Man into Superman: The Startling Potential of Human Evolution And How To Be Part of It

Overview

This 2005 edition (ISBN 0-9743472-4-8 in the Cultural Classics Series by Ria University Press) contains an exact replica copy of the complete first edition of Robert C. W. Ettinger's 1972 cultural classic, MAN INTO SUPERMAN. Additional (2005) materials include three paper contributions: (1) "A Short History of Transhumanist Thought" (By Nick Bostrom, Ph.D.); (2) "A Brief History of Modern Transhumanism" (By R. Michael Perry, Ph.D.); and, (3) "My Dog Is A Very Good Dog -- Or -- The Unprecedented Urgency Of New ...
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Overview

This 2005 edition (ISBN 0-9743472-4-8 in the Cultural Classics Series by Ria University Press) contains an exact replica copy of the complete first edition of Robert C. W. Ettinger's 1972 cultural classic, MAN INTO SUPERMAN. Additional (2005) materials include three paper contributions: (1) "A Short History of Transhumanist Thought" (By Nick Bostrom, Ph.D.); (2) "A Brief History of Modern Transhumanism" (By R. Michael Perry, Ph.D.); and, (3) "My Dog Is A Very Good Dog -- Or -- The Unprecedented Urgency Of New Research Priorities To Dismantle Doomsday And Cultivate Transhumanity" (By Charles Tandy, Ph.D.). > In the 1960s Ettinger founded the cryonics (cryonic hibernation) movement and authored THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY. In the 1970s Ettinger helped initiate the transhumanist revolution with his MAN INTO SUPERMAN. Ettinger sees "discontinuity in history, with mortality and humanity on one side -- on the other immortality and transhumanity." > Cryonic hibernation (experimental long-term suspended animation) of humans may provide a "door into summer" unlike any season previously known. Such patients (individuals and families in cryonic hibernation) may yet experience the transhuman condition. Ettinger argues for his belief in "the possibility of limitless life for our generation." We should become aware of the incorrect, distorted, and oversimplified ideas presented in the popular media about cryonics and transhumanism. Ettinger believes that the cool logic and scientific evidence he presents should lead us to forget the horror movies and urban legends and embrace great expectations. > An abstract of Dr. Bostrom's paper follows: Transhumanism in Western history (partial listing of topics): Our ambivalent quest to transcend natural limits; Rational humanism as a root of transhumanism; Ben Franklin as favoring suspended animation; Darwin and possibility that most evolution remains in future; Frankenstein (1818) and science fiction; Racism and totalitarianism in the 20th century; Julian Huxley (1927) uses term "transhumanism"; Artificial Intelligence; The Singularity; Molecular Nanotechnology; Uploading of Minds; Robert Ettinger (1964) advocates experimental long-term suspended animation now (cryonics and the likelihood of transmortality and transhumanity); F. M. Esfandiary and UpWingers; Max More and the Extropy Institute; Nick Bostrom and the World Transhumanist Association; James Hughes and the new 21st century politics of biotechnology. > An abstract of Dr. Perry's paper follows: In 1964, Ettinger advocated freezing the newly deceased for possible future reanimation. But the transhumanist camp that emerged is not limited to cryonicists. Transhumanist thought includes (to cite only a few): Alan Harrington (1969) THE IMMORTALIST (Scientific conquest of death); F. M. Esfandiary (1970) OPTIMISM ONE (UpWing, instead of Left-Middle-Right, philosophy); Eric Drexler (1986) ENGINES OF CREATION (Molecular nanotechnology); Damien Broderick (1997) THE SPIKE (During the 21st century we will become a new family of life-forms); According to Frank Tipler (1994) THE PHYSICS OF IMMORTALITY and R. Michael Perry (2000) FOREVER FOR ALL, the more distant future may include scientific resurrection of all the dead. > An abstract of Dr. Tandy's paper follows: Particular cultural traditions have informed each civilization's felt educational needs to become "us" or "human" (instead of barbarian) or to become "educated" or "transhuman" (instead of merely human). The twentieth century surprised many of us with its world wars and doomsday weapons (WMDs). If we survive all doomsday dangers over the next few years and decades and centuries, then our future as humans or transhumans may be longer -- much longer -- than the mere 10,000 years of past civilizational existence. Our pasts are short and almost non-existent compared to the potential reality of a very long future. This paper explores the educational implications of such a complex reality.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974347240
  • Publisher: Ria University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2005
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.06 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    That '70's Transhumanism

    While F.M. Esfandiary receives a lot of credit for anticipating the current transhumanist world view with his 1973 book "Up-Wingers," Robert Ettinger made a somewhat more substantial but less well known contribution when he published his book "Man Into Superman" in 1972 as a follow-up to his 1964 book "The Prospect of Immortality," which started the cryonics movement. Of these two 1970's "manifestos" announcing a future for "immortal supermen," Ettinger's has aged somewhat better. Ettinger, unlike Esfandiary, grounded his view of the future in the scientific literature of the time (he has masters degrees in physics and mathematics), and he didn't engage in utopian thinking about the potentials of the social disturbances in the late 1960's which had impressed Esfandiary. (Ettinger considered the social, intellectual and political activism of the era's public figures wasted on side issues instead of directed towards what really matters. Imagine, Ettinger writes, trying to interest George Wallace or Herbert Marcuse in cryonics!) Today's transhumanists who haven't read Ettinger's book have often rediscovered some of his insights without realizing that he got there first before many of them were even born. <BR/><BR/>Events between 1972 and today have shown flaws in Ettinger's forecasts for reasons he couldn't have anticipated. The energetic cryonics situation he described in the early 1970's, when rudimentary organizations had already placed several people into cryonic suspension, amounted to a false dawn; the cryosuspensions of all the earliest cryonauts except James Bedford's failed for complicated and often sordid reasons. The practice of cryonics didn't recover until the 1980's, and it currently exists in a precarious state because of some bad publicity regarding a celebrity and the threat of hostile regulation. Cryonicists have responded in ways which suggest a loss of nerve, for example by changing their literature (including its titles) to de-emphasize Ettinger's "immortal superman" vision, even though he came up with the original idea for cryonics. <BR/><BR/>And in many ways life in the real 21st Century just doesn't look as "futuristic" as the speculations about it in the latter 20th Century led us to expect. Today some people make a hobby of collecting and republishing on the web examples of "in the year 2000" forecasts which sound ridiculous now. (I've done that myself.) Ettinger assumed that certain kinds of progress would probably, but not necessarily, happen, hence the relatively few predictions with dates in his book. The postponed progress we see around us could signal a dysfunction in our civilization that will delay the implementation of many of Ettinger's ideas indefinitely.

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