[ExI] "meat"

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat May 23 23:41:14 UTC 2009

Damien writes

 >> Indeed, we should aspire to good taste whenever
 >> such an alternative is pointed out to us.
> My vehemence derives from my perception that this *isn't* just a matter 
> of "good taste" or politeness, but a derangement of values far deeper 
> and more corrosive.

I think you are blowing this all out of proportion.

> It's the same dehumanizing process that ends up 
> vilifying Jews as "vermin."

People *already* had to have hated Jews before
coming up with that. It's post-indicative; I
cannot believe that calling cops "pigs" really
causes other listeners to hate or despise cops
any more than such (biased) listeners already

> And it's no accident that my objection is also often raised by many of 
> the intelligent critics of transhumanism; they can sometimes see, from 
> the outside, the pathologies that can creep into our discourse and 
> analysis.

The burden would be on you to describe exactly
what pathologies you are talking about. From
Giulio's recent blameless introduction of the

     "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."

a whole lot of us equally innocently used it:
Jef, Max, Natasha, me, and Stefano. Maybe you
*didn't* hear the original humorous story
about aliens who come to Earth, can't perceive
us at all, until a skillful officer finally
determines that life does exist here, only in
a most peculiar manner. "They're meat," he says
to his startled superior. "What?", "Yes, meat!",
and part of the humor derived from the complete
originality of the use for many of us
who thought it funny.

> As several people have commented to me offlist, "meat" is a common way 
> for $cientologists to refer to human bodies.

That's probably just inappropriate guilt by
association, though you try to explain

> That's no accident either. In general it's the
 > horrid body-hatred of Xianity recast in a
> reductionist scientistic framework.

Not having been Catholic, you have to understand
that I (and perhaps many others) have a diminished
capacity to fully appreciate the BLOOD, the BODY,
the GUILT, the SUFFERING... the whole nine yards.

> And obviously Max and Natasha and some
 > others here don't fit this category of
 > body-loathing.

Me either. Nor, I am sure (reading their posts)
do Giulio, Jef, or Stefano. I'm pretty sure
all six of us don't in general promulgate the
relevant views that provoke your ire here
(but please correct me if I'm wrong).

> It's not a design feature of transhumanism, 
> it's a malign bug that deserves to be squashed.

You are fighting a losing battle. The word is
out there now as a shorthand for "biological",
and I explicitly remember in an earlier post
today choosing whether to go for "biological"
or, in keeping with the word being tossed
around, "meat". And the latter won out for me
only because its one syllable instead of four,
and far easier to type.

I see now why you thought your campaign might
be seen as political correctness. But could be
a bit of prudery there too, I think.

Far more important than picking up on that
single word would be for you to inveigh
against the "reductionist scientistic framework"
or the "pathologies that can creep into our
discourse and analysis" pointed out by
"intelligent critics of transhumanism".

I'm unenlightened about those things,
and would like to hear more.

(Though, I reiterate, use of the <m-word> no
longer serves any good use on this list, and
ought now to be considered bad taste (that's
the prude in me)---but *nothing* more, unless
you can make a much stronger case than you have.)


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