FREEDOM AND SAFETY
What is man but a wandering ape, long sought after the answers to all of life’s many questions? For the last few centuries, mankind has had to endure in the challenges of a limited lifespan, consisting of disease, war, and poverty. And yet, as each year passes by, one cannot help but notice the light at the end of our collective tunnel known as humanity. What is this light?
For techno-philosopher Jason Silva, it is a light of technological evolution. Our innate proclivity to achieve everything at once, only to fall into a state of anxiety, is the result of what Arthur Conan Doyle affirmed as “our unending search, our abiding desire for immortality.” According to Silva, this state of anxiety contends with what is known as "FOMO" – the fear of missing out!
As noted by Dan Ariely, who is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, this “worry that tugs at the corners of our minds is set off by the fear of regret…that we’ve made the wrong decision about how to spend our time.” Why do such fears rule our day? Perhaps due to the fact that our lives are severely limited, and thus our experiences are confined by an hourglass. Would we reminisce of our past decisions so often if life weren’t so short?
This is a question that we’ve been hoping to answer since the beginning of life itself – or, at the very least, when our species developed the brain capacity to become self-aware, and thus aware of our mortality. FOMO represents the clash of our biological limitations with that of our yearning for more. This social anxiety is a thirst for ultimate knowledge and experience but left shorthanded by our very own senescent nature. This then raises the question: is there a cure?
As we continue moving forward, making new scientific discoveries and engineering technological marvels, our expedition towards longevity increasingly nears. Our FOMO is nothing but an evolving state of mind. After all, two hundred years ago our lifespans were even shorter, and our experiences of the world much less so. With the help of advanced science and technologies, we were able to alleviate our anxieties, up to the point of an extension to our limitations.
Soon we will use even more advanced science and technology to help us transcend the limitations of our very own biology. We will do away with our organic prison and unleash our greatest potential; we will break away from the shackles of aging and limited experience and become the very gods of which we told stories about to help ease our anxieties. The human condition of FOMO is the Transhuman drive for life!