transhuman projects (Was: SOC/TECH: Greenstar)

From: xgl (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 15:22:59 MDT

On Sun, 25 Jun 2000 wrote:

[massive snippage]
> And I agree that we need to put money into explicitly transhumanist work.
> Hey - we don't get nearly as many payments of membership dues and other
> contributions to ExI and Foresight as we should, given the growing interest
> in the subjects these organizations address. My point is that something like
> Greenstar may well be a better and smarter use of a different kind of
> charitable donation than, say "Save the Children" or the like.
[massive snippage]

        speaking of "explicitly transhumanist work," what might some of
those be? it seems to me that all the basic enabling technologies of the
transhuman vision are right on schedule; they are not receiving charity,
but investment capital -- because they give immediate economic payoffs at
almost every step of the way.

        what then constitutes explicitly transhumanist work? without
slowing down my typing, i might think of three: 1. increasing public
awareness of the coming tide; 2. catalyzing more integrated and
cross-disciplinary research; 3. helping those already aware of what's
coming to better prepare for the future. of course, there is also 4.
forcasting the far-distant future (when i learn how to count again).

        personally, i think 4 is cute but not really essential. on the
other hand, a project such as greenstar does seem to serve 1, 2, and 3
adequately. a successful greenstar operation could quicken the public's
subconscious future shock, challenge age-old conceptions, demonstrate the
beneficial potential of technology, encourage cross-pollination of ideas
to create a viable whole, appease the hardcore "greens," and potentially
give transhumanists greater voice and leverage.

        admittedly, hidden snags may make greenstar infeasible off-paper
(i have yet to check out the site); but then again, it's only an example.
another example would be something such as establishing a singularity fund
to support eliezer's TAI. however, i think supporting research by revenue
is preferable to supporting research by charity, whenever possible. after
all, the short-sightedness of human consumers is the ultimate force behind
almost all popular movements. there is something to be said for untimely
vision, but also something to be said for directing the public through
timely feedback.

        to end this ramble, i must admit i haven't a clue what i'm talking
about ... what might we do? i submit to the greater minds.


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