[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 21 12:52:34 UTC 2012

Mike Dougherty <msd001 at gmail.com> wrote:

> An easy answer that comes to mind is that Hayles is simply
> wrong.  I
> haven't read anything she's written, so I may also be
> wrong.  I wonder
> who appointed her the official spokesperson for all of
> posthumanity?

There are two reasons, imo, that nobody can be a spokesman for posthumanity, now or ever: 

1) no posthumans exist yet.
2) If/when they do, they will be so diverse that no single person could possibly hope to represent all their views.

Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> ... we tend to assume the body is an irrelevant artifact that
> can be 
> discarded and replaced with something better, keeping the
> essential part 
> of ourselves. But she thinks this is a mistake - not that it
> might be 
> impossible to do, but that regarding bodies as fashion
> accessorites 
> rather than the ground of being will mean we will be
> amputating 
> important parts of our selves.

I believe that this is just a manifestation of the 'change is bad' meme.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I fail to see how, for example, adding a set of hyper-sensitive tentacles, with sensory abilities that my evolved body lacks (in either a physical or a virtual body), could possibly be 'amputating  important parts' of myself.

I think the idea of 'disembodiment' needs to be clarified before going any further.  Does it mean, as Anders suggests, dispensing with or changing our original biological bodies, or does it mean literally eliminating all embodiment, whether it be physical or some virtual representation? (which is something that I think is not actually possible)

Ben Zaiboc

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