Re: First CYBORG lives...

From: John Marlow (
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 00:53:48 MDT

No, I mean that NORMAL people, average people, above-average people
are going to be sickened by the lab work, find it morally and
ethically repugnant and insupportable, and in general throw a fit.
Religious leaders will be screaming, horror stories will abound, the
public will cry for a line to be drawn and the politicians will draw
it. Even without that, funding will vanish for fear of public
retribution, and scientists will seek less controversial fields of

It does really matter--because the real point is that serious
resistance can stall "progress" for years, perhaps even decades. The
Church stalled progress for centuries. True, the powers-that-be
seldom hold bonfires these days (not in the first world, at any rate)-
-but absence of funding and fear of violence could put an effective
stop to semi-rapid advancement.

This path holds the promise, perhaps, of enormous human benefits.
The acts themselves are, pardon me, evil. No question.
What you have here is ends-justify-the-means rationale. Any pet
owners here? What would you think of the same being done to Fido or

Or to you for the benefit of a more evolved species, hmm?

This kind of work, if continued, is going to polarize as no other
issue yet seen. Count on it.


On 18 Apr 2001, at 23:16, J. R. Molloy wrote:

> From: "John Marlow" <>
> > Hey, I'm a techfan, and even I am very conflicted about this. Very,
> > very conflicted. This is going to explode. Maybe not over the
> > lampreys--but wait 'til they get to the cute-and-fuzzies. It's going
> > to get violent.
> You mean, of course, that PETA and other animal rights organizations (as well
> as Unabomber types) will resort to open warfare against cyborg projects.
> That's the de Garis scenario, with Terrans and Cosmists.
> Then again, cyborgs may provide such spectacular entertainment (visualize
> Battlebots literally on steroids with mammalian/reptilian organic brains of
> their own), that it will make Roman gladiators look like girl scouts. That
> kind of violence could spike TV network and cable ratings. Do you suppose the
> idea for humanoid robots (robocops) came from cyborg lab experiments... or was
> it the other way around?
> Doesn't really matter, because the point is that if cyborginization can be
> done with lamprey brains, it can eventually be done with human brains,
> transhuman brains, and posthuman brains. Cyborgs will win because they can
> outlive and outperform less robustly adaptive systems. (Less adaptive =
> tending toward luddism.)
> --J. R.
> Useless hypotheses:
> consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
> analog computing, cultural relativism

John Marlow

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