A major theme of this present century will be the pursuit of our collective identity. We are on a search for who we are. What does it mean to be a human? Can there be more than one kind of human? In fact, what exactly is a human?
Oh, I must have gotten old, because here is what the above quote made me want to do: the next ten times I read something which is urging me to question or problematise or somehow turn my brain inside out about something perfectly obvious, like “what exactly is a human”, I’m going to make a note of it, and also make a note of the commonsense version. And then continue to believe it, of course.
For example: there’s only one kind of human. Your kind, which is the same as mine, and everyone else’s. We can leave the question of transhuman identity aside for now, and probably forever, unless we are sf writers or Kevin Kelly.
The limit of ten is because this rhetorical strategy – the “everything you know is wrong” gambit – is so widespread that I’ve got to stop somewhere.
R.I.P. Arthur C Clarke: who could create a sense of wonder without such cajolery.