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

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 13:17:14 UTC 2011

On 17 June 2011 16:50, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2011/6/17 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
> So true.  There is also the problem of identifying what is a risk.

Exactly my point.

> One of the classic curses is "may you get what you ask for."  I could
> elaborate a long time on this, but Charles Stross has already done so.

Certainly there is some tragic, in the Greek sense, in the adventure of
humankind and of life in general.

But the big split has forever been between those who celebrate it ("amor
fati"), and those who consider that a curse.

Speaking of transhumanism, at the bottom of it in my view there is the
explicitely or implicitely the Nietzschean idea that what we are worth
consists in our potential to overcome ourselves: "The 'conservation of the
species' is only a consequence of the growth of the species, that is
of a *victory
on the species*, in the path towards
a stronger species. [...] It is exactly with respect to every living being
that it could be best shown that it does everything that it can not to
protect itself, but t*o become more than what it is*." (Will to Power) "And
it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his course between
animal and Superman, *and celebrateth his advance to the evening as his
highest hope*: for it is the advance to a new morning. At such time will the
down-goer bless himself, that he should be an *over-goer*; and the sun of
his knowledge will be at noontide." (Thus Spake Zarathustra).

At a point in time, some transhumanists seem to have decided that after all
eternal becoming and transition(s) to posthumanity are not any more what
only can give a meaning to our presence in the world; on the contrary, it
would be something to be feared and shun, since it would obviously imply
that we would not "exist" anymore the way we currently do, as in "x-risk".
See not only Bostrom, but, eg, the last part of Stross's  Accelerando.

Such POV is eminently respectable, not to mention largely predominant in our
societies along the lines of the famous "anti trans-simianist" satire, but I
wonder why it would require additional advocates

Stefano Vaj
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