Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Techmology and Scientism => Topic started by: Doktor Loki on November 05, 2008, 08:38:55 pm

Title: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Doktor Loki on November 05, 2008, 08:38:55 pm
I havent actually ever met any Transhumanists, but from what I've read I'm extremely interested.  My only source of knowledge on this is the net, and none of my info has been from discussion, only reading their website and some others.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Manta Obscura on November 05, 2008, 08:53:36 pm
I havent actually ever met any Transhumanists, but from what I've read I'm extremely interested.  My only source of knowledge on this is the net, and none of my info has been from discussion, only reading their website and some others.

My response to them: "meh."

Depending on what type of transhumanist you encounter/read, their ideas can range from sound-yet-implausible to batshit insane. For many of the former, whose ideas are in some way possible, there is still a LONG way off until they are ready for full species-wide implementation. Example: the Hedonistic Imperative/MBOP folks (http://www.hedweb.com/ (http://www.hedweb.com/)) (http://www.paradise-engineering.com/ (http://www.paradise-engineering.com/))

Their ideas are at least theoretically possible, but would require enormous amounts of advancement before they could be implemented.

Many of the ideas of transhumanists are like this: good ideas with humane motivation, but requiring enormous, ball-breaking amounts of work and societal restructuring to implement. Instead of going through all of the hubbub of transcending humanity and all that jazz, it seems to me to be more worthwhile to just figure out how to be happy being ourselves, and how to live in our own skin and with each other as we are. Reducing life to a process of implementing a scientific schematic seems like a bit of a waste of effort if we can just help people learn to live healthy lives, stop being dicks to each other, and have fun with what they do.

However, a quick note: if scientists right now (as in today, or in my lifetime) suddenly found a HI/MBOP breakthrough and said to me, "Jacob, take this pill and you'll never suffer again," I would do it in a heartbeat. Suffering sucks, to be sure, so not avoiding it if possible is silly. But that doesn't mean that we need to devote our intellectual powers toward searching for another Holy Grail/Fountain of Youth/Philosopher's Stone/whatever-it-is-that-we-think-will-make-our-lives-perfect.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Doktor Loki on November 05, 2008, 08:57:40 pm
I see what you're saying.

I'm very interested in body modification, and that's really the correlating interest that I see; the potential to change ourselves in ways FAR beyond piercings, tattoos, brands, implants, etc.  The ability to genetically change our forms and the fundamental way that our brains function.  I've only started reading up on the subject, but I could see myself really getting into it.

EDIT:  Wait wait wait.  I just started reading that first link.  These people want to completely elliminate pain and suffering altogether?  No, fuck that noise.  Pain is integral to our lives, our development.  That seems like a bad idea. 
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cramulus on November 05, 2008, 09:06:54 pm
I like transhumanists because they're thinking WAAAAAY outside the box

like, so far outside the box they're in outer space



and I like the notion that you can change what you are,
and that humans will eventually become something new
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Doktor Loki on November 05, 2008, 09:10:23 pm
I like transhumanists because they're thinking WAAAAAY outside the box

like, so far outside the box they're in outer space



and I like the notion that you can change what you are,
and that humans will eventually become something new



This is exactly what excites me about it.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 05, 2008, 09:41:37 pm
Quote from: Doktor Loki
These people want to completely elliminate pain and suffering altogether?  No, fuck that noise.  Pain is integral to our lives, our development.  That seems like a bad idea.

Why do you say that? What is it about pain and suffering that makes it a requirement for our development? How are we developing through pain anyway? What makes that good?
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 05, 2008, 09:51:55 pm
Pain is important for physiological reasons. Suffering is psychological.


That said, didn't Cain leave a link to a transhumanist e-zine here a month ago or so?
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Doktor Loki on November 05, 2008, 09:59:19 pm
Maybe I'm a little biased, since I enjoy getting pierced so much.  Keep that in mind.

I feel that pain and hardship breed strength.  Pain is, for one thing, integral to the true understanding of pleasure, imo.  You cant truly grasp pleasure and happiness without pain and unhappiness.  

Its like this;  by denying pain, by completely ridding ourselves of it, we would be cutting ourselves off from a fundamental part of the human experience.  From my understanding, H+ is about transcending the human condition, but I dont think you can do that by subtracting.  Rather, the goal should be addition.  Pain is a part of who and what we are, and by ridding ourselves of it I think we would be lessening ourselves.  Now, changing pain would be one thing, learning to control it so that it would still be useful, but not unbearable, that I could see as good, but removing our pain centers is as bad as removing our pleasure centers.

Through pain and pleasure we connect with our bodies.  We communicate with our bodies.  Also, I dont think there is any difference between the two.  In the words of a very wise man; "There is no such thing as pain.  There is only powerful sensation."  I dont think it possible to alter our ability to feel sensation without altering our ability to feel ALL sensation.

Pain is important for physiological reasons. Suffering is psychological.

This, I think, is an important disctinction.  The elimination (or lessening) of suffering could be desirable.  But not pain.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 05, 2008, 10:13:07 pm
I think its pretty clear how important pain sensing is when you talk to people who are unable to feel pain in parts of their body. There are important physiological and behavioral reasons why organisms sense pain.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 05, 2008, 10:29:18 pm
Maybe I'm a little biased, since I enjoy getting pierced so much.  Keep that in mind.

I feel that pain and hardship breed strength.  Pain is, for one thing, integral to the true understanding of pleasure, imo.  You cant truly grasp pleasure and happiness without pain and unhappiness. 

Its like this;  by denying pain, by completely ridding ourselves of it, we would be cutting ourselves off from a fundamental part of the human experience.  From my understanding, H+ is about transcending the human condition, but I dont think you can do that by subtracting.  Rather, the goal should be addition.  Pain is a part of who and what we are, and by ridding ourselves of it I think we would be lessening ourselves.  Now, changing pain would be one thing, learning to control it so that it would still be useful, but not unbearable, that I could see as good, but removing our pain centers is as bad as removing our pleasure centers.

Through pain and pleasure we connect with our bodies.  We communicate with our bodies.  Also, I dont think there is any difference between the two.  In the words of a very wise man; "There is no such thing as pain.  There is only powerful sensation."  I dont think it possible to alter our ability to feel sensation without altering our ability to feel ALL sensation.

I might be misunderstanding what transhumanists believe, but in my understanding of the meaning of transcendence, it's moving beyond, rather than subtraction. There's no loss, in the sense of a removal, but a release, in the sense of letting go of what is no longer useful. I'll have to look into transhumanism more before I can discuss that adequately, but I'm intrigued by this concept of whether or not we can or should transcend pain and suffering. I think we can, and it's something that I'm attempting to do in my own life. More and more, I'm convinced that pain is (and should be) as controllable as pleasure. And if we can do that, I don't see why we can't choose to move beyond it. Moreover, it may be required that we transcend pain and suffering in order to continue developing and evolving as a species. Our senses give us the world, but in a very limited fashion. We can only take in so much, before those senses become overwhelmed with input. Perhaps transcending pain would allow us to take in more input, and we would be able to sense much more than we can now.

@ Kai- I've never had the privilege of meeting someone like that, but I can understand how pain is important for us physiologically. Yet even those who can't feel pain in part or all of their body can learn to adapt. We also don't need to experience pain repeatedly to know that something will be painful. Still, not all pain is physical, and there is mounting evidence that our state of mind may have something to do with how much pain we feel.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Doktor Loki on November 05, 2008, 10:33:10 pm
Maybe I'm a little biased, since I enjoy getting pierced so much.  Keep that in mind.

I feel that pain and hardship breed strength.  Pain is, for one thing, integral to the true understanding of pleasure, imo.  You cant truly grasp pleasure and happiness without pain and unhappiness. 

Its like this;  by denying pain, by completely ridding ourselves of it, we would be cutting ourselves off from a fundamental part of the human experience.  From my understanding, H+ is about transcending the human condition, but I dont think you can do that by subtracting.  Rather, the goal should be addition.  Pain is a part of who and what we are, and by ridding ourselves of it I think we would be lessening ourselves.  Now, changing pain would be one thing, learning to control it so that it would still be useful, but not unbearable, that I could see as good, but removing our pain centers is as bad as removing our pleasure centers.

Through pain and pleasure we connect with our bodies.  We communicate with our bodies.  Also, I dont think there is any difference between the two.  In the words of a very wise man; "There is no such thing as pain.  There is only powerful sensation."  I dont think it possible to alter our ability to feel sensation without altering our ability to feel ALL sensation.

I might be misunderstanding what transhumanists believe, but in my understanding of the meaning of transcendence, it's moving beyond, rather than subtraction. There's no loss, in the sense of a removal, but a release, in the sense of letting go of what is no longer useful. I'll have to look into transhumanism more before I can discuss that adequately, but I'm intrigued by this concept of whether or not we can or should transcend pain and suffering. I think we can, and it's something that I'm attempting to do in my own life. More and more, I'm convinced that pain is (and should be) as controllable as pleasure. And if we can do that, I don't see why we can't choose to move beyond it. Moreover, it may be required that we transcend pain and suffering in order to continue developing and evolving as a species. Our senses give us the world, but in a very limited fashion. We can only take in so much, before those senses become overwhelmed with input. Perhaps transcending pain would allow us to take in more input, and we would be able to sense much more than we can now.

@ Kai- I've never had the privilege of meeting someone like that, but I can understand how pain is important for us physiologically. Still, not all pain is physical, and there is mounting evidence that our state of mind may have something to do with how much pain we feel. We also don't need to experience pain repeatedly to know that something will be painful. It only took one touch to learn that the iron will burn my skin. You can be sure that I'll never do that again!

Yes, by removing pain we would open ourselves to new levels of experience, but we would deny ourselves access to many old levels of expereince which I would argue are still very useful.  IMO almost all of human achievment has been the result of pain.

I'm enjoying this discussion, but I have to go to work now.  We'll talk more later I hope.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 05, 2008, 10:41:10 pm
Maybe I'm a little biased, since I enjoy getting pierced so much.  Keep that in mind.

I feel that pain and hardship breed strength.  Pain is, for one thing, integral to the true understanding of pleasure, imo.  You cant truly grasp pleasure and happiness without pain and unhappiness. 

Its like this;  by denying pain, by completely ridding ourselves of it, we would be cutting ourselves off from a fundamental part of the human experience.  From my understanding, H+ is about transcending the human condition, but I dont think you can do that by subtracting.  Rather, the goal should be addition.  Pain is a part of who and what we are, and by ridding ourselves of it I think we would be lessening ourselves.  Now, changing pain would be one thing, learning to control it so that it would still be useful, but not unbearable, that I could see as good, but removing our pain centers is as bad as removing our pleasure centers.

Through pain and pleasure we connect with our bodies.  We communicate with our bodies.  Also, I dont think there is any difference between the two.  In the words of a very wise man; "There is no such thing as pain.  There is only powerful sensation."  I dont think it possible to alter our ability to feel sensation without altering our ability to feel ALL sensation.

I might be misunderstanding what transhumanists believe, but in my understanding of the meaning of transcendence, it's moving beyond, rather than subtraction. There's no loss, in the sense of a removal, but a release, in the sense of letting go of what is no longer useful. I'll have to look into transhumanism more before I can discuss that adequately, but I'm intrigued by this concept of whether or not we can or should transcend pain and suffering. I think we can, and it's something that I'm attempting to do in my own life. More and more, I'm convinced that pain is (and should be) as controllable as pleasure. And if we can do that, I don't see why we can't choose to move beyond it. Moreover, it may be required that we transcend pain and suffering in order to continue developing and evolving as a species. Our senses give us the world, but in a very limited fashion. We can only take in so much, before those senses become overwhelmed with input. Perhaps transcending pain would allow us to take in more input, and we would be able to sense much more than we can now.

@ Kai- I've never had the privilege of meeting someone like that, but I can understand how pain is important for us physiologically. Yet even those who can't feel pain in part or all of their body can learn to adapt. We also don't need to experience pain repeatedly to know that something will be painful. Still, not all pain is physical, and there is mounting evidence that our state of mind may have something to do with how much pain we feel.


No no no. You don't get it. Pain is important because it tells us when something is wrong in our body, when something is screwy, or when we are doing something stupid. People who can't feel pain end up damaging their body because they can't tell when they are fucking up, like burning or cutting themselves. It. Is. Important. Anyone who disagrees with that is a fucking idiot.

Also, didn't I just say, psychological "pain" is what we call suffering. Pain sensing is strictly physical. The two things are not, and will never be the same.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 05, 2008, 10:55:43 pm
.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 05, 2008, 10:59:40 pm
Must edit more quickly.
Maybe I'm a little biased, since I enjoy getting pierced so much.  Keep that in mind.

I feel that pain and hardship breed strength.  Pain is, for one thing, integral to the true understanding of pleasure, imo.  You cant truly grasp pleasure and happiness without pain and unhappiness. 

Its like this;  by denying pain, by completely ridding ourselves of it, we would be cutting ourselves off from a fundamental part of the human experience.  From my understanding, H+ is about transcending the human condition, but I dont think you can do that by subtracting.  Rather, the goal should be addition.  Pain is a part of who and what we are, and by ridding ourselves of it I think we would be lessening ourselves.  Now, changing pain would be one thing, learning to control it so that it would still be useful, but not unbearable, that I could see as good, but removing our pain centers is as bad as removing our pleasure centers.

Through pain and pleasure we connect with our bodies.  We communicate with our bodies.  Also, I dont think there is any difference between the two.  In the words of a very wise man; "There is no such thing as pain.  There is only powerful sensation."  I dont think it possible to alter our ability to feel sensation without altering our ability to feel ALL sensation.

I might be misunderstanding what transhumanists believe, but in my understanding of the meaning of transcendence, it's moving beyond, rather than subtraction. There's no loss, in the sense of a removal, but a release, in the sense of letting go of what is no longer useful. I'll have to look into transhumanism more before I can discuss that adequately, but I'm intrigued by this concept of whether or not we can or should transcend pain and suffering. I think we can, and it's something that I'm attempting to do in my own life. More and more, I'm convinced that pain is (and should be) as controllable as pleasure. And if we can do that, I don't see why we can't choose to move beyond it. Moreover, it may be required that we transcend pain and suffering in order to continue developing and evolving as a species. Our senses give us the world, but in a very limited fashion. We can only take in so much, before those senses become overwhelmed with input. Perhaps transcending pain would allow us to take in more input, and we would be able to sense much more than we can now.

@ Kai- I've never had the privilege of meeting someone like that, but I can understand how pain is important for us physiologically. Still, not all pain is physical, and there is mounting evidence that our state of mind may have something to do with how much pain we feel. We also don't need to experience pain repeatedly to know that something will be painful. It only took one touch to learn that the iron will burn my skin. You can be sure that I'll never do that again!

Yes, by removing pain we would open ourselves to new levels of experience, but we would deny ourselves access to many old levels of expereince which I would argue are still very useful.  IMO almost all of human achievment has been the result of pain.

I'm enjoying this discussion, but I have to go to work now.  We'll talk more later I hope.
Thanks, I'm enjoying it too.

So far, a large portion of human achievement has involved pain and suffering, it's true. Many achievements have been intended to reduce pain and suffering as well. And considering the most modern technology, we have less and less pain involved yet.

As to whether the old levels of experience would be available to us, or whether they'd be useful...if we grew beyond the old levels of experience, they'd be about as useful as the Atari in my basement. Sure you can still play the old games, but why would you want to if the new games were full surround virtual reality?
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 05, 2008, 11:17:27 pm
Maybe I'm a little biased, since I enjoy getting pierced so much.  Keep that in mind.

I feel that pain and hardship breed strength.  Pain is, for one thing, integral to the true understanding of pleasure, imo.  You cant truly grasp pleasure and happiness without pain and unhappiness. 

Its like this;  by denying pain, by completely ridding ourselves of it, we would be cutting ourselves off from a fundamental part of the human experience.  From my understanding, H+ is about transcending the human condition, but I dont think you can do that by subtracting.  Rather, the goal should be addition.  Pain is a part of who and what we are, and by ridding ourselves of it I think we would be lessening ourselves.  Now, changing pain would be one thing, learning to control it so that it would still be useful, but not unbearable, that I could see as good, but removing our pain centers is as bad as removing our pleasure centers.

Through pain and pleasure we connect with our bodies.  We communicate with our bodies.  Also, I dont think there is any difference between the two.  In the words of a very wise man; "There is no such thing as pain.  There is only powerful sensation."  I dont think it possible to alter our ability to feel sensation without altering our ability to feel ALL sensation.

I might be misunderstanding what transhumanists believe, but in my understanding of the meaning of transcendence, it's moving beyond, rather than subtraction. There's no loss, in the sense of a removal, but a release, in the sense of letting go of what is no longer useful. I'll have to look into transhumanism more before I can discuss that adequately, but I'm intrigued by this concept of whether or not we can or should transcend pain and suffering. I think we can, and it's something that I'm attempting to do in my own life. More and more, I'm convinced that pain is (and should be) as controllable as pleasure. And if we can do that, I don't see why we can't choose to move beyond it. Moreover, it may be required that we transcend pain and suffering in order to continue developing and evolving as a species. Our senses give us the world, but in a very limited fashion. We can only take in so much, before those senses become overwhelmed with input. Perhaps transcending pain would allow us to take in more input, and we would be able to sense much more than we can now.

@ Kai- I've never had the privilege of meeting someone like that, but I can understand how pain is important for us physiologically. Yet even those who can't feel pain in part or all of their body can learn to adapt. We also don't need to experience pain repeatedly to know that something will be painful. Still, not all pain is physical, and there is mounting evidence that our state of mind may have something to do with how much pain we feel.


No no no. You don't get it. Pain is important because it tells us when something is wrong in our body, when something is screwy, or when we are doing something stupid. People who can't feel pain end up damaging their body because they can't tell when they are fucking up, like burning or cutting themselves. It. Is. Important. Anyone who disagrees with that is a fucking idiot.

Also, didn't I just say, psychological "pain" is what we call suffering. Pain sensing is strictly physical. The two things are not, and will never be the same.

I think must have missed something you said. Pain, physical pain is important. Absolutely. No question that we need to know when we've cut ourselves, gotten burnt, shot, etc. But if I get a headache, it hurts. Is that not pain? Is that *only* psychological? If so, why does it feel the same as if someone hit me on the head? And suffering: is prolonged physical pain not suffering, like psychological "pain"?

But going by your definitions, I'm mostly referring to suffering, excepting the idea of being able to accept more sensory input. There's a shitload of suffering going on in the world that's completely unnecessary. If we can't eventually transcend the need to kill, rape, and destroy each other, then we might as well slide back into the primordial ooze. Because that's all we'll be.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 05, 2008, 11:29:55 pm
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Vene on November 05, 2008, 11:51:50 pm
Dammit Kai, quit taking my responses.  :argh!:

I have no issue with body modification, but pain is there for a reason.  Especially when you consider that people who can't feel pain tend to die before age 25 (link). (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1736)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 05, 2008, 11:59:47 pm
 :D
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on November 06, 2008, 12:06:07 am
But if I get a headache, it hurts. Is that not pain? Is that *only* psychological? If so, why does it feel the same as if someone hit me on the head?

Wut
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 06, 2008, 12:07:48 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 06, 2008, 12:08:21 am
But if I get a headache, it hurts. Is that not pain? Is that *only* psychological? If so, why does it feel the same as if someone hit me on the head?

Wut

I'm blaming it on the fact that I haven't had dinner yet.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 06, 2008, 12:09:04 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.

Its not going to jack the thread.


Its called "Buddhism".
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 06, 2008, 12:13:21 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.

Its not going to jack the thread.


Its called "Buddhism".

*facepalm*

Forget it. I was hoping you'd come across something I hadn't already tried and rejected.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 06, 2008, 12:17:46 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.

Its not going to jack the thread.


Its called "Buddhism".

*facepalm*

Forget it. I was hoping you'd come across something I hadn't already tried and rejected.

You do realize that the only way to stop psychological suffering is to change your mind so that it doesn't become attached to or averted from anything, and is firmly fixed in reality, in the present moment. Its the *only way*. If you're looking for something easy, it doesn't exist.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 06, 2008, 12:32:22 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.

Its not going to jack the thread.


Its called "Buddhism".

*facepalm*

Forget it. I was hoping you'd come across something I hadn't already tried and rejected.

You do realize that the only way to stop psychological suffering is to change your mind so that it doesn't become attached to or averted from anything, and is firmly fixed in reality, in the present moment. Its the *only way*. If you're looking for something easy, it doesn't exist.

Of course. But I keep an eye out for things to make it easier. Every now and again, I find something.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 06, 2008, 12:38:32 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.

Its not going to jack the thread.


Its called "Buddhism".

*facepalm*

Forget it. I was hoping you'd come across something I hadn't already tried and rejected.

You do realize that the only way to stop psychological suffering is to change your mind so that it doesn't become attached to or averted from anything, and is firmly fixed in reality, in the present moment. Its the *only way*. If you're looking for something easy, it doesn't exist.

Of course. But I keep an eye out for things to make it easier. Every now and again, I find something.

Make what easier?
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Roo on November 06, 2008, 12:42:15 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.

Its not going to jack the thread.


Its called "Buddhism".

*facepalm*

Forget it. I was hoping you'd come across something I hadn't already tried and rejected.

You do realize that the only way to stop psychological suffering is to change your mind so that it doesn't become attached to or averted from anything, and is firmly fixed in reality, in the present moment. Its the *only way*. If you're looking for something easy, it doesn't exist.

Of course. But I keep an eye out for things to make it easier. Every now and again, I find something.

Make what easier?
Detachment and acceptance.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 06, 2008, 12:46:24 am
....


You DO realize that a tension headache is caused by physical conditions, namely vascular flow...right? And its also important, the message being "stop whatever you are doing to make it happen or your arteries are gonna pop.".

Also, theres a religion that addresses suffering pretty well. Has some good tools for dealing with it too, if you're interested.

 :oops: bad example. Shit. okay, pain=physical. suffering=psychological. check.
 

yeah, I'm interested. PM me so we don't jack this thread.

Its not going to jack the thread.


Its called "Buddhism".

*facepalm*

Forget it. I was hoping you'd come across something I hadn't already tried and rejected.

You do realize that the only way to stop psychological suffering is to change your mind so that it doesn't become attached to or averted from anything, and is firmly fixed in reality, in the present moment. Its the *only way*. If you're looking for something easy, it doesn't exist.

Of course. But I keep an eye out for things to make it easier. Every now and again, I find something.

Make what easier?
Detachment and acceptance.

Become a fundie.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cramulus on November 06, 2008, 01:12:39 am
I don't think eliminating "pain" is a core part of the transhumanist movement.

There's a cool series about some Posthumanists in Transmetropolitan #7.
(post-human always sounded like posthumous to me)

So this sect of people in Transmet have download their consciousness into a cloud of nanobots and let their bodies die. They're still human, but their bodies are amorphous pink clouds. One of the main characters is pissed because she thinks her boyfriend is killing himself, but really he's just being downloaded into a cloud.

Here's Spider Jerusalem explaining how the movement got started:

(http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a95/discordman/bin/transmet%207/Transmetropolitan_07_p10.jpg)

(http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a95/discordman/bin/transmet%207/Transmetropolitan_07_p11.jpg)

spider calls them "post biological" humans.

Since people ITT might be interested, I uploaded the whole comic. There's some really good discussion in there, and it's pretty short.  If you're interested, check it out here: http://s9.photobucket.com/albums/a95/discordman/bin/transmet%207/
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Golden Applesauce on November 06, 2008, 02:23:52 am
H+ intrigues me, mostly because physical limitations suck.  We can only hold about 7 items in working memory at a time.  Can't really multitask.  Our productivity drops dramatically when we get tired, cold, or hungry.  Good enough for hunter-gatherers, not good enough for me.

Essentially, I just want to be able to read every book in a library simultaneously, and remember as much as I want to - stuff that computers can already do.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Doktor Loki on November 06, 2008, 05:53:31 am
H+ intrigues me, mostly because physical limitations suck.  We can only hold about 7 items in working memory at a time.  Can't really multitask.  Our productivity drops dramatically when we get tired, cold, or hungry.  Good enough for hunter-gatherers, not good enough for me.

Essentially, I just want to be able to read every book in a library simultaneously, and remember as much as I want to - stuff that computers can already do.

YES, but more than that.  Enhancment of the mind and body both.  All sorts of things could be done to our physical forms to make them more effecient, more enjoyable, more sensitive to input.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on November 06, 2008, 12:39:17 pm
Wait, some of these transhumanists want to eliminate Payne from our lives? I... I don't know how I feel about that...

No! Payne must nevar be eliminated, at least not by laem transhumanist bliss-ninnies. Only loss of internets can defeat him.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Manta Obscura on November 06, 2008, 02:19:26 pm
I don't think eliminating "pain" is a core part of the transhumanist movement.

There's a cool series about some Posthumanists in Transmetropolitan #7.

spider calls them "post biological" humans.



Now this is pretty interesting. I'll have to read more of this.

Rereading my former post and the posts of others, it made me want to clarify that I'm not opposed to any of the ideas of transhumanists (trannies, as I like to call them  :D). It's just that ideas like the elimination of suffering, the conversion of humanity into machines, etc., are functionally complicated to the point where it would be a waste of resources to pour a majority of our scientific expenditure into the research of the processes involved to accomplish those ideas.

Though we as a species have managed to have some advancements in genetic research, prosthetics, nanotechnology, and other transhumanist topics, I think we're still an incredibly long way away from being able to synthesize and push our advancements to a point where it would be feasible to alter our biology or psychology in any noticable way (except, of course, for the use of the aforementioned prosthetics, as well as psychologically altering pharmaceuticals).

My guess is that no one in our generation - or even, probably, in our grandchildren's generation - will be able to benefit from some of the radical claims of transhumanism like what is presented in Cram's post. Ergo, I think the majority of our R&D should be put towards the more immediate goals of social and ecological amelioration projects, where the consequences of inaction are more dire in an immediate sense.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cramulus on November 06, 2008, 03:29:01 pm
If you showed ancient man what life is like in postmodern times (the Strange Times), I don't think he would even be able to process it. Sure, the basics are still the same - streets, buildings, police ; money, jobs, love, power. These things are more or less unchanged since 5000 BC. But it takes decades to get acclimated to how the world really works, and the devil's in the details. This is the age of the spiritual machine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Spiritual_Machines) - we have plastic hearts, we carry ghosts of music with us in our pocket, we access a net of communication which lets us send banal text messages to someone on the other side of the globe. Even old fogeys like Thucydides would acknowledge that this is still humanity, no matter how weird it's gotten.

But there are people on the fringe, who I wonder - have they left humanity already?

I'm thinking of the Lizard Man (http://www.thelizardman.com/), who has taken decades to change his body into something else. He's out of society now - he will never again be able to go to the bank or get a cheeseburger without his lizard-ness separating him from the rest of us.

Or Stephen Hawking. He's practically a robot, and his intelligence and status falls well outside the bell curve. He doesn't live like we do. He doesn't think like we do. How much of us is in him?

I think Thucydides (who I've arbitrarily picked to speak for ancient man) would recognize that these guys, no matter how different they are, are still humans. Like Spider Jerusalem said, as long as there's still a human mind, it's still a human, right?

In writing this post, I made four or five different google searches - looking up facts, scanning through pictures of the lizard man, creating links to other related topics... In many ways this post only partially came from my brain, and partially came from the web of information out there. I don't have to remember a fact, as long as I can figure out how to access it. The internet serves as my "off-board memory", in a sense. Are these my thoughts, my memories? Or are they just a resonance between my meat and the growing collective consciousness?

I mean, we're all cyborgs now, augmenting our minds and our lives with technology. And then there's the work on the genome that they're doing. You better believe that if I have the option of rasing genetically enhanced humans, I'd take it. Let's make them disease resistant, extend their lifespan, hone their intelligence... after all that tinkering with the very blueprints of life, will we still be human?

I think these are interesting questions. I don't think we'll ever reach a point where we collectively decide that we're not humans anymore, but if we do, we'll see this period of history as being well on the way. We'll look back and say, yeah, we were cyborgs then, and didn't recognize the changes that were taking place were kind of fundamental.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Manta Obscura on November 06, 2008, 04:41:23 pm
If you showed ancient man what life is like in postmodern times (the Strange Times), I don't think he would even be able to process it. Sure, the basics are still the same - streets, buildings, police ; money, jobs, love, power. These things are more or less unchanged since 5000 BC. But it takes decades to get acclimated to how the world really works, and the devil's in the details. This is the age of the spiritual machine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Spiritual_Machines) - we have plastic hearts, we carry ghosts of music with us in our pocket, we access a net of communication which lets us send banal text messages to someone on the other side of the globe. Even old fogeys like Thucydides would acknowledge that this is still humanity, no matter how weird it's gotten.

But there are people on the fringe, who I wonder - have they left humanity already?

I'm thinking of the Lizard Man (http://www.thelizardman.com/), who has taken decades to change his body into something else. He's out of society now - he will never again be able to go to the bank or get a cheeseburger without his lizard-ness separating him from the rest of us.

Or Stephen Hawking. He's practically a robot, and his intelligence and status falls well outside the bell curve. He doesn't live like we do. He doesn't think like we do. How much of us is in him?

I think Thucydides (who I've arbitrarily picked to speak for ancient man) would recognize that these guys, no matter how different they are, are still humans. Like Spider Jerusalem said, as long as there's still a human mind, it's still a human, right?

In writing this post, I made four or five different google searches - looking up facts, scanning through pictures of the lizard man, creating links to other related topics... In many ways this post only partially came from my brain, and partially came from the web of information out there. I don't have to remember a fact, as long as I can figure out how to access it. The internet serves as my "off-board memory", in a sense. Are these my thoughts, my memories? Or are they just a resonance between my meat and the growing collective consciousness?

I mean, we're all cyborgs now, augmenting our minds and our lives with technology. And then there's the work on the genome that they're doing. You better believe that if I have the option of rasing genetically enhanced humans, I'd take it. Let's make them disease resistant, extend their lifespan, hone their intelligence... after all that tinkering with the very blueprints of life, will we still be human?

I think these are interesting questions. I don't think we'll ever reach a point where we collectively decide that we're not humans anymore, but if we do, we'll see this period of history as being well on the way. We'll look back and say, yeah, we were cyborgs then, and didn't recognize the changes that were taking place were kind of fundamental.

This is a really insightful post, Cram, and I agree with almost all of it. The only part that I would like to contend with is the part which I have bolded.

I agree that the escalation of the scale and scope of technology has altered the way in which we live, but to me your statement seems to say that the technology that we use alters the way that we're alive. A subtle lexical difference, but it carries major undertones. My apologies if this is not what you were intending, but in the interests of seeing this hypothesis to its conclusion, I'll continue.

Yes, technology has altered the way in which we conduct our daily life practices, but to say that the change in daily life practices has changed us seems a little far-fetched to me. After all, there have been several such technological leaps among civilizations, and within and among those civilizations we do not consider the people to be any different in fundamental makeup. For example, before the advent of writing people had to memorize stories and tell them verbally. After writing came about, however, people no longer had to memorize whole epics (note: I know that the majority of people were still illiterate until very recently, but I am just speaking in terms of the potential of literacy here) and communicate solely by sound and kinesics. The invention of writing served in a similar way to computer information archiving, making it to where storytellers did not have to remember entire stories on their own.

In this example, we don't think of the literate societies as fundamentally different, as pen-and-paper (quill-and-papyrus?) golems or something (sorry, that's the best pre-technological analogy to cyborgs I can think of off the top of my head), but merely as a group of people who uses different techniques to accomplish the same challenges of the past. The physical, psychological and social measures of humanity (e.g. the need to eat, socialize, be warm, have some level of mental stimulation, etc) still applied between both sets, and it is only the means of satisfying those measures that were altered.

I don't mean to sound Carlylian here by reducing humanity to the satisfaction of needs, as if we were some sort of all-encompassing digestive system. I merely want to say that the basic human needs, drives and responses, both physically and psychologically, remain the same over time over a population, changing only slowly by evolutionary processes. In the meantime, the developments that change our way of life do not alter the fundamental way in which we interact with our world, because if those developments/tools were removed, people would still exist and be capable of the same life activities as they were previously able to undertake.

In regards to those who have "left humanity already," as you put it, I agree that they are still human, although they utilize different tools to fulfill their physical and social needs. Likewise, I agree that even with the most out-there developments of the transhumanist movements, there might never be a time in which we "collectively decide that we're not humans anymore." The changes that [most or many] transhumanists are attempting to enact are not changes to discard our basic needs and drives, but are instead changes to give ourselves the capabilities of fulfilling those things more effectively.

If, one day, the trannies are able to give us true hivemind, bodily regeneration, immortality, the cessation of suffering, nanotech life, or any other host of changes that would alter one of the fundamental underlying drives of the human condition, it would then be useful to declare humanity to have transcended its humanity. However, until one or more of the drives which connect us to our progenitors and their lineage is severed, I think it is probably more useful to think of the developments in terms of useful tools to alter the superficial processes of drive fulfillment, rather than as developments which make humanity into "cyborgs" or, as in my example, quill-and-papyrus golems.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Telarus on November 07, 2008, 01:00:51 am
Good post Cram. The 'external memory' is exactly why Thoth was worshiped as a deity, in that according to that tradition's myth, he was the one who figure out how to encode information onto the environment instead of leaving it in the brain.

One of the more interesting 'Transhumanist' experiments I've run into recently was a woman who had a small magnet implanted in one of her fingers. She could do shit like feel the phone just _before_ it would ring, and feel some-one using a can opener in the next room. Basically she was hypersensitive to any technological thing that had magnetic coils (most small motors, etc) and anything that was carrying high-voltage. Let me dig up some links:

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087 (http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087)

Oh, and here's when something when wrong with the coating on one of the magnets:
http://www.bmezine.com/news/pubring/20060401.html (http://www.bmezine.com/news/pubring/20060401.html) (Warning: Surgery Pics)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Kai on November 07, 2008, 01:29:14 am
Good post Cram. The 'external memory' is exactly why Thoth was worshiped as a deity, in that according to that tradition's myth, he was the one who figure out how to encode information onto the environment instead of leaving it in the brain.

One of the more interesting 'Transhumanist' experiments I've run into recently was a woman who had a small magnet implanted in one of her fingers. She could do shit like feel the phone just _before_ it would ring, and feel some-one using a can opener in the next room. Basically she was hypersensitive to any technological thing that had magnetic coils (most small motors, etc) and anything that was carrying high-voltage. Let me dig up some links:

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087 (http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087)

Oh, and here's when something when wrong with the coating on one of the magnets:
http://www.bmezine.com/news/pubring/20060401.html (http://www.bmezine.com/news/pubring/20060401.html) (Warning: Surgery Pics)

THAT is COOL. I'm all for adding sensory abilities.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Rumckle on November 07, 2008, 01:54:24 am
I'm not sure the question should be whether we are still humans or not, but whether we are people. Human is more of a biological term, imo.

But I guess if the problem is that possibly without the chemical interactions, that some of the things that "make us human", desires and the such, may not be as evident. Whether you can still have some of the urges when you aren't controlled as such by chemistry and hormones, is the question, and whether these are important for being human.

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087 (http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087)

Oh, and here's when something when wrong with the coating on one of the magnets:
http://www.bmezine.com/news/pubring/20060401.html (http://www.bmezine.com/news/pubring/20060401.html) (Warning: Surgery Pics)

Damn, I was about to post some of them,
but also this on the same subject:

http://www.bmezine.com/news/pubring/20060115.html
(again surgery pics)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on November 07, 2008, 02:13:03 am
Human or not human... isn't that an issue of definition rather than anything else?

Transhumans are human if we classify them as such. They're not human if they don't classify themselves as such... but in the end that kind of argument seems like navel gazing. Their DNA is human. If they have babies the babies will be human. They may have enhancements, or modifications... but they're enhancements and modifications to their Human body. If I add more memory, a second CPU and a snazzy case... my computer is now enhanced and modified... but is it not still a computer?

For something to be not human, I think it would have to reprodue 'not humans' and have 'not human' DNA.

I really like what Transhumanists are DOING, but I often get the feeling that trhey walk a fine line between using technology to enhance their experiences and falling into a transcendental paradigm.

Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain on November 07, 2008, 06:33:24 am
Pain is important for physiological reasons. Suffering is psychological.


That said, didn't Cain leave a link to a transhumanist e-zine here a month ago or so?

Yes, I did.

And I still stand by my criticisms, and would like to add one more: Dick Cheney.

OK, I'll expand. Any of this wonderful and advanced technology is going to go to the rich and the powerful first, and the maniacal and dangerous who do not automatically fit on the first list as second.  Do you really want Robo-Dick Cheney?  How about immortal Dick Cheney online? 

The benefits of technology will be poorly distributed and I do not trust our transhumanist Eloi to not wipe out the Morlocks (ie; us) with advanced bioweapons simply so they can continue on with their dream society, that of one where they do not have to put up with the nasty effects of other peoples presence (which is in many respects the ideological premise behind technology fetishism).  Obviously, that is a problem right now, but we can at least expect that the very worst sort of bioweapons would not be used by humans on other humans because of basic genetic similarity. If you can engineer immunity, or transcend biology however, you are in a very dangerous area.

Not to mention that when the benefits do get passed down to us, assuming we survive to that stage, they will no doubt be tightly controlled, and there may well be backdoor hatches for this sort of technology (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8DGNKD82&show_article=1) to be implanted in unwilling or unsuspecting persons.  The dream of fascists everywhere, is that....and technocratic fascism is a very real possibility with this sort of technology.

We've just about got to grips with nukes and that was a closely run thing several times.  This has the potential to be far more powerful.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Rumckle on November 07, 2008, 07:03:13 am
Unfortunately, poor distribution is a problem with the vast majority of emerging technology. While bioengineering does have a lot of potential ethical challenges, there are many other emerging technologies that could be just as bad. There is inherently always going to be a trade off with such technologies, and, usually, the more impact a technology would have on ones life, the more open to abuse it is. And I'm fairly sure that such progress will happen eventually, despite the criticisms that may arise.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Vene on November 07, 2008, 12:49:23 pm
Pain is important for physiological reasons. Suffering is psychological.


That said, didn't Cain leave a link to a transhumanist e-zine here a month ago or so?

Yes, I did.

And I still stand by my criticisms, and would like to add one more: Dick Cheney.

OK, I'll expand. Any of this wonderful and advanced technology is going to go to the rich and the powerful first, and the maniacal and dangerous who do not automatically fit on the first list as second.  Do you really want Robo-Dick Cheney?  How about immortal Dick Cheney online? 

The benefits of technology will be poorly distributed and I do not trust our transhumanist Eloi to not wipe out the Morlocks (ie; us) with advanced bioweapons simply so they can continue on with their dream society, that of one where they do not have to put up with the nasty effects of other peoples presence (which is in many respects the ideological premise behind technology fetishism).  Obviously, that is a problem right now, but we can at least expect that the very worst sort of bioweapons would not be used by humans on other humans because of basic genetic similarity. If you can engineer immunity, or transcend biology however, you are in a very dangerous area.

Not to mention that when the benefits do get passed down to us, assuming we survive to that stage, they will no doubt be tightly controlled, and there may well be backdoor hatches for this sort of technology (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8DGNKD82&show_article=1) to be implanted in unwilling or unsuspecting persons.  The dream of fascists everywhere, is that....and technocratic fascism is a very real possibility with this sort of technology.

We've just about got to grips with nukes and that was a closely run thing several times.  This has the potential to be far more powerful.

This seems slightly relevant (even though I'm sure we've all seen it).
(http://zalandria.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/robotnixon3ok6.gif)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain on November 07, 2008, 12:54:48 pm
It will, of course.

The question is though, who will have control over the resources and will there be any checks or balances to its use?  In theory, an educated population and forward thinking government could place certain restrictions on usage which would minimize social impact (which I suspect will likely happen in Western Europe, if anywhere, and even then possibly only in Scandanavia, where claims of national security and military utility are not going to sell especially well).  But in practice, most populations are scientifically illiterate and governments lack popular mandate from the public to either control or minimize the potential impacts of research.

I have no problem with technology disrupting the status quo.  However, I do have problems with technologies which can be used to fundamentally control humanity to a degree that most dictators could never dream of.  Equally, I have problems with technologies with the potential for mass death, especially when that technology seems to be passing more and more into private hands and away from any sort of public control.  Back in the day, at least we have the Soviets holding our population hostage (and vice-versa).  They made us honest, and we appreciated the risk enough to cover our WMDs in a blanket of secure measures to stop the nightmare scenario playing out.  But how do you threaten a corporation?  Or an individual?  Mututally assured destruction is a lunatic proposal when you increase the range of actors beyond certain points, because a proliferation of dyads just increases the chances of someone doing something stupid.

Do I have a solution?  Not really.  But its not going to stop me from pointing out the very real problem of technological advances outstripping social ones.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on November 07, 2008, 02:24:28 pm
"What starts out as a far-fetched science experiment/body modification becomes a fad among the fabulously wealthy. Further research and development lowers the cost and increases availability, making it popular among the merely very wealthy, but the middle and lower classes remain unable to receive the benefits of this technology. Suddenly, the world sports a handful of intellectual and physical superhumans who are also at the top of the political and economic ladder."

Sounds like the beginning of a helluva sci-fi novel.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain on November 07, 2008, 02:35:42 pm
Or you get the plot from Fringe.  Superempowered black hats, wielding incredibly dangerous new weapons (of course, the focus in the show is on "fringe science" but other authors have theorized about nanobots, rogue AI, genetically and cybernetically enhanced soldiers etc etc)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: nurbldoff on November 17, 2008, 03:16:40 am
Transhumanism seems like fun (it's mostly intellectual masturbation as far as I can see) but I do think they have got some things backwards.

Eliminating suffering on a neurological level (or whatever) seems great on paper, but somehow I don't think it will actually make us a lot happier. We tend to judge what's good and bad in relation to our present "standard" state, which means that we'll just shift our expectations until we're perfectly capable of feeling miserable again. I just don't think it's a meaningful goal. Also, our survival hinges on our ability to feel emotions, especially bad ones, since they help us avoid the really bad ideas. I recommend the book "Descartes Error" by Antonio Damasio to anyone who doubts this.

Another thing is the whole idea of the "technological singularity" which seems to be the wet dream of a lot of transhumanists (and also the new "FTL" of SF writers). I just can't see why it should ever occur. And if it does, it's defined in such a way that we can't possibly predict what it will be like. What's the point of waiting for something completely unknown and unknowable? Maybe we won't even notice it. Anyway, it seems to me like a pointless exercise in extrapolating.

"Uploading" reminds me of the classic argument against teleportation: what if it's just a copy of you that comes through, and the original is destroyed? The copy won't notice, but it's the end of the line for you... and there's no way for an observer tell the difference.

I'm still interested in the AI field, although it seems like nothing much has happened for a long time now.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain on November 17, 2008, 03:36:49 pm
The Singularity is the hidden belief in Christian eschatology at the centre of some transhumanism and I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds it suspect as fuck.

Of course, the same could be said about the elimination of suffering and the desire to be not-human....for more, consult Prof Herr Nietzsche on Christian hatred of reality and line up the parallels.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Triple Zero on November 18, 2008, 07:57:10 am
I wouldnt find it suspect because of the apparent relation to Christianity. McKenna calculuted the moment for Timewave Zero (that is, the Singularity, also it's convieniently on December 2012) using the I Ching for instance :)

but you mean the Judgement Day, in Christianity right?

I can see how the idea of the Technological Singularity would roughly appeal to a Christian that believes in Judgement Day, but I don't really believe that it holds the other way around.

As far as I've read about the Singularity, the idea stems from those psychonautic hippies (what are they called, McKenna, Leary (?), Sheldrake ..) and sort of took off from there, not Christianity. Especially considering the Technological Singularity is something that mankind is doing all by themselves, no Divine Intervention involved, it's our technology, we are building it up to some hypothetical asymptotic point, not God. Wouldnt that idea rub a lot of Christians the wrong way?

otoh, I can totally imagine some transhumanists suddenly turning out to be very creepy Christians, as well.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain on November 18, 2008, 11:05:39 am
I mean it relates to Christianity in positing a teleological system with an utopian ending.

Which, to my mind, is suspect as fuck in and of itself.  It is a hidden implication in many strands of Western philosophy and, like many hidden assumptions that later turn out to be false, deserves to be mercilessly stamped out before it does any more damage.

Also, many transhumanists are scary glibertarians.  Case study: http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Triple Zero on November 18, 2008, 11:15:43 am
okay, although I never quite see the Singularity (if it's going to happen) as particularly utopian. The Transhumanists would probably, though.

but as far as I know, current guess as to what the Singularity is going to be is "Seed AI" (that is AI able to fix and improve itself, so it would quickly surpass human intelligence). it is my strong opinion that this guess is most probably going to be entirely wrong because of Fooled by Randomness and Black Swans and our total inability to predict fuck all espeically if it's going to be based on technology that is based on other technology (etc) that won't exist for a few decades or so.
but even then, if it's going to be Seed AI, Science Fiction (like the Matrix, and such) tells me it might just as well go horribly wrong as right.

i see the Singularity (if it's going to happen and even if it's not) more as something that's a sign of the Strange Times, i mean, it does seem that technology and information is moving at a faster and faster pace, right? if it's going to coalesce into something .. singular, i don't know, but things do seem to be getting more strange, faster. or do you think that ideas like this are more of a kind of relativism / narrative fallacy thing, that in fact things aren't really moving faster, but they seem to be moving faster and have always seemed to be moving faster?
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain on November 18, 2008, 11:27:08 am
Quote
The technological singularity is a theoretical future point of unprecedented technological progress, caused in part by the ability of machines to improve themselves using artificial intelligence.

Emphasis mine.  And yes, it doesn't sound utopian (or even very plausible) to people like me (who think unprecedented technological advance will look more like Fringe than Star Trek) but I'm working from within the transhumanist framework, where such a thing is.  Because, to be honest, Heaven on Earth and the Eternal Reign of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ doesn't really appeal to me either, but within the Christian framework it is the utopian goal.

I don't disagree that technology and information transfer are increasing, I just don't think we're going to see an explosion of knowledge and technological process a la The Singularity, because of physical upper limits relating to transfer, assimilation and research, and exhaustion of resources necessary to economic growth that technology relies on.  What happens when oil runs out, for example?  Or we exhaust the cobalt mines we are currently fighting for in the Congo?  Technological growth relies on an expanding economic base, and that is something that cannot be relied on.

Its a goofy, pie-in-the-sky wankfest for technological fantasists.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Triple Zero on November 18, 2008, 11:52:08 am
okay, so the expanding economic base cannot be relied on. that's something people tend to forget, yes. but it doesn't say when or how it would crash, right? what i mean is, the economic base could hold on just long enough for some singularity type of thing to occur. could. possibly.

as far as my understanding of what the Singularity means, is that it's in fact decidedly also a function of what the human mind is capable of [predicting]. see, given technological advancements and the impact they have on society, there is always a sort of point in the future whereafter we cannot make any sensible predictions about society anymore because technology has caught up with us and society might look rather different by then and your predictions are worth shit. (say, in 1980 this range was about 20 years cause by then the Internet changed a lot about the world works.. or something).
now, the hypothesis the Technological Singularity is based on the following. Given that technology and information transfer are moving at an increasinly faster and faster rate, this "window of prediction" is getting shorter and shorter. the idea is that at some point in time the size of this window will reach zero, and by definition it's impossible to say what happens after, even from five minutes before it happens :)

from what i see, the problems with this idea are:
- will the technology and information rate keep increasing indefinitely, or at least long enough for the Singularity to happen?
- will the "window of prediction" actually reach zero at some point in time? or will it perhaps asymptotically ( = never reach) approach zero, or perhaps it will stabilize at some average timespan that society/culture as a whole can still comprehend, somewhat (the "speed of culture"?)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: nurbldoff on November 18, 2008, 10:34:21 pm
I haven't really researched the idea of the Singularity but I think it's sometimes traced back to Teilhard de Chardin, who was a jesuit BTW, and his ideas of mankind basically evolving into god, or something like that. But generally the idea in its modern form is usually credited to Vernor Vinge, who's just a pretty good SF writer (and mathematician I think). But I do get disturbing "rapture" overtones from some transhumanist people.

Aaanyway, I'm not saying the singularity won't happen (although I'm skeptical) I'm just saying there's not really any point in theorizing about it because it wouldn't be a "singularity" if we could understand it. I'm not prone to predicting doomsday scenarios, but I can't say I'm looking forward to the event horizon...

I've also read a few SF novels basically just using the singularity as a "magical" explanation for all sorts of weird stuff. Pretty lazy IMHO.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Manta Obscura on November 19, 2008, 02:09:26 pm
I've also read a few SF novels basically just using the singularity as a "magical" explanation for all sorts of weird stuff. Pretty lazy IMHO.

Are you referencing "Childhood's End," by Arthur C. Clarke? That book had more holes in it than a snitching mobster, post-exposure.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cramulus on November 19, 2008, 08:02:53 pm
Interesting thoughts ITT.



I hadn't considered the christian parallels --

The Dark Ages : Doomsday ::
Information Age : Singularity ?


Or that both Christians and the Transhumanist camp are trying to escape Original Sin (in some sense).



As for the speed of the singularity --

but as far as I know, current guess as to what the Singularity is going to be is "Seed AI" (that is AI able to fix and improve itself, so it would quickly surpass human intelligence). it is my strong opinion that this guess is most probably going to be entirely wrong because of Fooled by Randomness and Black Swans and our total inability to predict fuck all espeically if it's going to be based on technology that is based on other technology (etc) that won't exist for a few decades or so.
but even then, if it's going to be Seed AI, Science Fiction (like the Matrix, and such) tells me it might just as well go horribly wrong as right.

if anything, the Black Swan should stand as a lesson that the Singularity is going to be hard to classify as "good" or "bad".

If Science Fiction makes us expect the worst, then the Black Swan would hint that change is coming on an unexpected angle. We're culturally primed for a fight against the robots, some archetypal discord still humming from the Industrial Revolution... but I don't think we're in any way prepared for the technology of 2020.

Quote
i see the Singularity (if it's going to happen and even if it's not) more as something that's a sign of the Strange Times, i mean, it does seem that technology and information is moving at a faster and faster pace, right? if it's going to coalesce into something .. singular, i don't know, but things do seem to be getting more strange, faster. or do you think that ideas like this are more of a kind of relativism / narrative fallacy thing, that in fact things aren't really moving faster, but they seem to be moving faster and have always seemed to be moving faster?

I think things are moving faster, and as those changes become broader, we'll need a word to describe the disorienting pace at which technology is changing our day-to-day lives. Singularity is that word, but I don't think we'll ever really reach the singularity. It'll remain something we're on the cusp of. Like the Age of Aquarius, dig?

The rate of technological advancement will hit a ceiling because it takes time for humans to adapt to new technology. People weren't plugged into their ipods and wireless internet the day it was invented - it took years for society to weave these things into the collective tapestry.

Likewise until machines start inventing new tech, technology will only advance as fast as the humans (and bureaucracy) involved with those creations.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: nurbldoff on November 21, 2008, 12:08:37 am
I've also read a few SF novels basically just using the singularity as a "magical" explanation for all sorts of weird stuff. Pretty lazy IMHO.

Are you referencing "Childhood's End," by Arthur C. Clarke? That book had more holes in it than a snitching mobster, post-exposure.

No, haven't read that one. Off the top of my head I can only remember "Singularity Sky" by Charles Stross and "Newton's Wake" by Ken Macleod (haven't finished the last one). Not terrible books either of them, but the ways they use the singularity idea just annoy me. Anyway maybe it's just that I don't read a lot of SF and I happened to pick the "wrong" ones.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Requia ☣ on December 02, 2008, 04:37:55 am
Singularity Sky isn't a singularity piece, even if it uses a lot of the predicted technologies that led to the idea of the singularity.  Accelerando (same author) actually tackles the singularity, but you can't really do it right, since by definition, the singularity is the point past which futurists decided they have no clue what will happen.  In the language of the board, its a black swan so big you can see it coming, but not past it.

RE: the op; transhumanists are the new rapturists.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: nurbldoff on December 28, 2008, 11:07:54 pm
Quote
Singularity Sky isn't a singularity piece, even if it uses a lot of the predicted technologies that led to the idea of the singularity.

Well, it's not about the singularity itself, but I'd say a lot of the elements of the intrigue rely on a singularity having happened to humanity... e.g. the fact that time travel that defies causality is forbidden. Having finished "Newton's Wake" I have to say that the scenarios as regarding the singularity and its results seem to be handled pretty much in the same way in both books. Is there some kind of consensus among SF writers about this? :)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Template on January 07, 2009, 09:20:02 pm
I only read the first and last pages of this thread.

Eliminating suffering might be a good aim, if you're doing it to everyone else first.  I'd never try to eliminate the ability to feel pain, though.  With all these nerve and brain structures built to handle them, not to have pain would be a terrible waste.  As long as it's possible to "do it wrong", you really should be able to know it without resorting to the third circuit.  Even suffering might be necessary, as Dark Nights make Days Bright.

Fuck the singularity.  Minds are too varied in structure to expect any sort of computerized mind to be built or emerge, and then survive.  Not without constant tending.

I've not seen too much of transhumanism, but I imagine that it refers to good ideas, without delivering.  Fools' ambitions, all.

Perhaps more wierdery should end in .exe.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on January 08, 2009, 12:43:20 pm
"Uploading" reminds me of the classic argument against teleportation: what if it's just a copy of you that comes through, and the original is destroyed? The copy won't notice, but it's the end of the line for you... and there's no way for an observer tell the difference.


This was the first thing that worried me about the idea of uploading but then I read a bit about the idea of an advanced robotic surgeon, replacing your neurons, one at a time with a patch into the mainframe. There was even the example that, since the brain feels no pain in and of itself, you could remain conscious throughout the process, even having a celebratory glass of champagne when the robot hits the half-way mark.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on January 08, 2009, 04:19:25 pm
I'm not really sure that the singularity requires magic robot brains... From what I've read by RU and Kurzweil, the singularity is all about the maths related to the speed of technological advancement. The Transhumanists seem to have varied views about the ultimate state of humanity beyond the singularity or what the impact of the singularity may have on what it means to be Human... but that seems to be similar to the eschatology arguments of religious people. That is, their views may appear wildly different and seem to say more about the individual than an objective view of what is likely to happen. The basis for all of their positions though seem to boil down to two key points, both of which might be reasonable.

1) Technology will continue to merge with human society and the human individual.

This seems a given, we get closer and closer to our communication devices each year. In Japan, there is a prototype of a cell phone built into the human body, run off of energy from the body. Artificial limbs, regrown tissue, pacemakers and performance enhancing drugs already exist and are in common use. Transhumanists have pushed this even further. One experiment embedded magnets into the fingertips of an individual... originally for carrying things, but that failed. As a side effect, though, the person picked up a sixth sense. The magnets responded to electromagnetic fields around the person... and they received a tingling sensation right before phone calls etc. A new sensor system is being used to help blind people see via their tongue. A system captures video, translates it to pixels and a flat tab in the users mouth sends electrical signals to specific parts of the tongue for each black or white pixel. The scientists involved claim that the brain still sends this data to the visual cortex and they see the cortex reactivate and begin processing this new data. Where will this take us? Probably where the Transhumanists claim... a continual merging between technology and humans, probably to some point where the difference will be moot, or at least so common that it's barely noted.

2) Technology will reach a point where it improves itself... technology will cease to follow Moore's Law and growth will be exponential rather than linear.

This also seems entirely possible. Particularly if we use a broad definition of technology. A smart scientist, on smart drugs, surviving because of a pacemaker, uses a really smart network of computers to build a system that is self-improving based on external data... Technology sent Technology on a quantum leap. And we still haven't gotten to any requirement for a Turing Test or an AI.

I think that both of these claims are probably reasonable. Humans and technology are already merging and once we open up stem cell research genetic therapy etc, Humans will likely no longer share many of the experiences common to humans since they've been called human. That's a pretty big deal. I also think its reasonable to think that technology will create a complex enough environment that some breakthrough will emerge and growth will likely surpass 'doubled every 18 months', at least until we hit the next plateau.

It seems that most of the Transhumanists take these views and incorporate them into a Utopia or a Eschatology of some sort... but it seems that the above are the bare bones beliefs which define Transhumanism, I think... based on what I've read in the past few weeks.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Template on January 09, 2009, 07:14:24 pm
"Uploading" reminds me of the classic argument against teleportation: what if it's just a copy of you that comes through, and the original is destroyed? The copy won't notice, but it's the end of the line for you... and there's no way for an observer tell the difference.


This was the first thing that worried me about the idea of uploading but then I read a bit about the idea of an advanced robotic surgeon, replacing your neurons, one at a time with a patch into the mainframe. There was even the example that, since the brain feels no pain in and of itself, you could remain conscious throughout the process, even having a celebratory glass of champagne when the robot hits the half-way mark.


Downside of mechanical brain: drugs no longer work.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on January 09, 2009, 07:23:37 pm
"Uploading" reminds me of the classic argument against teleportation: what if it's just a copy of you that comes through, and the original is destroyed? The copy won't notice, but it's the end of the line for you... and there's no way for an observer tell the difference.


This was the first thing that worried me about the idea of uploading but then I read a bit about the idea of an advanced robotic surgeon, replacing your neurons, one at a time with a patch into the mainframe. There was even the example that, since the brain feels no pain in and of itself, you could remain conscious throughout the process, even having a celebratory glass of champagne when the robot hits the half-way mark.


Downside of mechanical brain: drugs no longer work.

Biological drugs may not work... but It seems entirely possible for me to imagine digital drugs in a reality where computer systems were complex enough to act as human brains.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Vene on January 10, 2009, 01:26:21 am
"Uploading" reminds me of the classic argument against teleportation: what if it's just a copy of you that comes through, and the original is destroyed? The copy won't notice, but it's the end of the line for you... and there's no way for an observer tell the difference.


This was the first thing that worried me about the idea of uploading but then I read a bit about the idea of an advanced robotic surgeon, replacing your neurons, one at a time with a patch into the mainframe. There was even the example that, since the brain feels no pain in and of itself, you could remain conscious throughout the process, even having a celebratory glass of champagne when the robot hits the half-way mark.


Downside of mechanical brain: drugs no longer work.
Depends on the drug, assuming the individual still has biological systems.  And what Rat said.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on January 11, 2009, 04:13:46 pm
I find that, when trying to get an idea of what the future holds, it helps to frame the present state of affairs in relation to the past. In a sense we are already "transhuman" in comparison to even a couple of hundred years ago. Think of how much more sophisticated our intellect has become. Many notions and concepts that we (as a modern civilisation) take for granted are things that would be inconceivable to the average 1809 punter.

We carry devices in our mobile phones which would essentially be described in terms of telepathy by the people back then. We are more and more reliant on the technology we create. The symbiosis inherent, even despite the fact that most of it isn't directly wired into our bodies. Yet.

As such the basic human being, equipped with his mundane technology is capable of feats that would have been considered godlike back in the "goode olde days" We are already more than human, in this respect, and it's only going to continue at a speed approaching exponential but, just as 1809 guy could never begin to imagine this, neither can we imagine 2209, other than in tiny snippets that I'm pretty sure will fall way short of the actual mark.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Template on January 13, 2009, 06:43:43 pm
"Uploading" reminds me of the classic argument against teleportation: what if it's just a copy of you that comes through, and the original is destroyed? The copy won't notice, but it's the end of the line for you... and there's no way for an observer tell the difference.


This was the first thing that worried me about the idea of uploading but then I read a bit about the idea of an advanced robotic surgeon, replacing your neurons, one at a time with a patch into the mainframe. There was even the example that, since the brain feels no pain in and of itself, you could remain conscious throughout the process, even having a celebratory glass of champagne when the robot hits the half-way mark.


Downside of mechanical brain: drugs no longer work.

Biological drugs may not work... but It seems entirely possible for me to imagine digital drugs in a reality where computer systems were complex enough to act as human brains.

I have reflected on my post.  I imagine it's possible to mechanically simulate a neuron without learning to simulate mind.  Computerized drugs would make sense in that model, but I still wonder if the limitations on a mechanized brain would feel different.

Would it make it at all easier to modify one's perceptual mechanisms?  I mean "faster-clock" and "slower-clock" would be easy, but what of "see aliens"?  Or, "don't worry, smoke moar!"?  Clearly, though, transhumanism isn't exactly suited for the entheogen-oriented.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on January 13, 2009, 07:59:35 pm
"Uploading" reminds me of the classic argument against teleportation: what if it's just a copy of you that comes through, and the original is destroyed? The copy won't notice, but it's the end of the line for you... and there's no way for an observer tell the difference.


This was the first thing that worried me about the idea of uploading but then I read a bit about the idea of an advanced robotic surgeon, replacing your neurons, one at a time with a patch into the mainframe. There was even the example that, since the brain feels no pain in and of itself, you could remain conscious throughout the process, even having a celebratory glass of champagne when the robot hits the half-way mark.


Downside of mechanical brain: drugs no longer work.

Biological drugs may not work... but It seems entirely possible for me to imagine digital drugs in a reality where computer systems were complex enough to act as human brains.

I have reflected on my post.  I imagine it's possible to mechanically simulate a neuron without learning to simulate mind.  Computerized drugs would make sense in that model, but I still wonder if the limitations on a mechanized brain would feel different.

Would it make it at all easier to modify one's perceptual mechanisms?  I mean "faster-clock" and "slower-clock" would be easy, but what of "see aliens"?  Or, "don't worry, smoke moar!"?  Clearly, though, transhumanism isn't exactly suited for the entheogen-oriented.

Well, if you take a small view, maybe...

But, what if they could modify *insert entheogen here* at a genetic level so that it worked better, produced more, had less risks... What if they start splicing various entheogenic components? Or what if they develop a brain jack that can record what you're neurological system is experiencing and can play it back later for review, meditation, examination etc?

The brain doesn't have to be replaced in a Transhuman future... it may just get upgrades, peripherals, usb ports and maybe a built in helicopter roter sticking out the top like a "Bio Beanie"
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: nurbldoff on January 13, 2009, 08:17:54 pm
...
2) Technology will reach a point where it improves itself... technology will cease to follow Moore's Law and growth will be exponential rather than linear.

This also seems entirely possible. Particularly if we use a broad definition of technology. A smart scientist, on smart drugs, surviving because of a pacemaker, uses a really smart network of computers to build a system that is self-improving based on external data... Technology sent Technology on a quantum leap. And we still haven't gotten to any requirement for a Turing Test or an AI.

Yeah, I agree that it is a possibility, and apparently an almost irresistible one to SF writers. But I see some fairly big "ifs" in there. It seems we're already closing in on the practical limit in miniaturization of solid state electronics for example. Sure, maybe someone comes up with an alternative that gives a new boost to Moore's law, but my guess is that ultimately the rate of improvement is going to be capped by physics, and if the rate should start going
exponential, we'll just reach that point sooner, that's all.

Aaaanyway, I think you captured some of the core ideas of transhumanism there and I agree that they are somewhat interesting as ideas. However, the actual transhumanists I've encountered (in fact, I linger on some transhumanism mailing list for some reason) don't seem very much fun unless you're into intellectual masturbation. Paraphrasing what someone else said, it's a lot of words but not a lot of action.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Requia ☣ on January 16, 2009, 06:55:56 am
Computer technology already is exponential in growth.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Triple Zero on January 16, 2009, 10:14:00 am
"has always been exponential in growth".

Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: nurbldoff on January 16, 2009, 03:40:40 pm
Ooops. Anyway, an exponential increase alone won't give rise to mathematical singularity.  I guess the "singularists" aren't necessarily saying that the growth rate will become infinite, just very high; "practically" infinite.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on January 16, 2009, 06:57:03 pm
Ooops. Anyway, an exponential increase alone won't give rise to mathematical singularity.  I guess the "singularists" aren't necessarily saying that the growth rate will become infinite, just very high; "practically" infinite.


Well, more importantly, the Singularity is the point where technology improves technology at a very fast rate, without relying on/waiting on humans to figure out what to do next.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Triple Zero on January 16, 2009, 08:23:02 pm
Ooops. Anyway, an exponential increase alone won't give rise to mathematical singularity.  I guess the "singularists" aren't necessarily saying that the growth rate will become infinite, just very high; "practically" infinite.

um, no they don't. or maybe the stupid ones do.

for starters, even if it continues to be growing at an exponential rate, it wouldn't reach infinity within any finite amount of time. mathematically speaking.

that's why the technological singularity is not the same as a mathematical singularity.

as far as I understood, the argument goes like this:

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.

Sure there are a bunch of holes you can shoot in this reasoning, it doesn't *necessarily* have to happen, IMO. But it doesn't seem completely impossible to me either. (In fact, I think it kind of depends on how long humankind can stay the way it is before we are globally thrusted back into the stone-age or something because we fucked up).

One possible scenario for the singularity is "seed-AI". Seed-AI is defined as a kind of AI that can improve and redesign itself. You can imagine how that, coupled with the speed and capacity of computers, might lead to a situation where we will be completely unable to predict what will happen next.

Whether seed-AI is actually feasible, is yet another discussion, of course.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Golden Applesauce on January 18, 2009, 08:52:37 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.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Triple Zero on January 19, 2009, 12:00:58 am
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.

:lulz:

:mittens:

Quote
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.

Except you couldn't even be sure it would land before somebody figured out how to flip gravity.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bu☆ns on January 19, 2009, 01:40:14 am
  :lulz: marry me, GA
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Idem 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.
:mittens:
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk 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.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk 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?

AWESOME GA!
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: popjellyfish 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]
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: chaoflux 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:

"Tomorrow never comes until its too late."
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m 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.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Faust 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....
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: LMNO 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.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Faust 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.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m 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:
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain 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
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: LMNO 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?
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Cain on May 15, 2009, 08:07:07 pm
I'm surprised it wasnt this (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AnythingThatMoves)
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk 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").

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_v0fV15P7uQo/R9v-nLo3b7I/AAAAAAAAB38/eP6x8P76OoM/s400/fido%2Btim.jpg)

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...
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: LMNO on May 15, 2009, 08:21:29 pm
If you take admitted "sex addicts" as an example* (I'd go with "addicts" but the objections would be the same), then according to majority testimonial, engaging in a simulated act doesn't decrease the desire for the inital act; in fact, it makes it stronger.

A pedo that has a 9-year-old looking sexdoll would actually be increasing his desire to fuck a 9-year-old.















*yeah, yeah, :cn:
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: chaoflux on May 15, 2009, 11:08:09 pm
you caught me, I admit I was trying to subtle troll you guys and get some rage out of you by bringing up a loaded topic.

My failure is your win.  :D

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:

Interesting point, I wonder what future taboos will be?

Probably something like skull fucking someone who has a cybernetic brain that runs on windows 95.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on May 17, 2009, 09:43:33 am
Possible future sportfuck options:

fucking a german shepherd in the ass - the strange one is the one that's had his dna changed to be a german shepherd just to experience said assfucking first hand paw

decacpitation fetish - you get your head lopped off, someone cums directly down your throat while you watch, then they sew the head back on and you toddle off home with a belly full of spooge

base-fucking - copulating couple jumps off a building and try to reach orgasm just as they hit the ground. Then the gloop is scraped off the sidewalk and re-formed via nanobots

One thing that occurs to me is that things like rape/pedophillia and other forms of sexcrime probably won't be a big deal since any trauma will be pretty easily resolved using direct mind interface reprogramming. Probably receive most of your education that way too. In utero. 9 months, stuck in the womb with nothing but a Playstation 12 and youtube to amuse yourself.





Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Faust on May 17, 2009, 12:44:14 pm
Direct mind interfacing?
No need. First it will be automated and then come in a pill form. Got raped on your way home from work? No problem, when you get home synthesize our patented Blue Skies pill or cream using your online chemist.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: Doktor Howl on November 28, 2018, 05:16:48 pm
I am against transhumanism because humans are already fucked up.  Being able to directly load apps into their brains will not help matters...And while I LOVE the idea of you fuckers getting pop-up ads in your field of vision while you're driving on the highway, it occurs to me that - eventually - upgrades would be economically (or even legally) mandatory.
Title: Re: What does everyone here think of Transhumanism?
Post by: on October 27, 2019, 10:55:33 pm
(1) Low-tech transhumanist technologies are feasible: glasses, hearing aids, dental crowns, bridges, artificial hearts, etc.

(2) Pain is Mother Nature's way of saying, "Don't do that!" (one of Mom's doctors)