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Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's More Than Fun to Ridicule the Ridiculous Robot Cultists, It's a Duty

Upgraded and adapted from the Moot:

Transhumanists and Singularitarians and Techno-Immortalists and Ayn Raelians and all the other Robot Cultists are indeed cranks, and also quite as silly a sub(cult)ure as they are a marginal one. You must remember two things though -- One, they represent in my view a kind of clarifying reductio of the hyperbole, reductionism, eugenicism, alienation, and anti-democratizing elitism that characterizes prevailing global neoliberal technoscientific developmental discourses more generally; and Two, Neoconservatism provides a recent lesson that a marginal and palpably idiotic sub(cult)ure of boys who say things that are useful to incumbent interests in just the right way at just the right time can do flabbergasting amounts of damage to the world despite being silly marginal cranks when all is said and done.


Anonymous said...

Neoconservatism provides a recent lesson that a marginal and palpably idiotic sub(cult)ure of boys who say things that are useful to incumbent interests in just the right way at just the right time can do flabbergasting amounts of damage to the world despite being silly marginal cranks when all is said and done.I agree with you. However, in order to clarify your point even further, could you sketch a vision of how transhumanism and/or singularitarianism taken up as the new ideology of the American Establishment could lead to disaster?

Giulio Prisco said...

I would also be interested to know that.

Dale Carrico said...

I describe superlativity in the post as hyperbolic, reductionist, eugenicist, alienated, and elitist -- is it that you doubt [1] the disastrousness of these tendencies on their own terms, [2] the disastrousness to sensible technodevelopmental deliberation in the present framed through these tendencies, or [3] my attributions of these tendencies to superlativity as such?

As I say at the head of the Superlative Summary I find superlative futurology --

"One: To be hyperbolically unrealistic and sensationalist in ways that derange urgently necessary public deliberation about technoscience issues,

Two: To exacerbate irrational fears and fantasies about agency typically activated in any case by discussions of technology,

Three: To lend themselves to faith-based social forms and identity-based political models that are psychologically harmful and dangerously anti-democratizing,

Four: To facilitate elitist, alarmist, escapist, reductionist attitudes and rhetoric that are especially well suited to incumbent interests and anti-democratic politics, whatever the professed politics of those who advocate them, and

Five: To represent in their extremity a clarifying and symptomatic expression of the basic irrationality and authoritarianism of prevailing discourses of "Global Development" and "Technoscientific Progress" in an era of neoliberal and neoconservative politics."

Is that clearer, less clear, still unclear? Maybe you could make the question more specific so I could address it more specifically? You may be on to something I haven't properly considered yet?

Dale Carrico said...

PS: My response was directed to the probably well-meaning and sensible "Anonymous" and not at all to the hysterical and palpably idiotic Robot Cultist Giulio Prisco, who is not at all "interested" in its issues as such, but is just desperately flailing about in search of any possible wrinkle, however modest or fleeting, to shoehorn his techno-transcendentalizing faith into however manifestly absurd it is exposed to be.

Giulio Prisco said...

I cannot find any wrinkle, however modest or fleeting, because there is no fabric that could have wrinkles. There is no substance besides "I hate you guys". Since I believe everyone is entitled to his opinions, even palpably or impalpably idiotic opinions like yours, there is no point in discussing. If you write something that makes actual sense, I will look for wrinkles.

Dale Carrico said...

Mm hm.

Anonymous said...

There is no substance besides "I hate you guys".Really?!?

Even if you one could legitimately argue that Carrico exaggerates or over-generalizes when criticizing transhumanists and singularitarians, how can anyone honestly say that his critiques have no substance besides hatred?

Is Prisco is so blinded by sectarianism and hostile due to having been personally excoriated by Carrico that he no longer has the intellectual honesty to be able to say "Dale, that's a harsh but accurate criticism of some transhumanists and singularitarians but not all of them are like that"?

My respect for him would greatly increased the day he does that rather resorting to schoolyard taunts and insults...

Anonymous said...

Is that clearer, less clear, still unclear? Maybe you could make the question more specific so I could address it more specifically? You may be on to something I haven't properly considered yet?It is clear but it would be clearer if you have a concrete example, whether it be real or hypothetical. Such examples would bring it home.

jimf said...

Anonymous asked:

> [C]ould you sketch a vision of how transhumanism and/or singularitarianism
> taken up as the new ideology of the American Establishment could lead to
> disaster?

To Dale's five points, I'll add a sixth.

You know, to a certain extent, Ayn Rand's Objectivism **was** taken up (via
luminaries such as Alan Greenspan) as the new ideology of the
American Establishment during the Reagan years and afterward.

L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology has, thankfully, never been taken
up by government at the national level, though it has occasionally been alleged
to have achieved undue influence in some local governments and in
some businesses. Nevertheless it **has** wielded a very disquieting
degree of power, at least in the pre-Internet era, to intimidate journalists
and ex-members into silence by means of hired skill with the legal system.

The transhumanists and singularitarians share one salient trait
with both Randism and Hubbardism -- narcissism. Both the
narcissism of the leaders (who fancy themselves the smartest
people on the planet, with the key to the future survivial of
the human race, and maybe even of life in the universe) and
the **appeals** to the narcissism of the followers (promises
of immortality, vast wealth, superhuman powers, etc.)

Roy F. Baumeister, author of _Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty_
( )
is a social psychologist who has participated in studies debunking the
popular notion that bullies pick on other people because
they have low self-esteem (he's a sort of anti-Nathaniel Branden).

In the concluding chapter of that book, Baumeister lists four
major root causes of evil:

1. Simple desire for material gain -- money and power.

*2. Threatened egotism. "Villains, bullies, criminals,
killers, and other evildoers have high self-esteem, contrary to
the comfortable fiction that has recently spread through
American culture. Violence results when a person's favorable
image of self is questioned or impugned by someone else."

*3. Idealism. "When people believe firmly that they are on
the side of the good and are working to make the world a better
place, they often feel justified in using strong measures against
the seemingly evil forces that oppose them."

4. Sadistic pleasure. "This root is responsible for a much
smaller proportion of the world's evil than the others. . .
Moreover, sadism appears to be an acquired taste."

#2 and #3 above are what you have to fear from narcissists (#3 applies
because narcissism can easily assume the form of grandiose
pretensions to both the desire and the ability to "save the world").

When I first found out about the DSM "Axis II' diagnosis of
"Narcissistic Personality Disorder" seven years ago (via Theodore
Millon's _Personality Disorders in Modern Life_, which led in
turn to discovering Sam Vaknin's articles about NPD on the Web),
the estimates I encountered about the prevalence of NPD were
about 1%.

In a new book on the subject,
_The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement_
by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell
Chapter 2 "The Disease of Excessive Self-Admiration" states (p. 35):

"Alarmingly, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) also appears
to be increasing.

The most comprehensive study of NPD ever conducted was released just as
this book was going to press. Researchers at the National Institutes of
Health asked a nationally representative sample of over 35,000
Americans if they had ever experienced the symptoms of NPD during
their lifetimes (the interviewers asked only about symptoms and
did not mention the name of the disorder). They found that 6.2% of
Americans -- 1 out of 16 -- had suffered from NPD at some point in their
lives. Even more stunning, 9.4% of Americans in their twenties
(including an incredible 11.5% of young men), compared with only
3.2% of those over 65 years old. So nearly 1 out of 10 Americans
in their twenties has experienced NPD, versus 1 out of 30 of those
over 65. . .

Even before the publication of these data, some therapists called the
increase in narcissistic problems "epidemic" or even "pandemic".
Along with the two datasets showing increases in narcissistic
personality traits, this alarming rate of NPD, especially among the
young, is strong empirical evidence for an epidemic of narcissism."

And from Chapter 16, "The Prognosis" (p. 276):

"The narcissism epidemic has already had serious consequences. First,
there has been a giant transfer of time, attention, and resources
from reality to fantasy. Rather than pursuing the American dream,
people are simply dreaming. Our wealth is phony, driven by credit
and loose lending; this part of the narcissistic dream has already
been dashed. Second, narcissism has corroded interpersonal
relationships. There has been a switch from deep to shallow
relationships, a destruction of social trust, and an increase in
entitlement and selfishness.

More people are pursuing fleeting, insubstantial fame rather than making
a solid contribution. Even people with real skills are now going
for the sizzle instead of the substance. The number of plastic
surgeons, for example, has tripled since the mid-1970s, while the
number of physicians has merely doubled. . .

These two processes -- a corrosion of close relationships and a
substitution of fantasy for reality -- paint a bleak image of the
world. It looks like an upside-down birds' nest: a hollow vessel
with an empty interior and a rotting structure. . .

As long as people continue to be pumped up with false feedback, connected
in illusory close relationships, and driven by flash rather than
substance -- that is, as long as fantasy can trump reality in the
game of life -- narcissism will thrive. And as long as narcissism
thrives, we can expect a culture that is more and more built on the
faulty ground of inflated self-perceptions, shallow relationships,
shameless self-promotion, and excessive attention seeking. . .

Bad economic times may beat back some symptoms of the epidemic, such as
plastic surgery and outsize materialism. But if we had to wager,
we would bet against the countertrends and on the spread of the
narcissism epidemic. Most of the root causes of the epidemic are

There is another possibility, however -- one that is even more frightening.
The narcissism epidemic could be reversed during a major economic and
social upheaval. The narcissism epidemic itself might cause this
social collapse. The financial crisis of 2008 might be only the first
step of narcissistic overconfidence bringing down long-established
institutions. So far, it has only spawned a new era of entitlement
with government bailouts, but if these don't work and the whole economy
is infected, things could get very ugly.

But maybe such a collapse will actually turn things around. The
Great Depression forged a generation of hardworking, collectively-focused
citizens, who were further shaped by the fight against tyranny during
World War II. . . These bad times brought America a long way from the
culture of the roaring 1920s -- also a narcissistic era, but nothing
that approached today's culture. Another economic collapse could
have a similar effect. Or there could be a disease epidemic (like
the flu in 1918) or an environmental catastrophe. There have been
hints of all three possibilities lately. We have no idea if such
a collapse will happsn, and we are certainly not pulling for it,
but these types of upheavals might temper the narcissism epidemic."

Dale Carrico said...

I am genuinely perplexed at your suggestion that concrete examples would clarify my point. I said superlative futurology is hyperbolic, reductionist, eugenicist, alienated, and elitist. Are you saying you need concrete examples of ways in which hyperbole, reductionism, eugenicism, alienation, or elitism can be disastrous, in general as well as in matters of technodevelopmental deliberation more specifically? This isn't something that is immediately and absolutely clear on its face? Or is it that you want concrete examples to justify my attributions of these tendencies to superlative futurology as such? I mean, if you read the texts in the Superlative Summary or in the hundreds of exchanges I've had with transhumanists and singularitarians and techno-immortalists in between those selected anthologized bits you will find countless concrete examples in which I expose what seem to me to be exhibitions of these tendencies in their writings, comments, frames and so on. I'm not sure I understand what you are asking for -- it seems to me I've provided a ridiculous overabundance of concrete examples, which of course anybody can take or leave as they will, either that or I am simply still not quite getting what point it is that you want clarified exactly through different sorts of examples?

jimf said...

> [T]here has been a giant transfer of time, attention, and resources
> from reality to fantasy. Rather than pursuing the American dream,
> people are simply dreaming. . .

"Four Years Later"
Date: Fri Apr 19 2002

The date is April 19, 2006 and the world is on the verge of something
wonderful. The big news of the last twelve months is the phenomenal success
of Ben Goertzel's Novamente program. It has become a super tool for solving
complex problems. . . "[M]iracle" cures for one major disease after
another are being produced on almost a daily basis. . .
[T]he success of the Novamente system has made
Ben Goertzel rich and famous making frequent appearances on the talk show
circuit as well as visits to the White House. One surprise is the fact that
the System was unable to offer any useful advise to the legal team that
narrowly fended off the recent hostile take over attempt by IBM. The
Novamente phenomen[on] has triggered an explosion of public interest and
research in AI. Consequently, the non-profit organization The Singularity
Institute for Artificial Intelligence has been buried under an avalanche of
donations. In their posh new building in Atlanta we find Eliezer working
with the seedai system of his own design. . .

Extropia DaSilva said...

What Dale says about transhumanists believing that 'their organismic intelligences might be "migrated" onto software thereby "immortalizing" (or "superlongevizing" or "indefinitely prolonging") "them" so that they can "live" in a virtual and/or nanobotic slave swarming treasure cave in the Presence of a history ending "superintelligent" post-biological Robot God' is true. Some of them do believe this will happen. Just go and read 'Singularity Is Near' by Ray Kurzweil, 'The Spike' by Damien Broderick or 'Robot' by Hans Moravec; it's all there.

You will also find people anticipating the arrival of all that in pro-h+ forums like MindX. Arguing with these people is normally a waste of time, since they wield 'the Singularity' like some kind of royal flush. It trumps any argument debunking the possibility of such things: "It WILL happen! The Singularity will MAKE it happen!". Uhuh.

But if you read the books I mentioned, along with those seemingly absurd predictions, there are a whole load of other forecasts, and some of those do not sound quite so dubious. Some, for instance, are based on actual technologies that are working right now in R+D labs, although at this point in time there may be no guarantee such prototypes will become commercially-successful products.

I wonder if Dale would agree that a person is not some kind of brainwashed cultist if they believe SOME (but not all) of what Kurzweil, Moravec and their ilk imagine as being possible? And is it possible for someone to speculate that the more fanciful claims MIGHT come true at some indeterminate point in the future, without being 'so open-minded their brain has fallen out' as the saying goes?

Dale Carrico said...

If you're not a Robot Cultist why join the Robot Cult in the first place? Just trying to be the marginally saner big futurological fish in a small pond of futurological crazy?

As for your rather sad struggle to get me to shift my critique from saying you ARE wrong to PROBABLY wrong (if one holds one's faith-based wish-fulfillment fantasies desperately enough they can find their settled home in surprisingly modestly framed possibilities -- just look at fundamentalists), my whole point is that superlative futurology is only superficially devoted to the technical details and timelines it devotes so much of its time to delineating.

Those details and timelines are not the substance but the pretext of superlativity, creating the patina of scientificity through which to provide a pretense of plausibility for the personal faith-based aspirations for technodevelopmental transcendence in which Robot Cultists are so invested.

I don't make the mistake of confusing the paraphernalia with the actual substance and so you cannot get me to talk about your discourse on the terms you prefer, since debate on those preferred terms facilitates the damaging political and psychological dynamics of superlativity even where it permits "disagreements" on the technical matters themselves. The concession that your discourse is technical in the relevant sense in the first place is the one you do not earn.

Superlative discourse offers up nothing unique enough to solicit serious consideration on its preferred terms that also passes muster as consensus science or prevailing progressivity. So I don't, and I recommend that neither should others, especially given the pernicious effects of superlativity on sensible technodevelopmental discourse.

Extropia DaSilva said...

So from all that blah blah blah I think it is safe to assume that Dale rejects absolutely everything ever written by anyone remotely interested in transhumanism. And why not? It is, after all, a 'cult'.

Or is it? No, not really.

Micheal Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, and he has listed the distinguishing characteristics of cults. Transhumanism fails to conform to the majority of these characteristics. For instance:

"INERRANCY OF THE LEADER: Acceptance of the leader's belief and pronouncements on all subjects, from the philosophical".

I have given lectures on behalf of H+ movements like the Order of Cosmic Engineers. No person attending is under any pressure to accept anything I say as received truth. Attendees can and do raise objections and doubts about anything I have to say.

Not that I am a leader or anything, but if OCE or H+ was a cult, I would be parroting the received 'wisdom' of my 'leader' and no voices of dissent would be tolerated. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

See this chatlog for evidence that doubt and skepticism is part and parcel of most lectures, debates etc held at the OCE:

"HIDDEN AGENDAS: The true nature of the group's beliefs and plans is obscured from or not fully disclosed to potential recruits and the general public".

The World Transhumanist Association describes itself as "an international nonprofit membership organization which advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities. We support the development of and access to new technologies that enable everyone to enjoy better minds, better bodies and better lives. In other words, we want people to be better than well". I would say that pretty much sums up what the H+ movement is all about. If there is some shadowy agenda lurking behind this declaration, I have yet to become aware of it.

"FINANCIAL AND/OR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION: recruits and followers are persuaded to invest money and other assets in the group".

I have never been asked to hand over money. No doubt, some H+ organizations do organize fundraising events, but somehow I do not think that was what Dr Shermer meant, do you?

"ABSOLUTE TRUTH: Belief that the leader and/or group has discovered final knowledge on any number of subjects."

This is refuted by the already established fact that anyone is free to criticise anything claimed by H+ supporters.

On the pro-H+ site you can find essays like 'Kurzweil's impoverished Sprituality' by William Dembski, 'Organism and Machine: The Flawed Analogy' by Michael Denton, and 'Why I Think I'll Win' by Mitch Kapor. These are just some of the essays that pick holes in Kurzweil's theories. Of course, Kurzweil offers counter arguments. But a person is free to make up their own minds about which arguments are more persuasive. Acceptance of everything Kurzweil says (or anything claimed by a major figure in H+) is not required of members.

"ABSOLUTE MORALITY: Belief that the leader and/or group has developed a system of right and wrong thought and action applicable to members and nonmembers alike. Those who strictly follow the moral code become and remain memmbers, those who do not are dismissed or punished".

In Max More's 'Principles Of Extropy' we find statements like:

"The Principles of Extropy do not specify particular beliefs, technologies, or policies. The Principles do not pretend to be a complete philosophy of life".

"The Principles are intended to be enduring, underlying ideals and standards. At the same time, both in content and by being revised, the Principles do not claim to be eternal truths or certain truths".

So that's the idea that the leaders of the H+ movement claim to have absolute knowledge about what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' shot down.

So the H+ movement fails to conform to the characteristics of a cult in several ways. Dale is clearly being lazy and uninformed when he makes his repeated 'robot cultist' accusations.

I have encountered far more dogmatism, far more delusions of absolute certainty, and far more claims to absolute morality on this blog than any of the H+ and Singularitarian groups I take part in. Perhaps Dale should take a good, long look at himself before he accuses anyone else of cultish behaviour?

Dale Carrico said...

In "The Future" Up will be Down.

Extropia DaSilva said...

Oh dear. I expected a thorough, evidence-based counter-argument that picked holes in my reasoning and established beyond reasonable doubt that H+ does meet the criteria of a cult. But what do I get? A reply that says precisely nothing.

Some people just do not know how to say 'I was wrong'.

Dale Carrico said...

A little over a month ago I posted yet another concise variation of my critique, What's Wrong With Transhumanism? from which I'll quote:

"[8] It [superlativity] is constituted in its organizational substance by an archipelago of inter-related so-called "think-tanks" and membership organizations supported by fandom subcultures, many of which are disturbingly indistinguishable from cults with all that this implies in the way of social alienation, manic PR and hyperbolizing rhetoric to attract attention rather than contribute to sense, criticisms misconstrued and attacked as defamation, and the whole banal bestiary of authoritarian hierarchy from True Believers to would-be gurus peddling pseudo-science"

A couple of quick things about this quote are very relevant to this latest spectacle Extropia is making of himself. First, this is the eighth and last point of the critique of superlative futurology there. If "Extropia" wants to generate the devastating refutation of the critique of superlativity he seems to be absurdly whooping it up over here for some reason, I daresay he should take a stab at addressing points one through seven. Second, notice that my claim is a qualified one. I say that Superlativity is cult-like in its organizational life. Certainly I think Superlativity yields organizational dynamics that are illuminated by comparing them to cults, just as fundamentalist religiosity often is, just as corporate self-help and managerial seminar-culture often is, say, but I will quite cheerfully concede that one might also note differences that make a difference from one subculture to the next. The comparison is clear enough to be rather wounding to transhumanists and singularitarians and techno-immortalists and extropians and nano-cornucopiasts, hence the panic and desperation with which they respond to anybody's noticing it, but I have no investment in declaring every exhibition of superlative discourse a perfect illustration of culthood in particular, especially according to one particular model among many useful ones on offer you happen at the moment to prefer (I know Shermer's work quite well, and find it congenial although not, on its own, definitive -- neither would he). This obviously isn't a concession of "Extropia's" point, this isn't a matter of being forced by the shattering logic of some techno-fetishizing loon to "admit" that not every single utterance by every single Robot Cultist is best understood by comparing it to the Scientologists or Raelians (although quite a few most certainly are). The simple fact is that I have never said anything other than this, "Extropia" is just torching straw and then manically crowing about it, fancying his True Belief intact whatever its ridiculous implausibility and marginality.

It is interesting to note that just ten days ago (by which time "Extropia" was clearly already reading my posts and freaking out about them) I posted a piece he should surely remember given his present preoccupation Let's Talk About Cultishness. In it I address very directly the issues of which he seems to feel he deserves an endless reiteration, however pointless. I'll quote from that piece:

"Transhumanism, singularitarianism, techno-immortalism, extropianism, and all the rest might seem to differ a bit from classic cult formations in that they do tolerate and even celebrate dissenting views on the questions that preoccupy their attention. What one notices however is that the constellation of problems at issue for them are highly marginal and idiosyncratic yet remain unusually stable, and the disputatious positions assumed in respect to these issues are also fairly stable as well.

"The "party line" for the Robot Cult is not so much a matter of memorizing a Creed and observing Commandments, but of taking seriously as nobody else on earth does (sometimes by going through the ritual motions of dispute itself) a set of idealized outcomes -- outcomes that would just happen to confer personal "transcendence" on those who are preoccupied with them, namely, superintelligence, superlongevity, and superabundance -- and fixating on a set of "technical" problems (not accepted as priorities in the consensus scientific fields on which these "technical" vocabularies parasitically depend) standing in the way of the realization of those idealized outcomes and the promise of that transcendence.

"It is not so much a hard party-line that is policed by the Robot Cult, but a circumscription of debate onto an idiosyncratic set of marginal problems and marginal "technical" vocabularies in the service of superlative transcendentalizing aspirations rather than conventional progressive technodevelopmental aspirations.

"This marginality is compensated by the fraught pleasures of a highly defensive sub(cult)ural identification, the sense of being a vanguard rather than an ignoramus or a crank, the sense of gaining a highly simplified explanatory narrative and a location within it as against the ignorance and confusion that likely preceded the conversion experience (or, to be more generous about it, for some, the assumption of the futurological enthusiasm that impelled them into this particular fandom), not to mention the offering up of a tantalizing glimpse and promise of superlative aspirations, however conceptually confused, however technically implausible.

"For some, superlativity functions as a straightforward faith-based initiative, and mobilizes the conventional authoritarian organizational circuit of True Believers and would-be Priestly Authorities, while for others it is a self-marginalizing sub(cult)ural enthusiasm more like a fandom. The fandom may be less psychologically damaging and less fundamentalist and less prone to authoritarianism (or not), but it nurtures and mobilizes the worst extremes in organized superlative futurology all the same.

"The True Believers and the Fans will all refer just the same to "the movement" and to themselves as "transhumanists" or "singularitarians" or what have, imagining themselves different sorts of people in consequence of their identification with that movement and with the Movement of History in which it is imagined uniquely to participate along a path to transcendence or apocalypse."

Extropia declares: "Oh dear. I expected a thorough, evidence-based counter-argument that picked holes in my reasoning and established beyond reasonable doubt that H+ does meet the criteria of a cult. But what do I get? A reply that says precisely nothing. Some people just do not know how to say 'I was wrong'. "

About what hilariously oversimplified retroactive impoverishment of a point exactly do you imagine yourself in a position to declare me "wrong"? You don't deserve a thorough, evidence-based counter-argument. Superlativity isn't evidence-"based," it is a discourse organizing highly selective evidences and ill-digested notions into a narrative that solicits faith-based subcultures of shared transcendental aspiration. Your typical summary of my responses when I provide them on my actual terms is "blah blah blah," so why do you think you deserve serious consideration from me? You may fairly respond that I offer you comparable attention, but you must understand me. I don't think you can be persuaded to sense any more than any other True Believer. It is not science but irrational passion that makes you a Robot Cultist in defiance of sense, and who knows what particular flavor drew you into the maw of Robot Cultism? That isn't my business or interest (usually hostility to the ineradicable play of contingency in human affairs, hostility to the mortal vulnerable body, and hostility to the frustrating exactions of stakeholder politics come into the story at soon enough as with most pre-enlightened suckers for priestly social formations), but I certainly don't consider you a good faith interlocutor any more than I would a fervent Pentecostal, Stalinist, or grifter. I'm not trying to convince Robot Cultists to change their minds (although I have occasionally done this, and consider it gravy), I am exposing Robot Cultists for what they are, laughing them off the stage to reduce the damage the can do, and using them to illustrate deeper more prevailing pathologies in hyperbolic, reductionist, determinist, elitist, eugenicist global "developmental" discourses more generally. Believe me, you're not up for that conversation, my sad sociopathic li'l Robot Cultist.