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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What a Treat! John Howard Returns to the Moot

Upgraded and adapted from the Moot to this post long-time but perhaps only sporadic reader "John Howard" declares:
HA! Pretty funny Dale, is that an inside joke to those of us who know that you are a Transhumanist who loves to divert attention from your crazytown article of faith that many of us will be able to choose safe and voluntary genetically tweaked prosthetically enhanced sooper-bodies to enable us to procreate with someone of the same sex? That's a pretty crazytown idea, but to you it's an article of faith that it's crazy to object to or cast doubt on or (horrors! No!) prohibit completely. I say we should prohibit creating babies any way other than joining an existing man and an existing woman's unmodified untweaked gametes, and you get all apoplectic. You try to come across all sane, but you are trying to sanewash the parts of Transhumanism that suit you, which happen to be the most crazy and useless parts. t's distressing to see that you continue to bullshit everyone like this, after I've called you out on it before.
To which I, diabolically you can be sure, reply:
I don't believe -- let alone hold as an article of faith -- that a technique enabling same-sex procreation exists, and I have no particular expectations about it either.

Certainly I don't think that speculative topic should concern people more than, for example, the exploitation of many donor-siblings or precarious egg-donors or surrogate mothers, worries about the promotion of dangerous therapies by for-profit Big Pharma or the elimination of access to treatments for people in overexploited regions in the world through for-profit IP regimes and that sort of real world issue.

It is true that IF same-sex procreative ARTs (assistive reproductive techniques) were developed, proved reliably safe and were made affordably available to everyone who actually wanted them who were well informed and not under duress (and for me the bar should be higher than it tends to be at present for saying someone is truly informed and nonduressed), then no, all things being equal, I don't have a pre-emptive prejudice leading me to declare a blanket ban on the very idea of such a thing. Just to be clear, I think this sort of commitment follows pretty straightforwardly from my championing of the right of all women to choose safely and freely to end unwanted pregnancies or facilitate wanted ones, which leads me as well to champion what seems to me the comparable legalization, regulation, and taxation of consensual recreational drug use among sane legal adults when the drugs in question are reasonably safe and the taxation is used to fund adequate treatment programs to help overcome addiction and other related drug abuse problems.

You say that makes me a "transhumanist" despite the fact that I devote huge amounts of my time to the critique of transhumanist and futurological and reductionist and eugenic discourses. This is because you are a truly confused person.

For those who are not long-acquainted with this blog, John Howard has been appearing out of the blue for years and years and always obsessively returns to his fears about technology creating some kind of menacing same-sex procreation that will destroy the world even if it is safe and accessible and wanted by free adult sane responsible well-informed people.

It's true that John Howard repeatedly calls me out on my insidious plot to seem sane despite my cyborg homosexual agenda. I'm sorry, John, but it isn't my job to still those devil voices in your head telling you how lovely sucking a fat cock would be right about now, or whatever it is that drives this nonsense, but as always I wish you the best as you travel the long strange road to your own private perfection.


Anonymous said...

There was a news item about John some years back: Link

Summerspeaker said...

That's rather more consideration than I'd give to what strikes me as homophobic nonsense. But I have to say, you perform passive-aggressive condescension with flair and aplomb.

jimf said...

> Dale. . . you are a Transhumanist. . . [with] your crazytown article of faith that. . .
> [we] will be able to. . . procreate with someone of the same sex

What **is** the source of this guy's monomania?

I still think it must be a fixation on LaHaye & Jenkins' _Left Behind_
books. ;->

Dale Carrico said...

I agree that this is homophobic nonsense, but I disagree that this is all that is happening in his post. There is in the post an expression of the futurological tendency to treat technocultural analysis as always a species of the extremes either of transhumanism or of bioconservatism (both terms have their limitations, all sorts of historical associations that muddy things, so I personally prefer my own technical terms "superlative" as against "supernative" futurological discourses here) when in fact the actual substance of technodevelopmental struggle are located in the wide range of stakeholder contentions between these reductive and in my view usually deranging extremities of formulation. It is commonplace for transhumanists to declare me a luddite or bioconservative but it also happens that some who are more bioethically conservative on religious or naturalist terms will declare me transhumanist as Howard does. It matters that both sorts of people are making an important and illuminating mistake by my lights. This is why, though I agree with you that this is mostly just sad and ugly heterosexism on display, I do think it important to draw attention to more than just that as it plays out in this example. Condescending enough for ya?

Summerspeaker said...

Perhaps I'm misreading, but I detect minimal if any condescension in your reply to me. You make a convincing case for the merits of the distinctions you draw.

Dale Carrico said...

You must be misreading me -- without passive-aggressive condescension, I'm nothing!