I’ve changed my mind in the last few years. I’ve always found some of the political and economic ideology of the extropians, transhumanists and their ilk objectionable but now, I think some of them are getting a little too religious.
Vernor is probably right that these new technologies will lead to a future that is incomprehensible to us but, I think things won’t get better or worse. All we can really say is that things will get different. To me progress means that in solving the problems of the old world we create the problems of the new world. We may move beyond the tragedy of the human condition but we will only be exchanging it for the tragedy of the post-human condition.
Having said that, I do not wish to give the impression that progress is pointless. My defense of technical progress is almost childish really. I defend technical progress because it makes interesting things happen–stuff that’s never happened before–this alone is justification for me.
Neat stuff happens therefore progress is good.