RE: >H The foundation of transhumanism

From: Waldemar Ingdahl (
Date: Thu Jul 20 2000 - 14:12:13 MDT

>From: "Joseph 1" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: RE: >H The foundation of transhumanism
>Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 13:54:16 -0400
>Transhuman Mailing List
>Hash: SHA1
>Waldemar Ingdahl wrote on Monday, July 17, 2000 11:55 AM:
> > And the stasist wont
> > reduce their control, they have already the philosophical
> > upmanship. And without dynamism, we wont have any transhumanism.
>I still don't see why you think that it's impossible to have dynamism
>and central planning at the same time. I believe your meaning of
>dynamism in this context is "continuous change, activity, or
>progress; vigor". How is that incompatible with a centralized
>decision-making process and the concentration of resources to attain
>specified goals? I say that both centralism and individualism can
>support a dynamic culture.
>For example; the Manhattan project in the 1940's and the Apollo
>program in the 1960's are both splendid examples of centrally-planned
>top-down technological innovation that had widespread social impact.
>Especially in the sort of economy that we enjoy today, to repeat the
>success of a "lone genius" such as Edison would be next to
>impossible. The rare exceptions have almost always soon turned into
>large centrally-planned bureaucracies (Microsoft, for example).

Yep, you've essentialy accepted the Technocratic Great Narrative.
Ultimately, it will make you abandon transhumanism as impractical, since it
is an ultimately stasist viewpoint.

It is not my task to give you a lesson on how economic growth and innovation
occurs. I can give the name of a good book, "How the West grew rich" by

The point is that my text was just a quick resumé of Virginia Postrels book
"The future and its enemies".

I posted it intentionally to prove a hypothesis of mine. That even Postrel
would be to "strange" and "weird" for transhumanists. Kind of depends on
what people that get attracted to transhumanism today, and how little
intellectual work that's going on. Unfortunately, I think that transhumanism
has in many respects stagnated. Where is the transhumanist Virgina Postrel
(because she's not even a transhumanist)? I haven't seen him/her. Who asks
the controversial questions of the future in transhumanism? Who constructs a
transhumanist paradigm?

It shows that transhumanism hasn't developed a real philosophy. Good
foundations were laid, but the essential work of developing them into a good
ideology weren't maid.

And really, if transhumanism is just an unintellectual varity of the present
technocratic views, why should people bother?

>(And as an aside, central planning and resource concentration do not
>necessarily imply statism or coersion by force. It is perfectly
>possible to willingly follow a common dream, to become part of a
>greater whole, without being forced to do so at gunpoint.)
>I disagree that libertarian-style rugged individualism is required
>for a dynamic, ever-progressing society. That may well be the premise
>of Extropianism, but be so kind as to not foist your neo-anarchy on
>all of transhumanism.

But transhumanism is then just turning into the dust bin of extropianism. It
is the scared "NO!", the "not extropian", to at least the small amount of
depth show by extropianism. Want a technocracy? It is transhumanism! Want
UFO:s? It is transhumanism! But what is the transhumanist vision of the
future? It is fluff.

If there is no understanding of core conflicts of the future then we have
already lost tomorrow. Because our opponents have got a language, a Great
Narrative, and explanations.

So what am I going to do about it?

I'm having a vacation!

'Cause my uncle John from Jamaica
keeps on calling every day
Just buy a ticket and fly
on a summer holiday


Tah- dah, see you in August!
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