At 01:35 AM 7/5/98 +0200, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>Let's face it: we have an image problem. No matter how reasonable our
>views appear to us, no matter how correct they actually are, most
>people do not consider transhumanism or its subset extropianism
I haven't had a chance to read the other replies to this, because of the holiday weekend, but I wanted to drop a quick line before going to the office, to respond to his frustrations....
I think it's a bit premature to bemoan to greater image of an area of thought of which, at the most, five percent of the world's population is aware of the existence. We haven't even yet fully defined among ourselves what transhumanist thought 'is', what it means to everyone individually and collectively. FM wrote his book on the transhuman only nine years ago! The network of thinkers that has developed in such a short span predicts an exponential growth in future, if we can provide the infrastructure for such growth.
As for the response of others, name me one truly revolutionary set of ideas that was taken seriously in its beginnings! I fully expect a backlash against our ideas over the next ten years, because they threaten many groups of people who up until now have been allowed to go unchallenged. I would be more worried if there were no reaction, because that would indicate a complete lack of originality on our part. Our advantage is that we are all (hopefully) engaged in longevity programs and so will be able to enjoy the benefits of greater acceptance in youthful fashion down the road...! How do we gain that acceptance? By moving en masse into the teaching, publishing, research and business positions that will compel others to at least pay attention.
At this point, the most positive venue, and the most promising avenue for memetic expansion, lies in publishing. I have more writing assignments that I can keep up with right now, just for waving transhumanist ideas in front of an editor. It's fresh, it's new, it's cutting edge....