RE: Present dangers to transhumanism

Nick Bostrom (
Sun, 29 Aug 1999 02:21:37 +0000

Waldemar wrote (about dangers to transhumanism):

> 3) Centralism in transhumanism. Seems like a contradiction, doesn't
> it? Well, as the vice-president of the Swedish Tranhumanist
> Association I know that it happens too often. We must become better
> on delegating tasks..... I think
> that the best way to get around this problem is to avoid it
> completely by decentralizing early on and making this VERY clear to
> the members.

True! The WTA is supposed to be a completely decentralized organization, but I don't think we have communicated that sufficiently well. Many members and non-members don't realize that they can do pretty much what they want with the WTA. The organization is there mostly to coordinate our activities and to provide a quality-check. (And of course, if something were to be deemed "not suitable" for inclusion under the WTA label, the author or constructor or whatever can go ahead and do it anyway outside the WTA.)

Kathryn wrote:

> Yes, we are moving into the mainstream conciousness, and media
> will be the primary tool for that. I am preparing a series of
> strategy 'backgrounders' for transhumanists interested in getting
> media coverage. These will be made available in some manner,
> as a sort of service that the WTA can provide.

This is an excellent example of the kind of initiative that is needed. Don't sit around waiting for orders from somebody. If someone isn't interested or hasn't got time to do something, that's one thing. But it seems that there are many people who have both interest and at least some time, but somehow lack *gumption* unless explicitly told what to do by somebody else. Max and Natasha didn't receive a phone call telling them to organize Extro-4. Ok, most of us aren't that driven, so we also need to give each other encouragement and support. But in the end, the initiative typically lies with the individual one or with small groups of people who meet each other face-to-face.

Nick Bostrom Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method London School of Economics