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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Teaching Transhumanist Critique

A sudden spike in traffic toward my Condensed Critique of Transhumanism today revealed that David Golumbia is reading some of it in the latest lecture of his Future/Human/Fiction course this fall at the Virginia Commonwealth University. The timing of the spike also provided reassuring corroboration of my hunch that students across the country turn to the day's assigned readings at most minutes before class time, and that this curious phenomenon is not confined to the Bay Area. I must say the course looks enormously informative and fun. I've taught the Octavia Butler and Margaret Atwood texts at Berkeley myself and they yielded really energetic discussions. Of course, what I really want to know is what students made of my stuff! I have a funny feeling I insulted a couple of his students in the Moot today, now that I think on it, but that's what they get for inanely complaining that I use words that hurt their heads or that I obviously haven't read the transhumanist texts I link and cite in my critiques of them. Of course, I don't teach my own writing because it seems a bit tacky and even rather immoral to me to try to whomp up a readership out of folks you are evaluating professionally, and so I actually have little sense of how my arguments play in intellectually engaged settings among people who don't already have a horse in the race as either Robocultic True Believers or Robocultic Skeptics. (I can assure Golumbia, by the way, that I decided to teach his cyberlibertarianism piece in my graduate seminar on the politics and anti-politics of design discourses at the San Francisco Art Institute this term long before I realized he was doing me the honor of teaching something by me!)

No comments: