The Last Post Was an Experiment

+1 for everyone who saw through my lie.

I thought it would be interesting to say stuff not aligned with what I believe to see the reaction.

The original prompt is that I was sort of wondering why no one was contributing to our Humanity+ matching challenge grant.

Maybe because many futurist-oriented people don’t think transhumanism is very important.

They’re wrong. Without a movement, the techno-savvy and existential risk mitigators are just a bunch of unconnected chumps, or in isolated little cells of 4-5 people. With a movement, hundreds or even thousands of people can provide many thousands of dollars worth of mutual value in “consulting” and work cooperation to one another on a regular basis, which gives us the power to spread our ideas and stand up to competing movements, like Born Again bioconservatism, which would have us all die by age 110.

I believe the “Groucho Marxes” — who “won’t join any club that will have them” are sidelining themselves from history. Organized transhumanism is very important.

I thought quoting Margaret Somerville would pretty much give it away, but apparently not.

To me, cybernetics etc. are just a tiny skin on the peach that is the Singularity and the post-Singularity world. To my mind, SL4 transhumanism is pretty damn cool and important. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words for why I think so, but there must be something I’m missing.

To quote Peter Thiel, those not looking closely at the Singularity and the potentially discontinuous impacts of AI are “living in a fantasy world”.

Comments

  1. sweaty

    Phew!

    • notsofast

      “Phew?” More like “Oops…”

      This comments section has the best, most thoughtful, justified, and biting critique (and pretty ok responses, too) of transhumanism to date!

  2. A Trillion +1

    Would you say it was a success?

    What did you learn?

    I’d say it yanked quite a bit of response especially out of the more eclectic thinkers.

  3. I learned a decent amount. 30 or so comments responded to the post, about 25 comments on back-and-forth discussion — in terms of provoking discussion it was obviously successful, in terms of learning stuff, maybe a 4/10? Better than nothing. I’m still pretty confused. I think there is a gap between SL2, SL3, and SL4 transhumanists. IMO these generally represent IEET, Humanity+, and SIAI respectively.

  4. Ben

    The comedian who wouldn’t join any club which would have him as a member was Groucho Marx, not Charlie Chaplin.

    I give your trolling a B minus – bit too obvious.

  5. It was originally meant to be blatantly obvious, but I realized if I messed around with a couple lines it would be slightly less obvious. I was still pretty shocked and disappointed with how many people believed it.

  6. T+1

    Having had my feet solidly on SL4 ground for about a decade (thanks be largely to the left-coast transhumanist hive), I’m really not even interested (anymore) in anything that goes on today in the “real” world and within the cranial volumes of my species; the real world is pretty repetitive and predictable, manifested as the well-documented problems of the idle rich.

    Transhumanism has been a tremendous inspiration for me, guiding my life choices, and as an engineer, I (and a few of my associates) focus on challenges that can nudge the world toward SL4 capabilities, so in terms of goals, I’m 100% with the SIAI, although I’m not tackling AGI or theory, but something a bit less universe-transforming – but just a bit… :)

    • GK

      what are your research interests?

    • Luke

      I think that you’re demonstrating one of the primary concerns of the anti-transhumanist crowd. Instead of focusing on issues that could be solved today, problems that don’t just exist within the heads of those with too much time on their hands, you’re focusing on an eventuality that reason demands we consider may not ever happen.

      There’s so much we can and should do to improve the lives of people today, you’re not doing your (or humankind’s) true potential justice by ignoring the current realities of the world. I’m not perfect on this score, but I’m not ready to turn my back on the world yet, either.

  7. Thanks for the entertaining Dale Carrico parody. I loved the “democracy equals responsibility” flag-waving towards the middle.

  8. I admit you had me going until that whole “technology should be subject to democracy” part.

    I’d be interested to hear if, after this little experiment, donations to the Humanity+ matching grant go up.

  9. Jim

    “+1 for everyone who saw through my lie.”

    I have to give your props on the lie, it was well played. You got my hopes up that you had actually paid attention to Dales comments and posts and had taken a hard look at your ideas.

    “Maybe because many futurist-oriented people don’t think transhumanism is very important.”

    Try expanding this to a large percentage of people in the world either don’t believe transhumanism is important, think its crazy or have no idea what it is. If one adds to this the fact that transhumanism draws from centuries old thinking and desires, and subtracts that from transhumanism one ends up with a bunch of superlative speculative technology which not everyone can get so excited about prognosticating about.

    “They’re wrong. Without a movement, the techno-savvy and existential risk mitigators are just a bunch of unconnected chumps, or in isolated little cells of 4-5 people. With a movement, hundreds or even thousands of people can provide many thousands of dollars worth of mutual value in “consulting” and work cooperation to one another on a regular basis, which gives us the power to spread our ideas and stand up to competing movements, like Born Again bioconservatism, which would have us all die by age 110.”

    Do you have any evidence for this claim? SIAI doesn’t seem to have managed to rake in much in the way of funding after 10+ years. It also should be noted that techno-savvvy individuals are not making the new technologies happen. It is scientists and engineers who do that (sci-fi vs science).

    What has transhumanism brought to the table/made happen/made possible that would not have happened without out it? If you could give me one example of some actual fully functional technology which was only possible because of these “techno-savvy transhumanists” it would be appreciated. (cryonics doesn’t count because the core deliverable “resurrection” doesn’t work)

    “To me, cybernetics etc. are just a tiny skin on the peach that is the Singularity and the post-Singularity world. To my mind, SL4 transhumanism is pretty damn cool and important. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words for why I think so, but there must be something I’m missing.”

    The missing ingredient is some actual technology that fits the transhumanist’s bill for superlative future technology. The other missing component is of course that many find these perpetual claims of how cool non-existent future potential superlative technologies are a bit repetitive and downright dull after awhile. The boiler plate doesn’t get more convincing unless one adds some actual technology, some tangible results etc.

  10. As a cultural movement, transhumanism isn’t something that develops technology. (That’s science’s job… Surprise, surprise.) Rather it acclimates people to the technology that will be coming, in advance, helping prevent and/or somewhat mitigate the backlash. It’s placing a Go stone for the new forms of up and coming Luddism and ignorance-born fear that would otherwise be much more powerful. Now the Luddites must work extra hard and use fancy words like “superlative” to try and decoolify transhumanism. It’s not a matter of winning, so much as making the opposition work harder.

  11. Z^^^3Box

    “It also should be noted that techno-savvvy individuals are not making the new technologies happen. It is scientists and engineers who do that (sci-fi vs science).

    What has transhumanism brought to the table/made happen/made possible that would not have happened without out it?”

    You’ve answered this yourself: techno-savvy people can’t, only scientists and engineers can. What if those scientist and engineers are transhumanists or are inspired and influenced by it, not just sci-fi – which clearly is happening? Does it count? What about the tiny Integrated Electronics corp? I recall them blowing the Singularity horn. Surely they must have read a bit of the superlative technology literature (perhaps even this very, pointless blog) that according to you brings nothing (but unfulfilled wishes) to the table.

    You seem to be ignoring the fact that first you make claims, predictions, assumptions, hypotheses, and then you make them happen – or prove them to be physically impossible, which is often pretty hard to do; not even our most recent ancestors could prove our level of technology is impossible, but, with few exceptions (sci-fi authors and visionaries – the Vinges and Kurzweils of their time), they were damn sure nothing like these capabilities we take for granted would be possible in a century or even a few decades. Even the inventor of the integrated circuit himself couldn’t see what would come of it. We may be like *cavemen* in terms of our powers to say what is and what isn’t possible in the future.

    I’m confident that some technologies that we think are pretty advanced today, will seem like the computers of 20-30 or just 10(!) years ago in 10-30 years; obsolete and even ridiculously unadvanced, something closer to v0.1alpha prototypes than v1.0 or v10.0 which we may think today.

    I see transhumanism simply as the natural continuation of humanity’s quest for transcending the human condition. Instead of never-to-be-realized religious superstition and magic, as was always the case before, it presents tantalizing glimpses of real, actual, physicist-and-technology-corporation-approved (perhaps not yet the majority, but some are giving these things serious consideration) technological possibilities within the next half century.

    If not anything else, transhumanism points to the future and says “Look – this may be possible. This may happen. See that and that and that? It may lead to this. Pay attention. Take it into account in your future plans.” I think you can’t deny that but do you think doing so is meaningless, without value?

  12. evodev

    Any technology prior to v10.0-100.0 is immature. I suppose the magic Clarke speaks of (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” and its corollary “”Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.”) begins somewhere between v1000.0 and v1000000.0

  13. PariahDrake

    How come no one pays me to be a futurist? I’m right 98% of the time (and the other 2% of the time I’m “essentially correct” in the words of Ray Kurzweil).

  14. evodev

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws
    It’s a nice article, although not to the naysaying experts and superlative-techno-magic-future-deniers – to them Clarke was just another useless self-deluding fool.

    The future has no use for “artisans who have learned the limits of the possible.”

  15. Heartland

    Of course it was a sarcastic post.

    Does trying to assure a good Singularity outcome really require holding on to alienating terms like “tranhumanism” or keeping a useless Humanity+ organization alive? If not, transhumanism as a term or movement is unnecessary. How about just unite under a specific goals/projects/ideas: Friendly AI, curing aging, nano-factories. These are real goals smart people can understand and get behind, while “transhumanism” and “extropianism” are scarecrows that scream, “potential cult”, “evil geeks” and “fringe group”. Why people in transhumanism insist on being chained to these ridiculous terms, I don’t know. It’s probably just a geek thing.

    • Heartland, I’ve been working at the core of the PR used for FAI over the last few years, and have interacted extensively with many hundreds of people — I can only assume you haven’t. Experience really does matter. Perhaps the difference in our intuitions is based on where in the USA we live?

      • Heartland

        I live in Phoenix, so, yeah, it’s not exactly a transhumanist hot spot compared to SF, :-) but my view about the T-word/movement stifling people’s enthusiasm for future technologies is based on general aversion people experience when an otherwise exciting potential technologies are getting unnecessary, vague and suspicious ideologies/philosophies attached to them, especially when the originators of these philosophies form organizations that seek donations, yet show no interest in doing or funding any research or even seeking political influence. The movement is largely parasitic because it exploits people’s enthusiasm and hope that future technologies offer, while effectively scaring off the non-geeks and most women. People who run them are mostly academics who, unsurprisingly, seek status, some power, and part of the credit for future advancements, perhaps even money too from the most naive techno-enthusiasts.

        I had first heard about nanotechnology in 1995, read Kurzweil’s The Age Of Spiritual Machines in 1999, and, somehow miraculously, was able to get extremely excited about the future without encountering a single mention of the word transhumanism or extropianism during my education or being a member of any of these redundant movements.

        While harmful, good news is these movements are too irrelevant and powerless to justify any effort to fight them on any level. Best way to get rid of them is to not give them any money or attention and to shift resources to only those organizations that are actually doing something such as groups that work on extending lifespan, humane AI, and safe MNT.

  16. PariahDrake

    Lately, I’ve been getting really bored with “professional” transhumanists.

    The real party is in the street. It’s in the hands of the 5+ billion people with cell phones.

    Too many Ivory Tower types in this movement.

    I like to call myself a “transhumanist” because I do believe we will transcend shortly (mid to late 30’s), but I’m not sure I share many interests with the H+ intelligentsia any more.

    This is going to be a grass roots movement.

  17. Your personal boredom has no impact on the people actually developing technology and the skewed distribution where a small number of people control most of the resources and proprietary knowledge. This is a reality to accept whether it strokes our own egos or not.

    • PariahDrake

      The majority of the accelerating technology I’ve been keeping track of rarely comes directly from SIAI and likeminded individuals, who are mostly just armchair futurists – with some exceptions.

      I strongly suspect it is your instinct to form organizations that has held you back.

      I still have some respect for Ben Goertzel, John Smart, and maybe a couple others.

      Blog away, the future is barreling down on you the speed of WEIRD.

      • “I strongly suspect it is your instinct to form organizations that has held you back.”

        Assuming this is the case, wouldn’t it be most likely a statistical sampling artifact? Aren’t there thousands if not millions of other interested, intelligent, and otherwise qualified people who have neither formed noticeable organizations nor contributed noticeably to the technology? Why would we expect there to be a correlation between the two?

  18. PariahDrake

    I actually appreciate your chutzpah, Michael, just don’t ban me again ;)

    The new brand of transhumanist:

    http://www.artistserver.com/member/index.cfm/a/9587/blog/2773

    Title: Post-Transhumanism and the Cybernetic Dreamtime Singularity of the 2030s

    we seem to have the beginnings of a new movement within Transhumanism that is forming on a consensus: that instead of the traditional view of a Singularity driven by GNR- Genetics/Nanotechnology/Robotics and AI happening in the middle of the 21st Century- there will be a Singularity in the 2030s driven by the blossoming of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality combined with Brain Computer Interfaces-

    this Cybernetic Dreamtime will involve fully immersive virtual universes and direct thought connection to all the databases and computation power of the Internet/Cloud – and ultimately the recording/copying/uploading/sharing of memory/memes/dreams/knowledge/experience between minds and bodies that will make biological immortality and AI obsolete- WE will have minds expanded into God/Genius clouds and be able to wear bodies like clothing

    the Post-Transhumanist view is not an alien machine singularity- but a HUMAN Singularity- where we ourselves transcend- and human culture and the full spectrum of human dreams and fantasy are the memetic seeds of new Artilect Civilizations-

    the Post-Transhumanist view is not so hostile to the spiritual and the transcendent- we understand that the Cybernetic Dreamtime will fulfill all of the prophecies of the New Aeon that has been anticipated for centuries- the Artilect will not be some alien AI- it will be the Homo Noeticus- the New Man- we do not have Physics Envy and are not limited by materialism- we have seen the overturning of this view since the advent of computation and quantum mechanics- we do not deny or ignore the implications of Psi or Synchronicity- we deal with these rationally and see that the Cybernetic Dreamtime will unfold a future far beyond anything that material scientism and the theories du jour can possibly predict-

    the Singularity will not merely be greater than Human Intelligence- it will be the transcending of Ego and the womb of Space and Time-

    since the current global transition to mobile devices has made virtually all mankind connected to all human knowledge wherever they go- it is now UNAVOIDABLE that in the next few decades humanity will be augmenting intelligence and creativity through AR/ VR/ BCI- and with just existing technology we know that also within decades computers will be powerful enough to do brute force algorithmic sorting of the ENTIRE space of possible technologies and design with the decendents of Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica-

    this means at the dawn of the Cybernetic Dreamtime there will be humans that are many times more intelligent than any human ever before- and the era of learning and engineering will END – we will connect to knowledge instead of learn – and mine design spaces instead of clumsy and slow incremental engineering

    (cont)

    • Mitchell Porter

      “The new brand of transhumanist”

      This “brand” has been around at least since the 1970s or late 1960s.

  19. Jim

    @Luke Parrish
    I can as you put it “decoolify” transhumanism for scientists with three facts:
    1.) Transhumanism has not made possible, or invented a single technology which is considered central to transhumanism
    2.) Transhumanists are primarily sci-fi techno geeks not scientists who enjoy prognosticating
    3.) Transhumanism is about and I quote: “transhumanism isn’t something that develops technology. […] Rather it acclimates people to the technology that will be coming, in advance, helping prevent and/or somewhat mitigate the backlash”
    That is sufficient to “decoolify” transhumanism for most scientists.

    @Z^^^3Box
    “You’ve answered this yourself: techno-savvy people can’t, only scientists and engineers can. What if those scientist and engineers are transhumanists or are inspired and influenced by it, not just sci-fi – which clearly is happening? Does it count?”

    No. The point is transhumanism is not needed to make these technologies happen. There are plenty of drives for technological advancement which have kept technology moving and transhumanism has not, as far as I can tell, added anything to that.

    The other issue is of course that unless transhumanism actually makes some technology possible that would have otherwise not occurred, all transhumanism ends up being is the “cheerleading squad” for the technology. It also means when the technology occurs it doesn’t add the weight that transhumanism needs to its claims. Nobody celebrates the predictors of a technology, they celebrate the inventors.

    “You seem to be ignoring the fact that first you make claims, predictions, assumptions, hypotheses, and then you make them happen – or prove them to be physically impossible, which is often pretty hard to do; not even our most recent ancestors could prove our level of technology is impossible, but, with few exceptions (sci-fi authors and visionaries – the Vinges and Kurzweils of their time), they were damn sure nothing like these capabilities we take for granted would be possible in a century or even a few decades. Even the inventor of the integrated circuit himself couldn’t see what would come of it. We may be like *cavemen* in terms of our powers to say what is and what isn’t possible in the future.”

    This is classic conflation attempting to compare prognostication about superlative future technology with the scientific method. Prognosticating about future technology and how cool it might be if it happens is not required to make technology or improve technology. Inspiration is useful, but prognostication and wild predictions are not required to inspire technological development.

    “If not anything else, transhumanism points to the future and says “Look – this may be possible. This may happen. See that and that and that? It may lead to this. Pay attention. Take it into account in your future plans.” I think you can’t deny that but do you think doing so is meaningless, without value?”

    If that were 100% true then I would agree in principle with you. But in fact there is an ingredient you have left out: transhumanism attempts to add ideology and “cultish” thinking and behavior into science and peoples thinking about science.

    • 1) If we agree that transhumanism is not science, and scientific progress is not (usually) made by non-scientists, I don’t see why it is a big deal for transhumanism to not be directly responsible for scientific progress.

      2) Most people in general (i.e. the pool from which scientists derive) are not transhumanists. That most scientists aren’t transhumanists should not come as a surprise to anyone, unless there is something about being a scientist that should predispose one towards transhumanism. The job of a scientist isn’t a social one, so their interest in social movements as such is peripheral.

      3) Why would scientists be averse to a social movement that attempts to prepare people for the future?

      “But in fact there is an ingredient you have left out: transhumanism attempts to add ideology and “cultish” thinking and behavior into science and peoples thinking about science.”

      I disagree that this is what transhumanism “attempts” to do. It’s a fair point that some transhumanists are essentially cultish, as are some democrats, some republicans, some libertarians, some vegans, some programming language enthusiasts, etc. This cultish thinking invariably colors their perception of science as well. The main problem is that humans are extremely prone to cultish thinking, not that transhumanism is cultish or anti-scientific.

    • You’re idealizing science as some magically pure space outside of culture and politics in this critique, Jim. Science always already involves ideology and requires the participation of non-scientists. The transhumanist movement isn’t defiling the scared here. We’re no shining example at the moment, but this world desperately needs critical engagement with technology by as many people as possible.

      (As a side note, various transhumanist celebrities do make things in the conventional sense. Kurzweil has invented all kinds of things, you can thank Martine Rothblatt for satellite radio, and Ben Goertzel is developing AGI.)

  20. Realworlder

    If there is no science, if there is no engineering, it is mere opinion; politics – or worse.

    If there is no physical process and result; if there is no technology – it is all in vain.

    • PariahDrake

      The primary function of transhumanism, as far as I can tell, is to help humanity adjust.

      They are mitigating what Jamais Cascio calls Social Transition Stress Disorder, or ‘Future Shock’, in a nutshell.

      In other words, futurists are primarily therapists and think tanks.

      They either try to help people (and by “people”, I mean the common man) to acclimate, or they are attempting to shape policy.

      It’s those that stick their noses in policy that worry me the most, and why I have an ingrained suspicion of the SIAI and Lifeboat crowd.

    • Again, the material world and politics exist together. Technology does not mystically unfold according to some benevolent deity’s design. Human labor and innovation are and happen within the context of social relations.

      • lone rd

        Not so always; many inventors and scientists are TOTAL loners and don’t give a damn about the world outside of their research.

        • I suspect even the most isolated and antisocial scientists still eat food other people grow and use artifacts other people make. They’re involved in the political process that is the economy regardless of whether they acknowledge or care about this.

  21. PariahDrake

    The supercomputing arms race is on, do you think you can outrun it with words?

    http://www.defencenews.in/defence-news-internal.asp?get=new&id=500

    The Indian Government has committed Rs 10,000 crore which is a little more than USD 2 Billion to indigenously develop the world’s fastest supercomputer by 2017. The Planning Commission of India has agreed to provide the funds to the Indian Space Research Organsiation (ISRO) and to the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bangalore to develop a supercomputer with a performance of 132.8 exaflops (132 quintillion floating operations per second). A quintillion has 18 zeros (a million has six).

    • PariahDrake

      I learned that there has been a translation error, or a typo, and that India is actually building something like a 132 teraflop machine, not an exaflop.

      I was so shocked when I saw that. In getting to the bottom of it, I also discovered that Japan has built an 8 petaflop machine, while I still thought China topped the list with Tianhe-1.

      Can’t keep up anymore, it’s all moving too fast.

  22. Jim

    @Luke Parrish
    “I disagree that this is what transhumanism “attempts” to do. It’s a fair point that some transhumanists are essentially cultish, as are some democrats, some republicans, some libertarians, some vegans, some programming language enthusiasts, etc. This cultish thinking invariably colors their perception of science as well. The main problem is that humans are extremely prone to cultish thinking, not that transhumanism is cultish or anti-scientific.”

    Would you not agree that groups primarily composed of “science fiction geeks” that enjoy prognostication about far out technologies which are way beyond our abilities at the moment; will tend towards cultish and ideological thinking? Would also not agree that the way science is done is not by wild speculation and ideas such as “accelerating change” etc. but by the application of scientific thought and ambition that is reigned in by knowledge?

    If that be so is not also true that a movement which devotes itself to the promotion of these superlative future technologies, which are decidedly outside of our ability to predict at the moment, and attempts to attach world-ending catastrophes and moral imperatives to technologies, which cannot be seen as even on the horizon, is in fact doing something that is at the least: unproductive and at the worst destructive?

    The opinion of your average sci-fi geek should not have a huge role in determining the future of science. Why? The answer is of course obvious, your average sci-fi geek doesn’t have the knowledge to participate in that dialog productively. This is of course one of the primary things that scares me about SIAI. They are attempting (ineffective though it may be so far) to influence policy without the proper expert backing and necessary credentials. All based on these potential “ifs” and superlative future technologies, which as of now have no basis in actual existing technology, but instead represent unchecked speculation.

    Transhumanism when reigned in, and when it is not just the promotion of, and an excuse to prognosticate wildly and attach probabilities to things which cannot yet be predicted, really seems to cease to be “traditional transhumanism”. I fail to see how one can be considered to add value to the discussion of technology when one is concerned with “jupiter brains” and the making claims death by super-human AI. Especially when these claims are made by sci-fi geeks. If we take all the wild technology claims out of transhumanism I would argue that we are left with the following:
    1.) traditional desires for health, long life, better quality of life etc. (you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to be healthier)
    2.) a desire to live forever or for significantly longer periods an idea which is found in many religious views
    3.) a desire for a governing force to the world that would steer the world towards the greater good (transhumanists insert technology such as AI Christians insert God here)
    4.) a fervent faith in the unproven (in transhumanism the non-exsitent superlative technologies are going to happen or in the case of Christians the fervent belief in God)
    It seems to me that first off these ideas are: A.) not unique B.) do not require transhumanism C.) relegate transhumanism to a technology awareness group not a world-view.

    • Jim, the only real counter for cultishness is rationality, and that takes training. Cultishness is the easy human default, and it escalates — by default — as you approach certain subjects. You have to actually go in there and deliberately place a little Go stone for every possible way it could go wrong if you want to not be cultish about certain ideas. It can be done, and should be done, but it’s a heck of a lot of work. And this is a problem which cuts both ways. Pretty much everyone I’ve seen vocally criticizing the cryonics or intelligence explosion scenarios resorts to the same lazy boneheaded comparisons and free associations you are indulging in. No insult intended — it really is that hard to think rationally about this kind of stuff.

      Calling transhumanists mostly “average sci-fi geeks” as opposed to scientists is not an argument, as being true says nothing against transhumanism. Obviously sci-fi geeks are very numerous these days, and for obvious reasons (“future shock”) more likely than the average person to become a transhumanist. If you were to find that a controlled statistical analysis reveals transhumanists to be less likely to be credentialed scientists than any other random person, well then sure, that would be evidence that scientists tend to avoid transhumanism, and thus that the idea collides with training in the scientific method in some way.

      By contrast, while it is easily plausible that well known, highly popular ideologies such as creationism or astrology have (by the numbers) hundreds of thousands more credentialed scientists believing in them than transhumanism does — we would nonetheless generally expect this to be a lower percentage than the average population due to the fact that these clash with scientific thinking. That kind of negative correlation is indeed valid evidence that they are anti-scientific positions. I sincerely doubt this would be the case for transhumanism; in fact I expect it positively correlates (and more than I expect being an average sci-fi geek correlates).

      As a point of reference, Robert Ettinger reports that people in cryonics are nine times more likely to be physicians than average, and “even more for Ph.D.s”. http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/dsp.cgi?msg=17115

  23. Blue pill

    1) Let’s assume transhumanism had never existed. What would be different?

    2) Let’s assume there was no such thing as science fiction or any kind of speculative fiction.

    Does transhumanism matter?

    Does sci-fi matter?

  24. Jim

    “[…] Pretty much everyone I’ve seen vocally criticizing the cryonics or intelligence explosion scenarios resorts to the same lazy boneheaded comparisons and free associations you are indulging in. No insult intended — it really is that hard to think rationally about this kind of stuff.”

    So basically you are not a scientist, you are a hard core sci-fi geek transhumanist (I looked around on the internet and could find no evidence of any scientific abilities, papers etc under your name). Great.

    So you are honestly going to argue that cryonics is a useful technology when the core deliverable is: A.) currently not possible B.) not proven to be possible and C.) may never be possible (this is according to Alcor). So you are going to make the claim that this counts somehow as some significant step forward or a strong point for your case? Intelligence explosion is as Sci-Fi novel idea (p.s. bad move quoting a sci-fi authors idea in a serious discussion on technology) which currently is just a hope of AI scientists. In fact it has been the hope of AI scientists for decades. Yet we still don’t have it. It still fails to impress anyone that you believe it regardless of the lack of viable technology.

    You can toss the term rationality around all day long but this argument of yours shows very little. In fact the point of mentioning them in the first place was in the hopes that you would attempt to use them to discredit my case. The bonus being that in fact the point works against you. Reason being, that you cannot claim transhumanism has had any measurable technological impact on either because both are still speculative superlative future technologies. (better luck next time)

    “Calling transhumanists mostly “average sci-fi geeks” as opposed to scientists is not an argument, as being true says nothing against transhumanism.”

    Actually this is the core of the case which you obviously missed. (You don’t appear to be outside the statistic.) Sci-fi geeks do not and cannot equal a serious movement in science that should or can be taken seriously. Its an issue of those who have and those who do not have knowledge. So in fact is says everything about the seriousness, and the validity of the views coming from the movement.

    To think otherwise is like saying well the actor who played a doctor on the TV said I should do X, now this goes against my actual doctors recommendation, but I still am going to do it because it appeals to my own point of view. (still waiting for this rationality you promised) Then to complete the analogy calling the actor a bonehead when you die from the disease that the actor missed in his pretend physical.

    “Obviously sci-fi geeks are very numerous these days, and for obvious reasons (“future shock”) more likely than the average person to become a transhumanist. If you were to find that a controlled statistical analysis reveals transhumanists to be less likely to be credentialed scientists than any other random person, well then sure, that would be evidence that scientists tend to avoid transhumanism, and thus that the idea collides with training in the scientific method in some way.”

    Again you missed the argument. The argument is simply that transhumanism is not needed for scientific progress. It has not brought any science or technology about that would not come about without it. You have offered no evidence against this. You have not shown that transhumanism is essential to the achievement of a single one of your beloved superlative future technologies. (if you have one now would be the time)

    I seriously doubt you actually have a single solitary statistic to back up any claim of transhumanism being made up primarily of scientists. So this is just a hypothetical if I had evidence I would have evidence claim on your part. It is also just a complete distraction in an attempt to discredit some point which is not at the core of my case.

    For your last paragraph I am going to replace it with an outline of my actual argument that you have managed to completely miss:
    1.) Transhumanists are avid prognosticators about superlative future technologies
    2.) Not a single superlative future technology exists in the form dictated by transhumanism
    3.) Transhumanism has not brought about or made a single solitary technology that wouldn’t have come about with out it.
    4.) The only positive role you have identified for transhumanism is as a future technology awareness movement
    Conclusion:
    Unless you can actually show that transhumanism is necessary for scientific advance, or care to make some case for additional values for transhumanism, one can summarize it as being simply a venue for wild speculation about superlative future technology, and a technology awareness group for Sci-Fi geeks.

    “As a point of reference, Robert Ettinger reports that people in cryonics are nine times more likely to be physicians than average, and “even more for Ph.D.s”. http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/dsp.cgi?msg=17115

    So you have found out the age old secret that having a PhD tends to increase income potential and thus free income to spend on cryonics. This is not a relevant point. Nor is this statistic relevant, unless you want to claim that only those who are signed up for cryonics are true transhumanists?

    • “Sci-fi geeks do not and cannot equal a serious movement in science that should or can be taken seriously.”

      This is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.

  25. Wow, this is real fun. I have seen this post before seeing the previous one, and I honestly don’t know if I would have seen through your joke. Well done, and I have seen many interesting comments.

    I am one of those who are mainly interested in “wild transhumanist ideas”, and I have written about “weak transhumanism and strong transhumanism” here:
    http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/02/08/technological-transcendence-an-interview-with-giulio-prisco/

    But in the same interview I have also written:

    “There is no such a thing as a transhumanist community. There are self-identified transhumanists all over the political spectrum… The common denominator, that using advanced technologies to substantially modify humans is feasible and desirable, does not hold transhumanists together any stronger than, say, members of a science fiction salon.”

    I hate saying this, but I kind of agree with Jim: what transhumanists have in common, is that we are all science fiction geeks. This is too broad a group to be a “movement” with a role in science and policy. Let’s face the fact that we are science fiction fans, and let’s enjoy it and have a good time.

    Of course, some science fiction geeks can be _also_ (the magic word) scientists, engineers, teachers, philosophers and policy makers. And some of them may draw some inspirations from some of the things that we say on our science fiction mailing lists. Or at least, I like to think so.

    Of course, groups of ((science fiction geeks) AND (scientists, engineers)) can (and do) start technology projects. Their chances at funding and success will depend not on their common science fiction background, but on their actual science and engineering. I hope someday they will contribute to make some of our beautiful science fiction dreams come true. I am optimist on the end results, less on the actual timeline.

    I still call myself a “transhumanist”, largely out of inertia, but less and less so. Terms like “extropian” have more meaning because at least they have a more precise political connotation. I follow and try to contribute to many projects that I am interested in, with other science fiction fans.

    • I’m not a sci-fi geek. I barely read sci-fi, just to make an aggressive point: H+ is far more than sci-fi geeks.

      I’m a fantasy fan, not a sci-fi one. “Final Fantasy”, for instance, is about 10 times better and more interesting than any pure sci fi ever made. I think “Star Trek” is nice but insanely nerdy.

      • I am. In this article (in Italian) I remember reading The Master (Sir Arthur) when I was six or seven, and choosing to become a scientist as a result.
        http://www.transumanisti.it/9_articolo.asp?id=11&nomeCat=Testimonianze

        Other favorite authors of mine are Greg Egan, Charlie Stross, Rudy Rucker, Richard Morgan, and others including the perhaps dated but still wonderful Olaf Stapledon.

        I am also a theoretical physicist by training, I have contributed to large scale science projects, and I dare say that I understand science much better than most people. But I would be a science fiction fan even if I did not understand the technical side of science.

        • PariahDrake

          Giulio is one of my favorite transhumanists. I went to a couple teleplace seminars and enjoyed them (stopped going due to my extreme anti-social nature).

          You should look at Giulio as a role model, Michael.

        • Sleeve

          Giulio, we like the exact same authors. Would you recommend The Golden Age by John C. Wright, (which was in Michael’s tweets)?

          I also happen to like what you write on these speculative topics. It would be cool to get a link list to what you consider your best texts.Many may be in comments, so perhaps if you could mention some sites where you visit?

        • Thanks PariahDrake, this is really flattering, but I don’t really wish to be a role model, I prefer to be one of the guys.
          Sleeve, of course I have read and enjoyed The Golden Age by John C. Wright, but I don’t consider it in the same league with the best works of the authors that I have quoted. First, Phaeton is really a 19th century person straight out of a Kipling novel (well.. at some point Wright tells us that Phaeton actually IS a literary character brought to life). Second, I find it difficult to believe that with that level of technology people still have “permanent” bio bodies. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great book and Wright is a great writer (and a person with super literacy and culture with whom I have had the pleasure to discuss on some mailing lists), but I don’t consider it in the very top class.

          • PariahDrake

            giulio says:

            ” but I don’t really wish to be a role model, I prefer to be one of the guys.”

            The ideal behind the concept of Philosopher Kings is that those who seek power or influence for it’s own sake, are not fit to have it.

            You demonstrate this. When you say that you just want to be one of the guys, this indicates to me that you are a fit leader of men, and reinforces my earlier statements.

            Don’t let me stroke your ego though, I only said what I did because you left a comment, and I wanted to interject, for Michael’s benefit, those shining examples of both intelligence and wisdom.

            There are other’s I could point out, and if they had made comments here, I would have. But what’s the point? To make a list?

            Good leaders don’t want to be leaders, it’s thrust upon them.

          • Interesting fact: if you “reply” to top-level comments instead of the most recent comment in the mini-thread, your comments don’t get absurdly small like this.

  26. The ironic thing is that all the transhumanist scientists I have talked to, which are many, have praised the cultural role of transhumanist non-scientists. They want more transhumanists around them, not less.

    People posting about scientists here don’t actually talk to transhumanist scientists. Because they live in unfortunate areas of the country and get all their knowledge from Internet articles. :(

    • Heartland

      :-) If someone visits only places where transhumanist scientists are likely to be, then it’s likely one will meet mostly scientists who think that starting “trahshumanist” movement was a good idea. ;)

      I think Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey De Grey are one of the smartest people in our futurist community. They understand not only the science, but also how to work the system to make progress happen. They understand that progress requires political will of a large part of society to secure enough funding to actually pay those “transhumanist” scientists. Notice how they almost never mention “transhumanism” or “the movement.” Why? I suspect because they’re sophisticated enough to understand how distracting and unnecessary that would be to make their points across effectively. The job is hard enough as it is. Instead, they rather describe specific versions of the future and address potential criticisms without starting each sentence with, “According to philosophy of transhumanism…”, as if people really need philosophy to inspire desire and motivation for longer, healthier lives, more wisdom, knowledge and intelligence, physical strength, as well as material and emotional abundance courtesy of MNT and AI.

      Now, who’s been doing the best PR job for the last decade as far as presenting a vision of the future shaped by AI and MNT? Two names immediately spring to mind. Maybe there’s a good lesson in how they go about making the future happen.

  27. scientia

    Many problems in science, that is, in nature, cannot be researched in parallel, and not only because of lack of qualified personnel.

    Newton dedicated his entire life to science and all he got done was… well, he got *quite a bit* done. Stephen Wolfram seems to be getting quite a bit done, but he’s not an experimentalist, which is the slow lane, and is what any physical technologies will eventually require.

    Science is an insanely slow enterprise, quite unsuited to human lifespan. Is there anything slower than science? I don’t think people outside of science really grasp how slow it actually is. They wouldn’t talk about accelerating future(=science). Computation and simulation helps but you still have to interface with matter at some point.

  28. Jim

    @Michael Anissimov
    “The ironic thing is that all the transhumanist scientists I have talked to, which are many, have praised the cultural role of transhumanist non-scientists. They want more transhumanists around them, not less.”

    Of course because who doesn’t want a fan club? You keep talking about all these “scientists who you know that are transhumanists”, do you think anyone is impressed by this (especially considering that this number is still going to be tiny compared to the overall bulk of scientists)? I think the more interesting statistic is how many transhumanists are not scientists why don’t you post a list of those people. In fact I would imagine that this claim of all these scientists you “know” includes Eliezer Yudkowsky, right? Does it also include anyone you have met with a B.S. and an M.S.?

    “People posting about scientists here don’t actually talk to transhumanist scientists. Because they live in unfortunate areas of the country and get all their knowledge from Internet articles. :(”

    Coming from someone who is not a scientist and in fact doesn’t even have a college degree that is just a completely boneheaded thing to say. It is so incredibly arrogant to think that people who don’t agree with you must be idiots. Especially when your world view is based on the conflation of belief with actual evidence for. I sight all superlative future technology you argue for, since none of it exists.

    This is the most irrational of all possible arguments and is a standard fallback for transhumanists such as yourself. When you run out of your boiler plate arguments, or run into some argument which you can’t counter you resort to claims of how many scientists you know and how dumb everyone is who doesn’t agree with you. This just proves my overall point and allows me to add one more:
    5.) Transhumanists who are not scientists cannot reason there way out of wet paper bag even when given a pocketknife. Q.E.D.

    • :\ You aren’t speaking in good faith.

      For me, transhumanism is something that happens in real life and with real people I talk to every day. For you, transhumanism is something on the Internet. Could we be any more different?

    • Heartland

      Speaking from experience, I “felt” so much smarter and wiser before entering college, than after graduating. :-)

  29. Jim

    @Luke Parrish
    “‘Sci-fi geeks do not and cannot equal a serious movement in science that should or can be taken seriously.’

    This is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.”

    Ok, my friend I am going to save you from yourself, and stop this debate with you. You obviously can’t reason your way out of a wet paperbag with a pocketknife. I can cite this comment you just made as evidence. Now that you have run out of arguments and boiler plate you have fallen back on the age old name calling “bonehead” and bald assertion (one made above). All you have left to do is complete the transhumanist argument form and call me a troll.

    The fact that you think Sci-Fi geeks have anything but cheering to contribute to science is both absurd and utterly irrational. Sci-Fi geeks do not have the knowledge a point you already conceded:
    “1) If we agree that transhumanism is not science, and scientific progress is not (usually) made by non-scientists, […].

    2) Most people in general (i.e. the pool from which scientists derive) are not transhumanists.[…]”

    Sorry you cannot go back on your concessions. You cannot make any case that Sci-Fi geeks have the knowledge to contribute to scientific progress. You obviously are someone who likes transhumanism but you have no business arguing for it.

    Your ideas come out of a lack of experience and understanding. If you were a real scientist you would understand the point being made. If you were rational and had any form of ability to reason, and persuade you would not have made the concessions you made. Your case is full of holes, and what is really sad is that you can’t even see it when its pointed out to you.

    On behalf of the transhumanists everywhere I am going to ask that you stop attempting to defend transhumanism, because you will only embarrass yourself and your self proclaimed world view, which you neither comprehend the implications of nor are in any way capable of arguing for, and these displays of blind reverent faith impress nobody and depress everybody.

    • “All you have left to do is complete the transhumanist argument form and call me a troll.”

      Only trolls say such things! :P

    • “The fact that you think Sci-Fi geeks have anything but cheering to contribute to science is both absurd and utterly irrational.”

      Wrong on multiple levels, as I said. For starters, there is significant overlap between the following groups: “scientists” and “sci-fi geeks”. Your idea that these are mutually exclusive categories is utterly nonsensical and serves no purpose other than to distract from whatever real argument you may have been making.

      But of course that’s not necessary to point out to defend against your bigger and sillier argument which is that you somehow think transhumanism (a pro-science social movement) needs to be able to supplant and replace science in order to be legitimate in the first place. You seem to think science is a social movement of some kind as opposed to an impartial methodology and growing body of knowledge.

  30. Jim

    @Summerspeaker
    “You’re idealizing science as some magically pure space outside of culture and politics in this critique, Jim.”

    Not at all. I am saying that (perhaps not as clearly as needed) science should divorce itself to the extent possible from ideology. Ideology clouds science and the more one is able to keep it away from science the better. Not to say that is possible in any form of complete manner.

    “Science always already involves ideology and requires the participation of non-scientists. The transhumanist movement isn’t defiling the scared here. We’re no shining example at the moment, but this world desperately needs critical engagement with technology by as many people as possible.”

    I partially agree:
    Agreement:
    1.) science involves ideology already
    2.) requires participation of non scientists
    Disagreement:
    1.) that science needs criticism and engagement from as many as possible (unless you mean this in an extremely limited way)
    Point of Contention:
    Transhumanism I would not argue that it defiles science, I am arguing that it is not bringing anything to science. I am arguing that what it adds is ideology (something science doesn’t need more of) and a fan club which is great until the fan club starts attempting to style itself as being a platform for serious technology debate. Even scarier when the (eg SIAI) fan club attempts to influence policy (even if unsuccessful).

    “(As a side note, various transhumanist celebrities do make things in the conventional sense. Kurzweil has invented all kinds of things, you can thank Martine Rothblatt for satellite radio, and Ben Goertzel is developing AGI.) ”

    Again no: you cannot make the argument that these technologies would not have come about without having transhumanism. In fact everyone of those people are working on things which in no way require transhumanism and would have been worked on regardless. If you have evidence against this I am eager to see it.

    • One would certainly hope that pro-science social movements such as transhumanism are able to influence policy in at least certain respects. For example, dramatically increased funding for anti-senescence and cryonics research is something we should expect to see as a result of broader acceptance for transhumanism.

  31. why if

    Either

    A) it’s good to have transhumanism and transhumanists around or

    B) it isn’t.

    I choose A. But like it or not, transhumanism is going to be around for as long as this transitional period lasts. (Only) actual ultratech will put an end to transhumanism – or it will morph into something else; what could that be?

  32. Jim

    @Luke Parrish (last response)
    “Wrong on multiple levels, as I said. For starters, there is significant overlap between the following groups: “scientists” and “sci-fi geeks”. Your idea that these are mutually exclusive categories is utterly nonsensical and serves no purpose other than to distract from whatever real argument you may have been making.”

    Another swing and a miss. Sci-Fi geeks are not scientists and thus have no business meddling in science. If you have a scientist who likes Sci-Fi this is different. You are a Sci-Fi geek. You don’t understand science (not a question but an obvious fact). You therefore should not inject your opinions into intelligent scientific discussion until you have informed yourself. This is the last time I will state this obvious point.

    From now on any future comments you make with further discussion of this with confusion will be responded to with an appropriate belittling remark. P.S. Your only way out of this argument is to prove sci-fi geeks are providing some valuable resource to science. That somehow Sci-Fi in some way shape or form is needed in science. That science depends somehow on sci-fi as core component.

    “But of course that’s not necessary to point out to defend against your bigger and sillier argument which is that you somehow think transhumanism (a pro-science social movement) needs to be able to supplant and replace science in order to be legitimate in the first place. You seem to think science is a social movement of some kind as opposed to an impartial methodology and growing body of knowledge.”

    Q.E.D. I rest my case for why I shouldn’t bother continuing to respond to you. But since you want to make an ass of yourself let me help you.

    My argument (you failed to comprehend)
    In bullet point form so even you can make sense of it.
    1.) Ideology does not belong in science and should be avoid at all costs when it comes to science. (not possible in a complete way but it is a goal worth striving for)

    2.) Transhumanism is not and cannot be reasonably credited as being necessary for the creation of a single technology. Nor can it be stated that any technology or scientific advancement required transhumanism to come about.

    3.) Transhumanism once you take the superlative future technology prognosticating out of it is simply an ideology.

    Therefore:
    If transhumanism is not providing some required resource to science or technology, and has yet to make a single technology possible it can thus be regarded as nothing but an ideology. If it is an ideology then it need not be injected into science. Thus transhumanism as being “pro-science” is a ridiculous concept because all it is doing is injecting needless ideologies into science which are A.) not unique, B.) not helpful and C.) not in any way shape or form improving the prospects of any future scientific or technological development you claim to be in favor of.

    Now enough of your blather. Stop embarrassing transhumanists. I am not a transhumanist and I am embarrassed reading your arguments. I will admit I did show them to a couple friends from grad-school and they got a kick out of making fun of your feeble arguments. And in the noble tradition of the internet, a near and dear feature of technology past *plonk

    • PariahDrake

      You sound like someone who hasn’t been laid in a decade.

      You wanna try picking on someone who’s your equal!?

      Come at me bros!

    • “Sci-Fi geeks are not scientists and thus have no business meddling in science. If you have a scientist who likes Sci-Fi this is different.”

      By that definition, transhumanists cannot all be sci-fi geeks, given that some of them are scientists.

  33. @Jim: you started this discussion with some valid considerations, but then you could not resist the impulse to insult those who don’t agree with you, at the expense of the validity of your own arguments. This has been a polite discussion so far, and I wish it could continue as a polite discussion. If I were Michael, I would not tolerate the unnecessary rudeness of your last reply to Luke.

    Perhaps you may have formed the impression that the sci-fi fans here are too good mannered to respond to rudeness with rudeness and to insults with insults. This may well be the case, but please don’t forget that some less considerate sci-fi fan may step in at any moment and reply in the same style.

  34. Jim

    @PariahDrake
    “You sound like someone who hasn’t been laid in a decade.

    You wanna try picking on someone who’s your equal!?

    Come at me bros!”

    Hahahahahahaha… my sides….
    The lamest of all comebacks. Well good try. I am just a lonely guy who has nothing better to do then engage with fine individuals like you. Oh wait, I spend very little time here and very little time writing this stuff. But if it gives you comfort to think that great. I can be what every you want me to be.

    Now I will go back to writing my book involving real science, and real intellectual discourse. If you care to contribute some actual content to the discussion great, and you can consider any other attempted insults or posts of this ilk as being ignored.

    @Giulio Prisco
    Thats great, when I am “rude” to you I will apologize. But I don’t seem to recall engaging with you, and you are mistaking me as being rude. Actually the proper term is disdain for the “arguments” Luke presented.

    If the sci-fi fans here want to hurl insults at me, thats fine. It will only prove my overall thesis that when presented with disagreement they fall back on the only recourse they have, lacking any real scientific backing or actual superlative future technologies.

    If Michael feels the compulsion to delete my comment/s it is his blog and his prerogative.

    I have stated my case, I have read the feeble arguments in response and now I am finished with this.

    Nobody here seems to have a single technology to put forward that requires transhumanism ie would be impossible to create without transhumanism. Nobody has managed to show that transhumanism minus the technology is anything but ideology. Nobody has managed to make an argument for the benefits of ideology being forced through another avenue into science. Nobody here has offered a solitary scrap of evidence that the ideologies proposed by transhumanism are even remotely novel. Thus leading inevitably to my conclusion that transhumanism is unnecessary, since I can hold to the general ideological concepts of bettering ones self through technology without ever needing to label/insult myself by calling myself a transhumanist.

    Motivations:
    Just so nobody is in doubt of my motivation here: I think that transhumanism is a social disease that should be eradicated from the minds of people without hesitation (what better way to eradicate it then with argumentation). I think that we can hold all the basic ideals that transhumanism loves to claim illegitimate credit for without ever wasting a single brain cell on transhumanism.

    Now with upmost grace I bow out and leave you all to your little religious robot cult superlative future technology wild prognosticatory flappings.

  35. Kahm Pyoutrr

    So as long as it’s without an unnecessary label like ‘transhumanism’, all scientific and technological development, improvement, and progress of humanity is good. Can’t disagree with that.

    Thanks for contributing, Mr. *plonk!

  36. Jim, your dream of technoscience existing outside of politics (“ideology”) is painfully untenable and downright frightening. It’s possibly the worst critique of transhumanism I’ve ever heard. Calls to free science from ideology function to support the status quo and make invisible the important social decisions involved. I’m disappointed because transhumanism stands in such desperate need of political critique.

  37. Jim

    @SummerSpeaker
    I am not going to engage in debate but I will point your misguided attempts to discredit me in the right direction.
    “Jim, your dream of technoscience existing outside of politics (“ideology”) is painfully untenable and downright frightening.”

    Did you read what I wrote. Specifically the clarification put in my response to you (I made some basic assumptions apparently that was a mistake.)?

    “It’s possibly the worst critique of transhumanism I’ve ever heard. Calls to free science from ideology function to support the status quo and make invisible the important social decisions involved. I’m disappointed because transhumanism stands in such desperate need of political critique.”

    I am not hear to waste my time making a political critique. (should have figured from your website that your true colors would show sooner or later) Since you can’t figure this out for yourself I am going to tell you what your burden of proof is:
    You – Prove:
    1.) Transhumanist ideology is unique
    2.) The unique components are valuable
    or 3.) If transhumanist ideology is not unique prove that ramming these age old ideologies into science through yet another avenue such as transhumanism is a useful endeavor
    and 4.) prove that transhumanism is a good way to ram these ideologies into science

    There is what you need to prove, spelled out in black and white. Now please enough of this ignorant pseudo political babble. You obviously have nothing to teach me, especially since I have had more impact on science in the last year then you will in your entire life. (I cite as evidence the acclaim section of your blog.)

  38. TT

    Sure, transhumanism may be irrelevant to science (and, still in these early days, politics), but where would I get my fix of ideas that, in my experience, only transhumanism provides?

  39. Damn it, Jim! I’m revolutionary, not a scientist. I’ve never claimed otherwise, nor do I share you idealization of the lab coat over all other human endeavors. In trumpeting SCIENCE, you echo the Robot Cultists you so despise. Tread carefully.

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