Re: poly: Governments and The Transhuman Transition

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Wed Feb 11 1998 - 11:45:17 PST

Perry writes:
>This does, of course, bring up the intriguing question of what the
>future of our social structures might be like. The honest speculator
>would probably say "unknowable!" but that rarely stops a good
>discussion, and why should it now?
>As humans take flight and cease to even be recognizably human, what
>will happen to the structure of our social organization? I'm
>reasonably (although not completely) sure that at least some sort of
>social organization will persist. However, I have a great deal of
>difficulty envisioning posthumans lobbying each other for votes and
>gathering in marble halls to conduct representative assemblies.

Well the marble halls may not last, but lobbying for votes does not
seem especially tied to our current human condition, so it may well
be around in some form for a long time.

Formal social science (my current profession) can easily be faulted for
not paying enough attention to the details of how current humans differ
from ideal rational agents, but one advantage of this is that we probably
understand the social dymanics of posthumans almost as well, or perhaps
even better, than we understand current social dynamics.

I'd say it's an open question whether democracy will last, but that the
uncertainty is mainly about the nature of democracy, not about the nature
of posthumans.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Wed Feb 11 19:48:25 1998

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