Re: Shooting room paradox

J. de Lyser (
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 20:40:28 +0100

>From: (Steve Witham)
>Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 22:41:52 -0500
>Subject: Trans- vs. Non-human
>>From: "Dr. Rich Artym" <>
>>Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 02:50:04 +0000 (GMT)

>>The other thing that perhaps should be said is that to point a finger
>>at the non-human part of transhumans (frown implied) is rather speciest,
>>or at least indicates some intolerance for those transcending their human
>>limits. That sits very poorly alongside the self-transformation and
>>acceptance of diversity that is at the very heart of transhumanism.
>I disagree strongly but I think the use of the word "human" is a large
>part of the problem. You are using it in a sort of clinical, species-
>identifying way, where banjo is using it to mean the *best* qualities
>of humans. I strongly don't want to live with extra-clever beings who
>have *rejected* what I consider the most important parts of humanity.
>I may "tolerate" them, in a wary way, if that day comes, but until then
>I'll try hard to convince people not to create them or become them.
>This is the main reason I'm an extropian: because the point is not just
>to celebrate change, any old change, but to try to make change for the
>better rather than the worse. Extropy rather than entropy.

In all cases, i assumed extropianism and transhumanism imply that the
individual should decide . I assume everybody tolerates prothesis for
medical reasons. What if there are people who will tell you, they view a
'human' quality, you happen to value very highly as a personal 'disability'
? Have you tried looking at it this way ? If we are intollerant to
eachothers goals and motives, then what are our hopes for expecting
tollerance from the rest of the world ?

>on Thu, 5 Dec 1996 18:48:40, Eugene Leitl <>

>There is a danger in trying to press a heterogenous (an understatement)
>bunch of people under the outward spiraling banner of Extropy. Extropy is
>a tool, not a religion. There is a tendency here to use labeling as threat
>of exclusion: "You are not Extropian. You do not belong to us. You have to
>think thus & thus to call yourself Extropian".

>(Don't get me wrong, this is not an attempt to introduce
> overpermissiveness: "anything goes" goes exactly nowhere. A movement not
> recognizable as such is not a beakon, it draws zero followers. I just
> say be wary of your argumentation stratagems.

There should be room for 'sub' groups within the extropian movement. For
quite some time in the future, we will share similar goals, at least up to
a certain level. Anyone is free to leave whenever they feel their 'prefered'
level has been reached, or when Extropy's goals are more 'specifically'
defined whenever a new technology it strives to promote, becomes available.
Let's save our arguments for a time when that moment draws closer. Extropy
institute setting 'limits' this early, will IMHO only push people away from

I'm new to Etropy, and i admit one of my points for hesitating, were exactly
those seemingly 'vague' limits and goals, but only within Extropy, did i
find individuals who share my views. As long as there is no other major
group that deals with these memes, i think allowing room for variety in
these goals may be the best solution for now.

at Thu, 5 Dec 1996 23:51:48 -0500, (Steve Witham) wrote:

> I think the opinion poll could be reduced to
> two questions:
> 1) Do you think there's a core or essence to "humanity?"
> 2) Is it a bad thing for someone to lose their "humanity?"

again those human 'qualities' people value enough for them to make up the
'core or essence' of humanity, will vary greatly from person to person. One
will put great emphasis on keeping some of their physical/mental qualities,
another will put the emphasis on hanging on to completely different physical
or mental qualities. I think you will find that most will not view, that
which they intend to change, as 'losing' something, at all, but as an
improvement or an addition, even though others might regard it as a loss of
'humanity'. If your intention is to not change anything at all, that's fine,
but trying to push your views, of what you think should be the core or
essence of humanity, on other people, is a scary thought...

I think the non-humans in this group may have replaced the word 'humanity'
with something beyond that, but i'm sure they realize the 'heritage' of
their intended creation, the product of which, will always keep some 'human'
element. So i think the same goes for them.

>And I wouldn't want to. What I meant was, if "extropy" means anything to
>me at all, it's the idea of actively pushing for a better future--which
>requires getting over apologizing for one's particular values--rather than
>passively accepting whatever happens, or trying to join the winning team
>by philosophizing in its favor. People actually slip into a little
>gung-ho fatalism on this list sometimes: if the XX are coming and we can't
>beat 'em, then join em. Well, not so fast, boys.

Again, who's better future ? At the moment, only very few of the means we're
discussing for change, are actually available for use. If we intend to get
these options to become available, we need cooperation and open mindedness
to eachothers needs, not extrapolation of groups into fundamentalist
behaviour. I agree with viewing Extropy as a tool, not a religion. Keeping
the rationality to a maximum, saving the ethical judgements for the moment
when we personally need it, to actually face the problem.

I'd like to repeat the question asked before, for a more clear vision of
what your 'better' future would look like. I think most people in this group
are open minded towards the future in general, and realize that there is
more than one way to acchieve their personal 'better' future.

Do you ?

J. de Lyser