[ExI] "meat"

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Sat May 23 21:32:00 UTC 2009

On Sat, May 23, 2009 at 12:08 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>wrote:

> Most of the people posting here seem to have no notion how depraved it is
> to speak of human bodies as "meat".
> I wish you'd all get over this nerdish affectation.
> Meat is dead, hacked-up flesh. My body isn't meat, it's me, and yours isn't
> meat either. It's a living person. The jeering philistinism of calling our
> bodies "meat" reminds me of insensitive oafs who disdain van Vogh's
> paintings as "daubing" or Shakespeare as a "scribbler".

Thank you, Damien.  I remember a conversation I had in the Immortality
Institute chatroom where a 19 year-old guy told me he couldn't wait to
escape his meatsicle body!  Only 19 and in good health...  Yes, we need some
of that Enlightenment era love and admiration of the human body.

My own view of transhumanism is about developing technology to perfect the
power and beauty of the flesh and form we have now.  A century hence people
will have beauty and vitality that Renaissance era sculptors and painters
could only dream about.

> Yes, sometimes it's hard not to distance yourself from your frail flesh
> when some of your organs start to break down, or viruses make you sick, or
> when a consumerist culture flings endless hyperstimuli images of toned,
> buff, beautiful humans at you, making you (for values of "you" that I'm sure
> include at least some people in these discussions) squirm with self-disgust
> inside your overweight unfit short-sighted geekish pizza-and-Coke-fed body.
> I think we'd be better off trying to maximize our sense of self-reliant
> embodiment rather than indulging in abjection and denial.

My mother's number one reason for disliking my hobby of collecting comic
books was that the superhero bodies were too perfect looking and
that they would create a sense of dissatisfaction in me for my own form.

I will say that our discontent with our bodies (ideal or not, some of the
folks here are actually pretty healthy and not bad looking, lol) does in a
way help to empower us to push for a transhumanist world.  Or at least post
about it! lol

As for needing to respect our own flesh to develop the proper mindset in
dealing with intelligences based on other substrates, I tend to think A.I.
civil rights will be an uphill battle, at least until for all practical
purposes our mind children are running things.

Damien, perhaps in your twilight years you will become the saintly
philosopher/theologian crusader for A.I. civil liberties.  And the
artificial minds will remember you fondly millennia from now (and create
virtual/biological Damien sims in your honor).

John  : )
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