Unvarnished talk abouy transhumanism, was Re: Herding Extropycats [was Shame on Australia]

From: Michael M. Butler (butler@comp-lib.org)
Date: Fri Aug 31 2001 - 23:18:20 MDT

Russell Blackford wrote:
> The tentative conclusion I coming to is that the problem is the other way
> around: that (economic) libertarianism - which has *some* links with
> extropianism, even if only of an historical nature - is attractive to, among
> others, those who already have the emotional responses I've described.
> Perhaps there is a sense in which none of this matters for the cause of
> transhumanism. However, I'd like to think that transhumanism can be linked
> to other values that intellectually engaged and emotionally decent people
> take seriously. I dread to think what impression is being created in the
> minds of any postgraduate students - the public intellectuals of tomorrow -
> who might be poring over the list's archives trying to understand
> transhumanism from a sociological or similar perspective. If they do come to
> a misconception that transhumanism is linked to inhumane attitudes, I'd say
> they'd have some justification for it.

Let's take the varnish off, shall we?

Caveat: I am not picking fights here, I am speaking simply and boldly and
"humanistically"--sloppily, even--about the broad outlines of human tendencies.

Transhumans are outliers. Enthusiasts self-select. Extropians tend to be small-l
libertarians, and some are Randites.

Now, "Leave me the hell alone!" can very easily intersect with
"I'm all right, Jack!" and even "Devil take the hindmost!".

One needs a very good filter for babies when one is processing this much bathwater.
And that figure of speech applies to critics as much as it does to selfish transhumans.

I favor a world where people are excellent to each other. Why? Because it's _BETTER ART_.
In my more mystical moments, I imagine that being the answer behind the answer that
God gave the lead character at the end of Kevin Smith's _Dogma_.

The question? "Why are we here?"

Do you know the Enneagram stuff? I'm not sure it's worth a whole lot, but I'd
guess that I habitually have operated in "#6". Any guesses about other list

For the skeptical and Enneagram-impaired: Enneagram minuses include an association
with Gurdjieff; the pluses include that I find a personal correspondence with
"#6" and my otherwise peculiar-seeming "loyalist/paranoid" drives.

Hey. Given that there are 9 Enneagram types, 12 natal horological astrology signs,
and 16 Myers-Briggs types, which is the most scientific? :)


"Ladies and gentlemen, IT'S A CAR WASH!" -- Hedwig

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