Re: Posthuman Politics

From: Steve Nichols (
Date: Sun Oct 14 2001 - 18:49:03 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Nichols
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2001 11:48 PM
Subject: Re: Posthuman Politics

> Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 23:58:08 -0400
> From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
> Subject: Re: Posthuman Politics
> First of all, let's get one thing completely straight. The term
> "transhuman" is sometimes used as if it meant "transhumanist", which I
> object to, but is nonetheless an existing usage. The term "posthuman" is
> absolutely reserved for genuine posthuman entities. You can be a
> posthumanist, but not a posthuman.
Who are you to tell ME what I can or cannot be! I am not a "human" but
am "after" (post-) that species, although I acknowledge my human ancestry.

> With that out of the way, your strategies are still messed up. They
> require far too many people to function. A research project may require
> serious funding and serious people, but at least it doesn't require a
> majority of an entire country's population. Strategies that require a
> majority of a population to participate have been known to succeed. The
> American Revolution succeeded. Martin Luther King succeeded. But
> anything on that massive a scale takes billions of dollars, a core group
> of activists willing to devote their entire lives to the problem, and even
> then it still takes a generation to set up the initial conditions if they
> haven't been set up already.
At least I offer a clear strategy, rather than just a talk-shop. Your
attempt at semantics, as well as being plain wrong in linguistic
terms, is also counter-productive in getting anything done about
changing the state of affairs in the world. Mine is PROACTIVE evolution.
Anti-Darwinism in Richard Dawkin's sense of the word. By claiming
to be and acting as post-human, I reinforce my and other's opinions
that yes, I actually AM post-human.

Of course I might have claimed to be trans-human or extropian, but
these claims are subsets of the claim to follow the "human" period of
the species. Even if you are in intermediary stage you are still "after"
the human stage.

> You don't have that kind of time,
I am saying we DON'T have luxury of a lengthy timescale and
must be prepared to evolve more quickly, and to be less afraid
to promote our agenda more positively and to more people MORE
quickly .... it is the notion that a further 500 years of transition is
needed that is the tardy approach. The transhuman phase is already

>and furthermore you're treating this
> whole issue like a contest for the position of tribal chief.
I have no wish to personalise things in such a way, and in fact
am fairly anti-leader, anti-messianic and loosely anarchistic in
how I see posthuman organisation & politics emerging. Now if
you mean that I am trying to "give a lead" .... OK, I am. But
that is different from claiming that I am trying to be the big
cheese and tell everyone else what to do ..... far from it!

> objective here is not to take over the existing tribe or go split off your
> own. This is about technology.
Yes, but not about technology by itself in glorious, academic
isolation. I have strong social ideas that are worth an airing, such
as the posthuman "quorum" structures, instead of the existing very
narrow range of choice to pair-bonding (homo or hetero) embedded
in human-era culture. (

It is also about philosophy, and the philosophical struggle we
have against regressive forces of old-age theology & supernaturalism.
 If you're still interested in seceeding,
> I suggest you go read "How To Start Your Own Country" so that you can
> become discouraged enough to give up.
A very negative sentiment that brings shame to you. I want to
encourage and empower people rather than spread discouragement.
Unless of course you have some interest in retaining the status quo?
I believe in continual evolution on the other hand .....

> Maybe I'm being too harsh here. I guess a lot of these ideas look a lot
> less silly if you're planning for a 50-year or, ha ha, 100-year outlook.
> But try pretending, as a mental exercise, that everything you do with your
> life has to be completely finished by 2008 to do any good, and see what
> that does to your perspective.
My most important work (Median Vision Theory) was finished a
long time ago (1980) although I still work on expansion and
promotion of the idea. The genie
can't be put back into the bottle even if I cease tomorrow.
> - -- -- -- -- --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Best, Steve Nichols
Plurality Institute for REAL Intelligence (ha)

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