Re: Anders, so you like to play "Marvel Superhero's!"

Anders Sandberg (
16 Apr 1999 13:04:27 +0200

Jeffrey Fabijanic <> writes:

> I can't believe that after lurking for months, *this* is the message that
> inspired me to send something to the list again. Oh well, better arrested
> development than no development at all ;P ...


> >They might not be particularly realistic
> >(ever noticed that science is almost never done by teams, and that
> >even the most amazing discoveries never percolate into the market?)
> >but they are great symbols for self-improvement.
> Actually, the Marvel/DC universes are filled with the technology of Iron
> Man's original-alter-ego (Drake Industries) and the Fantastic Four's
> corporation, for example. But since the writers want to immerse the reader
> in a close analog of the actual world, they have to downplay the ubiquity
> of this stuff.

Yes, and this is a problem for us transhumanists because it occurs in all sorts of settings, not just superhero comics but also movies, books and serious discussions of the future. In order to make things look ordinary they downplay or ignore the truly worldchanging stuff - superheroes doesn't change the world as much as a semi-intelligent secretary program would. This in turns means that many people who otherwise would have been stimulated to think more about 'what if' scenarios instead get the view that nothing really changes reinforced. So we end up with people who have trouble extrapolating well, opposing many transhumanist ideas for the wrong reasons (like believing that life extension by necessity will affect only a few individuals and not all of society etc). That ought to be changed.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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