Report on Transhumanism

Ron Bailey reports on The World Transhumanist Association’s annual conference. Plently of interesting material on the prospects for life-extension and other improvements. Perhaps the most optimistic speaker, however, was my colleague Robin Hanson.

George Mason University economics professor Robin Hanson argued that super-rational posthumans in the future won’t be able to “agree to disagree,” chiefly because they’ll agree on everything. Hanson argues that disagreements among less than super-rational people today exist largely because we deceive ourselves about what we really know to be true. There are good “reasons” for us to think that, for example, “the more you believe in yourself, the more you can get other people to believe in you,” and thus get them to do what you want. But super-rational posthumans won’t be able to deceive themselves or others, suggests Hanson.

I shall have to discuss this with him at lunch tomorrow but only if we can agree on what restaurant to eat at.


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