Layla AbdelRahim’s New Piece on Education April 15, 2014Posted by Summerspeaker in Uncategorized.
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[S]chools use grades and other psychological and physical punishment to coerce future resources (workers) to comply with the hierarchical order. Namely, good grades promise a higher place in the food chain; lower grades and bad reports threaten with hunger, homelessness, social isolation, and suffering either from unemployment or performing menial tasks in underpaid jobs in often horrendous conditions. School evaluations serve to justify the apathy on the part of those who exploit the suffering and labour of those whom this hierarchical socio-economic system forces to the bottom of the food-chain.
Is Dvorsky Getting Paid? April 9, 2014Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Technology, Transhumanism.
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Yesterday George Dvorsky published another bit of propaganda for U.S. military, this time entitled “Watch the U.S. Navy Blow Shit Up with Its Futuristic Railgun” and without any critical commentary whatsoever. As a gamer and science fiction writer I grasp the appeal, but celebrating high-tech weapons has profoundly pernicious implications in the current context of U.S. imperialism and military recruiting. Dvorsky’s title reminders me of lines I once overheard a Navy recruiter use; shooting really big guns was a central part of the pitch. Here transhumanism literally does the work of the military. I hope Dvorsky’s at least getting paid for eir recruiting efforts.
DARPA’s Evil Geniuses Keep Doing Their Thing April 2, 2014Posted by Summerspeaker in Science Fiction, Technocracy, Transhumanism.
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DARPA and Google should join forces and conquer the world.
This comment on George Dvorsky’s lasted io9 piece epitomizes corporate-militarist side of transhumanism that Dale Carrico ably critiques. I’d do my own critique if I had the time, but Dale’s should suffice. I’ll just point out the grim hilarity of Dvorsky’s two closing sentences:
With its launch of BTO, DARPA says it also wants to consider the implications of what it’s doing. To that end, DARPA will periodically converse with experts in these issues to discuss relevant ethical, legal, and social issues.
If there’s one thing the U.S. military has a flawless track record on, it’s ethics! They’re going to make sure they continue the program of world domination in an ethical fashion.
Anonymous Targets Albuquerque Police March 30, 2014Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Technology.
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Anonymous shut down APD’s website today and protests on the streets of Albuquerque continue as I type this. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I’m encouraged to see pressure on the cops and city government increasing. See here for livestream. Also here. Much love and support for folks in the struggle.
Where Have All the Pyrrhos Gone? March 25, 2014Posted by Summerspeaker in Epistemology.
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I’d like to see skepticism move back toward its I-don’t-know-if-it’s-better-to-help-you-out-of-a-ditch-or-not origins. The contemporary mainstream-science-is-awesome! version is getting tedious. I recognize and respect the benefits of crusading against woo and lauding peer review, but it strikes me as a thoroughly partisan form of skepticism. As James Hughes writes about reason and rationality, acknowledging the uncertainty and shaky foundations of knowledge is “damned scary” but required for intellectual honesty.
Oh Dale! February 20, 2014Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism.
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Anarchy as a real, living, effective force in American public life always drives Movement Republican organizing and policy-making in the service of elite-incumbency, even if a handful of anarcho-identified socialist, anti-racist, queer intellectuals declare themselves the “thought-leaders” of Occupy or noisily throng the comments sections of some lefty websites (mostly to complain about the impurity of Democrats actually striving imperfectly to accomplish things).
In the same spirit, I suggest that progressivism in practice furthers coercion and domination. Progressive intellectuals like Dale who preach nonviolence, democracy, and the Democratic Party at best naively do the work of oppression but mostly likely fancy themselves your masters.
Alternatively or additionally, these labels and ideals differ depending on the circumstances. As Dale suggests, invocations of freedom, self-determination, and self-defense can indeed bolster white supremacy. They have revolutionary resonances as well. While you can read stereotypical white-supremacist vigilante shooters as an anarchists, the interpretation of them as cops strikes me as considerably more enlightening. As in this piece by Tegan Eanelli, the dynamic of policing exceeds the police.
Welcome to the Future January 2, 2014Posted by Summerspeaker in Despair.
Happy 2014 to those of y’all who believe in such things! Expect flying cars and jetpacks. I hope to devote more time to this blog and related endeavors in the coming months – but my hopes often go unrealized. Lately I’ve been focusing on school, personal matters, and distraction, not necessarily in that order. I desperately need to find some more income, but I’m no good with this economic system.
Anissimov and Company Declare Themselves Reactionary December 1, 2013Posted by Summerspeaker in Despair, Evo psych, Technology, The Singularity, Transhumanism.
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See Klint Finley’s take on this new movement:
So what exactly is the Cathedral stopping neoreactionaries from talking about? Well, the merits of monarchy for starters. But mostly, as far as I can tell, they want to be able to say stuff like “Asians, Jews and whites are smarter than blacks and Hispanics because genetics” without being called racist. Or at least be able to express such views without the negative consequences of being labeled racist.
Speaking of which, neoreactionaries are obsessed with a concept called “human biodiversity” (HBD) – what used to be called “scientific racism.” Specifically, they believe that IQ is one of – if not the – most important personal traits, and that it’s predominately genetic. Neoreactionaries would replace, or supplement, the “divine right” of kings and the aristocracy with the “genetic right” of elites.
To call these claims “controversial” would be putting it lightly, but they underpin much of anti-egalitarian and pro-traditionalist claims neoreactionaries make. Delving into the scientific debate over race, genetics and IQ is beyond the scope of this article, but I’ve included some links on the topic in the reading list.
It’s not hard to see why this ideology would catch-on with white male geeks. It tells them that they are the natural rulers of the world, but that they are simultaneously being oppressed by a secret religious order. And the more media attention is paid to workplace inequality, gentrification and the wealth gap, the more their bias is confirmed. And the more the neoreactionaries and techbros act out, the more the media heat they bring.
I don’t have time to address this in any detail, but it’s worth being aware of. These folks literally want closed hierarchical societies in the mold of nineteenth-century Europe but with super tech. It almost seems like self-parody or trolling.
P.S. Check out Michael Anissimov’s Twitter feed if you really want to be horrified.
P.P.S. Also see Rick Searle’s take.
Strong Marxist Critique of the Singularity Movement over at IEET October 12, 2013Posted by Summerspeaker in Technology, The Singularity.
[M]ake no mistake: the singularity paradigm is a Trojan horse that smuggles a desideratum for the singular mastery of space and time by a few under the cover of a techno-utopia for the totality. If indeed the ruling elite is hastening us toward a singularity, as corporate and State projects would seem to suggest, then we must be cognizant of the actuality it signifies, and work to oppose it, not on anti-technology grounds, as the Singulartarians would have it, but from the standpoint of the use of science and technology for the purposes of human emancipation.
Read it here.
Posthuman Gender: A Non-Binary Future October 11, 2013Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Feminism, Queer politics, Technology, Transhumanism.
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Though still decidedly secondary, the dream of transcending biological sex and established gender norms occupies a key place transhumanist in thought. Transhumanists extoll transgender people as prescient pioneers of morphological freedom and technological enhancement. This article explores the problem of gender – yes, it is a problem – in relation to feminist theory and proposed transhumanist solutions. I simultaneously critique and embrace visions of transcendence.
Read it over at IEET.