Re: Hakim Bey (was: RE: virtual nation building)

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 23:09:40 MST

From: "Samantha Atkins" <>

> I see what Eliezer is doing as attempting create a "way out" of
> an otherwise fatally dangerous and unstoppable technological
> run-away. This is done by guided technological means. It has
> nothing specific to do with "cultural activism" unless this term
> is used in a way I am not familar with. Eliezer says (correctly
> by his thinking) almost nothing about social/political goals and
> issues. They are seen as distractions from the essential work.

It was admittedly an unfortunate choice of words because I did intend
'cultural activism' in a more inclusive sense than its standard usage. To
say 'singularity activist/passivist seems a little too insular. Perhaps
'transhumanist activist/passivist is closer, but not without its pitfalls as
well. My argument with Bey (and thus Anders) is that the issue of passivity
was not framed properly. The most relevant issue, as I see it, proceeds from
this line of reasoning: The transhumanist (or singularity) revolution is
coming soon, we can have no predictable effect on its shape or outcome, so
we might as well just kick back. Or the variant: since we can have no
predictable effect on the revolution's outcome we have no special obligation
as to how it ought to come about, at best we need simply ensure that it does
come about. I don't think that Eliezer subscribes to either line of
reasoning although I think many do, if not in word then in deed.
    The neo-Heideggerian understanding of passivity suggested by Bey seems
to me to miss the point. For the hordes of Heideggerians on this list I
would say that "the question of technology" in its complicity with Dasein's
age of world pictures maybe irrelevant since we (hopefully) will enter a
postDasein error. (That is, technology may well have played a role in the
cultural relativism self-understanding of humans in the modern era, but this
may be irrelevant as we enter a posthuman era). Mark

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