As usual, Carrico seems to believe that very strong histrionics can compensate for very weak logic. According to Carrico’s flaky “logic” Armstrong didn’t walk on the Moon, since nobody had ever walked on the Moon before 1969. Women cannot vote in the U.S. today, since they could not vote until the late 19th century. People with poor eyesight cannot read, since they could not read before eyeglasses were invented. Forget your politically incorrect dreams to make the world a better place, things will always stay the way they were, because that’s the way things are, and Carrico proves it with a syllogism!!! I wonder how poor Socrates would feel seeing his name used to justify similar crap. I cannot post a link to my full reply, because the spam filter eats posts with links, use Google.I do hope Prisco has managed to draw more eyeballs to his latest blog (he changes blogs more than most people do, perhaps confusing paddling in place for forward motion if it is frantic and splashy enough, a confusion that I daresay applies to his futurological worldview more generally as well) in that final self-promotional bid! His reference to Socrates is due to my reminder in the original post that the syllogism "All humans are mortal, Socrates is human, therefore Socrates is mortal" is the endlessly reiterated classical example through which logic is taught to students, pointing out that the recognition of human mortality is not only universal (unless you are a Robot Cultist) but at the root of the rational human imaginary in pedagogical practice as well as basic human sanity. Prisco, it seems, has decided to become Socrates' legal guardian -- I've noticed Robot Cultists love to pretend that they speak for all sorts of luminaries who wouldn't give any of them the time of day -- and let us know that Socrates would be, like, totally into his Robot Cult. What is one supposed to say in response to such things? Shine on, you crazy diamond, I guess. Anyway, here is my actual response to Prisco, but not so much for Prisco himself -- who is clearly beyond reach of any help I could provide -- as for all the reachably sane futurologists in the peanut gallery for the exchange:
The Transhumanists in a Nutshell, Ladies and GentlemenAlthough I do not approve of futurological discourse, I have been pleasantly surprised by the congeniality of Patrick Tucker, who invited me to publish my critiques at WFS and strongly supports my continuing efforts there even when I annoy his sizable transhumanoid audience, and I have discovered there are lots of readers there of a more skeptical science-literate pro-democracy bent who appreciate the sorts of contrarian interventions I post there. I consider the experiment to have been a great success so far, oddly enough.
Yes, Giulio, it is true, the reason you aren't living in your shiny robot body or as a cyberangel among nano-genies-in-a-bottle and sexy sexy sexbots under the care of the history-ending Robot God of loving grace you and your special friends are coding is because "politically correct" (?) Debbie Downers like me keep noticing that human beings are mortal, that science fiction isn't science, that a picture of you isn't you, that materialism about mind actually denies rather than enables daydreams of "soul" migration and eternalization, that policy should be accountable to actual stakeholder interests as well as to the verdicts of consensus science (not pseudo-science or hyperbolic for-profit press releases or loose pop tech journalism), that making bets is not at all the same thing as having thoughts, and that ecosystems have limits that constrain the terms on which we can sustain civilization.
Look, I'm going to assume in advance that anybody who doesn't grasp the flabbergasting irrelevance and absurdity of your "response" isn't likely to be worth trying to reach in the first place, but I do want to point out to anybody reading this who might not know it already that Giulio Prisco is not some random anonymous transhumanoid hanger on but a highly visible, very long-time member of the Robot Cult, founder and directer of many of its various "institutes" and "campaigns" and author of endless online "manifestos," widely respected (you know, in his sub(cult)ure, as far as that goes).
This is what you are joining up with when you decide "futurism" isn't going to be about the advocacy of more and better science and critical thinking education, the advocacy of more money for scientific research and discovery toward the solution of urgently shared problems (like anthropogenic climate change, neglected treatable diseases among overexploited populations, diminishing access to freshwater, ramifying military grade weapons trafficking, labor precarization via automation and crowdsourcing, and digital-network enabled surveillance, misinformation, financial fraud, and the suffusion of the public sphere with the deceptive, hyperbolic, sociopathic norms and forms of marketing and promotional discourse), the advocacy of public policy and public investment that reflects scientific and relevant expert consensus, and the advocacy of technodevelopmental change made progressive through the insistence that the actual risks, costs, as well as the benefits of that change are equitably distributed to the diversity of its actual stakeholders...
This is what you get instead when you decide "futurism" is going to be a faith-based initiative of True Believers and guru-wannabe hucksters, a pseudo-scientific techno-transcendental New Age cult, indulging in hysterical gizmo-consumption and tech celebrity CEO worship in the service of the amplification of the corporate-military status quo now rebranded as "accelerating future," endlessly mistaking fraudulent futures speculation for actual public investment and blue sky science fictional speculation for actual consensus science, all because you are possibly afraid to die or possibly because you are greedy for more More MORE! and you are sure there will always be suckers around to clean up your messes for you, or possibly because you are too lazy to live up to actual standards of warranted belief or sustainability or even basic decency or fairness and want everything for nothing like some permanent squalling infant.
That's how I see it, anyhow. You know, my usual histrionics. Cheers!