Re: Politics of Transhumanism, Singularitarianism and Nazis

From: estropico > (
Date: Tue Jan 08 2002 - 13:51:07 MST

>From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
>Subject: Re: Politics of Transhumanism, Singularitarianism and Nazis
>Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 12:21:32 -0500
>"estropico >" wrote:
> >
> > Transhumanism is, in my view, an easily abusable philosophy, because it
> > be adapted to most political views with relatively little effort.
>You could say the same thing about mathematics. Modularity is not the
>same thing as plasticity.

Fine. Let's re-phrase my point, then: the "modules" that make up
transhumanism are more easily "pick-and-choosable" (apart from the central
one concerning overcoming human limitations, of course) than those that make
up extropianism. The extropian "modules", on the other hand, are more
consistent, more strongly connected to each other from the political point
of view, exactly because extropy was created by transhumanists that happen
to gravitate roughly in the same (libertarian) political area.

And that is also the reason why I see no fundamental contradiction in almost
any other political group carrying out the same operation, i.e. adopting
transhumanism & adapting it to their own goals. A nazi (for instance!) could
decide to describe himself as a transhumanist with relatively little effort,
while he would have to cope with some serious cognitive dissonance if he
decided to call himself an extropian! Same thing for somebody of leftist
leanings (see J. Hughes).

Don't get me wrong, this is not necessarily a bad thing (despite the
possibility of the emergence of a few embarassing transhumanist groups). As
I said in my previous post, one day transhumanism might well be taken for
granted and we might see substantial transhumanist groups of all political
shades. The same is less likely to happen with extropianism.

My bet is that in another few years left and right wing Singularitarians
will begin to appear too (unless they already exist and I just never heard
of them).


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