[ExI] "general repudiation of Transhumanism"

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 17:52:06 UTC 2008

On Sunday 27 April 2008, John Grigg wrote:
> you continue:
> Citizenry and nationalism just don't work out in this day and age,
> time to update your ideas. :-) There's more than just living as a
> citizen - you can live as a person, a human.
> Please don't automatically connect being a concerned citizen with
> militant nationalism.  You can be a concerned and contributing
> citizen of your nation and at the same time be a good "citizen of the
> Earth."

How did citizenship get brought up on a speech about transhumanism, 

> I wrote/you wrote:
> > >  After all, as a professor he is a member of America's
> > > intellectual/high IQ elite.  Or does he only want a relative few
> > > to be in that club?
> >
> > So now you're saying that you *don't* want IQ elitism.
> I never did.

True. But here's what you said: you wanted to remove 50 IQ points from 
him, and then see if he can be a contributing citizen; then you asked 
if he only wants a relative few to *not* have those 50 IQ points 
absent. Basically the 'elitism' is in enforcing some definition of 
a 'contributing citizen' there.

> No.  He was not talking about "absolute power corrupts absolutely,
> etc.,." The focus was on not expecting technologically augmented
> intellects to do better than the already gifted intellects (through
> natural selection) we already now have in high places to guide us
> politically.  He was not stating high intellect itself as a threat,
> but instead saying we should not view it as the panacea to our
> political ills.  My playful comments were satirizing what he said.

High intellects to politically guide nations? I don't get it.

> > > The speaker did grudgingly admit that the technologies
> > > Transhumanists endorse will be coming into being whether he likes
> > > it or not.  And he stated the primary mover for this was military
> > > and economic competitiveness between nations.  He saw this as the
> > > main reason why reasonable people like him had to swing into
> > > action and carefully control and regulate these new technologies.
> you wrote:
> > You both sound like tech regulators ... you have your 'tech
> > democracy' stuff, he wants to regulate it so that you don't enforce
> > those tech-democracy requirement stuffs, whatever. Same thing, same
> > sides of the spectrum, nothing new.
> Huh?  Please clarify what you wrote here with much clearer language. 
> Why would I "enforce" democracy enhancing tech?  I'm not for forcing
> intelligence augmentation or other Transhumanist technologies onto
> people, especially for the cause of advancing democracy.

Hm, those comments were made from the interpretation of your assertion 
of the relationship between the 'defense of democratic values' and IQ. 
So more clearly, it's not so much about whether or not you want to 
enforce those sorts of policies, but rather that the 'lense of 
perception' here is that of, how did he put it, "military and economic 
competitiveness between nations". The idea of having those knee-jerk 
military and political reactions between nations, the "us vs. them" 
perspective, which I understand that you don't necessarily entertain, 
but the principle plan of using politics to advance technology is what 
I was more commenting on that seemed to make "you both sound like tech 
regulators." Particularly the politics part because you mentioned 
seeing if he could remain an effective citizen with 50 IQ points, so 
that's the citizen-defense-of-values relation here. Anyway.

> Ahh, but we will still need resources in the form of matter and
> energy.  And in time even the resources of our home solar system and
> beyond could be devoured unless we are careful stewards.  If a
> company or individual develops a wonderful gene tweak for whatever
> great benefit, they are going to want some sort of payment (but that
> might come in the form of barter or even simply reputation/fame).  It
> may be quite awhile before we free ourselves from scarcity economics.
>  I truly dream of the world you envision.

Only dream?

> you write:
> > Ignore him. He doesn't know what he's talking about.
> LOL  I agree with you there!  But he is a professor of fairly high
> stature and such people need to be properly confronted (assertively &
> respectfully and not aggressively & rudely) on the gladiatorial arena
> floor of memetic conflict.

I don't see how memetic conflict *of others* influences whether or not 
we can move beyond dreaming into implementation of these ideas, from 
within (ourselves).

- Bryan

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