[extropy-chat] Human - Posthuman gap

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Thu Apr 28 09:46:04 UTC 2005

On Apr 27, 2005, at 5:20 PM, Joseph Bloch wrote:

> I don't see this as being what Eugen is saying at all.
> Saying that there will be an end to the Human species, and that they 
> will be succeeded by some PostHuman successor species, is most 
> definitely not the same as saying that "there may be no place for the 
> majority of the people around us".
> I think even the most hardcore of us would agree that we would (and 
> actively do) encourage the transition of each and every person alive 
> today into a state of PostHumanity. That's why we almost universally 
> agree on the desirability of making sure Transhumanist technologies 
> are available to as wide an audience as possible. (Disagreement, of 
> course, arises based on the question of just what is the most 
> efficient way to make sure that happens; a relatively government-free 
> Free Market, or a government-driven model; but the end result is 
> common to both camps.)

Do you think the majority of the people will be interested soon enough? 
  I don't see that as likely.   What happens to those folks who aren't 
buying it?

> It is a critical question, and also opens up the can of worms of the 
> desireability/morality/practicality of imposing such a transition on 
> those who don't, in their pre-PostHuman state, choose to undergo the 
> transition (in a world where the majority of the population has an 
> effective IQ of 1000, can someone with a "normal" IQ of 100 make such 
> a choice and be said to be truly "informed"? Such standards are 
> relative...) Another sticky wicket appears when those who choose not 
> to transform themselves seek to impose that decision on everyone.

If it is wrong for them to keep us relatively dumb and short-lived 
would it be right for us to force >human intelligence and indefinitely 
long life span on them against their wishes?    Do we want to continue 
this step-wise conundrum indefinitely? Will each step of further 
progress revisit the question?  Who is going to pay for all the 
upgrades if they aren't all effectively too abundantly available to 
need bother charging for?   Wouldn't we then be attempting to force an 
equality of capability?  Is that a good thing?  Who says our set of 
desirability metrics are the most righteous and privileged to the point 
of forcing others to adopt what we consider desirable?

> I say give as many people as possible the opportunity to shed their 
> pre-PostHuman existence, and I am fairly sure that Eugen (and indeed 
> the vast majority here) would agree on that broad goal.

I agree on the goal but it ducks a lot of very thorny questions to just 
say that much.

- samantha

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