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Thread: Re-Designing The Human

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    Re-Designing The Human

    Prompted from another thread I thought I'd start this one.

    If you could re-design the human, what traits/efficiencies would you invoke?

    Though not a serious discussion, please try to avoid comic book "super powers" that defy the laws of nature!


    I would like to increase our spectral vision capabilities to include infra red vision.

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    There are so many things. The inability to regenerate teeth and limbs is a big mistake AFAIC.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    There are so many things. The inability to regenerate teeth and limbs is a big mistake AFAIC.


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    Yeah... that's a great one!

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    I would give women the ability to turn off ovulation by will.
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    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I would give women the ability to turn off ovulation by will.
    And make child birth painless.

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    Non-deteriorating eyesight would be great.
    Solfe

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    Teeth designed for 100 years rather than 40 would be a nice start. A stronger spine. Much stronger. Eyes that tend to stay 20/20.

    Pain sensitivity that assesses after 1 second how severe something is and stops the initial -and often very welcome- overreaction from going on for many more minutes/hours/days.

    Cleanable fingers. Now you can choose: don't work, have smooth cleanable skin, but no reason to clean it. Or work, have rough skin, lots of dirt, and no possibility to get them really clean.

    Less addictive tendencies. Not just drugs or alcohol, but also eating too many sweet stuff, (over)reacting to every hunger signal...

    Shorter sleep requirements. Or a longer lifespan. Or both.

    All of the above is nice, but let's start with just not developing cancer and having a good shot at living to 80.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    While we're working on the head area (better teeth, eyesight, hearing) a brain with an improved reasoning function would be helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    And make child birth painless.
    Not merely painless. Move the opening so that it doesn't pass through the pelvis. That's why our children are born so helpless and why childbirth is so dangerous for mother and child. If our heads were any bigger at birth, they wouldn't be able to get through that opening.
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    Knees. There just has to be a better design.

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    If we make child birth painless, we need some other way to demotivate procreation so we don't get (more) overpopulated than we already are.

    Making s*x not so alluring would help a lot.

    But, otherwise, the usual things... fix the degradation that occurs with aging... our cells are great at replicating replacements of themselves, so that should be fixable. Make eyesight and teeth more robust, joints less likely to wear out/hurt, injuries heal better.

    The brain needs work too. Make it so we don't forget/goof up so easily, and make us on average less dumb, better common sense. Though some of it might be poor education, and some due to natural selection working against us (back to that "urge to procreate" thing again), we shouldn't need warning labels telling people not to iron clothes while wearing them.

    Fix our system of hunger/cravings so healthy food is what we crave, and only what we need without overeating/drinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Not merely painless. Move the opening so that it doesn't pass through the pelvis. That's why our children are born so helpless and why childbirth is so dangerous for mother and child. If our heads were any bigger at birth, they wouldn't be able to get through that opening.
    We had a friend who gave birth to her son one day after our son was born in the same hospital. The bad aspect her OBGYN gave her Pitocin for nearly 30 hours before the infant went into fetal distress requiring a C-section. Turns out his head was larger than the mother's pelvis so natural child birth was as you put it impossible. Bad doctor IMO.

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    More stable inner ears, so we don’t get seasick.

    Better night vision would be nice.

    It would be kind of cool if we still had monkey feet and built everything with ladders instead of stairs, but that might be a bit too outrť.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    More stable inner ears, so we don’t get seasick.
    Hmmm..."More stable" reads like "less responsive" to me but I'm guessing that's not what you intended. I do agree that a less unpleasant experience would be welcome but I don't think we can blame the inner ear. From NOAA's What causes seasickness?:


    Quote Originally Posted by NOAA
    Seasickness is a result of a conflict in the inner ear, where the human balance mechanism resides, and is caused by a vessel’s erratic motion on the water. Inside the cabin of a rocking boat, for example, the inner ear detects changes in both up-and-down and side-to-side acceleration as one’s body bobs along with the boat. But, since the cabin moves with the passenger, one’s eyes register a relatively stable scene. Agitated by this perceptual incongruity, the brain responds with a cascade of stress-related hormones that can ultimately lead to nausea, vomiting, and vertigo.
    I've experince seasickness a time or two myself and and something similar. I've flown military flight simulators several times and on one occasion, the motion simulation wasn't working. The visual input is so persuasive, I noticed that I was shifting my weight from side to side as I maneuvered the aircraft. Some hours later, I experienced delayed onset vertigo and nausea or "simulator sickness." It's a thing. So, I think maybe our brain could use some rewiring to moderate the physiological response to conflicting stimuli. Apparently many people are wired differently, since some get violently ill at sea while others do not at all.
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    And it's seemingly random what or what doesn't trigger it in a person. Me on a small boat in heavy seas: no prob. Even when the windows show only water or only sky in rapid sequence. What I feel and see are in sync, I'm fine. Me on a large boat in gentle (but not dead) seas: uh-oh! The ship is rolling slowly which you can't really see, but you do feel it. Not good. Me driving a rally car at top speed: I'm fine. Me reading in a car driven carefully: I'm going to die.

    For my job, I spend hours with goggles on that show me a camera feed from the front of a small RC robot cart or boat. So I feel nothing, but I see what the RC craft is doing. To my surprise, I never get seasick in those.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    And it's seemingly random what or what doesn't trigger it in a person. Me on a small boat in heavy seas: no prob. Even when the windows show only water or only sky in rapid sequence. What I feel and see are in sync, I'm fine. Me on a large boat in gentle (but not dead) seas: uh-oh! The ship is rolling slowly which you can't really see, but you do feel it. Not good. Me driving a rally car at top speed: I'm fine. Me reading in a car driven carefully: I'm going to die.
    I'm self banned from Bay and Ocean fishing, as many times as I have tried to go out and have some fun fishing with the guys I'd always end up winning the first place prize as Chum Master :-(

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    While we're re-designing the human: how about a little more arm reach so that we can actually touch any place of our back without hurting ourselves senseless in the process?

    And how about subconscious repositioning while asleep so that you don't wake up with a broken neck or dead arm.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    And how about subconscious repositioning while asleep so that you don't wake up with a broken neck or dead arm.
    Iím pretty sure we already do that, or at least wake up, though maybe it could be a bit more sensitive. Iíve woken up a number of times finding an awkwardly placed arm or leg has gone to sleep, and expect I woke up because of that. Iíve read about people who drank too much or took medicine and ended up with an arm that needed more than just a little time for nerves to recover before they had full function back.

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    I rarely experience motion sickness. Unlike my brother, nieces, nephew, cousins....

    I believe I mentioned male pattern baldness in the other thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    While we're re-designing the human: how about a little more arm reach so that we can actually touch any place of our back without hurting ourselves senseless in the process?
    You brought up a funny memory. I was in the ER for rotator cuff pain and the doc was putting me through my paces to access range of motion. You know: lift your arm this way, hold it there, don't let me push it down, etc. When he asked me to put my right hand behind my back as far as I could, I chicken-winged it all the way up between my shoulder blades. He asked how I was even doing that with or without the shoulder pain.

    I must be next level human.
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    When I popped the greater tuberosity off my right humerus many years ago, I had to go to physical therapy. One week near the end, my regular therapist was off and I had a substitute. He had me do some particular motion I don't quite recall -- basically lying on my back, put my arm on the table and crank it around in some fashion. It hurt like hell. "Wow", I thought, "my regular therapist has missed this."
    So the next week she was back and I told her about it.
    "Do it with the other (uninjured) arm", she said.
    So I tried that and it hurt like hell.
    "Nobody can do that. That guy's an idiot."

    Oh by the way: This happened in about 1990. If you're wondering how long an injury like that takes to stop hurting, I'll let you know if it ever does. At least it's not 24/7 any more.
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    Yeah, the shoulder could use some work. A good number of years ago I hurt my right shoulder and would get serious pain. It would go away with time then come back when I lifted something heavy or did certain kinds of yard work. At work, I found I could touch type okay but trying to use a mouse with my right arm was incredibly painful when it was bad, so now Iím just as good using a mouse with my left hand as my right. It would come and go, usually I would have a painful shoulder at least part of each year.

    About three years ago it was really bad, and I had physical therapy for it for the first time. Doctor thinks it was a rotator cuff tear. I was surprised that a fairly short time with physical therapy really helped. I hadnít expected much, actually.

    Anyway, Iíve had it again recently but not too bad and it seems to be improving. I am doing a few things I learned from the therapy.

    Oh and last year during the worst of the pandemic, my right arm was okay but my left developed a classic frozen shoulder. I could use my arm but with a very limited range of shoulder motion, and if I forgot and tried to quickly reach for something it could be breathtakingly painful. Over months the range improved and seems to be normal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I’ve read about people who drank too much or took medicine and ended up with an arm that needed more than just a little time for nerves to recover before they had full function back.
    It even has a name: Saturday night palsy.

    Grant Hutchison

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    That sounds like the sequel movie nobody was waiting for.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    That sounds like the sequel movie nobody was waiting for.
    I spat my coffee out when I read this, that is really funny!

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    I lost a close relative to dementia a few years back. Eradicating susceptibility to this, along with many other deliberating diseases, in fact all diseases, would be an important improvement.

    The only thing that maybe a concern, if we could improve the human to an extent where they are basically immortal or even just live to be many thousands /millions of years it could raise a multitude of issues for humanity as a whole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Not merely painless. Move the opening so that it doesn't pass through the pelvis. That's why our children are born so helpless and why childbirth is so dangerous for mother and child. If our heads were any bigger at birth, they wouldn't be able to get through that opening.
    Would you consider the option of laying an egg externally like other animals so the foetus can grow outside of the parent's body?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Would you consider the option of laying an egg externally like other animals so the foetus can grow outside of the parent's body?
    Why stop there? The egg and sperm can be externally fertilised, like water animals, and then reared in a technical environment, freeing both parents from risks and optimising all the subtleties required for the infant. Obviously that leads to choice of egg and sperm which has been culturally frowned upon as well as manipulation of the DNA. But if this is about “improving” humans, manipulated DNA is surely the technology required. Are we ready to create better versions of ourselves? It is a good question because right now we know how to do it.
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    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Can we separate the breathing opening from the eating opening?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Can we separate the breathing opening from the eating opening?
    Having them share pathways can lead to problems, but it can also come in handy when you experience extreme physical effort or have severe nasal congestion and need to mouth breath. Of course, if we could breath through our skin we wouldn't need both paths ... or a nose.

    Well, maybe to keep our glasses in place.
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