Re: Transhumanist Community

From: Chris Capel (
Date: Thu Dec 08 2005 - 07:32:38 MST

> From: "Chris Capel" <>
> > I think an identification of topics that don't require a lot of
> > expertise to comprehend and have a lot of room for people to have
> > differing opinions, room to have subjective, noisy, (and largely
> > pointless) debate about, would help to provide the raw fodder for
> > those (like me) that wish to start a public, amateur-friendly
> > discussion. While rehashing basic points of this or that subtopic over
> > and over again with slight variations may be distasteful and pointless
> > to those with real expertise in the subject, this is what real web
> > discussion looks like. It's what we're going to have to foster if we
> > want to gain any sort of visibility through the method.

On 12/8/05, David Picon Alvarez <> wrote:
> That may be what real web discussion tends to be like, but I see no reason
> why it should always be like that, and if it is, then I see no use to it.
> Visibility is all good, but resources are limited.

The availability of resources is much less relevant than group
dynamics which, in this case, place strong bounds on the kind of
resources that do end up producing publicly visible discussion, and
not just a lot of silence. The "valuable and limited" resources you
probably have in mind are people who often wouldn't really be
interested in popularizing, and fighting the consequent popular
mischaracterization, of transhumanist ideas. Other people with more
time, less expertise, and a willingness to do this sort of thing can
more than make up for that.

> Visibility is already
> such that quite a lot of technical people are converging on this idea, I
> postulate that's enough.

So, you disagree with the basic premise of the post I was responding
to, that transhumanist causes are rather improverished as far as the
public visibility of the debate over those issues? You think that our
current visibility is enough? Well, then, it doesn't really matter
what we do one way or another to increase it. But I think you'll find
many people here that disagree with you.

To limit one's audience to those with a lot of intelligence and who
are conversant in the technical language used by transhumanist
advocates is to effectively seal debate about transhumanism from the
public sphere. I think Brandon Reinhart realizes this, and it bothers

Chris Capel

"What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to bat a bee? What is it
like to be a bee being batted? What is it like to be a batted bee?"
-- The Mind's I (Hofstadter, Dennet)

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