Waking Up to the Nightmare and the Absurdity of Immortalism June 22, 2012Posted by Summerspeaker in Despair, The Singularity, Transhumanism.
This morning I read that the cops have beaten up and arrested three of my comrades in LA. Hardly anyone cares about these routine horrors; they’ve been naturalized as features of modernity. Those of us overflowing with sentiment lack the ability to do more than rage impotently on Facebook and intensify our commitment to the revolutionary cause in the hopes that we might someday gain the material power to turn our threats credible. Dreams remain dreams.
I personally exist on the margins of these spaces and connect with people only via stereotypical – if genuine – expressions of anarchist ideology. I’ve never been included in the bonds of affection of any radical community, regardless of professions to the contrary from informal leaders and my endless toil for the movement. Interactions are icy and awkward, devoid of spirit. Nobody comforts or consoles me. I’m excluded from mutual aid projects of emotional support. Neither grievous bodily injury nor imprisonment nor street harassment means anything or inspires any sympathy. I’m always an outsider, always alien and alone wherever I walk in this gray world.
My reliable prospects for the future involve perpetual social frustration and agony at the apparently adamant edifice of oppression while desperately jumping through the hoops of the Imperial Academy in order to pay rent. The ideal career path – requiring a solar mass of luck to complete – terminates at a position of privilege and comfort within the scholarly hierarchy that simultaneously allows me to struggle against state and capital. More likely I’ll continue to scrape by on the edges. The most attractive plausible trajectory includes martyrdom by way of arrest at a big direct action and suicide behind bars. Or maybe just getting hit by a bus.
Such experiential reality explains why I have a hard time relating to the folks I’m debating over at IEET. While I refuse to renounce the aspiration for indefinite lifespans and perpetual bliss, these goals seem laughably fantastic on days like today. From a negative-utilitarian perspective, engineering suicide booths strikes me as more effective and achievable than shooting for paradise. People who want to live forever must be a lot happier than I am. Under present circumstances, death looks like as positive of a singularity as I can expect. Hell, it fulfills a majority of the important promises: everything changes and there’s no more suffering.
I pray one of Giulio’s future gods doesn’t use its future magic to copy me to the future for prolonged torment. Immortality presents the genuinely chilling scenario – gleefully wielded by Christians – of torture without end. On the other hand, the possibility of enduring eons encourages determination to make life worth living. But right now I find discarding the easy escape of oblivion too terrifying to contemplate.
Transhumanists: The death worshipers may be wiser than you know.