[ExI] YES! to Transhumanism

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Mon Jan 5 00:07:11 UTC 2009

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 11:25 PM 1/4/2009 +0100, Stefano wrote:
>> Damien Broderick:
>> > Is it only me, or does "Order of Cosmic Engineers" sound like 
>> something 8-10
>> > year old boys would be avid to join by clipping the coupon on the 
>> back of
>> > their Kellogg's packet? (Free plastic raygun with every 20 packet 
>> tops!)
>> Yes, this is the idea.
>> And at the same time it is also a deadly serious initiative, to which
>> I am honoured to participate...
> I've ruffled the feathers of more than one Cosmic Engineer with my blunt 
> question, but it was meant constructively. To my ear and eye, the 
> organization's name is so self-defeatingly ridiculous that there'd be no 
> point in disguising my reaction. If some are offended--despite my own 
> long transhumanist sympathies--brace yourself for the gales of derision 
> from the Appleyards, McKibbens, Horgans, and the like.

Your forthright insights are one of the things we love you for, Damien.
I know that pretty much everyone in OCE is aware and very appreciative 
of your many wonderful contributions.  I don't myself see why the name 
is so outrageous except it the immediacy of our all too human current 
ineptitude for so grand an implied task.  But that is part of the point. 
  There is no limit on what human intelligence may transform into 
itself, or more likely to some, what the intelligences we create will be 
able to do.

> The worth of the program is irrelevant to this PR point. Nobody laughing 
> scornfully at the name is going to get as far as the website.

Why would we worry so much about those who may be stopped by something 
so relatively small?

> The inner cognoscenti might see it as a humorous gag aimed at Papal 
> Knights, Illuminati, Masonic Orders, WoW guilds, etc, but most 
> journalists and commentators will make comments exactly like mine, above 
> (which is the point I was making). 

I consider calling it an "Order of X" a mark of serious dedication 
rather than any sort of gag.  Perhaps some will find that very amusing. 
  Well then, so be it.

- samantha

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