Transhumanism in popular culture

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Mr Burns - transhumanist?

Transhumanist ideas are slowly making their way into popular culture beyond their staples of science fiction film and TV and various music videos:



  • 1990: L.A. Law - "Rollins old law school girlfriend, asks him to represent her suing the state for her constitutional right to be frozen alive for she has an inoperable brain tumor."[1]
  • 1996: The Simpsons in 'The Day the Violence Died'[2] references the urban legend[3] that Walt Disney's head was cryonically frozen after his death
  • 1997: In "The Springfield Files" it turns out sightings of aliens were in fact Mr Burns having undergone his weekly regime therapies to "cheat death for another week". Burns is also portrayed as a cyborg in a non-cannon episode.
  • 1999: Ross from Friends references Vernor Vinge's The Coming Technological Singularity[4][5][6]


  • 2004 - UK surrealist comedy The Mighty Boosh briefly explored the implications of cryonics (incorrectly described as 'cryogenics' in 'Mutants'.[7][8]
  • 2006 -2010 - That Mitchell and Webb sound was concerted that our immortal uploaded eternity might only feature existence inside a "giant pig machine"[9]


I've been such a, a vocal champion of the singularity. But how can I leave my body behind and become one with the Internet when I've never even thrown a toothbrush away?[13]

See also


  3. Disney on Ice: Walt's Frosty Afterlife?
  5. ross humans machines
  6. Friends -- Interfacing
  8. -This week - immortality. Can a man live on after his own death? I'd like to think that I will be remembered years after my death. / -What for? / -For the things I say and do. / -For the things you say?! / -Mm. / -Like, "Have you seen my blue trousers?" "Can I have a crisp?" / -There are things I do that you know nothing about. / -What things? / -Once a month, one euro goes out of my account and straight into a charity. Direct debit! / -That's how you'll be remembered? / -Yes. / -For euro generosity(!) / -Among other things. / -I don't need to be remembered cos I'll be in the future. / -How? -Are you aware of cryogenics? / -I've heard people say it. / -Well, I'm having my head frozen and then I'll put in a jar. 12,000 years from now, they'll revivify me and I'll be The Head In The Jar. / They'll wheel me out at ceremonies, consult me like an oracle. / -Why don't you get your whole body frozen? / -That's not the way it works in the future. / - It's just heads, floating about, consulting each other. / -Really? I'll get my hair frozen. Then future generations can get it out and see what's possible. /
  10. The Big Bang Theory - Sheldon as a Robot
  14. Mitchell and Webb - Immortal Kids
  17. IT Crowd Robot Hand
  18. what if... one day...(the other guys)
  23. HBO’s Silicon Valley perfectly skewers the industry’s lust to live forever