The theme of last night’s Butchers Shop, organised by hip indy magazine Bad Idea, was transhumanism. We drank a little gin, then settled into the body-warm Victoria operating theatre for a little slice-and-dice of two short stories of human augmentation: in one, our narrator upgrades his heart; the other creates a xenographic sommelier with the nose of a canine. A little role-play, some heckling, then a chance for Matthew de Abaitua to wax lyrical over Paris Hilton’s doggy palace, peacocks and peahens, and consciousness as a evolutionary frivolity.
“Things” are speeding up, however. The rate of change of computing power is the most often cited example — processing power, whether measured in MIPS or the decimal FLOPS, is increasing exponentially — but increasing change-differential is affecting all parts of society, albeit at different rates. We are living in Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” world now; it is entirely possible to become homesick for a place we never left (just talk to some older Caucasian Londoners and you will see what I mean).