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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Test Your Techno Tolerance

I didn't like the phrasing of all the questions, but an interesting quiz. My result was predictable. If you do the quiz, you'll see that over 70 per cent of people who take it get the same result, but it's obviously a self-selecting group.

You Score as a Transhumanist-Biotech
Transhumanists believe that humanity can and should strive to attain higher levels of physical, mental, and social achievement through the use of technology. They seek to extend human capabilities and improve the human condition through technology- supporting the quest for immortality, the conquering of death and disease, the amplification of human intelligence, and the capabilities of the human body.

Transhumanists recognize that over time and with technological advancements, man will realize new possibilities for society and human nature and achieve a posthuman condition (becoming more than human). Societal change is an important consequence of technological progress.

Because of this passionate trust in technological advancement, transhumanists generally see all technologies, as long as they don't jeopardize the non-corporeal consciousness of a person, as being beneficial both to society and to the happiness and advancement of the person. Transhumanists see benefit not only in technologies that address medical necessities, but also aesthetic or recreational demands. They support advances in cybernetics, genetic engineering in clinical settings, embryo design, and other technologies that allow individuals to take control of their biology, and the human species to take control of evolution.

Transhumanists can be either hard-technology oriented--more inclined to add microchips and machines to their lifestyle--or bio-technology oriented--preferring the softer, more natural advancements and modifications that are made available.


Coathangrrr said...

I don't like that quiz at all. I actually just stopped taking it because it lacked an answer I agreed with for the majority, if not all, of the questions. We can't present technologies as if they not only exist in a vacuum, nor can we pretend like they they won't have some sort of consequences.

For example, this question:A way to upload consciousness into a computer has been perfected. This, effectively, allows for immortality of the individual (though does nothing to stop the death of the body). Would you get uploaded?

I don't know if I would. What kind of effects would it have mentally? How about in the long term? It seems like they want to ask questions that assume that the technologies won't have a downside, physiologically or mentally not socially, when we simply can't assume that.

They present these things like there is a dichotomous choice, technology or Luddism, when in fact it is always, always more complicated than that.

Ben Abba said...

I just found your blog post and found it quite interesting.

Here is another idea about immortality. If you are serious about this subject, then you will be quite interested in my research and findings on this very topic.

I have summarized what I have found on my main blog:

Check out the post "Summary of the Facts” when you get a chance and then my follow up book “Secrets of an Immortal - An Eyewitness Account of 2,800 Years of History”.

Elf Sternberg said...

I don't like the quiz because it seems heavily biased toward biocentrism. Despite the fact that I consider myself much more a cybernetic transhumanist than a biotech transhumanist, I came up with biotech in their answer scheme.

I think there was one question I disagreed with, about cybernetic consciousness and constraints. Since I've written fiction from a Friendly AI perspective, I've come to appreciate just how important arbitrary constraints are on behavior, and how different they'll have to be on tachycognitives just to leave any niche for ordinary humans. Apparently, my desire to leave a niche for biology, whether I want to partake of it or not, makes me a bio, not a cyber.