[ExI] Singularity - Non-Gender Specific

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Tue Sep 29 15:12:13 UTC 2009

I will be in Lisbon the second weekend of October speaking at the [INSIDE]
conference.  This is a transdisciplinary event which addresses the sciences
and arts of human-machine interfaces.  My talk will cover a transhumanist
perspective of human enhancement as aiming for radical extension of personal
existence, and which includes issues of the Singularity.  Of concern, and
this was addressed on the IEET blog, why the Singularity appears to be
male-centric.  I simply cannot shed any light on this phenomenon.  If anyone
has psychological or theoretical pointers as to why this phonemic has
happened, please let me know.  (That it is technological and women are not
technological;.mathematical oriented is simply not a good enough defense
because it is not true.)  There must be another reason.  Misogyny?  Does it
trickle down from the top?
Do you all think that could be the beginnings of another hijacking of terms,
such as with "cyborg"?  With cyborg, which we all know was Manfred Clyne's
description of a man-machine adaptive, self-regulating system for the
purposes of space exploration.  Years later, Donna Haraway popularized the
term cyborg to reflect a feminist theory.  Now the term is deeply engrained
in academic and public sector as being attached to a feminist worldview.  I
spoke to Clynes about this and he was quite certain that the feminist use of
cyborg was wrong.
Because the Singularity has a type of inference of chrysalises, it could a
metaphor for the human species reaching a type of maturity in merging with
AGI.  Because chrysalis is, on one hand, the life stage of some insects
undergoing transformation; on the other hand it is well-known to women as a
transformation stage from being fertile, reproductive organism to
transforming into non-physically reproductive BUT intellectually productive,
wise organisms.
"For some women, menopause can transform their lives with the same power and
force as a volcano. A woman may be radically different in now she lives and
moves in the world, and this transformation affects all hose around her."...
Usually this means that a woman (whose instincts are to nurture and protect
offspring), now reaching outside the body to nurture and protect life.  As
with Rachel Carson, a scientist, whose chrysalis brought her deeper into the
rigor of scientific study.
Because the Singularity is so male-dominated, I wonder if it is not almost
stirring up what might later be a larger issue of gender misappropriation
now, which could lead to a strong gender appropriation.  
I think this is a darn good quesiton to pose to Vernor ... I'll get back to
you all after I talk with him about it.

Nlogo1.tif  <http://www.natasha.cc/> Natasha Vita-More

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