[ExI] "meat"

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun May 24 19:23:18 UTC 2009

At 08:31 AM 5/24/2009 +0200, Eschatoon wrote:

>I will stop referring to your body as meat. But I will continue
>referring to mine as meat. In the sense that I do not consider it as
>an important part of what makes me me. And in the sense that, yes, I
>consider it as a cage from which to escape.

A reminder that this thread started as an 
offshoot of something Eschatoon posted:

< 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.” >

I disagree with this as a general assessment 
of >H-ists, but I agree with Athena Andreadis 
that there's a tendency or current of hostility 
or disgust (if only in the rhetoric of terms such 
as "meat") toward the body qua body.

And it's unlikely that such rhetoric arrives from 
nowhere. For example, calling babies "rug rats" 
can be fond or amused, and often is, but it's 
hard to deny that it also connotes irritation at 
the demands kids place on adults, the 
inconvenience of dealing with mess and demands, etc.

If using a repulsive term like "meat" (dead, 
butchered flesh) isn't absolutely necessary, why 
insist on using it when it's obvious that this 
will sour any discussion with people who don't 
feel that way about bodies? (This is just a 
re-run of the way humanists, including extropes, 
had to reclaim the worth and pleasure of the body 
from all the grim-lipped bitter ecclesiastics who 
preached "mortification of the flesh" and denied 
children the right to dance or sing except for the "glory of God.")

Damien Broderick

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