Anders Sandberg (
31 Mar 1999 02:32:27 +0200

Watching MTV might not be the most transhuman activity, but somtimes there are interesting memes in the overall mess of entropy and broken hearts.

Pearl Jam: Evolution - a cartoon orgy in violence, destruction and entropy. But it has an interesting symbol, a leering black-clad woman representing evolution/destruction (shades of Neil Gaiman's gothic girl Death?). What struck me is that it is a great way of showing what is wrong with "natural selection" - it is cruel and pointless, we really should aim for autoevolution. Maybe we could borrow the personified Lady Evolution and create her nice sister Lady Autoevolution?

Apropos evolution, Fatboy Slim's latest video "Right Here, Right Now" depicts the evolution from simple cell to human, complete with a countdown of the years (of course, being the academic nitpick I am I couldn't avoid getting irritated at the factual errors :-). In many ways it makes a good case for thinking "why stop with a fat human slob?".

Kashmir's "Mom in love, daddy in space" is really about feeling isolated and unwanted as a child, but it has some nice architecture and transhumanist technology. The little boy has two cloned dads, and mother is cloning Father #3. When she dies the fathers perform a cryonic suspension on her, complete with a little plastic step-by-step manual, what looked like roughly the right process (severely abbreviated) and even the slogan "Freeze - wait - reanimate" on the freezer. Cute.

Of course, what I'm really waiting for is the day Vacuum makes a video for "Great Ideas, Grand Vision". Symphonic synth rock with themes about technology, religion and science. Their latest album (Seance at the Chaebol) includes celebrations of astrophysics, the Indian nuclear program, the optimism of south-east asian tiger economies and individualism. Very extropian.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y