RE: The Politics of Transhumanism

From: estropico > (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 05:53:00 MST

>From: "Harvey Newstrom" <>
>estropico wrote,
> >
> > extropian philosophy = CMT + libertarianism + humanism
>No you don't. Why do you keep adding libertarianism? [snip] It is
>inaccurate to say that it was only libertarian or that its purpose was more
>libertarian than transhumanistic.

Because of the undeniable libertarian streak in extropian thought (which is
fine by me, btw). All extropians are transhumanists, but not all
transhumanists are extropians. The difference is that extropians are what I
like to call spontaneuos-order transhumanists, while many transhumanists are
not necessarily so (see J.Hughes).

>Why do you keep excluding transhumanism? Extropy Institute was
> >established to be a transhumanist organization. This very list was
> >founded as the first transhumanist list. The Extropian Principles >were
>written to establish a specific definition of transhumanism. You >can't
>pretend that extropy has no connection to transhumanism.

Obviously. Transhumanism is represented in my little formula by "CMT". I
realise now that that is too narrow and that the humanist streak should also
be considered. Let's say then (again, to put it rather *brutally*):

Extropian philosophy = Transhumanism (i.e. CMT+humanism)+ libertarianism

> > Anyway, what I mean with my little formulas is that when humanists
> > considered how to deal with the coming technological advances and >
>their impact on the human condition, the result was transhumanism. > > When
>libertarians did the same, the result was extropy.
>This is not an accurate history. Humanists did indeed create
> >transhumanism. However those same transhumanists went on to define
> >extropian philosophy. I don't see how you can separate their history >or
>try to claim they evolved independently of each other.

I was not trying to write the movement's history. Just reasoning that if
transhumanism is what humanists came up with when they adopt the idea that
it is right to use technology to improve on Homo Sapiens (the CMT), then
extropy is what libertarians come up with in the same circumstances. Anyway,
talking about the history of extropy, if you had to pick a single individual
behind the birth of the extropian philosophy, who would you pick? Exactly.
Max More's early libertarian writings are still available on the web.

>Where are you getting these ideas? They don't seem to match history >or
>make sense. You seem to be trying to split the global >transhumanist
>community into separate unrelated sectors. etc...

Not my goal. In fact, the recognition that the CMT is not necessarily bound
to any particular idelogy could help avoiding the continuos bickering among
tranhsumanists of different political convictions so typical of the list.


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