Re: Posthuman Politics

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Tue Oct 16 2001 - 13:18:05 MDT

Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> Samantha Atkins wrote:
> >
> > Perhaps it makes me non-mainstream here, but I do not believe
> > that technology alone will allow us to transcend our current
> > conditons and its many dangers. I don't believe that a
> > technology-only (or mostly so) end-run is a viable or workable
> > alternative. I think a lot of personal/social transformation is
> > also required.
> >
> This reminds me of the classic rejoinder to the temperance advocate.
> The temperance advocate, upon being offered a glass of brandy,
> sniffed and said "I don't believe in strong drink."
> to which her host replied: " I assure you, madam, it exists."
> Samantha, you may choose to believe that technology alone
> will not result in whatever. I have to ask: what do you think will
> prevent the advance of technology from making radical changes
> in the human condition in the next 20 years? Even very conservative
> projections of existing trends lead to fundamental changes.

I did not say it would not make radical changes. I said it will
not by itself utterly transform us in accordance with our
dreams/hopes. And, as we are seeing now,
politics/war/terrorism/ideology/economics has a huge effect on
what technology comes into existence, how quickly and how fast
its effects ripple through the world. I do not see how just
technology is going to fix or ameliorate sufficiently the "soft"
areas of human psychology, sociology, ideology and so on.

> The usual argument is "It's never happened before, therefore it
> won't happen." That argument requires far more faith than I have.

As you have seen my posts here for a long time now you darn well
should know a lot better than to imply that I believe any such

> If you think that a lot of personal/social transformation is
> also required to drive the transformation in a "good" direction,
> then you had better figure out a way to make those transformations
> occur before we are all overtaken by events. You have at most
> 20 years, and you may be too late even now.

Such is most definitely required. So I guess we all should roll
up our sleeves and get to work. Yes?

- samantha

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