Talk:Transhumanism/Archive 15

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Archive 14 Archive 15 Archive 16


Is there currently a Transhumanist userbox? There was one previously, that I was using, but it was deleted in one of those random userbox deletion sprees. Thanks.

MSTCrow 00:54, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

There is no template - which I think is appropriate as I think that all such userboxes expressing adherence to a religious, political , philosophical, etc., belief should gradually be removed from template space. However, if you want I can help you userfy the old box, or you can feel free to copy the code for the box that merely expresses interest in transhumanism from my userpage. Metamagician3000 02:06, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

How is expressing interest different from expressing support? Oh, and if you look at the tail end of my userboxes, you'll that I'm strong supporter of userspace expression.
MSTCrow 02:47, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

There's obviously a huge difference between expressing interest in something and supporting it. I am interested in many belief systems that I actually disagree with (not so much transhumanism, as it happens, since I have a lot of sympathy for it, blah, blah). Anyway, this is not the place to debate userbox policy. I told you my view and offered in good faith to help you. Do you want my help or not? Metamagician3000 07:04, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

There is this user box available: {{User Singularitarian}} Morphh 12:28, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Like Metamagician, User:Khat Wordsmith has found a way to have a transhumanist user box. --Loremaster 00:55, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I made one myself, currently I'm the only one using it: {{User:Joffeloff/Userbox/Transhumanism}} --Joffeloff 15:30, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Controversy section

Idea for categorising Controversy?

Just a short idea, perhaps it might help to organise/split the massive controversy section into subtitled sections? From what I see, the majority seems to be a discussion of the projected future in a transhuman society and the morality of such a society. It might also benefit from some discussion of the normative aspects of the transhuman ideal, that is to say, why the values of transhumanism itself might be somewhat controversial. So from what I see it's made up of two distinct strands, a section which discusses a potential transhuman reality and its possibility (which understandably varies broadly), and then there's a section consisting of a discussion of the pursuit of transhuman values (what I would say is more authentic philosophical discussion). What do you think? (talk) 00:16, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Although I am not opposed to any minor or major improvement of the Controversy section, we should all remember that the current version of this section (which came about through collaborative effort) contributed to Transhumanism meeting featured article criteria so I don't see why we need to change it. In other words, if it ain't broke, why fix it. That being said, I think the introductory paragraph of the Controversy section deals with the issues you have raised. But feel free to expand it and I'll tweak your contribution if necessary. -Loremaster (talk) 00:24, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Suggested addition

Hi and thx to all those who've done such great work on the article. I esp like the controversy idea/section; and i have variant argument to suggest, which i didn't see in a scan of the archives, and which in my experience is roughly as common and deserving of mention as the others listed. That is the argument that (some) transhumanists have unrealistic expectations of technology due to a desire to escape their own death, predicting that the technofix will come just in the nick of time. A good reference for this is . I could be bold and add it straightaway, but i'm suggesting it here out of respect for the maturity of the article and because i'm not sure where to fit it in. It seems to fall under both the futurehype or fountain of youth sections. Since it could be seen as primarily an argument about prediction/feasibility, maybe it could be given a couple sentences in FH? OTOH, the closest critique in the article currently is by midgley in FoY; perhaps it could be added after her. What do others think? Feel free to add it as you see fit; i'm happy to suggest-and-run ;^). Hope this helps, "alyosha" (talk) 21:30, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Interesting point... Let me think about whether or not and how it should be integrated. --Loremaster (talk) 22:47, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
It is an interesting point, though all it really amounts to a vauge hypothesis in a blog. It's very likely that such a theoretical "cognative bias" could be argued. Then again it's just as possible to point at events in the past where seemingly drastic innovations (technological or sociological) do indeed come about within a lifespan. The difference between wishful thinking and even educated guesses can be a blurry line. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 23:43, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
The point isn't that it's true, nor that the reference is evidence. The point is that it's a critique that in my experience comes up fairly often; and the reference is to cite a good example, better than list postings or blog comments or my say so. "alyosha" (talk) 00:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, for the most part the criticism/controvery listed are legitimate arguments that boil down to part POV and part what train of logic you are useing. It could be used as a valid argument, but nothing there really solidifies into anything (a) as a clear hypothesis other than a vauge notion (b) something that relates specifically to transhumanism as opposed to a statement on humanity as a whole. Do you see where I'm going with that? And yes, to a very good degree the truth of the argument does come into play. Is there really much point in including arguments that can be easily determined to be moot? I think that such a thing would have to have a very solid reference to be included.--Human.v2.0 (talk) 00:38, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure i follow you, incl how much you don't like the controversy section in general, or the validity of its current contents, or my suggestion. I support the first two, and am not interested in debating them -- tho i will say i support the inclusion of controversies which are culturally prominent, even if you or i may not feel a given argument against >H is ultimately valid. The point is to illuminate >H via debate about it. Also, my suggested critique is both a clear hypothesis (as shown in the reference), and "something that relates specifically to transhumanism" (it concerns a view that vanishingly few non- >H hold). I feel it's in line with what's already in the article, and in my experience it comes up often enough, on the part of serious enough people, to warrant inclusion. The reference shows that by incl 3 notable people (kelly, maes, and garreau), and thus would seem to be a very solid reference for the purpose. "alyosha" (talk) 02:03, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Alyosha, could you write here in your own words the criticism you would like to add to this article. --Loremaster (talk) 13:13, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

[Popped out to top level because we're back to the initial proposal.] My sense is that this is mainly a critique of the realism of predictions, thru the secondary psychological critique. So i'd put it in futurehype, after the three books discussed -- a new fourth paragraph, something like this: "It has also been argued that some transhumanists have overly optimistic expectations of when dramatic technological breakthroughs will occur because they hope to be saved from their own deaths by those developments. Several notable transhumanists have predicted that death-defeating technologies will arrive (usually late) within their own conventionally-expected lifetimes." Plus the citation above; which btw i'd appreciate someone else doing -- i' haven't done one like that and i'm afraid it'd take me a while to get it right. That's my first try: how does that sound? "alyosha" (talk) 16:56, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

This needs to be tweaked. Let me work on it druing the week and then we will judge. --Loremaster (talk) 23:00, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Alyosha, I forgot to ask: What is the typical transhumanist rebuttal to this criticism if there is one? --Loremaster (talk) 07:08, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I was trying to keep my proposed addition as short as possible, and i see it as a subtype of futurehype, so i was thinking that the current rebuttal to to that criticism would cover it. Eg, kurzweil is named there, and he's certainly someone who's received and responded to the criticism i'm adding (or making explicit). Oc it's fine if the consensus is to add a mention in the rebuttal as well. "alyosha" (talk) 17:41, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
OK. --Loremaster (talk) 19:23, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I've added Alyosha's good contribution to the article. --Loremaster (talk) 19:48, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Nice job: better placement and wording that my first draft. Pleasure consensing with you, and others. :^) "alyosha" (talk) 18:33, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. :) --Loremaster (talk) 20:07, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

New subsection focusing on human dignity

User:Mindstalk added the following new content to the Controversy section of the Transhumanism article:

Loss of human dignity

Closely related to the arguments about "trivialization of human identity" and "dehumanization" is a claim that reproductive and life-extending technologies may affront human dignity, a claim made especially by the Catholic Church, and the President's Council on Bioethics led by Leon Kass. For example, laws or calls for banning human reproductive cloning are often justified with a claim that cloning infringes human dignity, as in UNESCO's Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, and the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and its Additional Protocol on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings. Transhumanism itself has been specifically singled out as a threat to human dignity. The concept has been attacked as useless by Ruth Macklin and Steven Pinker, and as contributing nothing not already covered by the allegedly clearer concept of autonomy.

Putting aside issues of prose quality and MoS compliance, it seems that Mindstalk is unware of the fact that the Controversy section has been repeatedly criticized for being too long. Furthermore, this new content doesn't really add anything new to the article that hasn't been directly or indirectly dealt with in other subsections. Therefore, I would oppose its addition as is. However, I would support a more consice version being intergrated in another subsection. I invite all to comment. --Loremaster (talk) 12:25, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I know perfectly well that some people think Controversy is too long (or other sections comparatively to too short.) And while I obviously knew it seemed to overlap with other sections, the "human dignity" argument -- with that exact phrase -- in particular is a rather common one when it comes to reproductive technologies, and there was no reflection of that in the article. As for prose and MoS, I thought those were grounds for re-writing, not deletion, assuming the raw information was worthy of inclusion. -- Mindstalk (talk) 14:07, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
[Disclosure that i have a proposed addition to controversy above. ;^) ] While i like the controversy section and am not concerned about its current size (tho in part because it's being watched effectively), i respect the article's general stability and those who feel that controversy is already too long. So i'd say that any additions (esp there) should be substantive, minimal in size, and worked into pre-existing sections if at all possible. I agree with Loremaster that what you've proposed overlaps too much with material already present. I suggest you carefully distinguish btwn what's already in there (eg kass) and what isn't (eg pinker, "human dignity"), and post a draft to talk that briefly integrates the latter. Hope this helps, "alyosha" (talk) 15:19, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh hey, people are now worrying about the dignity of plants. Relevant, maybe? -- Mindstalk (talk) 21:31, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Are you joking?!? --Loremaster (talk) 23:27, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm just going to come out and say that I've been asking myself if some parts of the recent page are wrtten/added specifically to screw with my head ("my" being used in reference to most people that keep tabs on this wiki). --Human.v2.0 (talk) 23:34, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Well call me a monkey's grandchild... This [1] is the actual Swiss page detailing the information. Much of the material has been around for a while in the lawbooks, such as terminator genes to prevent the strains from accidentally spreading (Or, depending on your view, keeping long-term ownership of the strains firmly in the hands of the creators. Likely a bit of both.). I am wondering how much of it is motivation for protecting a literal dignity of plants, to put a form of check in place against radical changes, or if it's simply poor word choice. It will take me some time to sift through the material to see how relevant some of it is to this article, though I am going to pop over to entries on GMOs to see what is said there. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 18:00, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I think the issue is protecting biodiversity rather than "plant dignity" (which is a ridiculous choice of words). Regardless, this is utterly irrelevant to a criticism of transhumanism which exclusively focuses on the modification of humans. --Loremaster (talk) 20:17, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
It is indeed one of the nuttier wordings possible, and I have not yet found a great deal of information regarding it other than the typical laws and guidelines you find. Considering the wording, I was somewhat curious as to if any parallels drawn from that to the genetic modification of humans (well, asside from the metric googleplex of pre-existing content on that), but it seems pretty moot. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 22:56, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, by the article I provided, it starts with a law saying the "dignity of creatures" has to be protected, and then someone decided that included plants. -- Mindstalk (talk) 06:24, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Quite so. As soon as it becomes technologically feasible, I intend to have my skin genetically modified to be photosynthetic, so I can then organize a group demanding the ethical treatment of plants. (talk) 09:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
This talk page is for discussing improvements to the Transhumanism article. --Loremaster (talk) 13:18, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Image at the top of the page

I think it would be nice to have an image at the top of the page. Does anybody have any suggestions? Apparently the one I picked as a placeholder was somehow not good. Zazaban (talk) 23:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

There have been previous, well not "issues", but Natasha Vita-More has a somewhat inordinate amount of coverage (much more so in the past, as well) and is not important enough to the topic to be one of the immediate things refernced by the wiki. And on an (almost) complete aside, it's just not a good peice of art at all. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 00:17, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Human.v2.o that we need something better regardless of whether or not I like Natasha Vita-More's work. --Loremaster (talk) 02:36, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I didn't read anything about the image and I have no idea who Natasha Vita-More is. I only added it because I thought it looked good at the top of the page. The person who made it had nothing to do with me adding it to the top of the page. Zazaban (talk) 04:53, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, to be honest the image can't be picked just because it's pretty. They have to be in the Wiki in the first place for some good reason, and the context of the image should be payed attention to when deciding where and how they are used. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 13:07, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Let's not just put an image at the top of the page simply because we desperately want to fill a void. Let's discuss the addition of the most appropriate image here rather than engaging in an edit war. --Loremaster (talk) 17:36, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay then, let's discuss. I personally liked the last one that was up there. Zazaban (talk) 19:15, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
The last one, Image:Converging technologies.png, doesn't really look good and already has a perfect place somewhere else in the article, specifically next to the paragraph that discusses the NBIC report the image was made for. --Loremaster (talk) 20:12, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Image:Converging technologies.png looks like a cult/pyramind scheme image to me at first glance each time, though that's a slight asside. I'm not personally familiar with the ways of getting images usable for Wiki (in the copyright sense, for the most part), so I can't think of a good suggestion at the moment. I'll peek around for some ideas. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 22:06, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

What do you all think of this image for the top of the page, which I found on two transhumanist websites: The Creation of the New Adam --Loremaster (talk) 22:24, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Eh, it's not bad, but the direct religious overtones of it seem a bit out of place. Maybe that's just me? Then again, there are only few times when I've been able to take edits/photoshops of that particular piece seriously; it's such a dramatic work that any edits come off like a Monty Python animation.
*chuckle* Everyone truely is a critic, when it comes to art. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 01:28, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
But is it really that out of place in light of the fact that some transhumanists and fellow travelers talk of the promises of transhumanism using direct religious overtones? Have you heard of the book Remaking Eden? The title says it all... --Loremaster (talk) 02:13, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, the fact that many use religious overtones, metaphors and the like certainly isn't something that even needs argueing. Certainly not omnipresenst (pun intended) or terribly directly, but often enough that you don't miss it. I guess that I don't personally have a Yay or Nay on that image; it can work, though I'm not entirely liking it myself. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 02:36, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm open to alternatives. Have you seen one you like? --Loremaster (talk) 16:03, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I have chosen the cover of the first issue of H+ Magazine as the best image for the Lead section of the Transhumanism article. Any objections? --Loremaster (talk) 15:35, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I've also added the image to the World Transhumanist Association article. --Loremaster (talk) 20:27, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Kanzure's comments

Sorry, that's factually incorrect (you're making it seem like a POV war -- nobody's trying to make the world a censored and More Happy place, just hear me out here). If anything, people are trying to add more content that is more relevant to the times and transhumanism, but instead it's left with this debate nonsense that doesn't represent the topic of transhumanism -- indeed, many of the arguments are outdated and in need of revision themselves and aren't facutally up to the times ("genetic divide" arguments, for example, assume socioeconomic barriers that are otherwise nonexistant due to self-replicators (like MNT, RepRap, etc.)). It's just distracting from the actual point of the article - transhumanism. Anyway, as for the more modern content that needs to be included, there's been all sorts of things: in bio, there's biohack (diy genetic engineering etc.), biopunk, diybio, oww, dnatube, biodatabase, microbewiki, biominewiki, snpedia, polonator, tmp2 (LUF), open access dirwiki, EURKA wiki, neuroensemble, etc. More community-oriented includes the blogs (that, admittedly, I can't cite quite off the top of my head), imminst, methuselah, hplusclub, barcamp, scifoo, scibarcamp, biobarcamp (Shroeder, Smolin, ...),, many facebook groups, meetup groups, onsingularity, biogerontology groups for life extension, alcor, cryonet, etc., and if anything this proactive approach illustrative of transhumanist principles is to be highlighted. And for that 'balance' that others might want, we could throw in some links to - the European e-conference on synthetic biology safety & responsibility. Lots of other developments to include too. All blocked, and so the article barely represents transhumanism. I guess this is ultimately because transhumanism is about people and the future, and this is a moving target. -- kanzure (talk) 06:08, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

"genetic divide" arguments, for example, assume socioeconomic barriers that are otherwise nonexistant due to self-replicators (like MNT, RepRap, etc.) Kanzure, self-replicators don't exist. RepRap is a neat research project which is a long way from freeing anyone from the shackles of dependence on the industrial economy; MNT mechanisms in general are in a very primitive stage, with chemists such as Richard Jones skeptical of the whole Drexlerian dry-nanotech vision. The socioeconomic divides are real, the self-replicating tech is highly speculative and non-existent, with no guarantee of being (a) possible or (b) if possible, being developed at the same time as or before genetic technologies. And even with mature self-replication, "post-scarcity" is a rather dodgy concept, especially when the limiting factor on genetic tech is likely to be expertise, not raw material wealth. Cheap mature AI would be more relevant than MNT, but it's easy to imagine that a useful genome database and reliable PGD would be available well before AI or MNT, leading to the "rich get richer concerns" which are more directly addressed by generous universal health care. Answering concerns about one non-existent technology by appealing to a totally unrelated different non-existent technology hardly helps my argument that transhumanists aren't crackpots... these are possibilities, not good predictions, let alone certainties. Your quoted text sounds like exactly the sort of utopian vision of "technology will solve all our problems, even the problems created by new technology" that attracts the crackpot label. -- Mindstalk (talk) 07:02, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
"Kanzure, self-replicators don't exist." Cells. RepRap is worth mentioning as a project -- people are working on it, and others can join and help out. MNT is primitive, yeah, no dispute there. With respect to (b), note that synthetic biology allows us to use the amorphous fabrication routines and evolutionary engineering to do self-replication via wetware instead of the drytech approaches. Either way we win, you see? Re: post-scarcity & expertise; yes - but anybody could dump information, or even the classical Matrix-esque brain downloading scenarios (isn't this in the article?). Re: universal health care, the diybio tech allows you to take that under your own control. So these technologies do, in fact, exist. -- kanzure (talk) 07:22, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
 :rolleyes: Yes, cells exist. I meant self-replicating technology we can design and exploit in a "post-scarcity" way. Sure, mention RepRap, but it's not a solution to economic divides. Neither is non-existent synthetic biology or non-existent brain downloading, just as fusion is not a solution to the looming energy crisis. If we had self-rep and could copy minds around and had cheap fusion, sure, we might have something like post-scarcity and no economic divides (though even that's hardly a guarantee.) But we don't, and genetic tech isn't contingent on those things, so answering economic equality concerns with those technologies is a non sequitur. -- Mindstalk (talk) 07:51, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
You can exploit cells in a post-scarcity way. You modify the genome, you insert the DNA molecules back into the colonies, you let it grow. Nobody said the synthetic biology route would be easy, but saying that it's "non-existant" is a bit of a stretch. RepRap *is* a solution to economic divides -- check out the entire open source scene, that's all because of replication of information (not self-rep, of course, it's done by people clicking around and computers doing queries etc.). Just because RepRap doesn't work yet doesn't mean that von Neumann was wrong. "Release early and often." -- kanzure (talk) 17:14, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
We may be able, at some point, to exploit cells in a "post-scarcity" way. Yes, we often do use self-rep 'tech', from having babies to agriculture to PCR. A key concept is limiting factors; self-rep runs into difficulties at some point -- lack of critical resource, or land, or labor to maintain it, or parasites -- and nothing on the horizon looks likely to fix that, to a level of "shovel in rock and muck and sunlight and get what you want". RepRap might be the seed of a solution to economic divides, it's not one now. Can it make food? Clothing? Its own microelectronics? Housing material? Its own feedstock? Do a wide subset of industrial chemistry? Open source has been very cool and powerful, but atoms are a lot more complicated than bits, and there's no material equivalent for a computer. -- Mindstalk (talk) 03:40, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Mindstalk/others, what about the other topics I brought up? [I note that many of the discussions on this talk page sort of degenerate into focusing on one specific detail isntead of the original content of the messages [which is fine, but I'd like to pull this back on track]]. -- kanzure (talk) 17:14, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
As I said in another section, I encourage you or anyone else to update or improve the article especially the History, Theory and Practice sections. However, the suggestion that the Controversy section is "debate nonsense that doesn't represent the topic of transhumanism" or that "many of the arguments are outdated and in need of revision themselves and aren't factually up to the times" is ridiculous in light of the arguably "crackpot theories" (as explained by Mindstalk above) you are promoting as rebuttals to the practical and ethical criticism of transhumanism. --Loremaster (talk) 10:31, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
What other topics? The list of genomics and longevity websites and forums, and mention of Facebook and Meetup groups? Fair enough, but how would you integrate them into the article, apart from a long and structure External Links section (which would be fine by me, but lots of such links seems unpopular on Wikipedia these days.) And how many of those are full of people self-identified as transhumanists, vs. stuff happening anyway which some transhumanists find neat? The WTA is obviously part of the transhumanist "movement", but it would look odd to claim, e.g. the Human Genome Project in the same manner. That's an invitation for proposal, not a rhetorical question; how would you integrate some or all of those links? -- Mindstalk (talk) 03:32, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
That's a good question, Kanzure. How exactly do propose intergrating some of these links while respecting the Wikipedia:Manual of Style. --Loremaster (talk) 23:25, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree, it is a good question. I'm working on it. I was hoping for some collaboration though. Not just immediate reversion - maybe shuffling around different points until they fall into place, a general agreement, instead of just deleting and forgetting about it. So if I go in and strategically rework these sources into the article, are they going to be yanked ? or will we try to play around and see what can be made to work? (Also, why is this called Kanzure's Komments? What's with the K?) -- kanzure (talk) 05:17, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Just tell us here what you want to do here before editing the article. I don't forget about anything. As for the K, I was just being stylish. --Loremaster (talk) 15:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd assumed you put in the Komment... I see Loremaster did, when he was archiving threads. Seems rude. -- Mindstalk (talk) 09:22, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
It wasn't meant to be rude. Anyway, I put back the C. --Loremaster (talk) 15:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

One Person's Summary of Problems with this Article

Since I've distributed this among other places in the Transhuman community, I'll place it here also, for the record. From someone who has been involved in the this community for a couple of decades.

  1. It too heavily emphasizes technologies over the processes of change, natural and otherwise.
  2. It portrays the ideas as belonging to a kind of elite group ('intelligensia').
  3. It portrays the holders of such ideas to attract large enemies and then expands on those 'detractors' for more than half of the article.
  4. Its history is, in my opinion, a crime of inaccuracy, not only missing the last decades when the word 'transhuman' was in use, but missing the last 2000+ years, when the basic ideas were being implemented, or trying to be implemented, and more importantly _debated_.
  5. The Theory section that follow the History section is lacking the same background depth.
  6. The Aims section barely gives a subsection of the 'large picture' of : Living: Longer, Smarter, Stronger. I.e. the myriad of ways that human lives can be improved with research, education, smart investments in our future, and how to help ourselves build the social, political, and cultural structures to make all of that happen.
  7. The Ethics section misses completely the most important idea of self-ownership and responsibility.
  8. In the Currents section - it gives equal weight to the real or fictitious subgroups, and there is one little line devoted to Extropians, which was, in fact, a prominent carrier of the ideas for more than 15 years.
  9. There is way too much space devoted to Spirituality and 'soul' in this article.
  10. Uploading is barely described. Instead it goes into a criticism, almost immediately. Strange for a topic that generates endless discussion (ad nauseum) on mailing lists for almost 20 years, hmm?
  11. In the Practice section, it is missing *most* of the daily life practices, that people are using to live longer, smarter, stronger. Vaccination, contraceptives, eye glasses, pacemakers, smart nutrition, exercise, assisted reproductive technologies (which is mentioned in _one place only_ in the 'Postgenderism' line of Currents!). The latter is quite strange for a topic that generates enough heat to be banned in some countries, no? The section is also missing mind tricks, meditations, and all of those do-it-yourself practices that people in our community have been trying and 'doing' for decades.
  12. Similarly for the 'Technologies of Interest'; there are large holes missing. What about space technologies, quantum computing, large-scale 'computing at home' efforts, evolutionary psychology insights, efforts to solve the energy problems, SENS research, technologies for democratization of societies?
  14. This article is, in my opinion a gross distortion of Transhuman/extropian ideas, as I've known them for the last 20 years.

Amara (talk) 13:43, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Although I am still confused since I thought Amara said she was leaving, I'll respond to this criticism later today or in the next few days. --Loremaster (talk) 14:08, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
If she obviously changed her mind about leaving, it doesn't seem helpful to keep bringing that up. -- Mindstalk (talk) 14:27, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't trying to be helpful. I was trying to make a point that she was acting like a spoiled child that is throwing a tantrum because she isn't getting her way. That wasn't appropriate behavior on the talk page of a Wikipedia article. --Loremaster (talk) 14:34, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I'll try to add in some sources.

1. Take a look at the transhuman article. The opening: "an evolutionary transition from the human to the posthuman". And the opening for transhumanism is: "an international, intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to enhance human mental and physical abilities and aptitudes, and overcome what it regards as undesirable and unnecessary aspects of the human condition, such as disability, suffering, disease, aging and involuntary death". If anything there's not enough emphasis of both tech and change. It portrays transhumanism as an ideology, as if the WTA is a final say in the matter, and as if the WTA has some sort of agenda to transform Humanity on its own (which brings us to your next point) -- if that's the case, then let's go ask the WTA to make a formal statement on that matter once and for all.

3. Maybe it should focus on the actual counter points to ideas instead of detractors.

6. Not only *can* be improved, but *are* being improved. There are many articles in the news that can be seen about these things. For example, education - OpenCourseWare has been in the news.

10. That's weird, considering Harvard has been doing connectomics studies, the Allen Institute is doing (funding?) mRNA gene expression analysis of regions of the brain, and brain slice imaging tech has been improving.

11. Added some links - did not edit your actual content. Don't know if this against policy or not. Please revert if you find disturbing. And re: postgender, I'm sure a link to transgender will be a good place to get perspective. And diy - more recently the internet versions of these things. Ex: HobbySpace, Howtoons, How Stuff Works, fansites/howitsmade/howitsmade.html How It's Made, wikiHow, OSAerospace (sort of), Make Community, The Buckminster Fuller Institute, Humanitarian Information for All, ThinkCycle, How to do things, Wikipedia (to a limited extent, given a broader focus), The Internet Craftsmanship Museum, Instructables. Even youtube and dnatube.

12. Re: tech for the democritization of societies. On the information front, there's the GNU Free Documentation License, and then on the tech front there's stuff like One Laptop Per Child and great examples of how tech has allowed people to do more for themselves - like openfarmtech or even the recent article about the Californians going up against the flames with cell phones and communication technology.

13. Yes, there's not much on playfulness (like seen here). What else? Virtual realities like Second Life and World of Warcraft would be a good start. They effect millions of users, daily.

-- kanzure (talk) 17:54, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I would think that discussing Second Life, WoW, OLPC, and similar things in connection with transhumanism would definitely be original research. ~~ N (t/c) 21:14, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Nah, since those websites for each of those projects have statements that are transhumanist (without using that keyword). So if anything 'transhumanist' must have the transhumanism keyword in it, then that's something else we need to talk about. This isn't a search engine - that's for Google etc. -- kanzure (talk) 23:11, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Could you reference these statements, for those of us that don't touch MMOs as a general rule? And as I think someone previously mentioned, just because some transhumanists can point at something and go "hey, I like that" does not necessarily make it mentionable here (though I am aware of the mutterings to that extent for 2nd Life, but have never heard a single whisper to the kind for WoW). --Human.v2.0 (talk) 23:25, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Identifying similar-sounding statements is OR. They don't have to call themselves transhumanist, though, they could be identified as such by notable sources. Many arguably transhumanist things are not identified by their creators as such, true, but it's not Wikipedia's place to make the connection. Something like mentioning SL in passing as an example of VR seems valid; is that all you meant? ~~ N (t/c) 00:47, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, in passing. Not a full section etc. -- kanzure (talk) 05:00, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Kanzure: I wrote FUN in capitals because every issue of Exropy magazine from 1989 to 1996 and the extropians mailing list starting in 1990 (I joined in 1991) had FUN as a strong element. It's part of the philosophy. The full page spoof ads promoting 'The Galactomatic', the extropian lightbulb jokes, the extropian handshake, the lingo, the parties, the conferences, and so on. It's no wonder that Eliezer Y. so easily encapsulated the fun element in his 'Theory of Fun' essay. If these resources are not used in describing this essay (I expect that the main contributors to have the full set of the Extropy Journals, they do, right?), then it is a large and obviously missing hole in accuracy for the encyclopedic entry for this movement, since that attracted many people to the movement in the first place (including Nick Bostrom!).Amara (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 15:58, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Since several prominent transhumanists including Natasha Vita-More and Nick Bostrom have reviewed the Wikipedia article on Transhumanism and never criticized for lacking an emphasis on the "fun side of transhumanism", I don't think I am alone in seriously doubting that this is "a large and obviously missing hole in the accuracy" of this article. Second, the purpose of this article is to offer readers a comprehensive yet general overview of transhumanism not extropianism therefore it is normal that the particularities of a current within transhumanism such as extropianism will not be emphasized. That's what the Wikipedia article on Extropianism is for. That being said, do you realize handshakes and lingo are one of the reasons why extropianism was ridiculed as a "kooky cult" rather than treated as a serious philosophical movement? If so, why would you want to expose that? --Loremaster (talk) 17:18, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
P.S. Are you planning on ever responding to my comments below? --Loremaster (talk) 17:20, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Loremaster's reply to Amara

Amara, as someone who has been involved in the Transhumanist community for a couple of decades, you have to be especially mindful of the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest policy.

  1. You are correct that the article does emphasize technology over processes of change. It is a reflection of the fact that many supporters and critics of tranhumanism argue that many transhumanists do emphasize technology over processes of change! However, it's a fair point. Can you expand on how you would correct that?
  2. As I explained previously, the word "intelligentsia" was simply chosen (by me) to reflect the fact that the first transhumanists were part of a "social class of people engaged in complex mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture, encompassing intellectuals and social groups close to them". Whether or not this is interpreted as "elitist" (which I am assuming is something transhumanists don't want) is irrelevant. However, the word was removed so it's a moot point.
  3. It is simply a fact that transhumanists have attracted numerous critics which is reflected in this article in a fair and balanced way. This issue has been extensively discussed in the past and I consider it settled.
  4. The History section is based on an essay written by Nick Bostrom(!). We have recently used more information from this essay to expand this section. I am not opposed to expanding it even further especially in relation to the use of the word "transhuman". However, I would oppose original research that speculates about the "pre-transhumanist history of the last 2000 years" especially if it is unsourced.
  5. Feel free to expand the Theory section with content that cites sources.
  6. Feel free to expand the Aims section with content that cites sources.
  7. Feel free to expand the Ethics section with content that cites sources.
  8. The Currents section is similar to the one found in the Transhumanist FAQ of the WTA(!). The goal of this section is not to give more or less weight to any current. If people want to know how important these currents are they can simply read their respective articles. Furthermore, this section is not about organized movements but currents of thoughts.
  9. The Spirituality section simply seems to take a lot of space because other sections haven't been fully expanded yet. However, I hope your opposition to the section doesn't come from an "anti-religion POV", which obviously this article cannot reflect.
  10. The Spirituality section is not the right place to discuss the multitude of positive implications of mind uploading. That's what the mind uploading article is for. However, as long as it is consice, feel free to expand the Technologies of interet section to discuss how important the (pseudoscientific) notion of mind uploading is to transhumanism.
  11. Feel free to expand the Practice section with content that cites sources. However, there is nothing uniquely transhumanist about the use of vaccination or eyeglasses.
  12. Feel free to expand the Technologies of interest section with content that cites sources.
  13. THIS IS AN ENCYCLOPEDIC ARTICLE! The goal is not to make Transhumanism look "fun" or "cool" nor should it be viewed as a tool to convince people to become transhumanists or join the WTA. This article must have a dispassionate neutral point of view which reports the facts even (or especially) if they make some transhumanists and "anti-transhumanists" unhappy.
  14. Although the Transhumanism article is far from perfect, Natasha Vita-More, a pioneer of transhumanism, is on record as saying that it was a pretty fair and accurate article when it reached Featured Article status (despite her recent criticisms) so I think the accusation that it is a "gross distortion" is absurd and insulting. However, please keep in mind that this article is about Transhumanism not Extropianism. If you want more fair and accurate information about the latter please read the Extropianism article and update/improve it if necessary.
--Loremaster (talk) 19:21, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

"Democracy" vs "freedom"

Can we please stop the edit war and accusations of vandalism? I think it would help for Maziotis to explain why he thinks "democracy" is POV. In context, the article clearly does not assert that democracy is valuable; the section is saying that some see transhumanism as bad because it's a threat to democracy, so it only asserts that the people making that criticism value democracy. Perhaps Maziotis could provide examples of self-professed non-democrats warning of transhumanism's threat to freedom? ~~ N (t/c) 16:35, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I could answer your request by mentioning anarchist authors (such as John Zerzan), but in that case I would be rightfully accused of facing a POV with another one.
The question here shouldn't be what political regime/philosophy is more threaten by transhumanism. It is my understanding that the fact that liberal democrats give their perspective on the threat of transhumanism is relevant, as it is given in the article, with the proper sources provided.
My issue here is that the article itself presents a topic of controversy, where a section deals specifically with a common held human value such as "morality", equated with "democracy". There are authors with different political views that conceptualize technology in relation to the reality of the brave new world society in different ways. Why should the issue of freedom (which I believe is the underlying value here, like morality) be given voice to a particular political doctrine, such as liberal democracy, and not others?
Not everyone thinks that the human freedom that is being threaten by the compromises of a futute brave new world is maintained trough electoral political representation.
If the section deals only with liberal views on the brave new world, it should be changed along with the title.Maziotis (talk) 17:45, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for not reverting again. It wouldn't be POV to cite Zerzan. In fact, please do - the only current mention of primitivism is in the existential risks section - this is an omission. ~~ N (t/c) 18:03, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I actually think that this section, as it is, should not have the title changed to "freedom", since it only mentions the liberal democrat perspective. But the problem I raised stands. I find inadmissible that this article speaks trough liberalism to hold “morality” along with “democracy”. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maziotis (talkcontribs)
As I see it, the juxtaposition hardly equates morality and democracy - it merely says some democrats feel transhumanism threatens both - and is unproblematic given the current content. If you want to add more non-democratic critiques, in that section or elsewhere, please do. ~~ N (t/c) 18:32, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Maziotis, you bring up a good point. I've deleted the reference to "liberal democracy" until that subsection is improved. --Loremaster (talk) 16:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Maziotis has restored the expression "liberal democracy" with good reason. However, we still need to improve that subsection. --Loremaster (talk) 18:54, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't have time right now to add those references. Since this is the place to discuss further improvements to the article, I leave here two links that I think might help someone who is interested to start exploring this perspective:

Maziotis (talk) 09:58, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. --Loremaster (talk) 16:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Examples in fiction

assuming this to be true: is an international, intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to enhance human mental and physical abilities and aptitudes.

Many of the examples given from science fiction are simply wrong. Childhood's end is the natural evolution of humans; Slan's are not human, they are a different species seeking to enslave humans; I Robot has no enchancment of humans, it's about their replacment by robots; Bladerunner is the same with androids etc etc. Given that these clearly non-TH stories may have generated discusion within the movement, i have fact tagged them for now so people can verify that such discusion took place.Yobmod (talk) 09:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

As the Currents section shows, the interests of the transhumanist movement are not limited to human enhancement. The creation of robots, androids or artificial intelligences, and their recognition as persons is a transhumanist goal albeit a secondary one. So I think the issue is providing sources that describe any of these works as transhumanist to avoid the accusation of original research. --Loremaster (talk) 15:58, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

(I just noticed this is a FA. Would it be better to move them to the talk page, rather than add tags? Mir ist egal)Yobmod (talk) 10:06, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I've provided a source for them. --Loremaster (talk) 15:58, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks :-). Although it seems to me that if robots, aliens and (natural) mutants are each enough to make a book transhumanist, then 99% of SF qualifies. Tranhumanism becomes simply SF as religion. I had thought technology and intent were essential ingredients!Yobmod (talk) 16:23, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, some people do argue that transhumanism is simply SF as religion: Give Me That New Transhumanist Religion --Loremaster (talk) 17:43, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
More substantially, note that Loremaster said "the *creation* of robots" etc. And I'd say that the uploading side of artificial intelligence is a primary concern of transhumanism. Creation of robots, AIs, and other species might be primary or secondary, but important either way; creation and manipulation of life (e.g. genetic engineering) is important. OTOH, natural aliens and "mutants" are entirely independent. So I'd say I, Robot and Bladerunner are pretty relevant to transhumanism. Childhood's End is more problematic given both the uncontrolled evolution and the psychic nature. -- Mindstalk (talk) 22:59, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Star Wars has robots, does that make it tranhumanist? Incredible Hulk is an artifical mutant - is he really interesting to the tranhumanist movement? And cybernetically enchanced Pokemon, like Mew2? The list of SF that doesn't have these elements is very small!Yobmod (talk) 09:41, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
It's a good question. Perhaps Natasha Vita-More might be able to answer it if someone here cares to ask her. However, as I said before, the only issue that matters is that we need to cite reliable sources that describe a work of science-fiction as transhumanist or containing transhumanist themes before mentioning it in the Arts and Culture section. We shouldn't add or delete something simply based on our personal opinion. --Loremaster (talk) 23:34, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

On a related note, I've been working on the Transhumanist art article. --Loremaster (talk) 01:21, 11 June 2008 (UTC)


User:Zazaban has added "Anarcho-transhumanism" and "Christian transhumanism" to the Currents section of the Transhumanism article. These two so-called currents were deleted in July 2006 after a debate among the main contributors to the article at the time. The debate can be found in Talk:Transhumanism/Archive 12#Currents. --Loremaster (talk) 22:02, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Technology control

Larry Niven used a combination police and military force called the Amalgamated Regional Militia, or ARM, in his "Known Space" series of short stories and books. One of their main operations was identifying and suppressing any technology that ARM deemed dangerous. Potentially useful technology was still researched under extreme security while that determined to have no beneficial use at all was (supposedly) completely destroyed except for some records and data and only a select few ARM members were permitted to retain any knowledge of the mere existence of it- just in case it might be needed in a dire emergency such as an invasion by extra-terrestrials. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bizzybody (talkcontribs) 08:26, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

That's an interesting premise but this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Transhumanism article not reviewing books that might interest transhumanists. --Loremaster (talk) 05:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Conflicting information about the date of usage of the word, "transhumanism"

The first known use of the word, "transhumanism," in the introduction of the Transhumanism article does not match its source (2b). I would assume that it is a typo, but I stumbled upon the article coming from the page about Olaf Stapledon. That article lists the first appearance of the word as 1966, but a brief text search of the source reveals no mention of the word transhuman or the year 1966 except the date on quarterly or whatever it was.

Hopefully, we won't be hearing about any high school essays with an incorrect date for the appearance of the word, "transhumanism." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:26, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Missing references

Unregistered user vanadalized the site recently, eliminating about 40 references.Editaurus (talk) 18:55, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I restored the article. --Loremaster (talk) 20:14, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Spoken article utility

I have found that the Spoken Article Utility cannot be stopped once started. If anyone else confirms this problem, I will remove this feature from the article.Editaurus (talk) 01:33, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Hey Editaurus - are you saying that literally the pause and stop buttons aren't working for you? I'm not having that problem, but maybe if you share your browser & extensions we can find out what's going on. FlyingToaster 18:38, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I find it to be erratic. My computer runs Windows XP. With Internet Explorer 7, the pause and stop buttons do not always appear, and when they do they don't always function. The most recent time I tried it with IE only the stop button appeared and it worked, but the pause did not show up. I have tried several players and get inconsistent results. With Firefox, in contrast, everything seems to work.Editaurus (talk) 00:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah... I often have problems with IE & vastly prefer Firefox. However, whatever problems you and IE users may be having are probably being experienced with any spoken article. So, I don't see any reason to delete this one in particular unless there is a problem with it specifically. FlyingToaster 06:14, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Transhumanism = >H

I remember seeing that the shorthand for transhumanism was >H and H+, but now that has been removed from this page. Is there a reason for that change? Is it no longer a valid shorthand? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lief92 (talkcontribs) 11:19, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

H+ has prevailed as the shorthand for transhumanism. --Loremaster (talk) 20:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Removing graph PPTCountdowntoSingularityLinear.jpg

I am removing the graph titled "PPTCountdowntoSingularityLinear.jpg" from this page and all pages from which it is linked because it is mathematically trivial, as I have demonstrated in File_talk:PPTCountdowntoSingularityLinear.jpg. I recommend all future graphs of the "technological singularity" be subject to same scrutiny, as anyone with a year of calculus under their belt can make a similar analysis. If you don't believe me, I encourage you to make a graph with the same axes, but instead of choosing significant "events" as data, choose random dates. You should get identical results. SamuelRiv (talk) 22:10, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem with it being removed. However, we should probably find another pertinent image. --Loremaster (talk) 20:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Let's concentrate the discussion at Talk:Technological singularity#Removing graph PPTCountdowntoSingularityLinear.jpg. --Petri Krohn (talk) 20:50, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


For those interested in working to make the Posthumanism article meet Wikipedia's criteria for a good article: It took me a while but I finally got around to improving it (since no one else wanted to do it) by tweaking content and creating a much needed disambiguation section in the lead as well as adding an image and two templates. I'm told Dr. Shannon Bell has read the article and judge that it "reads well". --Loremaster (talk) 00:19, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm also working to improve the Posthuman article. --Loremaster (talk) 02:01, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


Ok. The Word metrics on the first section comes out with an abysmal reading ease of 5.4 Keith Henson (talk) 22:55, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Changes I made in the first section brought it up to 16.2 reading ease. It's better but still poor. You can see what direction the writing needs to go. As for content, yea ghods. That Fukuyama dude is really conflicted. You should you want to even mention someone that confused? Keith Henson (talk) 23:49, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Personally I put little weight on such "readability metrics". Computer programs are no substitute for a literate human being; AI's a long way off. -- Mindstalk (talk) 01:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Mindstalk but I prefer waiting for Hkhenson to finish before passing judgement. As for Fukuyama, regardless of how conflicted or confused some think he may be, he should be mentioned because he is one of the critics most responsible for making the public aware of the existence of the transhumanist movement so much so that some transhumanists have used his criticism as part of their promotional campaign. --Loremaster (talk) 00:34, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Loremaster on Fukuyama. What is relevant is not the merit of what he thinks, but the public impact of its discourse on the subject (Sergio Cannata (talk) 17:03, 28 January 2009 (UTC)).

About TomAdmirer's edits

Why did Loremaster revert my edits? All I did was convert the darn thing into readable and literate English.TomAdmirer (talk) 22:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Are you Hkhenson? If not, I reverted your edits because you deleted (or radically altered) important sentences that contributed to a better understanding of transhumanism. I have no problem with you or Hkhenson making the article more readable but do not delete important content from it (such as "mainly but not exclusively from a philosophically utilitarian, socially progressive, politically and economically liberal perspective") before discussing it here first. --Loremaster (talk) 23:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
What would be wrong is splitting such an overabundantly worded complement ("mainly but not exclusively from a philosophically utilitarian, socially progressive, politically and economically liberal perspective"), suggesting a perspective qualified by three different adjectives enjoying in turn a total of five modifiers (!), in a few, shorter phrases? Or else, why don't we translate it directly in Latin? (Sergio Cannata (talk) 18:13, 28 January 2009 (UTC))
There would be nothing wrong with that so feel free to do it if you wish. My problem was that TomAdmirer wanted to simply delete the sentence because he is a conversative/libertarian transhumanist. --Loremaster (talk) 22:47, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
On what basis is it argued that transhumanism approaches MAINLY from a socially progressive and economically liberal perspective? There are plenty of conservative and libertarian transhumanists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TomAdmirer (talkcontribs) 23:05, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Surveys done by the WTA as well as articles written by journalists but no one is denying that there are conservative and libertarian transhumanists which is why it was written "mainly but not exclusively". By the way, I hope you are not confusing social liberalism (social democracy) with liberalism (liberal democracy). American conservatives and libertarians are liberals in the later sense of the word. Regardless, I think it would be wise to let Hkhenson finish his computer-assisted "improvement project" before you start doing edits of your own. --Loremaster (talk) 00:34, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Will do. (talk) 03:34, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Vatican criticisms

It seems that many or most of the Vatican's recent decrees on bioethics are directed against transhumanism. For instance, the Pontifical Academy for Life explicitly condemned the conceptual notion of half-humans, and has also been critical of genetic engineering aimed at fostering post-humans. Accurate sources would of course need to be looked up on this, but I am fairly sure that official Church views are opposed to transhumanism, and that the mention of this information would be acceptable within the boundaries of the article or within related articles. ADM (talk) 10:04, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

One of the first Vatican criticism of transhumanism can be found in the section for the Playing God argument. I would not be opposed to adding more if they are making new arguments rather than simply repeat the same ones. --Loremaster (talk) 14:19, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, I got the message. ADM (talk) 14:25, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Good. :) --Loremaster (talk) 14:31, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

"h+" organization and magazine

The abbreviation is lower case in all usage, not only the logo. You can see at the site, plus i was in on the lengthy internal debate about just that difference. But i'm posting here vs being bold because there might be a WP title-formatting reason (as apparently is the case for the h+ mag copyright). ?? Also applies to the Humanity+ article -- abbreviation, not full name -- but i'm only asking here."alyosha" (talk) 16:24, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

So basically it a branding issue. Makes sense, though I don't want to have to be the one sorting through all of it to edit it to a lowercase. As for the article, Wikipedia simply capitalizes the first letter as basic formatting. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 19:22, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
So would italics be ok to signal a title or proper name, even at the beginning of a sentence? Ie h+ Magazine? (And i'm talking about in article bodies here -- i know WP article titles have their own rules.) There aren't many instances -- if this works, i'll fix em. "alyosha" (talk) 19:39, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, if you are going to change it to lower-case then please use italics to imply that this is the correct formatting of the name/abbreviation. I see no reason not make this valid change, regardless of the silly basis in branding; if it was unofficially referred to in lower-case in advertising that would be one thing, but it's the actual name. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 19:43, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Theological Critique

I'm not so sure about this new paragraph.

"Historically, Christian theology denied transhumanism's philosophical precursor--the Greek view that sees perfection in the spirit, in pure thought and liberation from the body. The Christian counter is that the Son of God became a human being; then after suffering and dying, he resumed a living body. In this act, Christians see human weakness and suffering, not technology, as an instrument divinely used to effect radical human transformation--beginning now.[[1]] In the modern era, C.S. Lewis critiqued J.B.S. Haldane and "scientism," which Lewis defined as "the belief that the supreme moral end [of science] is the perpetuation of our own species, and this is to be pursued even if, in the process of being fitted for survival, our species has to be stripped of all those things for which we value it—of pity, of happiness, and of freedom."[2] Lewis' science fiction novel, That Hideous Strength, described a horrific disembodied Head that anticipated Kevin Warwick and his Morgui head by half a century. Since Lewis, the Christian critique has focused on embryonic stem cell experimentation."

First and foremost, the reference of Benedict XVI seems to have next to no direct correspondence. In fact, I can see no way to work it into the article that is not original research without other sources that take a much more primary role. Honestly and personally, I don't see any direct relevance here. Maybe that's just me, but I don't think that the statements of Benedict XVI in this (essay? public release? statement? What is the correct term for this?) does anything to reinforce the theological critique section. Much more specifically, it doesn't get into mentioned technology at all, so it would appear to be highly interpretive to include it here. I do think that Lewis' criticism, and specifically That Hideous Strength deserves mention in the wiki somewhere, but "modern era" might be taking things a little far, especially when you jump to "after that it's all about stem cell research" or the like. There's also more "horrific" and less "relevance" in the explanation here. That's somewhat a matter of neutral tone; it's all fine and good to describe it as horrific, but you need to elaborate more on how this is pertinent. This has the makings of a good inclusion, but I think that it has heavy issues with original research and non-neutral POV. I don't want to remove it just yet, but everything other than the Lewis bits needs sources that actually back up the statements. Right now you have an essay/thesis/other-work-of-original-research with a loose citation as reference. That's what you would do for a theological essay, but not an encyclopedic entry. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 18:09, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Human.v2.0. I'm deleting the disputed content. --Loremaster (talk) 20:16, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Rubric of Transhumanism

Section headings

Adding phrases like "Gattaca argument" to section subheadings does not convey "brilliant prose" as is expected of Featured Articles. These are very colloquial headings. What are these terms based on? Are they actually used by the sources cited? Because if they are, then just call the sections that. If not, they should be removed. The fact that they've been in the article around for years is not a valid argument, as this article was promoted back in a time when FA guidelines were vastly different. 02:18, 6 June 2009 (UTC) [[Previous unsigned by WesleyDodds; --Human.v2.0 (talk) 19:30, 6 June 2009 (UTC)]]

Since based on your questions it doesn't appear that you have actually read these sections, I will point out that yes these are phrases used by the relevant sources or other parties. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 14:06, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Phrases like "Gattaca argument" were debated by the main contributors of this article (one of whom was a Wikipedia administrator) before being approved and added to section subheadings; they survived the Good Article, Featured Article, and Version 0.7 vetting process (whose guidelines on the naming of section headings hasn't changed); they are based on the fact that some of the most widely known critiques of the transhumanist program by academics and journalists refer to novels and fictional films; and they have achieved consensus for years now. So if ain't broke, why fix it. Therefore, I will strongly resist any attempt to change or delete them. --Loremaster (talk) 19:47, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
This article passed FAC back in 2006. That was a long time ago. Jusr because sources use certain works of fiction to support their arguments does not mean they actively term their arguments "Gattaca argument" or "Frankenstein argument". If they do, explicitly say so in the sections. Additionally, you can convey the same information about what the sections are about in a more concise manner in the section titlesby simply eliminating these tags in parentheses. WesleyDodds (talk) 22:32, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Some sources do in fact actively term their arguments "Gattaca argument" or "Frankenstein argument" but I don't think we need to explicitly say so in the sections. I also disagree that we should convey this information differently. Moving on. --Loremaster (talk) 23:00, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you do need to indicate that these arguments are referred to as such. You are asserting something is a fact, thus you must verify it. Otherwise, it should be removed. WesleyDodds (talk) 23:14, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Nothing is being asserted as fact. These are just the names of section headings. --Loremaster (talk) 23:28, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
But you say "Some sources do in fact actively term their arguments 'Gattaca argument' or 'Frankenstein argument'". Can you verify that? Because if they do, that's important to note in the article. WesleyDodds (talk) 23:48, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I mean that this fact is not asserted in the article and doesn't need to be. --Loremaster (talk) 00:32, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
It's been asserted by using these terms as section titles. WesleyDodds (talk) 08:07, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
The references in existence, as far as I'm aware, already verify the terms in use (in particular, "Gattaca Argument" is used verbatim). 'Futurehype' is used as the title by Max Dublin, 'Playing God' by more than I can list, 'Fountain of Youth' in the same (though perhaps in the least titular manner of the lot), 'Enough' is also already noted in the first line through Bill McKibben, and if I recall he does the same with 'Gattaca'; 'Brave New World', 'Frankenstein', 'Eugenics Wars' and 'Terminator' are also abundantly referenced.
Your argument as to the length of time since the FAC is just straight-out invalid, and most of the headings have it spelled out in the first section through mention of a prominent reference material that went as far as to use it for the title. These headings do not, imo, need more verification than they already do though you are fully welcome to add more if you think it is needed. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 00:35, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm pointing out how long it's been since the article's FAC because standards have drastically changed since then. This article could use a fresh look by others; in fact, don't be surprised if this article ends up at Featured Article Review at some point, because all pre-2007 FAs are gradually being reviewed there. The burden is not on me to add verification that the sources use these terms; the burden is on those who want to keep contested information. I haven't read the sources cited, but you say they use these terms. So I am asking you to verify this with inline citations and textual reference. For instance, where is the citation for the sentence "There are two distinct categories of criticism, theological and secular, that have been referred to as 'playing god' arguments"? Another minor point: "Playing God argument" and "Eugenics Wars argument" should not be formatted in italics, because specific works are not being used as the basis for the terms. WesleyDodds (talk) 08:07, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
These headings were hashed out by the three primary pre-FA author/editors of the article, including a Transhumanism advocate, a moderate skeptic, and a strong critic (moi). They enhance the memorability of the article and have facilitated a broader discourse.StN (talk) 03:15, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
That was a long time ago. I contest that they enhance the memorability of the article (they make the section titles needlessly long), and they do not facilitate a broader discourse because they are utilizing what is essentially jargon. Unsourced jargon, at that. Additionally, using terms like "Frankenstein argument" and so forth gives undue weight to specific works given as examples. For example, The "Terminator argument" and "Gattaca argument" sections only spend a sentence each discussing the fictional works in question. There is nothing to substantiate that these arguments are referred to as such due to these works. The novel Frankenstein is only mentioned once in the "Frankenstein argument" section, followed by a mention two paragraphs down of the "Frankenstein complex". WesleyDodds (talk) 08:07, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Each of the sections is only the size of one fat paragraph, even though some are broken into smaller ones; how much explanation do you want when the topics themselves are only given that much space here? As has already been pointed out to you by three editors: Your argument that it was "long ago" is invalid. Also, I fail to see how using a section header listing the argument name gives "undue weight"; these section headers did not coin the terms. If you think someone has given undue weight by using them, you need to go talk to the people publishing materiel in this field. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 12:47, 7 June 2009 (UTC)


It sometimes seems that Transhumanism has strong links with militant, activist secularism, and some have even tied it to Freemasonry, although this would have to be verified and sourced, if possible. Links with the pro-euthanasia and pro-abortion movements have also appeared on the radar screen. ADM (talk) 12:33, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Militant, activist secularism? Yes. Pro-euthanasia and pro-abortion movements? Yes. Freemasonry? No. Please provide some reliable sources and we will talk about how to incorporate such content. --Loremaster (talk) 13:29, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
On the topic of militant, active secularism... A topic that I think might warrant more elaboration would be Nazi efforts during WW2. As much as I personally loath the connection, it is hard to argue against it, though I can't at the moment recall if I have seen a reputable source make a direct connection. Then again, one of my least favorite phrases in transhumanism, "ubermensch", unarguably has connections there. I'll have to see if the article has reference to the recently verified and documented cloning and "twinification" (I can honestly say that I am unaware if there is a particular term to use there) experiments (successful, scary as that kinda is) conducted by renegade Nazi scientists during and after WW2.
Activist Secularism is a topic that is already mentioned in the article, and I think that it is covered well enough considering that secularism is not a universal trait. There are enough historical instances of "secular transhumanism", or transhumanist thought/movements that simply do not have a leaning one way or another.
Freemasonry? Er... not that I'm aware of. In fact, freemasonry is a very secular movement/organization, and I'm completely unaware of any (reputable, though also no unreputable that I can think of) talk connecting the two.
Finally, while there are some loose links to euthanasia and abortion, I do not think that there is enough material of a direct connections between the two to warrant mention of it. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 22:38, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Correct. The subject is mentioned briefly in the introductory paragraph of the Theory section of the article. This following article is the source: Transhumanism: The Next Step? by Patrick Inniss --Loremaster (talk) 23:05, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Er... what does militant/activist secularism (the fight to ensure that governmental practices or institutions exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs) have to do with Nazi experiments on twins? That being said, I don't think there is a direct connection between transhumanism and Nazi human experimentation nor do I think we should elaborate on it as a topic in the article. --Loremaster (talk) 14:20, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
*chuckles* A slightly late double-take there. I would elaborate on what I was getting at, but at this point it's really moot, not to mention would probably involve a fair amount of improvisation on my own part to trying a figure it out after this long. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 16:42, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
OK. ;) --Loremaster (talk) 17:03, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Libertarian transhumanism

Although I will continue to tweak it, I've finished the expansion of the libertarian transhumanism article. --Loremaster (talk) 13:44, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

No WikiProject?

I am a bit surprised there is no Wikipedia:WikiProject Transhumanism. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:53, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

You are free to start one. ;) --Loremaster (talk) 21:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I concur there should be one. I would make one, but I'm not sure where to begin. Hmm... Will get back to you on that :P Zazaban (talk) 17:23, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


User:Acs1969 edited the History section of the article to add the following sentence:

Can someone cite a reliable source for all of this? --Loremaster (talk) 16:40, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Controversy section

I was reading the Controversy section of this article and noticed that the nine controversies detailed are each started with an opposition to transhumanism which is followed by a mild rebuttal. This is generally alright within the larger scope of "Controversy" since these are issues with Transhumanism. However those without excellent reading comprehension and an ability to maintain conceptual framework (which usually comes from a study of philosophy) may find that they are simply reading a list of "supposed" problems with Transhumanism with each being dealt with (and dismissed) in turn. Now there is technically nothing wrong with the article per se, but I do believe that due to the length of that section that its structure could be misleading for the average reader. (My apologies for not logging in) (talk) 07:30, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

The issues you raised have been extensively debated on this talk page in the past. The consensus was that, despite its flaws, the Controversy section as currently is is a useful tool to inform average readers of major debates surrounding transhumanism. --Loremaster (talk) 15:58, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
If transhumanism ever becomes more well known to the general public as time progresses, I think it might be helpful to create an entry entitled criticism of transhumanism, which would further explain these controversies, since there are similar criticisms of ideologies covered in criticism of socialism, criticism of postmodernism and criticism of libertarianism. ADM (talk) 14:50, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Have you read the debate in the Proposed splitting of Transhumanism section of this talk page? --Loremaster (talk) 00:19, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes I did, and I do accept its conclusions, since transhumanism is still fairly new in the ideological and political world, meaning that its criticisms are still fairly obscure. But if transhumanism ever became more well-known, such as socialism, libertarianism or postmodernism, I think there would be a better case for creating a split article that would deal with existing criticisms and controversies. ADM (talk) 05:50, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
On the possibility that transhumanism will become as well-known as socialism, I can only say one thing: Don't hold your breath. ;) --Loremaster (talk) 20:49, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

The creature that is the criticism section

In effect the criticism section has a feature freeze now. This is a quite unusual step on wikipedia where few large articles are ever 'finished' or 'good enough'. It shows that the section has a long-standing problem that we have not been able to address. I'd like to give it another try.

There's no doubt that we're seeing a lot of passionate edits by both sides, but I also think that the structure of the article shape the type of contributions we're seeing. Transhumanism is a movement like futurism or Communism but while futurism left art deco buildings and communism left ruins, there's few things external to the transhumanist movement. Nowhere are transhumanist cyborg implants or downloaded minds on display and the transhumanist art is already relegated to another article.

As an encyclopedic topic, transhumanism is then more like libertarianism in that the debate about transhumanism topics is transhumanism. So when a reader comes to this article with a fact-nugget in his head and sees a "criticism" section, it's most likely that his fact will fit either as a critique or a counter-argument, because that's what debates are made of.

I ran into the same problem when I started a much smaller article, the United States offshore drilling debate. As seen in this old version [2] I tried to list arguments for and against and the article was criticised for leaning too much in either direction. Rewriting it into the present version, I found that I could instead pick out not the main counterarguments, but the main sub-topics. Give them a somewhat neutral heading title and summarize what arguments the main players in the debate were using. In the old format I could try adding something and it looked like I was piling up unrelated counter-arguments to further a cause. In the sub-topic format, it was much easier to write in a tone that was not writing 'on behalf of' either side.

I think it's possible to do the same thing with many of the criticism sections. The 'grey goo' for instance, is now filed under 'terminator argument' but it's not a dismissal by an outsider, it's from a book which belongs in the transhumanist canon and continues to be a talking point in transhumanist circles. Opinions differ from wishing to speed up its arrival (singularitans) to careful planning og scientific and societal changes (Bostrom). It's these broad lines that are interesting to someone who knows next to nothing about transhumanism.

Similarly, the 'enough argument' section is really an introduction to a core curriculum shared by both supporters and opponents of Abolitionism and Postgenderism. The subsection should answear the question 'what are we talking about?' For me at least, changing the header of a section can change the style of the whole text. EverGreg (talk) 22:08, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I disagree with your accessment of the article in general and the criticisms section in particular. The later is the product of extensive research and negotation among editors with different point of views. Although you are free to improve arguments or counter-arguments you think are weak, I would be opposed to any revamping of this section. Furthemore, your problems with the mention of grey goo and the content of the Enough argument don't sound coherent to me. That being said, transhumanism is a controversial topic that is often under dispute. Please discuss substantial changes on this talk page before making them, making sure to supply full citations when adding information. Lastly, I would never adamantly argue that this article is "finished" or "good enough" but I would argue that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". --Loremaster (talk) 22:34, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I would disagree with that slogan and not because it's a good argument against large-scale genetic engineering. ;-) It runs counter to the wikipedia guidelines WP:Be bold and especially WP:Don't revert due to "no consensus". You do invite me to improve weak arguments or counter-arguments but I think that's exactly where we go wrong. This article should not be a place for the debaters to polish their most cunning rhetorics, as I'm sure you agree. Then neither the tone nor structure of the article must invite to do so.
For instance, I think that both Bostrom and Fukuyama have flaky arguments and I would not make their arguments my own, but in this article I would have to cite and report their arguments 'as is'. This is because they are the influential players and because the debate often focus on the flaws of the opponents argument. You couldn't write e.g. the Chinese room argument article if you set out to rework it into a new and better thought experiment.
Transhumanism saw 44.000 hits in october alone [3] and most of those readers are people with little knowledge of transhumanism which want an introductory overview. Only a few of them are hard core (anti)transhumanists and they have little use for this article, as they know most of the contents already. A diff [4] shows that this article has been virtually unchanged through 2009 and further diffs show that the controversy section has not changed since at least may 2008. For such a large article, this tells me that there is no longer a group of editors making constructive contributions. (Though they may be active in related articles) Following the wikipedia guidelines, we should edit and then discuss the changes here, not bring proposals for pre-approval nor immediately reverting. EverGreg (talk) 09:51, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
EverGreg, I don't need to be lectured about Wikipedia guidelines I am fully aware of. What you seem to not know (but could have found out if you paid attention to all the notices at the top of the talk page) this article has been listed as controversial which means that in order to avoid the disputes and edit wars often provoked by controversial articles it is wiser that we discuss substantial changes on this talk page before making them, making sure to supply full citations when adding information. That being said, I simply disagree with your accessment of what is wrong with this article since it is one of the very things that contributed to the article gaining Featured Article status. --Loremaster (talk) 16:59, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I know you are doing a tremendous job negotiating controversial articles. Most contributors, myself included, would not have had the stamina for handling New World Order (conspiracy theory) for instance. You ask us to discuss changes beforehand and this very thread is an attempt at discussion of substantial changes to the article before they are possibly implemented. However statements like 'I would be opposed to any revamping', 'don't sound coherent to me.' and 'simply disagree' do not facilitate a discussion. It's a simple dismissal with little or no counter arguments nor explanation of why the changes would not work. That said, I must on my side apologize for having resorted to Wikilawyering, which was both annoying and disrespectful of me.
In the the article's FA nomination the article received well-worth praise for covering the topic extensively, while also thoroughly referencing its statements. The organization of the sections however, received scant mention. The FA star is a high-hanging trophy but it's not automatically revoked because transhumanism has changed too much in the three years since the reward. As an example, the officially controversial article Libertarianism was demoted from FA for weasel words and bad or missing references. These are real dangers for controversial articles, but I'm proposing mainly a rework of the existing material along with an effort to stay closer to the sources. If anything, this pulls in the opposite direction of demotion. EverGreg (talk) 22:17, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I apologize if my increasingly limited time online prevents from me from offering more substantial counter-arguments and explanations at the moment but I am quite sincere when I say that some of your arguments do not sound coherent to me. That said, I will try my best this weekend to find the time to deconstruct them in order to end this dispute. --Loremaster (talk) 02:46, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
No need to apologize, just stop promoting yourself because it is getting obvious and people know about it and talk about you behind your back. Be cool J. Harold Lockworth (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:17, 21 January 2010 (UTC).
Putting aside the fact that your unwelcomed advice has nothing to do with this debate about the criticism section of the Transhumanism article, I am not “J” but I've been quite open about the fact that I did seek his help in the past to write this article and, from what he told me a while back, he still subscribes to all the mailing lists of transhumanist organizations and is therefore quite aware and amused by the fact that people talk about him behind his back even if he is being trashed. He gets a real kick out it and will be sad the day it stops. ;) --Loremaster (talk) 02:47, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Category:Fringe science and Category:Utopian movements

1. The Transhumanism article is in Category:Fringe science. Fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study which departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline. Mainstream scientists typically regard fringe concepts as highly speculative. It is a fact that most transhumanist proposals are based on fringe science.

2. This article is also in Category:Utopian movements. James Hughes, one of the leading transhumanist advocate, wrote a column in 2003 for entitled Rediscovering Utopia: Rather than dangerous, utopianism is necessary for creating a radically more free and equal transhuman future, in which he argues that: [Critics] are right, of course. Transhumanism is, in part, a utopian movement, and there is nothing wrong and lots quite right about this. --Loremaster (talk) 15:18, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Well transhumanism is neither science nor a Utopian movement. A utopian movement would be a social movement which as I understand it, transhumanism isn't. It definitely is a fringe movement/current/tendency whatever though at this time so maybe you can slap another fringe category on it. Lycurgus (talk) 19:17, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I shouldn't have to explain to anyone that something doesn't have be a science per say to be in Category:Science or a fringe science to be in Category:Fringe science. The fact that transhumanists are known for promoting fringe scientific theories is sufficient enough for the Transhumanism article to be put in Category:Fringe science. Whether or not transhumanism is a movement or simply a subculture is open to debate. Although I tend to agree with you that it is the latter, there are simply too many reliable sources both from supporters and critics of transhumanism who have described it as a movement. --Loremaster (talk) 20:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
That's just my point, the fact is that Transhumanism does not contain any actual "theories" scientific or otherwise. The word "theory" is from a greek verb meaning "to see" so you could construct the situation so that the transhumanist "viewpoint" was a theory and this would be cogent but it would not match the actual common usage of the term as in "theory of relativity", "theory of gravitation", "theory of relativity", "model theory", etc. etc. I think that restrictive usage wrong and that in the original sense of term such a viewpoint should be considered a theory, nonetheless in the encyclopedic context, TH does not form a body of knowledge or study based on a core set of principles or axioms and so it would, I think, be more or less clearly not "fringe science" because it is not (even claiming to be) science. If in the category "fringe science" either of the nominal attributes is sufficient for inclusion, then we are of one mind that TH belongs in it. Lycurgus (talk) 23:11, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
First, I think you are overthinking this. Second, fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study which departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline. Mainstream scientists typically regard fringe concepts as highly speculative. One example of transhumanist fringe science (which is actually mentioned in the Fringe science article's Contemporary examples section) is Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence. --Loremaster (talk) 23:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Finally, FTR, I am broadly in agreement with the TH goals/program, and for that reason in addition to what you call "overthinking" I am against the use of this pejorative category either for this article or SENS. Lycurgus (talk) 14:26, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
uh, the fact that you are admitting to a pro-transhumanist bias doesn't really help your case. Ultimately, the issue isn't whether or not it is pejorative but whether or not it is accurate. It is clear to the relatively unbiased observer that both the Transhumanism article should be in Category:Fringe science and SENS should be mentioned in the Fringe science article. Who knows? Perhaps in the near-future transhumanist concepts and proposals will be mainstream but for now they are not. We can't suppress facts simply because they make our pet cause look bad. --Loremaster (talk) 15:39, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
"It is clear to the relatively unbiased observer that ..." k, you get the last word, there's nothing I need to add besides this framing. Lycurgus (talk) 21:37, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
By this same reasoning, should we not add categories such as Ethical Culture, Morality, or Philosophy and Culture? All of these appear to be major elements of at least superficial transhumanist ponderings, if not significant focuses (foci?) of the subculture. while I agree with the precise definition of Fringe Science being relatively neutral, the colloquial interpretation is pejorative... biasing the article somewhat in the view of the casual reader. Perhaps the addition of a few more categories would neutralise the article somewhat. Wrayth (talk) 16:02, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Although I am not necessarily opposed to adding other categories, I disagree with your opinion that the article is biased because of its categorization in fringe science and this alleged bias needs to be neutralized. --Loremaster (talk) 16:25, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Dammit, posted a fair chunk of blather and somehow forgot to save it. Anyway, in summary... It's less bias, and more a sort of inaccurate negative association. A Google search for 'Fringe Science' brings up, amongst others, references to Zombies, the Resurrection, and a tv show (which I quite enjoy) involving devices for walking through walls, conspiracy theories, and a primary character that feeds hallucinogenics to insects. I'm pretty sure a serious research institute that happens to be working with cutting-edge technology ,for example, wouldn't want to be associated in such a way, and would probably take considerable offense at the implications... there is the pejorative element. Again, by the same reasoning, I'm sure members of the Transhumanist culture concern themselves at length with semantics, genetic engineering and cyberpunk fiction... should we then add Linguistics, Biology and Literature as categories, with all of the associations they carry? Wrayth (talk) 09:40, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
As a slightly more serious suggestion, might I propose adding one or more of the following categories: Category:Ethics of science and technology, Category:Technological change, Category:Philosophy of science, Category:Philosophy of technology
In light of everything I have already said on this topic, you are wasting your time trying to convince me that the Fringe Science category should be removed. However, I have no problem with you adding those other categories to the article except the last two. --Loremaster (talk) 13:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
A re-read of the discussion fails to identify a specific refutation of my point. I suppose I may be misinterpreting one of your points, just as I evidently misinterpreted the Cheatsheet... thank you for fixing my links... but I'm not seeing it. The offer of the categories was an attempted bracket to try and see where your dividing line might lie. Might I suggest Protoscience as another category, to complement Fringe Science for the sake of accuracy?
Wikipedia's policy on neutral point of view gets misinterpreted to mean neutral to all sides of an issue. In actuality, we only represent viewpoints published by reliable sources and in proportion to the number of reliable sources that express this view. If the majority of reliable sources on a topic are critically positive or negative, then Wikipedia should accurately reflect this viewpoint. That being said, I have explained several times why the Fringe Science category is neutral. Your opinion of what is and isn't accurate is questionable in light of your pro-transhumanist bias but I am sure you are aware of how transhumanism is perceived by the scientific community. Regardless, do you have a source that associates transhumanism with the term “protoscience”? --Loremaster (talk) 15:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Ad Hominem attacks so early in our discussions? I'm disappointed. Anyway... you have explained why the Fringe Science category is technically neutral. I have explained, and shown examples to support the explanation, why the category is colloquially biased (for want of a better phrase). Despite your confrontational statement (inspired, I can only assume, by your anti-transhumanist bias :P ) I am not particularly pro-transhumanist, although I will admit to being what could be most accurately described as a technology and technological development enthusiast, hence my interest in this particular subject. Now, having said that, I suspect you are the one that has misinterpreted Wikipedia's NPOV policy... the encyclopedia is not meant to or support a particular point of view, merely to report it with suitable sources. The (functionally unsourced) categorisation of a subject, on the other hand, is a clear judgement call and therefore cannot help bringing an interpreted bias. In this case the wider understanding of the term is more important than the technically accurate definition of the term. As for how Transhumanism itself is percieved by the scientific community... well, it's perceived as range between 'movement' and '(sub)culture', as the article makes clear. As other contributors here have pointed out it's not claiming to be a science, fringe or otherwise. I'm sure varying segments of the scientific community take it with different levels of seriousness, much as they would any other overlapping cultures or initiatives.
  1. Your accusation that I have anti-transhumanist bias is refuted by a message from an earlier editor.
  2. I never said that Wikipedia is meant to support a particular point of view. I said it reports the viewpoints published by reliable sources and in proportion to the number of reliable sources that express this view. If the vast majority of reliable sources on a topic are critically negative (which often happens when dealing with conspiracy theories, quack medicine, pseudoscience, and pseudohistory), a Wikipedia article will present the topic in a critically negative manner (i.e. The Priory of Sion article is in the Priory of Sion hoax category because many reliable sources describe the Priory of Sion as a hoax).
  3. Fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study which departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline. Mainstream scientists typically regard fringe concepts as highly speculative. Numerous reliable sources accurately state that most transhumanist proposals are based on fringe science. I shouldn't have to explain to anyone that something doesn't have be a science per say to be in Category:Science or a fringe science to be in Category:Fringe science. The fact that transhumanists are known for promoting fringe scientific theories is sufficient enough for the Transhumanism article to be put in Category:Fringe science regardless of whether or not the colloquial interpretation of the term “fringe science” is pejorative. In fact, let's assume you are right that the term is pejorative. If reliable sources pejoratively categorize transhumanism, a Wikipedia article on transhumanism must be added to that pejorative category.
  4. Remember to sign your posts by typing four tildes (~~~~).
--Loremaster (talk) 13:34, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
  1. I'm sure I can find a buncha people to write down that I'm a nice guy, and hopefully a few less that would write down that I'm a complete prat. Neither are, I suspect, an accurate reflection of reality. I'm sure both of our approaches here are actually unbiased and are focused around the accuracy of the detail in question... lets leave it there before more serious conflict arises. I would, however, appreciate a little more attention to how some of your phrases might be received (assuming, of course, that you are not actually intending to offend).
  2. The phrase I am basing my perspective on, from the WP:NPOV page, is 'disinterested tone'. I feel that the inclusion of the category, without perhaps some kind of in-article justification, is bending that particular element of the guideline.
  3. You may take it as established that I understand and agree with the technical definition of the term, as well as the application in this case. Regrettably the precise lines of our language are blurred somewhat by the practical application by the assembled masses... ie the majority of Wikipedian consumers. This is my concern for this particular case, which I hope I'm making headway in making clear. The negative association with the term 'Fringe Science', applied perhaps correctly to the specific interests of part of the community, should not be carried through to the umbrella of the movement as a whole. Those who are not in the know, being those who would come to the article seeking information, would develop an inaccurate sense of the tone. Thus is the crux of my motivation here. PS: You might want to watch the phrase 'I shouldn't have to explain to anyone..." as per point one :)
  4. Dammit.
Could I perhaps suggest, as a way to resolve this concern, the inclusion of a explicit statement somewhere in the article that part of the Transhumanism community does often involve itself with interests associated with Fringe Science. I don't personally consider it an ideal solution... the article does initially come off as a little bit wall'o'text, so minor details might slip through, but at least the failing there is reader inattentiveness rather than possible editor inaccuracy. Perhaps a minor adjustment of the Controversy/Feasibility section, a slight rewording to include the actual phrase?
--Wrayth (talk) 15:34, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to waste my time debating you on this non-issue except to say that the first sentence of the Controversy section of the Transhumanism article used to have a more explicit statement that links transhumanism to fringe science. However, it was edited out by some pro-transhumanist editor. I will therefore restore it while hoping that this is the end of this silly debate. P.S. You bore me so please be brief in your replies. --Loremaster (talk) 16:25, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why the term 'fringe science' needs to be taken a negative. All it means is that it is out of the mainstream. Plate tectonics was once fringe science. Zazaban (talk) 00:55, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Plate tectonics was a theory of geology, TH just isn't a scientific theory. Is string theory "fringe physics"? "Fringe" is a dismissive term that indicates that the thing so designated is outside the spectrum of legitimate discourse, not just not the current dominant paradigm, or very unconventional but still within acceptable discourse in whatever field. In the progression superstition/religion, junk science, fringe, unconventional theory, standard model/accepted consensus, that which is accepted as legitimate begins with unconventional. Modern science can accept very unconventional theorizing but that which it designates as fringe or junk will never be science at all. Plate tectonics was initially denied in the standard Kuhnian manner before it became the dominant model but it was never denied to be a scientific theory. But that's not the issue. TH is fringe, if you want to so designate it, it's just neither science nor a social (utopian) movement. Lycurgus (talk) 06:02, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Plate tectonics was considered fringe science before widespread acceptance. I don't really think TH as a whole is a science of any kind, but certain elements of it could fall under the label. Zazaban (talk) 06:06, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
The subject of an article doesn't have to be a science to be put in Category:Science or Category:Fringe science. A substantive direct or indirect association with science or fringe science is sufficient. Furthermore, science is not limited to scientific theories. Science as a category encompasses concepts, ideas, hypotheses, proposals, projects, controversies, etc. Transhumanism defines itself as the scientific "study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies". Unfortunately, many of these technologies such as SENS, molecular manufacturing, mind uploading, Jupiter brains, or an Omega-Point supercomputer are speculative technologies that not only may never exist but that many scientists think don't even make sense. This fact clearly associates transhumanism with fringe science. As for the issue of transhumanism being a social movement, I think it is clear that the word "movement" is being used in a general way to refer to a subculture since obviously no one is disputing that transhumanism is utopian. --Loremaster (talk) 20:56, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I was agreeing with you, you know... Zazaban (talk) 20:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I know. I was replying to Lycurgus. --Loremaster (talk) 21:01, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Ah. My mistake. Your post was ambiguous, and indented from mine. No harm then. :) Zazaban (talk) 21:19, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
As for the specific thing that TH is, I'm not sure what the right name for it is but it would be something like a futurist literary "movement", so a movement of some kind. Also part of a class of related "movements" such as 'life extension', etc., and so could be a nascent utopian social movement or a current of what will become one. No problem with the kind of movement the current lede calls it. So the edges of these objects are diffuse over time and TH could even have transited both categories for later readers of this thread. Lycurgus (talk) 13:34, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be misunderstanding what the category means. It's not like giving "Category:Underwear" to the article "Bloomers". It's marking an overlapping that does not necessarily imply encompassing the entirety of Transhumanism. Because many transhumanists or ideas/actions/theories/whatever-you-will fall into the category of "fringe science" (Which you also seem to be misunderstanding as a phrase. It does not translate to "crackpot science" in the sense used.), it gets labeled with said category. For instance: cryonics, a subject mentioned in this article for it's frequent links with transhumanist goals, groups and individuals is a "fringe science" in the sense that applications it is being used for in these links are unproven, untested or not wholly acknowledged as "fact" by the scientific community as a whole. While not falling into "crackpot science", instances like this involve leaps of logic, complete right-turns or logic, or hedging on future breakthroughs in things currently... er, unbroken.
I'm rambling, which isn't the best thing here, but my point is that you seem to be misunderstanding both the implications of the "Category" system and the definition of "Fringe Science" as being used here. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 03:31, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Cryonics is a perfect example of transhumanist fringe science. Thank you for reminding me. --Loremaster (talk) 09:56, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

transhumanism is not fringe science or a utopian movement

Transhumanism is an ethical movement which favors the use of technology to solve human problems and promote human progress. Some transhumanists promote fringe science (such as SENS) but the majority do not. In fact I don't even know of one transhumanist scientist with the exception of Aubrey De Grey. Calling transhumanism a fringe science is like calling white nationalism a theory of race and intelligence. Just like we don't consider Jared Taylor a psychologist and put his theories in the pseudo science category we shouldn't put this in fringe science category. YVNP (talk) 19:58, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Did you read the discussion in the section above?
  1. Just because transhumanists like to think and say that transhumanism is an "ethical movement" doesn't make it so. Most respectable observers would agree that is a technophile/technoutopian subculture struggling to become an intellectual and cultural movement.
  2. Many critics (and even some supporters) of transhumanism argue that the majority of transhumanists promote or, at the very least, believe in many ideas that could be classified as fringe science. By the way, how do you know what a majority of transhumanists believe? Are you basing your statement on a scientific poll or wishful thinking?
  3. You seem to be confusing fringe science and pseudoscience. The former is or can be a neutral description while the latter is inherently pejorative.
--Loremaster (talk) 20:30, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
I'll expand on what Loremaster (someone who, for those just joining the show, is just about dead-neutral on for this topic with just enough skepticism to keep this article in check) has said correctly (as someone that both publicly identifies as as something more than a "Weekend Transhumanis" with arguably more skepticism than Loremaster).
  1. This wiki is broader than just the scope of Transhumanism as just an ethical movement, because that's what the topic entails. It covers the ethical movement, individuals (both identified as Transhumanists and notable professionals who have covered it), science and social activities and just about all else. Even if this wiki was just about the ethical movement, the methods that provoke the development of these ethical debates are by and large in categories of fringe science.
  2. News, science journals and independently published material all make frequent connections between Transhumanism and aspects of science that enter into "fringe science" (and a great portion of them use that exact phrase, in pro con and neutral senses), and it is for that reason and not the opinions of editors that the tag is used.
  3. If you are confused on the use of Fringe Science, then I recommend that you read up on it from neutral sources. I'm quite happy to do research into fringe science, as exploration into unappreciated fields or use of knowledge in less than common applications has resulted in more than a few breakthroughs in the past. Many, many, many branches of science were previously branded as fringe science or worse in the past (most current medical practice was in the "or worse" section by far).
That should just about cover things. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 00:42, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. :) --Loremaster (talk) 01:02, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
The fact that transhumanist support fringe science does not make it fringe science. Raelians believe in perfect cloning but we don't put them in the fringe science category. As for transhumanism being technoutopianism I find that kind of odd. Marvin Minsky doesn't seem to be a utopian thinker. In fact many of the transhumanist thinkers have established work in their field(which is where they tend to make their ideas). If transhumanism is really seen this way where are the news sources? I haven't seen any new sources —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:54, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Frankly? I have to assume that you have not read the entire Wiki, let alone are familiar with the contents of the references. Many, many transhumanists are well established in mainstream fields. There are also more than a few that put deceased human beings in liquid nitrogen and the like, with the expectation that at a later date these tissues can be revivified or otherwise return the individual to some form of life. That's fringe science. Also, your comment about Minsky is an excellent example of how you are viewing this on too narrow of a scope. I don't really know how to explain things better than suggest that you fully read the article and it's references as well as the topics already discussed here on the Talk page. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 12:21, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
No one said that transhumanism itself is a fringe science. The subject of an article doesn't need to be a science to be in Category:Science nor does it need to be a fringe science to be in Category:Fringe science. The fact that many fringe scientific ideas are associated with transhumanism is enough. As for the notion that transhumanism is not technoutopian, I'm not sure what other word best describes a movement that promotes the idea of immortality through speculative technology. As for the sources for the claim that transhumanism is technoutopian, I suggest you read James Hughes' 2003 column for entitled Rediscovering Utopia: Rather than dangerous, utopianism is necessary for creating a radically more free and equal transhuman future, in which he argues that: [Critics] are right, of course. Transhumanism is, in part, a utopian movement, and there is nothing wrong and lots quite right about this. --Loremaster (talk) 15:25, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes it is (talk) 17:25, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
To YVNP: Transhumanism is not an ethical movement. Rather it is a philosophical discussion with alterations to the nature of humanity at its core. This certainly includes ethical issues but is not limited to them - I know that I am late to the discussion but had to get that out. No doubt that there are various transhumanist theories, each of which is part of the ongoing discussion. Those who affirm this or that theory will consider themselves a transhumanist in some way; as a result of this self-association, as happens elsewhere, we end up grouping together diverging views under the same heading. Since transhumanists often disagree amongst "themselves," and this is a challenge to any "transhumanist movement." Most theories are utopian themed since they all aim at improving humanity rather than simply changing it. Therefore any transhumanist movement, no matter the diversity contained therein, is innately utopian. (Again, sorry for not logging in.) (talk) 07:30, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Fringe science categorization unsupported

The claim that Transhumanism is fringe science because certain fringe ideas are associated with it does not make the movement/concept itself fringe science. If we can justify its inclusion in this category on this premise then there are other ideas which must be included in said category. Christianity, for instance, has supporters who associate it with fringe scientific concepts. Does that mean that Christianity is also fringe science and not a religion? Or how about space exploration? There are multitudes of fringe ideas associated with space travel currently. Does that mean that space exploration is also fringe science?

As it's been already discussed in section above, the Transhumanism article is in Category:Fringe science. Fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study which departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline. Mainstream scientists typically regard fringe concepts as highly speculative. It is a fact that most transhumanist proposals are based on fringe science. I shouldn't have to explain to anyone that something doesn't have be a science per say to be in Category:Science or a fringe science to be in Category:Fringe science. The fact that transhumanists are known for promoting fringe scientific theories is sufficient enough for the Transhumanism article to be put in Category:Fringe science. --Loremaster (talk) 16:10, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Please sign and date your posts by typing four tildes (~~~~).
And likewise, many space travel proposals depart from mainstream science in the very same fashion. The logical conclusion of your reasoning is that such articles would also qualify for inclusion in the category as well as MANY others which are not currently. (talk) 16:13, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Many space travel proposals are in fact fringe science but there is nothing wrong with that. However, when some proposals are based on non-scientific premises, we are then talking about pseudoscience rather than fringe science. Do you understand the difference? --Loremaster (talk) 16:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely, and I take back the comment about Christian "scientific" concepts. They are better defined as pseudoscience since they have absolutely no scientific basis whatsoever, mainstream or otherwise. My apologies for my short-sightedness in that regard. Can we also agree, however, that some Transhumanist concepts are in fact not fringe science? Consider that implant technology is widely accepted in some medical procedures. These technologies could easily be defined as being in line with the philosophic underpinnings of the topic. artificial heart, just to name an example to help illustrate my point. (talk) 16:30, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Apology accepted. That being said, there is nothing uniquely transhumanistic about implants or artificial hearts nor is it a main interest of transhumanists. --Loremaster (talk) 16:33, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
With that in mind I've placed the Gaia Hypothesis in the fringe science category as well. There are a wealth of Gaia supporters who put forth ideas which clearly depart from mainstream accepted science and are highly speculative. If your reasoning holds any merit whatsoever then this edit is something we can both agree on, no? (talk) 16:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that gaia hyopthesis (or at least some versions of it) are fringe science so I wouldn't be opposed to such an edit. --Loremaster (talk) 16:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

If no one has played this game I recommend you do. A Rogue AI named cabal threatens to enslave the human race and turn them all into mindless cyborgs. Thats something to think about before pursuing this crazy idea.

This talk page is only for discussing improvements to the Transhumanism article. It should NOT be used to promote a game nor criticize the idea of transhumanism itself. --Loremaster (talk) 19:07, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I am not trying to advertise anything. People meed to understand the dangers of cyborgs along with all the technology in development. people would always need to keep battery packs with them as opposed to eating since they would be half machine, it could be possible for someone/something to take control of the cyborgs such as what Cabal did in Tiberium Sun, ansd what of newborn babies, would they take them apart and make them half machine from the moment they are born? This is nothing more than mad science. Also I'd like to say THIS WOULD NOT BE EVOLUTION since it would be man triggered instead of by nature and would be merging with machines not DNA changing to adapt. Pyrolord777 (talk) 07:08, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
What Loremaster is trying to say, in his (what appears to be usual) belligerent, ill-mannered way, is that this page isn't here to debate the subject at hand. There's a lot of sites for that kind of thing, forums and blogs and suchlike. On the other hand, if you have a particular issue with some of the content, and you can back it up (that's the important bit), then this is the perfect place to lay it out. By 'back it up' we mean provide a reputable, verifiable source. Unfortunately a game, no matter how compelling, doesn't count any more than a cartoon or science fiction book might count. Hope that helps. Wrayth (talk) 11:46, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm simply repeating matter-of-factly the first guideline that is at very top of this page. Although I always try to be polite, assume good faith, avoid personal attacks, and be welcoming, I have been, am, and will be curt with people who jump on soapboxes to try to push a pro-transhumanist or anti-transhumanist biased POV into this article, and I make no apologies. If you don't like it, feel free to report me and see where that gets you. --Loremaster (talk) 15:21, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Hey, I empathise. Dealing with people can be a frighteningly painful grind a lot of the time, especially when they feel strongly about something. However, we do need to remember that we are dealing with people, real ones with feelings and emotions and all of that. A little careful phrasing and a spoonful of sugar does tend to help more than a blunt resummation of the facts. Don't forget that the tone in text tends to be subject to interpretation, and people can assume the worst. Also, while the subject is raised, I'd like to remind you that 'Disagrees with Loremaster' is not the same as 'Pushes a biased POV'. Despite the huge amount of greatly appreciated work you've put into this article, it doesn't make you either neutral or the ultimate authority, and as your fellow contributors have pointed out you do stray into the side of skepticism a little, in the tone of your otherwise excellent writing rather than the content. Again, before your hackles rise and you get all rude and disdainful, I'm trying to help... I'd hate to see another excellent editor add more bitter detractors in avoidable wranglings. Wrayth (talk) 09:12, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Putting aside the fact that someone arguing that transhumanism is a “crazy idea” because of the insight of a video game is obviously trying to push a poorly-informed biased POV, regardless of whether he agrees with me or not; Wrayth, I am politely asking you to stop wasting your time. I have better things to do than listening to lectures that don't tell me anything I don't already know. I'll express myself the way I think is most effective to get the blunt message I intentionally want to get across and that's the bottom line. --Loremaster (talk) 12:58, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Have both of you seen this user's talk page? This user seems to have a history of making unsubstantiated edits or making offensive comments that get deleted. I don't know if Loremaster was considering that when he made his comment, which was not "belligerent" even if it was short. In another setting it would likely have been brusque but in this case seems justified, provided the original comment was even worth a response. —Othniel Kenaz 15:37, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out, Othniel Kenaz. --Loremaster (talk) 15:59, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
My apologies; it was not my intention to lecture, as a review of my comments in a different mood suggested I was doing. I simply seek to collaborate, both in the approach as well as the content :) I'd also like to state for the record that, despite my poor choice of comment placement, I do not regard Pyrolord777 as in any way providing a neutral (or even entirely coherent) POV. Wrayth (talk) 14:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

The only reason my talk page is like that is wikipedia is made up up of snobs if they don't agree with me (like you are doing), or just because a major company didn't post it then it gets marked as spam and deleted which is 100% bull and makes every encyclopedia better than wiki because wikipedia is whats bias, not me. I have lots of proof TQ is greedy and only cares about making money but since it was not published or mentioned by a major company they keep deleting it, I have proof that Phillip Garrido will keep raping if he gets out of jail yet they just delete it once again with their snoby remarks they don't even care about the lives hes ruined only about their "standards". The point is cyborgs will be a bad thing no matter how you look at it and yet people like you just try to delete or hide my comments simply because they don't agree with me then falsely label it as soapboxing and other crap. The way I see it if their not gonna add the whole truth then they should not add any information at all. Also only my first lined mentioned that but theres no denying that could one day happen in real life. Also this IS mad science just like being Frankenstein to life would be labeled mad science(even though its currently fiction the concept still applies). Pyrolord777 (talk) 12:53, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

As I said before, this talk page is only for discussing improvements to the Transhumanism article. This is not the place to discuss your (simplistic) opinion on whether or not you think transhumanism is “mad science”. Furthermore, the Criticism section already echoes some elements of your “critique” so you are not telling us anything new. So either discuss substantive contributions to the article you want to make or leave this talk page alone. --Loremaster (talk) 13:06, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
To add to Loremaster's comments... Pyro, the truth is not what we decide it is. We (including you) are but simple folk who have only one goal here... we gather the fruit of greater minds and bring it to one place for others to consume. Unfortunately, the moment you contribute to Wikipedia, you agree that you are not one of those greater minds. This agreement prevents bias, which is an evil thing in an encyclopedia. This means that should you wish to add any of the points you have listed to any of the pages in Wikipedia, you need to back them up. The only way to back up a claim is by referencing a reputable source for the information. Reputable means someone respected within the relevant community. Concepts like qualifications, peer reviews and accountability are useful here. Wikipedia explains this more fully here: Please try to read and understand it... it'll save you a lot of pain. Wrayth (talk) 14:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Body Modification

Under 'Practice', I see it mentions that Transhumanists are proponents of 'Body modification'. The link to body modification leads to a page describing it as, as best I can interpret, the modification of the form for primarily aesthetic reasons. Are there any citations to support this association? Can't say it's a tangent I've seen much reference to in the materials I've browsed. The next citation appears to be some kind of dietary work relating to longevity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wrayth (talkcontribs) 15:21, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Putting aside the fact that the uncomprehensiveness of the Wikipedia article on body modification should not be used to determine whether or not the use of the term “body modification” in the Transhumanism article is appropriate, there are many citations that support this association. However, I will provide you with the following two.

1. Body modificationist Shannon Larratt wrote for BMEzine:

A small, but significant, minority in the body modification community sees body modification as the first steps in transhumanism. The connection is easy to see: in casting off the genetically-mandated exterior form of a standard human, we are breaking our minds of the belief that a human must look a certain way. Once the body of a human is modifiable for aesthetic reasons not tied to spirituality or tradition, it is possible to begin to modify that body in hopes of improving it.
Beyond the abstract connection, there are very concrete connections. The aspect of transhumanism generally seen as most immediately viable is the the merging man and machine — indeed, it is so widely seen as viable, that dozens of major Hollywood films have been made about it, and the word "cyborg" is a household word. The most immediately visible way of merging man and machine is to simply implant useful machines into the human body."

2. Transhumanist George Dvorsky wrote in his Sentient Developments blog post entitled Future human forms:

Our relationship with our bodies is about to change dramatically. The two major factors driving this change are 1) greater control over our morphology and its processes, and 2) the potential for the extended mind.
What this means is that our bodies are about to become our canvases. Given that human cognition may be supplemented by external devices, and given the potential for living in virtual environments, the body will become less and less important from a purely functional perspective. Supplementing this is increased control over its physical and functional characteristics. Consequently, we'll be able to modify the body based on both utilitarian and non-utilitarian imperatives.
From a functional perspective, the potential for genetic, cybernetic and nano augmentation is significant. Enhancements to existing traits are a given, but so will be the advent of new characteristics, like different senses and capabilities altogether (whether they be physical or cognitive). How this will change bodily morphology is anybody's guess, but I'm certain it won't be subtle.
When it comes to non-utilitarian modifications, there are a number of potential avenues. One idea is the "perfection" of the human body, which is an idea explored by Natasha Vita-More (and to a lesser degree by pop icons like Michael Jackson, Cher, David Bowie, etc). Others alter or utilize their bodies to make artistic statements, like Orlan or Stelarc. And still others are interested in non-conformism and self-actualization, which leads to radical body modification in the form of tattoos, piercings, gender change, etc. I also know of a person who suffers from a kind of bodily dysmorphia where she believes that she is a cybernetic creature born into a biological body; she feels "wrong" much like a transgendered person feels like they're in the wrong body, and she eagerly awaits the opportunity to become a mechanical/synthetic being. Some prospective body modifiers speculate about transgenic modifications (horns, tails, glow-in-the-dark skin and hair, etc). Others want to become another organism altogether (i.e. dolphins).
What's unknown at this point is how much of this will/can be done in the real world, and how much of this can be achieved virtually in the form of simulations and/or online avatars.
Taken further, body modification and transhumanism will ultimately result in human speciation. Different people will follow different paths, all converging from a common human ancestry. Writer Greg Egan speculates about this in his book Diaspora, which involves posthumans of different sorts: genetically modified surface dwellers, uploaded minds living in supercomputers, cyborgs, deliberately devolved primitive hominids, and so on. I believe Egan is largely correct.
As for modifications that are about achieving "cosmic beauty," you could be right, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Ultimately, like you suggest, the human form may be radically rejected altogether and the future person will barely resemble a biological species. Transhumanism is for many a means to become postbiological.

I hope that helps. --Loremaster (talk) 19:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Your cites are inarguable, although I would suggest the latter more than the former :) Thank you. Wrayth (talk) 13:55, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome. --Loremaster (talk) 16:48, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Generalizations and stereotypes

I feel that parts of this article make some statements that are generalizations and stereotypes. These comments should be removed or moved to a "controversy" page unless more or better citations can be provided and, at the very least, should be reserved for their own section rather than mixed throughout the body of the article. I've only noticed a couple such comments so far, but there could easily be more. Here are the examples I noticed:

[Transhumanists] are for the most part atheists.

The majority of transhumanists are materialists who do not believe in a transcendent human soul.

--Squingynaut (talk) 18:54, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Putting aside the fact that generalizations and stereotypes are sometimes true, it is widely known that a majority of transhumanists are atheists and materialists who do not believe in a transcendent human soul. Furthemore, the World Transhumanist Association's survey of political and religious beliefs of transhumanists confirms this uncontroversial fact. Contact any prominent transhumanist and he or she will glady confirm it as well. That being said, I've improved the two statements you gave as examples in order for them to better reflect what the source actually reports and I've provided a missing source for the second statement. Question: Are you bothered by theses statements because you are a transhumanist who isn't an atheist? --Loremaster (talk) 19:15, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Hey, thanks Loremaster. I actually think the changes you made are an improvement. As you noted, the first revision now better reflects the first reference and the second, I felt, deserved a citation at least. While I didn't feel that the statements were untrue before the revisions, they seem a bit more justified now.
I guess what I really feel is missing in this article is why these statements are true as opposed to just statements with citations as this may take the statements out of context for some readers. Perhaps something along the lines of, "...because many prominent religions believe that transhumanism goes against the beliefs in intelligent design and, therefore, transhumanism is an inherently heretical concept. Thus, transhumanism and religion often come into conflict." However, this could end up requiring more citations and writing than may be reasonable.
In answer to your question, I consider myself more of an agnostic (yes, I know, an atheist with no balls). If I'm taking these statements personally at all, it's because I feel that, if non-secular audiences were to read this article, it may make readers unnecessarily unsympathetic to the concept of transhumanism. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this as all of your contributions to this article have been great and I hope you keep up the excellent work! --Squingynaut (talk) 19:31, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
As you explained yourself, we need citations to support any claim as to why transhumanists believe or do something otherwise we are engaging in orignal research which is unacceptable in a good Wikipedia article. As for the notion that a statement might make readers unnecessarily unsympathetic to the concept of transhumanism, you need to understand that it isn't the goal of this article to make transhumanism sympathetic. We must report facts and opinions about transhumanism as reported by reliable sources regarless of whether or not it makes people unnecessarily unsympathetic to the concept. --Loremaster (talk) 20:58, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Lead section and Max More

User:Harold Lockworth has repeatedly tried to (crudely) include a quote from Max More in the lead section of the Transhumanism article to hammer the point that modern Transhumanism was first articulated by More. I've reverted these edits because I think the lead section should remain a brief overview of the movement and that such details should be left to the History section. However, I have included a brief mention of More in the lead as a compromise. --Loremaster (talk) 23:53, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Transhumanism - Accuracy in Reporting Information

User:Loremaster, to be an effective editor, needs to take a pause before he removes the contributions of other editors. For example, Loremaster has repeatedly removed the proper attention and credit to Dr. More from this article. Dr. More did author the philosophy and worldview of transhumanism. This is a fact. Even Humanity+ is now crediting Dr. More as the "father" of modern transhumanism. Your compromise is not accurate for the following reasons:

  1. Dr. More is not from the United States. He is from the UK.
  2. Dr. More did not call himself a "futurist". He called himself a transhumanist.
  3. Dr. More was not part of the "futurists" of Los Angeles. He was at USC on a fellowship writing his dissertation on identity, which forms a core theme of transhumanism.
  4. You keep putting in references to Dr. Bostrom, who came after Dr. More by 10 years. Dr. Bostrom did not write the philosophy of transhumanism. He made contributions to areas that were already being discussed. These contributions are valuable, but it is very strange that you are placing them above Dr. More.

I also see that Dr. Miah is now added to the paragraph on transhumanism. Miah is very new to transhumanism, but his work is related. But why add Dr. Miah and leave out Ms. Vita-More whose work was recognized prior to Dr. Miah. She wrote the original paper on transhumans becoming posthumans and is recognized for the conception of Primo Posthuman, which had been featured on this article until someone – perhaps you? – removed it. Ms. Vita-More is more knowledgeable than Dr. Miah and Dr. Bostrom on human enhancement. Nevertheless, Miah and Bostrom have written books but this should not be valued over the works of Vita-More who worked in this area for 20 years. Her credibility is known and documented in many books, magazines and documentaries. I don't know why you are attempting to push your favorite transhumanists: Hughes, Bostrom and now Miah, but it is in opposition to the value and good name of Wikipedia. --Harold Lockworth —Preceding undated comment added 18:21, 7 December 2010 (UTC).


  1. To be an effective contributor to this article, you should take the time to read all the notices at the top of this talk page. One of them clearly states that the “subject of this article is controversial and content may be in dispute. Please discuss substantial changes here before making them, supplying full citations when adding information”.
  2. Although one could argue that FM-2030 was the grand-father of modern transhumanism, you are right that Max More is the father of modern transhumanism and that his importance should be highlited in the lead. Therefore, I will tweak the lead section accordingly. However, I do not think that we should include a quote from his essay in the lead since this section should remain a general overview of the subject of that article.
  3. The article never suggested that the first transhumanists were FROM the United States. It only suggested that they were IN the United States when they began to organize their movement. Although More is not from the United States, he had moved to the United States when he began to promote transhumanism.
  4. More does in fact call himself a futurist as well as a transhumanist (see the Max More article). A person can obviously be both a futurist and a transhumanist. Most people were futurists or were interested in futurism before they became transhumanists. Lastly, More himself described transhumanism as a “futurist philosophy”!
  5. The lead section never describes the futurists as being from or in Los Angeles. It is therefore inclusive of all futurists in the United States.
  6. I didn't keep putting in references to Dr. Bostrom. Those references were put in years ago by several editors including me. Futhermore, the reason why we referenced Bostrom is only because he wrote a history of transhumanism which is obviously useful when summarizing the history of transhumanism. However, if More has written an essay about the history of transhumanism (as opposed to speculating that humanity is currently in a transitory period towards a posthuman future), it will be my pleasure to reference his work as well. That being said, in the interest of neutrality, it would better if we could reference essays on the history of transhumanism written by mainstream scholars and journalists who are not transhumanists, such as Brian Alexander's Rapture: How Biotech Became The New Religion.
  7. Miah's essay was first referenced in the lead section many months or years ago. Like Bostrom's, Miah's work is useful not because it is superior to More's but only because it is very relevant and slightly more neutral source when writing a history of transhumanism.
  8. Hughes, Bostrom and Miah are not my favorite transhumanists. It is simply that their books and essays are more comprenhensive and useful as references.
  9. Although I am aware that Natasha Vita-More and many transhumanists would like to re-write this article for a variety of reasons (ranging from emphasizing their personal contributions to the transhumanist movement to deleting all criticisms of transhumanism from the article), Vita-More has read this article and praised it for its accuracy in the past and the historical content of the article hasn't changed much since then.

--Loremaster (talk) 22:30, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Harold Lockworth's comments on the Transhuman

There is no dispute. The FAQ you are referring to was not an accurate body of work. There several Transhumanist FAQs, and all must be referenced if we use any one of them. The term transhuman is not transhumanism. Why add Esfandiary to this section? He had nothing to do with transhumanism as a philosophy or social movement. I suggest that we use Max More as the author of modern transhumanism and not refer to what you think could have been accurate because we do not know that for a fact. We do know for a fact that Max More authored the philosophy, as he so states in numerous papers.

Another point is that you keep promoting Nick Bostrom. He came to transhumanism many years later. Andy Miah is very new to the movement. And James Hughes is referred as well. Why not reference the actual founders of transhumanism? Max More, Natasha vita-More and Anders Sandberg need to be referenced more. There seems to be a direct correlation between Bostrom, Hughes and Miah and IEET. This may not be a problem, but we need to accurately write about transhumanism and reference those whose writings are reliable. I suggest we include Max More and Natasha Vita-More in the sections where their ideas and writings will be helpful to readers and can be used as primary sources, rather than so many secondary sources listed in this article. Harold Lockworth (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:47, 14 January 2011 (UTC).

Everyone reading Harold Lockworth's comments should know the question I raised about the etymology of the term “transhuman” has nothing to do with whether or not this term should be mentioned in the lead section of the Transhumanism article. That being said, I will respond point by point to his comments:
  1. Although there are several Transhumanist FAQs, some are more notable than others so it is wrong to suggest that all must be referenced. Furthemore, Max More and Natasha Vita-More contributed to the drafting of, and have approved, the FAQ of the WTA/Humanity+.
  2. Every transhumanist thinker I have read argues that the terms “transhuman” and “transhumanism” refer to two different yet closely related concepts.
  3. Many sources (especially Natasha Vita-More herself) state that FM-2030's thoughts on the “transhuman” laid the intellectual groundwork for transhumanism to be later articuled into an ideology by Max More. He is therefore considered an early transhumanist. So on what basis do you argue that this isn't true?
  4. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth — what counts is whether readers can verify that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors (such as you or me) think it is true. Therefore, if a reliable source more or less suggests that FM-2030's thoughts on the “transhuman” laid the intellectual groundwork for transhumanism to be later articuled into an ideology by Max More, the Wikipedia article on transhumanism should report this.
  5. As I explained to you in a previous conversation that has been archived, this article doesn't “promote” Nick Bostrom, Andy Miah or James Hughes. Whether or not someone is an early pioneer or a late-comer to transhumanism is irrelevant when comes to appropriately referencing content. The reason why we reference Bostrom, Miah and Hughes is only because they have written second-party accounts of the history of transhumanism which is obviously useful when summarizing the history of transhumanism. Articulating the principles of an ideology and writing an relatively objective history of that ideology is not the same thing.
  6. In the interest of objectivity, Wikipedia guidelines considers second-party or, better yet, third-party sources as the most reliable sources. For example, it should be obvious that although a new religious movement leader's own writings on the history of the new religious movement he started is useful, we would only trust a journalist's or, better yet, a scholar's writings on the history of this movement to determine the truth since the movement leader has an interest in embellishing or even falsifying his account of this history to make himself look good. On the hand, the first writings of a new religious movement leader can sometimes be ignorant of all prercusors to his movement so only late-comers to the movement can write about both the leader's work and his precursors with better hindsight. Therefore, rather than relying on the writings of Max More and Natasha Vita-More or those of Bostrom, Miah and Hughes, it would better if we could reference essays on the history of transhumanism written by notable mainstream scholars and journalists who are not transhumanists.
  7. Putting aside the fact it is better to a summarize/paraphrase a source than quote it, the main contributors to the Wikipedia article on Transhumanism (including me) never felt and still don't feel that this article needs to quote More and Vita-More's writings in order to be comprehensive. The article is long enough as it is. If people want to read More and Vita-More's writings, they can easily do so elsewhere online.
  8. Your comments beg the question of whether or not you are familiar with Wikipedia's three core content policies: "Neutral point of view", "Verifiability", and "No original research". If you don't know how to identify reliable sources, I suggest you famaliarize yourself now.
--Loremaster (talk) 03:27, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

About Harold Lockworth's recent edits

Putting aside that Lockworth's edits are often awkwardly-phrased and filled with small mistakes, I've reverted his 14 January 2011 edits to the Transhumanism for the following reasons:

  1. On his talk page, I asked him to please discuss his objection to my edits on the Talk:Transhumanim page instead of just restoring his edits and triggering a needless edit war between us. He refused.
  2. He deleted important and sourced content about FM-2030 from the lead section of the article.
  3. He hasn't cited a reliable source to support the claim that “Although the first known use of the term dates back to Dante Alighieri in 1312, it was later mentioned in science around 1957”. even if he has a source, I think such details should be left out of the lead section and be only found in the History section of the article. (Someone will correct me if I am wrong but Alighieri coined and used the term “transhumanar” but not “transhumanism”)
  4. He wants or wanted to emphasize the role of the Extropy Institute (which no longer exists) in building the transhumanist movement when I think such details should be left out of the lead section and be only found in the History section of the article. If we start mentioning EI we will have to start mentioning other organizations especially the World Transhumanist Association.

--Loremaster (talk) 07:58, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Since reverting Lockworth's edits, I have made some minor improvements to the second paragraph of the lead section of the article. --Loremaster (talk) 09:34, 15 January 2011 (UTC)


Loremaster, you have written a lot on this article and while you are skilled in the formatting for the article, you are not as skilled in your knowledge about transhumanism, objective or otherwise. FM Esfandiary was not a transhumanist. He was a transhuman. Max More authored the philosophy. Natasha Vita-More is the first transhumanist to write about posthumans and posthuman bodies in the context of transhumanism (Primo Posthuman 1999). These individuals must be credited for their writings and contributions. Bostrom has too many citations and he did not author transhumanism nor was he the first author to write about posthumans. It is silly to add Miah to this article. You cannot keep changing it for your own benefit, whatever that is ...

It is not responsible to disallow other editors to provide viable information to provide an accurate article. Please be cooperative and work with me to provide reliable information. This is the right thing to do.

Harold Lockworth (talk) 00:37, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

  1. Learn some netiquette: When you write in capital letters, it gives the impression you are screaming, which is obviously rude. So please avoid doing that unless you actually want to give that bad impression.
  2. As I told you a few times before, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth — what counts is whether readers can verify that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors (such as you or me) think it is The Truth or “historically accurate”.
  3. Max More, Natasha Vita-More, Nick Bostrom and James Hughes all consider FM-2030 a transhumanist or, at the very least, a proto-transhumanist. If you don't believe me, I recommend you write them all an email and ask them yourself. That being said, we have a reliable source (Bostrom's essay: A history of transhumanist thought which you obviously haven't read) that explicity describes FM-2030 as “early transhumanist”. Find me a reliable source that says FM-2030 was not a transhumanist and then we will talk.
  4. Even if it hasn't and probably will never be done to your satisfaction, both Max More and Natasha-Vita are credited for their contribution to the developement of transhumanism in this article.
  5. As I explained to you many times before, the issue of whether or not someone is a pioneer of transhumanism or a late-comer to movement is IRRELEVANT when trying to determine whether or not a source is appropriate to support an objective statement about the history of transhumanism. Both Bostrom and Miah have written histories of transhumanism in which they discuss the role of Max More in developing transhumanism. Wikipedia guidelines prefer second-party sources like Bostrom and Miah to first-party sources like Max More. So it's silly for us to even have an argument about this!
  6. Since everyone including you can can that see some but not all of your suggestions have been included in the lead section of the article, I welcome the contributions of new editors and I'm willing to collaborate with them as long as they are familiar with Wikipedia policies/guidelines and able to compromise. Sadly, you don't seem to be one of them...
--Loremaster (talk) 16:16, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

The Futurist on transhumanism and Max More

Although David Gelles's 2009 piece for The Futurist entitled Immortality 2.0: a silicon valley insider looks at California's Transhumanist movement. has a history of the term “transhumanism” that goes from Julian Huxley to Robert Ettinger to Max More (ignoring FM-2030), the piece does puts Max More's role in the history transhumanism in a proper context that undermines Harold Lockworth's central argument:

When I asked one follower where transhumanism got its name, he directed me to the writings of British biologist Julian Huxley, brother of Brave New World author Aldous.
Julian Huxley, a biologist working in the wake of Darwin, was an optimist of the highest order. He founded the World Wildlife Fund and was the first director-general of UNESCO. In a secular manifesto from 1927, he coined a term for what he hoped would be a new age of enlightenment: "transhumanism--man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature." It was an inspired, if imprecise, vision, and it went ignored for 60 years. Human nature hasn't changed much since then.
Years later, just after World War II and long after Julian Huxley's coinage sank into oblivion, Silicon Valley, a region of mostly cherry orchards at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, was emerging as the U.S. technology center. Talent from the area's military industry and Stanford University was giving rise to the modern computer industry and the most innovative community of inventors, entrepreneurs, and engineers of the twentieth century.
As the cherry orchards south of San Francisco were uprooted and replaced with Silicon Valley, Robert Ettinger, a World War II veteran wounded in Germany, was looking to channel his dissatisfaction with the human body into something radical. Ettinger became a physics professor and devised America's first science experiment with immortality: cryonics. In The Prospect of Immortality, published in 1962, Ettinger suggested that, if a body were frozen shortly after death, future technologies would be able to revive the recently deceased.
There are fewer than 200 frozen cadavers in storage today, most of them at the Scottsdale-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation. In recent years, however, the membership rolls of Alcor have been rising (today more than 800 members are signed up to be frozen in the future), thanks in large part to a surge in membership from Silicon Valley. At every transhumanist gathering in the area, one notices dozens of men and women wearing silver pendants around their wrists--Alcor bracelets, each engraved with a number to call in the event of death and instructions to put the deceased in a bathtub of ice ASAP.
Among transhumanists, Ettinger is celebrated not only for inventing cryonics, but also for penning Man Into Superman: After Immortality ... Comes Transhumanity, a 1972 tract that reinserted transhumanism into the lexicon. In it, Ettinger suggested that, instead of relying on cryonics to revive the dead, forthcoming technologies might make death obsolete. Ettinger's book didn't start a revolution. Nonetheless, he gained a sufficiently robust following that the word "transhumanism" stuck around. It was bandied about here and there for a decade, and finally received a proper hearing in the early 1980s, in Los Angeles.
It was at this point an eccentric, red-haired Englishman named Max O'Connor immigrated to America and changed his last name to More ("a constant reminder to keep moving forward"). More, an Oxford-educated philosopher, settled in Los Angeles and set about starting a movement. He coined the term extropy. The opposite of entropy (which More defined as the tendency for moving objects to slow down), extropy was the tendency for things to speed up. Things like technology. Indeed, Max More's extropy was a lot like Gordon Moore's law.
More founded the Extropy Institute to promote his idea. Institute conferences in the Bay Area attracted hundreds. In 1990, More picked up on Ettinger and wrote an essay titled "Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy." He published Extropy: The journal of Transhumanist Thought. Soon after, his Extropians began calling themselves transhumanists.
The journal, and eventually the Extropy Institute's e-mail Listserv, became salons for the exchange of futuristic ideas. More's followers were online before most people had heard of the Internet. They were also signing up to be frozen with Alcor. The future looked good.
"Early on, transhumanism was very biased towards the positive," More, 43, said from his home in Austin, Texas, where he now lives. "It was focused on the benefits of new technology. That was very important back then, because no one was taking these ideas very seriously."
With the Extropy Institute, More gave the futurists in Silicon Valley something to rally around. He gave their work a meaning greater than new products and greater profits. By attaching moral priorities--like living forever--to technological progress, More gave transhumanists a shared dream they could support.
But the Extropy Institute did not speed up. It lost momentum. As the Internet went mainstream, counter-culture gave way to pop culture. Futurism gave way to materialism. As start-up parties raged, participation in the Extropy Institute waned. Discouraged by the demise of the movement's original optimism, More distanced himself from transhumanism. The Extropy Institute went into hibernation, finally closing its doors around the time the Internet bubble burst.
By this point, however, trans-humanism was beyond More's control. A loose-knit group kept the discussions going in chat rooms and on blogs. Some were interested in cryonics. Many promoted the fusion of man and machine. Still others envisioned post-national Utopias. More was the charismatic leader who rallied disparate futurists to a common cause, but he was not essential to his own movement. Today, trans-humanism lives on, mutating in the minds of its adherents.

--Loremaster (talk) 03:38, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Dispute over lead

I reverted User:Polyesterthought's 25 September 2011 good-faith edit of the article [5] which added significant content to the last paragraph of the lead section of the article without it being discussed. However, User:SamuelRiv has twice restored this disputed content despite my objections. So, for the record, I am strongly opposed to this new content because of the following reasons:

  1. As the one of the disclaimers at the top of the Talk:Transhumanism page warns, Transhumanism is a controversial subject therefore we ask potential contributors to discuss substantial changes on this talk page before making them to avoid a needless edit war.
  2. Despite some occasional improvements, the current version of the lead section is the product of compromises between the primary contributors to the Transhumanism article, which contibuted to this article achieving Featured Article status and has had consensus for years ever since. This is another reason why potential contributors should discuss substantial changes on this talk page before making them.
  3. The lead section of the article is an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important aspects. It is therefore not the place to add new content that has not been vetted by other contributors and integrated in the body of the article, and determined to be important enough to be mentioned in the lead section.
  4. Although I recognize that Christopher Dewdney is a notable writer, his book Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era is a reliable source and his opinion is relevant to the subject of the article, it is inappropriate to give this writer and his opinion so much weight and space in the lead section.
  5. Fukuyama and Bailey have both gotten far more mainstream media attention for their respective critique and defense of transhumanism than Dewdney's opinion.
  6. Polyesterthought's writing/editing doesn't respect some style guidelines.
  7. I am not obligated to preserve and move content that I dispute rather than delete it. It is up to Polyesterthought to engage in debate and either defend his initial edit or suggest a better location within the article for the content he wants to add.
--Loremaster (talk) 00:27, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
If you don't want it in the lead, then move it. Summarily deleting a chunk of sourced, relevant text from a freshman editor with the comment "discuss major changes on talk page before making them" not only runs contrary to the spirit and intent of this project, but reeks of WP:Bite and (no-offense-meant). Basically, I am standing up for an editor who is new and either doesn't know how or doesn't want to waste time defending an edit, and while you are not obliged to move stuff around, you are obliged to be constructive, especially with content you yourself have said is useful. SamuelRiv (talk) 22:49, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
As I said already and as you pointed out, I am not obligated to move content that I dispute and, in my edit summary, I invited Polyesterthought to discuss substantial changes on the talk page before making them to find the best way to integrate some of this content (especially since I'm not sure where we could integrate it even if I think it is relevant). If I wasn't acting in a good faith, I wouldn't have even bothered including this invitation in my edit summary. Furthermore, we ask potential contributors to articles on controversial subjects to discuss substantial changes on the talk page of these articles before making them to avoid edit wars that plagued these articles in the past otherwise the disclaimer (at the top of this talk page) would never have been created, approved and used by the Wikipedia community. Lastly, although I usually use the word “please” to soften my comment, the notion that I was biting or being a dick is not only ridiculous but nothing more than a product of your over-defensive mind. In other words, no one asked you to be a “knight in shinning armor” so relax. --Loremaster (talk) 02:25, 30 September 2011 (UTC)