Re: Corporate entities

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Mon Oct 29 2001 - 21:21:20 MST

On Monday, October 29, 2001 10:05 PM Hal wrote:
>> I do not oppose the elimination of corporate ownership of IP.
>> Corporations are not senient beings, and therefore cannot be artists.
>> The Constitution clearly states that Congress is to protect the
>> creators, the artists, not anyone else.
> I think as Extropians we would support the notion that collective and
> non-human entities should have rights if they are able to request them.

But what exactly is meant by "request them" here? I think it's pretty easy
for me to understand a request in English from another human. However, so
called collective -- such as the ones you list: "[c]orporations,
partnerships, marriages, other groupings" -- them don't usually make such
requests. Their members do, so they are not truly individuals -- or most
don't view them as such, especially since their members can and do act
independently. For instance, a member of XYZ, Inc. can do stuff that the
corporation itself would be against. Typically, a human's mouth does not
say things it doesn't want to say. (Yeah, there are exceptional cases, but
most people don't speak in tongues or have Torette's Syndrome.:) If they
did, our social context would be radically different.)

> We envision a time when social and mental structures will be much more
> complex than the simple distinction we have today between individuals and
> organizations. We could have hybrid beings with some of the properties
> of both.

I think it might be hard for creatures on lower levels to notice this. For
instance, if a collective conscious emerges on the social level, it might
only communicate with other social level consciousnesses. It might be
unaware of its members as you are unaware of your neurons when you're
thinking. Heck, from a member's vantage point, the member might not even be
aware any higher level consciousness exists. He or she might just react to
his or her context as you and I currently react to our social context.

> If two or more people want to hook up their brains and think collectively
> it should be OK. If someone wants to subdivide their consciousness
> into multiple semi-autonomous parts, that should be permitted as well.
> We should encourage experimentation like this. It will add diversity
> to the world and make more opportunities available to everyone.

I don't think anyone was suggesting to disallow this... However, the rights
of such entities is still something that has to be worked out, especially in
regards not just to relations to plain vanilla humans, but in regards to its
parts or wholes. For instance, if I could split my mind into several
subpersonalities, would one of them be allowed to do things that might hurt
the others? If I became part of a collective consciousness, would the
collective consciousness trump my individual rights? This becomes even more
important if the new consciousness is emergent and not created by agreement.

Also, even ones created by agreement -- such as several of us getting
together to form one group mind -- will not be cut and dry. After all, we
might not have worked out all the details... Suppose we (what's left of the
"we":) decide to individuate, but the group mind doesn't want to die? What


Daniel Ust

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