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

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let Your Futurological Freak Flag Fly

Look, although I am a crusty atheistical type of long standing myself, I'm also reasonably cheerfully nonjudgmental about the whole thing so long as I'm not getting lied or preached to.

I can't honestly say that it is my experience that organized religiosity seems to conduce much to either sanity or good conscience in those who make a big deal out of it, but I'm more or less content to say everybody should believe whatever they need to believe to get them through the night, at any rate until their beliefs start playing out in misleading, violent, or exploitative ways in the world.

The same is true of the fanciful faiths of the techno-immortalists, extropians, singularitarians, transhumanists, and other assorted superlative technocentrics, certainly.

By all means, Robot Cultists, cult robotically away to your heart's content, let your futurological freak flag fly.

Just don't try to peddle your Robot Cultism as
[1] constituting a novel, coherent, and systematic philosophical viewpoint; as

[2] advocating a unique, coherent, and needed political program; as

[3] contributing somehow to scientific knowledge or useful technique; or as

[4] engaging in serious public policy deliberation.

Otherwise, you know, let a bazillion blossoms bloom, and so on and so forth. I mean, after all, who cares?


Anonymous said...

they are getting organized dale. We're screwed.

Anonymous said...

What's interesting about this new development is that if Conservatism Plus and the conversative wing of the transhumanist movement takes off it will be harder for anyone to claim that said movement has "matured" by becoming overwhelmingly "progressive"...

Dale Carrico said...

Who was ever really convinced about this so called progressive maturation of the transhumanists anyway?

The Ayn Raelian wing command more respect among these so-called "democratic transhumanists" than they remotely do among any other self-described progressives I've ever of.

I mean, it's bad enough some democratic-minded people are still cozy with so-called "moderate" neoliberal corporatists like Rubin, but I can't think of any self-described progressives who don't also buy into Robot Cult futurological nonsense who still treat full-on Machinery of Friedman anarchocapitalist market fundamentalist extremists and reactionary Bell-Curve apologists as "serious" intellectuals and tea party interlocutors.

And, anyway, be all that as it may, I have pointed out for years that whatever one's declared sympathies in the matter of political self-description, if your arguments ultimately conduce to the benefit of corporate-militarism then who cares if you call yourself progressive?

I believe that the transhumanist deployment of a presumably "neutral" discourse of "enhancement" nudges them into a eugenic right-wing policing of lifeway diversity in accordance with their own parochial values insufficiently sensitive to questions of informed nonduressed consent in matters of emerging non-normalizing healthcare.

I think their attraction to existential risk discourse replays the anti-democratizing rhetoric of the so-called war on terror in a futurological form.

I think their sympathies with geoengineering technofixes to environmental catastrophe function to keep hope alive for the extractive-industrial extractive culprits even after their crimes are exposed.

I think their promulgation of "acceleration of accelerating change" discourse functions to justify elite circumventions of democratic deliberation about technoscience questions (it also happens, in my opinion, to mistake as "acceleration" what looks to non-privileged people simply like destabilization and precarization produced by anti-democratic neoliberal policies of global financialization of the economy).

I could go on, and have done countless times, I know I'm a broken record on all these points, but there it is.