Re: Heresy

Date: Thu Aug 09 2001 - 12:23:05 MDT

Original Message:
From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

>I agree with Samantha's usage.<

I disagree with you, as it seems you are expressing a personal view of what you deem to be transhuman and applying it to a concept that was created long before your interest in term. Certainly, you have every right to reexamine terms in your own usage, but not mine.

>"Transhumanity" takes more than contact
lenses; it requires a physical or mental improvement beyond the
capabilities of even the most trained and gifted humans. Arguably someone
with an adaptive-optics super-LASIK eye improvement to 20/7 vision is
physically transhuman in a very minor way, but I can't think of anything
else offhand that would qualify. Even the super-LASIK would be excluded
if we require a qualitative rather than quantitative improvement - i.e.,
that the improvement open up new activities or possibilities relative to
the previous human experience.<

Your assumption is missing a key factor. There are varied levels of transhuman: early-transhuman, mid-transhuman and late-transhuman.

>I should also note that my basic viewpoint is that we should be as
conservative as possible in applying the loaded and powerful word

And you should be very careful in trying to reinvent terms to suit your particular needs and espousing them as a given.


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