Re: dr suess on the loose...

Anders Sandberg (
28 May 1999 15:12:54 +0200

Spike Jones <> writes:

> Has anyone here thought out this meme: perhaps the *most* important
> influences in our lives are not family and friends, but the books we
> read as children? These plant memes early, when they have the
> most impact on our developing synaptic interconnections.

I'm not sure they are the most important influence in most children, but they can be. Many factors add together in creating a person, and often they affect different aspects.

I read a lot of popular science books when I was a kid, and then moved on the science fiction. It was at least a partial cause for me becoming a transhumanist, but the reason I started with science is at present unclear to me. But once I was immersed in the world of science/science fiction, transhumanism slowly emerged as a logical conclusion to me.

> The question was "If one book, which and why?"
> Someone argued that if the question is interpreted as which
> book had the most *impact*, it might well be a Dr. Seuss
> work, or equivalent. This notion might explain a few things at least
> in my case. {8^D spike

I wonder if children shouldn't be introduced to Stanislaw Lem's _The Cyberiad_ at an early age. Many of the stories can likely be translated into a simpler language (even if they often are readable as they are in the translations I read), and put transhumanistish ideas into the heads of children. Beside the humor and nonsense, he deals with how to solve problems with intelligence (such as the hillarious story about making the perfect monster), the philosophical consequences of robots, uploading, copying and a lot of other stuff, trains recursive thinking and overall plays with your mind.

Of course, in my case the main influence on early scientific thinking may have been the character Skalman in the swedish cartoon Bamse. He was an eccentric turtle who built strange inventions, read books, slept (he had a clock which told him when it was time to sleep, eat and read - usually at the most inconvenient time) and generally helped the main character Bamse (a bear who became super-strong by eating a certain kind of honey) by intelligent advice (often 100% correct popular science). Unfortunately the Skalman character remained rather peripheral, and the rest of the cartoon developed in a rather naive leftist/PC direction.

We need more transhumanists to write childrens books! And cartoons!

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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