5 real products of the 90s cyberpunk & transhumanist hype

Life Extension – As covered previously here on Technoccult, aspirin is the best life extension drug on the market. And it’s cheap. See: Top Ten Life Extension Drugs.

Intelligence amplification – Mind machines and smart drugs never did live up to the hype, which is probably why you don’t hear much about them anymore. I actually conducted some trials with volunteers using a brain entrainment machine for my cognitive science class in college. The results: the machine didn’t do jack. I was only ever able to experiment with self-medication with smart drugs, but my general conclusion is that some of them work as stimulants (piracetum, vassopressin) but they’re not worth the money.

The good news is, there are some new high tech intelligence amplification tools on the market: “brain fitness” games like Brain Age and Lumosity. I’m not sure how much good it will do, though. See Seed Magazine’s coverage.

Virtual Reality – We’re still waiting on decent immersive VR, but the Nintendo Wii has brought some elements of VR to homes.

Brain Backups – There’s no wetware brain backup, but if you want to preserve your knowledge for all of eternity, you can try posting the contents of your brain on the web. Google and the Internet Archive (backed by Amazon) are both attempting to archive and back-up the entire web.

Space Migration – Like brain backups, this remains vaporware. But space tourism and private space programs are taking off, including one by Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos.


  1. The European Space Agency just announced “Cosmic Visions” which will be a sort of competition inviting people (and organisations) to design projects and suitable aims for long term space exploration.

  2. Cognitive function decays with age. Treatments, medicines and practices that delay or retard this process should be considered successful attempts to increase intelligence.

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