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On Robot Cults and revolution June 24, 2010

Posted by Summerspeaker in The Singularity, Transhumanism.
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I’m having a lovely little spat with anti-transhumanist Dale Carrico over at his blog. Though initially put off by his abrasive and exaggerated rhetorical style, I’ve warmed up to him considerably during the course of our arguments. How could I be cross with a fellow queer geek opposed to militarism and corporatism? Interspersed with the mockery and wild accusations he provides a much-needed leftist critique of the movement. Though knowledgeable about and sympathetic toward the revolutionary impulse, he’s an Obama-supporting reformist; I’ll take what I can get.

His  obsession with transhumanism as a cult continues to amuse and confound, however. Nowhere else have I encountered such explicit conversion attempts as on on his site; he and his supporters have tried to convince me to declare that I’ve been mislead and renounce of the Robot Cult. It’s an odd vibe. I’ve never noticed any transhumanist try anything equivalent. To the contrary, transhumanists appear remarkably uninterested in recruiting.

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1. Zack M. Davis - June 24, 2010

with anti-transhumanist Dale Carrico

“cishumanist”

2. Lori - June 25, 2010

I’m sitting on the fence regarding the cishumanist vs. trans-humanist controversy, so maybe I’m humanoqueer.

I’m skeptical that technology can be pried apart from technocracy. I’m also inclined with Dale Carrico to see transcendence of mortality and limited intelligence as wish-fulfillment fantasies. If I could transcend one thing about the humyn condition it would be the domesticated primate imprints for dominance and submission. A technological cure for submissiveness sounds to me like merely the opening volley in some sort of technological arms race. I tend to sort people mentally into three ‘personality types,’ which I refer to as Moes, Larrys and Curleys. Moes are dominant, Larrys are submissive, while Curleys are physically indestructible (ooh look!). If your anarcho or even progressive transhumanists can make the humyn form impervious to sledgehammers, crosscut saws and similar implements, I’m all ears.

3. Summerspeaker - June 26, 2010

I’m sitting on the fence regarding the cishumanist vs. trans-humanist controversy, so maybe I’m humanoqueer.

Pretty sweet.

I’m skeptical that technology can be pried apart from technocracy.

I assume you don’t mean the social movement for equally distributed abundance. I wish technology were wedded to that brand of technocracy.

I’m also inclined with Dale Carrico to see transcendence of mortality and limited intelligence as wish-fulfillment fantasies.

No doubt they are. It’s the notion of wish-fulfillment fantasies as inherently bad and/or impossible to make reality where we differ. Revolutionaries always dream.

If your anarcho or even progressive transhumanists can make the humyn form impervious to sledgehammers, crosscut saws and similar implements, I’m all ears.

As an anarchist, I suspect we’ll have to address the problems of violence and domination with old-fashioned methods such as education, solidarity, and direct action. Personal reconditioning through technology may have some place, but I wouldn’t put too much hope in it for the near term.

4. Lori - June 29, 2010

I didn’t know your tribe considers shared abundance a form of technocracy. I [mis?]understand technocracy to be domination by technocrats. The new technological order is not technocratic in this sense if the theory of operation of the technology is not a mystery or miracle to the end-users or beneficiaries of the technology. Radical transparency, combined with excellent mass education, is the antidote to technocracy.

5. Summerspeaker - June 29, 2010

I didn’t know your tribe considers shared abundance a form of technocracy.

It’s not a general transhumanist thing to my knowledge, only a personal interest. I hope it becomes better known. See the technocracy movement.

The new technological order is not technocratic in this sense if the theory of operation of the technology is not a mystery or miracle to the end-users or beneficiaries of the technology. Radical transparency, combined with excellent mass education, is the antidote to technocracy.

Sounds good. The move toward decentralization and autonomy also has promise.

6. Summerspeaker - June 29, 2010

An update on my debate with Dale: In dismissing the goals of state and gender abolition, ey has acknowledged my initial assessment that our differences on transhumanism mirror our political differences.

7. Lori - June 29, 2010

What about market abolition? Are you an anagorist?

8. Summerspeaker - June 29, 2010

I tend toward the collectivist side of the anarchist tradition; I’m adamantly anti-capitalist. Thus, I hold more sympathy for mutualism than agorism as far as pro-market anarchisms go.

9. Defcombot - July 6, 2013

The human race must evolve. The difference between Transhumanism and Cishumanism is like that of Nietzche and Sartre. Sartre was a beast, an animal who tried to justify his primitive existence. Nietzche was a visionary who saw beyond the pathetic limitations/desires of mankind. We must evolve, regardless of what these animals claim.


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