Re: Heresy

From: Natasha Vita-More (
Date: Thu Aug 09 2001 - 21:36:23 MDT

At 07:01 PM 8/9/01 -0400, you wrote:

>I think here we have the basic root of the disagreement. Contact lenses
>are part of a continuing trend toward *physical* transhumanity that
>started with wooden legs..< (snip)

Can we pass on contact lens thang, please? I didn't bring it up initially
and the metaphor is wearing thin. I don't want folks to get confused by
the continued reference. I have never equated a person wearing a contact
lens as a transhuman.

You mention "Primo 3M+". I think that you have the impression that Primo
is only about the physical body, as in a future body design. Perhaps you
missed the pages of images and writing that explain Primo's "meta brain"
which is used as to enhance intellect, the integration between the brain
and memory, ability to solve complex problems, etc.. Inasmuch, Primo
covers the mind as well as the physical body.

>But to me, "transhuman" has almost purely the connotation of a transhuman
>mind. (snip)

Transhuman would more fully reflect both the physical and the mental. The
brain is part of the body. The senses interact with the brain by sending
messages. By enhancing the senses, we are enhancing the brain. The
cognition (reasoning) you are thinking about seems to be a purely
intellectual process, which is certainly important in defining humans, but
we are not just intellectual beings. However, if we had a genetic
treatment that allowed us to be physically ageless but we were no smarter
or more intellectual than before, we would undeniably be transhuman because
agelessness is outside the limits of our genes, regardless of an average
IQ. Further, part of intelligence is social intelligence in dealing with
people effectively. Example: If we could enhance the ability of person A
to see person B's blood flow and then to watch it heating up through an
augmented visual extro-vision which would give a person A more advantage -
new sensory ability, this sensory ability would be considered beyond
human. It is not a cognitive thing, but a sensory thing.

What about a person who has a genetic malfunction and is given a synthetic
enzyme. Would this person be at early transhuman stage? What about a
person who is born a man and has not only a sex change but also hormone
therapy? The issue would probably be the alteration of what it is to be
human or, on an individual basis, what it is to be that person (with his or
her genetic makeup) which has been altered.

In order to deter the "black and white" element of someone claiming "I am a
transhuman", perhaps it would better to use the phrase "I have transhuman
element" or "There are aspects of me that are transhuman."

Transhuman is definitely a term that can be misconstrued. There may be
some who agree with me in that today we are at an *early* transhuman stage,
and others who do not. Some may even disregard the term altogether and use
transhumanist because they place more emphasis on the values of a
transhuman than the mental/physical evolutionary transition.


"The best defense is a cultural offense!"
_Create/Recreate: The 3rd Millennial Culture_

"We are transhumans ..." Meme Orbits Saturn in 2004!

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