[ExI] Turning into a protagonist

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Oct 23 10:20:20 UTC 2013

On 2013-10-23 10:42, Omar Rahman wrote:
> I am so jealous of Musk as he goes around like the protagonist of some 
> SF novel or my every geeky daydream that I don't know whether to cry 
> over the unrealised dreams of my youth or scrape together the cash to 
> buy one of his cars.

I think the trick is to try to become a protagonist of the story yourself.

When I encountered transhumanism I immediately saw it as a tool for 
making myself a character from one of the sf stories I read. After all, 
this is a philosophy not just about some future for mankind but also for 
being hugely ambitious with our own lives. So I set out to train myself 
so I could be part of the game.

Yes, I am not as rich, smart or spaceship-equipped as in most dreams of 
youth. I did not become Batman or Ironman. But I am also successful in 
dimensions I at that earlier point did not appreciate the value of - 
political networking, love, some philosophical realisations.

On a personal level what really matters is the absolute amount of 
point-scoring stuff you have, but whether you feel you are playing the 
game well. If you don't feel it, you should try to figure out and learn 
how to do it better. If it feels it is working, then up the difficulty 
and try to make a larger difference.

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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