Re: The Politics of Transhumanism

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 02:03:10 MST

On Mon, Jan 14, 2002 at 11:03:34PM -0900, John Grigg wrote:
> Anders wrote:
> >Maybe. I think it is a very large probability that by >>the end of this year I will not refer to myself as a >>transhumanist.
> Wow!! So Anders, do you yet have a notion as to how you may refer to
> yourself by year's end?
> Extropian?
> Or something of your own creation? Why not create your own
> organization! I suspect you may have already done that, though.
Well, in many ways Eudoxa is my own organisation (although Waldemar and
the others deserve around 75% of the credit) and is in many ways what I
hope transhumanism would move towards: a think tank with an organised
economy, integrating itself into the mainstream, that develops and
spreads a transhumanist ideology (in our case for profit, too). As I
said at TransVision: transhumanism in suits and ties works!

But I would hardly call myself an eudoxian, rather a liberal (european
sense). In fact, we are very careful of not mentioning the word
"transhumanist" in the debate.

> "Andersians!"
> "Sons of Anders!"
> "Sandbergians!"

Ouch! :-)
> I know you could do much better at coining a term...
"Everybody who thinks as I do"-ians? :-)

> Seriously, I was very disturbed to see you considering a backing away
> from the term transhumanist. Is the Extropy Institute the last
> bastion of transhumanist integrity?
Yes, I have spent so much time talking and thinking about transhumanism
that it feels painful to even consider backing away from the term. I
have not changed my views on human freedom and development, but I think
I must find better ways of promoting them. And honestly, the word
"transhumanism" is starting to become a liability in many respects.

As for ExI, the problem is that as long as the definition of
transhumanism is up in the air, it is impossible to have integrity about
it. I think the extropian principles are great and I agree with them,
and I think ExI has been (and is!) doing much good. But it is not
enough, we need to really start talking to the mainstream and show that
transhumanism stands for something both workable, desirable and ethical.
Efforts have already been done, but we need far more. This is why we
need more transhumanist think tanks, transhumanist companies and so on.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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