Re: Is Expecting Future Strangeness Our Essense?

Nicholas Bostrom (
Tue, 19 Aug 1997 01:04:15 +0000

Robin Hanson wrote:

> Listening to Greg Stock at Extro 3 I formed this hypothesis: that what
> most unites us is a conviction that within a century (or two at most)
> the world will be a VERY different place. Greg had been arguing that
> people shouldn't try to stop some simple genetic possibilities,
> because things are going to get lots stranger that that and people
> better get used to it. And it seeems to me that most elements of our
> community can be understood as coming from our taking the idea of a
> strange future very seriously.

Yes, but you have to include our belief that this strangeness will be
brought aboutmainly by technology, otherwise all religious and
environmentalist doomsday sects would fall in the same category. One
could say: Transhumanism is the doctrine that new technologies will
make the world extremely different soon.

I have some definitions at

> Lots of people seem to sorta believe in a strange future, yet seem
> unwillling or unable to actually take the time to think seriously
> about it.

> But I wonder: is there any smart person out there who understands the
> sorts of arguements that lead us to expect strangeness, and yet who
> disagrees with our conclusion?

I can't think of any.
Nicholas Bostrom

*Visit my transhumanist web site at*