Re: [>Htech] The Age on Cyborgology

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Wed Dec 13 2000 - 13:56:06 MST

On 11/21/00, I wrote diatribe on:
> "Want to live to 200? Being a cyborg has advantages"

> >Then, are you a human or a computer, and who's side are you on?
>Its always easy to cast as "us" vs. "them". Instead we merge as the
>humans who are not too afraid to evolve, do so, perhaps in the
>end choosing to leave the planet to those who choose not to do so.

To which Max, responded:

> Apparently the reporter read a very different version of The Age of
> Spiritual Machines than the one I read. Several of Robert's criticisms
> should be aimed at the reporter, not at Ray Kurzweil. The one quoted above
> in particular. Quite unlike Hans Moravec, Kurzweil goes to considerable
> lengths to show how humans and machine intelligence will merge. His is
> *not* a picture of us vs. them.

Max, your response serves me warning for commenting on comments on
material that I myself haven't read. It makes me wonder whether
the reporter in fact read Kurzweil's book or whether Ray is presenting
different visions to different people (I seem to recall others
reaching similar conclusions). I do agree that Moravec paints
a somewhat grimmer picture in "Robots", but if you go back to
"Mind Children", the bush-robot idea is precisely one of the
technologies you need to transfer your mind into better hardware.

Perhaps Moravec has become more pessimistic as he views the pace of
Robotic development speeding up but people becoming more Luddite-ish
in response to the increasing pace of technological change.

In any case it is only people who have limited visions of what humanity
can or might become who fear to tread the path.


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