The early women's suffrage movement, I recall, had its share of eccentric personalities. A mainstream gentleperson of the late 19th century, despite some sympathy for the movemement, might consider the spokespersons quite cracked.
Replayed today some of the leaders would still seem as odd as most movement leaders, but almost all of their vision has been fully accepted. The future manifests itself from the outside, and its carried by some whacky vectors. (Some would put me in that category, but really I'm quite boring.)
I think of that when reading Saletan's mildly amused but sympatheticessay on the transhumanists. There are some whacky people speaking there. In 1906 they'd have been whacky people advocating a woman's right to control fertility, in 2006 they're whacky people redefining humanity, in 2106 they'd be whacky people advocating .... ok, whacky somethings ... ok, so it'd be a miracle if anything is still communicating then ...
A good essay. I suspect about 80% of what they say will be mainstream one day, assuming there is a stream.
BTW, Who is Saletan? I had the impression somehow that he was a Bush supporter, but now I'm thinking I was confused.