Today, in most communities of science and technology, there is a shared understanding that progress and evolution could bring about a series of transcendent technological advancements for mankind. Human consciousness could be transplanted into a high-tech apparatus. Human brains could become interconnected. Human life could be extended for centuries or longer. Death could be defeated once and for all. This new, highly technological mankind could even become one with the cosmos. These ideal visions are the product of the transhumanist movement — a movement that seeks to reach unprecedented levels of human enhancement through technological progress. But this movement is still in its early stages.
Today, these visions are still — mostly — only visions. James Herrick, professor of Rhetoric at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, has written a helpful book on this subject, entitled Visions of Technological Transcendence: Human Enhancement & the rhetoric of the Future. The following is a basic summary of his thesis and general content, followed by my own critique.