[ExI] [wta-talk] Transhumanism in wikipedia - A Call for Max

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Fri May 9 02:12:59 UTC 2008

On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 8:54 PM, Damien Sullivan
<phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> On Thu, May 08, 2008 at 07:03:39PM -0600, Amara Graps wrote:
>> Sorry, I only looked at this now, but my life is pretty full these
>> months/years.
>> In Nov 2007, Giu1i0 Pri5c0 wrote:
>> >  I just went to read again the Wikipedia article on Transhumanism.
>> I read the Wikipedia article today for the first time. How profoundly
>> disappointing. Hundreds/thousands of people every day are being
>> introduced to transhuman ideas with *THAT*. Bleh.
> What's wrong with it?  Inaccurate?  I thought it was fine.  Unexciting?
> Well, encyclopedia.

rant mode - I don't actually have a well-formed strategy or an idea on
an approach to transforming the article into something more relevant.
Any suggestions would be great.

Though I can't speak for Amara, and want to hear her own opinions on
the topic, I think that inaccurate is a good way to put it. For
example, the arguments on genetics are kept even though we know they
are behind the times (the socioeconomics arguments), which perhaps
belong to a history section; Drexler, Merkle, Feynman, von Neumann,
Freitas, etc., all mentioned nanotech in this sense and, even though
they are mentioned in the article, they aren't "integrated" as an
encyclopedic approach would suggest -- i.e., countering the arguments
with the ideas of post-scarcity singularities. There are numerous
groups out there on the net, and many many projects that represent
what the transhumanists of the 80s and 90s were talking about. For
example, Orion's Arm is a good example. ImmInst, biohack, diybio,
biobarcamp, scibarcamp, scifoo, hplusclub, polonator, biotech, etc.,
all of these aspects are basically ignored and, instead, controversy
about feasability is questioned when it's *happening right now* -- in
various ways, shapes or forms across the internet. For example, the
open source movements read like something straight out of Max More's
extropian principle papers, but why are all of these projects ignored?
There are millions of users using open source tech out there, and it's
representing an accelerating pace of software (and in some sense,
hardware and other tech), but why is this not mentioned at all? Why is
the status quo preserved with the focus on an international approach,
rather than documenting transhumanism and the excellent track record
in predicting tech, getting involved, and being a gateway to the
awesome ideas of our time? That's what it's about -- not just the
ethics, not just 'international approaches', not just governments and
outlash. The 'tech of interest' section isn't integrated into the
arguments section, even though transhumanism is mostly about the tech
itself, even though there's been decades of discussion between
transhumanists (in the *public*) available on the net that addresses
these issues. Seems like it's all ignored, and edits are hastely

end rant mode

- Bryan

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