[ExI] The Excitement-Disillusionment-Reorientation cycle of online transhumanism

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 19:06:17 UTC 2009

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 4:59 PM, Kaj Sotala <xuenay at gmail.com> wrote:
> Originally posted at http://xuenay.livejournal.com/318060.html :

Very interesting point.

> For purely political movements, you can make progress with
> a mainly online presence, debating the pros and cons of your cause and
> recruiting more people under its banner. But while transhumanism is
> certainly a political cause as well, the vast majority of people
> aren't really going to care about the social implications of a
> technology before they can be convinced that the technology in
> question is actually going to become real soon.

In fact, my view is that organised transhumanism is emphatically *not*
about transhumanism-relevant technologies - which OTOH may well be
brought forward in practical terms by people who are not transhumanist
in the least, more or less how the opinion of physicists on nuclear
weapons was not so crucial in their development.

It is about transhumanist *worldview* and *politics*, which concern
the cultural and societal requirements for such technologies and/or
any posthuman change to be discussed, researched, developed, allowed
and applied in the first place and what kind of effort should be
deployed to those ends.

In fact, from such a point of view, a promethean societal orientation
is desirable per se, irrespective of what and when it can deliver in
any specific area.

This is why we should engage less in starry-eyed prophesising, or in
debating how to manage post-singularity worlds, and much more in the
fight to change legislation, public invesment policies, existing value
systems/priorities/mentalities, etc.

Stefano Vaj

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