(Ordinary) Humanism

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ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
(Ordinary) Humanism

The people who wrote EP are such fucking loons. I think most of the assumptions EP makes about the future show a fundamental lack of understanding as to how human beings think and act. Its beautiful, in a way, but "grounded" is not something I would call the authors of EP. (Unless this is all just some sort of bizarre parody aimed at the end users)

Anarcho this or Anarcho that. Like there are somehow "rules" that we have to abide by in real life. Like stapling Anarcho in front of "socialism" or "capitalism" as if that actually meant something. I mean, anarcho-whatever is great until you become the establishment, then you are basically stuck with the same options the last guy had.

Its always "forward, forward, forward!" "look to the future!" "We can't be burdened by the past!"

People in EP are still people. They haven't changed. They haven't progressed. They haven't learned anything. You call it transhumanism, but in truth the people of EP are more human than the people of today, in some of the worse ways imaginable. Shallow, conceited, arrogant, obsessed with the material and convinced that everything is morally relative. The people of EP haven't progressed at all. If anything, they've regressed, they are more childish, more arrogant, and more foolish than ever before.

Noble Pigeon Noble Pigeon's picture
"A setting is not written to

"A setting is not written to adhere to my subjective beliefs, therefore it's bad"

what

"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.”
-Abraham Lincoln, State of the Union address

Panoptic Panoptic's picture
While perhaps not exactly

While perhaps not exactly what OP was getting at, I do enjoy this quote about cyberpunk and transhumanism:

Quote:

"Transhumanism is about how technology will eventually help us overcome the problems that have, up until now, been endemic to human nature. Cyberpunk is about how technology won't."

— Stephen Lea Sheppard of RPG.Net, on the relation between transhumanism and cyberpunk

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CyberPunk

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jackgraham jackgraham's picture
ringringlingling wrote:The

ringringlingling wrote:
The people who wrote EP are such fucking loons.

Loons with 5 ENnie awards, an Origins award, thousands of fans, translations out in 3 other languages, full Gen Con events, vigorous homebrew contributions, and enough rep to attract trolling on our forums.

And we're right here, you know. Maybe you could try keeping it civil? We do have feelings & stuff.

Thanks.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

base3numeral base3numeral's picture
Re People in EP are still people

I think there are three large enough differences between people nowadays and the population of Eclipse Phase that the above statement, while technically a tautology (A is A) is not true as I read it (A[ep] is A[present]), for three reasons:
1: From the present on back, a person has had one body to live with. Being able to exist separate from ones body would be right up there with making clothing for the first time, and represent a significant change for the species.
2: An individual can exist without a body, travel as data, and be combined with other versions of themselves. This feels like a variation of the first, and is related, but a significant enough change that I feel warrants a second line.
3: People now includes folks born as octopi, crows, non-human hominids, cetaceans, and AGI's. The space of minds to interact with has expanded greatly.

That is all.

Strength in depth...

The Fleet

Panoptic Panoptic's picture
base3numeral wrote:I think

base3numeral wrote:
I think there are three large enough differences between people nowadays and the population of Eclipse Phase that the above statement, while technically a tautology (A is A) is not true as I read it (A[ep] is A[present]), for three reasons:
1: From the present on back, a person has had one body to live with. Being able to exist separate from ones body would be right up there with making clothing for the first time, and represent a significant change for the species.
2: An individual can exist without a body, travel as data, and be combined with other versions of themselves. This feels like a variation of the first, and is related, but a significant enough change that I feel warrants a second line.
3: People now includes folks born as octopi, crows, non-human hominids, cetaceans, and AGI's. The space of minds to interact with has expanded greatly.

That is all.

On one and two, major technological shifts have occurred before - and often with surprisingly little change to human mindsets. It's amazing what people will get used to, or how accommodating older worldviews can be.

On three, there is a clear trend for uplifts and AGIs to be engineered and socialised to blend in well with more conventional transhuman societies. In part, this involves forcibly granting them mindsets not dissimilar in many ways to transhumans.

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Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Oooookay

ringringlingling wrote:
nonsequitur.jpeg

The people who wrote EP are such fucking loons. I think most of the assumptions EP makes about the future show a fundamental lack of understanding as to how human beings think and act. Its beautiful, in a way, but "grounded" is not something I would call the authors of EP. (Unless this is all just some sort of bizarre parody aimed at the end users)

If we boil away the useless aggression and "edginess", we're left with:

I think most of the assumptions EP makes about the future show a lack of understanding of human behaviour.

Disregarding the fact that EP isn't about THE future, but about THEIR future as created specifically for a game, you might have a point. Let's see where this goes.

ringringlingling wrote:
Anarcho this or Anarcho that. Like there are somehow "rules" that we have to abide by in real life. Like stapling Anarcho in front of "socialism" or "capitalism" as if that actually meant something. I mean, anarcho-whatever is great until you become the establishment, then you are basically stuck with the same options the last guy had.

Try it today, sure. But you're failing to take into account the fact that the production technologies in EP approach perfect market conditions asymptotically closer than we do today. Large changes in the quantity and quality of material wealth and fruitful longevity across a society at large have always precipitated immense socio-political changes. Or do you think humans will be fundamentally different by EP's time?

ringringlingling wrote:
Its always "forward, forward, forward!" "look to the future!"We can't be burdened by the past!"

What are you on about?

ringringlingling wrote:
People in EP are still people. They haven't changed. They haven't progressed. They haven't learned anything. You call it transhumanism, but in truth the people of RP are more human than the people of today, in some of the worse ways imaginable. Shallow, conceited, arrogant, obsessed with the material and convinced that everything is morally relative. The people of EP haven't progressed at all. If anything, they've regressed, they are more childish, more arrogant, and more foolish than ever before.

You only make two salient points above. One is wrong, the other is irrelevant and wrong:

  1. Transhumanism isn't.... whatever you're babbling on about. Transhumanism is the movement to foster human development through drastically transformative medical technologies. Those technologies verily exist in EP's fiction, and "humans haven't changed", so it's safe to assume that some of them will still want to be involved in such a movement.

  2. There are entire polities in the Solar System that strongly adhere to, if not being plainly founded upon, objective moral frameworks. This could be an entire thread in its own right, but I'll keep things simple by naming two counter-examples to your claim: The Jovian Republic; The Carnival of the Goat.

Panoptic wrote:
On one and two, major technological shifts have occurred before - and often with surprisingly little change to human mindsets.

Often, or always? And on the scale of practical immortality?

Panopticon wrote:
It's amazing what people will get used to

Yes. It's called adaptation. The thing about adaptation is that it requires one to change.

Panopticon wrote:
or how accomodating old worldviews can be.

Yes, for instance transhumanism, which will be centuries old by EP's time.

Panopticon wrote:
On three, there is a clear trend for uplifts and AGIs to be engineered and socialised to blend in well with more conventional transhuman societies. In part, this involves forcibly granting them mindsets not dissimilar in many ways to transhumans.

Another part is granting them enough autonomy and freedom of thought for these self-same uplifts to have the capacity to resent humanity in whole or in part, or to adopt their pre-uplift identites as part of their uplifted culture.

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
Sorry

I meant "loon" in a good way. (People call me a loon all the time) What I'm saying is, to me, and perhaps to a lot of people, some of your beliefs seem kind of silly. Which I don't really think you should find offensive, since you all basically say as much to me on a daily basis.

Steve Jackson wrote about cloning and brain-taping with GURPS back when i was a kid, it was fascinating then, its fascinating now. The political slant of each every faction of EP is brilliant, the setting is detailed and vivid, its just...

how can places like locus claim to be anarchists, or "without leaders", when they clearly do have leaders? How can you're narrative claim certain factions follow the non-aggression principle when they are clearly hostile towards one another, both competing over resources and willing to engage in acts of violence and aggression towards one another?

Its kind of like, if I set my stereo to 80 decibels in the middle of the night while other people are trying to sleep, that is an act of aggression. While not an act of violence, the clear means of solving the dispute is to resort to the threat of violence, (i.e. the police) while following the non-aggression principle would likely lead to either escalation (in the case of self defense, i.e. turning up your radio even louder) or harm (just trying to grit your teeth and deal with it until you show up late to work one too many times and lose your job)

Its just my opinion that people who call themselves anarchists are anything but. They are united against an establishment yet they clearly have a hierarchy that they follow, a hierarchy that would fall apart the minute the establishment ceased to exist. If they continued to have a hierarchy afterwards, they would have to adopt some of the trappings of government in order to continue to sustain themselves, and would be anarchists in name only.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
ringringlinglinghow can

ringringlinglinghow wrote:
can places like locus claim to be anarchists, or "without leaders", when they clearly do have leaders? How can you're narrative claim certain factions follow the non-aggression principle when they are clearly hostile towards one another, both competing over resources and willing to engage in acts of violence and aggression towards one another?

Demonstrate these things. I'd like to see quotes with page references, not something vague which may or may not actually be present in the setting.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
It IS my bag, baby

ringringlingling wrote:
I meant "loon" in a good way. (People call me a loon all the time) What I'm saying is, to me, and perhaps to a lot of people, some of your beliefs seem kind of silly. Which I don't really think you should find offensive, since you all basically say as much to me on a daily basis.

When you drop f-bomb epithets and call people completely deluded, you should really expect some prickly replies. After all, it's hard to control THE VOLUME OF YOUR VOICE on the Internet. Anyway, let's move forward on your restated assertion that some of EP's* beliefs are kind-of silly.

* (I'm not part of Posthuman Studios, just a big fan -- if that's what drives your selection of pronouns)

ringringlingling wrote:
how can places like locus claim to be anarchists, or "without leaders", when they clearly do have leaders? How can you're narrative claim certain factions follow the non-aggression principle when they are clearly hostile towards one another, both competing over resources and willing to engage in acts of violence and aggression towards one another?

Trappedinwikipedia makes a good point above, but I'll indulge your points for discussion's sake.

1) It's a recent trope that advanced AIs can replace not only blue-collar jobs, but white collar bookkeeping jobs as well. This includes most of the trappings of pre-ubiquitous-computing leadership. So there might be "leaders of the moment" or "leaders of a cause", but they'd arise not from being bestowed authority, but from taking initiative and being joined by those who believe in them -- one of the functions of a rep system. The fact that they're called 'leaders' is a failure of vocabulary, not one of anarchy.

2) Sometimes committing a specific and focused violence is the only way to prevent a greater violence. This doesn't make it pleasant, but it does make it the least bad option. This is also the view of buddhist warrior monks: "Here, have some violence." "Violence? No thanks, you keep it." *smack*

ringringlingling wrote:
Its kind of like, if I set my stereo to 80 decibels in the middle of the night while other people are trying to sleep, that is an act of aggression. While not an act of violence, the clear means of solving the dispute is to resort to the threat of violence, (i.e. the police) while following the non-aggression principle would likely lead to either escalation (in the case of self defense, i.e. turning up your radio even louder) or harm (just trying to grit your teeth and deal with it until you show up late to work one too many times and lose your job)

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Put people in a moral quandary, and their only choice is to behave in a nominally "immoral" way. That doesn't really prove anything.

ringringlingling wrote:
Its just my opinion that people who call themselves anarchists are anything but. They are united against an establishment yet they clearly have a hierarchy that they follow, a hierarchy that would fall apart the minute the establishment ceased to exist. If they continued to have a hierarchy afterwards, they would have to adopt some of the trappings of government in order to continue to sustain themselves, and would be anarchists in name only.

I'm not sure what hierarchy you're referring to, especially in a post-scarcity society. Unless you mean the 'leaders' I alluded to above, which I already explained. The point of anarchy as a political vehicle isn't to never listen to anyone else ever, it's to get rid of enforced structure. Voluntary structure (such as letting your buddy direct you with hand signals while you back up into a tight parking spot) isn't "The Man, man", it's just being a good friend. Anarchists are allowed to have friends.