything you have ever experienced or imagined. Expect a mental call, anything will be possible, said Kay, a future echo ...” Kay Noble replied, then collected the documents, velvet and all, and left the room without a further word.

   Muffy the Time Traveling Chihuahua   Muffy was a loyal pack dog on the locally collapsed time-day of his death, which varied in fractal quantum probability across a multitude of bifurcated futures or space-time universes.

   Lunch 2032    Her IQ was probably skyrocket norm. It seems the gene engineers had given her both great brains and beauty. She wanted to be a Terraforming Research Scientist, but on Earth she would have to settle for other work. Her parents had lost most of their money in a wild Marsearth start-up investment, so she had to work her way through the university, no one would give a genmod scholarship. It was just plain and simple prejudice.

   Virtuality   Zane Pax hid behind a large bolder as the black alien warship flew overhead.  Na’Han had swarmed the cities of the world laying waste to human civilization.  Humanity was on the endangered species list, on our way out for good.

   The Alien Time-Traveler Historian   Mathew answers, “Variations of me exist in most all future branches. That’s really rare, and that’s why I’m allowed to speak to you. To help you understand. You see, those that are still basically human in the future have great compassion. They want to help reduce the suffering. I’m here on their behalf to try and influence things.”

   The Galactic Culture   Finally, in order to survive the approaching technological singularity and remove their aggressive and self-destructive evolved behaviors, pre-type 1 species sometimes begin an extensive program of self-initiated genetic re-engineering and intelligence amplification (usually proceeded by development of a global computing system -Internet).   Sometimes this is successful, other times not.

   Lunar City  Outward space exploration and expansion grew at a rapid pace, due to the privatization of all space exploration and its subsequent exploitation.    Corporations headed by forward thinking executives now controlled access to space.    Spaceports have sprouted up all over the world, giving average citizens access to affordable space travel.    Now space stations, moon bases and asteroid factories, which provided most of the raw materials, have become independent space communities.    Distant science outposts have been constructed on the outer planets and moons.    The solar system has become the playground of humanity.

   VR Prototype   Jason Chen bent over in his subway seat to pick up a rarely seen plastic penny he spotted face-up on the train floor.    A penny existed today only to make exact change for those who still stubbornly used physical money.    He didn’t understand why, but somehow its continued existence was comforting for some.    Angling the lucky coin in his fingers to see the three-dimensional head of Abraham Lincoln, he noted the year on the coin was 2053, the year of his birth.

   Dr. Xanoplatu   Dr. Xanoplatu, an alien anthropologist, historian, and time traveler, materialized on stage wearing the body of his ancestors, a giant green Praying Mantis with large yellow eyes and small black pupils.    He was speaking at a galactic cultural lecture, inside a de-localized spherical space station, somewhere and some when in a multi-versed space-time reality.

   Virtuality Mind   Marcus replies, “Yes, you can assume I’m crazy.    But, I’m just communicating to you through this man’s body.    For a short period of time, I can do this, without his knowing it.    When I leave and his consciousness re-awakens, this memory will seem like a daydream to him.”

   Resurrection Birth   Jason awoke to a static humming sound.   It was so annoying, grating on his nerves more than a badly tuned alarm clock.   He lifted his heavy eyelids to blinding light, and out of focus images.   His vision slowly cleared and he realized he was inside a plastic coffin thing.

 

   "The Transhuman Singularity", an incomplete novella by Michael Blade.

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