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

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Superlative Summary

I write quite a lot here at Amor Mundi about the damaging and deranging impacts of futurological discourses on sensible deliberation about technoscientific change. I focus on the pernicious effects of both the prevailing corporate-militarist futurology of neoliberal global developmentalism and disciplinary bioethics as marketing, policy-making, and ideological discourses, but also the Superlative Futurology championed among the so-called transhumanists, singularitarians, techno-immortalists, digital-utopians, nano-cornucopiasts, and other pseudo-scientific techno-transcedentalists whom I like to lampoon as "Robot Cultists."

There is considerable overlap between these mainstream and superlative futurological modes, both share a tendency to reductionism conjoined to a (compensatory?) hyperbole bordering on arrant fraud, not to mention an eerie hostility to the materiality of the furniture of the world (whether this takes the form of a preference for financialization over production, or for the digital over the real), the materiality of the mortal vulnerable aging body, the materiality of the organismic brains in which intelligence is incarnated, among many other logical, topical, and tropological continuities.

The characteristic gesture of superlative, as against mainstream, futurological discourses is that they tend to commandeer worldly concerns like basic healthcare, education, economic, or security policy, say, and then redirect them (in a radically amplified variation on conventional marketing and promotional hyperbole) into faith-based discourses and interpretive communities peddling not just the usual quick profits or youthful skin but promising personal techno-transcendence modeled in its basic contours and relying for much of its intuitive plausibility on the disavowed theological omni-predicates of especially judeochrislamic godhood (omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence), now translated instead into pseudo-scientific terms (superintelligence, supercapacitation [especially in the form of super-longevity or techno-immortality], and superabundance). Adherents of superlative futurology across the organizational archipelago of Robot Cult sects are indulging, in essence, in faith-based initiatives. They are infantile wish-fulfillment fantasists who fancy that they will "arrive" at a personally techno-transcedentalizing destination they denominate "The Future."

In this Superlative Summary I provide a survey of pieces written over many years criticizing particular futurologists and particular futurological topics. For a more concise elaboration of my critique of Superlativity, I recommend either my essay Futurological Discourses and Posthuman Terrains, published by the journal Existenz, or the more general and humorous introduction provided by my Condensed Critique of Transhumanism.



Set Theory for Futurists
From Future Shock to Future Fatigue
Superlativity and Its "Bigger Picture" (do read the comments)
From "The Great Stagnation" to a Great Awakening
The Unbearable Stasis of Accelerating Change

Advertizing/Marketing "The Future"

Futurological Genres
"The Future" As Ad and As Cult
Futurological Mad Men

Algorithmic Mediation

All Watched Over By Algorithms of Loving Grace
The Inevitable Cruelty of Algorithmic Mediation

Artificial Intelligence

Roko Oh Noes: Banging My Head Against the Wall With A Singularitarian GOFAI Dead-Ender
Hannah Arendt on AI
Depopulation, Nor Personification
A Comment on Artificial Imbecillence
Robot Cultists Still in the Woods Without A Compass
Paul Krugman Flirts With Futurism
Robot Gods Are Nowhere So Of Course They Must Be Everywhere
Futurology's Shortsighted Foresight on AI
AI Isn't A Thing

Artificial Meat

Saving My Bacon
Meat Brain Futurology: One More Time On the "In-Vitro Meat" Merry Go Wrong
Nourishing Nothingness: Futurists Are Getting Virtually Serious About Food Politics

ARTS -- Artificial/Assistive/Alternative Reproductive Technologies

Technoprogressive ARTS
Keep Your Laws Off My Body

Big Data

Spectacle From Marx to Debord to Big Data
Big Data As Idol

Cloning Neanderthals

Futurologists Welcome Our New Neanderthal Neighbors

Conservative/Reactionary Futurology

Democracy at the Transhumapalooza
The Ayn Raelians
The Anti-Democratizing Politics of Superlative Futurology
Futurology Is the Quintessential and Consummating Discourse of the Unwholesome Whole That Is Neoliberal/Neoconservative Corporate-Militarism
"Revolutionary" Robot Cultists
"The Future" As A White Boy's Club
"The Future" Is Not Fairly Distributed
The Suicidal Sociopathy of the Tech Sector

Crime and Punishment

Robot Cultist Rebrands Torture and Dreams of Futuristic Prisons As Virtual Hells


Those Curious Cryonaughts
Robot Cultists Want to Eat Science And Have It, Too
Robot Cultists Exploit Dying Woman to Peddle Pseudo-Science and Threaten Critics
Cryo-Kitsch and PR
Alcor Techno-Immortalists Failing to Freeze Out Critics


A Transhumanist Files a Complaint in the Hurt Feelings Department
No, You're the Cultist!
Must I Really Weigh In On "The Cult Debate"?
An Open Letter to the Robot Cultists
A Robot God's Apostle's Creed for the "Less Wrong" Throng


Am I Going To Become A Cyborg In the Future?
Performance Artist and Sousveillance Activist Steve Mann Assaulted in Paris McDonalds
Calling Bullshit on the World's First Cyborg Hate Crime


My Deathist Zealotry
More on My Apparent Deathism
The Fallen World and the World to Come; Or, Techno-Utopians Give 'Em That New-Fangled Religion
Death, Diarrhea, and Dingbats
Are Techno-Immortalist Robot Cultists the Real Deathists?

Designing Retro-Futures

Designs Us On: Some Basic Contentions on the Politics of Design
The Politics of Design. The Anti-Politics of Design.
Gizmuddle: Or, Why the Futuristic Is Always Only Perverse

Driverless Cars

"Driverless" Cars As Dead-Ender Car Culture Apologia
Driverless Car Not As Prophesy But As Allegory
Google Unveils Driverless Car Future in Driverless Bus Present
The Dreamtime of the Driverless Car


Disability Discourse As Moralizing
Two Variations of Contemporary Eugenicist Politics
Eugenics and the Denigration of Consent
Transhuman Eugenicism
Is Transhumanism Racist?

Existential Risk

Technology and Terror
GWOT Against Green
Futurological Fearmongering
Insecurity Theater: How Futurological Existential-Risk Discourse Deranges Serious Technodevelopmental Deliberation
Very Serious Robocalyptics


Far Out
The Fandom Menace


Futurological Blah Blah
What Futurology Is Peddling Has Little to Do With Foresight

Flim Flam

"The Future" Is A Racket
Science, Not Sales
Those Faddish Futurologists
Fraud Is the Futurological Common Denominator

Future Shock

Future Schlock Credulity Levels

Futurological Methodologies

Hannah Arendt on Futurology
What Do Futurologists Do?
The Scenario Spinners

Geeks, Geekery, Geekdom

Raised Vulcan Eyebrows and Hopeless Human Hopes
Geek Rule Is Weak Gruel: Why It Matters That Luddites Are Geeks
Techbros Are Not Geeks


More Geo-Engineering
"Geo-Engineering" As Futurological Greenwashing
"Geo-Engineering" Is A Declaration of War That Doesn't Care About Democracy
"Geo-Engineering" and the Ticking Time Bomb
"Geo-Engineering" As Right Wing War and Revolution
What Are People Really Talking About When They Talk About "Geo-Engineering"?
Exxon-Mobil's "Geo-Engineering" Discourse Is Just More Futurological Greenwashing
Is "Geo-Engineering" Really Just Gardening?


Stand Your Ground As Secessionist Treason
On Guns (Only) in America


Against Innovation


Markets Without Materiality
Everything Solid Melts Into Laissez-Faire
Futurological Immaterialism and Neoliberal Immaterialism

Liberal Futurology

Technoprogressive: What's In A Name?
Futurological Self-Marginalization, Futurological Dissemination
Against the Seduction of the Left by Reactionary Futurology
Facile Futurology at Talking Points Memo -- And What Is So Dangerous About It
TPM Doubles Down on Facile Futurology
The Ambivalence of Investment/Speculation As the Kernel of Reactionary Futurology
The Futurological As Reactionary Point of Entry in Liberal Discourse
Ah, Good Times!
BooMan on the Futuristic Roll Out
The Political Problem of Transhumanism


Aubrey de Grey, Technological Immortalism, and the Idea of a Longevity Singularity
Interminable Terminological Hanky-Panky
Follow the Bouncing Ball... to Techno-Immortality!
Reactionary Fruits of Futurology: Social Security Edition


Memetics Re-Invents the Wheel of Rhetoric, and Then Breaks It

Moore's Law

Learning from Lanier's Inverse Moore's Law
My Little Steampony Singularity
The Mirage and the Material of Technoscientific Progress

Morphological Freedom

The Politics of Morphological Freedom
Eugenics and the Denigration of Consent
Morphological Freedom Should Be A Political Expression of Human Finititude, Not An Infantile Revolt Against It


Nanosantalogical Feasibility


My "Negativity"
Optimist or Pessimist? A Futurological Ramble, With Occasional Ranting
Accentuate the Negative
But Why So Negative?
The Relentless Negativity of Futurological "Positivity"
Deception, Delusion, and Denial Isn't Optimism

Nuclear Energy

Mo Nukes
No Nukes Twitterscrum


Technology Is Making Queers of Us All
"Post-Gender" Or Gender Poets?
Transhuman Transsex
What Is Patriarchy?
Anarcho-Anti-Sexist Robot Cultist Decides Feminism Is Too Hard, Declares Himself A Robot
Uploading As Reactionary Anti-Body Politics


Pay to Peer
p2p is EITHER Pay-to-Peer OR it is Peers-to-Precarity
Pay to Peer Twitterant


Posthuman Terrains
What "Becomes" Post Humanity?

Private Space Industry (also see Space Travel)

Enter the Dragon: Why I Am Not A SpaceX Space Vegas Space Cadet
SpaceX Space Cadets Predictably Crowing Mars, Bitches!
Dumb Daily Dvorsky: Musky for Mars Edition
Proposed Mars One Game Show Is the Ultimate "Anti-Survivor"
The Voice of Libertopian Space Takes Me To Task


The Mirage and the Material of Technoscientific Progress

Proxy Politics

Futurological Displacements


Superlativity Exposed
Futurology's "If Magic Were Real" Paradox
Gaming the Refs in the Robot Cult
Robot Cultist Condemns Scientific Illiteracy On Which Robot Cultism Depends


Robot Cultists Have Seen the Future... And It Is A White Penis!
Is Transhumanism Racist?

Robot Workers

Futurological Defenses of Automation, Outsourcing, Crowdsourcing, Precarizing Labor

Science Fiction

Why Do Libertopians Love Science Fiction So Much?
Mass Mediated Hand Holding: Depressive Bioconservative Cinema and Its Manic Technophiliac Twin
"Science Fiction Is the Entertainment Wing of Futurism"
"Smug Atheists" Should Read More SF Counsels io9
What Futurology Does To Science Fiction
Why Is Science Fiction A Literature of Ideas?
Techbro Mythopoetics


Dispatches from Libertopia: Going Galt on the High Seas (To Infinity and Beyond!)
Nauru Needs Futurologists!


"Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again,"
Jumping the Shark to Boobtopia
The Sexy Sexbots


"The Singularity Won't Save Your Ass"
Singularitarian Agony
Debating Singularitarians
Roko Oh Noes: Banging My Head Against the Wall With A Singularitarian GOFAI Dead-Ender
My Response to the Counterpunch Expose of Singularitarianism
Singularitarian Hype and the Denial of History
At the Heart of the "Financial Singularity" Is Not Mystery But Fraud
Singularitarian Declares Victory, Goes Back To Bed 
Nicholas Carr on the Robot God Odds

"Smart" Homes

Smart Homes Are Stoopid

Space Travel (also see Private Space Industry)

Quick, Futurological Escapists, to the Lifeboats!
Robot Cultist Adds Two Fantasies Together To Arrive At Third Fantasy
Robot Cultist Pout and Stamp; Or "Manifest Destiny"
There Is No Escape Hatch


Technoprogressivism Is a Tide, Not a Tribe
"Technoprogressive": What's In A Name?


A Superlative Schema
The Superlative Imagination
Understanding Superlative Futurology
Superlative Futurology (Published by Re/Public)
"Technological Immortalism" As Superlative Discourse
Transhumanism Without Superlativity Is Nothing


From my dissertation, Pancryptics
The Discretionary: Secrecy, Privacy, and Control (on the Crypto-Anarchists and Cypherpunks)
XI. From Privation to Discretion
XII. Description As Threat
XIII. Privacy Under Control
XIV. Digital Libertarianism
Markets With Eyes (on David Brin's Transparent Society)
I. Either/Or
II. Eye Infinitum
III. Truths to Power
IV. Neither/Nor
Zuckerberg's Privation
Farhad Manjoo's Camera Reassura
A Twitter Privacy Treatise (Considerable elaboration takes place in the Moot.)
All Watched Over By Algorithms of Loving Grace
Commodifying Publicity
Cop-Cam Sham: Political Problems Demand Political Solutions


Technofixated Pseudo-Solutions
Cop-Cam Sham: Political Problems Demand Political Solutions


"Technological Immortalism" As Superlative Discourse
All Humans Are Mortal. Socrates Is Human. Therefore, Socrates Is Mortal.
Rebel, Rebel: Death-Denialism As "Utopian" Politics
Robot Cultists Polled on Preferred Techno-Immortalist "Options"

Technology "As Such"

Futurological Reification, Reduction, Reaction
Prologue for Futural Politics
"Technology" Is Not A Force for Either Liberation or Oppression
The Futurological Fetish
Technology and Myth


Transformation Not Transcendance
On Limits
"Overcoming the Limits"
Technoprogressive Discourses As Against Superlative Technology Discourses
No Limits! (And Other Foolishness)
Loss, Connection, Transformation
Understanding Superlative Futurology


Some Serious Questions for Futurologists Hyperventilating About 3D Printing
Daily Dumb Dvorsky: Butt Hurt Edition


Animal "Uplift"
"The Future" on the Planet of the Apes


Martine Rothblatt's Artificial Imbecillence
Some Questions For A "Mind Uploading" Enthusiast
For Robot Cultists Heaven Is Being A Cartoon In An Ad for Crap That Never Ends
What's Wrong With Terasem?
Richard Jones: No Uploads for You!
Uploading As Reactionary Anti-Body Politics

Wearable Computers

Tragic Techbrofashionistas of The Future Put. A. Phone. On. It!

The Wright Brothers Gambit

They Laughed at the Wright Brothers, Too!
Another Robot Cultist Compares Self to the Wright Brothers
"Heavier-Than-Air Flying Machines Are Impossible," Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.


Michael Anissimov

Sanewashing Superlativity (For a More Gentle Seduction)
Responding to Singularitarian Robot Cultist Michael Anissimov
The Achievement of Superlative Futurology
The Robot Cultists Have Won?
Not Offensive, Just Delusive
"Only Cyborgs Live Forever"

John Perry Barlow

"I Tweet From Basement, Home of Mom": Time For A Cyberspace Manifesto 2.0?

Nick Bostrom

Very Serious Robocalyptics

Stewart Brand

Hole Earth:
one -- Stewart Brand, King of Pop Futurology
two -- Surveying the Greenback-Green Futurological Litany
three -- All Futurisms Tend to be Functionally Retro-Futuristic in Their Political Substance
Stewart Brand Twitterrant

David Brin

Markets With Eyes:
I. Either/Or
II. Eye Infinitum
III. Truths to Power
IV. Neither/Nor
Lincoln Cannon

A Faith in Finitude
If Everything Is Faith, Nothing Is

Jamais Cascio

The Trouble With Technocentricity
"The Future" Is Nothing But an Ad
"Geo-Engineering" Is A Declaration of War That Doesn't Care About Democracy
The Future Is A Fraud

Hugo De Garis

Googolectics: Navel Gazing... Without Limits!

Aubrey De Grey

Aubrey de Grey, Technological Immortalism, and the Idea of a Longevity Singularity

Peter Diamandis

Schlock and Awesome; Or, The Futurists Are Worse Than You Think
The Unbearable Stasis of Accelerating Change

George Dvorsky

Modification, Not Enhancement; Consent, Not Consensus; Prosthetic Self-Determination, Not Eugenics
"Post-Gender" Or Gender Poets?
"The Future" on the Planet of the Apes
Robot Cultist George Dvorsky Is Building a Dyson Sphere in His Basement
Dumb Daily Dvorsky: Musky for Mars Edition
Dumb Daily Dvorsky: Immortal Jellyfish Edition
Daily Dumb Dvorsky: Alone Again, Unnaturally Edition
Daily Dumb Dvorsky: Futurological "Existential Risk" Discourse As Existential Risk Edition
Daily Dumb Dvorsky: Butt Hurt Edition
Dumb Daily Dvorsky: Uninhabitable Edition
Daily Dumb Dvorsky: What Happens When You Put Robot Cult Hype on Your "Science Beat" Edition
Dumb Dvorsky Uses Science Fiction Cliches to Illustrate the "Totally Unexpected"
Giving Transhumanoid George Dvorsky "Credit Where Credit Is Due
Dumb Dvorsky Flogs Nano Flim Flam
Dumb Dvorsky TechBroSplains "Soft Paternalism"
Dumb Dvorsky Implies Alien Invasion A Greater Threat Than Climate Change Or Resource Descent
Dumb Dvorsky Declares Fanboy Disageekments With Him About The Singularity To Be "Lies"
Dumb Dvorsky Understands the e-Cigarette Singularity So You Don't Have To
Em Butterfly: Robot Cultists George Dvorsky and Robin Hanson Go Overboard for Robo-Overlords Over at io9
Dumb Dvorsky Faces Reality, Throws Tantrum

Thomas Frey

Futurologists Are Mortal, But Faith-Based Futurology Is A Zombie That Cannot Be Killed

Ben Goertzel

Nauru Needs Futurologists!
Robot Cultist Declares Need for Holiday Counting Chickens Before They Are Hatched
Robocultic Kack Fight

Robin Hanson

Very Serious Futurology With Robin Hanson
Em Butterfly: Robot Cultists George Dvorsky and Robin Hanson Go Overboard for Robo-Overlords Over at io9

James Hughes

Listen, Transhumanist!
Consumerism Forever
James Hughes Flogs for the Robot Cult
Animal "Uplift"
Transhumanists Are Not Just Wrong, They Are Revealingly Dishonest
What Futurology Does To Science Fiction

Ray Kurzweil

Take Your Vitamins And You'll Meet the Robot God: Raymond Kurzweil's Latest
Guru Kurzweil Passes the Robot Cult Collection Plate for Google to Fill
The Mirage and the Material of Technoscientific Progress

Jeron Lanier

Jeron Lanier's Who Owns the Future?
Should We Proceed From Proceduralism? Freddie Deboer on Jeron Lanier
The Mirage and the Material of Technoscientific Progress

Dylan Love

Technology. Will. Change. Everything. Something. Nothing.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo's Camera Reassura

Max More

Morphological Freedom Should Be A Political Expression of Human Finititude, Not An Infantile Revolt Against It
Can-Do Robot Cultist Max More "Chooses" Immortality, Remains Mortal Anyway
Ayn Raelian Robot Cultist Max More Responds
My Exchange With Max More Continues

Kyle Munkittrick

Why Can't More People Just Indulge in Insane Denialism About the Fact of Their Mortality Like the Robot Cultists Do?
Your Future Sucks
Transhumanist Unveils Healthcare Reform Plan

Elon Musk

Peter Thiel and Elon Musk Are the Koch Brothers of Reactionary Futurology
Musky for Mars
SpaceX Space Cadets Predictably Crowing, Mars, Bitches!
"Summoning the Demon": Robot Cultist Elon Musk Reads from Robo-Revelations at MIT
Looks Like Musk Rat Love

Annalee Newitz

"Science Fiction Is the Entertainment Wing of Futurism"
Slow Future! Or, Robot God Save the Machine
Newitz Notices EvoPsycho Douchebaggery
"The Future" Is A Hell of a Drug: io9 Has A New Manifesto

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly on the Golden Age

John Pavlus

Dumb Present Disappoints Dumb Futurist

Hank Pellissier

Socially Alienated Futurists Accidentally Re-Invent the Idea of Having A Social Life
Can-Do Bigotry... For The Future!
Jim, He's Dead
The Transhumanist War on Brains
Are Techno-Immortalist Robot Cultists the Real Deathists?

Dick Pelletier

Futurological Unparodiability
"Experts Say"
Robot Cultist Adds Two Fantasies Together To Arrive At Third Fantasy
Deception, Delusion, and Denial Isn't Optimism

Mark "Plus"

Dale Carrico's Problems; Or, We Call It the Techno-Aristocrats
Exchange With A Very Serious White Guy of The Future on Guns
Entrepreneurial Scam and Skim Artists As Real Superheroes

Giulio Prisco

Giulio Prisco's Defense of Superlative Nonsense
For Giulio Prisco
The Power of Poop; Or, Prisco Reponds
Cyborg Angels Live Forever and Never Have to Poop
Yes!Trons Defending "The Transhumanist Core" From HumantiyPlusTrons
Giulio Prisco May Be One of the Most Idiotic People Alive
Ridiculing the Ridiculous
My Many Lies About the Robot Cultists
Death, Diarrhea, and Dingbats
I Don't Think That Phrase "Straw Man" Means What You Think It Does
If You're A Robot Cultist "There Is No Such Thing As Bad Press"
Robot Cultist Pout and Stamp; Or "Manifest Destiny"
Techno-Immortalist Robot Cultist Throws Tantrum

Rebecca Roache

Robot Cultist Rebrands Torture and Dreams of Futuristic Prisons As Virtual Hells

Martine Rothblatt

The "Imagination" of a Robot Cultist
More Serious Futurology From Martine Rothblatt
Martine Rothblatt's Artificial Imbecillence

Jason Silva

The Proof of the Singularity Is That There Is No Proof, Man!

R.U. Sirius

R.U. Sirius on Transhumanism
Michael Jackson Was Not A Transhumanist

John Smart

Smart's "Laws on Technology"
The Proof of the Singularity Is That There Is No Proof, Man!

Gennady Stolyarov

Gennady Stolyarov You Are Going To Die

Jaan Tallinn

Very Serious Robocalyptics

Peter Thiel

The Ayn Raelians
Peter Thiel and Elon Musk Are the Koch Brothers of Reactionary Futurology
Like Kurzweil, Peter Thiel Is Revealed To Be More Sad-Quack Than Sooper-Genius

Mike Treder

Treder, Traitor
Transhumanist Hopes to Become Irrelevant in the Future, Fails to Grasp Irony in the Present
All Humans Are Mortal. Socrates Is Human. Therefore, Socrates Is Mortal.

Natasha Vita-More

"A superhuman object of desire combining Madonna, Schwarzenegger and Marcel Duchamp"
Not Necessarily Abnormal But Certainly Stupid
Is There A Transhumanoid Art Movement Apart from Prevailing Corporate-Military PR Practices?

Brian Wang

"I Am Fact Guy"
More on Superlativity ("Technicality," "Feasibility," and "the Real World")

Tim Wu

Why Does Tim Wu Side With the Technoblatherers?

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Superla-Pope Peeps
Let's Talk About Cultishness
Deep Thoughts on Democracy From Eliezer Yudkowsky
So Not A Cult!

Slavoj Zizek

Zizek on the Tech Bloom
Slavoj Zizek Is A Blogger
Slavoj Zizek, Our Heir to George Carlin, Does Standup at Occupy Wall Street

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg's Privation

I welcome recommendations about posts of mine on particular futurologists or futurological topics I've forgotten but which may deserve inclusion, or which I should prefer as better or clearer or funnier than the ones I've picked out myself.


Dale Carrico said...

I've re-posted this because I add to its contents all the time, but it has nudged past the easily accessible window for editable posts on blogger and this makes things easier for me. I've simplified the introductory verbiage a bit so that it is a little bit new at least.

Esebian said...

Point two of the agenda, reinstate the new comments log in the side scroll. Don't want to miss further first-hand proof of the transhumorists' clownery.

Dale Carrico said...

I miss the recent comments log, too -- the gadget stopped working and my inept efforts to replace it have failed! Advice very welcome.

Mark Plus said...

Cryonics doesn't have any necessary connection with transhumanism, though it has had that association for contingent reasons. Instead it falls within the realm of applied cryobiology, applied neuroscience and experimental medicine, a point of view now supported by some mainstream neuroscientists who has set up the Brain Preservation Foundation, and with the implied support of the skeptic of pseusoscience Michael Shermer who serves as one of this foundation's advisers. .

I've followed the transhumanist subculture since the 1970's, watching one geek fad after another come and go. You just can't establish cryonics on that weak of a foundation, unless quite a few of these transhumanist ideas turn into real hardware.

Dale Carrico said...

Cryonics as a techno-immortalist strategy has no actually-existing application and so it is rather odd that you fancy it a part of applied cryobiology -- a field the other actual applications of which happen to actually exist. As you say, Robot Cultists can talk to me about applications if some hardware comes online. Cryonics as a techno-immortalist faith unquestionably is a form of what I call superlative futurology, of which eugenic transhumanism is also one. As often happens, members of one Robot Cult sect are often members of others as well, and one will regularly discern citational, organizational, argumentative connections between these formations -- singularitarians, digi-utopians, techno-immortalists, nano-cornucopiasts, and so on. You may be right that this connection of cryonics and transhumanism is not "necessary" in, say, all logically possible worlds -- but it is a real connections in the actually real world, always has been, and will very likely continue to be as long as this moonshine keeps getting peddled. Techno-immortalist faith based initiatives are not remotely mainstream on any legible construal of that term. Compare the number of people with cryonics arrangements with the number of instructors, researchers, and lab techs actually associated with the relevant biological and medical fields that yield actually existing applied cryobiology (to facilitate organ transplantation, for example, or for the preservation of biological materials in experimental settings), and the eensy weensy teeny tiny micro-minoritarian proportion of people involved is immediately and hilariously evident. Mainstream! Nice try, dood. But nobody wants to join your Robot Cult, in part because they know what I also know -- you are going to die. Death denialist techno-immortalists would do well to get over it and actually live their lives.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how is bad to want to live longer, I would like to live 1000 years if such technology was available, why are you so against that desire? I also don't care if I die tomorrow, but if I'm given the chance to "stay young" or "upload" my mind I think I would, and if it does not work, well, I'm already gonna die anyway. I don't see the point of being so agains "possible" new technologies that could arise from that desire.

Dale Carrico said...

Nobody cares if you waste your time wishing your dick was bigger or you had telepathy. It's not a philosophy or a policy perspective or a scientific practice though. If it gets in the way of living your life in an engaged, empathetic, and responsible way or distracts your energies from solving urgently proximate problems we share in this moment on this planet then it becomes a larger problem. As a discourse, futurological politics are reactionary, as a sociocultural formation they are pseudo-scientific and prone to fraud. Your reading of the critique is a bit superficial I must say -- if you want to be devoted to those ideas you should understand them better, and contrary opinions often enrich the understanding even of adherents who are not convinced by them. Good luck to you.

Unknown said...

It is not the fact that these technologies might come to exist but the fact that technology does not exist in a vaccuum it is located within social sytems and relations. I mean Dale himself believes in morphological freedom. It is the fact that these technologies comes attached as solutions to social problems.