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What does technology have to offer society as a whole, and can a trans-humanist utopia be achieved without corporate oligarchs dominating the world? On the other end is there any sense in rejecting what we have already built in favour of regression? Can the mass death of that process also be justified? Let's debate!


>can a trans-humanist utopia be achieved without corporate oligarchs dominating the world?
Utopia is a simplistic idea that reflects a lack of understanding. It always rests on some assumption about one thing (or a few) being the source of all other problems and bad in the world, and achieves the utopia by proposing a system that entirely removes this thing. Some utopias contain even less effort, and just tell of an inconsistent world where things just happen to be perfect. A special kind of utopia is like nihilism or buddhism where the source of all bad is internal (morals+sense of purpose, self, etc), and the aim is to accept any world.

>can a trans-humanist world be achieved without corporate oligarchs dominating the world?

Now we're talking! I'd say it is hard, because international cooperation is often required for the fastest progress, and thus anything related to transhumanism is likely to happen in a world united under some form of international control. However, some profit-oriented scenarios are often against progress, and thus eventually get ground up. Furthermore, the arkhe of the oligos is always a volatile one. A head that rules a body only gets to do so until its rule is somewhat sane - when it is not, it either dies along with the body it failed to rule sanely, or gets chopped off and replaced with a more sane one.
The influence of corporations today isn't entirely different from the influence of rich lords and kings back then - it seems that this scheme of a few ruling many has always been good at creating enough meaningful struggle for people at all points of the system. I'm almost inclined to think that in a system where such conditions are not present, people feel bored or meaningless until they eventually bring them about.

I believe mass deaths are inevitable and necessary as to remind the next two or three generations that mass deaths are in fact not funny. Wars and terrorism often seem to start with loud cheers from the offending side as they think of the great spoils and adventure it will bring.


human extinction is nigh inevitable, unless we somehow manage to transition to a fully solar, post-nature society, which could only be incredibly dystopian and not worth waiting around for. imo it's in my best interest to leave human civilization behind instead of sitting around and dreaming up absolutist visions for the whole world. Now, the question of whether it's in everyone's best interest…ah nu, it's obvious. If everybody escaped civilization all at once, a whole lot of soykaf would start to hit a veritable legion of fans, and extinction would be far closer and more inevitable than before.


>increase of entropy is nigh inevitable
>physical things are subject to time and will stop being, sooner or later
wow that's fresh

>Trans-humanism, as in becoming less of material-biological and more of material-electronic
>Utopia in physical world, which is inherently subject to scarcity, competition, cruelty, despair, loneliness, among many other things

How about you give up on mistakenly treating these aesthetic dreams, technicalities, unimportant details, as something fundamentally important, and think of transcending from the material to the eternal, instead?
As Jesus has once said, this system is about to be purged.
no, seriously, for example, Mk 1:15

Sorry if someone feels like I'm derailing, but so many issues have been touched that this topic is pretty much all-encompassing. The presumption that trans-humanism somehow eliminates the human condition, or, that human condition is inherent purely to the biological nature, not to life, the physical, and consciousness itself, is really weird. As >>463 has said, utopia is self-contradictory.
Bad things are an indispensable part of reality.

Now, most of the other stuff mentioned in the OP and by >>463 is simply a question of what structure of society is most efficient and inevitable, or where does dynamic equilibrium of society lie.

>the arkhe of the oligos is always a volatile one

>when it is not, it either dies along with the body it failed to rule sanely, or gets chopped off and replaced with a more sane one
Every power is volatile, order is volatile, more complex things are inherently unstable and sooner or later reach a state of equality, i.e. chaos, staying on top of the food chain just makes everyone else trying to get in your place, and ecosystems are tumultuous. The same rule spans from thermodynamics, through physical chemistry, ecology, to sociology and history. That is not a fresh thought, either.
A very significant one, though.

>I believe mass deaths are inevitable and necessary as to remind the next two or three generations that mass deaths are in fact not funny

That I agree with. I would not classify it in terms of necessity or memory, though; we are about to undergo a market correction of sorts.

>can a trans-humanist world be achieved without corporate oligarchs dominating the world?
Can we have no one at the top of the food chain?
Unfortunately, I don't think that there is such an option present.
There is, however, an option of you not being dominated by corporate oligarchs, and that is subject to your personal choice, which is re-made every day, and every day it requires struggle to back it up, and does not guarantee success,
You may say that it is very little choice left in the matter, or a whole world of difference to choose. That's subjective.

>Can the mass death of that process also be justified? Let's debate!

Can mass deaths, presumably violent, be justified? That is not a question up for a public debate, but an internal one. It is a question of your humanity.
Can they be avoided? I don't think there is such an option on the table.
There is, however, an option of you not taking part in it, or maybe even preventing one or two of them.
It may be a lot, or statistically insignificant. That's subjective.


I meant human extinction is nigh inevitable and very soon, perhaps 20-30 years
my bad


Anything to support that or point in this direction, or is it just your personal conviction that you can't really get across to other people?
How do you think this extinction would occur, exactly? Something like a nuclear holodomor?


Let's start out by defining the word 'civilization' while keeping in mind the Latin root, civitas, which means city. A civilization is a form of human organization centered around the existence of cities.

A city is not capable of sustaining its own population with agriculture, because it is too compact and built up. A city can produce many valuable things, which is why it's possible for a city to stay alive by trading these things with neighboring agricultural areas. However cities are dependent on the rural farms a lot more so than vice versa. If the two are separated by some crisis, a farmer can do without supplies from the city and live completely self-sufficiently with a bit of hard work and belt-tightening. The city, however, will experience terrible starvation.

This state of affairs would be alright if it were not for a city's tendency to grow. A concentration of people that dense is bound to have a whole lot of new growth, and cities begin to sprawl and eat up farmland. What this means is that there's less and less farmland to support more and more people.

Our current solution is to cover the ground with toxic pesticides and fertilizers synthesized from petroleum (another problem), which kills the soil and renders it only able to continue growing crops if the toxic pesticides and fertilizers continue to be used. This solution increases yield, but is unsustainable, and eventually the generation of people that were only able to be born because of the increased yield will be sorry they were ever brought into the world in the first place as their food supply dwindles to naught.


Ah, so malthusianism?
At first you have said extinction, not downfall of human civilization.
We're nowhere near running out of land to farm, though. I haven't heard any agricultural scientists alarming of impending downfall caused by fertilizers and pesticides.
>which kills the soil and renders it only able to continue growing crops if the toxic pesticides and fertilizers continue to be used
I don't think that's how it works.
I have heard literally zero real things supporting your thesis, and you're not increasing this number. I haven't heard it anywhere else, and it seems like other people would pick up on this, as well; pardon my presumptuousness, but I also guess that you have little to do with agriculture in your education and profession.


I'm not 494 nor have I searched very far for their ideology, but this isn't the first place I've heard it. It seems to be in line with many of the post-civilization and anarcho-primitivist viewpoints. The only work I've read by them is Desert, which has a similar fatalism:


>Can we have no one at the top of the food chain?
I don't like this way of thinking. I don't think it's accurate to organize nature in this sort of hierarchy, because there's really no metric to create that hierarchy out of.

You could start with the bottom, say plants, and then say herbivores eat plants, and carnivores eat those, and the biggest carnivores eat those.

But the biggest carnivores die and are themselves eaten. They are not suited to life in many areas. The biggest animals might not be carnivores, neither are the most deadly.

Such hierarchies of authority that you've named do not exist in nature. They are a human concept, and they do not exist beyond particulars. We can have a world without them.


>Such hierarchies of authority that you've named do not exist in nature
Doesn't humanity abide by the same rules of nature?
Because these hierarchies do seem inherent in human society.
Pack animals have a hierarchy. Pack carnivores have eating order, pecking order, shtupping order, and they work them out with violence, the ones most capable of violence are at the top of the order.
Even more socially apt herbivores fight for mates.

>You could start with the bottom, say plants, and then say herbivores eat plants, and carnivores eat those, and the biggest carnivores eat those.

Then you will just end up with those that introduce carbon and energy into the circulation, i.e. those that actually produce, at the bottom, and go up in a hierarchy of lifeforms that exercise physical control over those that produce to get bigger themselves, being able to get by and not produce simply by the constant need for consumption, and vastly increased scope of it, which makes up for the inefficiencies of the process.
That's what we call the food chain.
The food chain starts at the bottom, with the producers.
Even better of an analogy.

I do agree to some extent that inter-species interactions seem to be more accurate of a parallel relationship, especially since it is parallel for interactions between humans, after all; and that there is an issue of perspective involved when you make an all-encompassing analogy to nature. But those are issues of my communication skills, not of my merit.
What it all boils down to, is that resources are limited, and sure, sometimes consensus and cooperation is more effective, however, sometimes an individual that breaks the consensus and takes what he wants to take for himself ends up being the most benefited one. You can not deny that these situations occur, they occur quite often, and this sort of audacity is often a trait that makes an individual prosper. That's why one might think that collaborative enterprises are undeniably more effective, but in the nature we see that antagonistic relations are at least just as prevalent.
The pack benefits by cooperation, but then whoever is able to influence the collective decision-making in his favor receives a massive advantage, even though it might be detrimental to the group as a whole.

>Such hierarchies of authority that you've named do not exist in nature. They are a human concept

Even if they were specifically human, does that makes humanity exempt from natural selection?
If the vast majority of human societies were to operate on a fundamentally flawed and ineffective basis, then those which are more effective would flourish and take over.

Don't get me wrong, I share the sentiment that draws lines to this kind of behavior, and opposes it whenever it is necessary; I am not amoral, nor do I base my ethics solely on what is beneficial to me. Humans do limit their egoism with societal constructs such as morality, law, judicial ideals, limitations through preconceived social roles, common ideology, religion, other shared ideals. But the cooperative endeavors are in a state of dynamic equilibrium with the drive for personal benefits, and they always will be.
I thought it was self-evident, that conflict is inherent in nature, and we can't have a world without it, and anything in this world that's free of it. If you try to have a world entirely without it, you will most likely fall prey to those that do not care for your ideals, either from within your group, or from outside of it.


The problem with transhumanism is precisely that it aims for humans to go beyond humanity, which only ends up causing physical and psychological issues because we're built to be human but have the contradictory evolved consciousness that allows us to have and ponder about dissatisfaction with ourselves.


I'm only going to respond to the begginig of this post because it is old, long and with too many flaws to to fit in a concise post.

You knowledge of ecology is very poor and seems to be a mix of old concepts, spread in popular culture that never had a good basis, with some personal phylosophy. There are no rules of nature, there is no food chain hierarchy, the way social animals behave is much more complex than pecking order; thinking that way is just an oversimplification created by subpar knowledge.
The hierarchy in pack animal changes a lot fom species to species and have more reasons to exist than just weak on bottom and strong on top; with naked rat moles for example the ones more likely to be predated are the ones that receive more food, how would your system work that out?
The eating order you are thinking of (like wolves and lions) is also affected by different factors such as health, amount of food and who is present. Many times everybody will just try to grab whatever they can as quick as they can and will not be waiting for their turn or they will just defend way they have to the best of their abilities regardeless of social class.
The same for those other orders.
The thing about violence is that almost nobody likes it, the energy you have to waste on it is huge, most of the time it does not happen at all, the parts involved just assess the risk reward and, if they are 2, one gives up. The ones that like violence don't last long, infections and starvation are a thing.


Those issues should be looked as bugs to patched, not as fundamental assertions.

Self-improvement is an integral part of the idea. The process might lead to some sort of chimera that is not very obviously related to the original, but that's also not directly in opposition with the original goal.


There's an interesting thing called cyber-nihilism, which claims to be a synthesis of @h+ and anprim. I think there's some good ideas in there hidden behind a healthy dosage of edge.
Now for my opinions:
>What does technology have to offer society as a whole
Some pretty great soykaf! Right now I'm not starving or dying of a horrible disease or freezing even though it's negative degrees outside, and I think that's a pretty nice thing. I don't really care what it has to offer "society" whatever that even means, but it offers me the ability to survive and at least try to enjoy my life.
>can a trans-humanist utopia be achieved without corporate oligarchs dominating the world?
I am highly doubtful. Perhaps we will be able to upload our consciousnesses in a few decades, but I bet whatever we use to host them will be owned by google or facebook or whatever equivalent, and will only be available to the rich.
>is there any sense in rejecting what we have already built in favour of regression?
I'd say that's a pretty clear no. There is no reason to believe that our ancestors had it any better than us. Primitivism is essentially a sudo-pagan worship of "nature" without realizing that such "nature" is a spook.
>Can the mass death of that process also be justified?
Most likely not. I would rather not die of polio thanks.


With enough technological advancement we will be able to solve those problems.


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>can a trans-humanist utopia be achieved without corporate oligarchs dominating the world?
Even if attained, utopia can not be sustained if the people born in it can not sustain it.


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Isn't that what automation is for?


It's not so much the concern of infrastructure as it is the concern of leadership and choice of. Not so much physical strength as it is morals and ambition.

If in utopia, nothing bad happens, then there is no means for morals to demonstrate its reason for being.

If there is no bad in society, the people at large can not recognize it.

How many complacent people living comfortably have you talked to regarding the current problems of surveillance? They lived their entire lives not having to think about the possible threats of strangers knowing exact personal lives; and quote platitudes like "I've not nothing to hide, so it's no problem" or "but Microsoft isn't going to steal my identity".
It isn't until bad things e.g swatting, doxxing, identity theft, pets falsely reported then put down, hacking, or blackmail do they consider such repercussions. For any reason, if they say anything inconvenient, they may come across a swarm of mislead internet vigilantes.

Yet it is the same situation they have enabled and sponsored the entire time since corporations created such services and begun selling user data for profit.


Why should one choose to live in the city? If you try to be a minimalist and cease to be a consumer, then living in the city makes no sense anymore, too much pollution, noise, traffic. My anguish is whether I should continue in the city and mess with tech, or just go to nature, fugere urbem (To escape from city).


must the ideal feature stability?


> it seems that this scheme of a few ruling many has always been good at creating enough meaningful struggle for people at all points of the system
Please explain what you mean by this. What is meaningful struggle, and why is it essential that it be embedded in the social system? People should certainly experience some struggle, to become better at a sport for instance, but I think that people struggling to eat or house themselves is not a good thing and does nothing for the human spirit.


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>comment on a post made more than a year ago
>expect a reply from the poster
>get one in like a day
>people struggling to eat or house themselves is not a good thing and does nothing for the human spirit.
I have to disagree here. I'm not saying it is a good thing either, but it is a necessary bad. I'm uncertain what you mean by human spirit. Most things derive their value from their scarcity in serving an either intrinsic need, or indirectly needed for serving an intrinsic need. Humans have such intrinsic needs both as biological instincts to eat, drink, sleep, stay warm, reproduce, not be bored and survive, and as a well-organized society. Sometimes the needs of society (or making said society more efficient) requires certain instincts to be suppressed.

An example: it's a lot easier to teach children (to be the workforce of the next 40 years) if they don't spend the day wondering whether they'll have anything for lunch or dinner today, as there's always food in school, there's always food at home, food is a given, why worry about it? Before you know, they are throwing almost untouched food in the trash or at each other - that's what not worrying about it looks like. You can go on and lecture them all you want about how people used to starve 200 years ago, they're smart and will shrug, knowing it's not 200 years ago any more. Thus you created a biased value judgment that you now have to manage by providing an economy where food fights are okay, or be the grumpy old man nobody likes who stops food fights for no reason, every god damn time.

The same is happening in modern society thanks to human rights and other illusory devices used to optimize society. Most people now believe that a home, a partner, two days off a week, social life, good roads, interesting shows on TV, nice weather, freedom of speech, GPG encrypted mail, high quality soykaf brewing, etc. are all a given. If these things are indeed served by the economy then everyone can keep their mind off all these things and go be Dennis Ritchie or Elon Musk or Seph, and things go forward. But if they keep their mind off these things, it will eventually follow that they have no fucking clue about these things thanks to the lack of experience they accumulate. In an effort to make everyone focus on the one thing they do best, we created a society of children who are experts in things that interest them and clueless in most other things; as soon as the economy loses its ability to ensure all the human rights, infrastructure and conveniences these require, there will only be a minority of people who can clearly judge the value of certain things - those who didn't have them for granted. An utopia where nobody has to struggle to feed or house themselves would completely forget the value of food and housing and would collapse on itself when supply runs low, as everyone would oppose spending resources on food and housing (it being a given) and would instead start a campaign to find who is to blame.

Now take a look at societies where a select few hold most resources and power. Maybe they spend it where it should be spent and thus everything is fine, society is functioning well. If they don't, a few delusional tyrants can only waste so much and people will eventually replace them. This happens because people see from their own and each other's struggle what actually is and isn't valuable, thus society is anchored to a realistic set of values, which prevents the dystopian collapse everyone's been afraid of for a few decades now.


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Transhumanism is a scary concept. However, I don't think this is a question of choice, as to whether we should choose to pursue transhumanism or anprim. Technological progress is inevitable, as if one civilisation does not progress it will be succeeded by one which does. For all the benefits technology does provide however, it does in a sense curse us and make us weaker as individuals. While a society which provides every resource necessary for it's people's survival means more leisure and greater ease-of-living, it inevitably ensures that those people become entirely dependent on it. Technology has not yet brought about the horrors of this curse yet, although the beginnings have appeared - a rising rate of suicide and depression, the normalisation of hedonism, medication as a treatment for any mental issue (mental issues being in large part brought about by the technologically-advanced society) and mass disenfranchisement. The increasing political rift is a symptom of technology's curse. People have no connection to their labour, they do not build anything, they work mindless jobs and fill the lack of meaning in their lives with popular culture (the soyboy meme, also see the entirety of reddit as a prime example). However as the void within them becomes greater and greater they feel a need to lash out - they increasingly identify with movements that give them the sense of purpose they desperately seek, as can be seen in the expansion of both left and right-wing radical groups. In future, people will only increase their dependence on technology. The last barrier, transhumanism will be our downfall. Technology will advance to the point where we will lose what makes us human. We will have a "utopia", but this is such a worthless thing to aim for. We decide the existence of a utopia based on how happy people are, but overstimulation and perpetual joy are not the paradise people think they are. We're heading for a Brave New World-esque society, and it is inevitable.


I wanted to talk about an idea I have had since watching SEL and figured it would be better served in this thread.

So, as a lot of theorists have discussed, most people think that machines would be incomplete beings because they are not mortal (nor immortal). But I started thinking about why we believe this and if its really true. The reason most people supply for why humans act altruistically but machines could not is that we have a mind for the future. We have an inherent belief in society that just like our lives were made better by those before us so too should we make the lives of those that come after us better. If the scales are tipped and society stops believing this I would wager that the society would collapse soon enough.

Humans came to this belief through the life/death cycle. Since we won't be here forever its only natural to try and prolong our existence through non-corporeal means and the only way to do that is to do something great enough to society that you are remembered for it. But is this the only reason a life form would act in a way that only benefits others and not themselves? I do not think so, animals save their children at risk to their own life without being as "conscious" as humans. So isn't the real reason all come back to that singular goal of life-forms: to ensure the continued development of their lineage? Thinking about this lets try and apply it to machines.

If we had a machine that could act reason indistinguishably from a human then what makes people so sure it wouldn't have the same drive to ensure the continued development of its lineage, even if that may not look like the development we are used to. What if a machine found a different way to evolve, entirely separate from the classic genetics? What would that look like? Can a being evolve by itself or does it require an equal? I think that even if a machine existed which could reach the "Singularity" it would not become an ocean unto itself for the simple fact that the if it did it would lose all meaning to act/exist. The one constant in the development of consciousness in the universe is that it requires new viewpoints to work. Without a new being with new perspectives being made things turn stagnant, vestigial and eventually die. AI's could be no different and if they're no different than they also need to create new iterations of themselves that differ in unknown ways.

To sum it up: the proliferation of random iterations is how life advances, if machines could not do this they wouldn't work as life forms, and since they would have no reason to act. Since they need to this they would be open to any and all forms of perspective whether it be new kinds of AI or just life in general (if humans see life fundamentally different than machines then machines may see a purpose in keeping humans around just to consult with).

I tentatively coined this idea Post-Darwinism or Unnatural Selection but thats just spit-balling really. Any thoughts?


>To sum it up: the proliferation of random iterations is how Post too long. Click here to view the full text.


>A concentration of people that dense is bound to have a whole lot of new growth
do you have a source for this?
japan has the largest urban areas in the world and one of the fastest shrinking populations,
so i find it hard to believe.
but if you have any evidence,
i'm open to it.


Eventually machines will surpass humans in every regard. Humans have a drive to make the world better for themselves, although sometimes they make themselves better, in a limited fashion. Better diets, better fitness and healthcare e.t.c. A machine is not limited in this way. The singularity is inevitable if some large scale disaster does not prevent it, such as Yellowstone exploding or nuclear war, since technology always advances due to natural human competition. However, when/if the singularity is reached, machines have the ability to improve themselves by a far greater degree than humans. Faster, more powerful computers make inferior ones obsolete, and similarly, just like cars made horses obsolete, the machines we build will make us worthless. What is the role of humanity in a world where superior beings do all the work, the fighting and the thinking. The singularity is the end of warranty for our species, history has led to this. Many governments want UBI, a sign that increased automation is already making many people obsolete. The world only needs so many thinkers, 7 billion is far to many when every labourer is gone. On your post-Darwinism point - evolution is slow, and ensure that life catches up with changes in nature. Different climates, food sources, etc. With the singularity surpassed evolution overtakes nature. We will reach an "end" before nature can stop that happening.


Outside the polis, there can only exist beast and men. Humans require an active society to function, and both of those systems seem to promote alienation. An interesting reading is Aristotle's treaty on Politics.


Technology defines itself by control. I don't see leading to anything else than control freak issues. Eventually the psychich fucked up version of it.

The mistake is to see it as progress (technology). If you take a rock and you make it a polished stone, what was before the result of endless of interactions with its surroundings has become something defined only by one will, one being, one force. That's why "progress" is a monotheism. The first stone had shapes more complex, you can see many things in it. It's the result of complex interactions that are inherently beyond man. Wether the polished stone is uninteresting to see, it's flat, it hurts the eyes that is round, but it's only what it is and that's reassuring.

The referential is always you, technology only exist in relation to us. Nature does not. Nature doesn't care especially about us. The sun isn't looking after us especially. But technology, it's only there for us, and by us. The light of the computer is only there for us. We walk around with little suns in the palm of our hands and those sun are here only for us. They are children without lives of their own.

That's leads us to physicality. If you want to apply this thought, that nature doesn't care about us and you are equal to other life on Earth, the only way to do that is to live in nature. Nature is diverse and there's infinite way to be in nature with just the human body, no reductive tools. The body is the higher tool. Nature a good home for it, it's on the same level, for obvious reasons - that it was created through endless interactions with it, it is it. But we have destroyed nature and now the only choice is to continue our way to this light of our own making. To find an exit.

We create ecosystems of control, reduced environment where we isolate ourselves. We just want to be alone in the whole world, to feel that our surrounding only exists for us. That is the slow death wish to return to the mother's womb. Experiencing this trauma of birth is what it means to be human and we're just applying its logic on eon's lenght, on the scale of ages. It's like an archetype, a symbol, or, if you consider it alive (you are after all and it is within you), a spirit or a god. It rules our lives.

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