At 07:26 AM 5/10/99 , papalegba wrote (in a private message to Sasha):
>Me : PhD researcher, investigating the ontology of the Posthuman,
>particularly in C-space, at Macquarie Uni, Sydney, Australia
>I am at present writing a chapter about transhumanism as a movement
>suggested by/ dealing with the growing human-technological nexus, and
>would like to pick your brains
>I have defined the 'movement' as as a loose agglomeration of people on
>the fringes of academia
I would say it's much more of a frontier than a fringe. It doesn't sit on the topical side of the scientific domain, but rather provides a visionary generalization of its trends and a framework for analysis of the long-term perspectives of social and technological developments, as well as discusses a choice of goals and actions.
> with a broadly scientistic/technolophiliac
>interest in futurology - transhumanism is a badge of affiliation, rather
>than a coherent program.
I'd say it's neither - rather, it's a direction of thought. You can say that one may affiliate with other people who share similar directions of thought, but with this stretch, one can call physicists an affiliation; that maybe true to an extent but not the main point.
Futurology is hardly a fringe either - any intelligent entity is supposed to think of strategic goals _before_ any action. If most of the humanity are playing little games while drifting into the future they can't and don't want to, comprehend - well, they can consider futurists a fringe, just as babies can consider their nurse a fringe, but this view doesn't give deep insights into the nature of the process...
Program, it isn't either. "Consciously moving the Universe into the better strategic future" is not a program.
So TH is, in my opinion, analysis of scenarios under the common assumption that the evolution of the Universe will be continuing for a while and Grand things are to follow (all alternatives to this assumption I ever heard sound ungrounded and/or insane), attempts to choose among those scenarios, and considerations on how things are related and what kinds of choices one can make taking these things into account.
> Would you agree - or, rather how would you describe a transhumanist ?
I would leave this task to my friends.
Just a hint - a transhumanist may be considered a new breed of a Renaiisance person, combining reasonable understanding of the world with active social position and interest in personal development, on the best levels allowed by the modern civilization, and attempting to draw coherent connections between them.
Also, you can look at transhumanist websites that explore all these issues in sufficient detail.
>yours with gratitude