Re: Heresy

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 10:43:25 MDT

On Fri, Aug 10, 2001 at 06:16:16PM +0200, Eugene Leitl wrote:
> I would put transhuman at 'so heavily modified or designed from scratch
> you can't associate it with the point of departure, as basic human bauplan
> for the last few 100 kYrs'.
> Meaning, you wouldn't recognize it as human, or even a being, if you
> happened to run into it.

Somehow it feels wrong to use a term including 'human' in this case. Or
rather, once such entities appear a name will be found, and it is likely
not going to be "transhuman". But before they appear we might want a term
for this hypothetical class of beings, and then it could be used.

However, I prefer to make a distinction between transhumans and posthumans.
Your beings would be posthumans according to the definition on my website:

TRANSHUMAN: Someone actively preparing for becoming posthuman. Someone who
is informed enough to see radical future possibilities and plans ahead for
them, and who takes every current option for self-enhancement. See also the
Extropian FAQ for their definition of Transhuman. [Term: FM-2030, Are You A
Transhuman? Def.: Max More (The word was used earlier by Damien Broderick
in The Judas Mandala 1982(of which an excerpt called "Growing Up" was
published in Galileo 1976), and in "Transhuman 2000" by FM-2030 in Woman in
the Year 2000 (Ed. Maggie Tripp) in the 60's or early 70's)]

POSTHUMAN: Persons of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and
psychological capacity, self-programming, self-constituting, potentially
immortal, unlimited individuals. See also the Extropian FAQ for their
definition of Posthuman. [Term: FM-2030 Def.: Max More]

Transhuman appears to be defined not in terms of actual enhancements, but
rather in intention and action rather than what cool hardware is used.
Someone getting an artificial heart might be a cyborg, but unless this is a
part of a deliberate move towards future self-enhancement it doesn't make
him a transhuman.

I think the "every option for self-enhancement" part might be a bit too
extreme; I do enhance my life deliberately, but I have to leave out plenty
of options simply due to time constraints.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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