Re: Protean Self-Transformation

Gregory Houston (
Fri, 28 Mar 1997 12:56:30 -0600

Tony wrote:

> Yes, the suicide was obviously non-technical, but they believed that they
> would be transformed/saved by aliens with an advanced technology.

This is the self-defeating belief in a higher power. We would fall into
the same category if we were to believe something such as a future
artificial intelligence will one day save us, the artificial
intelligence being our higher power. Higher powers are authoritarian and
lead to subservience and sacrifice. I think this is a subtle issue we
should be aware of in our development of technology. We have to caution
ourselves from imagining the technology as something greater than
ourselves, which might replace ourselves, when we can have a healthier
outlook of technology as an augmentation or tool of refinement.

As transhumanists and extropians I think we run the risk of making
technology out to be the next saviour, the next higher power. You have
the Church of Nanotechnology, and the Singularity Church, and the Church
of the Almighty Artificial Intelligence, etcetera, etcetera. To avoid
this sort of trap requires something more than a passive acceptance of
technology into our "hearts" and minds. It requires that we take
proactive responsibility for the creation of technology. We have to
remember that technology is a means and not an ends. Technology exists
for the sake of the person, and not vice versa. There is a freaky
scientific *cult* out there which would like to replace man with
artificial intelligence. Thats a religious sacrifice.

I would rather create technology that helps ME evolve rather than
technology that is suppose to replace me. Just as I won't sacrifice
myself for a Nation, for a God, or for Aliens, I will not sacrifice
myself for the sake of technology. I value my existence. I don't think,
"there could be something better", but rather "I could be something

Explore and play!

Gregory Houston                 Triberian Institute of Emotive Education  
phone:    816.561.1524
cellular: 816.807.6660          snail: PO Box 32046 Kansas City MO 64171

"Empowered, impassioned, we have a lust for life insatiable!"