Trans-humanism Discussion

David Pearce, co-founder with Nick Bostrom of the World Transhumanist Association asked What is the transhuman agenda? I responded and I thought the discussion worth saving because it's not a topic I look at the way some do.

David Pearce

“The path to paradise begins in hell.” (Dante Alighieri)

Even the smartest Neanderthal couldn’t envisage what becoming “trans-Neanderthal” entailed. Current conceptions of transcending our biological limitations and becoming transhuman – let alone posthuman – face a similar difficulty. Our ideas reveal more about the emotional and intellectual limitations of humans than they tell us about the nature of transhuman and posthuman civilisation.

That said, here is a crude synopsis of the transhumanist agenda.

1) Superlongevity. Ending the scourge of death and aging isn’t the same as becoming immortal. Traditional notions of personal identity tend to assume enduring metaphysical egos. Thus you wouldn’t want to remain a malaise-ridden, intellectually and physically handicapped toddler indefinitely if you could mature into a healthy human adult. Likewise with overcoming death and aging. Will nominally 1000 year-old transhumans dwell on the kindergarten existence of their ancestral namesakes?

2) Superintelligence. Intelligence is a contested concept, superintelligence more so. Full-spectrum superintelligence is a nice slogan; but what does it mean? Diverse transhumanist conceptions of superintelligence range from a) our genetically-rewritten and AI-augmented descendants to b) a complete Kurzweilian fusion of humans and our intelligent machines to c) an Intelligence Explosion of recursively self-improving software-based artificial intelligence. Biological superintelligence (a) sounds the tamest conception, whereas the Intelligence Explosion scenario (c) sounds the most revolutionary: why conserve our archaic organic wetware at all? Yet some theorists argue that classical digital computers are zombies, capable of only “narrow” superintelligence. Only biologically-based (super-)intelligence can investigate the outlandishly alien state-spaces of psychedelia. Digital zombies can’t solve the binding problem and therefore don’t have unified selves. I should stress: biological chauvinism is a minority position among transhumanists.

3) Superhappiness. The abolition of suffering is an ancient dream – whether on Earth or in a mythical afterlife. Biotechnology and artificial intelligence turn utopian dreaming into a policy option – not just for humans, but for all sentient beings. The cruel Darwinian biosphere can be genetically reprogrammed. At its best, transhumanism is universalist: becoming transhuman entails overcoming egocentric, ethnocentric and anthropocentric biases. To be sure, the legacy wetware bequeathed by evolution makes overcoming such biases desperately hard. However, intelligent moral agents should promote the well-being of all sentience, including nonhuman animals, not just the interests of e.g. rich, white male humans. Doubtless to many depressive, pain-ridden people today, evoking a living world devoid of suffering sounds like Heaven – or a pipedream. But mastery of our reward circuitry promises something more revolutionary than life without suffering, namely full-blown paradise-engineering – a civilisation based entirely on information-sensitive gradients of superhuman bliss. Humans have an impoverished conception of mental health, let alone the nature of posthuman paradise.

Additional “supers” could be added.
Why name only three?
What about superhuman love and compassion?
However, the nature of empathetic understanding will be transformed in a world where all sentient beings blissfully flourish.
Most if not all of the extra “supers” are encompassed by a sufficiently rich conception of superintelligence. Full-spectrum superintelligence will not resemble autism spectrum disorder.

My brief response was:

Ya know, I consider humans to be pretty super already. Yes, we have room for improvement and also a need for it, but if life is about survival in terms of biology and about the pursuit of beauty in terms of philosophy, then it really doesn’t seem like we need to make a huge change. We need to create and adapt to a new ecology where we will have time to develop and think about what we want to become. We aren’t smart enough at this point to know. I’ve considered some things that surpass most of the supers I’ve heard of, but now our priority must be to make it to another stable ecology. Species without one are known as … extinct.

David Pearce responded:

Mike, I guess I have a much darker conception of humans - especially the way we treat nonhuman animals. But one point I should have stressed in my answer is that transhumanists are committed to freedom of choice. Today, suffering and aging are involuntary. In future, such horrors will be optional.

Less briefly, I responded:

Dang… I was not going to go there.

A meme is a contagious idea. A few books have explored the idea such as Snow Crash and Mazeway, but generally, it’s not a problem except for one that I call the Plato Meme. Some people can get fixated on that and no offense, but I suspect you are one. Plato sought perfection… his Perfect Forms. Eventually, they morphed into the very weird concept of the perfect God of the Medieval Catholics who wondered how many angels could dance on the head of a pin or could God make a rock so large that he could not move it. It came from people that were hooked on this Perfect meme. As far as I can tell it is very like telling a computer to multiply by infinity. They get in an unbreakable mental loop. I run into them and it does no good to point out that reality is the paradigm of biology and engineering - don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough. People infected with the Perfect meme seem to want to replace humans with something perfect … because obviously humans are imperfect. Some want it to be machines or the singularity or some version of “super” transhuman. Characteristically they are sure that it’s not a matter of some humans choosing to advance to this perfect state. All must and there is no room for humans to remain … human. Am I wrong? Is there room in your concept for those that want to remain as I have described, human? Yes, more intelligent, beautiful, healthy and wise, but still human? Biology wouldn’t object. Somehow I suspect that you do not see room for them. Those seeking perfection cannot. I work to describe humans that remain human even if they must guide their own genetic and strategic destiny. Reality limits our freedom of choice and always will. Would you change that a person falls in love and its outcome is not something under their control? That is part of being human. Without sadness and loss, we would not know or appreciate what we have. If we did not know sadness, we would know no happiness. Happiness comes from being grateful for what we have, not from having everything. Like an AI, we learn more from mistakes than from success. You miss the lesson of balance taught by Ma’at and Aristotle. From strength comes weakness and from weakness comes strength. Your immortal would know no newness, that which is the best part of our youth. They would become a hollow shell without the joy of newness or family. Immortal humans are not human. Heck, if they were even “long” lived it probably wouldn’t work just because they would lose all their idealism by the time they were 80. Yes, I suspect I know your answers to me just as I suspect that you seek perfection. I’m a biologist (who occasionally writes AWS CloudFormation scripts) with the feeling for life that a farmer has for the soil. All I am interested in is human survival and humans becoming more than they are, yet remaining human. If you are like others though that are infected with a need for perfection, somehow I doubt that you have room for that, for imperfect humans.

By the way, I see a bright future for humans, not a dark one. One hundred years ago, no one spoke for animals. Now millions do and soon we won’t need animals for food even. There are easier ways to solve ethical problems than radically changing what humans are. Survival is the ultimate conservatism. Change for the sake of change is a great danger to indulge in. We are too young and new at this niche to take many risks of our survival by making some big changes we cannot calculate the consequence of. Right now we see human brutality, but in our instincts is another strategy. One that we know of and can use. Millions of years ago when the human species was young, humans had struggled to adapt and survive in their novel ecology of tribal society, tools, bipedalism, hunting and gathering, etc. There weren’t that many of them. The big cats considered them to be good prey. They could only survive by extreme cooperation. There were too few of them to risk violence in their society. About 170,000 years ago, fossil MRI shows that the brain was changing shape some, particularly the parietal lobe which has a lot to do with our “self image”. About 150,000 years ago human behavior started rapidly changing. Art became common. Tools became more sophisticated. Humans started killing the big cats and everything else for that matter. Then came the disaster of Mount Toba 70,000 years ago that nearly wiped out humans. But they didn’t die and as works in biology, the survivors were even smarter … and more dangerous. There were lots and lots of humans and more and more, violence became a useful survival strategy. This culminated with the Roman Empire which explored just what could be accomplished with murder. All around the world philosophies and religions developed to control the violence. We have the strategies. We have the cooperative instincts. All we need to do is use them. I’m just working on explaining the story with reason that religion has always explained with parables. I work to explain how we have a choice between instincts that will destroy us and instincts that can preserve us. As you know though, no one cares about good ideas. There is though one other factor that will force humans to grow up whether they want to or not. Again, I see a bright future, not a dark one.

David Pearce replied to your comment on an answer to: "What is the transhuman agenda?"

Several of your points deserve a treatise. I’m going to focus just on a couple. When aging becomes technically optional, would you _force_ humans to grow old and die? Or should we be free to choose? You remark, “Without sadness and loss, we would not know or appreciate what we have.” But people who endure chronic depression do not cease to be truly depressed because they lack joy with which to contrast their despair. Conversely, there is nothing biologically impossible about life based on gradients of bliss - not “perfection”, but a vastly higher hedonic range and hedonic set-points. Today’s perpetually happy hedonic outliers love life. (cf. How do you break the hedonic treadmill?)

Our task is to make sure everyone - human and human - has the opportunity to love life too.

I replied:

I wrote what I thought was a good, if long answer to your question. I then decided to scope out just who you are. Oh... not hard to find. I see things have changed greatly since I last looked at Nick Bostrom's site or at transhumanist thought. Well, in ways. You still seem to like machines. Hmmmm. I'll put a more generalized answer at the end of what I wrote. I think it will be of some interest. My first answer follows here though. You ask: "would you _force_ humans to grow old and die?" Odd. I see no one forcing them to do that now. It is just part of life. My priority is survival in the evolutionary sense, so I would ask "to survive, do humans need to grow old and die"? The answer is "yes, they do". That is simply a biological principle and part of how evolution leads to survival. To change that equation in any fundamental way would endanger human survival. Do you have a plan for that? Larry Niven and Robert Heinlein speculated about long lives. Niven said little except the one gent's purpose was an endless quest for adventure (Ring World). The last time I visited my friends in LA, none of them had done any adventuring since the last time I had been there and got them out sailing and kayaking. The desire fades. Heinlein described an endless quest for love. The problem with Heinlein's view was that he solved none of the problems he left behind him and admitted it. He had no vision of change. What is yours? Humans are not designed to be long lived. I would ask what I ask my friends that want to make sentient machines: "what would be their purpose". I ask you what the purpose of such a long life would be? Humans have their purpose programmed in by evolution. It works and it includes reproduction. In all my research the greatest danger I see to humans is demographic wars from population growth. It was the failure in Heinlein's system. How would you change that? (Funny thing, I describe how in the Aspirations chapter of my first book, but that's another story. I worry more about how to get somewhere than the destination.) Long lives would be very dangerous for humans. I like how Marcus Areulus phrased it: "what is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee". Maybe you think a long life for an individual would be good, but it would not be good for the swarm of humanity. A species that does not change is doomed. Looking above, I see mention of "1000 years". Maybe, but long life dangerously resists change. Look around you. What is the problem today but the fight between those willing to adapt to change and those unwilling because of vested interests or fear of the unknown ... often stoked by those same vested interests. Humans are much more than their physical presence. Humans age and to age is to grow old. Aging experientially is just as debilitating as physical aging, we're just less conscious of it because it hasn't been a problem in the past and it doesn't hurt when we wake. You lose your inspiration and purpose. Joy is not everything. My friend said that I was "a manic depressive with no depressive phase". It seems true. I'm always happy. I can even smite people with it and make them happy too, but it is a feeling that passes, not a state they are in. I have lived and loved and learned and adventured in full measure, but newness is so limited. What if I was young one more time? I think I could do better at love but everything else would basically be a repetition based on choices from my past. I'm not sure that I could keep my joy and certainly other things would change. All powers of a person must be controlled by them. It is well known that monetary wealth can destroy those that do not know how to manage it. Guns given to tribal groups tend to shift the balance of power such that the tribal society is damaged. Computers have given great power to the machines that are corporations that own them and they have then distorted both economic and political power. Be careful what you wish for. Longevity would potentially confer great power and power attracts the corrupt. Do you have a plan for how to manage the problems foreseeable and unforeseen of that? Another author wrote an obscure story of long life, of the "Strudelbugs" as these long lifers were called. In that story, they were known, feared and controlled. They were not allowed to own property because they tended to accumulate power. Could you imagine if Morgan, Hoover or the Kochs were not defeated by age? Does your system consider that? Does it have a leveling mechanism to it to maintain balance? If not, may I be skeptical? Then I too would tend to have a dark outlook for humanity's future. I have worked to describe a bright future for humanity based on developing increased genetic and cultural wealth to become more of what we are, to become better humans. Because I know that will make us stronger I also consider that from strength comes weakness and describe how to compensate for that. I'm not sure that you consider that very much. I do not consider longevity to be any great wealth and the dangers of it could be incredible. Maybe using my description of how humans can use available genetic and philosophical strategies to find a place to develop and mature we could prepare ourselves for a longer life, but even I can't imagine much use for more than 150 years or so. You and others have said they want greater intelligence but I point out that without the physical energy as well as increased curiosity and discipline, that intelligence would be unusable. Humans have a lot of other things they would need to develop before long life would be any different than giving great power to someone unprepared for it. It's not likely to turn out well. What you want might become a goal or not, but we certainly need to develop more for it to safely be an achievement. That is what I work for and I will leave those goals to those that come after us and are far wiser. I'm not as familiar with your thoughts (oh, you're easy to find), but I looked at Nick Bostrom's site a couple of years back and it reminded me of Ray Kurzweil's ideas. The singularity seemed to be something that he just considered inevitable and while I said maybe, I just couldn't see what that would mean to humans. No one has given me either a convincing path to that goal or why it should be a goal. While I'm fine with happiness, I figure that it is a result of being comfortably adapted to one's environment. ... Chronic depression and other mental maladies have genetic roots that are already being explored. My idea largely obviates them. My ideas could also certainly make aging far less annoying. I take a very biological view of things because it is the essence of survival - bio - life... I would evaluate super - longevity, intelligence and happiness in terms of survival. Those seem so subjective compared to survival. OK… I'm not a transhumanist, I'm a humanist but don't write me off. I have no objection to transhumanists and have some thoughts on the matter you might find of interest but I would say that you can forget all your hopes for any future humanist or transhumanist if you don't solve some problems that are closer at hand. While I am working on what you would probably call the philosophical aspects of transhumanism, there is one overriding factor in your, my or anyone's projections. I started working on it over four decades ago. We have a genetic disaster coming due to genetic load from an increased mutation rate while the natural selection rate has been reduced. If we don't solve it, not one of our ideas is going to matter because it is fairly close. Solving it will have a great genetic benefit but also a strategic effect that may be more valuable and make many transhumanist concepts a reality. It is what it is. Take a glance at Genetics For A New Human Ecology below. The free introduction pages lay out enough of the problem to make it clear. If you can tell me how any of your or my or anyone's strategic ideas (besides ideas like Kurzweil's which humans survival doesn't effect) can matter without solving that problem, let me know. Already 15% of couples are infertile and the problem will grow like compound interest and grow ugly. A technological civilization will not survive. There will be no transhumans.

Thanks for a thoughtful reply! Ok, I confess I'm still puzzled. Why will defeating the biology of aging be so terrible? Compared to overcoming aging, mastering our reward circuitry, mood and motivation are comparatively easy. Boredom can be made physiologically impossible. Transhuman life can be animated entirely by information-sensitive gradients of fascination. Today, one of the reasons the fires of passion tend to burn out as people age is dopaminergic cell death - we'd all get Parkinson’s if we lived long enough. By contrast, biological-genetic interventions could make indefinite youthful lifespans more rich, exhilarating and even magical than anything physiologically feasible now. Sure, as you note, there are risks to indefinite youthful lifespans – notably a political regime of despotism tempered by assassination. But other things being equal, the happier people become, the more they are inclined they are to become active citizens. Despotism is resistible. Conversely, low mood is associated with subordination and defeat. You worry about genetic disaster due to an increased mutation rate. I should really read your book before replying. Yet as you know, this idea is controversial (cf. Human mutation rate has slowed recently). Sometimes a high genetic load within an inbred genetic group can even benefit the entire human species - recall Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending's "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence". Either way, CRISPR-based genome-editing makes this question moot. We're on the brink of a reproductive revolution. Mastery of our genetic source code promises a world of recursively self-improving biological intelligence. Humans are indeed likely to go extinct over the course of the next few centuries. Yet we are (probably!) not going to disappear in some apocalyptic extinction event. Rather, we’ll bootstrap ourselves into something better. I’m one of life’s super-pessimists by temperament. But for technical reasons, I suspect the future will be awesome: Looking 1000 years into the future and assuming the human race is doing well, what will society be like?

I replied:

Let's see how I can format this to look right in Quora... ...There is a conceptual problem here. You are shooting for the sky. I never allow myself to do that because I am only shooting for survival, then those people can shoot for the sky if they want... Not to say I don't have some ideas but maybe having read so much, I've seen lots of good ideas and I don't see the connection to the biology that I do have a knack for. I tend to describe this issue in terms of biology, so I see this incredible challenge of humans creating and adapting to a radically different ecology ... and being happy doing it. You are talking about something magnitudes more radical. My instincts say it's just not how life works, so you are talking about something different or at least not a human. Life is conservative, so I guess I am too. I've had to lay out so many complicated relationships in detailed order that will create a path to a useful description of a realistic ecology, that I naturally am skeptical when I see people say we can do this or that but don't tell me the path or details. Also, most of what I consider important to survival as a biologist just isn't what others often consider. The reverse is true as well I'm sure. The genetic problem is a good case of that. "Status" is another. It makes for big disconnects.

"Boredom can be made physiologically impossible... etc." ... I'm about as naturally hyper-stimulated as a person comes. I'm somewhat addicted to it. I also know the ecstasy of discovery all too well. It's going to kill me one day. If I get tired... my body just says "I can fix that" and I can feel the cortisol and adrenalin flow. Most of my current discipline is about preventing that. A human is not made for that kind of stimulation. It is a strain that is dangerous. Not many people can physically stand a lot of it and even I have limits. Like intelligence, there is a lot more that goes with it to make a high-performance system work. Most systems operate in optimum ranges. I think that is true of humans. I work at about the maximum stimulation I would suggest for any human. Above that, you are going to get excess knocking and wear. I have to wonder how familiar you are with the effects of psychedelics? Not that I have any first-hand experience with any of them, of course, but I've been told they are exactly what you describe - stimulated thought and emotions. Things become more hilarious, colors become brighter and longer lasting, intuition blasts through your mind as ideas form and emerge, emotions are so intense including the strongest emotion - fear. Whoops, no insecurities or bad trips please, but like love, fear is human. Oh yeah... no adrenaline or it will fix the fear in memory and you risk some PTSD. It is a place that can be visited, but not a place where a human can live. The low after the high is natural... and very low even if a shot of vitamin B-12 can help. I dunno, what you describe just doesn't fit what I know of as human. I know humans pretty well and that's just not them. They operate in a range in a balance. You don't seem to be describing that. Maybe you could explain how to get from A to B and then I could guess if it would work for a human. I've never heard that part yet.

Hmmm... I'll tell you what, I did explore the same line of reasoning long ago and wrote it in my first book. A buddy of mine challenged me, so I went where I usually wouldn't. You'd probably like my version of a transhuman story whether you would buy into it or not. It's a fairly well considered story of a potential human future. It would take about four things. One is a characteristic of how the human mind works, so that's easy. One is a technology that is progressing faster than I ever thought it could - the mind machine interface ... with certain understandings of how humans think. VR. And one other thing the ancient Egyptians would probably understand but is intuitively difficult for modern humans. We don't go there and I only went because he hassled me. (He's one of those folks hooked on the perfection meme... can be a real pain in the ass fanatic but is a friend and intellectual sparring partner. Hmmm was a sparring partner.) Don't read Transition To A New Human Ecology. It's long and any part of it can knock a poor body unconscious :). Then there is a different story of transhumans I put on David Brin's site to mess with one of his stories about super intelligence. He thought it was funny as all get go. "There's no way to know".

"could make indefinite youthful lifespans" ... I was lucky. My youthful lifespan was pretty long and pretty concentrated with my energy. There were also a couple wild cards that few people get dealt, an insight and an inspiration. The best parts always related to things though that couldn't be repeated too many times though. I could see skiing, hiking, surfing, biking, fishing and even the underwater hunting getting old after a time, but I was lucky enough for them to be in my reach and I am physically quite capable. (For 10 years I did have the first return on Google for Lobster Hunting.) I like having fun. I always said I needed three lives, one of them was to have fun and I did. (I have an entire huge website about just one kind of fun - ( If anything offers endless variety it is the diving I got to do. Still, the really best parts were always the ones that were new. I saw what motivated me. I had the opportunity to do just about anything I wanted and I explored many things. I built ... so many different things as well. That was reality. Even in VR that would be reality to a human. I just can't help but think that some of what you describe seems like drugs rather than any kind of reality. Not to say they aren't fun, but that leads to problems. The "psychology of addiction" describes that human usage of drugs is not about getting to a state of "high", but achieving a continually increasing state of high. A good alcoholic can achieve an increasing state of intoxication for more than a week. You are talking about a steady state high. It's not how humans work. Fake reality is inherently dangerous to humans. Maybe it wouldn't be to what you are thinking of, but again, I am bio type conservative. I think of humans. "You worry about genetic disaster due to an increased mutation rate." I do and explain why in the genetics book. "CRISPR-based genome-editing makes this question moot". Not as far as I can tell. (Though I do have to touch up that part of my genetics book since CRISPR was pretty new when I wrote it.) The problem is that CRISPR can potentially do some amazing things, but at best it is a point effect. Natural selection is a general effect and is what we have removed and need to replace. "Mastery of our genetic source code promises" ... and fusion energy promises but both may be harder than it looks and I'm pretty sure that the problem I worry about is closer than it seems. "Rather, we’ll bootstrap ourselves into something better." I dunno. Bootstrap. Have you ever actually tried "lifting yourself by your bootstraps"? Usually you need to build steps and climb them. I "watched Star Trek" and maybe it made me cynical because I saw so many very cool things that no one explained the details of. Because I ended up focusing on an issue of short term survival, I usually restrict myself to solutions for that and have to be pretty detailed. (I do look forward enough to be sure it's not a dead end though.) I figure ideas like you speak of can be explored when we have progressed more. We are so so young and new at this. If we don't make it to the next ecology, all the many brilliant ideas of the transhumanists will never have a chance to be explored or tested. People want to talk about transhumans, but I just don't think they get it all right about humans yet. I know I don't but I feel I have gone much further on that than most people. (oh… and with parents being older, there is no chance that the mutation rate has gone down,

“Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.” (Schopenhauer) Can't we extend that with other people's visions like when we read other's thoughts and experiences or absorb what science shows us?

"All that matters is the pleasure-pain axis. Pain and pleasure disclose the world’s inbuilt metric of (dis)value. Our overriding ethical obligation is to minimise suffering." Huh? Hedonism was never a huge philosophical school of thought even if it had some very enthusiastic adherents. Sure, they are a lot more fun to hang with than Platonic seekers of perfection, but who cares about pain? Animals are controlled by pain, not humans (to paraphrase a Bene Gesserit teaching). Our limits and a lot of fun are found well beyond where some pain begins. Does Superman feel pain? Of course, but it does not stop him. Happy is good, but happy because of experience or creative activity is better. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is going past your fear to what is beyond. My ethics are based on survival and aspiration. I guess that's a personal choice though and I will happily settle for a 1984 Mondavi and saki washed goat cheese on occasion.

"Those who ate the honeyed fruit of the plant lost any wish to come back and bring us news." Did they raise families either? "reality suggests that blissful lotus-eaters will be outbred by the blissfully hypermotivated." Yeah...

As Ernest Hemingway remarked in The Garden of Eden, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” A small minority of blissfully well-motivated people (“hyperthymics”) - Dat's me. It's not that rare really. I have a number of very happy friends. Anyway, I don't see why that as a problem in genetic terms. It seems just a reasonable goal of the genetic husbandry I describe that we will need to use. Who needs depression or worse? Again though, like intelligence, happy is not one thing. Also, was my permanent happy good for me in terms of survival? Well, I can't think it was bad. I guess it was good. My problem has always been resisting the ones dissatisfied because they want perfection. They'll destroy the good-enough to try to get their perfection. They aren't going to get it though but they feel they have to try. "In short, interventions are a minefield." - Yep, that's how I see it, but then you say "who thinks that pain-ridden Darwinian life on Earth is monstrous" - Now you are talking in my area. Where do Darwinian strategies fail us? You tend to look at our thoughts and strategies as problems. I agree with you even if my conclusions from that are different but no one is going to listen to either of us. I repeat over and over though that Darwinian strategy will fail us in our genetic strategy as well. When women realize that, when women realize the genetic problem they face, then they will listen because their instincts will be screaming at them to. If they decide that they must take control of their genetic destiny, as they must, then maybe they will also consider taking control of their strategic destiny. We do have human ... "post Darwinian" strategies available. They were developed because of the nightmare of Darwinian strategies in history... You know, the Greeks, Romans, Mongols, etc. We even have the instincts to use those strategies that come from a bit earlier in human evolution when we were more the hunted than the hunters. What is needed is to convince our moral instincts, our survival instincts, that we have to use those strategies to survive. That is what I work on. There is potential for great genetic, moral and cultural wealth as well as great happiness in the human future. To me, that is the immediate transhuman future I work for, maybe called "post Darwinian", but not really because it will be a balance that includes Darwinian and human strategies. Maybe "Darwinian plus or minus". Your mileage may vary.

I think I see a difference in our views, but I'm going to have to read more of what you say. "Drained, as only the cold ocean can drain you, I set my tank on the deck with blood dribbling down it from gloved hands torn on sharp rocks during the hunt. I will recover shortly though and keep diving back into the beauty and challenge until stopped by darkness ... and then do one more tank on the night dive. Tomorrow, I'll do it again. ... Well, I used to anyway. That is just one of my many heavens."

Enjoy, but I'm sure you do...