Re: our best intrests

Anders Sandberg (
30 Apr 1998 17:02:05 +0200

"Scott Badger" <> writes:

> But I have another question. Can anyone direct me to an expose' which
> addresses the criteria by which it will be determined who gets
> transhumanized and in what order? Will the ignorant and bigoted be last in
> line or will the poor be last in line? Or will this turn into another class
> struggle transhumans vs. humans. Sorry, I'm new to this and am probably
> asking old and lame questions but there may be others like me cyber-lurking
> in the shadows trying to figure out what 's going on.

The question isn't exactly lame, although it might be posed in the
wrong way. Who determines today who gets to access the Internet? There
is no central control of this in most countries (Cuba the only
exception I know of). Some people have complained that the poor have
no access, but even that is rapidly changing since access is getting
cheaper and cheaper, both in the west and in the third world (I saw a
plot of Internet growth rates in Africa, truly impressive - they still
have a long way to go, but are catching up admirably). Educated people
were first onto the net, but now less educated people are also catchin
up. As are the elderly, and so on.

Compare this to the spread of transhuman technologies. It is unlikely
that there will ever be a Departement of Transhuman Development in any
nation, since the developments are likely to be fast, widespread and
divergent. At the start, the only people who will benefit from the
technologies will be test subjects and true neophiles. Then the rich,
ambitious and well educated will start to use them. Gradually, as the
technology gets more refined and cheaper it will spread, and in the
long run it will be used by virtually everybody. This is just like the
spread of telephones; once they were just experimental, then they were
for the rich, later they gradually diffused out into society and
became part of everyday life (there are some amusing stories about how
some people wanted to limit their spread since they feared the poor
would call the rich!).

The question is of course if the fast growth of transhumanizing
technologies would create an ever widening gulf between the adapters
and the non-adapters. Furtunately it seems that the diffusion of
technology is also speeding up - it took the telephone several decades
to become ubiquitious, while the cellular phone has become quite
common in just a few years. (see for a picture) Most
likely there will not be any real gulf between the haves or have nots
unless other factors create it.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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