[ExI] What's in a transhumanist name? (was: YES! to Transhumanism)

Anne Corwin sparkle_robot at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 5 22:26:11 UTC 2009

Damien said: 

"The distinction seems pretty clear, which is why it's not juvenile. These folks really *are* engineers, they don't just play one in World of Bashing Imaginary Stuff."

Firstly, I have no intention of joining any Order, cosmic or otherwise. 

That said, I can definitely concur that actual engineering is absolutely nothing like imaginary engineering. 

In my Real Job (which is quite frequently difficult, time-consuming, and paced in a manner that would probably be described as "agonizingly slow" by many) as an electrical engineer, I run up against all kinds of real-world complications that must be dealt with before any nifty idea can actually be implemented. Stuff gets built, to be sure, but it doesn't get built as a function of anyone's hand-waving or wishing (though I'm sure managers would love it if that were the case), and it always takes longer and involves more annoyances than you would think. 

And no, this isn't because real engineers suck at what they do (or because real engineering isn't fun -- it can be, but it's generally not instant-gratification fun) -- it's because engineering that actually works, let alone works well, can actually be difficult for reasons that can't be resolved simply by wanting something really really badly and thinking it would be really really cool if you could build it. 

On the other hand, my level 55 undead mage engineer is able to build mechanical chickens via literal (if digital) hand-waving, in seconds flat, on the mere whim of her human controller (i.e., me). In that imaginary universe, everything comes out neat and as-intended, with no approvals to obtain, no forms to get signed, no committees to consult, no time charging numbers to worry about -- not to mention the fact that you get some of your raw engineering materials by beating up your enemies and looting their bodies. Is it fun? Absolutely. Is it anything like actual engineering? Not in a gazillion years.

- Anne


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list