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R.U. Sirius Co-Authors New Book On Transhumanism 76

An anonymous reader writes "I've never been able to work up a fear of the robot apocalypse," admits R.U. Sirius, who more than 20 years after Mondo 2000's original guide to geek culture has again collaborated on a new encyclopedia of emerging technologies. As we progress to a world where technology actually becomes invisible, he argues that "everything about how we will define the future is still in play," suggesting that the transhumanist movement is "a good way to take isolated radical tech developments and bundle them together". While his co-author argues transhumanists "like to solve everything," Sirius points out a much bigger concern is a future of technologies dominated by the government or big capital.
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R.U. Sirius Co-Authors New Book On Transhumanism

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  • That mistook the headline's mention of RU Sirius for Yahoo Serious? Same era, same stupid sounding name, same flash in the pan. I wonder if they were separated at birth
  • I was just a small kid, but back then they called it an acid trip.

    I think I'll wait until H++14 is fully supported before upgrading myself.

  • Come on, even Playboy has a nice cover. Let's see a chapter list and a summary of one of the ideas.
  • Want to know more about the new book by R. U. Sirius? Read our review, co-authored by I. Kannt and B. Lievtis...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Goffman is a huckster and charlatan, why is anyone still paying attention to this enemy of relevance ?

    Kenny Boy Goffman has been the self appointed Court Jester to the psychedelic and transhumanist communities for far too many years. In reality, neither camp has anything in common and Kenny does great damage with his hucksterism and nonsensical gibberish. This crusty old hippy and now goofy shill for techno-fascism needs to shut up for once and for all. He damages what little remains of the potential for a

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      As someone strongly critical of the "transhuman" religion I find the "Amor Mundi" blog equally misguided and void of any with or insight.
      One example: we have an increasing amount of real world AI capable of real world tasks - that includes self driving cars and (projects for) autonomous UAE. Yes, that's weak AI - not the (idea of) strong AI the singularity people worship. But it's AI.
      And still Mr. Carrico claims one shouldn't be afraid of algorithms - but any sane person should!

    • Wow, that's quite a rant, dude.

      his boosterism for the truly evil transhumanist technocrats who oppose democracy and who cheer-lead for general mechanization and dehumanization

      OK, I just read the two linked interviews, and I'm just not seeing this. At all. Neither of the authors seem to be cheerleading for evil and dehumanization. They both seem to be fairly positive about transhumanism, but mention flaws and potential downsides. I am acquainted with R.U., and he's not at all a "technocrat," and that comes through in those two interviews.

    • In particular he more than makes the case that the bones of "transhumanism" are in fact : fascist, plutocratic elitist, sexist, racist and overwhelmingly adolescent

      Maybe it's just me, but whenever I hear anyone or anything called "fascist," sexist," and "racist" all at once, I think it tells me more about the person using those words than it does about whatever they are talking about.

  • by Jay.Cornell ( 4000149 ) on Saturday January 31, 2015 @10:08PM (#48949631)

    I am the co-author of this book (and disappointingly unnamed in this discussion), so I thought I would register and reply to a few points.

    Just as reporters often don’t get to write the headlines for their stories, authors don’t always have final say about the titles of their books. Our working title was “The User’s Guide to Transhumanism,” which I think would have been a little more on-point. The word “encyclopedia” notwithstanding, we couldn’t cover everything, certainly not in any depth, in the number of words we had to work with. However, contrary to a post above, we do have an entry on Cosmism. Since the entries are alphabetical, I don’t know how the commenter missed it.

    We tried hard to be objective. While we are both largely supportive of transhumanism, neither of us are starry-eyed “believers,” and I think the book (and even the interviews linked in the story) make that clear. We at least mention the criticisms and potential downsides of transhumanism, and in fact there’s a relatively lengthy entry called “Criticisms of Transhumanism” which is online.

    Unfortunately there is an "Anonymous Coward" trolling this discussion, making a lot of wild and baseless charges. I’ve known R.U. for nearly 30 years, and it’s completely absurd to call him “fascist"/"sexist"/"racist"/"elitist"/"technocratic" by any normal meanings of those terms. I’d describe him as somewhere on the left on many issues, but he’s hard to pigeonhole politically. I would never consider him a dogmatist or even much of a joiner. (For the record, I’m a sort of impure libertarian who tries to take a somewhat distant and objective view of politics, and is often more willing to compromise with the left or right than a libertarian is “supposed to.”)

    Whatever Peter Thiel funds, sadly, he’s not funding me or R.U. We could use some of that money. The Anonymous Coward is seeing conspiracies where none exist (as far as I know, at least). Transhumanism is a large, diverse thing, with many political and personal divisions and factions. Some people in it one could fairly call “right-wing” or “neo-reactionary,” but there are also many who could be fairly called “left-wing” or “socialist.” Labeling all advocates of transhumanism as "fascist" or "technocratic" is simply ignorant.

    It's self-interested of me to say this, but I would recommend that people buy and read the book, and make up your own mind. We think it will be entertaining and informative for people interested in transhumanism, or in the future in general. If you think we've made an error or left something out, contact us through our website [transcendencethebook.net] and we'll fix it in the next edition (which we hope will happen). In any case, please don't jump to conclusions based on anonymous mud-slinging.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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