Tag Archives: Ray Kurzweil

Prison Or Brain Hacking? A Choice That May Shape Our Future

fajb_brain_hacking_01_sep2012

How does a civilized society deal with its least civilized individuals? This is a question that every society has had to answer, going back to the hunter/gatherer era. We live in an imperfect world full of imperfect individuals. Some are more imperfect than others, so much so that it’s not always possible to reform them into functional members of society.

Most people who commit crimes are not monsters, nor are they sadists who get their joy by torturing the innocent. A vast majority are just people who find themselves in bad situations where they make wrong decisions, exercise poor judgment, or lack impulse control. For these people, fines and brief imprisonment are usually sufficient.

For those who become career criminals, neither respecting the law nor seeking to abide by it, the current system is woefully inadequate. It’s part of the reason why criminal justice reform has become a hot topic. We’re finally learning that throwing people into prisons where they’re dehumanized, degraded, and tortured doesn’t help them become productive members of society. Go figure.

There’s plenty of room for improvement. Some countries have demonstrated that there are more effective, more humane ways to treat criminals. However, even those systems have their limits. As long as human beings remain an imperfect species, we’ll still have to deal with these deviant, violent, and inherently dangerous individuals.

For the moment, our options for dealing with these people are few. It primarily involves incarceration or intense therapy, often coupled with drug therapy. While this can be helpful to some, there are severe limitations. Some individuals don’t even want treatment and even those who are caught don’t always respond.

With that in mind, allow me to present a not-quite-hypothetical scenario. What if, instead of prison or therapy, we gave offending criminals an option to undergo an invasive treatment that affects the primary source of their deviant behavior in the brain? Jail is still an option for those who aren’t keen on messing with their brain wiring, but for certain people, an alternative is an alternative.

What I just described is one of those concepts in which the science is there, but the technology and the courts haven’t caught up to it. I know whenever I talk about emerging technology, be it sex robots or artificial wombs, I venture pretty far into speculation territory. Some of these advances rely on science and tools that don’t yet exist. This isn’t one of those cases.

In July 2018, the Journal of Neuroscience published a study revealing that targeted stimulation of the prefrontal cortex reduced aggressive tendencies in test subjects. Before you start getting fever dreams of mad scientists strapping people to gurneys and sticking wires in their ears, you can rest easy. This isn’t the kind of electroshock treatment that find their way into one too many horror movies.

These treatments have ground-breaking implications. They prove that it’s possible to temper or mitigate certain behaviors in people. The study doesn’t specify the limits of the effects or if it can be applied to something other than aggressive behaviors. It’s still a proof of concept and one that could compound the impact of other emerging technologies.

We already have tools like CRISPR that allow us to tweak our genes. We also have companies like Neuralink that are actively working on implants that could fix, augment, or expand our brain capacity. While men like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil often discuss these advances within the context of keeping humanity on pace with artificial intelligence, there will likely be some interim uses for these technologies.

Tempering violent behavior in people with significant cognitive impairments is just one possible use, but one that has the potential to change how we think about crime and punishment. Think back to those people I mentioned earlier who just inherently violent. They can’t manage their emotions or control their anger. They don’t think before they act and some don’t even feel guilty about what they do.

Like it or not, these people exist. I’ve known people in my life who have terrible impulse control and fly into a rage over the smallest things. Some of those people have had issues with the law and I often see in them a sense of never-ending frustration. Many don’t like that they have these issues. A few have tried to get help, but it doesn’t always work.

I suspect that if some of those people were given a chance to treat their tendencies with targeted shock therapy or a brain implant, they would jump at the chance. Deviant tendencies aside, they seek some level of function in their lives. If tweaking their brain is the difference between prison and freedom, then they’ll take that risk.

Turning people who might have been unrepentant psychopaths into productive, non-violent members of society is an objective good. The technology to do just that is not that far off and more study could help us refine the process, so much so that prison might be less necessary in certain cases. Given how expensive it is to imprison people, it’s an alternative worth pursuing.

Along with that undeniable good, however, there are plenty of potential dangers. Anyone who has ever seen one too many psychological thrillers or just read “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” can easily imagine how this kind of technology could be abused.

Tempering someone’s violent behaviors is all well and good, but why would it stop there? The brain is capable of all sorts of behaviors, deviant and otherwise. Say a society determines that other non-violent behaviors, be it sexual promiscuity or binge-watching Netflix for too many hours, are not socially desirable. What’s to stop them from imposing this on their citizens?

Some countries probably already fantasize about technologies that enable them to directly pacify their citizens, rendering them weak, passive, and easily manipulated. In his famous novel, “1984,” George Orwell called these people proles. However, in the book, the deviants had to be tortured and re-educated. If Big Brother had access to this technology, it would be a simple medical procedure.

That has plenty of terrifying possibilities for abuse. What if someone uses brain stimulation to prevent people from having homosexual urges? What if someone uses it to treat those who identify as transgender? There’s no evidence that the techniques in the study would work on that, but there’s no evidence to say it’s impossible.

Its use will definitely be controversial. That much, I’m certain of. It’s not advanced enough to become a legitimate treatment for anything. At the moment, direct brain stimulation is utilized for a specified set of conditions and it’s often a last resort. Using it on healthy people who just want to cull their violent urges is uncharted territory.

Whether it enters the picture for criminal justice reform is anyone’s guess, but if the process works, someone who has dealt with one too many repeat offenders will try to use it. From there, the precedent will be set. It’s hard to say what form it’ll take, but it’ll take society into uncharted territory with respect to controlling our minds.

Perhaps, at first, the process would be voluntary and only be presented in conjunction with jail or some other treatment. It’s also possible that the courts will determine a strict set of criteria for when the state could force this treatment onto someone. There are probably a few repressive governments who would try to use this on an industrial scale. I won’t say they’re names, but most people know who they are.

Like any emerging technology, there are risks and rewards worth considering. We stand to benefit greatly by having a society with as few violent individuals as possible. We also stand to lose a great deal if we allow misguided authority figures to determine how we use this technology.

I’m not qualified to determine whether or not someone should have their brain hacked. I don’t know that anyone is. However, I also don’t deny that the human brain, as magnificent as it is, has plenty of flaws. We should go about fixing those flaws, especially in people who are disproportionately impacted by them. We just have to be very careful about how we manage it.

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The (Uncomfortable) Questions We’ll Have To Answer With Human Enhancement

In general, I tend to be optimistic about the future. I know that seems crazy, given our current political climate, but I try to look beyond the petty grievance’s and focus on the bigger picture. By so many measures, the world is getting better. The human race is on an unprecedented winning streak and we’re only getting better.

A great deal of this improvement is due, largely, to our ability to make increasingly amazing tools. As I type this, countless people who are far smarter than I’ll ever be are working on advances that will keep us healthier, make us smarter, and help us transcend our physical and mental limits by orders of magnitude.

This is all exciting stuff. We should all look forward to a future where we never get sick, we never age, and we have the physical and sexual prowess of an Olympic athlete on meth. The aspiring erotica/romance writer in me is giddy with excitement over the sexy possibilities.

Like all advancements, though, there will be a cost. Even the greatest advancements mankind has ever made in science, technology, and sex have come at a cost. It’s just the nature of the chaotic world we live in. Nothing is ever smooth and easy when there are so many chaotic forces that we can’t always make sense of.

That’s why for some of these advancements, such as CRISPR, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence, we have to be extra proactive. We’re not just talking about tools that makes it easier to defend ourselves against a hungry lion. These are tools that will fundamentally change what it means to be human.

They’ll take the caveman logic and tribalism that has guided the human race for its entire existence and throw it out the window. They’ll completely rewrite the rules of human nature, crossing lines and redrawing them in ways that even a kinky mind like mine can’t imagine. It won’t just be an overwhelming transition. For some, it’ll be downright traumatic.

Given that there are over seven billion humans on this planet, there will be a lot of moving parts to this transformation. Before we can even think about taking the first steps in that process, we need to ask ourselves some serious, unsexy questions. As much an optimist as I am, I cannot deny the need for caution here.

That’s why I’ll take a step back, keep my pants out, and ask some of these unsexy questions. I understand this won’t exactly get everyone in the mood, but given the rate at which our technology is advancing, we need to be extra proactive. That way, we can get through the hardest parts of the process and get to the sexy parts.


Uncomfortable Question #1: Who (Or What) Gets To Decide How Much We Enhance Ourselves?

This will probably be the most pressing question once the technology becomes refined enough for the commercial market. Most technology goes through a progression. We saw it with the development of cell phones. At first, only business tycoons and drug lords could afford to use them or even have a use for them, to begin with.

That model might have worked for cell phones. It’s not going to work for something like CRISPR or smart blood. That’s because, unlike cell phones, the poorest and the impoverished are the ones most in need of these tools. They’re also the ones that stand to benefit most, in terms of quality of life.

Historically speaking, though, the government has not treated the poor and impoverished very well. Use the same approach with cell phones and the rich and well-connected will be the only ones to benefit. They’ll also further widen the gap, so much so that they might be even less inclined to share.

That’s why the default answer to this question can’t just be the government or rich business interests. I’m not going to pretend to know who the authority will be or how they’ll even go about distributing these advances to people in a fair and just manner. I just know that our current method will not be sufficient.


Uncomfortable Question #2: How Do We Stop Certain Human Enhancements When They Go Wrong?

When your computer freezes, you reboot it. When the sound on your speakers starts making noises, you turn it off. It’s a beautiful, but underrated thing, having an off-switch. I’m sure we’ve all had people in our lives whom we wish had an off-switch. It’s a necessary fail-safe for a chaotic world that we can’t always manage.

Putting an off-switch on dangerous technology, especially something like artificial intelligence, is just common sense. It would’ve made “The Terminator” a lot shorter and a lot less confusing. With other advancements, especially those involving CRISPR and biotechnology, it’s not as easy as just installing an extra switch.

How do you turn off something that literally rewrites our DNA? How do you stop someone who has grown used to having superhuman abilities, by our standards? That’s akin to asking someone to make themselves sick or hack off a limb because the technology has some side-effects. That’s going to be a tough sell.

Again, I am not smart enough to imagine how a fail-safe for that sort of thing would work. It can’t just rely on blind faith, magical thinking, or whatever other tactic that used car salesmen exploit. It has to be in place and up to speed as soon as this technology goes live.


Uncomfortable Question #3: How Independent/Dependent Will Human Enhancement Make Us?

Smartphones, running water, and free internet porn are great. However, they do require infrastructure. People today are at the mercy of whoever pays their cell phone bill, whoever knows the wifi password, and whoever can stop their toilets from overflowing with shit. To some extent, we all depend on certain institutions to keep our lives and our society going.

In a future of enhanced humans, who have been imbued with traits and abilities that way beyond the scope of our current infrastructure, how dependent or independent can they be in the grand scheme of things?

If they rely on a regular injection of nanobots or need to recharge every other day, then they’re going to have to rely on some form of infrastructure. That may help keep enhanced humans from becoming super-powered Biff Tannens, but it will also give a lot of power to whoever or whatever is supplying those resources.

In a sense, it can’t be one or the other. If enhanced humans are too independent, then they have no reason to interact or aid one another. If they’re too dependent on certain resources, then those controlling those resources become too powerful. There needs to be a healthy balance, is what I’m saying. There will be costs, but we have to make sure that the benefits far outweigh those costs.


Uncomfortable Question #4: How Much Of Our Humanity Do We Keep?

Let’s not lie to ourselves. There’s a lot about the human condition we wish we could change or drop altogether. Personally, I would love to never have to go to the dentist, never have to clip my toe nails, and never have to sleep, which is an advancement that’s closer than you think.

Humanity has has a lot of flaws, which is a big part of what drives the development of these tools. However, there are certain parts about humanity that are worth preserving and I’m not just talking about the health benefits of orgasms. Change too much about our bodies, our minds, and everything in between and we cease to become human. At that point, why even care about other humans?

Maintaining a sense of humanity is what will separate enhanced humans from overpriced machines. Our sense of humanity is a big part of what drives us to live, love, explore, and understand. If we lose that, then we’re basically a very smart rock that’s only interested in maintaining its status as a rock.

To really expand our horizons, we need to preserve the best of humanity. Humans do amazing things all the time that reminds us why humanity is worth preserving. When we start enhancing ourselves, we need to save those traits, no matter what we become.


Uncomfortable Question #5: How Will Society Function In A World Of Enhanced Humans?

We’ve built a good chunk of our society around our inherent flaws, as humans. We form tribes to cooperate and survive in ways we can’t do on our own. We seek leaders who are capable of guiding us to functional, stable society. Granted, sometimes those efforts fail miserably, but the goal is the same.

With human enhancement, the rules aren’t just different. They’re obsolete. So much of our society is built around the idea that we’re still a bunch of cavemen with fancier tools that we really don’t have a concept of how we’ll function beyond that context. We have nation states, national identities, and various tribes to which we bind ourselves.

Those are all still products of our inherent drive towards tribalism. That’s still our default setting, as a species. What happens when we start tweaking those settings? Will things like nation states, government, and social circles even exist? When society is made up of a bunch of superhuman beings who can live forever and never need a sick day, how do we even go about functioning?

This is well-beyond my expertise, as an aspiring erotica/romance writer. It may be one of those things we can’t contemplate until after some of these advances take hold. At the very least, we need to put this question at the top of our to-do list when that time comes.


Uncomfortable Question #6: How Will Human Enhancement Affect Our Understanding Of Family And Love?

This is probably the most pressing question for me, as an aspiring erotica/romance writer. I’ve already highlighted some of the flaws in our understanding of love. Once humanity starts enhancing itself, it may either subvert those flaws or render them obsolete. In the process, though, it may create an entirely new class of flaws to deal with.

What happens to a marriage when the people involved live forever and don’t age? That whole “death do us part” suddenly becomes an issue. What happens when having children is essentially uncoupled from romance, through tools like artificial wombs? What will love even feel like once we start enhancing our brains along with our genitals?

Since all love and passion still starts in the brain, which we’re already trying to enhance, any level of human enhancement will necessarily affect love, marriage, and family. Chances are it’ll take on a very different meaning in a world where marriage is less about tax benefits and more about new forms of social dynamics.

Human enhancement will change a lot about our bodies, our minds, and our genitals. It’ll effect so much more, including how we go about love and family. It’s still impossible to grasp since we’re all still stuck with our caveman brains. However, once that changes, this is just one of many issues we should contemplate if we’re to make the future better, sexier, and more passionate.

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Fulfilling ALL Our Needs/Fantasies Through Human Enhancement

Everyone has their own list of crazy, erotic fantasies that they don’t have the time, energy, or resources to pursue. Unless you’re super rich, super famous, or able to handle super-potent drugs, you’ll only ever fulfill a fraction of your fantasies at most. Hell, many people go through their whole lives fulfilling exactly zero.

This is good to some extent for an erotica/romance writer like me. It means that there’s still a market for those whose ability to explore their erotic fantasies is limited to a book. I’m more than happy to fill that market with however many seamy stories I can conjure.

At the same time, however, it’s kind of tragic when you think about it. Countless people will go their whole lives having all these needs and desires, but they never get a chance to explore them. Sure, it won’t stop them from living happy, content lives, but how much richer would those lives be if they could explore those fantasies?

Well, just as we’ve seen with the creation of fire, electricity, and internet porn, technology may one day make that possible. It’s already starting to happen. Virtual reality headsets are finally becoming mainstream.

You can probably assume someone is already planning to use it for porn. Pretty much every new technology that emerged is applied to sex in some ways. It’s a basic rule of technological progress. If it can be applied to sex, then it will be applied to sex. No exceptions.

This is just the beginning though. Just watching pretty pictures in a VR headset isn’t enough. We’re human beings. We actually want to do all this crazy sexy shit we come up with. There’s only so much we can do on our own. No amount of towels and lube can fulfill the breadth of our desires.

The advent of something like smart blood will help. I already discussed the extremely sexy possibilities in a previous post. The advent of biotechnology will usher in a new era of enhancement.

We’ll be stronger, smarter, and sexier. We’ll be able to live longer lives and stay strong, smart, and sexy along the way. We may get to a point where nobody looks older than 35. Every man will be as strong and endowed as Hugh Jackman. Every woman will be as beautiful and shapely as Kate Hudson. It’ll be a crazy sexy world and I hope I live long enough to see it for reasons that should be obvious.

As appealing and sexy as that future is, it’s still not the ultimate endgame for human enhancement. Sure, it’ll be a lot easier once everyone has smart blood in their system and can hump like Wilt Chamberlin on meth, but there are other forms of enhancement that go even farther if you can believe that. With those enhancements, our ability to explore our needs and desires literally takes on a whole new shape.

What sort of enhancements am I talking about? Well, to answer that, I need to preface this by saying a good chunk of this discussion, as well as those in previous blog posts, were inspired by a book I’ve been reading. It’s called “The Singularity Is Near” by a brilliant futurist, who also happens to be an engineer at Google, named Ray Kurzweil.

It’s a dense, technical book full of information, history, and speculation. If you really want to stretch your mind, and even strain it in some areas, I highly recommend this book. It’ll get you excited/horny about the future in ways you never imagined.

The primary message in this book is fairly straightforward. Kurzweil argues that the current pace of technology is accelerating at a rate that will eventually reach a point where we begin to transcend our own biology. The caveman logic that I’m so fond of referring to on this blog will become a moot point.

There’s a lot to unpack in this book and since I don’t like giving spoilers, I’ll focus on the sexy parts. That’s why people come to this blog. Discussions about human enhancement and futurism isn’t fun unless it’s sexy as well. Well don’t worry. This is going to get sexy real fast.

One of my favorite chapters in this book involves something Kurzweil called “The Human Body 2.0.” In it, he basically describes how we’ll use advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and robotics to give the human body a much-needed overhaul. Forget just slapping on makeup, baby oil, and silicone tits. Kurzweil doesn’t just want to enhance our bodies. He wants to rebuild them from the ground up.

It’s not as creepy as it sounds. Recently, I ate this new flavor of cake mix ice cream and it turned my stomach into tire fire on a toxic waste dump. That experience alone, a body that can’t handle a certain flavor of ice cream, convinced me that the human body is due for an overhaul.

Kurzweil goes into great detail about how this 2.0 version of our bodies work. He even explores it on his website. Granted, he gets a little technical at times, but even he acknowledges there are some sexy implications.

This new body doesn’t just have better organs, stronger muscles, and less odor. It basically requires a whole new set of instruction manuals. It has so many upgrades and improvements that I can’t list them all in a single post, but here are just a few that should get you excited/horny:

  • A system of nanobots in place of traditional blood and body fluids, which are programmable and have a measure of intelligence
  • Biotech and cybernetic implants that improve/expand senses
  • Bioengineered skin that is stronger, more durable, and able to process more tactile information
  • Organs that are part biological, part mechanical, and completely interchangable
  • Enhanced brain and nervous system that integrates biotechnical and cybernetic systems to improve, enhance, expand function
  • Connectivity between brain and nervous system to external systems, including computers, AIs, and other brains

Again, this is just a fraction of the functions that these augmented bodies will have. They’ll go way beyond just keeping us free of disease and ensuring we’re all as fit as Olympian athletes. Hell, these bodies will ensure we can beat up every Olympian athlete over the past 100 years without breaking a sweat.

That’s besides the point though. I know what everyone really wants to know about. How will this impact our sex lives? Smart blood will already give us the ability to hump freely without much concern for any nasty side-effects or visits from Maury Povich. What more do we need?

Well, remember the VR shit I mentioned earlier? That’s where these enhanced bodies will be at their sexiest. How will they do this? Two words: The Matrix.

No, I’m not talking about the mind-bending 90s movie or the shitty sequels that came after it. I’m talking about the concept it explored, creating a virtual world so real that it’s completely indistinguishable, as far as our brains are concerned.

Kurzweil discusses this idea extensively in his book, noting the rate at which graphics and simulations are becoming more lifelike. Has anyone here seen the graphics of the PlayStation 4? I don’t think anyone would doubt that at this point.

As this trend continues, it’s going to get to a point where the graphics are so real that our caveman brains really can’t tell the difference. However, our enhanced 2.0 brains will be able to do us one better. It won’t just be able to process these virtual worlds. It’ll allow us to control them.

Kurzweil called it a form of “experience beaming.” I prefer to call it the ultimate fantasy, sexual or otherwise. Once computing power gets to this point, and we’re getting closer every year, we’ll be able to conjure any virtual world we want.

I don’t think it takes a dirty imagination to see the sexual implications of this technology. Now, we don’t even need a partner. We don’t even need to leave our couch. We can just plug in, load up a simulation that involves a three-way between Marilyn Munroe and Cleopatra, and it’ll feel so real that we can’t tell the difference.

This isn’t just the ultimate wet dream for some though. Kurzweil also says that these virtual worlds could be shared. There could be an entire virtual nightclub where people just project their conscious minds into it, hook up with digital versions of other people, and get busy with them in a controlled, malleable world that feels as real as this one.

For couples, it means they could conjure their ultimate fantasies together. Would that make their love stronger? Would that make their sex better? I certainly think so. We all have awesome experiences as individuals. It’s natural that we’d seek to share them with others. That’s something “the human body 2.0” makes easier. If it’s as easy as becoming Facebook friends, people will do it. It’s practically inevitable.

This all sounds wonderfully utopian, but make no mistake. There will be issues with our new bodies and these virtual worlds. There will be serious issues that’ll probably make us unenhanced folks in 2016 cringe.

Who’s to say these virtual worlds are as sexy or wholesome as low-budget softcore porno movie on Cinemax? Why couldn’t they also involve torture, mutilation, and exploitation so horrific that I can’t put it into words, nor do I want to? In a digital world, the laws of physics don’t apply. There’s literally nothing keeping people from doing this crazy shit. Will that be good for society? Will we be able to handle it?

Kurzweil doesn’t shy away from these issues. He acknowledges them, but says the benefits outweigh the costs. I think he’s right. Opposing these advancements is like nuking the internet to keep the libraries in business. It’s throwing away too much good because of a little bad.

When this day comes and we have the bodies that can enter these worlds, it’ll change a lot of things. Chances our, erotica/romance writers like me will be out of business or obsolete. That time hasn’t come yet though. That means I’ll just have to make the most of my desire to tell sexy, romantic stories. Then, when the time comes to enter a virtual world where we can go skinny dipping with Starfire and Wonder Woman, I’ll be first in line.

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How Do We Fix The Human Body (Namely The Sexy Parts)?

I’ve done a lot of complaining these past few weeks. I admit it. I’ve covered some pretty depressing shit recently. There’s just no way to put a positive spin on the gross injustices of gender inequality or how double standards make men and women hate each other way more than we should. I’m not making anyone’s panties moist by talking about this stuff. I know that. That’s why I’m hoping this gets everyone back in the mood.

I feel I’ve already gotten my point across. The human race is an amazing, but imperfect species. Sure, we do have some pretty awesome hardware, as the health benefits to orgasms so wonderfully demonstrate. Anyone who watched the Olympics this year knows we can do some pretty awesome things with that hardware.

That said, it’s still full of bugs, flaws, and imperfections. The human body, as it is right now, is like the first version of Windows. For those of you too young to remember the days when we couldn’t download a billion pictures of tits on our phones, this is what that version looked like.

It’s old. It’s dated. It’s not very sexy anymore. There’s a damn good reason why it gets upgraded and updated all the time. Sure, those upgrades aren’t always the best, as anyone who used Windows Vista for more than five minutes knows all too well. At least future upgrades can fix the crap that the last upgrade created.

We take those upgrades for granted because the human body doesn’t get upgraded. We’re born into one body. We’re stuck with that body. The chemistry within that body is prone to all sorts of flaws. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, there are approximately 6,800 rare genetic diseases that we know about. There’s a real possibility there are a few that we don’t know about and won’t know about until someone suffers horribly from it.

Those are a lot of flaws and for most of human history, we couldn’t do squat about them. Our best bet was to just hope we weren’t born with any of these flaws and those are some pretty long odds. As someone who regularly loses at poker, I know all too well how long odds tend to screw people over and not just with money.

We’re lucky to live in an age where some conditions can be managed, but even if we’re lucky enough to be born with these flaws, there’s still the matter of upkeep. I’m not just talking about staying in shape, avoiding hungry bears, and not eating things that’ll make you violently throw up your internal organs. Even when we give the human body everything it needs, it’s still woefully inefficient at making use of those needs. Hell, it’s downright lazy at times.

The human body, like the bodies of all animals, is designed for two things: survival and reproduction. That body evolved on the African savanna and while it has proven adaptable to many environments and conditions, it’s still a crude piece of hardware that’s easily broken, easily wounded, and breaks down over time.

The human body is not like a car. Sure, we can spray on a tan, even if it makes us look like an old baseball glove. Sure, we can get plastic surgery and expensive skin treatments, even if they make us look like glorified crash test dummies with wigs. The human body still breaks down. It still ages and dies.

In fact, the rule of thumb in biology is that once your body stops growing, it starts dying. From an evolutionary perspective, it has to. Individuals of a species have to die in order to free up resources from the young and the growing who aren’t as close to dying. Is it harsh and crude? Yes, it most certainly is. However, it’s a process that has kept life going for a couple billion years on this planet so it must be doing something right.

Beyond its limited survival abilities, even the good parts are limited. The average male orgasm lasts only seven seconds. The average female orgasms lasts around twenty. Granted, those brief moments are a lot of fun, but who among us hasn’t longed for a longer stay in O-Town?

By that same token, who among us hasn’t longed for a body that doesn’t bloat up after eating a tub of ice cream? Who hasn’t longed for a body that doesn’t need parts of it shaved every other day? Who hasn’t longed for a body that isn’t hung over after drunk karaoke night at the bar? Who, I ask?

Clearly, there are many aspects about our bodies that we would like to improve. Fixing these flaws in the body is a critical step in fixing the flaws that emerge between people in general. Think about it. If you had the body of an Olympian and could eat chocolate-covered bacon every day without getting sick, would you be able to hate anyone? I think not.

It all seems like a fantasy, but it’s one I’ve explored before. In my book, “Skin Deep,” I explored the concept of changing your body, becoming as beautiful as you wanted to be and indulging in all the decadent pleasures you wanted. That’s every supermodel, actor, and professional athlete’s dream. You think Brett Favre would’ve retired if he had that option? I think not.

While the mechanisms I used in this book were fantasy, complete with technobabble refined from years of comic book and Star Wars jargon, the concept is not entirely fantasy. There actually is some science behind the inspiration to this story that was full of sex, romance, and teen melodrama.

How is this possible? Well, keep in mind that there is one powerful trait that sets humsn apart from the chimps, spiders, and pond scum of this planet. We build things. We build very elaborate things. I’m not talking about sticks and spears. I’m talking about big ass buildings in the middle of the desert.

The ability to build shit that helps us survive is a big reason why the human race is the dominant species on this planet. Beyond the big buildings, we also build amazing medical devices like CRISPR, which is to genetic engineering what a wrench is to a mechanic.

We are rapidly advancing to a time when we’ll have to tools to finally give our bodies the upgrade it needs. That raises all sorts of fundamental ethical and moral questions, but those questions aren’t very sexy so I won’t be touching on them too much.

Instead, I’m going to ask a simple question that I hope to answer in multiple posts. How would you upgrade the human body? Specifically, how would you upgrade it in a way that would allow us to be more intimate, more loving, and more understanding of one another?

There are all sorts of crazy enhancements that some would pursue just for the hell of it. I’m sure there are some people out there who would enhance their bodies in ways that would help them get the hell away from people in general. Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” comes to mind, but he’s an unapologetic asshole so this little thought experiment doesn’t apply to him.

For most of the non-Sheldon Cooper population of this planet, we’re an affectionate people who seeks intimacy with others. Our bodies provide some mechanisms for that, but those mechanisms are woefully limited by the forces of biology, evolution, and all the petty, unjust bullshit we tack onto it. There has to be a better way, right?

So before I start talking about specifics, think about this question. Think about how you seek love, intimacy, and understanding right now. How would you make that better? How will future tools make that better? Would you want orgasms to last longer? Would you want to share your thoughts with someone? Would you want to improve your senses so you can hear, touch, smell, and see your lover more clearly? What would you do?

Think about it and don’t shy away from the sexy implications. Hell, embrace them! These are implications that I want to explore as an erotica/romance writer and I think they’re worth exploring. At some point, the future will catch up to us and it will affect us. If we’re not ready, we’ll miss out on the sexiness and who wants to miss out on that?

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