Re: The most compelling argument against Extropian ideas.

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Thu Mar 29 2001 - 07:48:40 MST

From: Anders Sandberg <>

>>Max More <> writes:

>> I think this came from Hungary. (an ".hu" email address). Pretty
>> compelling argument! ;-)

>OK, analysing something like this is in itself an exercise in
>silliness or too much seriousness. But I think it reveals
>something about the memes we have to struggle against, and I am a
>tired swede for the moment :-). The core of the confused mail
>seems to be that 1) being a cyborg is not fun, 2) extropianism
>seeks to turn everybody into cyborgs.

This reads like whatever this person has read about us consisted of
one of those strange and inaccurate views often published by
various reporters.

>1 is of course open to argument, but I think we can make a pretty
>good case based on our views of self-enhancement, living
>designed/deliberate lives and individual growth that at least some
>people will find being a cyborg great. This goes against the
>"humanism" often expressed that there is something particularly
>good about the current human condition.

I am reminded of the classic Shaper/Mechanix dichotomy of Bruce
Sterling. A Transhuman could from outward appearances look like
anyone else, but be completely enhanced inside. In fact I believe
this is the way it will happen. How many hundreds of thousands or
even millions of people undergoe aesthetic ("plastic") surgery now.

A future Transhuman could be both the most interesting and
attractive person you'd ever meet, remember the Sterling shaper who
sweated perfume?

>2 is based on the common view that any ideology has to prescribe
>behavior for not just its adherents but everyone else too. While
>we might have views on universal principles, I don't think any
>currently existing branch of transhumanism seriously proposes
>imposing itself on non-transhumanists (it would go very deeply
>against the same individual autonomy and freedom that
>transhumanism tries to enhance). It is basically the classical
>liberal view that there is a private morality for everyone; after
>we have settled on the public morality needed to keep our
>societies working it should not be extended into the private moral
>sphere. But many people are so used to ideologies claiming the
>right to regulate everything and everyone, that they have a hard
>time recognising just how tolerant transhumanism is.

Well put, I agree 100%. Get some rest now....


Extropy Institute,
Adler Planetarium
Life Extension Foundation,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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