Those who are proposing that this assault might represent a "first" instance of anti-cyborg bigotry are doubly wrong -- first, and most obviously, because this isn't even the first instance in which Mann himself has been assaulted for his prostheses (recall the ordeal to which he was subjected by airport security near the height of the Bush phase of GWOT in 2002), but, second and more interesting to me, because I think a de-naturalization that spotlights the inherently prosthetic character of all culture is so central to so much bigotry, as witness violent assaults on transgender folks or prejudice based on sartorial signals of ethnicity or bullying of the differently enabled.Robot Cultists often like to pretend that criticism of the more ridiculous statements they have offered up to public scrutiny (and, yes, it's ridiculous to say you expect your "information-self" is going to be migrated to and then eternalized in virtual nanobot sexbot heaven under the ministrations of the sooper-parental history-ending Robot God some amateur self-appointed soopergenius guru-wannabe is presumably coding in his basement) constitutes harassment, so I would not be surprised if this framing of the Mann attack will set the scene for an enormously satisfying paranoid victim narrative in which futurologists fancy themselves a persecuted minority forever imperiled by roving bands of deathist luddites ready to bash them because of their blocky nerd hipster spectacles and iPhones.
Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Attack on Mann NOT First Attack on a Cyborg
Very predictably, the futurological dunderheads at Kurzweil are megaphoning the "first attack on a cyborg" angle of the Steve Mann assault. As I insisted in my account of the attack last night,