Re: New ways

Date: Thu Oct 05 2000 - 08:22:51 MDT

In a message dated 9/11/00 3:46:40 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> Houston we've most definitively got a problem.

Writing from Houston, I can concur, but only conditionally.

> A philosophical problem, that cuts much, much deeper than "political
> and I think it is down to the core- and that makes transhumanism very much
> weaker than it should be.
> Today transhumanism should be out of the basement but it isn't.

I disagree. We're seeing transhumanist ideas discussed in wider and wider
fora, although usually without the label "transhumanism" or "extropian"
(Kurzweil's book and Jaron Lanier's article in are good examples).
Superficial discussions of the early technologies and initial ethical, social
and political implications of transhumanism can be found increasingly in the
popular press, from business magazines to publications like TIME and Newsweek.
> I've given the list my views and a scetch on remedies, a bit long, but
> things aren't discussed in a 1K mail.
> Rather I think that a more intellectual approach is needed, and a move
> from activism.
> Views?

I think we've got a fairly good FIRST pass at a broad intellectual foundation
for transhumanism in Max More's and FM 2030's work, as well as some of Tim
Leary's material and the works of a few others. Yes, it would be GREAT if
there was a single book out there that had "high throw weight" as Ralph
Merkle says of the effect that Drexler's "Nanosystems" had on the field of
nanotechnology. We really do need such a book, created and promoted in such
a way that it can galvanize the high-credentialled academic world and serve
as a focal point for rallying wider support for the movement.

We also need activism, though. As I repreatedly point out here, the
opponents of augmentation and technological progress are well-funded and have
a diverse and rich ideological foundation. They are also politically adept
and active. Unless we organize a clearly-defined "pro-progress" coalition,
we risk losing the battle for public support, which WILL be important in the
crucial next few decades.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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