Friday, 22 November 2013

Doctor Who and Transhumanism... . And why The Doctor is the ideal we should strive for.

       Today marks the Day of Doctor 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction show and the best show ever in the history of mankind.  I like superheroes films but The Doctor is completely another level of hero. While other superheroes resort to their superpowers, which are just glorified form of brute force and violence, in order to save a city or the earth, The Doctor simply uses his intelligence to save  not just the earth, but the planets and the solar systems, or even the entire universe from time to time, rebooting it when necessary. Best of all he did it without the use of any fire-power, he even refuse to hold any kind of weaponry in all of 50 years. It is not just about the good defeating the evil, the important thing is how it is done. Do we want our children to believe that the only way to defeat a bad super monster is to counter with a more badass power or a more disastrous weapon? This portrayal does not dissuade people from the culture of war and brutality, it propagates that. But Doctor Who shows us the alternative, you can be benevolent and win the day simultaneously.  The greatest message of the show is this: The greatest weapon you can find in the whole universe, in all of space and time is your Mind.

"You want weapons? We are in the library. Books, the best weapon in the world"~The Doctor



The show is "an argument for diplomacy over war, for peace in the face of the unlikeliest of odds".The Doctor is a benevolent one who forgives and tries to help his arch-enemies not once or twice, but over and over. Especially when Russell T Davies was the head writer, the episodes usually don't even have a clear antagonist. Those supposed bad guys were acting that way just because of their biological imperative. This is somewhat aligns with my view of transhumanism, that is how an enlightened being would perceive its environment. Humans ,for example, have killed dangerous animals that are only acting on their biological imperative, that in turn only shows that we, humans are also acting on our biological programming or evolutionary directive which is simply: "Survive". This survival and mindless multiplication ( reproduction) ,without regard to others and most often resulting in suffering of others, is the purpose of life transcending all the living things from the simplest RNA viruses to us, Homo Sapiens.
Only if we could rise above these basal instincts, humanity will be fully liberated and we can achieve a better civilization. For me, to be a posthuman is to be enlightened, to understand the true zero-sum game nature of our ecosystem(which in our case is the Earth) and to be a guardian and a gardener of it , by charting out a course that would result in minimum sufferings of all those in the ecosystem , like how The Doctor usually practices. 

The only area I disagree with the Doctor is in his mistrust and disliking of the robots and the show's continuous vilification of un-emotionalizing the human being and genetic engineering. This is partly understandable as it's written by artists who rely on emotional brain. But, the Doctor himself being super-intelligent pan-dimensional entity would know that emotions are nothing more than chemical reactions taking place in our brain. For the human brain to perceive and comprehend more abstract and pan-dimensional thinking would never possible without the brain implants or the total integration of our brain with computing network around the world (like the villainous Cybermen did). In my opinion, the greater intelligence would enable human to become liberated from their biological programming and enlightened, that is, we would be closer to the Doctor than villains.
The arch-enemy of the Doctor , daleks are genetically engineered as killing machines, but what exactly are human and other animals programmed to do? It is simply to survive and reproduce without the regard of others(if you don't want to look at yourself look at the life of animals and ask how much are we different?). In the process we have killed off many species and are destroying the ecosystem that host us. The future is clear, either heaven or hell. i.e. Either we achieve transhumanist enlightening and create a sustainable civilization and technologically fulfilled our needs (heaven on earth) or face societal collapse and dystopia (hell).

Here are some of the clips that shows the Doctor's various personalties and great quote .

Unstable? Unstable? Unstable? This is me, Peri! Right now I am as stable as you will ever see me! You must forget how I used to be. I'm a Time Lord. A man of science, temperament, and *passion*!"

"Amy Pond, there's something you better understand about me 'cause it's important and one day your life may depend on it...I am definitely a mad man with a box."

A sweet music video a fan made.
"I’ll be a story in your head, but that’s okay, because we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know. It was the best. A daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away. Did I ever tell you that I stole it? Well, I borrowed it. I always meant to take it back. Oh, that box, Amy, you’ll dream about that box. It’ll never leave you. Big and little at the same time. Brand-new and ancient and the bluest blue ever. And the times we had, eh? Would had…Never had. In your dreams, they’ll still be there. The Doctor and Amy Pond and the days that never came."~The Doctor

"The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name? Doctor? The word for healer and wise man, throughout the universe."~Professor River Song 

Google celebrates the anniversary on their homepage with a game which is more than Whovarians are wishing for. You can still play the game at

Credit of gif photos go to