Re: "Evil Transhumanism"

Joseph Sterlynne (vxs@mailandnews.com)
Fri, 12 Nov 1999 21:39:19 -0500

> Anders Sandberg

>I have for a long time been thinking of setting up a web page with links
>to anti-TH texts together with refutations and explanations. Perhaps we
>should even write a "Frequent Misunderstandings" text like an FAQ.

We can't talk about our plans for the universe as most people won't be thinking that far ahead. But we can tell our desipient, belligerent, and na´ve critics to read the FMPfWD.

Frequently Misunderstood Plans for World Domination

Q. Does transhumanism advocate creating a master race? A. No comment.

Q. Won't merging with computers make us less human? A. Only if it's done right.

Q. Is transhumanism a "New Age" movement? A. If that works for you.

Q. Do transhumanists strive for some kind of idealistic

technological utopia?
A. Remember that first commercial for the Apple Macintosh back in

1984? All those mindless slaves marching in unison and a supreme dictator monitoring and controlling everything? And then that heroic lady comes along and frees everyone with that hammer? Well, that's us without the lady and the hammer.

And so on. (Actually, the answer to the second question is basically a real one.)

Having a explanation ready is always useful but it must be read, earnestly considered, and fairly represented. Many people, as we are all aware, simply don't respond to arguments. I witnessed this a couple of times recently during the Kansas education committee vs. evolution business: a reporter asks a Kansan why he refuses to accept evolution; "I just don't like the idea that we came from monkeys" is his reply. A good rule of thumb: evolution first, singularity later.

I would almost say that the text which started this thread, that on the Web pages of some random students, is barely worth a response. (Don't be fooled by the title of the parent English class, which most likely does not treat technology in any way recognizable to most of us but engages in the nonsense which passes for scholarship in many university and college humanities departments.) But stepping in before students can be well-rewarded for sloppy thinking (and they too often will be) might demonstrate that someone is paying attention.

So I am certainly not discouraging developing materials and promoting discussion. There are a number of considerations involved with dealing with those unfamiliar with or critical of transhumanism; some on this list have expressed serious interest in designing tactics and strategies. Eventually the public will end up in some kind of discussion about the science and technology; that is clearly already happening to some extent---though much of it is media hype---for cloning (which many, strangely enough, actually confuse with uploading), AI, and genetic engineering. But in my opinion the most important thing is to just keep working.

What is the traffic, by the way, on crit.org?