Dale is, and has always been, right in considering transhumanism as religious aesthetics. Transhumanism is a strong emotional impulse to transcend, inspired by but not derived from modern science and technology. I saw this immediately when I started reading the Extropy list in the 90s. The difference, of course, is that I find transhumanist aesthetics beautiful and Dale finds it ugly.Needless to say, few of Prisco's fellow-transhumanoids agree with this admission that "transhumanism" is essentially a science-fiction and pop-tech journalism fandom qua religion (as even he well knows). And even if few of them grudgingly make this admission fewer still do so with any consistency -- I don't really think even Prisco is consistent about this, when it comes to his published beliefs about what “will” happen in "The Future" and what technoscientific priorities “should be” for technoscientifically literate and technodevelopmentally concerned citizens, it seems to me he is more than happy to pretend he is a champion of science rather than serially clinging to the extreme margins of technoscience speculation when he is not indulging in outright pseudo-scientific handwaving. And until the transhumanoids, singularitarians, techno-immortalists, nano-cornucopiasts, greenwashing geo-engineers, and digital utopians do admit theirs is a pop fandom and faith-based initiative without claim of relevance to consensus science or legitimate science policy discourse Prisco and the rest can be sure I will continue to tell the truth on this subject as I see it. Meanwhile, all of that is quite apart from my disapproval of the apologiae for eugenics, consumerism, corporatism, and neoliberal developmentalism to which so much futurological discourse is devoted, sometimes on the lips of folks who think themselves opposed to such outcomes even as they contribute to them. I'll continue to talk about that, too.
Now, as it happens, I am a life-long geek and a science fiction fan myself and, contrary to Prisco's declaration otherwise, I don’t find anything the least bit "ugly" in peoples’ enjoyment of what ever literary enthusiasms or consensual lifeways or creative expressivities move them. I’ve said this and acted on this in every area of my life -- on my blog, in my feminist, queer, anti-racist, anti-war, nonviolent, multicultural political activism, and in my teaching practice among Berkeley undergraduates interested in critical theory and democratic activism as well as among the actual artists in the San Francisco Art Institute for years and years and years now. When it comes to flying their freak flag as freaks, I am more than freak enough myself to say, to the transhumanoids and to Prisco and to myself, as I always have done, let a bazillions flowers bloom. It is true that transhumanoids say a whole lot of things I find rather facile and incoherent and unoriginal and regressive and delusive and silly. My saying so is part of the free expression Prisco presumably champions and, if he'll forgive my saying so, saying so about things he is actually publishing and so offering up to public scrutiny is surely something he should have expected from somebody in that public as a matter of course.
Let me add, just for clarity's sake, that I think scientism is wrong, that I think reductionism is wrong, that I think technological determinism is wrong, that I think the ideology of natural progress is wrong, that I think the idea of technical without social progress is wrong, that I think the idea of technocracy is wrong, that I think the idea of eugenicism is wrong, that I think the ideas of neoliberalism are wrong, and also that I believe many, even most, self-identified "transhumanists" advocate some or all of these ideas as indispensable dimensions of their transhumanism -- and more, that even some transhumanoids who might disapprove of some of these ideas in their bald expression fail or refuse to grasp their role within transhumanist discourse and hence are also supporting them nonetheless, possibly somewhat inadvertently, through ignorance or error or dumb stubborn cussedness. All the more reason, this, as far as I'm concerned, to continue talking about this as long as I am able.