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BigApplePi
22nd-February-2010, 10:17 PM
The below is the unedited version of Jordan~'s Transhumanist 'party manifesto'. I am posting it in Jordan~'s absence with his permission. This new thread is an outgrowth of ideas developed here: Trying to Formulate Political Beliefs (http://www.intpforum.com/showthread.php?t=6115)

So, I mentioned that I had some ideas for the political implementation of policies aimed towards hastening the onset of the Singularity, preparing the country for its arrival and ensuring that it doesn't spark horrible bloodshed and world war. I'll list them below for you, since you asked.


As I see it, there are two major obstacles beyond getting elected in the first place, and those are ideological resistance and economic feasibility.
Now, the first, I think, is the easier to deal with. If there's one thing the political system has mastered, it's the engineering of consent - a great evil and a blight on the world, yes; but it can be put to good use.
The biggest ideological obstacle is religion. My solution to this is quite simple: Britain is not a very religious country. Religion is only really a political issue for a large number of people in Northern Ireland - therefore, one policy will be to grant home rule to Northern Ireland, thereby cutting them out of the UK electorate and removing their opposition. Very simply executed by promoting separatist sentiments there, which are already very strong, and perhaps by appeasing the Unionists by letting them remain in the Commonwealth. Scotland could go, too, to encourage Ireland; but really I'd rather have the Scottish universities on 'our side', so to speak. Perhaps let Scotland have independence and have them ruled by a transhumanist party too - that is, get elected there as well.
Religion on Great Britain itself can be dealt with simply enough. It's not very deeply entrenched and can easily be uprooted. Stop teaching any form of religious education in school. Don't have so much as a whisper of religion on the syllabus. The church would be bankrupt within a generation, without revenue from weddings, funerals, etc. - on which subject, promote secular ceremonies by extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples as an additional institution to marriage.
Those measures should really marginalise the religious right in the UK, who are already very marginal. Without their dissenting voices, the rest of the population would be much more susceptible to legislation allowing cloning, stem cell research, and other fields that could contribute massively to progress but are viewed as unethical by religion.
Controlling the ideology of the non-religious people is easy. You just employ a lot of marketeers, advertisers and spin doctors to make sure the media are lapping cream out of your cupped hands. They barely think anything to begin with, after all. Again, education is a useful tool - espousing the benefits of the ground-breaking but controversial fields would produce a generation of young voters who unambiguously supported a party who promoted them.

Stem cell research, cloning, etc. might seem like minor concerns; thus you might be wondering why so much effort has to be put into ensuring that they're accepted by the people. That brings me to my second point: the economy. We need to be able to finance a lot of progress very quickly: a lot of public spending. We need to borrow, a lot, till we're up to our eyeballs in national debt.
First, pursue a policy of fixing the value of currency at a set rate. Inflation and deflation will only complicate matters, and money will be no problem during later stages of policy implementation, after which market forces will be encouraged, as you'll see.
The point of getting into all that debt is to invest our borrowed money wisely. This is where the importance of controversial medical research comes in: the NHS (Britain's state-funded health service) is a huge spending sinkhole, and we're going to have a lot of old people to keep alive - hopefully legalising voluntary euthanasia would have a small impact on that, as well as being a generally merciful and kind idea. Of more importance is the possibility of cutting down the costs of expensive operations like organ transplants dramatically; and a cure for cancer, diabetes, heart disease or another huge killer would save incredible sums of money as well as doing the world a great deal of good. Those cures could be sold to other developed countries, since they'd be developed by state-funded research and would belong to the state - at great expense, mind. Trading in medical technology, artificial organs, etc. would become a new industry.
The other converging sciences - nanotechnology, information technology, cognitive science and biotechnology - would also be very heavily subsidised. Very heavily, as in more would be spent on science funding than on healthcare and education. The idea is that all the new breakthroughs come from the UK, and we jealously guard them with copyright law, etc; after which tax on business is cut by a great deal (remaining the same for individuals) to stimulate the growth of new, high-tech industries and attract foreign multinationals. The idea is that research should be the most common occupation. School funding will also be increased (though by a small proportion compared to science funding), and universities will be generously funded by the state to cope with the swell of new students.
The above detailed combination of scientific breakthroughs and business stimulation should result in exploding profits for the entrepenurs quick enough to cash in, equivalent to the industrial revolution or the dot com boom. Then you begin to slowly increase taxation to levels which produce greater revenue but are still very fair by international standards. Much bigger profits with slightly lower tax rates equals more tax revenue.
Another important resource in the future will be food. Now, at the moment, food is produced in an absurdly archaic and inefficient way. For one thing, animals consume more food than they produce and are essentially a luxury product. You would phase them out by making raising taxes on property above a certain size, thereby hitting farmers using current intensive farming methods hard and making it very diffiuclt for them to carry on. At the same time, you inject massive cash stimuli into vertical farming, which is a very great deal more efficient. Ideally the country will become totally self-sufficient in food production and start selling a surplus. Again, this generates tax revenue to pay back debts and allow ever greater funding for state-funded research projects.
Fusion power is another priority. At the moment, the big labs are outside the UK; that's no good. You want to bring them here. The existence of a vast, low-taxed and very free intellectual elite should draw them like bees to honey, as should the promise of government funding far beyond anything they'd receive elsewhere in the world. If we actually achieved fusion power, rather than just ensuring that no one else did before us, we could pretty much rest on our laurels - a near-infinite well of energy like that would be one of the most valuable resources, if not the most valuable resource, that's ever existed.
Further saving (other than the reduced cost of the NHS) would come from stripping back the armed forces. Get rid of everything but a small, elite defensive force, like that of Finland. Sell the nuclear deterrent and focus on nuclear defenses, sell off our fleet of submarines and focus on anti-submarine fighter jets - that sort of thing. Enough that we would cost too much to attack for a war against us to be feasible, and no more. Pursue a policy of complete isolation to remove the requirement for an offensive force, obviously.
Another foreign policy would be sending 'missionaries' of a sort to developing countries to steer them in the direction we want - share our technology, our infrastructure, our resources, etc. to win allies and trade partners. Africa will probably be fought over at some point in the future unless it's stabilised and strengthened - China has a greedy eye on its natural resources. Cooperative developing states will provide an example to the more stubborn countries, whose populations will agitate to remove their governments and install ones which will welcome our assistance. This also ensures that Africa will not be left behind when the Singularity comes - it must be a worldwide movement. Everyone must be able to transcend at no cost to themselves and at no disadvantage - otherwise, we can expect a massacre. Thus, this 'uplifting' program, while impractical in the short term, is vitally important in the long term to prevent a bloody revolution. I don't want to see the transhuman future built on the corpses of the dissenting poor; too often in history has progress come at such a cost.

There, that's a cluttered and disorganised summary of my cluttered and disorganised thoughts and notes on the subject.

EditorOne
22nd-February-2010, 11:55 PM
"therefore, one policy will be to grant home rule to Northern Ireland, thereby cutting them out of the UK electorate"

What if they don't want to go?

Lyra
22nd-February-2010, 11:58 PM
That's precisely the type of thing I'd think up. Well done indeed; what's required is a beyond-human determination and tenacity in the implementation of those kinds of plans. Fabian-style-- infiltrate over decades, seep into government, and revolutionise without people realising it's occurring.

Is there any room in your plan for the deliberate creation of multiple, unprecedented kinds of micro-societies in isolated low-space orbit or underground locations? That would truly be a science of the Gods: a breaking of the link with the chains of the past, and an opportunity to create a new type of human from birth.

I'm not just talking about transhumans. I'm talking about experimentation in the creation of multiple new human races. It could become a cosmic art form.

Anyway... if you'd like any help with rhetoric/propaganda creation, or with long-term strategy, perhaps I might be of assistance. Obviously, I'm volatile enough that you'd have to keep me far away from the public eye and the day-to-day politics of the thing, for now ;-). I can have quite an impact when I throw myself behind a cause, though.

So what for it?

Anthile
23rd-February-2010, 12:00 AM
Transhumanists are scary dogmatists.

Agent Intellect
23rd-February-2010, 02:01 AM
Transhumanists are scary dogmatists.

I agree. This seems to propose that we embrace fascism as a means to an unknown (by it's very nature - hence singularity) end. While I agree that there should be less restriction on scientific progress, I don't think forcing people into a strong-handed system like this will lead to a more peaceful transcendence.

One thing I would suggest that might help is more public attention and discourse about transhumanism itself. As it is, it seems to be a rather aimless meandering to achieve this goal, something that will just happen on account of the natural progression of our technology. Perhaps more focus on the actual goal of transhumanism, with science geared towards this goal, could be made more widespread.

Something that is happening already, rather on it's own, is more attention on neuroscience, which has become a hot field lately. Unlocking the secrets of consciousness and utilizing the theories of complex dynamic systems as applied to neural networks is something that requires strong focus to both develop strong artificial intelligence and merge our own brains with technological enhancements. I think more research on bionics with the goal of transhumanism as an end in mind (as opposed to just fixing those that are injured) is required.

As far as politics go, I would only focus on lifting regulations on research into things like stem cells, cloning, and bionics. Except for the practical fixes that western politics is in dire need of, I don't think there should be too many policies for the purpose of 'forcing' the singularity to come quicker. People who want to become transhuman should have that choice, and people who don't shouldn't have to endure policies that benefit us when it does nothing for them; it's really no different than allowing the religious folks to legislate policies for secular society based solely on their religiously derived morals - like the policies that are currently holding back scientific research that would further us on the road to transcendence.

Claverhouse
23rd-February-2010, 02:39 AM
The main trouble with groups of humans is that they not only demand obedience to their ideas, but that they want --- and believe the 'others' should want to be --- just like themselves.


Transhumanists appear to share this delusion. It's not just an American thing, nor a religious [ including political faiths ] or cultural thing: it's hardwired in the psyche and needs to be transcended.


I recently read a hard right article arguing that whilst the place should be helped after disaster, Haiti should revert to African culture and not be rebuilt as an imitation of western civilisation; and I concluded that if impracticable considering the First World's need to exploit Haiti --- and if it was not them, it would be the Chinese or anyone else with the capacity to compel --- at least it was getting away from the desire to remake men in one's own image...



( A couple of excerpts for those who like that kind of thing. )
Having said this, I am not here to replicate simplistic conservative arguments that blame Haitians for their predicament and prescribe solutions based on democracy, liberalisation, education, investment, accountability, transparency, and open markets. There is no doubt that Haitians, like sub-Saharan Africans, are the architects of their own misfortunes; but it is disingenuous to judge the diverse peoples of the world in terms of how well they conform to a European standard. As I have argued here and elsewhere, not all the peoples of the world were destined to be exactly like us. And, certainly, not all needed, or even desired, to be exactly like us. 19th-century explorers of sub-Saharan Africa — the Haitians’ ancestral homeland — were shocked by the absence of civilisation in traditional black African societies. The latter’s uncivilisation, however, was not the abnormal result of failed states or the World Bank’s interest rates, because these did not exist at the time: It was their normal condition. Uninfluenced by European or Arabic cultures, these were prehistorical tribal societies, which had never developed a written script, recorded history, used money, kept calendars, maintained roads, or had any need for an administration or a code of law. These societies still exist today in the African bush, and if they have changed noticeably or at all in the past 50,000 years, they certainly have not changed in our direction. Obviously, the traits that characterise us Europeans, and which we value so highly, were not essential for survival in the sub-Saharan bush; and, by extension, what Europeans find normal and natural, Black Africans find abnormal and artificial. Ideologies of progress and modernity — defining products of the liberal European mind — never occurred to the black man, even if subsequently he found them instrumentally useful. It is not surprising, therefore, that when a modern nation-state is placed under Black rule, conditions rapidly deteriorate: At best, Blacks are able to simulate the outer forms the European system, but never their substance.

With this in mind, it should be obvious that rebuilding Haiti would be a waste of time. I would also call it a form of imperialism. That the Western political establishment fails to recognise it and act accordingly, even though deep down our politicians know it, owes more to ideology than to ignorance of the facts.


The Left has a religious belief in progress. And, although they do not realise it, their thinking is profoundly Eurocentric. Consequently, the Left interprets history as a process in which humans — essentially Europeans with exotic skin colours and minor differences in physiognomy — go from worse to better, measured against values that are important to Europeans and no one else. When progress fails to happen, the self-absorbed, navel-gazing Left blames Europeans and sees it as the product of the imperfect implementation of Leftist theories. Unfortunately, modern conservatives have been influenced the Left and merely prefer a capitalistic and pragmatic — as opposed to a socialistic and utopian — interpretation of the Left’s progress ideology. The result is a campaign for ever more aid and development, fuelled by the belief that, given enough money, education, and opportunity, the Third World (including even Haiti) will eventually converge with Europe. For the Left, the daydream is universal equality; for the conservatives, bigger markets for capitalist enterprise.


It ended:


Let Haitians lose all vestiges of European civilisation and re-organise themselves in a manner harmonious with their endowments, sensibilities, and ancestral culture. Let them find their own point of equilibrium, even if it diverges greatly from ours. There is nothing wrong with voodoo or a pre-industrial, agricultural society, if that is what works for the people who live in it.




Claverhouse :phear:

Lyra
23rd-February-2010, 02:45 AM
Not at all! I just view the endeavor, like everything else, as light fun. Light fun is much more interesting when it involves writing the destiny of the race in blood, though. It's all a matter of scale and laziness: lazy people assume that anybody who fights for something so large must really mean it, if they're putting that much effort in.

But I don't mean any of it, at all, and I'm a Transhumanist. I just think it would be kind of interesting to see multiple posthuman races engaging in trans-planetary war, and frivolously heavenly to fight towards that in the meantime.

And the harder you play, the better the game. If the game is lost, then so be it; the playing was fun enough.

Just like computer games or fantasy fiction; except... better. And not for the cowards who express their fantasies through those petty mediums.

Idealism has nothing to do with it.

aracaris
23rd-February-2010, 06:27 AM
I haven't read all that much about transhumanism, and so I'm not an expert or anything, but I like transhumanism in the sense that it is supposed to be about transcending human flaws, and becoming something better. However such extreme intolerance of different view points, which is quite blatant in the above manifesto, is one of the worst human flaws. That flaw is one we be pushing to over come, and not "overcome" by indulging it to the ultimate extreme by attempting to completely oppress those whom see things differently. Such oppression will foster hatred, as well as strengthen existing, and create new separatist movements, it will serve to tear humanity apart further, not unite it, and it certainly won't make us better, only more narrow-minded than we all ready are.

This ideology looks no different than the most intolerant vicious elements of religion simply wearing another mask.

Kuu
23rd-February-2010, 06:42 AM
Amusing plan

Getting rid of such a large armed force as that of the UK would require more complex maneuvers. They're a stubborn bunch, they're organized, they've got weapons, and a lot of people get rich off it. Can you say coup d'etat?

Jordan~
23rd-February-2010, 08:10 PM
How does what I've proposed differ from what we have presently in America and the UK other than in its focus and aims? And is it not nobler that politicians should control the people for their own good, rather than to line their pockets? I don't see that I'm oppressing anyone, really - if someone else has better propaganda, they can vote for them. Is paying for better spin doctors a form of oppression? If so, we're all being oppressed. Democrats are scary dogmatists.

Bear in mind that the idea of all this is to achieve the Singularity peacefully - I fear that a transhuman revolution might become very bloody indeed were it to result in class divisions. It would be a massacre. I don't want to see that; and I have a personal interest in that I'd rather not die, so achieving at least perfected cryogenic freezing is quite important to me. To the accusation of religion, I remind you that this has a very secular end in mind. Religion promises an unreal future, transhumanism creates an unreal future.

I don't really think a coup d'etat is a serious subject for consideration. The British army is still too loyal and gentlemanly for that; it doesn't exactly have a lot of political clout like it does in the US.

boradicus
3rd-March-2010, 01:13 AM
I haven't read all that much about transhumanism, and so I'm not an expert or anything, but I like transhumanism in the sense that it is supposed to be about transcending human flaws, and becoming something better. However such extreme intolerance of different view points, which is quite blatant in the above manifesto, is one of the worst human flaws. That flaw is one we be pushing to over come, and not "overcome" by indulging it to the ultimate extreme by attempting to completely oppress those whom see things differently. Such oppression will foster hatred, as well as strengthen existing, and create new separatist movements, it will serve to tear humanity apart further, not unite it, and it certainly won't make us better, only more narrow-minded than we all ready are.I concur. I know little about it myself, however, I find it interesting due to its theoretical link the the humanistic goal of Descartes. Descartes discusses his motivation for sharing his method with others based the cooperative effort requisite to the task, which no one human being would be capable of alone in a single lifetime: the medical extension of human life. This, in essence became a foundation for Humanism.

One of the great things about Descartes is that his ideas tend toward the peaceful cooperation of men in a common goal through which civilization may share: the improvement of the quality of life. In the spectra of potential human conflict (man vs self, man vs man, man vs nature, man vs supernatural) this represents the idea of man vs nature in the most abstract sense.

My understanding, intuitively, of Transhumanism, is therefore an extended form of Humanism via the use of technology. The movement is quite broad, ranging from studies in Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence to stem cell research. As with any such scientific movement that brings into clear focus (have we not been quietly proceeding along the lines of life extension? - why bother to have a medical industry?) ethical issues related to the USE of the technology.

This has no doubt led to smear campaigns of various sorts, all of which are entrenched in the fear of one exploitative use or another appropriated to the extremist platform d'jour. While the issues brought into the public mind foster a good and socially conscious debate, the pursuit of the technologies themselves may and may not be found to be inimical to civil society itself. For instance, with in the current context of our global situation, I find gun control more appropriate than I did say 25 years ago. Adsimilis, when breast implants first became available, they were quite controversial but now seem to have a greater degree of commonality as well as popular acceptance.

While in my own opinion, such enhancements as breast enlargements seem on the surface to be quite superfluous, there are other considerations to be had such as whether or not the person in question is undergoing reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. But regardless of a person's rationale, my opinion upon the matter should have little actual bearing upon a person's decision to enhance or reconstruct or not.

The freedom to choose is still the principle that governs modern societies (meaning the modern liberal state). Therefore to smear the whole of the Transhumanism (because this is a scientific movement and not an inherently political movement) as being extreme Left (referring to the citation of 'Manifesto' written above - which perchance was merely accidental on Pi's part, although it was accompanied by a polemic that was self-admittedly 'confused' and 'unstructured'), or extreme Right would be incorrect as well as contradictory (contradictory because of the reference to the two opposing extremes).

Eugenics, conversely, is political because of the choice it removes from the individual and because of polarization of one 'racial' (although 'racial' may not necessarily be the term: eugenics would not necessarily polarize according to race, but according to genetic traits) group toward another, is to me inherently Fascist with regard to its polarization against race. The same could be said for a polarization against religious groups by some 'superior' religious group, or even perchance by genetically oriented personality typing - as seems to be prevalent in this forum. All of these are 'Fascist' polarizations.

Rational self-government, with a view toward the mutual welfare of all mankind and improved equal opportunity and quality of life is neither a Leftist stance, nor is it a Rightist stance. It is the goal of Liberal Democracy. The unfortunate consequence, however, of any economic, geographic, military, or technological advance, is the competitive effect that it has within the world 'market' of continuing to drive production and research at speeds of great height, making the assimilation of new technologies and discoveries difficult to integrate without social, ethical, and moral impacts, for which are not always appropriately provisioned. Tantamount to the incessant drive of the 'military industrial complex,' it seems that we must inescapably relent to the pull of technical progress and world market competition.

It is as much a responsibility on our part to learn how to address the various issues that new technologies present, where and when to censure, and how to address each and every specific technology as it appears upon the horizon.

I can guarantee that the world is confronted by the innovation of nuclear armaments - but as opposed to ceasing research upon such matters, we elected to use them to stave off a worse evil, and then to attempt to control them appropriately. This is the same for any technology, that its use by potential adversaries be duly considered and weighed; or this - that we learn a better means of controlling ourselves with less impact upon our rights and freedoms.

MP

Architectonic
6th-March-2010, 12:42 PM
The OP is hardly representative of Transhumanism in general, but simply one form. See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_transhumanism

On the other hand, Claverhouse is more or less correct when he details the fallacy of ideological thinking - the one size fits all approach.
The main trouble with groups of humans is that they not only demand obedience to their ideas, but that they want --- and believe the 'others' should want to be --- just like themselves.

bananaphallus
9th-March-2010, 02:29 AM
Is the imposition of absolute 'non-idealism' not an ideal exactly as expedient as prescribing 'Western ideals/societal structure' or any other? And as for Haiti, is deliberate inaction not equally as substantive a position as intervention? How do you assign responsibility? Not taking a position either way, just curious.

Claverhouse
9th-March-2010, 03:08 AM
Is the imposition of absolute 'non-idealism' not an ideal exactly as expedient as prescribing 'Western ideals/societal structure' or any other?


I am not averse to imposition of a culture where necessary --- it's the usual way everything has been transmitted by and to all cultures --- but question it's prudence when unsuited to other cultures if done purely on the ideological grounds of 'because we must enlighten everyone'.

And I like western civilisation: I think it has been the best civilisation evah --- if a trifle vulgar and a trifle dreary in many ways --- but gifting to those who can support the change ( as say the Japanese ) and those who are better off in tribal idiocy ( like the Papuans ) is going to be a very mixed blessing for the latter [ especially as if all people everywhere were raised immediately to American living standards, the world would collapse from sheer lack of resources --- this makes no judgement on American consumption or on wistful beliefs that technology will always find a way to cover an end to a resource, particularly as the latter is a religious faith and not prone to argument ].

As to it being idealistic, it has all the profound sympathetic idealism of Bismarck who opposed ( partially, except as minor diversion for the masses ) colonies for Germany or savage peace treaties even with the old bully of Europe, France, simply because in each case it wasn't expedient or wise; 'Do what you must, not what you can'.





And as for Haiti, is deliberate inaction not equally as substantive a position as intervention? How do you assign responsibility? Not taking a position either way, just curious.The author specifically excepted sending aid for that or any disaster: what he suggested was to leave then to build their own civilisation on traditional African models instead of the West building it to be on the western model. ( Partly for it's own benefit. )

Your revealing choice of the verb assign implies you do not think them capable of doing anything for themselves...




Claverhouse :phear:



And yet... and yet... I'm not denigrating America's --- and all the other countries, many poorer and further away --- stupendous rescuing in the disaster; s'just that even good intentions can lead to bad outcomes for a select few of recipients


Haiti ready for wave of new amputees (http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90852/6886920.html)


Non-government organizations have warned that an estimated 3,000 people who lost their limbs after Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake would face a tough time returning to normal life.

Doctors now operating on Haitians with the most severe injuries are now trying their best to save their patients' limbs, with amputation only selected as the last-ditch option.

The doctors are using techniques that ensure amputees are given appropriate secondary operations and after-care.

However, several sources said that during days after the quake, which was claimed officially to have killed 200,000 people, too many amputation operations were performed inappropriately by inexperienced doctors.

"The procedure was carried out by general practitioners, emergency room teams and inexperienced volunteers," Al Ingersoll, a U.S. prosthetist, told Xinhua last week.

With hundreds of people waiting for emergency treatment for infected, open and severe wounds that general practitioners might have seen only once in a lifetime, surgeons resorted to the simplest option: a guillotine amputation that cut the limb off above the wound and left the cut open.

"Often people have to cut off a limb in order to pull a victim out of the rubble," said Herbert Rader, a trained surgeon who has been in Haiti's capital for 10 days working at a Salvation Army clinic, as part of a group that came to treat those injured in the quake. "Part of them would be trapped and rescuers just cut it off. Aftershocks were frightening everyone and they wanted to get out," he said.

Amputations should only be performed when wounds that have already been treated cannot or will not heal and patients are showing signs of entering toxic shock, intensive care nurse Christian Vansever, told Xinhua in a post surgery ward in Port-au-Prince's Isaie Jeanty Hospital, where each bed was filled with a person with recently bound wounds.

"There could be a high level of local infection, if the wound has been open for two or three weeks it can be very difficult to close," he said.

As the body tries to reabsorb material from such wounds the patient may experience high temperatures, high blood pressure, a burst of secondary infections and even kidney failure, he explained.

Some patients, who have been living in insanitary conditions in temporary shelters with open fractures waited until they were suffering from such symptoms before seeking help. When that happens, losing a limb is the only option, he said.

"It is very difficult for amputees to reestablish their life and suicide is a concern," said Mike Stewart, country officer for non- government organization Hope for Haiti. Even in wealthy nations with considerable support, amputees have to struggle for life.

In Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas, people could well struggle to find basics like prosthetics and wheelchairs, let alone psychological help, Stewart said.

The biggest problem may be the shock, Valerie Darnaudet, a French occupational who flew into Haiti 10 days after the quake, told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday.

"Everything here was so sudden. People are normally prepared, because amputation usually comes after an illness," said Darnaudet, a volunteer at Handicap International, a non-government organization that has committed to working in Haiti to supply aftercare, prosthetic limbs and psychological support to amputees.

Darnaudet explained that she wanted to get those who have lost a limb moving as soon as possible, to reduce any feelings of helplessness and to help physical adaptation to the new situation.

Starting in March, the organization will supply 300 to 500 temporary limbs to recent amputees, which must be swapped for a permanent limb in three to six months.

That means patients must immediately get mobile to develop their muscles and balance, she said. "If they have lost a leg below the knee, and the muscles or knee joint is no good then we can't put on a good prosthesis," she said.

Another Handicap International official said that a sudden amputation can severely damage a person's sense of identity, men feeling that they are somehow less male and women less female.

However, the organization's experience in China, Pakistan and 58 other nations where it has worked showed that adults return to work and children to school and play, when they get appropriate prosthetics, physiological and psychological care.

Darnaudet reports that the patients she saw are showing more signs of happiness and adaptation despite extreme circumstances like sleeping in the streets when their homes were destroyed.

"People are seeming more calm and we are seeing even some patients singing" as they wait for treatment. The tough conditions have also created a sense of community among the people who are living together, she said.


People's Daily Online ( China ) 03/feb/2010


Other reports indicated that the gung-ho doctors who in their view decided to chop than dither came from south Texas, can you believe... ?

spoirier
13th-March-2010, 01:31 PM
Sorry but I don't believe in this transhumanist project, for many reasons. I see it based on so many hazardous assumptions, most of which appear to me as not fitting with reality.

The main aspect of this sort of ideal that I think can be defended as realistic in a reasonably foreseeable future (no later than a few thousand years from now) is a progress in human traits (I'd list them as of 5 sorts: happiness, intelligence, beauty, health, virtue) through liberal eugenics. But for this, hardly any new biotechnology would be necessary. Wider developments and use of reproductive markets and a progress in online & offline dating solutions could suffice.

I don't believe that a technological singularity can ever happen. Namely, I don't think that economic growth can ever be higher than something like 10%/year, either worldwide or in developed countries.

More precisely I think that innovation can only be a work of the human mind, that no artificial intelligence can ever fully replace.
Of course, AI can be useful for many things. But the human mind's work is always necessary to specify every purpose that we may want to use AI for, and to figure out plans of how every sort of problem can indeed be resolved. Some breakthrough of new solutions to very general problems can be found to provide significant progresses at some points, and it is indeed necessary to work on that (as I did with my project), but it will always remain limited by the resources of human creativity and the reality of what can indeed be done or conceived.

My next objection, or maybe a consequence of the above one, is that there is not such a thing as a trillion-dollar-to-technological-revolution converter. No predefined formal system, be it political, administrative, financial (pouring of large amounts of money into research), educational, economic or technological, can ever force innovation to come by.
We can let innovation the freedom to come in its time, but nobody can force any specific kind of new idea to come by unless one already achieved its detailed developments in one's mind in a way or another (something like a demonstrably solvable mathematical problem, or a computation based on a well-defined algorithm).

If someone thinks a specific direction of research is going to be fruitful, just let him privately invest in it and take his own risk. But you can't just decide to take the risk to ruin a whole country for a hazardous plan that no private investor would naturally have bet on.

Invest more in education ? pure nonsense. It is already done since long ago, for a quite poor result in most cases.
You can't just turn a stupid man into a highly productive Einstein by spending more money on his education. I'd even say it the reality is often directly opposite to such an assumption. The more money you spend in the education of a true future Einstein, the less chances you let him to really become one day productive.

Because innovative minds, especially INTPs, can be harmed and destroyed by the pressure of a mentally oppressive educational system such as those currently in place. I'm here considering my own experience. The best method that could have helped me develop my scientific mind and productivity, would have been to stop spending any money on me at some age around 15 and just drop me out of the educational system.
Let me earn my own money by selling private lessons or math problem resolution services to businesses, or receiving donations from the readers of my productions, just to get my living; and let me free of my thoughts and research for the largest part of my time.
One of my goals was to share my scientific knowledge, by first developing new formulations of the core theories of math&physics (set theory, algebra, relativity, tensor algebra). But I found I can't do it in this teaching system (I mean at least, the French one, as i'm French). Because it's all too dependent on adminstrative rulings.

Namely, I'd describe the educational system as nothing but an oppression system against anyone who is not a Good Pupil, where "Good Pupil" means ISTJ.
The more money you spend in education, the more it destroys human lives and abilities that differ from those of ISTJs, and thus the less innovative the nation will be.

Most people hate thinking, and prefer to let someone or something else think in their place. I know how useful machines can be, but they can only be so once someone had once made the work to define precisely how machines can help. I'm afraid that the transhumanist ideas and the concept of a technological singularity, are a mere way by which some idealists find an alibi to their own lack of imagination, by expecting machines to someday have imagination in their place.

As for the "ideal" world envisioned by your transhumanism after the change, I agree with EditorOne that "the moment you have two people interacting, you have a society", even if the interaction merely consists of communication, so that you can't resolve the economic and political issues by just fleeing away from their reality to some world of abstractions that do not address them (while my infoliberalism project would first develop independently of political obstacles, only to better address them later by a new and more powerful internet-based political order).

In the justiceharvard.org episodes it was mentioned about an experience to stimulate a mouse's brain to give it pleasure. The result was that this mouse stopped eating and died.
In other words, there is no possible life without, uh... life. No living being can survive in the long term without caring about its environment and its interactions with others, as otherwise it will be destroyed sooner or later by something from the environment which he did not expect.
Philosophically, I'd say that if the goal of life was just to live a sort of virtual dream or utopia with constant and perfect bliss and no stakes in an isolated way, we would not need to come to come to this earth in the first place. Just staying in heaven would have been simpler.
Earthly life is about stakes and adventures. We can improve the situation by developing solutions to the worst sufferings and injustices, to provide one more step of progression (and even some important ones), but there cannot be a final end of history in a foreseeable future, at least not a happy one.

Jordan~
15th-March-2010, 02:16 AM
There's no heaven we've descended from.

Remember, what I'm proposing isn't that everyone should live in blissful ecstasy for eternity. That wouldn't be being alive. To suffer is to live. My vision is safe suffering, the opportunity to exist with all that entails permanently and as one chooses. Moreover, my ambition is to expand the range of experience available to me. One Earth is not enough, one galaxy is not enough, one universe is not enough. I want to see it all, everything that is or ever has been or ever will be, and then I want to make more and see that, too. And I want to remember all of it. I never want to stop experiencing. To live in perpetual, simulated bliss would be an end to experience as surely as death. And once again, I emphasise that the behaviour of the posthuman is a matter of personal choice, insofar as choice can exist in our universe. No one will dictate nirvana. No one will dictate anything to anyone but himself.

In essence, I am an idealist, and my ideal is the removal of limits.

Claverhouse
15th-March-2010, 03:04 AM
'Goethe says, somewhere -

In der Beschrankung zeigt Fsich erst der Meister

"It is in working within limits that the master reveals himself"

and the limitation, the very condition of any art is style.'


Oscar Wilde : The Decay of Lying (http://www.online-literature.com/wilde/1307/)





Claverhouse :phear:

Architectonic
15th-March-2010, 03:10 PM
Therefore the greatest art is the art of living.

spoirier
15th-March-2010, 04:42 PM
I think your description is hardly any different from some descriptions of heaven as given by a few exceptional NDE expreriencers.

But the real problem I'd see there is : ok, maybe it'll come someday, but so what ?
How can our consideration to it, be of any help ? I think millenia will be required before any possibility to make something close to it will come by.
We may believe that it will come someday by itself, after a very long time. Why make a political program for it ? No more interesting than would be a morning-sunrise political party. Indeed, if some research could clearly be done to meet a demand, it could just be done by private businesses, without requiring any heavy investment from public policy.

I explained in my above message some of the clues why I don't see anything practical and realistic in the procedure you had mentioned as a transhumanist political program. And even if there was something practical, you'll never convince a whole country to so heavily invest for it, in the extent you mentioned. Thus, so what ?

I'm not interested in vague long-term ideals that we can't do anything for. I'm only interested in effective implementable plans in the short term that can really help humanity make one step forward.

Jordan~
15th-March-2010, 06:26 PM
Private research companies only carry out research which is commercially justifiable in the short term. "This might seem inconsequential now, but 200 years down the line its ancestors will be huge!" doesn't cut it with financers.
Additionally, developing a technology that you intend to produce and give away for free is not advantageous to anyone looking to make a quick buck. If transhuman technologies were developed by a commercial company tomorrow, only the top few percent of the world's economic elites would be able to afford them. Then you get bloody revolution.
One step forward in the short term is immortality - easily scientifically viable since the '60s or '70s, but never commercially. After all, death is very economically advantageous. People need to keep popping out kids and spending fortunes on them, new generations of people need insurance and education, homes, funerals, all the expenses of a lifetime. It's not at all in the global economic interest (that is, the interest of greedy fat cats) to have people live forever. That's why non-commercial funding is required. Post-immortality, time periods like centuries fade into insignificance. The short term becomes "within the next few hundred years", and lengthens as life goes on. Short-termism is a product of the fact that you'll probably be dead within the century if things remain as they are.

I am also questioning the purpose of government. Government, as I see it, is only a necessary evil where it leads to progress. If it results in stagnation, it's only an evil; then anarchy and the resultant regression to savagery is preferable.

I'll have to agree to disagree with Herr Goethe.

Melkor
15th-March-2010, 06:46 PM
I am also questioning the purpose of government. Government, as I see it, is only a necessary evil where it leads to progress. If it results in stagnation, it's only an evil; then anarchy and the resultant regression to savagery is preferable.

How do you intend to control your perfect world without some form of higher order?

Equality is a lie, and superiority/inferiority is not only at the heart of the Human spirit, it is the way of nature.

Even if you seek to break what we call a human, and create something new, I cannot possibly see any form of society existing without an order of importance.
Law cannot be without enforcers, and peace cannot be brought about without law, unless you have a society of angels.


After all, death is very economically advantageous. People need to keep popping out kids and spending fortunes on them, new generations of people need insurance and education, homes, funerals, all the expenses of a lifetime. It's not at all in the global economic interest (that is, the interest of greedy fat cats)

You're ignoring a major point.

These fat cats and top percentiles you speak of.

If they're concerned solely with themselves and money, wouldn't immortality for them be an extreme priority, if they considered it achievable?

Nothing less profitable than dying, by which you lose everything you've ever owned.

Do you not think if such things were available for near fifty years, as you so claim, that one of these spoilt rich men would have moved towards it, and conquered it?

Words
15th-March-2010, 07:22 PM
I find it terrifying(eek!) how you can formulate plans at such a young experimental stage. The lack of informational input does much risks. It's wasted(or not) lost divagation. A road towards destruction in my opinion.

Anthile
15th-March-2010, 07:25 PM
Some people here should read Hobbes' Leviathan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan_(book)).

EloquentBohemian
15th-March-2010, 08:15 PM
Considering the larger picture and the future of both the human race and the planet we live on, technological Transhumanism is the only viable and ethical choice.
The planet is in the degraded state it is mainly because humans indiscriminately use the resources of the planet to sustain and enhance our biological forms. With the current world population at ~6.8 billion humans (source (http://www.worldometers.info/)) and the projected population circa 2050 at 9.4 billion (source (http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm)), the detriment to the planet may be irreversible. The ethical choice for humans to make is to alter our structures to a form which does not require the consumption of other life-forms in order to sustain itself. Minerals needed to produce the required materials to construct and sustain a non-biological form are abundant from other sources besides this planet.

Other points in favour of a non-biological form are:
- no need for the consumption of oxygen to sustain a biological form
- no need to construct enormous space vehicles in order to carry the environmental necessities (oxygen, food, water, etc.) to sustain a biological form
- no need to 'terra-form' other planets in order to sustain our biological form
- the ability to explore other planets without the need for environmental suits or temporary habitats

There are other possible benefits to a non-biological form I haven't listed.

The factors humans must explore are:
- what kinds of technology are required to construct a non-biological form capable of sustaining the human consciousness, and are these technologies available presently or viable in the future?
- what is the nature of consciousness and is it separate or dependent on the biological form?
- can the consciousness be removed from the biological form and placed within a non-biological form?
- what are the psychological and metaphysical implications of such a transfer?
- how is this transfer to be accomplished and what technologies are available presently or viable in the future?

The future of the human species demands radical thinking which includes the ethical parameters of retaining a complex biological form which requires sustenance founded on the consumption of other life-forms, as well as the prospect of living and exploring beyond the confines of this planet in an ethically responsible state with minimum detriment to other life-forms and environments.

BigApplePi
15th-March-2010, 09:14 PM
I have a different idea but not one which may meet with your approval. That is to shrink man's size from five six feet to two feet. My calculations show man would now have one twenty-seventh the consumption requirements. That and all his accoutrements. Roadways would need be only a third as wide, oil requirements would be down 96 percent.

World population could grow twenty-seven times to bring us to our present state. When and only when that occurs there would be a follow on. Man would go from two feet to six inches. I implore you to consider this before we take on more drastic measures.

Jordan~
16th-March-2010, 01:53 AM
That doesn't allow sufficient mental capacity for humans to function at their present level - unless their brains were artificially enhanced and made more efficient, so that as much work could be done in a smaller space.

Personally, I favour my idea of making space an irrelevance through the construction of arcologies using the same technologies as would make transhumanism possible. Parodise on.

BigApplePi
16th-March-2010, 02:34 AM
That doesn't allow sufficient mental capacity for humans to function at their present level - unless their brains were artificially enhanced and made more efficient, so that as much work could be done in a smaller space.

Personally, I favour my idea of making space an irrelevance through the construction of arcologies using the same technologies as would make transhumanism possible. Parodise on.

I have failed to account for loss of mental capacity occurring with a shrunken brain*. Perhaps when microchip insertion with quantum computing into the brain comes of age? http://computer.howstuffworks.com/quantum-computer.htm

Archoglies. Yes.

*some psychiatrists may be employed to assure no degradation of mental health.

LAM
18th-March-2010, 11:32 AM
I have failed to account for loss of mental capacity occurring with a shrunken brain*. Perhaps when microchip insertion with quantum computing into the brain comes of age? http://computer.howstuffworks.com/quantum-computer.htm

Archoglies. Yes.

*some psychiatrists may be employed to assure no degradation of mental health.

You sir are a genius. This is easily the best idea EVER. (we should also shrink most of the animals and plants. Now we just need a shrink ray and microchip insertions :D . Oh and probably build up miniature cities, whilst keeping some a grow ray so if there is some kind of problem that can't be managed by robots arises. Although the weather, gravity, wind, rain and water will completely annihilate a tiny human so we'd have to deal with that. (getting crushed to death by a rain drop is not cool at all.)

Back to the point: transhumanists, or at least some (even on this forum,) act like religious fanatics. Some completely adopt these beliefs; thats what they are, don't pretend that just because you have a scientific system, you are true. Because science doesn't predict people and societies, no-one can (on the scale you are talking about.)

Some transhumanists scare me because they are so self assured that they know what is best for humanity, they are not objective. So much so, that they would willingly subject other people to transhumanistic practices. The whole plan that the Jordan puit forward stank of eugenics, except this time people are going to be brainwashed/conditioned not killed. That is definitely not liberal eugenics... Some cannot accept that they might be wrong and some do not care but only want to see the goal of extreme transhumanism fulfilled. Jordan had basically created a theocratic society in his plan, a society unable to defy the principles it was built upon, even if in some cases they might be wrong.

It is the loss of objectivity and empathy that I fear from transhumanists. When they forget they have to stop and don't want to either. Science, especially in this field should be taken extremely carefully, not with the reckless abandon and complete embracement of these theories and ideals by some...

spoirier
18th-March-2010, 01:06 PM
"don't pretend that just because you have a scientific system, you are true"

Really scientific systems usually have high chances to be true.
But the way in which transhumanists turn science and technology into slogans and prophecies, does not make a scientific system anymore.

"Science, especially in this field should be taken extremely carefully"

This ought to be a pleonasm. Indeed, science is all about being careful and checking every claim step by step before being declared as a conclusion.

LAM
19th-March-2010, 10:07 AM
"don't pretend that just because you have a scientific system, you are true"

Really scientific systems usually have high chances to be true.
But the way in which transhumanists turn science and technology into slogans and prophecies, does not make a scientific system anymore.

"Science, especially in this field should be taken extremely carefully"

This ought to be a pleonasm. Indeed, science is all about being careful and checking every claim step by step before being declared as a conclusion.

Way to pick at small points <_< but yeah I did mean the scientific system as you described it.

And also, I wasn't talking about the research, I was talking about the impacts it would have on a society/culture/religion/etc. If the researchers or transhumanists get ahead of themselves especially on stuff like human cloning, there could be major problems...

Jordan~
21st-March-2010, 12:53 AM
This is all about being careful. As you pointed out, the kind of technology I'm talking about will have massive ramifications in all areas of human life once it's developed. Were these technologies to be distributed via the same means as existing technology, that could be extremely dangerous. The result would almost certainly be a plutocracy in which the rich augment themselves and their families and create a ruling transhuman elite, before using their power and influence to legally protect their status by severely limiting access to transhuman technologies. Furthermore, even if a philanthropist were to make the technology available to the masses, present systems of government could not cope with the transhuman era. Our politics, our culture, our whole world is built for humans with human needs.
For the Singularity to pass easily, we need to be prepared for its arrival. We need to have systems in place to deal with the changes that will quite suddenly be forced upon us. What I fear is a bloody revolution against a transhuman elite, which could only severely damage progress - either the transhumans would win and create an oppressive dictatorship, having eradicated the dissenters; or the humans would win and, most likely, become technology-hating luddites unwilling to allow what they'd destroyed to be re-developed for many more years.
Again, let me state that I don't believe in a revolution to establish a state focused on preparing the world for Singularity. I want to avoid a bloody revolution, not to cause one. If this were to occur, it would occur with the consent of the people, objectively worthless as that may be.

spoirier
21st-March-2010, 11:15 AM
How could you make such a misunderstanding on what I meant by "being careful" ? Indeed, when saying "science is all about being careful" it can only mean: to be careful in your reasoning, to avoid telling nonsense that may superficially seem logical (in your eyes, once admitted your hundreds of hidden assumptions that only you believe in) but will most probably have nothing to do with any real possibilities or risks.

Your fear is about plutocracy ? Well, just refer to my infoliberalism project where I precisely deal with the whole matter of the political order. For me, the political order is just a matter of logically ordering the trust connections between peole in the large scale, and therefore requires some new software on the web. Infoliberalism is how anything that may happen and anything that may be developed, will be in a way as fair as possible. It won't depend on the precise contents of future technologies that may be developed.

It seems you are not even willing to understand the whole matter of the political order and what it may depend on. You only care to put forward your preformatted fears as postulates. In some previous post you indeed explain that you reject all attempt to discuss the question of the political & economic order altogether:


Therefore the ideal form of government is one in which every individual is free to do exactly as he or she wishes...
Individual freedom obviously cannot exist on a societal level. The existence of a society implies the surrender of freedom...
Thus any government based on the idea of a society is flawed, because it limits the freedom of the individual...
Reality implies necessity: food, shelter. A new system where reality does not factor into the individual's freedom is needed. This system is 'total transhuman isolation', as I call it, where the posthuman individual is totally self-sufficient; or the posthuman world is capable of sustaining the population automatically through a subconscious hivemind, a 'transhuman Internet' that manages the attendance of necessity. Thus the individual transhuman is free to choose whatever it does, whether it chooses to be limited by reality or to live in a virtual reality dictated by its own desires, or to free itself of all desire and motivation and exist purely as an unbiased consciousness... True freedom - to pursue the motives that we are compelled by the history of the universe to pursue - is only available to the transhuman.
Representative democracy is not run by the people, but by those who inform the people. There is no objective reality in politics...
I propose to deal with these things by removing the necessity of them... Schools are necessary while children exist...
I'm saying that reality is a limit on freedom, and thus reality must be overcome
You refuse to understand reality and how to deal with it, you just prefer to deny it, to close your eyes on it. This no way to understand anything, nor deal with any problem.

You mentioned that our current "democracies" don't fulfil their official goal, and I do agree with this claim. However, the problems they deal with are real. Freedom and the common interest are real issues we must deal with, and they will never be resolved by denying them.
How can you altogether reject political & economical sciences as a meaningful subject of study, and put forward your own claims of how you think they are working, so that the risks you fear will better be prevented in a way (some transhumanist policy) than another ?
Let's take an example of your "arguments":
I am arguing that the ideal form of government - that which I am attempting to outline, total individual isolation in a posthuman future - is one in which the will of the individual, rather than the collective will of all, is sovereign; i.e. a system in which every man is completely free and independent.A = (total individual isolation in a posthuman future)
B = (the will of the individual, rather than the collective will of all, is sovereign; i.e. a system in which every man is completely free and independent)

Were you just claiming that A => B ? or making the full claim that A <=> B, as the previous "explanations" seemed to express that B=>A ?

Your "reasoning" just seems to be a series of arbitrary claims. Where is the logic ?

Where is the proof that A is actually possible (first, that we are indeed heading to a technological singularity) ? Indeed, I already told in a previous message that I don't believe that a technological singularity is possible. Still you did not even start any argument why you think it is possible, only how to assist it, and that the country should invest trillions in advance for it (and therefore drive the population back to 10,000 years ago's famines and misery ifever this R&D investment fails to bring the expected result). This is nonsense discussion.

Where is the proof that A => B ?

Where is the proof that B => A ? I mean, that the above introductory explanations are indeed valid, that A is the only or best way to B, and that you did not forget any easier way, like infoliberalism ?

Where is the economic theory to show how (A and B) can actually form a sustainable system in the large scale, and not, for example, make a self-destroying ecological disaster and wars for resources all over the galaxy (as anyone who is not fighting for resources may be destroyed by anyone that is) ? Indeed, no matter the technologies that will allow for a growth of efficiency in the use of resources, we need to find a way out of exponential growth temptations, because there is a finite amount of available energy in the galaxy, so that once all of it has been spent though black hole collapses, it will come to an end. So, what can give a hint that the use of energy won't serve the most absurd end possible according to some new or old jungle's law ?

Where is any start of explanation how (A and B) can be consistent with your other claim my ambition is to expand the range of experience available to me. One Earth is not enough, one galaxy is not enough, one universe is not enough. I want to see it all, everything that is or ever has been or ever will be, and then I want to make more and see that, too??? I'd sum up your project as a project to make 0=1, to be illogical, down to nonsense thinking, empty dreams, nirvana, all the opposite of science.

Well in a sense, my infoliberalism project is just the right method how to let everyone be free and independent (in other words, B can become true to a satisfactory level, without A). For this, all you need is to restructure one's set of relationships to the rest of he world: reprogram this sort of big computer which is the whole society. No much need of any new and hard technologies, but some new software according to the kind of spec I found out, would suffice.

Short-termism is a product of the fact that you'll probably be dead within the century if things remain as they are.Disagree. Short-termism is mostly a consequence of:
- The real interest rate, which is itself a consequence of the lack of financial resources in the economy, due to the state's and the people's unwillingness to save money (well, ok, if people were living longer, they may save more for their pensions, but there are more direct ways to saving, like reducing public expenses - the obstacle here is not the lack of a personal future to care for, but the lack of sense of reality, the overwhelming stupidity by which most people don't even understand what the word "debt" means).
- The lack of a proper trust system, that would give a more accurate information of what to expect of a company's value in the long term
- That your children can't punish your generation for your waste of the planet's resources, but this is again a matter of justice, that may require a much better justice system like infoliberalism would provide, but not necessarily an increase in the lenght of life.

bananaphallus
21st-March-2010, 11:35 AM
(this isn't worded the way I'd like it to be/not quite saying what I'd like to [whatever that is], more just a sort of braindump)

Not sure if this is in any way relevant; but, authority of some form or fashion will always exist - the 'soft' subjugation of a constituency within a defined/mildly mutable set of parameters - so in essence this authority is an abstract, infinite, atemporal even; and yet it's established in large part with the intent of bringing order to/ensuring the relative soundness of a society whose constituents are eminently temporal beings - how do you think this 'discord' between the atemporal/temporal affects policy/governance, an essentially atemporal entity instituting measures which can't help but to be fluid and subject to transpiring circumstances ? How can this be better managed, or how can the focus/measures taken by forms of governance be more sensitive to this ? Is it all futile?

spoirier
21st-March-2010, 11:45 AM
One more question: you wrote: I want to see it all, everything that is or ever has been or ever will beDid you study general relativity theory and quantum physics ? I did, and found these subjects wonderful.:angel01:
Otherwise, how can you pretend to be interested with science and knowledge ?:confused:

BigApplePi
21st-March-2010, 05:08 PM
One more question: you wrote: Did you study general relativity theory and quantum physics ? I did, and found these subjects wonderful.:angel01:
Otherwise, how can you pretend to be interested with science and knowledge ?:confused:

Have you been able to see those two put together? Is that logical?

Sometimes things are created out of the realm of known reality to see how they will run. If they run well, isn't it possible to make a dump into reality and have some of it stick? Such could be the case with Transhumanism. Junk the illogical and keep the rest. Think science fiction.

spoirier
21st-March-2010, 09:51 PM
The problem how to effectively let GR and GM work together is not clearly resolved yet, but one of the main reasons is that quantum field theory is itself very hard to handle anyway. A lot of work had to be done to make quantum electrodynamics, and the problem with gravitation is just one step harder. Still, it is not just plain contradictory. Indeed, there is loop quantum gravity which is a proposal how to reconcile them, but it is a hard subject of study.
I think it is just a bit cynical and antirational to say that both theories don't logically go together. There is some truth in it of course, but the way it is presented in popular books is, in my sense, grossly exaggerated.
I'd even say the difficulty to reconcile them seems to me rather pointless to mention, and only interests specialists. I don't see the point to worry about this problem of how to reconcile both theories. I see it just as a technical difficulty, while "in spirit" they go together well, through the least action principle. I did not invest myself in the hard part of quantum theory. I just know the basics (non-relativistic theory with hilbert spaces, and some intuitive understanding of the link between quantified fields and feynman diagrams, which provide the wave-particle duality). I don't know enough technical details to even figure out where trouble is with quantum gravity. Anyway, both theories are wonderful and complementary. And even if someday the problem of reconciliation will be solved, I don't think it will make any difference: people will continue to learn GR and QM the same way, and the solution of how they are indeed compatible, will only interest a few specialists.

In conclusion:
- You did not tell whether you know GR and QM or not
- The remark that there remains a little problem to solve between them, is rather pointless in this discussion; all it can bring is to serve some sort of religious antiscientific propaganda. It does not substract anything to the wonderful interest in knowing these theories, nor their relevance to the understanding of our universe.

So, to the question "Have you been able to see those two put together? Is that logical?" the right meaningful reply to give is: Have you been able to see what the so-called "logical incompatibility" between GR and QM consist of, in the way specialists did face it ? Were you even aware that it is NOT that QM depended on any assumption of flat space-time, nor that gravitation would be of fundamentally different nature than the other interactions, but it is much more subtle than this ?
Ifever you did study this, does it trouble you as for the relevance of these theories ?
Sometimes things are created out of the realm of known reality to see how they will run. Well this is trivial. Nobody could ever learn the currently known laws of physics without going on the way through tons of mathematical models of other sorts of universes with different laws than those of our universe.

To develop my infoliberalism project I indeed had to reinvent everything from scratch, from pure logic, disregarding the way money and politics are now currently working, to such an extent that it makes it quite hard for many people to figure it out: they are generally tempted to interpret every concept I try to explain in the framework of the current world, which is misleading. It takes some time to explain how different everything will be, to put everything in its right new context to make it work.

So I don't need anyone's help to teach me imagination, abstraction, or the boldness to consider new possible ideas and contexts. I know all that pretty well.

But, as a mathematician, I am used to analyze what systems can hold or not, even in very complex situations with many parameters.
When I see an idea as impossible, it's not that I lack the imagination or boldness to consider it. But it's that I did consider a lot of other things that would make it impossible, that you may have not considered.

I don't see the sense of considering science-fiction ideas that I see as clearly absurd.
I know that the future will have a lot of surprises and discoveries for us, much more than we can imagine imagine. But I also know why so many of the ideas that are usually considered by science-fiction, are wrong. And I cannot bear to fill my imagination with ideas which I know to be the wrong ones.
"Imagine a future when you can come back to the past and kill your father when he was a baby". "Imagine a future with travels faster than light".
Sorry, this sort of absurd fancy is not my cup of tea. This was just 2 example of impossible ideas for obvious reasons. Your vision of transhumanism appears impossible to me for much more complex reasons but still very clear reasons, that I can't sum up, sorry.

Sorry, I tried to present arguments, but you transhumanists seem to be not even trying to understand and give relevant replies. I even hardly see any sense to try to argue with people who can only dream and fancy, as a substitute of logical thinking, as you transhumanists seem to be. This recalls me of the nonsense kind of discussions I had tried to have after my deconversion with Evangelical Christians, whose principle is to reject rational thinking altogether. Irrationalists, who, just like you, are trained to think very poorly and unseriously, assuming tons of hidden false mistakes in every sentence they write, so that it takes any serious person 10* more work to refute these mistakes one by one... I even don't know why I bother wasting my time for you non-thinkers whose best amusement is to take 2 minutes throwing some easy absurd fancies driving discussions to the antipode of truth and of sane reasoning, so that it will force any sane person to spend hours trying to explain again the sane concepts which you were not willing to bother understanding before, so that you'll probably no more bother understanding after anyway.
Fortunately, you transhumanists non-thinkers are probably not the majority among INTPs, who normally should be able to Think (logically) rather than just dream (illogically) like religious people do.

BigApplePi
22nd-March-2010, 04:31 AM
spoirier I replied to the GR & QM here so as not to be off-topic for this thread:

General Relativity & Quantum... (http://www.intpforum.com/showthread.php?p=157191#post157191)

BigApplePi
22nd-March-2010, 04:53 AM
To develop my infoliberalism project I indeed had to reinvent everything from scratch, from pure logic, disregarding the way money and politics are now currently working, to such an extent that it makes it quite hard for many people to figure it out: they are generally tempted to interpret every concept I try to explain in the framework of the current world, which is misleading. It takes some time to explain how different everything will be, to put everything in its right new context to make it work.

So I don't need anyone's help to teach me imagination, abstraction, or the boldness to consider new possible ideas and contexts. I know all that pretty well.

But, as a mathematician, I am used to analyze what systems can hold or not, even in very complex situations with many parameters.
When I see an idea as impossible, it's not that I lack the imagination or boldness to consider it. But it's that I did consider a lot of other things that would make it impossible, that you may have not considered.

I don't see the sense of considering science-fiction ideas that I see as clearly absurd.
I know that the future will have a lot of surprises and discoveries for us, much more than we can imagine imagine. But I also know why so many of the ideas that are usually considered by science-fiction, are wrong. And I cannot bear to fill my imagination with ideas which I know to be the wrong ones.
"Imagine a future when you can come back to the past and kill your father when he was a baby". "Imagine a future with travels faster than light".
Sorry, this sort of absurd fancy is not my cup of tea. This was just 2 example of impossible ideas for obvious reasons. Your vision of transhumanism appears impossible to me for much more complex reasons but still very clear reasons, that I can't sum up, sorry.

Sorry, I tried to present arguments, but you transhumanists seem to be not even trying to understand and give relevant replies. I even hardly see any sense to try to argue with people who can only dream and fancy, as a substitute of logical thinking, as you transhumanists seem to be. This recalls me of the nonsense kind of discussions I had tried to have after my deconversion with Evangelical Christians, whose principle is to reject rational thinking altogether. Irrationalists, who, just like you, are trained to think very poorly and unseriously, assuming tons of hidden false mistakes in every sentence they write, so that it takes any serious person 10* more work to refute these mistakes one by one... I even don't know why I bother wasting my time for you non-thinkers whose best amusement is to take 2 minutes throwing some easy absurd fancies driving discussions to the antipode of truth and of sane reasoning, so that it will force any sane person to spend hours trying to explain again the sane concepts which you were not willing to bother understanding before, so that you'll probably no more bother understanding after anyway.
Fortunately, you transhumanists non-thinkers are probably not the majority among INTPs, who normally should be able to Think (logically) rather than just dream (illogically) like religious people do.

spoirier we are dealing with real people here. Real people are a logical system of sorts higher than the theories they propose. There is a method of logic I am absolutely certain (!) you are familiar with. I don't think it requires 10* the work to handle either. It's called "Reduction to an Absurdity." I offer that technique here:

Re: Trying to Formulate... (http://www.intpforum.com/showthread.php?p=150018#post150018)
and here:
Re: Transhumanist 'party... (http://www.intpforum.com/showthread.php?p=155721#post155721)

spoirier. You are very serious. Sometimes things are "put ons."

spoirier
23rd-March-2010, 10:06 AM
OK. Sorry I forgot that was you who suggested to change the size of humans, yes it was a good joke :D (whose motivations are curiously ignored by the demand to sperm banks that usually ask for taller donors :p) even if there is a still simpler solution, that is reducing the world population (uh, not very easy, but the demographic growth will have to stop somehow anyway, whether we like it or not).
Sorry that I may have misunderstood the sense of your previous message.
Yes I'm usually serious and I always try to make the difference between ideas that can make sense and become real or not... and for now I can't see what to keep from the transhumanist imagination that may be true and bring something real in a reasonable time, to be worth caring for. While of course, research in biotechnology will make its way like anything else.

Architectonic
23rd-March-2010, 12:34 PM
Does anyone know what is the largest brain volume that could be supported using our neck structure?

Jordan~
23rd-March-2010, 08:56 PM
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
I had typed a response to your whole post, but scrapped it upon the realisation that you fundamentally misunderstand the principle behind my proposals (never mind your lack of belief in the possibility of Singularity) and that, consequently, any discussion of them would be futile. Let me attempt to start from the bottom up.
You speak of a "common interest". I do not believe in a common interest. I have never met another person with whom I fully agree; I have never met another person who, if reality bent itself to their well, would produce a world with which I was entirely satisfied. No two individuals are identical: as such, "common interest" is, at best, an average of the interests of many individuals. It is a compromise by everyone.
It is this which necessarily limits the freedom of the individual wherever societies exist. I may have a very strong desire to kill many thousands of people, which I cannot exercise because this is not in the common interest. I may wish to demolish people's houses without asking permission, which I cannot do because it is not in the common interest. These are extreme examples, but there is a vast range of potential human experience, most of it not at all morally objectionable, unlike those examples I provided, which is completely off limits (or ought to be, from the perspective of society) because it is not in the common interest. To compromise on one's desires is to deny oneself the realisation of one's desires: compromise is a limitation on freedom.
This is one of the limitations on freedom which I seek to eradicate. As I see it, anyone wishing to kill thousands would still not be allowed to do so under your proposal, understandably - their actions would infringe on the freedom of all of their victims, who, presumably, would rather not be killed. Your solution does not in the slightest solve the problem that society innately places limitations on freedom because it forces compromise. Ridding the world of society is ridding it of the constraints imposed by society. Transhumanism is the only way in which the removal of those constraints can be accomplished constructively - if a breakdown of order on that scale were to occur in a societal situation, rather than one of total individual isolation, the results would be extremely destructive in that they would result in the exercise of freedoms by all at the expense of the freedoms of all, and eventually social order, with all its compromise, would rise from the ashes (or every member of the society would be wiped out).
To put it more succinctly, are there things you would like to do that other people would not like you to do? Are there things that other people would like to do that you would not like them to do? If you answered either of these questions positively, you have demonstrated why any gathering of people - be it two or two billion - will give rise to a conflict of interest demanding a compromise and thereby limiting the freedom of all.
The second limitation I seek to remove is that of reality. I don't know about you, but I would very much like to be able to fly unassisted. No wings or anything, just to be able to fly about as if by magic. Unfortunately, the laws of physics prevent this from occurring. Transhumanism provides the solution of simulation and, more important, wilful control of one's suspension of disbelief. The transhuman could watch Steamboat Willie and believe completely, sincerely, with every fibre of his being that it was completely and utterly real, and not only that it was real but that it was also a reputation of everything that ever was and ever would be. A human cannot achieve this level of credulity, and I sincerely doubt that any simulation could exist that would completely deceive a human observer within my natural lifetime - and once I'm dead, none of this matters anyway. You can all jump off a bridge once I'm dead, as far as I'm concerned.
Being able to control one's own suspension of disbelief allows one, effectively, to create one's own reality that operates exactly as its owner pleases. In this way, transhumanism removes the constraints on freedom imposed by reality.
Do you have anything to say in response to this, the most basic assertion of the beliefs around which my proposals are built? Before attacking the proposals, it is important that you understand their aim.
Note well that I do not care for compromise and I do not care if you want to force me to compromise. It is for my own sake that I propose a system in which compromise is not necessary. I have utterly no interest in the common good, only in my own good - and the common good is only an average of everyone's own goods. There is no universal consent, only a lowering of standards to the point that compromise is acceptable. I hold reality to higher standards than that.

BigApplePi
23rd-March-2010, 09:54 PM
OK. Sorry I forgot that was you who suggested to change the size of humans, yes it was a good joke :D (whose motivations are curiously ignored by the demand to sperm banks that usually ask for taller donors :p) even if there is a still simpler solution, that is reducing the world population (uh, not very easy, but the demographic growth will have to stop somehow anyway, whether we like it or not).
Sorry that I may have misunderstood the sense of your previous message.
Yes I'm usually serious and I always try to make the difference between ideas that can make sense and become real or not... and for now I can't see what to keep from the transhumanist imagination that may be true and bring something real in a reasonable time, to be worth caring for. While of course, research in biotechnology will make its way like anything else.

spoirier,
IMO there is a blur between what is real and what is not. Sometimes a person can create an absurdity (see what modern art does -- is that real?) which contains a real force -- a real criticism. The artist may not even be conscious of what he is doing. He just "knows" he is making a point that deserves notice.

The artist runs a great risk because it's easy to misunderstand what he's after. I saw this thread as having a truth. Doesn't matter what's scientifically impossible. We continue the thread to try and discover what that truth might be. Am anywhere near close Jordan~?

Added: Think art, not science!

Animekitty
15th-April-2010, 08:42 AM
Other points in favour of a non-biological form are:
- no need for the consumption of oxygen to sustain a biological form
- no need to construct enormous space vehicles in order to carry the environmental necessities (oxygen, food, water, etc.) to sustain a biological form
- no need to 'terra-form' other planets in order to sustain our biological form
- the ability to explore other planets without the need for environmental suits or temporary habitats

There are other possible benefits to a non-biological form I haven't listed.

My body would be composed of 2.2*10^27 atoms, 2.2*10^14 nanobots, 2.2*10^13 atoms each. A nonbot could self replicate and repair. Get energy from solar or any chemical process. Total computation capacity of my body would be 2.2*10^42 calculations per second.

My plan is to explore my own consciousness. Instant recall of all memories at once. Read every book on Earth. When my body is full I will migrate to a Jupiter like planet and create my own planetary computer. Eventually entropy will kill me but I bet I could last a trillion years.

NegativeZero
21st-June-2011, 07:49 AM
I find it quite disrespectful that some people think they can just make decisions for the rest of the human race and then just dismiss the concerns and objections of other groups with a bit of clever marketing and some economic levers so you can just drag us the fuck along no matter what we think. You will find that those easily manipulated people are actually a minority which is almost as small as the religious groups in the UK.

The core of the population can and do think for themselves, generally those thoughts being highly sceptical if not cynical. But that is to be expected from people who live in an age of conflicting information and sometimes downright disinformation.

In the interest of clarity, i support technological and scientific progress but not at expense of human liberty and free will. We have to share this planet and that means you can't just do whatever you want on it, actions and agendas must be moderated in consideration of the rights of others, even if you don't agree with their ideology.

Ethics may be inconvenient and caution may be frustrating for enthusiastic tech-heads but if you work with your opposition rather than trying to circumvent them or just beat them into submission, you will probably find that the end result is less catastrophe and a more equitable distribution of benefits.

NegativeZero
21st-June-2011, 07:55 AM
Oh yeah and get your economics straight, fixed exchange rates will only strangle a growing economy and if you're in a recession or depression it will lead to bankruptcy just look at Greace.

scorpiomover
21st-June-2011, 09:57 PM
This reminds me of the episode of The Simpsons, when Mayor Quimby runs away, and Lisa and Skinner discover that the town charter said that in that situation, the most intelligent people rule. The high-IQs get together, Lisa, Professor Frink, Comic Book Guy, Dr Hibbert, and a few others, and they come up with all sorts of unusual ideas. They cannot even agree on anything, and everyone starts fighting. In the end, Lisa is flown to safety by Stephen Hawking, when his wheelchair becomes a helicopter.

Becoming overly dependent on science and technology, just makes us LESS self-sufficient. We then become more and more dependent on machines, which break down often, and which frequently screw up.

Trans-humanism is about becoming more efficient human beings. What I have read, and seen, shows me that humans are capable of far greater potential, and that what stands in our way, is rarely reality, or ideology, but US, in our egos, our selfishness, our vanity, our pride, and our emotionally-based inappropriate reactions. Largely, it seems to be emotional immaturity that holds humanity back.

Consider that ONE human mind has the same processing power and storage capacity as ALL of the billions of computers that exist today. That's an awful lot of thinking power. Consider that inappropriate emotions screw up the ability of the mind to process rationally and reasonably. Consider that when people learn to deal with their emotions, they almost always arrive at a very reasonable conclusion. I conclude that it is one's inappropriate emotions that hold us back.

It is thus my view, that humans improve, by each person learning to address their own emotional insecurities. By doing so, the mind is free to think rationally and reasonably about any situation in which the emotions only serve to improve one's reasoning, and not hinder it, and that huge processing power, is phenomenal, so phenomenal, that when we are rational, and so resolve problems together in co-operation, nearly all of our problems would disappear in an extremely short space of time.

Trans-humanism as optimisation of the human potential, is self-improvement of one's emotional state, resolving one's emotional insecurities. When the majority of humans become emotionally stable, able to separate sense from emotional fears and anxieties, and communicate clearly and assertively, then we will find the Therapeutic Singularity will be upon us, and when we do, science and technology will just be a tool for the awesome power of the human mind.

Jordan~
22nd-June-2011, 04:54 AM
I don't know if that human brain vs. computers statistic is true, but according to projections the neural simulation of a human brain should be possible by 2025. There's also a date predicted in the next century for when a single computer will have more processing power than the entire human race, but I can't find it.

Note that the attitudes initially expressed in this thread are those of a person from the past who has since changed many of his positions.

scorpiomover
24th-June-2011, 02:54 PM
I don't know if that human brain vs. computers statistic is true, but according to projections the neural simulation of a human brain should be possible by 2025. There's also a date predicted in the next century for when a single computer will have more processing power than the entire human race, but I can't find it.I found your claim on the transhumanist.com site:

http://www.transhumanist.com/volume1/moravec.htm

It was written in 1997. It is based on Moore's Law, which was an observation by Gordon Moore, that on average, new CPUs were coming out each year, and that each CPU was double the speed of the CPU that came out last year.

However, my younger brother had a 2GHz laptop well over 5 years ago. So by now, we should have 64GHz laptops, at least. But current CPUs are not that much faster, even after more than 5 years.

I can understand why a lot of people might think that the computer might exceed the capacity of the human brain. Computers have seemed capable of so much achievement, and promised to solve the world's problems, ever since they appeared in the 50s.

I first heard the claim about 35 years ago. It was based on predictions of parallel processing. So I waited patiently for the expected revolution of parallel-processing, that would completely change computers. But it never happened. Then the same claim was made about optical computers. Duly, I waited again for the optical revolution. But it never happened. Then the same claim was made about quantum computers. So I waited for the quantum revolution. It hasn't happened, and so far as I can see, any chance of it happening seems to be so far off into the future, that anything could happen between now and then, and it might never happen either. These claims happened again and again, but never transpired.

There are also problems with Moore's Law, because it relies on increasing numbers of transistors being compacted together in the same CPU. Each transistors make heat. So the more transistors in a CPU, the hotter it gets. Eventually, the CPU gets so hot, that the circuits melt and join each other, destroying up the ability of the CPU to function. Laptops in the last few years have had CPUs with so many transistors, that they need powerful fans to stop the CPUs melting and destroying themselves. Effectively, CPUs are now unable to function without a cooling system. Another doubling will at least double up the heat, which will require a doubly-powerful cooling system. So you need at least twice as big a fan. However, these days, fans are even bigger than the CPUs they cool. So computers are running into a problem of size, where a smaller CPU actually means a bigger laptop, and not a smaller one.

Unless someone comes up with a whole new way of cooling metals, we are reaching the limits of what CPUs can do, without simply linking more CPUs together.

It was recently published in the New Scientist that ALL the computers today, provide the same processing power of ONE human brain. You can also read it here, with a link to the original paper:

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/02/adding-up-the-worlds-storage-and-computation-capacities.ars

So I think we are reaching the limits of what current designs of CPUs can do. The next step is parallel processing. But we were supposed to use that in the 80s, and no-one actually put it into motion. So I have to wonder if we are going to do so now.

So I think that although we are seeing computers offer to become more powerful, this growth is slowing and slowing. We are reaching the limits of current technology.

Jordan~
24th-June-2011, 04:47 PM
Kurzweil's projections take into account the limitations of current computer design. He looks at historical trends, too, and observes that soon after any ceiling is reached, a paradigm shift breaks through it - the most important graph, I think, is the one of accelerating returns in the rate of paradigm shifts.

mikhailo
20th-October-2012, 07:15 PM
Hey folks, transhumanist political parties are started around the world, 26 nations joined Longevity party already. Longevity Party is a group promoting the creation and international cooperation of political parties and groups to fight for technological advances for life extension.

The Longevity Parties have been initiated in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, Ukraine, and the US.

Here is the international facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/longevity.party/

Join and start transhumanising the politics!