Last Sunday, I wrote an article in response to a combination of watching Halo's brand new trailer and writing the next installment of The Singularian Grimoire Anthologies. And although this article had nothing to do with magic, something magical did happen. A great conversation took place on Reddit, and boy... I learned something that day... Let's dive in!
Post-Humanism is part of it, too
Post-human is a concept originating in the fields of science fiction, futurology, contemporary art, and philosophy that means a person or entity exists in a state beyond being human. The concept aims at addressing a variety of questions, including ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity.
Until Reddit came knocking on my door, I had only looked into the concepts of Transhumanism and Bioconservatism. I believed to have found the essence of what I was writing about and figured that (as in any story) the two forces opposed each other through the arguments of either one being right. However, a sharp-minded Redditor pointed out that the conflict may not involve bioconservatism as much as humanism and post-humanism. Said Redditor continued to explain that bioconervatism was more like a subcategory to transhumanism. This puzzled me because I was convinced the two could not be different sides of the same coin, simply because one wanted to change the human being and the other sought to preserve it.
It's a trifecta that seems to have humanism as the expected loser, transhumanism is the acceptable winner, and post-humanism is the expected winner. ---Reddit user
So, if humanism, a way of life that relies on reason and a shared feeling of humanity, is the expected loser, what does that mean for the rest of the argument? How does bioconservatism still fit in, and what does post-humanism have to do with it? The concept is this: with transhumanism 'transmuting' humans to a state of post-humanism, it is bioconservatism that prevents us from destroying ourselves----to maintain our human form, albeit replaced by mechanical/augmented parts (I'm back with you, Master Chief). Let's complete the example with Chief as our subject. John-117 is 100% the result of transhumanism and was designed/built to turn into a post-human (metahuman?). With all the power he has and all the augmentations that were put into him, it was bioconservatism that ensured he still looked human by the end of it. They could have given him six arms, four legs, a muzzle, and a tail... but (thank god) they didn't. So rather than bioconservatism battling against the process of transhumanism, it made sure that after the transition into a post-human, he still looked... well, human.
So what does this mean for The Singularian?
Again, let's wrap things up with an excellent question. In essence, it means the story just got "a little more" complex. The entire "bioconservatism is part of transhumanism"-thing makes sense because Sixsmith chose to create a synthetic body that looked as human as possible. Sovren doesn't look like a machine (except for when he takes off his shades). There was something in Sixsmith's mind that prevented him from designing something that could (possibly) be more efficient than the human form, and instead, made him design something that could not be distinguished from the real thing. The same could be said for Griswold. He wanted to create his own super-soldiers with enhanced capabilities originating from animal instincts and physiological augmentations. The fact that each Splice still looks human... is again bioconservatism doing its job as part of the transhuman process.
So, in fact, The Singularian Grimoire Anthologies are about post-humanism as much as it is about the post-apocalypse. We follow a cast of characters that have (mostly) all been part of a transhuman process and now find themselves in a post-human situation where they look human yet are anything but. Are you still keeping up with me? Good, because here's the bombshell...
Post-humanism follows this definition on sites like Wikipedia:
In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human.
Going back to Season 1, Volume 1, we find this to be the exact reason Sovren was created. To re-conceive humanity so humanity would survive eternity on earth. Moving to Season 1, Volume 2, we take a deep dive into the mind of Sixsmith, who experiments on human beings to see how far his transhumanism could take him----touching the edges of anti-humanism while doing so. The result: a post-human, or metahuman, which was created through transhumanism, all the while walking the other side of the coin that is bioconservatism.
Let me know what you think about the subject in the comments below. I'm eager to learn more about the subject.
Tags: #Halo #SciFi #transhumanism #posthumanism #postapocalyptic #bioconservatism #science #sciencefiction #paramount #MasterChief #HaloInfinite #HaloTheSeries #Reddit #Redditor #teach #learn #SomethingNew #IStandCorrected #FoodForThought