[extropy-chat] Human - Posthuman gap (was: Spain has become the third country in Europe to legalise gay marriage)

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Thu Apr 28 05:57:33 UTC 2005

On 28/04/05, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 24, 2005 at 11:34:46AM +0100, ben wrote:
> > I'm not arguing with your basic premise, but i would argue with the
> > above statement. I reckon it's almost certain that there will be a
> > *much* bigger gap between (many) posthumans and humans than that between
> > birds and humans. I'd be very surprised (and disappointed) if that
> > wasn't so.
> We are very close to the floor, and the ceiling is very far up, so
> radiation/speciation in complexity space indicates the average (of course, number of individua
> and their spatial distribution will vary wildly) critter is way more complex than
> us.
> > In fact, the term 'posthumans' is almost meaningless as a basis for
> > comparing stuff like this. It's like saying that 'post-book media' will
> > or will not retain property X of books. It would be silly to say that
> > 'post-book media' would be closer to books than books are to clay
> > tablets, wouldn't it?
> I think the idea of the posthuman label is to denote an end to people As We Know Them,
> and TEOTWAWKI in general.
> For some strange reason, this is still controversial to some transhumanists.

It seems as though the consensus on homo sapiens vs homo
neanderthalensis is that very slight differences in competitive
ability (trade has been suggested recently on this list) resulted in
homo sapiens eradicating homo neanderthalensis, through normal
competition for resources. Not through malevolence, just co-existence.

To me it's pretty clear that in an environment containing
non-negligible posthuman and human populations, humans will quickly
die out due to inability to compete. Given that the gap between
posthumans and humans is likely to be much larger than that between
neanderthals and modern humans*, I expect it'd happen pretty quickly.

The only salvation I see for natural humans is if some subset of
posthumans decides to protect them, providing them with some form of
welfare. Maybe it could happen... as the band Porno for Pyros once
said, we'd make great pets.

* Assuming no welfare for posthumans from humans, you must deduce that
posthuman populations will be more competitive than humans, otherwise
they wont be able to establish themselves. Given the pre-existing
human-biased social/political/economic structures, you can further
deduce a fairly wide margin required between humans and posthumans
before posthumans worthy of distinct categorization from humans can
establish as a separate group.


http://emlynoregan.com   * blogs * music * software *

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