Re: >H RE: Present dangers to transhumanism

Robert J. Bradbury (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 11:53:35 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 31 Aug 1999, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> >
> > Actually, we probably need more good studies of pros and cons of
> > transhumanists ideas put on the web, to show that we are actually
> > looking seriously at these issues. Otherwise people will get the wrong
> > impression and think we are just naive technophiles.
> Frankly, I think a fairly large percentage of you *are* naive
> technophiles. You think you can take controlled sips from a tidal wave.

The question is Eliezer, do you have any mountains where you live? Maybe even the Pacific ocean?

If not, I think you be unexposed to the key things you may need to bridge the gap between you and those of us who think this is survivable.

I don't want to "sip" from a tidal wave, I want to *drive* it. Failing that, then I'd at least hope to ride it.

Humans deal all the time with things that are *bigger* then they are (re: climbing mountians, crossing oceans, etc.). Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don't. On a clear day I can see Mt. Ranier, its a think of majestic beauty and awe. Its something I could climb with some inherent risk level above that which I normally prefer. It is also something that could easily destroy me. The trick is for me to be clever enough to know how to adapt -- whether by fleeing if the mountian suddenly starts smoking, or climbing it if the ice caps melt [yes, I know that it isn't much of a threat, but it makes the story better].

It isn't going to happen tomorrow. And if we don't have the designs pre-done (which seems very doubtful unless we get self-evolving AI that understands mechanical engineering), then even when the technology becomes available we are still going to have perhaps more time to adapt than I might have if Mt. Ranier suddenly did a Mt. St. Helens.

And I for one object to being resembled to a naive technophile. Now, the people using the BeOS, *they* clearly belong in the technophile catagory... :-)