Re: META: barfsome terminology
Mon, 4 Oct 1999 23:57:45 EDT

In a message dated 10/4/99 7:16:42 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> At 09:46 AM 4/10/99 -0400, Robin wrote in reply to Greg's:
> >>Same here. If I have to go down for the cold sleep, I don't expect to be
> >>initially reanimated as a meat machine.
> >I think uploads will really miss meat bodies for a long while.
> One of the major problems we face in conveying our apparently outrageous
> ideas is a simple matter of tact versus self-preening shock value in the
> terms we coin and use.
> I'd like to suggest that people stop using the term `meat' about human
> beings.
> I know there's a tradition behind this usage. I realise it's partially
> meant to wean us off our enculturated regard for the contingent fact that
> minds are currently instantiated in flesh rather than on other substrates.
> But it's an unnecessarily offensive term, when you stop and look at it for
> a moment.

well... i guess im not quite sure about the unnecassary part. ive found that, by using words similar to 'meat' on a regular basis, im able to get people do a mild doubletake, and from there, im able to get into very positive conversations with them. i think this is functionally similar to ayn rand's use of the word 'selfish'.

> `Meat' is dead flesh intended for eating. Few of us eat human remains.

lol... well, ya know, every once in a while i chew my fingernails, but i have yet to resort to anything even close to being along the lines of soylent green, although i dont quite understand the common revulsion to the idea. if, eris forbid, something terribly damaging happens to this bioshell, and it no longer serves to weave my consciousness, i have given several close friends permission to grok the fullness of my existance, if they could get away with it ;)

<meaningless side note>
it is my understanding that my dad ate take-out chinese [sorry, had to say it] during the (near the end of the) korean war. i guess he was stuck down under the pusan peremeter, and had ammo, but no food. macarthur hadnt landed yet, ya see. well, so my old man had ammo and no food, while the chinese had no ammo, and no food, and ya do whatcha gotta do, i suppose... i guess ya wanna keep em alive as long as you can; keeps the meat from being damaged by the cold. ::shrug:: whats done is done. but has this hit the press at all? ive never really heard about it, other then via my dad, and one of his old war buddies (assisted by liberal applications of bad-tasting alchohol)...

</meaningless side note>

> Most people are revolted by the idea. Conflating healthy, alert living
> with slabs of stuff at the butcher's counter is... well, it's
> counter-productive.

i dunno. id go so far as to say that shock value is a good thing. i want people to think twice about some of the things i say. which would we rather have: passing attention, or notoriety? ::strikes cheesy austin powers pose:: ARE WE NOT REVOLUTIONARIES, MAN!? hehe...

> I'd like to suggest a moratorium on this usage, not because I'm squeamish
> but because a vast number of the people we'd like to guide to a better
> understanding of the coming world *are*. I'm not sure what term to offer in
> replacement, but perhaps *protein body* might do? That's also a tad
> dehumanised, but it doesn't have the swaggering adolescent taint of *meat*.

yea, i understand. mindless rebellion is as bad as mindless conformity... but i dont think thats whats goin on here, at all, and i dont think thats how its commonly percieved. (yea, i know... wtf do i know of "commonly"? am i a poll?) but, as purely anecdotal evidence, i present that i have had nothing but positive experiences with people whom i have used the word at.

<some snippage>

sayke, v2.3.05 [anders, was it you who came up with putting version numbers after your name? i dig that. =) ]