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Superhuman News 🤖 - Mango Feels

Peter Joosten MSc.
Peter Joosten MSc.
Hey there,
Wouldn’t it be amazing to actually share your feeling of infatuation with your partner? Or to experience the feeling of scoring the winning goal in the soccer world cup? Or would you like to experience what it’s like to be a sea eagle? And what impact will that have on humankind and the planet?
Every month, I write a future scenario to amaze, inspire, frighten, and make you think about the increasing role of technology in our lives.
In this month’s scenario, I explore a utopia where an interconnected humanity stops destroying the planet.
Enjoy reading!
Peter
PS. Let me know what you think of this new format and/or the scenario! It is my ambition to become better in making future scenarios, also for clients, so every bit of feedback is greatly appreciated!

Scenario: Mango Feels 🥭📲
Kofi shuffles forward. ‘你好吗?’ asks the mango seller. Kofi’s earbuds translate it instantly. “I’m fine, thank you,” he replies. He gives the seller a few coins. Five Bolga, the local currency of Bolgatanga, a small town in northern Ghana.
Kofi cuts a few notches in the mango with a Swiss army knife. He pops the pit out. He scoops out the flesh with a spoon. Deliciously juicy and sweet.
He sees Angela walking around the corner. Kofi feels her mood immediately.
He still has to get used to the Feels, his smart earplugs. Even more than fire, the printing press, the steam engine, or the internet, Feels has radically changed life on earth.
Professor Obiku of the Xi University of Kinshasa, together with Huawei, launched the first version five years ago. The instant translation function is nice, but the other functionalities? Those were really groundbreaking.
Professor Obiku had found a way to convey feeling, the so-called Stems.
Kofi regularly visits Obiku’s Stems. In them, you hear the professor talk about her ideals and the reasons why she never sold her invention to the Western capitalist tech behemoths like Amazon, Meta, Alphabet, or the American army.
Technicians, scientists, and consortia from all those companies and institutions have analyzed, scanned and disassembled the Feels countless times. Much to their frustration and with no result. No one could crack the mechanism.
Kofi hears her voice: ‘This was what humanity needed. Nor can you discover it with pure rationality, with numbers or algorithms. All I did was materialize my vision.‘ Kofi adds the modality of feeling to sound. Phew, that hits hard every time. He feels in his gut and chest what Professor Obiku means.
The impact is huge, especially with the Stems of animals such as the hippopotamus or whale, and the Stems of natural areas such as the Amazon Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
It was the first time that Homo sapiens could feel what animals experienced, or what it is like to feel the complexity of an ancient rainforest. It was as if an essential link in the collective consciousness of humanity was being turned. 
We stand no longer above nature. We are one with nature. On the deepest level possible.
The transition is not always smooth. In the former First World, capitalism still had its convulsive lashes. There were reports in the media that the Feels would poison your mind or kill you sooner. In some companies, you were fired on the spot if you wore the Feels.
It made no sense. The benefits of Feels were too great. Like a virus, people lit each other to use this revolutionary technology. From language translation to sharing your feelings with other people, and especially the feelings of others, whether they are humans, plants, animals, or natural areas. Suddenly everyone could see it: we are no different and everybody is worthy to live their life.
Kofi is startled from his thoughts as Angela hugs him. ‘How was the mango?’ she asks. ‘Wait,’ says Kofi. 'I saved the flavor. Here it comes.’
In the writer's room
I wrote this short story as an assignment for the Future Based platform. The question was to write an optimistic future scenario.
I found it quite difficult to write a positive story. It feels easier to explore the negative consequences of a technology. Consider, for example, the series Black Mirror on Netflix. Beautifully made and very entertaining, but often dark and gloomy.
The theme of my short story this month is that there will be technology that allows us to better understand each other, but also to connect with animals and nature. I immediately thought of psychedelics. Users typically say afterwards that they have felt more understanding and connection. With themselves, others and even with the universe.
A vision of the future in which everyone turns to psychedelics felt a bit far-fetched to me. My feeling is that if a method is sexy and shiny, with practical benefits like direct translation, a lot of people will start using it.
And yes, the skeptic in me has also devised side paths in which the Feels are hacked or manipulated. But I’ll use those ideas for another, more gloomy, story!
Does a psychedelic trip lead to more connection? If so, should everyone experience it?
Does a psychedelic trip lead to more connection? If so, should everyone experience it?
Into the Rabbithole
Articles, books, podcasts, videos, documentaries and more on this theme:
1) In the book How to change your mind the author takes you into the world of psychedelics. Michael Pollan’s journey goes from mushrooms through psychiatry, (political) history, the latest findings in scientific research, to his own experiences.
I myself have done (only) one trip with ayahuasca. Afterwards, I really struggled to write down my thoughts and experiences. But you can leave that to Pollan. In doing so, he dares to explore the consequences: can psychedelics lead to a better world?
2) A wonderful interview with Neal Stephenson, my example when it comes to science-fiction stories (like the awesome books Snow Crash and Seveneves). Relevant to this month’s story is that he talks about the choice of writers to write about dystopias rather than utopias:
“..the artists are sending a message about how hard they are: I’m not some rose-colored-glasses juice. I’m a badass thinking dark, mean thoughts about our dark, mean future.”
3) Lana and Lilly Wachowski made the series Sense8 (Netflix). The Wachowskis are known for, among other things, The Matrix trilogy. The eight protagonists, the sensates, are mentally linked to each other. They can share skills, feelings, and emotions with each other. Pros: a great concept, different movie locations around the world, and decent action scenes. Cons: sometimes too long-winded and a bit melodramatic.
Trailer season 1 of Sense8
Trailer season 1 of Sense8
Webinars & Keynotes
I give lectures (online and offline) about human augmentation, technology ethics, and health care innovation.
These are upcoming events where I will give a talk or webinar in English. Great to see you there!
Thank you
Thank you for reading! This newsletter is free, but not cheap to make.
You can help me in a number of ways: forward it to someone who likes it, subscribe to my YouTube-channel, apply for the Masterclass, hire me to speak, for a webinar, or consultancy. 😘
Till next month!
Till next month!
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Peter Joosten MSc.
Peter Joosten MSc. @PeterJoostenOrg

A monthly newsletter about human enhancement, biohacking and transhumanism. I share the latest news, in-depth pieces, and my own articles and videos. Website: https://www.peterjoosten.org

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