RE: The hazards of writing fiction about post-humans

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue May 03 2005 - 09:12:42 MDT

> As discussed earlier, "MORE INTERESTING" and "LESS EMOTIONALLY
> GRIPPING" are in fundamental conflict with each other in relation to the
> mass audience. One way to pull it off, however, might be as follows:
> (1) Develop individual character for strong reader-attachment based on
> human instinctual values, (2) develop the rational, emotionally-detached
> phase in the context of solving many of the current worries of life, and
> (3) develop the idea of this rational character, and others like him, as
> part of a larger culture doing wonderfully amazing and glorious things
> (to appeal to humans innate desire to be part of something greater than
> themselves.)
> - Jef

Yes, this is something like what I was thinking of. A person or mind who's
"beyond empathy" can still carry out works that people can empathize
with.... An impartial, rational being can still "save the day" and have a
big impact on less rational, more empathetic beings ... and one can
potentially tell a story both from the rational being's perspective AND the
empathetic being's perspective...

An example of a sci-fi twist on this would be if a future Ben, having
self-modified into a super-rational and non-empathetic form, found it
necessary to travel back in time to save the past Ben (a more flawed and
emotional and ergo more empathetic character ;) from some tragedy, in order
to ensure future-Ben's existence.... The conversations between the
past/empathetic and future/rational Ben could be interesting -- sort of a
Singularitarian twist on the Kirk-versus-Spock meme...

-- Ben G

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