[ExI] transhumanism in fiction
ross.evans11 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 01:16:20 UTC 2010
We eulogise frailty for the same reasons we eulogise mortality; it acts as a
coping mechanism that ameliorates our deepest fears. The reality that the
vessel in which we experience the world is little more than water and
congealed goo, is not one many people want to dwell on. If transhuman
characters do alienate readers, I would suggest it is only because they
further assert this frailty, not because they demonstrate what man could be
if he transcended these frailties.
On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 2:00 AM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>wrote:
> More Egan:
> Virtual Worlds and Imagined Futures - Greg Egan
> An interview with David Conyers, from Albedo One Magazine
> "Do transhuman characters with god-like powers alienate readers? Are they
> too far removed from human emotions and frailties that we experience in
> modern society?
> The frailty of our bodies is an enormously important part of our current
> reality — and I very much doubt that anyone will ever be literally immortal
> — but I don't think there's anything all that strange or alienating about
> the prospect of having, say, a far more robust body, or back-up copies of
> your mind. These are just ways of enabling us to do the kind of constructive
> things we're doing right now, with fewer unwelcome interruptions. If you
> asked someone who'd moved from a country with endemic violence, women dying
> in childbirth, high infant mortality, and no effective treatment for dozens
> of infectious diseases to a place where all of those problems had been
> solved whether they felt alienated by the loss of their precious human
> frailty, they'd just laugh."
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