Re: Transhumanist Declaration

Eugene Leitl (
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 11:34:29 +0400 (MSD)

Kathryn Aegis writes:

> The Questions:
> 1. Do you have a high-tech body? In other words, does your body
> comprise any implants--transplants--smart limbs--electronic monitors,
> etc.?

It should be noted that currently you have to be pretty sick to have
these in the first place. Which makes your life span probably shorter
than average, unless you have signed up with a cryonics outfit, and
that cryonics works. So you probably won't remain a trans for very long.

> 2. Does your brain contain a pacemaker--electrodes--other
> peripherals?

Ditto. I don't know of any legal recreational implants. Interfacing to
the brain is notoriously difficult, the nature of the thing
considered. Both the possible pathogen path, irritation due to
subcranial cabling and impossibility to interface a rigid electrode
array of any size beyond the trivial and expected long-term degeneration
processes at the electrodes do not seem to make this a very enjoyable
experience, currently. And epilepsy is also not my idea of a trans.

> 3. Have you undergone major body reconstruction?

Major surgery is currently done either because of a) cosmetic b) medical
reasons. In any case are modern methods of body modifications terribly
crude, and should be limited to dire necessities. If having a lump of
silicon within your body makes you a trans, be my guest.

> 4. Are your body processes such as moods--cycles--body temperature,
> etc.--continuously telemonitored and regulated?

Unless you do it for fun (I toyed with some of this) this means you're
a pretty sick trans. Body temperature monitoring could be useful for
contraception, though.

> 5. Are you connected to people and services via onbody (portable)
> telecom?

Trivial property. Pagers and cellulars are pretty ubiquitous. Times,
they are a-changing.

> 6. Are you androgynous?

Is this of any relevance? Are you bald? Do you have brown eyes?

> 7. Do you contribute to reproduction only through new collaborative
> asexual methods? For example: (a) Have you ever donated your sex
> cells for screening and possible fertilization? (b) Have you ever
> acted as 'surrogate mother'?

This is pretty neutral. Still fail to see the relevance. If the
creation process leaves no detectable artefacts, why putting into the

> 8. Are you a product of artificial insemination or inovulation--in
> vitro fertilization--telegenesis--frozen embryo implant?

No big deal.

> 9. Are you postterritorial: free of kinship
> ties--ethnicity--nationality?

Most modern techies are that.

> 10. Have you ever been outside this planet on space missions?

You have to be pretty special for this, which could mean a lot for
your future. Check.

> 11. Have you ever died and been rescusitated?

Sicko, sicko.

To sum it up, to me this seems like a list of remarkably irrelevant
traits. A transhuman is imo a being which makes it at least a major
fraction of the way through the Singularity/will live practically
forever and changes dramatically in the process. A tranhumanist is
someone who believes that would be a good thing, and tries to shape
his life to work towards that. Tom Morrow's 'Trancendence through
technology' is remarcably succinct and accurate, imo.