I just read the "Cyborgs in the city" article by Kristian Gravenor about myself and NEXUS: The Montreal Transhumanist Association [July 1]. I want to thank the entire staff of the Mirror for your interest in our movement. However, due to the massive amount of data I provided your reporter, I'm not surprised to find a few mistakes. Please allow me the opportunity to make the proper corrections:
(1) Although some transhumanists are "hardcore techno-utopians," NEXUS is comprised of techno-realists who assess the social implications of new technologies so that people might all have more control over the shape of their future. This approach involves a continuous critical examination of how these technologies might help or hinder people in the struggle to improve the quality of their lives and their communities.
(2) Although the NEXUS vice-president studies the potential of brain-computer interface technology as a precursor to mind uploading, he is very much a down-to-earth fellow who keeps an archive of audio recordings of his life as a memory aid only.
(3) I do not foresee people using germline engineering to give themselves "animal feathers" or "changing the colour of one's skin"! I was only musing about the possibility that body modification could lead to animal-like features such as night vision or having one's skin and hair automatically adapt to weather changes. However, I do envision the coming of the "hybrid man" - an individual enhanced with both gene therapy and cybernetic implants.
(4) The visual phone and the Segway are not examples of ubiquitous integrated technology, but a single mother putting a radio frequency ID chip in her child's clothing in order to better track him for his safety is.
(5) There is much debate among scientists about whether or not an artificial intelligence explosion known as the Singularity will ever happen. However, there would be nothing "magical" about this event if it did.
(6) Finally, transhumanists may have different interests, but we all share the value of rational thinking, freedom, tolerance, democracy and concern for our fellow human beings.
Due to my respect for Margaret Somerville, rather than responding to her alarmist vitriol (which reminded me of the control voice from a bad episode of the Outer Limits) I invite her, and anyone else interested, to read the Transhumanist FAQ at http://transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/faq/
» Justice De Thézier, NEXUS: The Montreal Transhumanist Association
July 11, 2004
Re: Cyborgs in the City
Justice wasn't entirely happy with the Mirror article and had this rebuttal: