jm + transhumanism   3

Why are transhumanists such dicks?
Good discussion from a transhumanist forum (via Boing Boing):
"I’ve been around and interviewed quite a lot of self-identified
transhumanists in the last couple of years, and I’ve noticed many of them
express a fairly stark ideology that is at best libertarian, and at worst
Randian. Very much “I want super bionic limbs and screw the rest of the world”.
They tend to brush aside the ethical, environmental, social and political
ramifications of human augmentation so long as they get to have their toys.
There’s also a common expression that if sections of society are harmed by transhumanist
progress, then it is unfortunate but necessary for the greater good (the greater
good often being bestowed primarily upon those endorsing the transhumanism).

That attitude isn’t prevalent on this forum at all – I think
the site tends to attract more practical body-modders than theoretical transhumanists
– but I wondered if anyone else here had experienced the same attitudes in
their own circles? What do you make of it?"
transhumanism  evolution  body-modding  surgery  philosophy  via:boingboing  libertarianism  society  politics 
march 2015 by jm
Roko's basilisk - RationalWiki
Wacky transhumanists.
Roko's basilisk is notable for being completely banned from discussion on LessWrong, where any mention of it is deleted. Eliezer Yudkowsky, founder of LessWrong, considers the basilisk would not work, but will not explain why because he does not consider open discussion of the notion of acausal trade with possible superintelligences to be provably safe.

Silly over-extrapolations of local memes are posted to LessWrong quite a lot; almost all are just downvoted and ignored. But this one, Yudkowsky reacted to hugely, then doubled-down on his reaction. Thanks to the Streisand effect, discussion of the basilisk and the details of the affair soon spread outside of LessWrong. The entire affair is a worked example of spectacular failure at community management and at controlling purportedly dangerous information.

Some people familiar with the LessWrong memeplex have suffered serious psychological distress after contemplating basilisk-like ideas — even when they're fairly sure intellectually that it's a silly problem.[5] The notion is taken sufficiently seriously by some LessWrong posters that they try to work out how to erase evidence of themselves so a future AI can't reconstruct a copy of them to torture.[6]
transhumanism  funny  insane  stupid  singularity  ai  rokos-basilisk  via:maciej  lesswrong  rationalism  superintelligences  striesand-effect  absurd 
march 2013 by jm
Scrapheap Transhumanism
Lepht Anonym and the 'Grinders'. crazy stuff -- low-end DIY cybernetic augmentation. 'The implants sit in various places under my skin: middle fingertips of my left hand, back of the right hand, right forearm — tiny magnets, five or six millimeters across, coated in gold and then in silicon to isolate the delicate metal from the destructive environment of your body. They’re something of an investment at about thirty euros apiece, and hard to get hold of, but worth pursuing. When implanted, they become technological sensory organs. There’s an entire world of electromagnetic radiation out there, invisible to most. Our cities are saturated with it. A radio, for instance, gives off a field that’s bigger than the device itself. So do power supplies and wires in the walls. The implants pick up on the fields, and because they’re magnets, they fizz with gentle electricity, telling you this hard drive is currently active, that one is turned off, there’s the main line in the wall. Holding a mobile phone, you can feel the signals it sends and receives. You know it’s ringing before it starts to play any sounds, and when you answer it, you stick the touchscreen stylus to the back of your hand to hold it, then to your finger to type.'
diy  augmentation  cybernetics  transhumanism  lepht-anonym  grinders  biohacking  cyberpunk  medicine 
november 2011 by jm

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