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Old 01-01-2018, 09:35 AM   #61
whswhs
 
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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Then again, my grasp on virtue ethics is far from the firmness I'd like it to have, to the point that to me Buddhism looked like a deontology-leaning, not a virtue-leaning religion, during my first attempts to examine its texts.
I don't think I could analyze Buddhist thought as a whole, but it seems to include an underlying model of human motivation akin to those of Epicureanism and utilitarianism, where value = relief of privation, want, or suffering. Epicureanism might be a form of virtue ethics, but I'm pretty sure utilitarianism is not.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:05 PM   #62
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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I don't think I could analyze Buddhist thought as a whole, but it seems to include an underlying model of human motivation akin to those of Epicureanism and utilitarianism, where value = relief of privation, want, or suffering. Epicureanism might be a form of virtue ethics, but I'm pretty sure utilitarianism is not.
My impression of the Tripitaka was that it was much more about What To Do than about What To Achieve with those actions. In fact, a point which I'd consider quite anti-utilitarian: eventually on the way to Nirvana one should stop having the goal of attaining Nirvana. Doing actions that facilitate achieving something that isn't your goal seems to be contrary to utilitarian approaches.

But of course I don't remember many things now and didn't understand many back when I read it.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:52 PM   #63
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An interesting variation on this concept is the Commonweal series by Graydon Saunders. It's fantasy rather than SF, but it's fantasy that assumes (a) that physics and chemistry work as they do in the real world and (b) high-end magic was discovered a quarter million years ago and has been exploited with little restraint for most of the intervening time, with the typical political system being rule of a moderately large kingdom by the equivalent of Sauron. The Commonweal is a modest polity where they're trying for something less ghastly. I'm closing in on the end of the third volume and finding it consistently interesting, despite the author's, shall we say, quirky prose style. . . .
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:00 PM   #64
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Isaac Asimov wrote a short story years ago, called Eyes Do More Than See. The premise is that trillions of years from now, the human race still exists, in the form of transcended creatures along the lines of the Firstborn from 2001 or the like. The transcendence happened in our relatively near future, because the story opens with the line:

"After hundreds of billions of years, he suddenly thought of himself as Ames. Not the wavelength combination which, though all the universe was now the equivalent of Ames -- but the sound itself. A faint memory came back of the sound waves he no longer heard and no longer could hear."

Another immortal entity is named Brock. There is an implication in the story that Brock was Ames' wife, when they were still mortal.

The story is tragic, though, not hopeful.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:06 PM   #65
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'Transhuman' covers a lot of territory.

In SF, there's a tendency to look at it through the lens of transhuman mental power, intellectual power, or growth in knowledge and perception beyond human limits. It can also include physical change as well, though. For ex, at least technically, the old Six Million Dollar Man is a transhuman character (the TV show, anyway, since he was objectively better than he started out, in the novel it was less all-up). Steve Austin the cyborg is transhuman in terms of his physical abilities, but he's still easily comprehensible because he's quite human mentally and spiritually. It's not hard to relate to him in the same sense it is to relate to Paul Atreides, for all that Paul is the more physically mundane.

But for all that it was a TV show in the 70s focused on action-adventure, from time to time it did touch on the moral and spiritual themes of such matters. For ex, we learn at one point that Steve Austin handled his new power far better than some other people who received it. Power often corrupts, and if Austin resisted that temptation some others did not.

Which can be a subtheme of transhumanism. Transhumanism can lead to dehumanization, to a downward change, as well as an upward.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:03 AM   #66
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Bill Nye Saves the World
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:06 PM   #67
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Bill Nye Saves the World
Why is Bill Nye relevant to transhumanism in science fiction? I'm not getting the connection.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:43 PM   #68
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Why is Bill Nye relevant to transhumanism in science fiction? I'm not getting the connection.
Why not? He's supposed to be relevant to climate change and he has a Mechanical Engineering degree.

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Old 01-11-2018, 07:04 PM   #69
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Why not? He's supposed to be relevant to climate change and he has a Mechanical Engineering degree.
What does either of those have to do with transhumanism?
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:08 PM   #70
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What does either of those have to do with transhumanism?
That was my point. He's not relevant to either one.

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