[ExI] Dancing the transhuman r-evolution
eschatoon at gmail.com
Thu May 21 06:45:46 UTC 2009
I think the interesting article by Athena Andreadis on “If I Can’t
Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution!” identifies the
core disagreement between transhumanists and non-transhumanist
technoprogressives. This is not about living 20 or 50 years longer.
Dancing the transhuman r-evolution - links in the post
On the IEET and Sentient Development blogs there is an interesting
article by Athena Andreadis on “If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to Be
Part of Your Revolution!”. Athena says: “Both [transhumanism and
cyberpunk] are deeply anhedonic, hostile to physicality and the
pleasures of the body, from enjoying wine to playing in an orchestra.
I wondered why it had taken me so long to figure this out. After all,
many transhumanists use the repulsive (and misleading) term “meat
cage” to describe the human body, which they deem a stumbling block,
an obstacle in the way of the mind… However, we demean the body at our
peril. It’s not the passive container of our mind; it is its major
shaper and inseparable partner.” and continues with arguments which,
though framed constructively and with reapect, are basically similar
to those of Dale Carrico.
My comment on the Sentient Development blog, which includes my comment
on the IEET blog:
The article is very good because it goes straight to the core issue:
Athena understands well that transhumanism is not about living 20 or
50 years longer, or about tech gadgets - transhumanism is about
leaving biology behind. Mind uploading is not a msrginal element of
transhumanism, but the essence of transhumanism.
Some people like the idea, some don’t. Athena doesn’t, and I do.
Many people in this comment thread have the same objection that I
raise in the IEET port below. Why are you assuming that change is _in
principle_ bad? I think it can also be good. Of all comments, I
especially agree with Mark Walker’s, measured and reasonable as usual.
Heresiarch: “you can’t simulate reality to a higher degree than it
already exists, and you can’t possibly make it more relevant.”. I
disagree, and I think Shakespeare, Mozart and Picasso proved my point-
Original: Athena, I think you are kind of assuming your conclusions:
you start assuming that transhumanism is grey, and conclude that it is
grey. I think it is not grey, but an explosion of beautiful colors.
I am one of those who see the body as a meat cage and, if the option
were already available, I would cheerfully choose to upload to silicon
or cyberspace. But then I would want MORE color, sound, scent and sex,
Why can’t a “disembodied mind playing World of Warcraft in a VR
datastream” feel much MORE empathy, friendship, and love (or hate) for
others that we do today? Why can’t they enjoy art, love flowers and be
compassionate and supportive of other sentient beings? Why can’t they
laugh at a good joke or cry at a sad story? Why can’t they enjoy a
virtual beer with good friends in a simulated pub?
These are indeed assumptions, in my opinion questionable. I don’t see
any reason why a disembodied mind cannot _in principle_ have a inner
and social life much richer than ours. Of course everything depends on
the actual implementation of these yet to be developed options, but
there is no reason to assume the worst. Let experiment decide: someday
we will be able to _ask_ disembodied minds how they actually feel.
Athena: “In this case, dualism means assuming that the brain and the
mind can be separated”.
Oh, but they can. It depends on definitions of course. I tend to
define the mind as “the mind is what the brain does”, which leaves
open the possibility of finding building something else that does it
equally well, or better. Like, in most practical cases email is better
than paper mail.
aka Giulio Prisco
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