[ExI] Transhumanist and Proud of It was Re: Blackford and Egan on >H

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Thu Apr 24 04:10:34 UTC 2008

On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:06 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> See Russell Blackford's blog entry on transhumanism,
>  http://metamagician3000.blogspot.com/
>  and especially the comments:
>  <https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=24761391&postID=3749500042141962458>
>  where Greg Egan offers remarks such as:
>  <The word "transhumanism" (or, even worse, "posthumanism") sounds
>  like a suicide note for the species, which effectively renders it a
>  political suicide note for any movement by that name. No doubt there
>  are people prepared to spend 90% of their time and energy explaining
>  that they didn't *intend* any negative connotations, but this is not
>  one of those cases where other people will be to blame if
>  "transhumanists" are reviled as the enemies of humanity on purely
>  linguistic grounds. It's no use people proclaiming "Please, read my
>  1,000-page manifesto, don't just look at one word!" The name is
>  stupid, and anyone who doesn't drop it deserves the consequences.
>  And I'm not sure quite how much solidarity I'm compelled to have with
>  someone, just because they've also noticed that we're not going to
>  see out the millennium with physical substrates identical to those
>  we've had for the last 200,000 years. People who think their manifest
>  destiny is to turn Jupiter into computronium so they can play 10^20
>  characters simultaneously in their favourite RPG are infinitely more
>  odious and dangerous than the average person who thinks this whole
>  subject is science-fictional gibberish and would really just like to
>  have 2.3 children that are members of his/her own species, so long as
>  they don't have cystic fibrosis and live a slightly better life than
>  their parents. >
>  Damien Broderick
### Damien quoted some remarks by Greg Egan, and let me do some
disagreeing here:

I don't care how Joe Schmoe might (mis)understand "transhumanism". To
me it means the desire to transcend our biological limits, to be
better humans, plain and simple. In a discussion it takes me less than
a minute to explain what I mean by this word, and if my interlocutor
disagrees, it's with the substance, not with the word itself. Unless a
bunch of Joe's with pitchforks show up in my backyard, I will proudly
proclaim myself a transhumanist.

And yeah, I am a white male with a computer. You got a problem with it
- go fuck yourself.


BTW, Egan's remarks are all rhetoric, and no substance. Of course, he
predicts our near future just as most transhumanists do. He is smart,
he knows what we know and then some. He wants what most transhumanists
do - not to be bothered by jerks telling us what kind of medical
treatments are sufficiently non-repugnant to be magnanimously
permitted. So what exactly is his problem with transhumanism? Male
menopause? Well, whatever.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list