Dwayne [firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote:
>> much compassion does the average human currently display for apes? Yes, we
>> protect them and study them and are even occassionally entertained by them,
>> but by in large we're just too engaged in human activities to be very
>> interested in what they're doing.
>Except for when we use them for medical research or destroy their
This kind of discussion reminds me of one of my favorite SF series; Michael Moorcock's "Dancers at the end of time". The stories have a lot in common with Banks' "Culture" in that they're basically about a bunch of transhumans who have lots of power and lots of free time, but seen from a sixties or seventies perspective. Although the stories aren't terribly well-written, I think that much of their behaviour -- for example indifference to 'lesser' beings (e.g. human time-travellers are put in zoos and traded like pets) -- seems quite true to life; they don't care much about humans, because in general they're not really regarded as 'people'.