[ExI] "general repudiation of Transhumanism"

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 14:48:27 UTC 2008

On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 4:36 PM, John Grigg <possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com> wrote:
> He attacked Dr. James Hughes (who helped host last year's ASU Transhumanist
> workshop) idea that by raising the average IQ of a democratic citizenry that
> you can make them more informed and capable citizens, who can then better
> defend democratic values.  He felt there was no real connection there. ...
> Sarewitz went on to say the two key challenges facing humanity would not be
> helped by aggressive intelligence augmentation.  The first challenge regards
> individuals, groups and societies experiencing conflicting values and world
> views and trying to deal peacefully with each other.  The second challenge
> dealt with humanity's ability to predict and manage the future.  He pointed
> out that extremely bright and educated people/think tanks have guided
> nations into very stupid policies/wars over the years and done great damage
> and so why should even brighter technologically augmented folks do better?

One is entitled to have a few doubts about that, but the point is
really simple. Either intelligence augmentation is irrilevant, and in
such case one hardly sees why it should be prevented. Or it is a good
thing per se, under one aspect or another, as most of us would think,
including at a societal level, and including in the case that it would
not really contribute to the overall happiness or efficiency of a
given society. Or it is a negative thing, and in such case such
critics would seem to suggest that H+ techs be put at use to reduce
the average intelligence, or perhaps to re-orient it in a different

Hardly the kind of transhumanism I would happily embraced, but a
stance that it is nevertheless at odd with any kind of bioluddism, the
latter requiring us to believe blindly that human intelligence - or
for that matter any other human feature - is "just right", perfect,
for now and for any conceivable future.

Stefano Vaj

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