The notion that the world can be replicated and replaced by a simulated reality says a great deal about the beliefs of those who promote the metaverse [treated in the previous chapter]. The conception is materialist and mechanistic at base, the hallmarks of social engineering. It represents the world as consisting of nothing but manipulable matter, or rather, of digital media mimicking matter. It suggests that human beings can be reduced to a material substratum and can be induced to accept a technological reproduction in lieu of reality. Further, it assumes that those who inhabit this simulacrum can be controlled by technocratic means. Such a materialist, mechanistic, techno-determinist, and reductionist worldview is consistent with the transhumanist belief that humans themselves will soon be succeeded by a new transhuman species, or humanity-plus (h+)—perhaps a genetically and AI-enhanced cyborg that will outstrip ordinary humans and make the latter virtually obsolete.
The term transhumanism was coined by Julian Huxley, the brother of the novelist Aldous Huxley and the first director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In an essay entitled “Transhumanism,” published in the book New Bottles for New Wine (1957), Huxley defined transhumanism as the self-transcendence of humanity