Author Topic: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?  (Read 33465 times)

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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #75 on: January 19, 2009, 01:40:14 am »
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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2009, 02:01:53 am »
Technology is advancing. Some of these technologies will--to some extent--be paradigm-shifting (farming, industrialization, electricity, TV or Internet). This effectively puts a limit on the timeframe for which you can still make any sensible prediction of, say, human culture or something. Now, the premise is that the speed of advancement of technology is increasing (exponentially or otherwise). From this follows that the timeframe for predictions is shrinking. Believers in the technological singularity pose that this timeframe is shrinking non-asymptotically, and therefore will reach zero at some finite point in time. This point in time is called the Technological Singularity, and by definition, we are completely unable to predict what happens after this point in time.

To put this more simply:  suppose I were to ask you to predict if the moon would have civil war within the next week.  You'd answer with a VERY high degree of certainty "Of course not, because they're couldn't plausibly be enough people on the moon by next week for their to be a war, and even if their was a way nothing in the current state of the world suggests that their will be living on the moon by the end of next week."  If I say 50 years, it gets a little more plausible - maybe by then spaceflight becomes cheaper and colonization of the moon (on a small scale) becomes feasible.  You could answer No with high certainty, or Yes with pretty low certainty.  If I were to say 500 years you couldn't be certain either way - maybe humanity's dream of spaceflight collapses as we enter another dark age; maybe the moon gets colonized and people argue over territory.  The key is that we make predictions based on our current understanding of the world and how quickly things change - not that much happens in a week, but a lot could happen in 500 years.

The idea behind the Technological Singularity is that once that happens, so much stuff could happen in any given timespan that any kind of meaningful prediction about the future of human affairs becomes impossible.  Once we're in the Singularity, for instance, a wi-fi brain network of students in Argentina on intelligence boosting drugs could produce an entire new field of mathematics while you're sleeping, which is applied by the Berkeley-Microsoft Xbox Live Protein Stability Computation Grid to invent a protein that synthesizes a high-powered fuel out of topsoil and salt water.  Because of advances that make the internet more efficient at circulating useful information, every business-minded biologist in New Euromerica switches on his Synthavirus Gene Lab and transmutes a tub of yeast into a tub full of yeast that makes cheap fuel out of dirt and salt water.  An architect realizes that the aluminum bars in every persons' prefabbed home could now be used as a very powerful railgun, mentions this to an engineering forum, and within an hour the brain network in Argentina (who has now solved mathematics, and is quite bored) comes up with a way to quickly and turn any house into a rail-gun launched spaceship.  By this time P&G has switched from biowarfare to energy production and is making a killing selling 1.2 jigga-amps to every house in the world.  One Hundred and Seventeen, the premier magazine for hip youngsters just out of their first century, runs an article on space fashions mentioning this new development, causing people all over the world people to press the "Reconfigure" button on their houses to convert them into space ships and take off for the moon.  Unfortunately, the Neo-Feynman uses the new math and lucky guesses to crack every encryption algorithm in the world, revealing every deep-cover troll used by the Department of Motor Vehicles, leading Senator Chuck Norris, /b/-Canada, to call for a purge of the hated DMV trolls.  Firefights break out all over the world, as roughly 50% of the population is a DMV troll.  The fighting extends to the flash mob on the moon, which manages to form a Lunar Government only after all the next-gen fusion bombs have already been launched.

At this point you wake up, and are very, very confused as to a) where all the topsoil has got to, and b) why there are 500 people dressed as 1920's business men dueling with power drills in your back yard.  Then a large radioactive chunk of what was formerly the moon falls on them, and you are merely left to wonder where all the top soil went.

So if somebody asked you if any given event was going to happen tomorrow, the best you could have done would have been to flip a coin.
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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #77 on: February 06, 2009, 11:48:30 am »
I actually consider myself a transhumanist. That said, there's a pretty damned big range in what you can be willing to modify about yourself. I currently stop at the level of wearable computing and automated random priming (to break up predictable primed patterns), which on the whole is pretty simple, and the use of legal/nonprescription nootropics. I'd probably be playing with the OpenEEG project too, except that I'm broke and can't afford a board.

That said, we can go McLuhan's route and say that everybody here is a cyborg. Nearly all machines are an extension of either man's senses or man's reach, especially simple ones -- wearing glasses or clothing makes you somewhat cybernetic in a way, and using a computer makes you even more so. I don't exactly buy the idea that computing extends your entire central nervous system, but it certainly extends your sight & hearing, as well as extending your memory in a way by combining with other people's memories (just like a book is an external memory device). So, I'm slightly more of a transhumanist than others here, but everybody here is one to some extent.

I think in order for people to believe you when you use that term on yourself, you have to be so extreme as to seem like a bit of a whackjob, though. I have a buddy who is involved in some project that is trying to make self-replicating space probes. He has expressed an interest in invasive BCI. He also has a neckbeard, and has done work for me in exchange for designs for a low-power vector HUD.


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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #78 on: February 06, 2009, 03:10:22 pm »
Technology is advancing. Some of these technologies will--to some extent--be paradigm-shifting (farming, industrialization, electricity, TV or Internet). This effectively puts a limit on the timeframe for which you can still make any sensible prediction of, say, human culture or something. Now, the premise is that the speed of advancement of technology is increasing (exponentially or otherwise). From this follows that the timeframe for predictions is shrinking. Believers in the technological singularity pose that this timeframe is shrinking non-asymptotically, and therefore will reach zero at some finite point in time. This point in time is called the Technological Singularity, and by definition, we are completely unable to predict what happens after this point in time.

To put this more simply:  suppose I were to ask you to predict if the moon would have civil war within the next week.  You'd answer with a VERY high degree of certainty "Of course not, because they're couldn't plausibly be enough people on the moon by next week for their to be a war, and even if their was a way nothing in the current state of the world suggests that their will be living on the moon by the end of next week."  If I say 50 years, it gets a little more plausible - maybe by then spaceflight becomes cheaper and colonization of the moon (on a small scale) becomes feasible.  You could answer No with high certainty, or Yes with pretty low certainty.  If I were to say 500 years you couldn't be certain either way - maybe humanity's dream of spaceflight collapses as we enter another dark age; maybe the moon gets colonized and people argue over territory.  The key is that we make predictions based on our current understanding of the world and how quickly things change - not that much happens in a week, but a lot could happen in 500 years.

The idea behind the Technological Singularity is that once that happens, so much stuff could happen in any given timespan that any kind of meaningful prediction about the future of human affairs becomes impossible.  Once we're in the Singularity, for instance, a wi-fi brain network of students in Argentina on intelligence boosting drugs could produce an entire new field of mathematics while you're sleeping, which is applied by the Berkeley-Microsoft Xbox Live Protein Stability Computation Grid to invent a protein that synthesizes a high-powered fuel out of topsoil and salt water.  Because of advances that make the internet more efficient at circulating useful information, every business-minded biologist in New Euromerica switches on his Synthavirus Gene Lab and transmutes a tub of yeast into a tub full of yeast that makes cheap fuel out of dirt and salt water.  An architect realizes that the aluminum bars in every persons' prefabbed home could now be used as a very powerful railgun, mentions this to an engineering forum, and within an hour the brain network in Argentina (who has now solved mathematics, and is quite bored) comes up with a way to quickly and turn any house into a rail-gun launched spaceship.  By this time P&G has switched from biowarfare to energy production and is making a killing selling 1.2 jigga-amps to every house in the world.  One Hundred and Seventeen, the premier magazine for hip youngsters just out of their first century, runs an article on space fashions mentioning this new development, causing people all over the world people to press the "Reconfigure" button on their houses to convert them into space ships and take off for the moon.  Unfortunately, the Neo-Feynman uses the new math and lucky guesses to crack every encryption algorithm in the world, revealing every deep-cover troll used by the Department of Motor Vehicles, leading Senator Chuck Norris, /b/-Canada, to call for a purge of the hated DMV trolls.  Firefights break out all over the world, as roughly 50% of the population is a DMV troll.  The fighting extends to the flash mob on the moon, which manages to form a Lunar Government only after all the next-gen fusion bombs have already been launched.

At this point you wake up, and are very, very confused as to a) where all the topsoil has got to, and b) why there are 500 people dressed as 1920's business men dueling with power drills in your back yard.  Then a large radioactive chunk of what was formerly the moon falls on them, and you are merely left to wonder where all the top soil went.

So if somebody asked you if any given event was going to happen tomorrow, the best you could have done would have been to flip a coin.

How did I miss this?

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popjellyfish

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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #79 on: May 04, 2009, 10:10:42 am »
Transhumanism seems like a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Most it feels like romance to me. And aestethic fetishism(this coming from a flaming aestethic fetishist himself... =P). And I love what Cram had to say about it, but I also think to place that under the "movement" of Transhumanism would be spreading it a bit thin. Like a small group of protesters taking credit for ending a war, when all they did was stand around with signs on a few street corners.

Also, yep. These technologies will be controlled by the controllers. I'm all for "transcending" the obstacles in my life and in this world, but that'll never happen if this transcendence is given to us by corporate means. That's another thing... "given to us". Too much of these ideas, from my understanding of it, can only come about through a business entity that has a vast enough amount of resources to produce them. And give them to us at an agreed upon market price. Then too, I will not "transcend" what I am... Macintosh will do it for me. And then there's the whole issue of limiting autonomy. Which is a big enough problem today... the more people become reliant upon technology for their standard of living, the less capable they will be able to survive without it. No thanks.

But now I'm starting to sound like a primitivist, which I ain't. Print publishing being my preferred career trajectory, I owe Gutenberg a beer. And I love all of my pretty machines.

Skimming through the thread, there was a lot of talk about pain and sorrow, and "transcending" these things. Not to hash that up again, but I was thinking about this the other day wandering around my neighborhood. Only being able to speak for meself, it seems too common that happiness is more delusional and escapist than sorrow. Without the lack of it, there would be no context to give happiness, and no substance. And personally, when I'm in a rut of depression or feeling lonely or even physically injured, I tend to think more about my self and my state of being than when I am overjoyed, swept up in the moment. Sadness really is the most selfish mental state one can be in, and that's not necessarily a bad thing at all. But this also is where my limited but appreciative concept of zen helps me find a balance that evens them out to further my understanding of myself. But before I spin off into a tangent... sorrow and pain are a natural process that I don't feel the need to "transcend".

[that last bit is a truck load of stating the obvs, but part of what makes me cranky about that form of Transhumanism... neglect as you see fit]
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 10:18:40 am by popjellyfish »
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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #80 on: May 09, 2009, 03:54:59 am »
I had a series of hypotheticals with a friend recently.

Essentially I asked that if people could be immortal, is it fundamentally immoral to allow some people to be encased in 16 year old bodies [or younger] and be able to be engage in whatever sexual situations any consenting adult has available to them?

Lets just say I knew the answer before I asked, that is to say it was never answered, only obfuscated :roll:

Don't worry, I was only pushing buttons, I'm not at the Hakim Bey level quite yet.  :lulz:

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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #81 on: May 15, 2009, 04:15:41 pm »
Transhumanism seems like a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

In order to define "transhuman" it might help to define "human"

If we do this in purely biological terms the human = one kind of ape. In this context the "trans" happened along with the emergent property of "self awareness" or "abstract thought"

It's generally applied to technological enhancement but I'd argue we transcended a long time before that.
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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #82 on: May 15, 2009, 04:42:37 pm »
I had a series of hypotheticals with a friend recently.

Essentially I asked that if people could be immortal, is it fundamentally immoral to allow some people to be encased in 16 year old bodies [or younger] and be able to be engage in whatever sexual situations any consenting adult has available to them?

Lets just say I knew the answer before I asked, that is to say it was never answered, only obfuscated :roll:

Don't worry, I was only pushing buttons, I'm not at the Hakim Bey level quite yet.  :lulz:

"Tomorrow never comes until its too late."

Ah yes the anime scenario.
"It doesn't matter that that preschool girl is being gang banged, its ok because she is a thousand year old vampire. not pedo like at all"

Ick....
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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #83 on: May 15, 2009, 04:47:48 pm »
The arousal isn't over a 6000 year old vampire; it's about the appearence of being a preschooler.

It isn't the nature of the object, it's the process of the pedo's mind.  I would "still" call it pedophelia.



Thought experiment: Put a fleshlight in a realistic looking doll of a baby.  Ask yourself what kind of person would eagerly seek something like that out.

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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #84 on: May 15, 2009, 05:03:00 pm »
The arousal isn't over a 6000 year old vampire; it's about the appearence of being a preschooler.

It isn't the nature of the object, it's the process of the pedo's mind.  I would "still" call it pedophelia.



Thought experiment: Put a fleshlight in a realistic looking doll of a baby.  Ask yourself what kind of person would eagerly seek something like that out.

Of course its Pedo like. My point is this common in anime, but I wouldn't be surprised if its genre had a name.
While chaoflux might have been saying her bit as a troll on someone what I described is genuinely believed by a lot of creeps.
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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #85 on: May 15, 2009, 05:44:33 pm »
Trust me, by the time technological advancement reaches the stage where a 500 year old guy can exist in the body of a baby, your whole definition of what's creepy will have shifted by fucking light years :lulz:
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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #86 on: May 15, 2009, 05:46:15 pm »
I don't know if the genre has a name, but it has inspired a trope:  http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReallySevenHundredYearsOld

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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #87 on: May 15, 2009, 07:55:31 pm »
Trust me, by the time technological advancement reaches the stage where a 500 year old guy can exist in the body of a baby, your whole definition of what's creepy will have shifted by fucking light years :lulz:

Ok, this is very, very true.


I don't know if the genre has a name, but it has inspired a trope:  http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReallySevenHundredYearsOld


Does it surprise anyone that I came across this on my first tvtropes surf?

Cain

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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #88 on: May 15, 2009, 08:07:07 pm »
I'm surprised it wasnt this

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Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
« Reply #89 on: May 15, 2009, 08:07:38 pm »
Trust me, by the time technological advancement reaches the stage where a 500 year old guy can exist in the body of a baby, your whole definition of what's creepy will have shifted by fucking light years :lulz:

A good point.

There appears to be some humans that are 'wired' for whatever reason, (genes, psychological imprints, diagnosis of crazy, etc) who go for people under the legal age... sometimes way under the legal age. Today we throw them in jail for awhile and tell their neighbors once they get out. Yet, the issue still persists.

At some point, we may be able to build a anthropomorphic thing that is good sexy time (fully functional and anatomically correct, as Data would say)... if it could be put in a 'pedo' package and it reduced the incidents of actual pedophilia, would it be OK?

I sure as fuck don't know. On on hand, I would say, no... because it seems to encourage an aberrant behavior that won't help the individual adjust to acceptable society (like the weird guy with his Zombie girlfriend in the movie "Fido").



On the other hand, fucking an android is better than fucking a child.

On the third hand... maybe they would think Euthinisia was a good place to pick up dates...
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