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

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Second Exchange: Practices of Selfhood, Practices of Organizing

James Hughes wrote:
Yes, [the ferals in Robinson's Blue Mars] are good examples. Techno-tribals. Also the neo-Victorians in Diamond Age.

Of course, the Martian ferals were no more "technologized" really than their ancient forebears, strictly speaking. Technique is technique. This is what I was trying to get at with my worry that we shouldn't get distracted by spandex catsuits into thinking that what matters about what you call tribalist affiliation and what I call moral practices of identification (/dis-identification) are flavor-of-the-month fetishized techs.

What matters to me is the normative work tribalism/moralism is doing for its practitioners -- if it is misapplied to ethics it becomes genocidal, if it is misapplied to politics it becomes imperializing.

I worry a bit about the example of the neo-Victorians in The Diamond Age, inasmuch as they yoked their subcultural identity with a project of global hegemony that seemed less about an open future for planetary multiculture (hence their preference for the Feed over the Seed, for example) than about a global order among a handful of peers organized to ensure that permitted progress always benefited incumbents first.

James Hughes wrote:
Yes, the modern fractured self should be re-integrated with an embrace of complexity and ambiguity, not fundamentalist closure. But part of that complex re-integration involves the re-creation of intentional, complex, overlapping collectivities with their own rituals, labels and segemented purposes. One can be a father, worker, Buddhist, Unitarian, transhumanist, technoprogressive, etc. all at the same time, but with far more fluidity than the pre-moderns held their identities.

I actually think we probably mostly agree here, but that we are tripping over one another's vocabularies a bit.

I worry about describing the contingency and multiplicity of contemporary practices of narrative selfhood as a kind of fragmentation, because that seems to me to contain the implication of a violent disruption of a possibility for wholeness that for me never existed in the first place, and also to set in motion a kind of pining after the "reclamation" of such a false wholeness that makes people especially vulnerable to fundamentalism and authoritarianism (which amount to the renunciation of the costs and risks of adulthood through the search for new parents in either the priests or the police). Of course it is fundamentalist closure itself that constitutes the actual violence to the self.

As for projects of intentional selfhood: I distinguish aesthetic ones -- which are deeply personal, privatized apart from their adequacy to the scene of legible consent, and hence not very good material for political organizing -- from moral (or subcultural) ones which seem to me, properly speaking, too complex to respond predictably to intentional designing, rather for the same reasons that living languages are, and hence, again, not so good for the work of practical political problem solving.

James Hughes wrote:
I have articulated some of that [i.e., concerns about "tendencies to tribalist excess inhering in the politics of outreach and PR that might drive marginal and defensive membership organizations that fancied themselves the iceberg tip of a burgeoning sub(cult)ural identity movement that wanted a particular vision of the future to prevail over an open future"] in my cautions about Singularitarianism as a form of millennialism with its own attendant risks of cognitive biases, messianic cultishness, and even rationales for violence.

As you know, I agree with you about Singularitarianism. There is no need to go into the Superlativity Critique to say why I think the problem is not confined to them.
The same dynamic is possible in any group that attempts to provide answers to the big questions about life, that is, its more likely in religious and political groups than in flower clubs and soccer leagues.

Yes, this is very true. I think that for me the key thing is that there are many Big Questions that demand responses in our lives, but that these questions take radically different forms that are warranted as reasonable or not according to radically different criteria. I think that there are, for example
Big Scientific Questions: How can I most reliably predict and control my environment in the service of my ends?

Big Moral Questions: How can I find belonging and support and legibility in a world that both precedes and exceeds me?

Big Aesthetic Questions: How can I be true to myself, affirm the meaningfulness of the vicissitudes of my life, without enslaving myself to my predecessors or risking madness?

Big Ethical Questions: What are my responsibilities to others with whom I share the world, including those to whom I do not personally belong? How do I resolve the competing demands of my multiple, incomplete, open belongings?

And Big Political Questions: How do we collectively reconcile the finite resources available in the world with the ineradicable diversity of aspirations of the peers with whom we share that world, both generally speaking and when confronted with urgent problems?.

The problem for me is when bright wonks or bowling leagues or aesthetic movements or religious faiths or what have you lose track of the righteous work they are doing in their proper sphere and redirect their energies to the solution of problems in other spheres.

The problem is not organizing to confront big questions -- this is inevitable and desirable -- but reduction and overreach from one mode of organizing into others to which it is unsuited.

James Hughes continued:
Our difference in emphasis seems to lie in my underlining the desirability and inescapability of the impulses to collective identity and millennial imagination. Although both have their downsides that need persistent vigilance, I don't think social life and social change are possible without them.

I get what you are saying, and it is hard to try to keep hammering at the little nuance that preoccupies me without seeming to misunderstand your point, when of course I really do.

Maybe this is a better way to put my point:
I believe that the planet has replaced the millennium.

I think that planetary networked practices in an actually multicultural world underscore the radical impossibility of any one moral vocabulary achieving hegemony, just as I think environmental and developmental inter-implication reframes political aspirations, both the utopian and the "realistic" ones. I think social life and social change can be fueled by a planetary perspective that differs from the millennial, that is more about open futurity in planetary multiculture than about some collective implementation of "the future."

I worry that the millennial imaginary is always going to be de facto reactionary from here on out, now that we have arrived at awareness of planetary multiculture. Worse, now that collective (and sometimes, as with "the unitary executive" in wartime, sovereign "individualized") political agency is planetized by digital networks, by weapons of mass destruction, by environmental problems like resource depletion, pollution, and global warming and by the disastrous maldistributions of neoliberal global "developmental," and so on, we simply cannot afford the millennial imaginary any more. We need the resilience of openness more than the reassurance of familiarity once individual and collective agency achieves through prostheticization a planetary field.
To the point, I think it's a good thing for people to raise "transhumanist" and "technoprogressive" banners, and recruit people to march under them, so long as we simultaneously remain vigilant of and caution against the excesses of groupthink, while you seem to feel such endeavors are problematic from the start.

Yeah, it's true. Look, I think that it is perfectly unobjectionable and even wholesome to a point for enthusiasts to create salon cultures that facilitate moral and aesthetic projects of theirs (including futurological blue-skying). But when salons incubate banner raising I find that a little hair raising.

Subcultures cannot sweep the world without unleashing Terror.

I get the impulse to political organizing, I even get the "branding" discourse for political campaigns, but vigilance can't mean proceeding with caution when one wants to mobilize moral energies in the service of political projects -- it must mean nipping that sort of thing in the bud before it starts to do mischief.
[You're talking about] fascists, Marxist-Leninists and religious fundamentalists in my mind, and not movements [like "transhumanism"] constituted around a strong defense of individual liberty and social diversity, such as social democracy, libertarianism, transhumanism and technoprogressivism.

Would be fascists can talk a good line about liberties when they need to, and probably many of them believe what they are saying. One must judge these things not only by good intentions but through the analysis of structural and discursive entailments, as well as sound principles and historical precedents. I don't mean to denigrate all transhumanists as crypto-fascists or any such nonsense, obviously, but I have offered up some extensive correlations between Superlative technocentrisms and anti-democratic tendencies. And that is not even to mention the pesky fact that the "defense of liberty and social diversity" around which "transhumanism" is presumably "constituted" on your account hasn't kept a sizable number of transhumanist-identified folks from championing all sorts of anti-democratic political movements from market fundamentalism to technocratic elitism to attitudes that sometimes drift uncomfortably close to eugenics in my view.

11 comments:

jfehlinger said...

Dale wrote:

> I worry a bit about the example of the neo-Victorians
> in The Diamond Age, inasmuch as they yoked their subcultural
> identity with a project of global hegemony that seemed
> less about an open future for planetary multiculture. . .
> than about a global order among a handful of peers
> organized to ensure that permitted progress always
> benefited incumbents first.

Yes, they were awful sons o' bitches, weren't they?

I could understand the **fear** of the nano-programmer who
arranged to replicate the _Young Lady's Guide_ for his own
little girl: his fear of getting caught; but I had a hard
time taking his **guilt** seriously.

Maybe this isn't a prudent thing to admit on a public
blog ( :-0 ), but I have a less, shall we say, **internalized**
respect for IP than, say, the Business Software Association
might wish were true of the public in general. ;->

But the idea, even as an SFnal "mcguffin", that "IP" should
persist in a post-scarcity world simply to safeguard a
particular group's social status -- well, it makes me
root for the guy with the "illegal" access to the Xerox
machine.

jfehlinger said...

Dale wrote:

> [V]igilance can't mean proceeding with caution when one
> wants to mobilize moral energies in the service of political
> projects -- it must mean nipping that sort of thing in the
> bud before it starts to do mischief. . .
>
> I have offered up some extensive correlations between
> Superlative technocentrisms and anti-democratic tendencies.
> And that is not even to mention the pesky fact that the
> "defense of liberty and social diversity" around which
> "transhumanism" is presumably "constituted" on your account
> hasn't kept a sizable number of transhumanist-identified
> folks from championing a number of anti-democratic political
> movements from market fundamentalism to technocratic elitism
> to attitudes that sometimes drift uncomfortably close to eugenics
> in my view.

Yes, Mike Darwin once described in a Cryonet article
( http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/dsp.cgi?msg=7510 ) an
all-too-prevalent personality type in the cryonics
movement, exemplars of which are "tiresome, unforgiving and
often vicious". He goes on to say "I recently received a
multipage diatribe about how horrible the situation was
for the person who wrote it because the person they wrote
it about did not share their values and as a result, might
genuinely threaten their survival."

Darwin's article was written in 1997, before Nick Bostrom
started writing academic articles about Superlative "existential
risks", and before the Singularity Institute started promoting the
notion of "Friendly AI". Nevertheless, there was some
rather alarming talk on the SL4 mailing list in 2004 about
how non-SIAI-approved tinkering with AI is murderously irresponsible
because it threatens the survival of the human race.

Am I the only one who is reminded of the Unabomber by talk
like this? Who would be a likely target of a package bomb
or a bullet to the back of the head -- Gerald Edelman?
Jeff Hawkins? Henry Markram?

Dale Carrico? Even little old me?

AnneC said...

Dale said: the "defense of liberty and social diversity" around which "transhumanism" is presumably "constituted" on your account hasn't kept a sizable number of transhumanist-identified folks from championing all sorts of anti-democratic political movements from market fundamentalism to technocratic elitism to attitudes that sometimes drift uncomfortably close to eugenics in my view.

Yeah...the "attitudes that drift uncomfortably close to eugenics" thing is one of my biggest concerns right now.

Right now, in fact, it seems as if "eugenic" ideas are pretty popular in very mainstream circles, as if an entire generation has forgotten (or never learned?) about what is arguably one of the darkest chapters in human history.

And what worries me about certain transhumanist-espoused attitudes in this regard is the notion that humanity is now at a point where we don't need to worry about solving tough problems like discrimination and social stigma because soon "we'll be able to 'cure' everyone" (including, I assume, those who don't want a 'cure' -- I really do wonder sometimes how many people on the mailing lists despite their ostensible support of "diversity" would still have had my parents forcibly apply a neurotypicality serum to me as a youngster in the name of "removing undue constraints" or some other such nonsense.)

There do seem to be a few H+ers who share my "radical" anti-eugenics pro-pluralism stance, which is encouraging, but there are times when I have seriously wanted to say "to heck with this whole [transhumanism] thing!" on the basis that I think some people really aren't examining their own views carefully enough in light of the fact that their intentions feel like good ones. There's a lot of what I strongly suspect to be fear (terror, even) of "weakness" and of having to navigate the world from the standpoint of a non-normative configuration behind a lot of what passes for "compassion" these days.

But -- I also, right now, see transhumanism as something that can exist in a primarily "salon" configuration (where people bring up interesting philosophical arguments and scenarios, and speculate about them), and since the t-word itself has zero bearing on what my actual principles and views are, I would sort of see a dramatic "renouncement" of it as giving it too much power. Does that make sense?

jfehlinger said...

Anne Corwin wrote:

> [T]he "attitudes that drift uncomfortably close to eugenics"
> thing is one of my biggest concerns right now.

Yes, this is a recurring theme in SF.

Most recently appearing in a Jockey, International
TV commercial: "Out of Line"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyUOeYO79Oo

And in one of the more memorable _Twilight Zone_
episodes, "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You" (1964)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_12_Looks_Just_Like_You

1/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VREcA-Ob5UE
2/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR9IshdlSB0
3/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IobfpOH0BX0

"They don't care whether people are beautiful or not;
they only want everyone to be the same!"

-- Marilyn Cuberle, in "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You"


"Ratz was tending bar, his prosthetic arm jerking monotonously
as he filled a tray of glasses with draft Kirin. He saw Case and
smiled, his teeth a webwork of East European steel and brown decay. . .

The bartender's smile widened. His ugliness was the stuff of legend.
In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about
his lack of it. . ."

-- William Gibson, _Neuromancer_

> [T]here are times when I have seriously wanted to say "to heck
> with this whole [transhumanism] thing!" on the basis that I think
> some people really aren't examining their own views carefully
> enough in light of the fact that their intentions feel like good ones.

Yes, and they scream bloody murder when other folks start
examining those views too closely.

> There's a lot of what I strongly suspect to be fear (terror, even) of
> "weakness" . . .

"I am not angry for being unable to love. I equate love with weakness.
I hate being weak and I hate and despise weak people (and, by
implication, the very old and the very young). I do not tolerate
stupidity, disease and dependence - and love seems to encompass
all three. These are not sour grapes. I really feel this way."

-- Sam Vaknin
http://samvak.tripod.com/journal3.html

jfehlinger said...

> . . . eugenics . . .

Oh, and see also a recent book:

_The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank_
http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Factory-Curious-History-Nobel/dp/1400061245

p. 28:

"In classic American style, the positive eugenicists turned the
crusade into a competition. In 1920, the Kansas Free Fair
hosted the first "Fitter Family Contest." Twenty families
entered, and trained eugenicists gave them psychiatric evaluations
and intelligence tests. The winning family was paraded
around the grounds like prize cattle. Soon the American Eugenics
Society was sponsoring "human stock" competitions at fairs
all around the country. Winners were awarded a medal on
which was inscribed: "Yea, I have a goodly heritage."
( http://www.dnai.org/text/mediashowcase/index2.html?id=893 )

A "Fitter Family" from 1925 ("Large Family Class"):
http://www.amphilsoc.org/library/images/aes/75.jpg

Dale Carrico said...

Anne writes: it seems as if "eugenic" ideas are pretty popular in very mainstream circles

Yes, I agree, and I agree that this is enormously frightening.

The technocratic attitude I criticize in many transhumanists and other variations of Superlativity ("experts must save all the dumb people from themselves, democracy can't work") is also a mainstream policy discourse, especially in what the left bloggosphere calls "The Village," the inside-the-beltway archipelago of thinktank policy-making intellectuals who have the ear of incumbents and representatives.

The market fundamentalism I criticize in so many transhumanists is also a mainstream Development discourse -- not always as a full-on embrace of the full fantasy of a naturalized "spontaneous order" but certainly in a constant emphasis on questions of corporate-military "competitiveness" and "innovation" above all other values.

In their Superlative Variations one sees the incoherence and absurdity and ugliness of these attitudes more than usually clearly. This is one of the reasons it is especially clarifying to analyze them.

It is also true that discursive sub(cult)ural "edge cities" like transhumanism generate new arguments and frames that will eventually disseminate out in more qualified forms into mainstream discourse -- and it pays to attend to them early rather than late.

There are few things more commonplace than fraudulent hyperbole in the claims surrounding technological and medical research and development. There is no small amount of the Ponzi scheme in the "acceleration of acceleration" discourse. At least the Superlatives polish these discourses into something actually interesting conceptually. As a philosopher, I can tell you it is far more enjoyable to concentrate on the intellectually more vigorous forms of Superlative discourse than to spend too much time just analyzing commonplace hype, fraud, self-deception, and guru-scams. My only regret is that Superlativity still edges too close too often in the direction of these ugly commonplaces in any case.

I... see transhumanism as something that can exist in a primarily "salon" configuration... Does that make sense?

The closest thing to positive content one can ascribe to "Transhumanism" is to say that it consists of the same sort of people who used to read Omni magazine. I was one of these, by the way. I'm a geek, I like blue-skying about technodevelopment, I like talking about sf. Believe me, I get it.

But Superlativity -- transhumanism, singularitarianism, technological immortalism, eugenicism, extropianism -- isn't a philosophy -- it doesn't do the things a proper philosophy does.

It isn't a unique or coherent identity, either. To the extent that it manages to create a sub(cult)ure it succeeds only in making criticism feel like defamation -- the worst possible thing in an era when we need to democratize technodevelopmental deliberation; to make public speculation on certain topics seem like participation in a cult -- with the consequence that this speculation will happen instead among incumbent interests in secret, another disastrous impact.

Technology will not end history, technology will not make politics disappear (although of course it can be deployed opportunistically in the service either of democratization or anti-democratization), technology will not make intelligence disembodied, technology will not make people immortal, technology will not overcome human finitude.

To the extent that "transhumanism" and other Superlative marginal sub(cult)ures express these attitudes, they are just idiotic would-be fundamentalist religions in a world that has more than enough of those already.

In this aspect, transhumanism doesn't really have enough numbers to really worry anybody overmuch -- although I will admit I am sorry for the damage done to impressionable bright young people who get caught up in such formations, and I am a bit worried about the disproportionate attention that specific transhumanist arguments/frames get in the corporate media, due to the comfortable conservatism of their industrial/neoliberal developmental assumptions, due to their flashy dramatic extremity for a trashified corporate media, and due to the lack of a vibrant technoscientifically literate alternative discourse (the online technoprogressive mainstream is starting to function as this -- directly analogous to the work of the Netroots in other spheres).

The emerging technoprogressive mainstream has zero patience for transhumanism, btw. Things are going to get very ugly for the few smart sensible decent transhumanists who have been carrying water for the libertopians, eugenicists, cultists, and reductionists among them. As I said, I love blue-skying about tech as much as the next geek. Just be careful.

Anonymous said...

Philosopher Michael Sandel notes that John Rawls supported eugenics:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200404/sandel
Even the leading philosopher of American liberalism, John Rawls, in his classic A Theory of Justice (1971), offered a brief endorsement of noncoercive eugenics. Even in a society that agrees to share the benefits and burdens of the genetic lottery, it is "in the interest of each to have greater natural assets," Rawls wrote. "This enables him to pursue a preferred plan of life." The parties to the social contract "want to insure for their descendants the best genetic endowment (assuming their own to be fixed)." Eugenic policies are therefore not only permissible but required as a matter of justice. "Thus over time a society is to take steps at least to preserve the general level of natural abilities and to prevent the diffusion of serious defects."

jfehlinger said...

"Anonymous" wrote:

> [Quoting John Rawls:]
>
> "Thus over time a society is to take steps at least to
> preserve the general level of natural abilities and to
> prevent the diffusion of serious defects."

Many among the intelligentsia have worried about this sort
of thing. It's part of the "responsibility" of having a
superior mind, dontcha know.

Even Bertrand Russell, sad to say (though he later seems to have
repudiated eugenics):

"On November 16, 1922, for instance, he gave a lecture to the General Meeting
of Dr. Marie Stopes's Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress
on 'Birth Control and International Relations,' in which he described the
importance of extending Western birth control worldwide. . .

'I do not see how we can hope permanently to be strong enough to keep the
coloured races out; sooner or later they are bound to overflow, so the best
we can do is to hope that those nations will see the wisdom of Birth Control....
We need a strong international authority.'

– 'Lecture by the Hon. Bertrand Russell', Birth Control News,
vol 1, no. 8 (December 1922), p.2"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell


Jean Brodie: I hear I must congratulate you
on the birth of another child.

Teddy Lloyd: Yes, another daughter.

Miss Brodie: Have you never heard of Marie Stopes,
architect for constructive birth control and racial progress?

Mr. Lloyd: Ah, yes. An estimable woman. But my church
enjoins me to go forth and be fruitful.

Miss Brodie: I'm aware of your unfortunate affiliation
with the Church of Rome. I doubt, however, whether that
body gives the same interpretation to "go forth" that you do.

-- _The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie_

AnneC said...

Dale said:

The emerging technoprogressive mainstream has zero patience for transhumanism, btw. Things are going to get very ugly for the few smart sensible decent transhumanists who have been carrying water for the libertopians, eugenicists, cultists, and reductionists among them. As I said, I love blue-skying about tech as much as the next geek. Just be careful.

How does one know if one is, in fact, "carrying water" for a group/attitude/pernicious influence he or she most certainly does not support or espouse?

This is the conundrum I keep coming back to -- when I communicate with folks who would probably fall into the category of "smart sensible decent transhumanists", I find myself thinking that the word "transhumanism" is a pretty harmless descriptor for a vague and diverse set of attitudes, values, and interests.

But then I come over here to this blog and see all the various arguments connecting transhumanism to things which range from silly to nasty, and I start to wonder whether maybe I'm missing something that would (if I could only grasp it) send me running for the hills away from anything remotely affiliated with the "t-word".

But then I go back to the "sensible transhumanists" again, and note again the fact that the word has little power beyond maybe a social networking tool for those folks, and the cycle repeats.

This has been happening to me over and over again for months now. It's confusing as heck!

Now that I'm more familiar with the "technoprogressive mainstream" lexicography (and with superlativity critiques) I think I can say that if I'd discovered all that first, I might never had bothered associating myself specifically with "transhumanism". And I'm trying to figure out what to do about this realization, because I am almost certain I can't be the only person in this position.

I suspect that a lot of people who currently call themselves "transhumanists" are probably just part of what you'd call "the emerging technoprogressive mainstream" -- it's just that they're unfamiliar with that particular bit of vocabulary, and right now, "transhumanism" is serving the purpose of helping them locate and access particular discussions and social networking opportunities, etc.

I see a lot of people calling themselves "transhumanists" that, like me, have no interest in "banner-waving" or marching under an "H+" flag or trying to promote policies and attitudes that they hope will "sweep the world" and remake it in the image of their favorite techno-utopian (and probably boringly homogenous and self-limiting) daydream.

I also see you and a few others making good, solid arguments that recognize the potential and promise of human innovation (in terms of mechanism and social development) while refraining from utilizing the false and misleading polarizing framework of "technophilia versus technophobia", where only two positions (embrace or ban/reject) are proposed as responses to "technology" in the general sense.

But what I don't see is much of a "bridge" between the non-banner-happy transhumanist-identified folks (who are likely more properly denizens of the technoprogressive mainstream), and the explanations/argumentative formulations that might help them see that they have options besides alignment with arguably marginal subcultural formulations. Maybe this is something that will happen on its own, or maybe it needs to be worked on as a project, but either way, it would be interesting to see the results.

Dale Carrico said...

James Hughes is one of the smartest most well-meaning people I know and he disagrees with me about transhumanism. You have to judge this for yourself.

Notice that in an area where you have very acute personal knowledge, the risks of optimality over consensual framing of modification medicine, suddenly you find yourself at odds with many transhumanists.

My awareness of the dangers of optimality frames vis-a-vis the pathologization of queers puts me in a very similar position.

But I have to say, I have comparable knowledges about anti-humanities reductionism, histories of hype, self-appointed technocratic elitists disdaining democracy, development benefiting only incumbents treated as general "progress" whatever the costs to vulnerable others, and so on.

The highly superlative forms of technocentrism (which are hardly confined to transhumanists), pining after immortality, wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, post-historical/post-political deliverance and so on, I think are not that hard to expose for their irrationality.

As you often say, there's nothing wrong with geek salon culture blue-skying about tech -- and I feel the very same appeal you are talking about. It doesn't seem to me that such salons always inspire talk of "we" salon-enthusiast-ists, and supporting the salon-enthusiast-ist movement. I think it pays to think why that is and what it is that is different where transhumanists, extropians, singularitarians, technological immortalists and so are concerned. Why are there always these projects to create communities of nanotech enthusiasts, cryonicists, libertopians, and so on? Why the separatism, why the expressions of hostility toward ignorant majorities, and so on?

I do honestly believe that a technoprogressive mainstream devoted to med and tech r & d, technoscience literacy, p2p, renewables, and so on is emerging. It didn't really exist in the same way a decade ago.

Those sensible technoprogressive folks who have tolerated the cultists, superlatives, eugenicists, and libertopians out of a desire for someone to talk about cyborgs with have very attractive options opening up to them.

Again, your mileage may vary.

AnneC said...

Those sensible technoprogressive folks who have tolerated the cultists, superlatives, eugenicists, and libertopians out of a desire for someone to talk about cyborgs with have very attractive options opening up to them.

Hooray for that!

(though I don't think I've ever "tolerated" eugenicists -- it's all I can do not to spend all my online time arguing with them sometimes!)