Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cackles from the Balcony: "Release the Gas of Peace!" Edition

According to the BBC, "[t]he US military investigated building a 'gay bomb,' which would make enemy soldiers 'sexually irresistible' to each other, government papers say."

While I am the first to admit that this notion holds no small amount of allure as the premise for potentially endless numbers of hot porn flicks, I do want to go on record to say that this isn't what I mean when I refer hereabouts to the technodevelopmental facilitation of the nonviolent nonmilitary adjudication of political disputes...

Of course, this is all arrant silliness, but I do think it wouldn't hurt for technoprogressive types to get more in the habit of never talking about "enhancement" without specifying we always mean "informed, nonduressed consensual practices of modification." It's not exactly an elegant turn of phrase, I know -- and any suggestions from readers for more pithy euphonious formulations are welcome! -- but I think consent just has to be front and center every time in the cases we make against bioconservatives and corporate futurists else I fear we'll do more harm than good.

In a way, when you think about it, neoliberal globalizers were making a weak version of this argument from at least Bush I through the Clinton era. And I trust we all know what that unfortunate experiment amounted to. (Imagine that last line being read in my best Lady Bracknell impersonation.) What did the neoliberals used to like to say? No nation with a McDonalds will ever attack another one or something? The imagined spectacle of immemorial ethnic conflicts rendered docile by recourse to a new shared culture of McNuggets hardly has the erotic charge of humpy soldiers, high as kites, suddenly finding themselves making love not war, and it's sad, to say the least, to realize that the McWorld claim really was earnestly intended for a time as a kind of beneficent sociocultural "enhancement" argument... But, then, of course most claims issued from the perspective of the momentarily powerful when they are crowing about "civilizing missions" end up looking pretty embarrassing in retrospect.

Perhaps there is a lesson in all that.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I've seen enough 'amateur military porn' to know there already is a 'gay bomb' that makes soldiers irresistible to each other.

It is called: "50 bucks and some beer"