Extropian Personality Test Revisited.

16 Jul 1999 14:35:18 -0700

A few weeks back Anders or someone suggested a great idea of creating a personality test to determine where extropians and transhumanists of various ilk stood on a wide variety of philosophical and practical issues. One thing that seems obvious to me is that in reality there is a wide variety of opinions on what transhumanism means to various people. As time goes on, this opinion variance continues to diversify and widen. I think the post-human future will probably be the equivalent of the cambrian explosion in terms of future diversity and evolutionary pathways. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what people most share your core ideals and ethics? Frankly, transhumanism is becoming increasingly too general and vague in describing how we each feel about the future. Perhaps its time to subdivide transhumanism into various schools of thought?

Your opinions are encouraged. Please feel free to submit your own ideas, questions, and philosophical divides you see. Here are some of the bigger variances I'm aware of. I'll be the first to admit that these variances are not either/or but may be on a scale of 1-10, with some people falling into the middle.

  1. Advocating the *replacement* of humans by SI's vs. humans merging symbiotically and/or becoming the SI's. With people like Hans Moravec falling into the former and Anders Sandberg in the latter.
  2. Striving for increasing individuation in ones personal development vs. merging with the great beyond (Borgism and/or Singularity). (These may not necessarily be at odds with each other).
  3. Singularity or Bust vs. intentional plateuing at various stages of future development to 'enjoy the roses' along the way. With people like Eliezer of the former and Iain Banks Culture fans in the latter.
  4. The pursuit of pure hyper-rationality and elimination of all emotion vs. the inclusion/imperative of hedonism, fun and other positive emotions as values in their own right. With someone like David Pearce and his 'Hedonistic Imperative' of the latter.
  5. Rugged Individualism vs. Communitarianism and/or Altruism (Extrosatva?).

Any others?

Paul Hughes