Re: Definitions for Transhumanism

Eugene Leitl (
Sat, 11 Apr 1998 15:48:48 +0400 (MSD)

On Thu, 9 Apr 1998, Randy Smith wrote:

> I like it, Scott, and that's not to disparage the other definitions
> others may have offered, but it kind of ties in with a Randy-Smith
> truism: many, if not most, humans are, in some fundamental way,
> unhappy. That ultimate state of self-actualization would seemingly

If we were not unhappy, there would be zero impetus to change. No impetus
to change in an coevolutionary context guarantees failure before long.
Hence this is no surprise that the majority of us is not happy. I am
pretty happy to be unhappy, actually. Saves one from being an
beautifically smiling evolutionary cul de sac.

> elude us until that day that Nanotech Arrives In All Its Glory. One

One is thought not to think in patterns like that. Meme police will get

> would think when one controls matter on a nanotech scale,
> self-actualization is only a matter of twiddling brain biochemistry.

Hardly. The domain of mechanosynthesis being (cryogenic) UHV conditions
limits action in heavily solvated systems to rearranging premade molecules
by comparatively large (low concentration of manglers in a sea of
manglees), artefacting devices in an unarrested environment. In contrast
to in vivo, you can do a lot with vitrified biological systems. You could
probably even build a (smallish) critter in vitrified stage and
flash-devitrify it into life, retracting the nanofilament scaffolding
after the fact.

> There would seem to be gene survival advantages in the unhappy and
> self-actualization-seeking human.


> As far as utilizing "rational technologies" to acheive
> self-actualization" ends, I guess it is a transition from the
> "spiritual technologies" previously used, eh?
> I have heard that many cryonicists (and I understand that many
> extropians are cryos or wannabe cryos) see cryonics as a chance at
> another life, one in which they can fulfill their goals
> (self-actualize). Comments?

Unless we can get out of the Darwin box, which is probably impossible, you
can't remain in the state of eternal bliss. We can homeostate us to max
out the kick we get from being a rat the rat race, though.