What if… there was genetic manipulation that allowed the changing of any characteristic

This morning I began to think about different ideas. Ideas of a future that is not utopian or necessarily dystopian. A future world where ordinary people are carrying on the species as we have done for thousands of generations. I have occupied the afternoon while unpacking clothing just speculating and letting my thoughts and imagination meander.

I have barely scratched the surface of possibility.

For this post I am only going to isolate one idea and play with it. I am going to take the idea of medical technology making huge breakthroughs and for a price it is possible to alter one’s appearance and shape to anything desirable.

Take this idea and let it sink into your brain. Imagine if you could look like anyone or anything you wanted to and the gene therapy was available to re-sequence your DNA to achieve this.

What if you could excel in any sport by simply altering your physical self through genetic manipulation?

What if you could be as strong as you wanted? Swim underwater with gills? Withstand immense gravity?

What if your employer could require adaptations to make you more suitable for a job? Greater synaptic responses with accompanying neurological damage? The ability to go without sleep and be more aware so you could work longer hours? A slower metabolism to conserve nutritional resources? The ability to interface telepathically with a bio-engineered computing system organized on the same model as the brain but with an accompanying loss of privacy? What would you be willing to alter about yourself to be employed? What salary would make it worthwhile?

What if you could choose your physical appearance and appearance became just another form of fashion statement? What would this do to notions of race? Notions of discrimination? On what basis would a hierarchy of social power and distribution of resources fall upon?

What if with an alterations of genetic material new limbs could be regrown? What if all disabilities could be done away with? What if diversity was solely by choice? Provided you could afford it.

What if aging was stopped and reversed? What if humans could choose to die?

Think about all of these and what they would do to society. How would society change? Would it change? Could we still maintain ourselves in some form of post-industrial revolution/semi-democratic/free trade economy when our sense of our physical selves could be so radically altered?

And what would this do to the individual psyche? What types of identity disorder may be cured by the alterations of the physical self? What new ones may arise?