The Politics of Transhumanism

Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 11:35:22 MST

Anders wrote:

>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!

I’m glad we all pretty much share the same vision. -

I wear a suit just about every day, and certainly when I am giving a talk, but this doesn’t dismiss my alignment with transhumanism. This is something that we need to be cautious about. If you or anyone thinks that the putting on a tie and hushing the word “transhumanist” will interface you more confidently with the public, I think you are ultimately mistaken. Whereas being particular about language in certain types of meetings, and it is not always essential or necessary to express one’s value system, especially in business dealings, and in debates, unless the occasion is expressly based on such. It is especially significant now that transhumanists express enlightening views publicly and also let it be known that we are supportive of the values of transhumanism. The issue is that many current transhumanists are in a generation that is now taking hold and dealing with wold issues away from academics. In the real world we need to consider what impression to make, and how to make it. Rather than fighting
 the mainstream and critizing the currents, take action and participate in how it is formed.

>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.

Let’s discuss this Anders. I agree that it is probably not a good idea to discuss transhumanist in a debate regarding politics, unless you are discussing the future of humanity, topic of human potential, social cultures, etc. If you are discussing the social fabric of individuals who make up any one ideological agenda, it might also be worthwhile to mention, who are part of the business world and scientific/technological development, it might also be a good idea to discuss the people market. Checks and balances includes all those who participate, and it would be unrealistic to leave out the certain cultures, whether it be religious fundamentalists or clyberculture, since the latter culture expressly uses and relies on the Internet for ideas, education, and resources.

I’d like to know what advantages you find in the European Liberal political agenda. Could you please expand on what basic principles stand out as being aligned with a futurist agenda, especially ones which encourages and protects individual advancement?

>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.

I think you are thinking of apples and oranges here. It is not up to any one organization to do the work for us. Why rely on ExI? It’s certainly the best thing we have available for us today and hopefully tomorrow, but it is an organization comprised of people. The people make the organization work or not work. ExI has been very fortunate to have had such great members and supporters, such as you, and many others. But, ExI represents its members and its members reflect its aims. If transhumasnits sit around theoricizing and not get out in the world and create a voice, then how can we expect ExI to do all the work for us. Isn't it sensible for us to lay some tracks and pursue our own interests while lending a hand to ExI?

It seems funny to me, now while thinking about it, that some transhumanists may think that an organization is reponsible or not for their failures or successes. What a paradox.

I think the leanings we have toward any one political agenda reflects how we think of ourselves and the organizations we are members of. Frankly, I have no political affiliation at the moment because I'm trying to understand the larger picture, not just a corner or the pie.

I look foward to hearing from you.


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