Re: The Cloning Debate (again)

Eugene Leitl (
Sun, 11 Jan 1998 12:19:45 +0300 (MSK)

On Sat, 10 Jan 1998, Erik Moeller wrote:

> [ a longish rant, essentially boiling down to that human clones will ]
> [ not be having human rights, which is strange ]
> Eugene Leitl, you have described what I call Funcloning as "neoluddism".

No, Erik Moeller ;). What is 'fun'? Everything what we do is fun. Orelse
we wouldn't be doing it. Maybe your idea of fun is different from the next
guy's, so what. Whatever happened to laissez faire?

A mentally intact clone has the same rights as a standard person in the
belief system I currently subscribe to. Period.

Tinkering with human DNA to make Ubermenschen, or microcephalic clones for
transplants is not viable with the shotgun genetic engineering approach we
are now limited to. Tomorrow, who knows? The body is not sacred, the DNA
is not sacred. The mind is, at least now. (Your mileage may vary).

Personally, I find cloning pointless. Microcephalic self clones for
transplantation purposes, maybe. I say the money would be far best spent
in a better neurosuspension protocol.

I would find cloning far less pointless, if there was a durable
(semibiological) artificial womb (obviously, I'm no Ixian purist), for it
would open several new vistas, which would be exist otherwise. I would
find it indeed very interesting, if there was a means to xerox adult
individuals (something like the Visible Human, but a nanolitho hardcopy
with _somewhat_ better resolution, and from better material than an
executed defector). But if we can do that, we can dispense with the flesh
altogether. Cloning _is_ pointless. Debates about cloning are doubly so.

> Another fancy keyword. But who's the one who has fun here? Progress is
> fine.

About as fancy as 'funcloning', I guess. What's wrong with the term?
Neoludd is more succinct then Shelley's 'peasants with torches' or
'Webermob', while creating the appropriate associations.

And progress is _always_ fine. Even it will mean the end of humankind as
we know it. I never said I was not a technofashist, if you're so attached
to them fancy keywords. So sue me.

> Cloning is OK if it is used by those who need it. But humans must not be

Who should decide what constitutes need, and what is 'just for the heck of
it'? Me? You? Newt Gingrich? The Pope?

I tend to think that the Teutonic built-in-scissors-in-the-head attitude
is fundamentally flawed. It ruins far more than it claims to accomplish.
Tanstaafl. Wo gehobelt wird, da fallen auch Spaene. And sometimes even a
trickle of blood. Obviously, it is a power lobby problem. Us or Them.
Their numbers, and the kind of resources the other side is wielding
considered, I find it more than ok to fight a bit dirty. (Which does not
mean I join the extropian militia tomorrow. Maybe next week).

> made more product-like than they already are. Otherwise your beloved

If you feel like a product, that's your problem. I tend to find current
reality oppressive -- a sufficient reason to work for a better tomorrow.
As in: a chicken in every pot, a free upload for everyone. Nothing new?
True. We are no evangelists here.

> singularity will remain a wet dream for your lifetime.

Objects in this mirror may be larger than they appear.

I never said Singularity will happen, or I indeed will live to see it.
There will be saturation (almost certainly). There will be Butler's Jihad,
probably. I may die, and be not suspended. Maybe suspension does not
work. Maybe drextech does not work. Maybe the Singularity will kill us.
Maybe, maybe, maybe. We'll live, and see. Then maybe we don't.

The important point is: that we are alive. That these are the most
exciting times so far in human history, which is not lessened by the fact
that many generations could have claimed that. This is what matters.


P.S. Sorry for rant, but you had me nettled.