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

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Fri May 9 02:45:37 UTC 2008

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu :
>What's wrong with it?  Inaccurate?  I thought it was fine.  Unexciting?

It too heavily emphasizes technologies over the processes of change,
natural and otherwise.

It portrays the ideas as belonging to a kind of elite group

It portrays the holders of such ideas to attract large enemies and then
expands on those 'detractors' for more than half of the article.

Its history is, in my opinion, a crime of inaccuracy, not only missing
the last decades when the word 'transhuman' was in use, but missing the
last 2000+ years, when the basic ideas were being implemented, or trying
to be implemented, and more importantly _debated_.

The Theory section that follow the History section is lacking the same
background depth.

The Aims section barely gives a subsection of the 'large picture' of :

Living: Longer, Smarter, Stronger. I.e. the myriad of ways that human
lives can be improved with research, education, smart investments in our
future, and how to help ourselves build the social, political, and
cultural structures to make all of that happen.

The Ethics section misses completely the most important idea of
self-ownership and responsibility.

In the Currents section -

	it gives equal weight to the real or fictitious
	subgroups, and there is one little line devoted to
	Extropians, which was, in fact, a prominent
	carrier of the ideas for more than 15 years.

	There is way too much space devoted to
	Spirituality and 'soul' in this article.

	Uploading is barely described. Instead it goes
	into a criticism, almost immediately. Strange for
	a topic that generates endless discussion (ad
	nauseum) on mailing lists for almost 20 years,

In the Practice section, it is missing *most* of the daily life
practices, that people are using to live longer, smarter, stronger.
Vaccination, contraceptives, smart nutrition, exercise, assisted
reproductive technologies (which is mentioned in _one place only_ in the
'Postgenderism' line of Currents!). The latter is quite strange for a
topic that generates enough heat to be banned in some countries, no? The
section is also missing mind tricks, meditations, and all of those
do-it-yourself practices that people in our community have been trying
and 'doing' for decades.

Similarly for the 'Technologies of Interest'; there are large holes
missing. What about space technologies, quantum computing, large-scale
'computing at home' efforts, evolutionary psychology insights,
efforts to solve the energy problems, SENS research, technologies for
democratization of societies?


This article is, in my opinion a gross distortion of
Transhuman/extropian ideas, as I've known them for the last 20 years.



Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado

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