“Superluminal” refers to faster-than-the-speed-of-light, which is the pace of accelerating technology, it seems.
It’s also a book by Tony Daniel – the first one I chose based on a robot’s recommendation (that’s the amazon.com robot). Good choice.
For those who aren’t science fiction fans, the above-described accelerating pace (couldn’t resist that lawyerism) makes daily life a page out of science fiction. We have wireless telekinesis, implanted chips, cloned food … outgrowing existing bioethics every day.
Superluminal has some amazing ideas, many of which might be worthy of note for integrative medicine doctors and health care practitioners, particularly those emphasizing spirituality. For example, Daniel invents the “grist” (I suspect he read Ram Dass early on) – grist is “more than mere nanotechnology” (nice touch, the “mere”): “it was the principle that powered the instantaneous transfer of information at any locations set at any distance apart by the use of quantum-entangled gravitrons.”
Think about nonlocal (distance) healing, transfer of information between energy fields, or any other similar concept. It is Daniels’ notion of the grist. He hypothesizes that entangled protons could be responsible for the purportedly instantaneous transfer of information, which enhanced perpetual abilities (call it intuition) imply. By “harnessing” this effect, “humanity could communicate faster than the speed of light. Instantaneously, as a matter of fact.” (p. 15)
Here’s another great futuristic glimpse (p. 182): “Before the grist brains were linked to computer augmentation by crude nanotechnological means. It was not possible to upload a complete personality into the virtuality. After the grist, doing so became posssible. And with the uploading came the possibility of making multiple copies.”
Ray Kurzweil writes of making a “2.0” version of one’s self, a non-biological version; Daniel expands this into multiple simultaneous versions.
Is it too farfetched to bring in the concept of the Oversoul, simultaneously incarnating into multiple human egos (personalities)? Probably for some. Not so for those who read prophetic strands in science fiction.
Emulating the metaphor of the day, Superluminal (p. 183) notes: “Disease, it can be argued, is a kind of code breaking or natural hacking” of the body’s systems. What I like about this is the way he creates a unique synthesis of science and spirituality, West and East. If we go back to Beinfield & Korngold’s tome on Chinese medicine, there is the metaphor of how Chinese medicine views the body as garden, which has to be appropriately nurtured and kept in balance (as opposed to biomedicine’s view of the body as a machine, whose parts have to be in working order). The body as code is an odd mix — part-technology part something that transcends itself.
As artificial intelligence theoretically will … in the view of some — grow into self-awareness, consciousness of being conscious.
One of Daniel’s neat inventions is the LAP, the Large Array of Personalities — those who “spread out wherever the grist allows” into simultaneous biological and non-biological personalities, even incorporating groups of individuals into the array. The challenge for the LAP’s is to “know themselves,” since many “split up” into multiple personalities, being unable to retain the coherence, since “we had to exist in time” and there thus “were limitations to our mental ‘spread.'” (182-184).
According to Daniel, humans in the 4th millenium have three parts: “aspect,” the “biological, body portion of a normal person;” “convert,” “the algorithmic ‘extra’ computing and memory storage portion of a normal person;” and “pellicle,” the “nanotechnological grist that permeates a normal person,” and thereby “mediates between aspect and convert portions of a person.”
Welcome to the new reality.
Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.
Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.