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We want athletes to break world records. We want them to remain extraordinary. So the increased use of human-enhancement technologies will become a necessity, perhaps even an obligation.

Here’s what it could look like: A swimmer, impossibly long arms swinging at his side, takes to the starting block. He has trained for this moment for months. Keeping up with the latest developments, he has endured surgical enhancements to enlarge the webbing in his fingers and toes. He’s wearing the ultimate in sharkskin swimsuit technology. He inhales deeply through nasal passages surgically widened to optimize his breathing efficiency—and dives in.

That’s not something we’ll see at the Beijing Olympics, of course. We’ll see speed and finesse, but then, behind the scenes, the new champions will be poked and prodded and thoroughly examined to make sure that they got to the podium by dint of pure brute strength and training prowess, not doping.

But maybe it’s time that our view of human enhancement changed…
Related Links:
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/miah200808...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/a...
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On august 06 2008
Andres
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by Andres, on August 06 2008:
Radical enhancements might seem far fetched, but we've already started with subtle biological and technological enhancements. After a while, it becomes so normal to us, that it seems odd and sometimes even immoral for these enhancements not to be present. Taking the example the Olympics as discussed in this article: Would our society consider it moral and proper for athletes to be broadcast running bare-foot and completely naked at the upcoming Olympics? Unlikely. But why is this? The first athletes usually competed naked, not only as the weather was appropriate but also as the festival was meant to celebrate, in part, the achievements of the human body.

While tennis shoes are simply foot-protection technology and clothes are an organ-protecting technology, these "enhancements" have become so interwoven into our society that it would be odd and even immoral, specially for a public figure such as an athlete competing in the Olympics, to be seen on international television competing without them.

My guess is more radical enhancements will slowly become common. In time, they'll be so interwoven in our society, that we'll barely give it much thought. I for one can't wait to see -brain enhancements- used in sports. These arenas will be a good way to try out technological telepathy and develop interesting strategies for collective intelligence.

How about a h+ team that can not only communicate with the entire team technotelepathically, each member having ai coaches analyzing every move and opportunity, but minds that can also communicate with the audience. (i.e: having all of the h+ fan audience coordinate a flawless distraction for the other team). Interesting things might happen.


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