3. Beyond technology

This page contains the opening portion of Chapter 3 from
Sustainable Superabundance: A universal transhumanist invitation

tam graphic 3

3. Beyond technology

The project to advance into the era of sustainable superabundance depends critically on technology. However, it needs more than technology. Technology is not enough. That’s for two reasons.

First, any given piece of technology is capable of misuse as well as use. Fire can burn down as well as provide heat. Metalwork can create swords as well as ploughshares. Chemistry can create explosive weapons as well as agricultural fertilisers. Biotech can create deadly new pathogens as well as nutritious new superfoods. Surveillance technology can be used to monitor and harass political opponents as well as to check for infrastructure weaknesses. Social media technology can distort and mislead as well as inform and educate. The more powerful the technology, the greater the potential for misuse – whether intentional or unintentional.

Second, before a piece of technology can live up to its positive potential, it needs to be developed and deployed. These steps can take a long, long time. These steps can be delayed – perhaps indefinitely – on account of all kinds of obstacles: intellectual obstacles, financial obstacles, institutional obstacles, philosophical obstacles, social obstacles, and political obstacles.

In short, just because it would rationally be the right thing for society to do, to support the development and deployment of a given piece of transformational technology, it’s by no means inevitable that this implementation will happen.

What more is needed, beyond technology? If an earnest appeal to enlightened rationality is insufficient, what other measures can be taken?

This Invitation provides a two-stage answer, spread out over the following two chapters. The present chapter envisions the positive enabling roles that need to be played by politics, by free market forces, and by targeted investment – not in their present forms, but in significantly improved forms. The next chapter digs deeper. It envisions the positive enabling roles that need to be played by a change in the public mood, and more radically, by a change in human nature.

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Recent Posts

Transpolitica and the TPUK

It’s time to confirm an organisational change.

As of March 2019, Transpolitica is focusing on hosting the publication of books,  reports, and blogposts.

Actual discussion and planning of campaigns to take advantage of the ideas in these publications is now happening in a different organisation: the Transhumanist Party UK (TPUK).

For a live update of the projects being undertaken by the TPUK, see this dashboard.

TPUK Dashboard

As you’ll see, there’s a lot going on!

The TPUK declares its goal clearly: “A better future for everyone”. It highlights three top-level principles:

  • Evidence, science, and technology
  • Bright green
  • Personal freedom and social justice.

Although based in the UK, the TPUK welcomes members and supporters from around the world. To sign up to receive regular newsletters and other information by email, find the “Join” section of the TPUK’s main webpage.

You might also consider pressing the “Like” button on the TPUK’s Facebook page. That way, you’ll automatically receive notification of Facebook Live videos featuring TPUK executives – of which the first is scheduled for 6pm UK time on Sunday 3rd March.

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