Publisher's Note

The tantalising predicaments, options and choices in human ecosystem

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The magnitude and pace of changes that are unfolding in front of our eyes are phenomenal and nothing short of miraculous. We live in an era where there are extraordinary choices and options that are life changing and will fundamentally alter the human ecosystem. On the one extreme is the developments around transhumanism, the desire to evolve the human race beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology. While on the other extreme is the race by first world nations to annex the space and the moon. All this is happening in an era of the imperatives of the fourth industrial revolution. The list is long however some examples will help expose the magnitude of change happening right in front of our eyes.

Thwe race to conquer space is in full flow. The Chinese aerospace engineer Ye Peijian succinctly expressed the dilemma about the lunar program when he acclaimed, “some people believe that if we don’t go there now, even though we are capable of doing so, then we will be blamed by our descendants”. Others contend that the majority of our descendants will frown upon us for throwing money up in the sky, despite the world being awash with more pressing socio economic challenges. However this balancing game, has not deterred the various nations from advancing both their technologies and ambitions to conquer the space and the moon. Those less advanced Nations and their inability to enter the race, will in the near future live to regret.

Likewise the choices and dilemmas persist in the fourth industrial revolution arena. To some 4IR is a new buzzword and flavour of the moment, a preserve of the well off, while others have embraced it. 4IR has already penetrated most, if not all aspects of our life, it is no longer an option but an irreversible reality of our daily lives. Without a doubt 4IR is a classical case of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The other extreme end of human advancement is Transhumanism. It is considered to be a patchwork of beliefs about how technology will enhance the human condition, maybe radically so. Also known as ““escape velocity” with an intent to prolong life by innovations that add years faster than they pass.

These tantalising predicaments propel the human advancement to newer un-imaginable level. At the end of the day, the cardinal question becomes are we spectators transformed by these developments or we are change agents at the forefront of shaping our own destiny?

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Issue 414


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