[ExI] Isn't Bostrom seriously bordering on the reactionary?

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Jun 15 21:26:14 UTC 2011

Stefano Vaj wrote:
> I think that as *citizens* it is only plausible and reasonable to have 
> a complex set of priorities, safety being amongst them (even though 
> when naive reference is made to "mankind" some deconstruction of the 
> concept IMHO is in order).
> OTOH, as a *transhumanist* I think that it is not the role of a club 
> for the promotion of chess playing to discuss the benefits of outdoor 
> sports or the the counsel for the defence to present evidence against 
> their clients or of a lobbysts to keep in mind some higher good or of 
> a trade union to find the ideal composition of the workers and 
> employers interests.

You know, I'd rather discuss what I consider important than keep silent 
in order to maintain my club membership. If trying to reduce the fairly 
substantial risks and uncertainties associated with technologies such as 
biotech, nanotech, cognotech, AI and global surveillance is incompatible 
with being transhumanist, then I think transhumanism has a serious bias 
and credibility problem.

The FHI informal office guess is ~12% chance of extinction* before 2100. 
That makes it a bigger personal risk of death than stroke for most of us.

* I.e. no continuation of current human civilization or personal 
identity. Weird posthumans do not count as extinction, a universe 
converted into paperclips does.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute 
James Martin 21st Century School 
Philosophy Faculty 
Oxford University 

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