Tuesday, May 29, 2007

enriched dopaminergic function

The previous post made me google "psychedelia", mainly to check that i'd spelled it correctly, and apart from all the music links, there was this one which spun me out. it seems to go on about the future possibilities of gene manipulation to make life more fun and less painful for people, even to the extent of citing Huxley's Brave New World as something of a desirable possibility (i think). here's an excerpt or two, gee i love the interweb:

"The prospect that what we describe as "mental" pain, too, could ever be eradicated is equally counter-intuitive. The feasibility of its abolition via biotechnology [...]"

"The application of nanotechnology, self-reproducing micro-miniaturised robots armed with quantum supercomputer processing power, and ultra-sophisticated genetic engineering, perhaps using retro-viral vectors, can assure the eradication of the root of all evil in its naturalistic guise throughout the living world. Eventually, the global ecosystem will be redesigned. The vertebrate genome will be rewritten. The advent of the post-Darwinian era will mark a major transition in the evolution of life on earth and beyond..." [punctuation included from original]

"...the neurochemistry of pain and malaise [...]"

also, i think it's great that the text is broken down into a few sentences per page accompanied by an aesthetically coloured illustration indicating the potential future nirvana with dolphins, rays of light, crashing waves and other such glorious and visually uplifting images. there's even fricken koalas on page 12. then lots of elephants towards the end. how weird.

and after all that i remain unsure of what the author is trying to get at. is it pro-psychedelic drugs? it seems to be plugging the idea of "designer babies" with "enriched dopaminergic function," leading to future humans living in absolute bliss with each other and the environment. hmmm. still, an interesting detour through someone's bizarre fantasies. have to get back to that "zombified trance-state" of my "mundane and minimal existence"...

aha, here it is:
"When Paradise - or something better - has been biologically implemented, then perhaps the very notion of tampering with our new-won "natural" condition and feeling "drugged" may come to seem perversely immoral. For who would want to contaminate the purity of their ecstatic biological soul-stuff with alien chemical pollutants? Until that era arrives, we still need chemical mood-enrichers to flourish...."

and now that i've read the abstract, it makes a bit more sense, but is still far-fetched to say the least.

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