I think about people with photographic memory, this is not an aberration but what should be the norm; greater sphere of memory means greater consciousness, or rather more of the stuff with which consciousness is potentially built. Reason culminates in philosophy, and even as it takes in new scientific facts and discoveries does not learn anything vitally new, for it has seen the beginning and end of all things, and every intervening period of time is only a particular derivation of some necessity, the core of which philosophy has already witnessed and consumed in itself. I always take the perspective of genius as my standard for consciousness, and I consider everything other than this perspective only a kind of partial iteration of it, a step along the ladder to it. Perfect memory can be created in certain fields of intense study, as I am sure you know. In science, math, literature, history, technology, various arts, one can develop almost complete capture for sensations. Philosophy begins to develop this for every meaningful experience, everything of import to it, and if anything escapes memory it is because it was not important and because it happened to fall outside of that "random capture" that seems to define memory's operation. Rather by associations of power, emotional content itself or import to social relations various senses tend to be stored more effectively than others. Certainly memory is imperfect and grainy, vague, full of holes and mistakes. The function of memory is not to perfectly record everything, however, but is to produce selection based on importance. Natural selection has crafted memories that do this within a range of adequacy, because it would be inefficient to create a species with perfect recollection since perfect recollection is not needed for survival. A more perfect and photographic memory, at the hands of philosophy, would organize and re-organize itself continuously, actively, based on consciousness' own telos, its need and benefit. Perhaps all humans without photographic memory are deficient to the point of abnormality, not from the perspective of natural selection (which does not apply to humans anymore) but from the perspective of self-consciousness, of its potential and its need/power.
I don't see mankind evolving anymore. Rather or not he tampers with his genes to increase his life span, quality of life, whatever, he is still not evolving, he is just changing arbitrarily or in this case based on his own self-image. Evolution operates based on more objective principles than the individual, survival and the points of intersection between individuals and their species, and between species and their wider environments. The only reason anything exists is because its form secured existence in the past, based on whatever conditions of that existence happened to be. Man now has no conditions of existence, he exists arbitrarily and his life is a kind of stunted chaos and accident; if he works anywhere he gets food, and even if he does not work he still gets food. Some humans die from starvation, these unlucky ones born outside the scope of the larger social system, and in these cases are the mistakes of the system, not the rule by which others must live if they are to survive. In moving out of natural selection and struggle man basically has nowhere in which to put his impulses except various activities of vanity, decadence (in Nietzsche's sense of the word) and hedonic entertainment. Humans have become infinitely inefficient because efficiency is no longer required, and genetics do not sustain themselves without continuous pressure on reproduction; man's genes and thus man himself continues to weaken with every generation. Ideation is begotten from genetics and access to potentiating experiences, learning and a lack of blunting experiences. Those who can think well were born into paths of actualization of thinking ability, likewise with feeling/emotions, and the two spheres, thought and sentiment, overlap only because we have not pushed deep enough to "unzip" them from each other, to daemonize them.
Philosophy is daemonization, which is to say, self-honesty. Experiences are divided and their contents apprehended and sorted, and difference is sustained in itself in order to produce a new kind of emergent order and synthesis of ideas and feeling, of consciousness. New laws of the self, varying subjectivity-mechanics. Consciousness is reflexive sensation occurring along a continuum from most to least removed, from the root of the activity (closer to the body, instinct, automatism) all the way to the head of activity, final effects, the 'end' of the causal process (closest to the "self", rational, "intentional"). The form of this continuum is "time". In the middle of it these two spheres meet and there exist ideas, subjectivity-structures that sustain the relations between the two. Examples of these kinds of structures are love, religion, politics, and their corresponding behaviors of submission, worship and savagery. Note that the kinds of resulting behaviors of these intermediary subjectivity-structures always tend toward passivity and only become more active when the structure's activity is primarily concerned with its own self-maintenance (e.g. art, poetry), which is to say when it has become vain and self-interested, or when the activity's impulse is aligned exclusively with one side of the continuum only, at the expense of its counter-part.
You are right, man will continue to conceptually explode the oppositions that are productive of his consciousness, his daemonism will continue in whatever low or high form, each individual consciousness being slightly different. This is the only necessity that I see in the future of mankind, and this necessity continues rather civilization develops greatly, remains about the same as it is, or collapses. The future you propose, assuming the meteor doesn't strike us, is certainly a possibility, but consciousness is also begotten of the body, and mind is a part of body; to sever body from mind is as antithetical to consciousness as to sever mind from body, they are united and are different manifestations of the same thing, the underlying tectonics and excessivity of materiality, systems of chemical-neurological consequentialism of the expressions and repressions of genetics. I tend to think of the vitality, the "psychology" of these systems in the way that you talk about the excess that underlies all sensation and that cannot be captured by consciousness itself. The body and mind can only be severed from each other to the extent that each still exists implicitly, that even if removed from our emerging conscious awareness each still continues to operate with respect to the other, even if only minimally. Emotional-instinctual sensation is just as vital a part of the daemonism of consciousness as is cognitive-ideational sensation, it seems to me; both play off of each other, delimiting each other, torturing each other, completing the other's activity in secondary tiers of effect and excess. Virtual reality would seem analogous to a continuous dream state, and I wonder if after so many hours, days, weeks of dreaming the self-reflexive relation of consciousness would begin to break down, to go insane. The body, being that from which the conditions of consciousness arise and to which it is always referring back at least in part, lacking stimulus would begin to atrophy. I don't worry about the health of the body so much, since of course we can sustain ourselves with solyent and then without bodies entirely at some future point where software sufficiently models human brains, but rather I worry about consciousness itself, what sort of comprehensivity and range of sensation and stimulus it would be capable of attaining without the continuous interactions between body and mind, between sentiment and conception and every potentiating "randomness" birthed from this chaos of self. Science does not yet know to what extent emotions and instincts are stored in the peripheral neurology and/or the endocrine systems throughout the body; we feel fear or surprise, for instance, and this causes tightening in the stomach, which is the feeling of hormones being secreted from glands there. How much of the wide variety of feeling and impulse, pain and pleasure depend on the active and synthetic relations between a functioning body and a functioning brain/mind? I think there is a great deal of mutual dependency, and if the dependency is greater on any end it is probably on that of the mind's dependency on the body, being that the mind is the more derivative creature of the two.
Man might escape the world and physical suffering into virtual realities of pure creation and instant pleasure; or he may never get this chance, in so far as geopolitical, economic or environmental factors prevent it; or, as I think is perhaps the most likely, given another 5-10 generations or so man will develop complete virtual realities and mind-to-mind linkage and begin to inhabit these new systems partially as a more advanced form of augmented reality (the internet is already an early form of virtual reality and mind-to-mind consciousness). Relationships will develop between the physical and virtual worlds and each will have its pull and attraction, its necessity to consciousness. More to the point though, those who maintain a more active relation between the opposed physical and virtual worlds will have greater power over those who do not develop this relation, or over those who neglect power entirely in order to merely emerge themselves in the ease of virtuality. The daemonism of consciousness is also that of instinct, of "unconsciousness" which is the substance of the conscious, and the extent to which consciousness, sensation and self-reflexivity form in the body and secondary nervous system is the extent to which a continuous dream-state would eventually degenerate into madness and death. After all, strong exertion in thought and sentiment requires respite from itself, sleep and activity of another kind are needed in order to re-set these, to regain strength. The impetus of this need for re-set seems to be rooted largely in the body, in its activity/cathartic movements and its recline.
(Comments of mine from a larger conversation with Parodites.)
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”. -N
“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning