Is it worthwhile for transhumanists to address the concept of the Overton Window?
This is the concept that the attitudes someone holds toward potentially unusual ideas – such as transhumanist topics like superlongevity, superintelligence, or superhappiness – are often strongly influenced by what that person perceives the public at large might think about the same topics. Only a limited set of ideas sit within this so-called “Overton Window” of mainstream social acceptability at any one time. Ideas outside of that window have a much harder time to receive a fair hearing.
If that understanding is correct, what can, or should, be done to move the Overton Window and thereby transform the public discussion of transhumanist themes?
Humanity Unshackled hosts Rusty Burridge and David Wood recently put these questions to guest Dean Bubley, an independent technology industry analyst, futurist, speaker and consultant, who has over 25 years’ experience in the wireless, telecoms and IoT fields. A wide-ranging discussion ensued.
Dean is the Founder of Disruptive Analysis. As @DisruptiveDean on Twitter, and through his blogs and social media, he regularly gives informed, contrarian commentary on issues of technology, disruption, policy, and regulation.
To listen to this episode, click on the audio player at the top of this page.
Alternatively, listen to this episode on Soundcloud, or see the corresponding Radio Hydrogen page.
To dig more deeply into some of the ideas in this episode, take a look at:
- Wikipedia article on Overton Window
- The Abolition of Aging
- The Proactionary Principle – Foundational article by Max More
- The Proactionary Imperative – London Futurists event (2014) with Steve Fuller & Veronika Lipinska
- Sir Patrick Vallance (current UK Government Chief Science Adviser)
- James May (former Top Gear presenter)
- List of Black Mirror episodes
- Slaughterbot videos: 2017 version and 2021 version
- Warp News – “Fact-based optimistic news”
- Sortition – “Let’s do democracy differently”
- The Citizens’ Assembly behind the Irish abortion referendum
- A novel, The Overton Window – by Glenn Beck
- Positive assessment by Glenn Beck, 2012, of various transhumanist concepts
- Sustainable Superabundance
- “Dean Bubley’s Tech Musings” – newsletter on LinkedIn
For a complete listing of Humanity Unshackled episodes, see the Future Surge Media page.
Music: “Far Away 6,” written and performed by Sean Anthony Brennan.
Radio Hydrogen Artwork: Eleanor O’ Donnell.
Technology, Admin, Australian FM Radio Network Liaison, Legals, and Social media: Chris John Doe.
Originally published on 17 January 2022.