“This fateful migration out of Africa was just one of many, and it did not involve any known increase in cognitive power or physical strength or dexterity or technological sophistication. Fire had been controlled for millennia. Humanity’s ancestors had been making stone tools in a standardized fashion for well over a million years. There was no new technology. It was probably just wandering.” The origin of humanity as we know it is just a myth. We are actually much, much older

“Humans as we know them are just one morphological waypoint on the long road of evolution.” Annalee Newitz in When Will Humanity Finally Die Out?

“Based on how long it took proto-primates to evolve into a technological species, that leaves enough time for it to happen again up to 23 times.” The implications of cosmic silence

Imagine a world where the human race is no longer the dominant species.

Extinct through war or spectacular accident. By devastating pandemic, super-natural disaster, or cosmic cataclysm.

Passed through the Singularity to become unrecognisably posthuman, and left the natural order forever behind.

Infected by a virus, hijacked by a parasite or otherwise co-opted to become ex-human – a “bio zombie” – moved sideways to a new position as ecological actor.

Gently absorbed into – or completely overshadowed by the unfathomable actions of – a superior civilisation comprising benevolent – or unacknowledging – emissaries from the stars (or extra-dimensions).

Screencap from KONG: SKULL ISLAND with quote

Dethroned by the return of ancient species, the reawakening of the slumbering Old Ones… Out-competed by the arrival of an invasive species from another world making the Earth just one habitat in a galactic ecology.

It could be far into the future or The Day After Tomorrow.

Robots may rule the world… not so much enslaving as letting us retire to a life of Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism; life in The Culture as Iain M. Banks foresaw it could be.

What is the world like then? After us…

Screencap from Rakka / quote from Starry Speculative Corpse

An apocalypse, but not as we usually think of it. Where the Earth hasn’t become uninhabitable – evicting us – but just because, for whatever reason, we’re gone. A party at the end of the world that only humanity was invited to, where the rest of life on Earth has cause to celebrate (except maybe our pets).

What species thrive and what don’t survive after we’re gone? What’s the story of life on Earth sans humanity? At least as we currently perceive ourselves to be…

That future – as has been said so many times – is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. In places like the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and the various former nuclear testing grounds we have previews of a world uninhabitable by man, but resurgent.

What other previews of these various futures can we find? What can we learn from them occurring and how might that knowledge change the things we do today and plan for ourselves tomorrow?

The intent here is to construct a vast, inter-linked piece of speculative futurism. Folding in elements from existing films, books, TV shows and comics. Merging them with academic papers and intellectual essays to form a kind of “Post-Human Multiverse.”

From simple, meme-like images to detailed blog posts taking divergent – but at times intersecting – lines of inquiry into an aspect or dimension of a post-human world.

Gazing into a rich land of possible futures for this planet in which mankind pays no part anymore, and may barely be remembered.

screencap from Monsters: Dark Continent

This is where you’ve landed. What else would you expect from a pryvt.rsrch project?

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2 thoughts on “What is the Post-Human World?

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