[ExI] "meat"

Kat Walsh kat at mindspillage.org
Mon May 25 06:19:05 UTC 2009

On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 3:52 PM, MB <mbb386 at main.nc.us> wrote:
>> Terry Bisson's "They're Made Out of Meat":
>> - Listen <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEoZ51lnNrE>
>> - Watch <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaFZTAOb7IE>
>> - Read
>> <http://www.google.com/search?q="Terry+Bisson"+"They're+Made+Out+of+Meat">
>> - Reference <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They%27re_Made_Out_of_Meat>
> Thank you, Harvey!  That's the story I read years ago. "Meat" doesn't sound
> outrageous to me.  :)

It doesn't sound outrageous to me either. I enjoy physical experiences
and having a capable body, even as I would love to have vastly
improved capabilities and to try choosing whether to be embodied at
all. But this limited embodiment isn't the whole of what's important
about what/who I am, and because of that I can think and talk
seriously about major changes to it. It's the physical part of
something that is loving and thinking and dreaming and singing, but
it's the loving and thinking and dreaming and singing that's important
to me and not the specifics of how it's done. If meat does it, that's
fantastic, and if not-meat does it, that's fantastic too; I don't
think of it as more or less valuable coming from meat or not-meat.
Bisson's inorganic aliens are supposed to be horrible because they do
in fact care what the intelligence came from, not what it is capable
of! But I know it's meat and still think it worthwhile.

In addition to the lighthearted usages, I think of the use as a bit
deliberately unsettling, too. It's both acceptable and shocking
because almost everyone finds the idea of using a human being as food
repulsive -- and so we have to mean something else by it. Using the
term seems to me an indication of not treating the physical too
reverently: not considering the body itself sacred, and so believing
there's nothing morally wrong with cutting it open or changing it
around, or adding spices to taste...

(I've also liked "meatspace" to mean "not on the internet" -- but
almost anything is better than the demeaning and inaccurate "in real

If consensus is not to use the word this way, then I'm not so attached
(or so frequent a poster...) that it would affect me much, but I don't
see it as necessary.

who enjoys meaty discussions but is generally too chicken to post

Your donations keep Wikipedia online: http://donate.wikimedia.org/en
Wikimedia, Press: kat at wikimedia.org * Personal: kat at mindspillage.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mindspillage * (G)AIM:Mindspillage
mindspillage or mind|wandering on irc.freenode.net * email for phone

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list