Prince Charles gets nervous, neo-Luddite meme gathering steam

Jeff Bone jbone at deepfile.com
Mon Apr 28 11:43:34 PDT 2003


On Monday, Apr 28, 2003, at 10:29 US/Central, Bill Stoddard wrote:

> Jeff Bone wrote:
>> We need to get our arguments in order, folks.  With the likes of 
>> Francis Fukuyama, Prince Charles, Martin Rees, Bill Joy, and others 
>> lining up against the kinds of technology and scientific research 
>> that will get us to transhumanity,
>
> Transhumanity, or more precisely whether it is a suitable/desireable 
> goal,  is the issue, no?

NB, I don't know what "suitable goal" means.  Seems to imply a certain 
value judgment.

Really, there are two issues.  For e.g. Francis Fukuyama, the 
(un)desirability of transhumanity is the central issue.  For e.g. Joy, 
it seems that it is not so much "transhumanity, yeah or nay" but rather 
avoiding the grey goo, AI-takes-over, and other existential risk 
scenarios.

But the bigger political meta-issue is this:  should the "transhumanity 
naysayers" be able to trump the rights of those who would like to see 
this happen?  I'm generally opposed to a Eli-style AI supercop / 
unilateral takeover and forced Singularity, I think Francis and anyone 
else with the death meme should be able to opt out.  But (all other 
things being equal, assuming appropriate safety considerations --- and 
maybe even without them, considering what we stand to gain and the 
risks we face if we don't pursue this) should the naysayers be able to 
block progress and change for the rest of us?

jb



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