Jun 27, 2005

Stop Improving Yourself! [LINK]

Karen Olson, editor of The Utne Reader, describing the contents of the May/June 2005 Issue. While it's always worth considering the price of progress, rapid change often dredges up such recurring fallacies:

In assembling our cover section, we began with a simple question: Where is the pursuit of perfection leading us? From plastic surgery and steroids to mood-altering drugs, human beings are already armed with a hi-tech arsenal for self-improvement. New tools in the form of robotics and genetic engineering are said to be on the way. We've always been skilled at using the technologies of war to end lives. Now science — which has made great strides over the past century in helping us stay healthier — may soon allow us to extend our lives beyond their natural limits.

But what, exactly, are we doing? Will changing the boundaries of our physical existence help us to live more richly, or does it have the potential to destroy us? Over one billion people on this planet do not have access to clean and safe drinking water. Millions more need treatment for diseases like malaria and HIV. How can we justify investing our resources and imaginations in robots, computer chip implants, and designer babies?

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