Transhumanism Jumps the Shark


Let's just get this out on the table now- Transhumanism is still a pipe dream. 

It doesn't matter how much H+ propaganda you see in the movies or on TV or in sci-fi novels or comic books, it simply doesn't exist as a practical science. There are so many barriers to it coming to fruition-- many scientists believe the consciousness upload idea will never work-- but the crippling deal-breaker is simple cost. 

No matter how many CGI effects make it seem so very tantalizingly close and no matter how many deliberately deceptive "science" articles you see (nearly all of which are based on some theoretical possibility), nearly all of the principles behind Transhumanism simply cost too much or require too much computing power or too much manpower to get off the comic book page and into reality.

The heat's gone out of Transhumanism, of that there can be no question. A messianic movement, which seemed to offer us salvation (just around the corner)  is now the province of the true believer. And like any failed messianic movement, the rhetoric coming out of the movement has become distinctly apocalyptic. 

A look at the IEET homepage (the IEET being the main H+ thinktank) shows how the movement is backing off its "any day now" fervor and is dealing with pretty much the same kinds of issues you see on any liberal or globalist news site, particularly one with a religious bent. Like most alternative religious movements it seems to be reducing to the Unitarian mean that you see in so many quote-unquote "pagan" circles as well.

Well, not entirely. One H+ preacher is reaching into the fundamentalist kitbag of hellfire and damnation, declaring that unbelievers in the Transhumanist gospel are not even humans, they're (we're) zombies.
One of the biggest existential challenges that transhumanists face is that most people don’t believe a word we’re saying, however entertaining they may find us. They think we’re fantasists when in fact we’re talking about a future just over the horizon. Suppose they’re wrong and we are right. What follows? Admittedly, we won’t know this until we inhabit that space ‘just over the horizon’. Nevertheless, it’s not too early to discuss how these naysayers will be regarded, perhaps as a guide to how they should be dealt with now. 
So let’s be clear about who these naysayers are. They hold the following views: 
1) They believe that they will live no more than 100 years and quite possibly much less. 
2) They believe that this limited longevity is not only natural but also desirable, both for themselves and everyone else. 
3) They believe that the bigger the change, the more likely the resulting harms will outweigh the benefits. 
Now suppose they’re wrong on all three counts. How are we to think about such beings who think this way? Aren’t they the living dead? Indeed.  
This is straight out of primitive Christianity ("let the dead bury the dead") which also promised physical resurrection and bodily longevity. But here we go from Jesus to Hitler and Pol Pot:
This much is clear: If you’re a transhumanist, ordinary people are zombies. 
 So how does one deal with zombies, especially when they are the majority of the population? There are three general options: 
1) You kill them, once and for all. 
2) You avoid them. 
3) You enable them to be fully alive. 
The decision here is not as straightforward as it might seem because the prima facie easiest option (2) requires that there are no resource implications. But of course, zombies require living humans (i.e. potential transhumans) in order to exist in the manner they do, which in turn makes the zombies dangerous; hence (1) has always proved such an attractive option for dealing with zombies. After all, it is difficult to dedicate the resources needed to secure the transhumanist goal of indefinite longevity, if there are zombies trying to anchor your existential horizons in the present to make their own lives as easy as possible.
All apocalyptic religions want to eliminate the unbelievers in one way or another. Europe is going to relearn that lesson in the days to come. Transhumanist ranks may be small but they may also have access to, oh I don't know, the fucking Plague, access that you or I may not have.

Not a comforting thought.

I may need new glasses but the author of this IEET piece doesn't look like a Nietzschean superman. He doesn't even look like a comic book one. He looks like Heinrich Himmler gone to seed ( a popular look in genocidoscientist circles).

Now there's been a lot of talk about the fraudulence of the peer-review system, about how hardly any of the scientific articles out there are being read, never mind reviewed and tested. 

I was struck by that reality when reading this inane bit of piffle about the reliably pifflous Lawrence Krauss, who decries religion for preaching "xenophobia" (oh, how daring).

This video was posted on the IEET website, which as we see preaches the most rancid variety of xenophobia imaginable. Oh, irony.
Theoretical physicist (and IEET contributor) Lawrence Krauss explains his main gripe about organized religion: “It implies things about the real world that are just not true.” Organized religion tends to promote an “us vs. them” mentality that in turn triggers a dangerous form of xenophobia. When people say religion is responsible for much of history’s wars and suffering, this is what they’re talking about.
And what about the religion of Scientism and "Scientific Socialism"? Do we count the dead done in their name? Maybe some other time, huh? 
Krauss then enters an investigation into holy texts such as the Old Testament, which — taken literally — is a “disgusting document” that most people know to treat allegorically. An issue Krauss sees among some Muslims is that the insistence on treating a text like the Koran 100 percent at face value leads to unnecessary violence.
If Krauss' name rings a bell, it might be from this recent story...

26 comments:

  1. Honestly, the only surprise here is the H+ guy being honest about his hatefulness and misanthropy.

    I wonder too, even if you *could* upload your brain and self to a server, who gets to pay the electricity bills, and what do you do if a brown-out or hacker disrupts the cloud server? Admittedly, my question has all the importance of asking what would you do with a Klingon battlecruiser if one beamed you up, but still.

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    1. Well, IEET is touted as corporate even among the H+ crowd and what is the main imperative of the corporate enterprise than to designate winners and punish losers? This is just an extreme example of that kind of thinking that is making the world unlivable.

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    2. Roger that. On the original blog/article that you linked, they were getting some pushback and the author along with the blog owner were doing the "you just don't *get* what I'm saying".

      Oh, we get it, don't worry H+ Guys. We get it.

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  2. Upload-style H+, sure: but DIY transhumanism/Grinding is becoming both huge and mainstream (3 major articles in mainstream press last week alone). It's notable how many of the original Grinders were occultists of the technomage variety, something the scene generally avoids talking about. Most of the core read you, as it goes!

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    1. Ah, I remember when they called them "future primitives." There's still a group on tribe.net for them. They'll develop all sorts of interesting infections and side effects and decide to move on to yoga or something. Do I sound a tad skeptical? I don't meant to- good luck to them. I guess my skepticism is the unfortunate result of having lived in the 90s.

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    2. Grinders are a bit different from Future Primitives, though that's a source to be sure. The guys who implant magnets in fingertips to sense EM, adapt their diet using Soylent as a baseline to extend their vision into the ultraviolet - looking to extend human capability rather than the religious wankery of uploading. Interesting culture, especially if you take the position that we've been cyborgs ever since we first developed language/tools/spectacles/clothes (pick your start point). I have some sympathy with the philosophical position, but not brave enough to tinker with my health that much!

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  3. Hey Chris,

    This H+ idea feels to me like an extension of the 'everything is made by Apple' trope you so often see in movies. Everything is an iPad, full of touchscreens and gestural interfaces. It's the notion of utopia as a kind of techno - afterlife. Some part of the modern mindset actually WANTS to be a sleek and smooth android. Just look at how our notions of beauty have changed. A photoshop consciousness. Gentrification of the discursive space, not just the literal space. The "Future" ain't gonna be some clean, sleek and pretty modernity. It's going to be a dystopia, because that's what it is right now. And the predator - elites like it that way. In the future, as now, we're going to have inhuman power differentials in our world. Which means maintained third - world economies, hideous poverty and squalor, and tiny little gated enclaves of fascist utopias for the uber-rich. We have these enclaves now. But it ain't gonna be H+. It'll be H minus. A look at the tech black - market in third world countries is a sign of things to come, in my opinion. In the future ain't nothing gonna be Open Source. We're already rolling in the deep, but most people's depth gauges are fucked. Turn your eyes to the powerful, and pay close attention to the nexus of lies. Real H+? That's spirituality, political awareness, lost and supressed histories, High Weirdness. It's the Innermost Light. That's where the real 'incredible future' is hiding.

    Peace

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    1. Well, I get the impulse, believe me. My life is an endless science experiment and losing race so believe me I understand the imperative here. But I hear so much of this "it's the unbelievers' fault that our H+ utopia isn't here" that you know this left the halls of science and wandered into the temples of religion some time ago.

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    2. Yeah, agreed and understood. I often feel the same way.

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  4. This subject is very interesting and has a lot going on, with many levels. I think it's only going to get more and more intense as time moves forward. Personally I feel that parts of Transhumanism has a "breakaway society" vibe to it. I'm sure there are people attached to it that want to see humanity raised to a higher level. I can join in on that perspective, but you start throwing in this Zombie type of rationale and stereotyping the public that don't get it or don't want to follow along and you have totally lost me. If we really want to move ahead, we have to do it together with everyone being shown both sides of the coin. I might have gone off subject there, but I feel this is indeed the beginnings of debate in the coming years. Raj, you have really nailed the natural human aspect right now. I feel it's important, esp. after disclosure that we keep a lot of that intact. That is what I'm really feeling in this moment. That Transhumanism is going to be upfront big time in a post disclosure world. The only thing that I would like to play mediator on is how we balance being human with evolving and some might say miraculous technology. When the planet loses it's financial and power brokering paradigm- this will come into the light even more. Hopefully everyone will be on the same playing field. Like I mentioned, this whole subject has many more levels and we're going have to find a balance or make some decisions on what's best for us. Time will tell. This is an evolving issue given whatever facts or situations arise in full transparency be it in present day or post disclosure.

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    1. Zombies have been highly symbolic for the last 5 or so odd years in our culture. The concept connects in a lot of odd ways, one being the materialist argument that we lack free will (everything is computed for us) and thus are just bags of static left over from the big bang. We think we are in control - but we aren't. Ergo, we are Zombies. Or so the story went. The sooner we can kick these clumsy mechanistic ideas regarding consciousness to the curb, the better off we'll be.

      "Humans had set those machines to usurp our sense of beauty, our necessary selfdom out of which we make living judgments. Naturally, the machines were destroyed." - Frank Herbert

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    2. Ease on over to the Satellite for a simply smashing insight on the zombie meme. As to breakaway society- I wouldn't give them that much credit. Seriously.

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    3. After revisiting my comment, my insight went a little far ahead. I get a little caught up in future times. They are to out in the open to be a breakaway now that I look at it- I just get caught up in these bizarre agendas and such. There was a conversation I had a few years ago when transhumanism came up along with tech companies and the like, and I just remember thinking this has some off shoot plan- unbeknownst to most of them.

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  5. Thanks for pointing me to the comments section.

    I was going to write a rebuttal to his nonsense, but as the comments unfurled, I realised it was pointless.

    His own arguments are a good enough rebuttal. It seems to me the guy is pissed that our backwards ethics don't welcome the coming ruling elite of immortal ubermensch. Talk about counting your chickens before they've hatched.

    Also, the guy really hates Buddhism, doesn't he? I bet he thinks the Buddha is laughing at him personally.

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    1. Yeah, the Buddhist hate is really weird. But typical of the fundamentalist mindset.

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  6. I don't know who Herman Himmler is, but I definitely see the resemblance to Heinrich Himmler. :)

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    1. Herman was his his idiot twin brother. He ran the Ministry of Rocks and Pebbles.

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  7. I like Buddhism. But I think it's an evolving system that can also be personal and not dogmatic. Why do you attach so much importance to the difference between flesh and metal or other forms of matter? I thought Buddhism taught ALL matter was an illusion, including flesh? Could not non flesh contain the spark of consciousness, as taught by the guru Jack Kirby? You also seem to get angry when anything positive is spoken about the future or present. I thought Buddhism is meant to avoid all negative resentful thinking?

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    1. I do not like Buddhism and see ti also as a mask of the patriarchy. it is world-denying and has its believers say eyes half shut trying to attain something they have been told they are lacking. Buddhists I have met have been pain in the arses. I remember one at art school who bragged he had picked up worms in the rain to save them for 'merit'. IE he was thinking of his little point sheet. loke any Christian will so as not to go to their dreaded invention of 'hell'. I hate all that. it stinks of hypocrisy. it is also a myth to think all Buddhists are all into peace and tolerance. AND it is conformist, eg when you see all those bald-headed monks in uniform.
      OK, flesh when you prick it hurts like hell and you will bleed. Metal does not suffer that. And I have never heard a machine go "ouch!!", have you? That insane philosopher Descartes believed animals were machines and tortured them thinking their howls of pain were the screeches of automata! Can YOU see the difference? The belief that all matter is illusion is a dualistic myth, and is comething New Agers share, and is a way to de=grade what is being called 'matter', because if I calim you don't exist, I am not honouring your ACTUAL existence which I am a part of, am I? I don't dig at all the guru system, especially if they are called Jack Kirby...lol And WHY is it wrong to BE angry? Anger is an emotion. I am not ashamed of feeling anger, there's is a LOT to be angry about.

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  8. Is there a Buddhist who wants to field this? I don't know what he's referring to here.

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    1. I asked an actual Nepalese Buddhist about this and he said you don't collect points. So we have that out of the way.

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  9. 'Future Primitive' Timothy Leary's widow, Joanna Harcourt-Smith, has a website titled that. I find it very interesting that most if not all the most well known leaders in the psychedelic movement spanning the generations from the 60s with Leary through to the 80s and 90s (and on) with RAW and Terrence mcKenna have all been psychedelic transhumanists! The Psychedelic Transhumanists Is this a surprise? I mean isn't it so in the far reaches of patriarchal history that cults which involve consciousness-changing substances have become infiltrated with world-denying groups. A good example ifs the ancient Orphic cult which took over the classical Dionysian Mysteries and replaced them with a dualistic toxic myth that 'Dionysos' had been killed and yet everyone contained a divine spark of him, trapped in their bodies and nature, and only through abiding their authority and doing purification rituals and what not could there be release of the spirits
    The point being that this is a PARANOID MYTH designed to divide and control the individual from their body, senses, nature, others and the natural world
    In more traditional religion there was-in Christianity (and still is) paranoia about 'the Flesh', being born in sin, a fallen nature, hell, and the promise of some future time IF you...? Abided by their authority. What H+ is is just yet another mask of the patriarchy. it makes us fear and feel guilty about our 'decaying, death-prone bodies' and nature in general who is responsible for this 'murder' lol and ONLY if we abide by the authority of their technocracy will we be saved and receive the prize of immortality. This is all the continuation of pathetic patriarchal thinking who cannot bear what it sees as 'chaos'. This fear is all recorded in their myths!

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  10. Apparently not, just more hatred of anything masculine and male, which by the way is something Miguel Conner refutes in no uncertain terms, as does many of those who frequent his radio program. I see nothing inherently divisive or even patriarchal in this, there's plenty of femininity, just not the myth of the passive female as ideal. But I do hear the echoes of misandry inspired feminism and Marx, and oddly enough radical traditionalism, which is one step forward towards fascism. Key phrase I keep hearing, coming from men of course, is patriarchy. Again, echoes of father hatred, Oedipus and a passivity towards a future one does not like, but is unwilling to do anything constructive, or non passive, about. In fact, as stated before, when anything constructive is done in any way shape or form, just anger, accusations and resentment. Whose the mama's boy now?

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  11. Once the aliens are revealed they will be the ones who push for us to take our next evolutionary step. They will bring the technology for it to happen. Don't fall for it. They will not be aliens but fallen angels and the transhuman agenda will be to get us to take what the bible calls the 'mark of the beast'.

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  12. I don't understand why some transhuman advocates want a 100% robotic body. As machines still need care and maintenance as much as our flesh and blood bodies do. Also a computer hacker attack on your machine body will be as deadly as a heart attack or stroke is to their former flesh and blood bodies. Personally between the cell phone, computer, tablets, motor vehicles, glasses, hearing aids, artificial joints. My family and I are the primitive versions of Marvel's Iron Man or star trek's "the Borg". So the transhuman advocates don't realize how much they have won in getting us knuckle draggers into robotic bodies.

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  13. From a purely rationalist-reductionist mechanistic standpoint, a robotic body might surely "appear" as 'superior' to us flesh-and-blood-and-guts earthly&organic alive and all-living primate human homo sapiens flesh. So easy it seems: Digitized robots, with industrial replacements parts. Computerized networks of circuits. Downloading data and mindsets, and hacking about. So perfect and easy in their ideals and abstracted dreams. So techno-utopian and simple. Just printing and tweaking and piecing together your ubermenshen from the parts of a pile.

    Of course, as we non-zombies well see and know; that black-iron-imprisoned slave-robotic-body might not always be all that it's made out to be. In the hype. Or in their technocratic dreams.

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