Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 25 Dec 1996 17:29:50 +0100 (MET)

Humour and Sacred Cows

Sacred cows limit our thinking; they are sacrosanct concepts nobody
may question, not even ourselves. This makes them incredibly
tenacious memes, even when they are obviously wrong or

One way to notice your sacred cows is to note when you get angry
when you discuss with others; their questioning may have aroused
your defence of the sacred cow.

Another sure way of revealing the sacred cows is to try to joke
about them. If there is anything a sacred cow cannot stand, it is
humour (at least about itself, joking about others sacred cows is
quite acceptable). The best way to reveal someone to be a fanatic or
memeoid is to see if he or she can joke about his or her beliefs.

As I see it, transhumanism should always be serious but never
solemn. Things that may not be joked about are quite often weak
and brittle - thatıs why they may not be joked about. If a concept
can stand being the victim of a joke without deflating, it is worth
taking seriously since it obviously have some internal strength.

As I once put it, the goal of transhumanism is to create gods that
can pun - and can stand being joked about.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y