Transforming ourselves

Lyle Burkhead (
Thu, 21 Nov 1996 03:27:51 -0500 (EST)

David Musick writes,

> I hate to be a doomsayer, and generally I am not, but I honestly believe
> we have a serious problem coming in the future and we need to
> deal with it intelligently. I also believe that the only realistic way of
> dealing with this problem is to radically transform ourselves into
> incredibly powerful and intelligent beings, so we can keep up with
> all the others who are doing the same thing. And I am optimistic
> that we can keep up, if we are committed to and continue
> advancing ourselves quickly.

It depends on who is included in "we." Some will keep up and some

I grew up in Midland, Texas, the headquarters of the west Texas
oil industry. This area was settled in the 1880s and 90s (i.e. taken over
from the Indians). There were lots of small farms and ranches.
By the 1950s, there were a few large ranches. As one old-timer put it,
"The big uns done ate the little uns plumb up."

And then the big ranchers got eaten up by something even bigger.

That's how it will be in the future. In one form or another, the big uns
always eat the little uns up. But it can take very different forms.
The question is whether the big uns will be independent, like the
ranchers in west Texas, or corporations acting under the aegis of
democratic governments.

The construction of energy collectors orbiting the sun, and other such
projects, may be funded by DOD, and justified by the twin objectives
of fighting racism and prosecuting the war on drugs. The contractors
who build the collectors may have to file environmental impact
statements, in which they assess the effect of the collectors on
endangered asteroids, not to mention endangered life forms on earth.

But of course this is not what most people have in mind when they
think of "transhumans." They think of ranchers in space who can
build energy collectors if they want to, without answering to any

Tying this together with some earlier threads -- QueeneMUSE quoted
Michael Wiik as follows,

>> Doesn't most real estate property derive (at some point in the past)
>> from a coercive takeover of the land? If the King of France
>> bequeaths to some nobleman some land (which the King obtained &
>> maintained by coercion), does the nobleman's descendents hundreds
>> of years down the line have a real right to the property?
>> I asked this a couple of years ago, but never got what I considered a
>> satisfactory response.

and then she said:

> ... and chances are that you won't. Unless it is of the type
> Twirlip of Greymist gave, which states that is sucks and is
> undesirable, but necessary. Or the type that Sarash Naidu states,
> that it sucks and must be abolished.

This is what Twirlip actually said:

> My 'solution' to the property question is that it does depend on force,
> and yeah that kind of sucks in a way, but I don't see any alternative.

Yeah, violence does kind of suck in a way. It has its good points, too.
Late 20th century white Americans are as ignorant about violence
as the Victorians were ignorant about sex. That will change.

What really sucks is the situation we are in today, where we are
held down by laws like Gulliver tied by the Lilliputians.

As >H becomes a reality, a new nobility will emerge, just as violent
as the old nobility. We will see the dawn of a new Imperialist era.
The Eagles will fly.

Lyle's test: An entity is a >H if it can ignore the law. If it can escape
from any cage you try to put it in, then it's transhuman.