This post comes as a response to rereading Bostrom and Dale Carrico for the last session of David Correia‘s class on cyborg society and techno-futures…. Dale Carrico, on the other hand, inspires me to wear the transhumanist identity proudly. Though to be fair ey has encouraged me to rethink my engagement with the Singularity scene, eir utter disdain for ambitious social transformation convinces me of the revolutionary potential in transhumanism. Carrico’s dismissal of the desire to overcome biological limits such as aging as insane and infantile demonstrates the ideology’s distinctiveness despite eir fervent protests to the contrary. Ey contradicts himself by claiming transhumanists offer nothing new yet simultaneously constitute a pernicious robot death cult.
Here is what I had to say about this. The blog's proprietor moderates comments, as do I, and mine has not yet appeared there. (UPDATE: My comment has not yet appeared, though another, submitted later, has, so poosibly mine did not "pass muster," a matter which I am content to let readers ponder the significance of to their own amusement.) I've corrected a couple of grammatical errors and added some links in the following:
"I'm assuming the piece of mine you read actually provided a critique of futurology? Clicking the link in your post here just sent me to my blog -- a blog in which I talk about lots of political, philosophical, and pop cultural topics remote from the subjects of futurology, robot cults, technoscience I would scarcely expect transhumanists to care about particularly...
"Let me add, as an advocate of the planetary provision of universal healthcare, lifelong education, and basic guaranteed income, as well as the democratization of global governance currently beholden to incumbent-elite corporate-military interests, it is patently ridiculous for you to accuse me of "utter disdain for ambitious social transformation" just because I don't buy into your own pet techno-transcendentalizing hopes.
"As an advocate of healthcare, scientific research, and actually informed, non-duressed consensual prosthetic self-determination (of a piece with my advocacy of pro-choice and multicultural politics more generally), it is simply straightforwardly weird for you to ascribe to me hostility to overcoming disease and biological distress. Any honest reader of mine knows I disapprove what I take to be the eugenic pretense of transhumanists that they know in advance of what 'enhancement' necessarily consists when these values are crucially under contestation.
"I also do indeed regard transhumanist preoccupations with immortality, omniscience, and invulnerability to be facile citations of the age-old deceptions of authoritarian organized religiosity. As I have said many times before the technodevelopmental calling into question of biological limits does not end human finitude but expresses it, as we no longer know exactly what our limits are and what they mean. You'll forgive me if I do not turn to the circus barkers of transhumanism for insights into such dilemmas.
"Denialism, reductionism, scientism, technological determinism, parochialism are none of them new, but they are plenty pernicious come what may, and in extreme subcultures can readily lend themselves to authoritarian and even cult-like formations. No doubt it is my own "insanity" and "infantilism" that blinds me to the contradiction expressed in pointing out such a truism."