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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This Week's White Guys of "The Future" Report

This afternoon only two of the faces of featured authors at the website of the stealth Robot Cult outfit IEET, the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, so-called, is not the face of a white guy. That's one less than last week, for those keeping score at home, and one of the two refers to a piece and author that was already there last week.

And yet it remains just as true this week as it was last week and every other week in the month's long the stretch of time during which I have been making these little reports, that only a minority of people in the world are white guys, only a minority of people with whom tomorrow will be made and shared are white guys, only a minority of people in the world impacted by technodevelopmental changes are white guys, and only a minority of people in the world who are well informed and have important things to say about matters of technoscience are white guys.

The relentless non-representativeness I have been documenting for all this time over at IEET (supposedly the most "academic," "moderate," "respectable" of the membership organizations in the futurological Robot Cult archipelago) is, for me, just one of the more obvious symptoms -- one among many others -- of the profound out-to-lunch bonkers out-of-touch marginality of what I call superlative sub(cult)ural futurology.

This goes for the self-described "transhumanists," the "singularitarians," the techno-immortalists, the digital utopians and cybernetic totalists, the nano-cornucopiasts, the greenwashing geo-engineers, the Ayn Raelian "extropians" and all the rest of the Robot Cultists corralled kookily together there at IEET. Whatever attention these superlative futurologists manage to attract in mainstream media outlets or among corporate-militarist funders or naive academics with their over-dramatic over-simplified over-sold over-kill narrative derangements of actually urgent technoscience and global development issues, they are and remain utterly marginal and profoundly unserious in my view, and they call into question the seriousness of any organization, enterprise, address that responds to them uncritically.

For analysis of more glaring conceptual and political problems with these White Guys of "The Future" I recommend interested readers begin with my Condensed Critique of Transhumanism.

1 comment:

Summerspeaker said...

I'm curious if you've David Correia's recent piece at criticizing the Singularity movement. If so, what do you think of it?

Best wishes.