[ExI] Max More is back! Talk on "Unsolved Problems in Transhumanism" in Second Life , June 8

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Tue May 27 22:16:36 UTC 2008

On Tuesday 27 May 2008, Natasha Vita-More wrote:
> Bryan Bishop
> Sent: Monday, May 26, 2008 1:46 AM
> On Monday 26 May 2008, Giu1i0 Pri5c0 wrote:
> >> Max More is back. In his first public Second Life appearance, the
> >> founder of contemporary transhumanism will discuss unsolved
> >> problems within the movement:
> >
> >For what it's worth, I think all of these problems are solved, but
> > their solutions have not received widespread proliferation yet.
> If the problems have been solved, then the world can rest in peace
> and prosperity because socio-cultural quandaries of communication on
> a small scale are the echo of socio-political predicaments on a far
> larger scale.

By solve I mean conceptually, that the ideas work and they fit together 
and the steps are walking the path. I don't understand why rest would 
be the next step because of small scale solutions as an echo of large 
scale solutions. By proliferation I mean(t) within the transhuman 
community, because I know quite well that many are clueless about the 
proposals we've been bouncing around in these communities.

> I think your work is meaningful Bryan, but let's be honest.  There
> are problems concerning transhumanism in the internal and external
> environments which are affecting the progress on a larger scale. 
> These problems can certainly be the result of a blooming movement
> which has to continually pick it self back up from each fall in its
> maturation as it continues forward. Often the reasons for the
> problems are key factors in isolating and rectifying the issues; and
> sometimes they are only symptoms.

I agree with the comments on external and internal details that have 
made the movement not do what it originally intended to, but I think 
that's more of a tooling issue more than anything else, not political. 

> I'm not convinced anyone has resolved any of the problems, although
> many have certainly tried.  Further, yesterday's problematic issue
> may be tomorrow solution. Life has a very interesting narrative which
> is often full of surprises.

Perhaps this stems from my verbal mixup of frameworks for solution 
versus the actual implementation of the solution itself, the 
resolution. But I think that we have 'resolved' with great resolution 
the picture of the situation and I see 'paths', so if these paths are 
in fact real, then I consider it solved, as long as I and others are 
here to walk those paths. Anyway, specifically, to avoid confusion:

> > - Communication Strategy: How can we communicate ideas most
> > effectively and rationally, overcoming the typical tension between
> > the two? How does this relate to constrained and unconstrained
> > visions of transhumanism (in Thomas Sowell's terms)?
> Let's communicate by showing people the goods. As for the more "far
> out" ideas, that's just done by countering assumptions when people
> start to question 'how will your way of life work out, what about
> money' etc.

Sometimes these contexts are very difficult to convey to others, so 
physically *showing* them what we mean is the possible path 
there. "Show, don't tell." et al.

> > - Visionary Horizon: How far should we focus on offering solutions
> > to current problems vs. envisioning longer-term solutions and
> > visions?

I'm starting to see that the short term projects are implementations of 
the framework towards the more long-term solutions. For example, let's 
jump semi long-term, like Jupiter brains and so on; the beginnings of 
that are self-replicating machines, manufacturing, space launching 
capacity, energy management, and so on. Those components are quite 
integral to the entire operation of a Jupiter brain. That's an 
unnecessarily extreme example, but power infrastructure, manufacturing, 
rocket launching, etc., are all well within our means.

> > - Visionary vs. Practical: To what extent should transhumanists try
> > to be a movement that is organized, integrated, and directed?
<cite self-directionality inherent to a transhuman>
> > Should the movement or transhumanist activity concern itself
> > primarily with ideas or practice or both, and should it include a
> > major component that is a practical guide to self-transformation?
> The practical guide to self transformation (see below) is already in
> progress. But the trick is the presentation of how to approach it.
> Maybe literally handing people with discs of information and
> instructions for specific problem solutions might be worth it, for
> example "I might have xyz disease, what do I do?" and then hand them
> off some medical information. It's estimated that 10,000 pages are
> enough for a typical four-year undergraduate degree, and there are
> billions of pages on the internet, a good number of them of high
> quality. Just making a case.

For the record:
	(+1) ideas and practice
	(+1) practical guides to self-transformation (diy, Make Magazine, etc.)

> > - Bridging the Knowing-doing Gap: Both as movement and as
> > individuals, how can be do better to practice what we espouse?
> Perhaps a community-driven knowledgebase of self-transformation and
> making things, both for the body and mind. Like food, or nootropics,
> or even making new tools: http:/oscomak.net/

I think OSCOMAK really does represent a good puzzle piece to the broader 
solution framework that we're working on here. It describes 
itself, "OSCOMAK supports playful learning communities of individuals 
and groups chaordically building free and open source knowledge, tools, 
and simulations which lay the groundwork for humanity's sustainable 
development on Spaceship Earth and eventual joyful, compassionate, and 
diverse expansion into space (including Mars, the Moon, the Asteroids, 
or elsewhere in the Universe)."
	Though I disagree with the word 'eventual'.

> > - Organizing: How can we better organize and converse, using the
> > best available knowledge to do so?
> Follow debian's example.
> http://heybryan.org/exp.html
> http://debian.org/
> This provides a very easy way to download information and software
> that can be used to automate an increasing number of life's subtle
> aspects that really, frankly, we don't have to deal with, so that we
> can focus on what matters most to us.

How is that not a solution ??

> So, let's hold judgment until the facts are in.

Sure -- I didn't mean to judge, I think it's great that we are talking 
about any of it at all in the first place.

> > As always, Dr. More welcomes feedback on his thinking.

Part of the problem may be due to my tendency to not write out 
everything in fear of babbling and rambling; but I'm starting to see 
that this might be hindering development, so I'm going to go with 
the "release early and often" philosophy and hack out another email 
soon to make some comments on what it is that I'm talking about re: 

- Bryan

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