[ExI] How many transhumanist

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sun Feb 19 09:30:38 UTC 2012


On 18/02/2012 17:18, Keith Henson wrote:
> This
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Transhumanists
>
> list 73 who are in the Wikipedia and are in that category.
>

Of course, many of them were around before the current movement (like 
Fyodorov, who died in 1903) or are fellow travellers who tend to refuse 
to call themselves transhumanists (like professor Savulescu).

More importantly, the list shows that there are quite a few fairly 
notable people who are so clear in their views that it makes sense to 
call them transhumanists. We should expect a far larger number of 
notable people who have unexpressed opinions or partially agree. Anybody 
who has an estimate of how many people are mentioned in Wikipedia in 
total? Scaling up 73 by the ratio 7 billion / #people in Wikipedia might 
give a lower bound (since many people in Wikipedia are historical).

I was attending a meeting about emerging technology and global security 
in Washington DC last week. I think that among the intelligence analysts 
and technologists present at least a third were "transhumanists" in some 
sense. At the very least they were quite open to radical new 
technologies, although often more concerned with how to avoid bad guys 
getting them.

Transhumanism is creeping into the mainstream to the extent that we 
card-carrying transhumanists might want to consider what role - if any - 
we should play. An old-timer I met recently complained that he wasn't 
seeing much *new* ideas on our fora - maybe it is time for us to shape 
up and go to the next level? Or revel in our mainstreaminess and get 
lucrative jobs as lobbyists?

-- 
Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University



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