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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Robot Cultist Adds Two Fantasies Together To Arrive At Third Fantasy

Over at stealth Robot Cult outfit IEET, the Institute for Ethics (where the ethics are rarely ever discussed) and Emerging Technologies (where the technologies are rarely ever emerging), Very Serious White Guy of the Future Dick Pelletier says "Forget Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" -- and other actually existing transportation methods with all those factual details and stuff and all their pesky problems -- because teleportation is closer than you probably think!
Are we headed for a teleportation future? If we blend tomorrow’s predicted nanotechnology and artificial intelligence advances with human ingenuity, the answer is a resounding yes!
It is an interesting business, isn't it, this futurological "blending" of two non-existing things into a third non-existing thing, this futurological fancying that there is something somehow "scientific" or "progressive" or useful about any of this sort of nonsense?

Not that molecular biology and materials science and expert systems and network security aren't all perfectly real, and awfully interesting, and chock full of problems and potentials well worth thinking about, mind you, but, well, that's not what Pelletier really means when he is blathering on about "predicted nanotechnology and artificial intelligence advances," now, is it? No, he means, as futurological wish-fulfillment fantasies always do by these terms, robust, reliable, comparatively inexpensive, universally programmable, self-replicating, room-temperature, desktop, nanoscale manufacturing devices and he means legibly intelligent but also orders of magnitude "more" intelligent, too, non-biologically incarnated, agentic but servile and not rights-bearing artifacts, and not only do these not exist but there are no good reasons AT ALL to think these are plausibly developmentally proximately-relevant or even ever-to-be-existing things.

There is nothing in any scientific journal or in any actual laboratory anywhere suggesting that the teleportation of mammals from one place to another is theoretically possible at all or practically plausible, let alone even remotely developmentally proximate or, why even pretend to know what it might mean to wonder if "it" were, you know, reasonably expected to be a safe cost-effective alternative to any of the actually existing transportation methods the costs, risks, and benefits of which demand our urgent ongoing consideration. (The teleportation not of mammals but of uploaded "information-selves" takes us into yet another non-existing, not ever-to-be-existing non-thing, that is to say, biologically incarnated selves somehow transformed without loss into non-biological selves, usually on the idiotically fantastic premise that a picture -- however elaborate -- of someone is the same thing AS them, which it obviously isn't, which is usually then coupled as well with the even more idiotically fantastic premise that not only does this make sense at all when it doesn't but that somehow the procedure would also manage delightfully to immortalize the self it otherwise IS by being a picture of it.)

Brushing aside existing phenomena and all their attendant dilemmas and demands the better to indulge in bullshit wish-fulfillment fantasizing is what Dick Pelletier calls "bold" and "forward thinking."

It is, in a word, not.

What are some other words that might help us describe what it is? I know, kids! There's... Mistake. Lie. Delusion. Idiot. Annoyance. Scam.

I know I haven't posted much anti-futurological critique here lately, even though that is kinda sorta one of Amor Mundi's major things. And this has not only been because the new school year and the upcoming election have somewhat preoccupied my attention, as clearly they have, but also because lately reading futurology makes my brain die.

Speaking as one Star Trek fan to (I am assuming?) another -- Dick, dude, it's a show, it isn't real.

1 comment:

joe said...

Wow, that is an amazing amount of bollocks and delusion he has managed to condense into 26 words!