RE: Heresy

From: Reason (
Date: Thu Aug 09 2001 - 19:07:48 MDT

> >Hmm. How is a contact lense any different from a screwdriver?
> Both are tools
> that augment the human body to make certain things easier. Are you
> suggesting that all tool-users are transhuman? So any attempt to
> improve our
> abilities through constructs of matter makes us transhuman for
> the duration
> of that attempt?<
> Reason, be reasonable -:)

One of the advantages of the name is that I am by definition even when I am
not :)

> If you are a transhuman by some other
> more advanced technology, a chip in your brain that gives you
> more processing power, then the out-dated contact lens would not
> keep you from being a transhuman just because it is antiquated.
> I hope this is clear.
> Now, with that said, tool-users are folks who use tools. As for
> the great leap in your thinking -- "... makes us transhuman for
> the duration of that attempt?..." Well this depends. If you
> have one robotic leg, a brain enhancer for processing power, and
> a robotic eye that can see through walls one year and then three
> days later you have an entirely new body that is engineered with
> nanotechnology and AI, yes you would be a transhuman is
> transition. BUT, if you use a hammer one day and a screwdriver
> to tighten the valves on your car the next day, and *then* have a
> spanking new upgraded nano-driven body on the third day, I'd have
> to say that you have been a transhuman for only that day my
> friend. But, this is only my view.

Which would seem to be the common sense view, agreed. What I was getting at
in my last post was a query on where exactly the line is drawn. Or more to
the point, what is the rationale for drawing the line where you have drawn
it? It's hard to defend a definition without considering its boundaries and
offering explanations as to why X is in but Y is out.

In the case above, why is a nano-driven body any different from a hammer?
They are both tools. They both augment/change/extend your natural abilities.
You could stop using either one of them and go back to what you were before.
You have already argued -- if I understood you correctly -- that "high
technology" is not a suitable quality to define a transhuman by
augmentation; i.e. a contact lense right now makes you (slightly)
transhuman, a (currently vaporware) chip in the brain makes you (a little
more) transhuman.

So what, in your opinion, are the categorizations beyond mere common sense
that define where human stops and transhuman picks up. I'm curious and I
don't have a hard and fast answer myself. Or is this art, you'll know it if
you see it?


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