Re: Transhumanity and "inhumanity"

den Otter (
Sat, 31 Oct 1998 21:36:47 +0100

> From:

> Does this conclusion sound Panglossian to you, Frank? No doubt it does. What
> if Hitler had had these powers? What if Stalin? But for accidents of
> history, you may argue, we would all be the permanent thralls of transhuman
> Nazis, you may argue. I do not think it is an accident of history that it is
> the most open society ever known that is developing this technology. Closed
> societies simply could not have created the OPEN INFORMATION STRUCTURE upon
> which it is premised. It would have taken many thousands of years -- if ever
> -- for the kind of "science" practiced by totalitarians to create what we have
> created in three short generations since we contained (and now have largely
> vanquished) those monsters. Long before Nazi scientists would have solved the
> riddle of the human genome, that society would have crumbled into savagery.
> Long before Stalinist mathematicians would have developed supercomputers,
> communist totalitarianism DID crumble into savagery.

Ah, but the beauty of future technology is that it can ultimately give the power of a whole nation, or even a world, to just one person. A Jupiter Brain is an army of philosophers, soldiers, scientists, artists and workers all by itself. It is autonomous. If a guy like Hitler can obtain the crucial technology to upload and expand before anyone else, or at least in the early stages of transhumanity, he *could* use it to kill/enslave everyone else without suffering any bad consequences. Those that will have these technologies first will almost by definition be the rich and powerful (the leaders of corporations and government agencies etc.) These people have certainly not been selected for high moral standards, but rather for ruthlessness, love of power and determination. Natural selection. Now, this is not a reason to get depressed or something, but rather... (you know what).