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Interests: nanotech, religion, philosophy, language, morality, self-deceit, instinct, bigotry, dancing, loving, hating & chemistry. I'm not particularly well suited to small talk.
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    What do we do with the masses?
    Project: The great enhancement debate
    (Okay so the image is way old - but you can't underestimate stupidity)

    Humanity exists within classes. We have to get over the idea of everyone being equal. We just aren't — and it would be shit if we were. It's got a lovely ring to it though and as something to strive for it isn't entirely irrational.

    That's not to say; however, that some people are better than others. Which may seem as if I'm backstepping but allow me to continue...


    • Everyone thinks that they are better than everyone else

    • There is no such thing as a correct, right or true morality



    Therefore one is forced to make subjective judgments as to who is better or worse, different, more useful, funny etc. Of course someone has to make decisions that are going to influence other people eventually - and at this point in time there are some crucial decisions which humans as a species have got to make.

    Humanity has (as I paraphrase roughly some Nietzsche) two major classes. Master and slave. Strong and weak. Independent and herd. Naturally one cannot exist without the other, at least not without some kind of radical revolution. I think it would be pretty safe to say that everyone thinks they're unique, special, individual, free and so when trying to evaluate your own position it is important to consider such points. (For a brief wiki overview on master/slave moralities)

    It would be physically impossible; we do not have the resources, to upgrade everyone and to be sure, how could we determine that underlying personality traits would not remain - and if they wouldn't - you'd be waving goodbye to your own self who wanted the upgrade to begin with.

    For the purpose of this I'm considering upgrades as anything working towards this notion of "Human 2.0"

    Questions to consider (and I'm very interested in your responses):

    • What do we do with the weak? Or the strong for that matter, in their personal endeavors outside and beyond the common good?

    • What will the weak do to the strong if they are excluded from upgrades?

    • What will the weak do if they are given upgrades?

    • What is to stop an individual/group from becoming so powerful they can achieve their goal of world domination via manipulation, control or physical dominance once people have computer chips in their brains or they have strength/invincibility super powers?

    • Will human 2.0 be a superior being? Racism/Bigotry with scientific support sounds terribly dangerous to me...

    • Who should make these decisions? And who will?

    • If life is in essence entirely without objective purpose - what's the point?

    • If our desire for something more is human in nature, won't we possibly kill this and then negate the entire premise of upgrading?



    Obviously I'm pretty new to this whole transhumanism idea. But these are serious concerns I'm having with what I've probably misinterpreted so far.

    If you want to try and freak me out with some honest elitist stuff that would be fantastic, not to mention some common morality answers and perhaps something more insightful as well...

    Thu, Jun 19, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: philosophy
    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    Comments:


    Combustion     Tue, Jun 24, 2008  Permanent link
    I totally disagree with this sentence:
    "There is no such thing as a correct, right or true morality".
    This sentence leads to a void.

    Regarding the master/slave, and the possibility of an evolution: The master/slave situation can be avoided if you take out the ego, what is within every human. So, there isn't a possibility of an upgrade if the being is a human.

    Sorry, but a human can never be superior being or even consider that, if there isn't a true morality as you said. There is a contradiction on what you are looking for.
    sjef     Tue, Jun 24, 2008  Permanent link
    I'm not sure that there aren't the resources to 'upgrade' everyone, there probably are. We've had the resources to feed & educte the entire population of the planet for almost 50 years, but we haven't. It's probably more a matter of distribution than actual shortage.

    The questionnaire is interesting though, so I'll have a crack at answering it.
    Note that I don't really consider myself a transhumanist, I just like to think that I have accepted augmentation as a reality that will manifest itself within our lifetimes, and I'll go with the flow (or against it, if need be), taking it as it comes.

    • What do we do with the weak? Or the strong for that matter, in their personal endeavors outside and beyond the common good?

      This is kind of hard cause it's just too broad. My guess would be that we pretty much do the same that we do now. If you choose to operate in a manner that goes against what is accepted in your society, you'll be shunned or hunted. Don't really see that changing anywhere short of a hard singularity that removes the power from us to make decisions about that kind of thing

    • What will the weak do to the strong if they are excluded from upgrades?

      In a hard scenario I reckon they won't do shit. If they can, then the strong obviously didn't get strong enough quick enough.

      If you mean more a kind of uprising of the disenfranchised masses, then again, I think the same thing will happen as it does in several places on the planet already. Revolts / resistance / underhanded politics / repression / etc

    • What is to stop an individual/group from becoming so powerful they can achieve their goal of world domination via manipulation, control or physical dominance once people have computer chips in their brains or they have strength/invincibility super powers?

      Other individuals & groups, that's it. Note however that this too is no different than it has always been, and considering the fact that the world has been on the brink of destruction for about 50 years now as well, it's not that scary.

    • Will human 2.0 be a superior being? Racism/Bigotry with scientific support sounds terribly dangerous to me...

      Yes, but people but have a total bitchfest about the true meaning of superiority and argue against you till you get absolutely sick of it & just give up. Just like people do now who say we aren't superior to animals.

    • Who should make these decisions? And who will?

      Hopefully a bunch of smart people. Democracy sucks at getting to the best solutions in anything.

    • If life is in essence entirely without objective purpose - what's the point?

      Woah, tangent. The meaning of life is 42, look it up. Or possibly to eat melons. Or to taste every last flavour of instant noodles known to man, and then transcending to taste those unknown to man.

    • If our desire for something more is human in nature, won't we possibly kill this and then negate the entire premise of upgrading?

      Yup. Makes the whole game slightly more intersting huh? Maybe the upgraded transhumanist crowd will find some other purpose, incomprehensible to regular humans, but completely valid to them as a reason for existence. Only one way to find out really. :-)



    So there's my rubbish answers, hopefully that spurs someone else on to take a more detailed view. To be very general, I think that if no hard singularity occurs, everything will pretty much just carry on as it does now, but with more complicated & invasive gadgets.
    3LSZVJA9     Tue, Jun 24, 2008  Permanent link






    What we do with the masses.
    dragon     Wed, Jun 25, 2008  Permanent link
    -Combustion:
    I'm not looking for a superior being. The human 'ego' drives ambition, imagination and creativity (not to mention greed, lust and pride) and I can't exactly see why getting rid of one would be a good thing. IF that's what you're trying to get at...

    In terms of morality- master/slave are characteristic and popular moralities adopted by two very different kinds of people. I'm not advocating one as being more valid that another — simply that they interact in a potentially dangerous way.

    Consider this; as an allegory: I give everyone in the world a nuke. I give them a detonator, and I tell them to go out and live their lives. Undoubtedly someone will push the button (be it anger, disappointment, an accident, rage etc etc), I would be betting worldwide nuclear holocaust in under 24 hours. So while the danger (arguably) of 'playing with ourselves' (making ourselves stronger, smarter and therefore potentially more cunning and ruthless) is significantly less than that of the previous allegory it is a danger none the less.

    The point about 'a bunch of smart people' is interesting, mainly because you're right. And that's what I'm trying to get at. The people who will most probably make the decisions are not the one's who are best suited to it. What could be the consequences of this? (I'm thinking bad)

    -on a further note: is danger bad? (queue six thousand word essay)
    Sect     Thu, Jul 10, 2008  Permanent link
    It's quite a plausible argument to say that we are infact living in an age of master/slave existence, as I propose that people who don't even question their existence are slaves to a system with little purpose other than to stimulate an economy (for example) and play their part in allowing those who do think on issues outside of themselves to evolve beyond them (the lesser thinking individual).

    Similar to Sjef I'd like to tackle the questions put forward already:


    • What do we do with the weak? Or the strong for that matter, in their personal endeavors outside and beyond the common good?

      Appoint a vastly superior force or entity to govern all from behind the scene. Cough the 5 Jew bankers.

    • What will the weak do to the strong if they are excluded from upgrades?

      Maybe rally together and attempt strength in numbers, or evolve in a different direction. Survival of the fittest.

    • What will the weak do if they are given upgrades?

      I can imagine upgrades being so cheap that everyone has them, aka Ghost in the Shell, where people have their brains encased in 'shells' (within their heads) so they can perform alongside machines with synergy.

      Therefore it is the norm to have computer UI's integrated into us, yet it is the wealthy who can afford to maintain and adopt new technology as it comes out, where the poor are stuck with the aging systems and find themselves unable to experience new features.

    • What is to stop an individual/group from becoming so powerful they can achieve their goal of world domination via manipulation, control or physical dominance once people have computer chips in their brains or they have strength/invincibility super powers?

      Nothing, so some controlled organisation will need ot have state of the art equipment and training to exceed anyone else.

    • Will human 2.0 be a superior being? Racism/Bigotry with scientific support sounds terribly dangerous to me...

      Human 2.0 will just be another step in our evolution, where human 3.0 is vastly superior and views 2.0 to be very primitive.

    • Who should make these decisions? And who will?

      Democracy, while keeping a loose balance, is not always the best and direct course of choice for dealing with sensitive matters. Reason balanced with a criteria that best serves humanity could be decided upon by more intelligent but controlled machines. Our fusion with machines will blur the distinction between mankind and machine, hence new systems of belief and purpose will naturally arise.

    • If life is in essence entirely without objective purpose - what's the point?

      I don't believe there is a purpose for mankind that we aren't currently fulfilling. To not explore all possibilities we create is denying our purpose.

    • If our desire for something more is human in nature, won't we possibly kill this and then negate the entire premise of upgrading?

    • If it is our desire to do something, then we will do it. No matter which way we go, it is our purpose to go there regardless of the alternatives.

      When mankind can truly colonize space in all its vastness we will have the opportunity to explore multiple branches of evolution in singularity from one another.


    dragon     Sat, Jul 12, 2008  Permanent link
    Sect-

    There is a recurring theme of trying to create a 'vastly superior', impartial, overlooking, smart, powerful thing/person/organization/computer to control and manage these new technologies. This is fine. That is what governments are (or are supposed to be). These are obviously not without problems, and people will always find some reason to go against any established authority.

    Human 2.0 will just be another step in our evolution, where human 3.0 is vastly superior and views 2.0 to be very primitive


    Firstly, this is probably not a good thing, if we think of peace, security & equality as positive things within society. Secondly- it's weird to think of us as we exist now as say Human 1.0, we are a fluid dynamically evolving species. Thirdly, bigotry is a natural human tendency - do we remove this? or let the shit fly?

    (What would you think about a book set in a world with humans, along with 2.0 and 3.0 where the 'purebreds' decide to get rid of the snotty think-they're-better-than-us interface capable?- I see lots of violence)

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. There are a few more things I could debate, your idea of purpose for instance,
    ohmybrokenleg     Wed, Jan 28, 2009  Permanent link
    Ok, I dont speak good English, but hope this idea reaches your creative attention:
    'egolution'. I suppose some of your writers whose texts I couldt get has used the term before,
    that would imply a suggestion to find in the inmediate future a way of organizing multindividual plexus of micro-consciences, not a progression but a metàbasis alló genós, a jump of dimension.

    As for Nietzsche's quotations, I find them taken out of place, and suggest for an accurate reading of his more complex 'bundle-masquerade of gestures' the postumous fragments, mainly those related to power and death, there can be a good power, there must be some degrees of such possibility, or there wont be anything. Massacre of any group means organization of nonsense menasn giving negativity the tools of fair willingness, something like that.
     
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