Re: Present dangers to transhumanism

Natasha Vita-More (
Sun, 29 Aug 1999 19:52:28 -0700

At 06:01 PM 8/29/99 -0700, Robert wrote:

>If you have read Minsky's Society of Mind (admitedly difficult for
>me to read), then this makes even more sense.

Yes, years ago, and *in part.* For me, it's better to read in part, and to cogitate on each one of the 270 essays.

>People mentally have
>a "survival paradigm",

This makes me think of my talk at Extro 4 and in reference to how the primal senses for survival.

". . . (ancestral) brains perceived patterns and organized large amounts of information while watching out for predators, pray, enemies or allies. This type of concentrated awareness was their guidepost for survival. ... Like our ancestors, we are in the business of overcoming death. We tend to be consciously aware of the mental markers—the hazy feelings of intuition and insight flashing images and sounds to our brains. We are watching and alert, but the details have changed. . . . The concentrated awareness that develops from the full range and use of our senses develops consciousness.

>> I say stand firm, be publically polite and learn how to express ideas
>> objectively and with a calm but speak up when misinformation needs to
>> be addressed. The skills that allow adversaries to *not* feel threatened
>> and is our best tool.

>I agree with you to a very large degree that this is the best way to
>proceed. However, we can be the most skillful people in the world and
>the average person (not even adversaries), *would* feel threatened,
>by the very nature of what we are discussing.


>A majority of individuals do not have the time or background to
>"judge" the arguments and so they "trust" the experts (witness
>the Ag-bio debates where different sides choose their respective

I think Carl Sagan covered this remarkably in _Demon Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the Dark_ . It is such good reading, I refer to it quite often.

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