Dale Carrico, one of the more prominent critics of transhumanism, frequently refers to “superlongevity, superintelligence, and superabundance” as transhumanist goals, of course in a disparaging way. Yet, I openly embrace these goals. Superlongevity, superintelligence, and superabundance are a perfect summary of what we want and need. How can we achieve them?
Superlongevity can be achieved by uncovering the underlying mechanisms of aging and counteracting them at the molecular level faster than they can cause damage. Huge research project, a long-term effort, but definitely worth the time and money. Leading organization in this area? The SENS Foundation.
Superintelligence will be a difficult challenge, creating an intelligent being smarter than humans in every domain. It could take decades, or possibly longer, but it does seem possible. There are various possible routes to superintelligence: brain-computer interfacing, neuroengineering, and last but not least AI. I humbly offer my own organization, the Singularity Institute, as the leading organization in this area, but it is entirely possible that another group will get there first.
Superabundance can be achieved by creating programmable self-replicating machines powered and supplied by easily available resources and materials, like generic carbonaceous material (such as topsoil, or better yet, calcium carbonate), water, and the Sun. Then, making practically unlimited quantities of carbon-based products would be as simple as owning the fertile land and flicking a switch. You may have noticed that plants operate the same way. Another huge, difficult task. RepRap might be considered an embryonic version.
Achieving superlongevity, superintelligence, and superabundance will be incredibly challenging, but seemingly inevitable as long as civilization continues to progress and we don’t blow ourselves up or have a global fundamentalist dictatorship on our hands. There is no guarantee that we will achieve these goals in our lifetime — but why not try? Achieving any of these milestones would radically improve quality of life for everyone on Earth. The first step to making technological advancements available to everyone is to make them available for someone.