[ExI] If anyone wants to Respond to the IEET piece re "Promblems of Transhumanism"

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Mon Feb 8 17:26:05 UTC 2010

So what?   

Nlogo1.tif Natasha Vita-More

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Damien
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 11:21 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] If anyone wants to Respond to the IEET piece re
"Promblems of Transhumanism"

On 2/8/2010 11:00 AM, Natasha Vita-More wrote:

> "Libertarian transhumanists like Thiel and More..."
> Please read:  RU's interview with Max:
> http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/people/Max-More/?interview=

That would be the following 2004 discussion:

<I am not a libertarian, unless you take a generously broad view of the
term. I'm hardly an exception these days. Even going back a few years, a
survey of Extropy Institute members showed that a substantial proportion did
not describe their political views with the l-word. When it comes to
politics and economics, a high degree of pragmatism (in the skeptical and
empiricist sense) is healthy, and ideology is problematic.>

As far as the actual quote in James Hughe's essay goes, does it misrepresent
Max's thinking on the topic at issue? This next quote would suggest that
Hughe's implication of antidemocratic or top-down bias (if that's what he
means) is wrong:

<OPEN SOCIETY: Supporting social orders that foster freedom of speech,
freedom of action, and experimentation. Opposing authoritarian social
control and favoring the rule of law and decentralization of power. 
Preferring bargaining over battling, and exchange over compulsion. 
Openness to improvement rather than a static utopia. [...] I find it both
amusing and revolting to observe socialist transhumanists who characterize
themselves as "democratic transhumanists" but use the term "democracy" as a
cover for using governmental power to compel everyone to fit into their
notion of "equality." Democracy, in the more generally accepted sense, is an
important way of implementing the principle of Open Society.>

Still, Max is quoted as saying

<Democratic arrangements have no intrinsic value; they have value only to
the extent that they enable us to achieve shared goals while protecting our
freedom. Surely, as we strive to transcend the biological limitations of
human nature, we can also improve upon monkey politics? >

Damien Broderick
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