Re: The Business of Transhumanism

From: Waldemar Ingdahl (
Date: Wed Apr 26 2000 - 08:02:16 MDT

>From: Adrian Tymes <>
>Subject: The Business of Transhumanism
>Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 20:25:24 -0700
>Waldemar Ingdahl wrote:
> > ... And that's an interesting problem. Why aren't we baught by "The New
> > Economy"? Why don't the industry that we protect invest in us? I think
> > is because transhumanism has utterly failed to show a professional face
> > the industry. You don't invest in geeks, geeks cannot defend you.

Bought! Where's my English;-)

>Not everyone in the industry shares our views. But, you're right, it is
>an interesting problem. What kind of business models could one create
>to turn our particular dreams into reality? I know of a few myself (for
>instance, there's a professor who came up with a business plan to
>bootstrap lunar industry into existence; too bad he's content to just
>use it to teach a course, rather than trying to get funding and turn it
>into reality), as well as numerous non-profit prize foundations (prizes
>for nano, the X Prize, et cetera).

I see your point, Adrian, but I was referring to transhumanists starting to
spread their political vision. It is quite difficult indeed to start up a
business in those high- risk ventures that we transhumanists/extopians often
speak about. Most of the research in those sectors are done by very big
companies or very big institutions (because they are costly and difficult
studies). On TransVision 1999 here in Stockholm, an interesting point was
made. In comparison to TransVision 1998 we rather discussed the political,
economical, socialtal effects of transhumanism, rather than the development
of the technologies themselves. Because that's where I think that we
transhumanists will make a difference, in formulating the political thoughts
for this century that can apply themselves to the new technologies and to a
constant dynamism in society. I'm not saying this to discourage those of you
out there that are already working in these sectors (keep it up BTW), but to
point out that we transhumanists really have to be "the friends of the
future", contructing a philosophy and a cultural movement that can oppose
the onslaught of stasist forces. What good does it do to research when
you´re opposed at every step?

Transhumanism has been very bad at understanding the consequences of its own
philosophy, our opponents have been much better at it. Since the "old guard"
of the ExI left this list it has often degenerated into quite
inconsequencial ramblings. This is because of a lack of understanding of our
own ideology. This presents are very bad face to potential investors and
sympathizers. In short: it has become a geek club. Sorry, but that's the
truth why transhumanism isn't recruiting new groups and new social strata
than younger middle- class white males often very centered on science. But
those persons cannot give the movement the momentum it needs. What should be
done then?

I think this is very much up to the members- we have to be better informed
of our own ideology, we need to focus on studying the real consequences of
the technologies and changes we want, and we need to break down the pyramids
of our organisations. Strangly enough, transhumanism across the world have
become very similar to old clubs. A few on the top doing all the work, and
the rest waiting passively for the top to do things. But when the top leaves
(for one reason or the other) the organisations are crippled, and unable to
construct a new activity or ideological platform.

We' re not into this to play a bit with computers, we're in it to change the

Waldemar Ingdahl
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