[ExI] Dancing the transhuman r-evolution
natasha at natasha.cc
Thu May 21 17:37:28 UTC 2009
The supposition that Andreadis makes, "Both [transhumanism and cyberpunk]
are deeply anhedonic, hostile to physicality and the pleasures of the body,
from enjoying wine to playing in an orchestra." is an outlandish statement,
without a question or a doubt inaccurate.
First, transhumanism has, from the get-go, been proactive and declarative
about developing, maintaining, and helping others be healthy and physically
fit. From the get-go, transhumanism was almost too body-brain centric.
Long healthy life has been a motto. Physical fitness and mental acuity has
been a motto.
I have the evidence to prove this.
When I read statements like Andreadis' here, I am so befuddled, that I
wonder what happened to transhumanism! Understandably there has been much
written about whole brain emulation, noosphere ideals, etc. which is vital
to transhumanism, but the human biology has exceedingly important and
essential for transhuman and transhumanists. Without it we could not now
I have not read the whole article, G. Just your post on it. But if you
provide a url to here paper online and if it is open to commentary, I will
respond with evidence to prove the stack of literature on transhumanist
appreciation for the human body.
Nlogo1.tif Natasha Vita-More
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Subject: [ExI] Dancing the transhuman r-evolution
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, not
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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