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🎨 Creative Anti-transhumanism as a viable faction?

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
Objects in motion or with moving parts. are always more difficult to maintain. No exceptions. Even if it's having the whole structure spinning in no gravity, and that's not as easy as it sounds, that complicates everything about it interacting with things not on the structure. And again it's things you can deal with, it's just added pain in the neck.

Same thing with the investment in making it as easy to do as you could on the ground. That's new things to maintain.
In freefall, 'objects in motion' is not a meaningful distinction. Not-spinning is a state that requires maintenance just as much as spinning is. (Moving parts, of course, is a valid distinction.) Having the whole object spinning is dead easy - it'll happen by accident. Having it spinning on the desired axis and keeping it that way is, of course, a bit of a different story - but so is keeping a non-spinning structure from starting to tumble in interesting ways.

Capital does add maintenance. In extreme cases, though, it takes away more than it adds. Having a cooled atmosphere in your work chamber is probably cheaper than, as was suggested, having every device directly connected to exterior radiators. Having your workshop inside micrometeorite shielding is way cheaper than having hardware (and workers) randomly fragged by space gravel. This isn't a controversial notion - it's not like factories on Earth are commonly a bunch of machine tools sitting in an open yard, each one plugged into a portable generator.
 

Xander

Registered User
Validated User
What sort of life do anti/non-transhumanists live?

If humans are living to 200 years old with high standards of living, education, and personal freedoms like in The Federation, transhumanism may not be such as popular option.

If baseline humans are eating rats in the cellar of a hellforge, then they may not be so keen on transhuman overlords.

I could see transhumans as the keepers of a cleaned-up Earth as a paradise - but it is by intent a little dull. The most ambitious humans are meant to go to space to trade and explore, fight wars, etc. to keep humanity's creative edge sharp.

Transhumanity could be a privilege granted to the most exceptional persons for service to all of humanity - also coming with a kill switch in case anyone turns heel and abuses power.
 

phred

Registered User
Validated User
Also, what would be a good ideological foundation for such a belief, that transhumanism is inherently wrong? Some kind of religious ideology seems the most obvious, but I was wondering if there were any others that would work as well.
With regards to ideology you can look to Sister Miriam Godwinson of the Lord's Believers for inspiration (from the computer game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri)


The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress. Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow, God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it lurked in the streets of yesteryear. But it was never the streets that were evil.

Men in their arrogance claim to understand the nature of creation, and devise elaborate theories to describe its behavior. But always they discover in the end that God was quite a bit more clever than they thought.

Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind.
 

Rose Embolism

Registered User
Validated User
One of the major characteristics of Transhumanism is to handwave over possible difficulties and expenses. So I can see a Transhumanist on the ground "patiently" explaining to the people in orbit that of course they shouldn't be needing so much time and money to build a space factory....

Oh here's another "physics doesn't care" thing to screw with Transhumanists: light speed lag. Did you know that most stock market wealth is made by rapid transactions that actually have to take millisecond latency into account? Now bear in mind that just communicating from the Earth to the Moon has a 2.6 second delay, and Mars has a minimum of 6 minutes for a back and forth. Six minutes! To a Transhumanist, ANYTHING could happen in that time. Their enemies could make a move. The attempt to mine the next bitcoin could fail. A virus could propagate everywhere. Faster thinking is its own limitation.

Best not to go to far out, stay on one planet where communication is fastest. The Transhumanists may even huddle in one local for best speed, and leave the rest of the unimportant world to unimportant people.
 

Fabius Maximus

Registered User
Validated User
One example of an issue is well, Eclipse Phase often plays up the "rep economy" as better than the market systems we see in more conservative settings. But even today, we're seeing just how terribly such systems can be abused.
A transhuman setting might be one where non-conformity is punished immediately, because your rep sinks. Just imagine if holding an unpopular opinion might mean immediate financial devastation?

It might be, contrary to many settings, the anti-transhumans that actually have a fairly open society that is tolerant of differing views.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
Oh here's another "physics doesn't care" thing to screw with Transhumanists: light speed lag. Did you know that most stock market wealth is made by rapid transactions that actually have to take millisecond latency into account?
Er, are you sure about that? High frequency trading is a big fraction of market volume, but may not be generating that much profit.
Best not to go to far out, stay on one planet where communication is fastest. The Transhumanists may even huddle in one local for best speed, and leave the rest of the unimportant world to unimportant people.
Sure, if they're the ones who own the Earth.

But the goal here was to make their opposition viable.
 

Rose Embolism

Registered User
Validated User
One example of an issue is well, Eclipse Phase often plays up the "rep economy" as better than the market systems we see in more conservative settings. But even today, we're seeing just how terribly such systems can be abused.
Witness what happens when somebody with a hundred followers creates something, and someone with ten thousand followers steals it. The response to a complaint oddly enough is usually not to excoriate the thief. "Hey, be greatful for the exposure" is usually the politest response, even though the creators name isn't associated with the project...

A transhuman setting might be one where non-conformity is punished immediately, because your rep sinks. Just imagine if holding an unpopular opinion might mean immediate financial devastation?

It might be, contrary to many settings, the anti-transhumans that actually have a fairly open society that is tolerant of differing views.
Imagine a society of 24-7 Tumblr-style social media, where making the wrong move could open one up to an instant landslide of reputation attacks. Another reason to avoid any transmission delays.

Er, are you sure about that? High frequency trading is a big fraction of market volume, but may not be generating that much profit.
I've heard various opinions on it's effect. But hey, once you're proposing to turn the Amazonian desert into computronium in order to calculate the next Bitcoin...

Sure, if they're the ones who own the Earth.

But the goal here was to make their opposition viable.
If they own the Earth then that may give a place for primates that don't mind lightspeed delays.

Hell, Earth may be too big. They may restrict themselves to one city. Instead of the world, Bakersfield. Or maybe one building in Bakersfield. With ones Reputation value determining how close they live to the computronium building core. The highest ranked Transhumanists may be desperately clinging to their bunk beds surrounded by the hot, humming darkness of the core.
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
The idea that all transhumans will do X is as silly as the idea that all humans will do X.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
I've heard various opinions on it's effect. But hey, once you're proposing to turn the Amazonian desert into computronium in order to calculate the next Bitcoin...
....you're a ridiculous strawman? Also, where did you get an Amazonian desert?
If they own the Earth then that may give a place for primates that don't mind lightspeed delays.
So did you just seamlessly flip from arguing that transhumans in space would suffer from debilitating environmental inefficiencies to arguing that non-transhumans in space would be a viable resistance?
 
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