Re: New Book - "Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age"

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Mar 09 2003 - 00:26:41 MST

Paul Fidika wrote:

> This change will of course, destroy our societies as we know them, and
> probably most of the natural world along with them. But so what? Were they
> REALLY so great to begin with that we should cling to them insistently?

As long as we do not know that what follows is actually better
and viable we have quite ample reason to cling to what is proven
to more or less work and allows us to continue having such

> Fortunately however we don't HAVE TO follow the way nature works and kill
> all of the "inferior" humans, we're sophisticated enough so that we can
> respect the wishes of other sentient beings wanting to stay the way they are
> (if not out of ignorance), but that does not mean we cannot ascend. I
> believed we crossed the threshold of no return a century ago, barring that a
> global nanotechnology / nuclear war doesn't break out in the next few
> decades, I see no way anyone could stop genetically altered super-humans
> from arising.

There is no reason global nanotechnology need be pernicious
unless you intended the above to parse as "global nanotechnology
war OR nuclear war". Personally I see no reason why genetically
altered super-humans would be the next step. I can think of
several positive next steps that do not require this and that
leave us very much alive and happy. I think it more likely that
humans would, depending on the steepness of takeoff, either be
augmented by wearable/ubiquitous/implanted computers or
uploaded. I think the genetic modification way is too pokey and
will become increasingly irrelevant.

> What he should be arguing is that we should proceed into these
> dangerous new waters with more caution than humans haphazardly had in their
> progress in the early 20th century. We need to think through our invention's
> long term effects and proceed with more caution, not stop all together and
> start moving backwards.
> Perhaps his book should have been titled: "Caution: Staying Humane in an
> Engineered Age"

That I like.

- samantha

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