[extropy-chat] Comments to Mr. Larratt of BMEZINE.COM
natasha at natasha.cc
Mon Aug 16 00:44:44 UTC 2004
This is my reply to a journalist who wants to pierce our brains and make us
look like "real" body modifiers. :-)
>It is unfortunate that I am not able to post this response to your article
>on the website it was printed. Nonetheless, I will send this to you and
>hope that you print it on your site where it accepts comments. Thank you.
>It seems that you skipped over any level of finesse in understanding that
>my presentation was intentionally shorted to fit the evening's scheduling
>(after tech problems during my formerly scheduled time),and in deference
>to Stelarc, who graciously invited me to share the stage with him.
>However, even if I had the full 1/2 hour to give my talk, I would not have
>taken the audience through the metal wires of posthumanity, but reveled in
>the level of collaborative thinking and cross-technological
>boundaries. Unlike you, I am not overtly impressed by dribbling three
>syllable words from the lips, but find much more "brilliance" in sharing
>ideas with those whom I value. This type of "Enigma" intellectual
>outputaproaching ideas from varied angles and backgroundsfom designers
>is far more honest. Exploring emotions of designs, however simplex, is
>often more refreshing than listening to designers pontificating about
>Just as there is a big difference between human and transhuman, there is a
>big difference between a transhuman and a posthuman. In the case of the
>posthuman, no one knows how it will be actualized. To assume otherwise
>would be erroneous. Thus, the best we can do now is to envision and
>conceptualize the possible futures and to allow our minds to wander,
>outside the restrictive controls of technology, as practiced today. But
>we must keep in mind that convictions for body modifications are more than
>piercing, tattoos, skin carvings, cosmetic surgery, which do not make one
>futuristic. Nor does a cyborg make a transhuman.
>It is puzzling that men or women looking at a woman provokes such
>resentment in you. Further, the fact that my biological chromosomal
>heritage, whether I carry the gene or not, includes large breasts should
>not warrant such crude commentary. Further, I have no idea what "extreme"
>cosmetic surgery you are referring to, since I believe the best way to
>have cosmetic surgery is moderately and over time. Perhaps you have me
>confused with the artist Orlan who uses extreme measures to alter her
>body, something that I have little interest in at this point in time. Or
>perhaps you came to the conference looking for a gothic freakishness,
>which is sorely missing from the transhumanist culture, much to my delight.
>In 1986, Honda's engineers set out to master the "principles of walking."
>Such early robotic mechanics is primitive compared to current
>technological leaps in mobility and sensory adaptations. Just as the
>early biplane glider designed by the Wright Brothers (1899) is primitive
>compared to a Boeing 747 jetliner, which will in turn be primitive to
>X-planes (RLVs). The early Asimo is certainly a primitive but important
>"step" toward the future of robotics not because it is weak, but because
>it is a primal and original step. It leads the way for later generations
>of assembled body parts and much greater advances that will come into
>play. And such understanding is not so foolish when one considers the fact
>that robotics has made extraordinary advances in skin manipulation, facial
>expression, vocalization and mobility in recent years.
>Perhaps you were not listening when I announced, more than once, that the
>engineering (the science and technology) of Primo would be featured and
>elaborated on in that evening's Video Fest. Both "Primo's Technology" on
>Canadian Cultural TV and the film "Precipice" which details reasons for
>the science and technology of Primo prototypes.
>What disturbs me about your type of commentary is that it lacks insight or
>shared interest with transhumanism. This is not a bad thing, but the
>angst that you expressed to all other than Stelarc and Mann is curious and
>one would think that perhaps you identify with what Mann represents,
>although I would not put Stelarc in the same genre as Mann. Stelarc is a
>highly sophisticated artist.
>Lastly, and this is a side observation: I have often heard comments that
>transhumanists should have more fun at conferences rather than portraying
>an imbalance of science/technology over culture. Alternatively, if we
>have "fun" we are questioned about not being serious enough. Such protests
>are far too loud and could be better addressed in conversation than
>pointed at unwilling targets.
>President, Extropy Institute http://www.extropy.org
>Founder, Transhumanist Arts & Culture http://www.transhumanist.biz
President, Extropy Institute http://www.extropy.org
Founder, Transhumanist Arts & Culture http://www.transhumanist.biz
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