Monday, May 12, 2008

Transhumanism: Road to utopia or Narcissism 3.0?

Since my decision to move to Extropia, I've been giving the idea of transhumanism more thought. My decision to move there was not based on the any particular philosophy, but rather my fondness and respect for Extropians I've met, recommendations from non-Extropians and the consistently interesting events hosted on the sim. Nevertheless, since I'm about to be situated in the international and inter-world hub for positive post-biological futurism, I thought I would share just a few initial thoughts:
  • It seems to me that transhumanism without some sort of psychologically corrective practice will just extend the human ego into new narcissistic realms. That's why I was happy to learn of the upcoming Future of Religion/Religions of the Future Conference hosted by Extropia. I am very interested in exploring the potential for non-religious psychological practice.
  • I wonder how the role playing aspects of Extropia impact its potential to chart a realistic near-future. From my very limited experience, it seems the RP aspects of Extropia are more a matter of style than lifestyle as compared to other SL cultures such as the Goreans.
  • My guess is that the messy work of active VW collaboration within a virtual-world-based community will produce the most valuable results. The trick I think is balancing the need for like-minded collaboration with an openness to thoughtful questioning, ongoing course-corrections and intellectual honesty. I like the example of the Dalai Lama, who told Carl Sagan,"If science can disprove reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism would abandon reincarnation."
That's all I have for now. Comments would be greatly appreciated!


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A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at