Advertising Transhumanism (Was: primative transhumans viewing the superbowl)

Anders Sandberg (
06 Feb 1999 21:52:58 +0100

Spike Jones <> writes:

> like big tobacco, transhumanism may suffer from an image problem:
> one that i do not fully comprehend myself, but some people i talk to
> seem to have a built in resistance to many of our ideas. if in the future
> we ever wanted to advertise ourselves, i am at a loss on how we would
> do so. maybe we wouldnt want to? i found out about extropians
> thru the article in skeptical inquirer and ideas futures. spike

This is an interesting question. How do you advertise a set of ideas, a lifestyle, a philosophy? How do you exploit and avoid the psychological triggers people have? And for what purpose?

As I see it, what we want is

  1. Get transhumanism accepted as a valid point of view (and not just escapism, wishful thinking or part of another movement). Without this, nobody will listen.
  2. Get transhumanist ideas debated in society. Not necessarily accepted, but made part of the overall discourse.
  3. Help make implementations of these ideas legal, desirable and done.

Where would advertising be useful? It is more about spreading a view, a simple good/bad meme than presenting a rational argument. I think it can be used to "initiate" these points: an advertisement promoting transhumanism in general to make people aware there is something out there; an advertisement forcing the viewers to ask a question; an advertisement for a transhuman project. But they are/should not be the end of it, just an attention-grabber to make people think and look up the hypertexted debating site or something similar - we don't need people who become transhumanists because it is cool or is PC, we want people who reason.

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