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Dumai wrote (edited )

Care to expand on that? How does technology, for example a bicycle or medicine, submit us to the "rhythms and beats of machines", and what does that even mean?

technology obviously has a huge role to play in regimes of social control, even technologies that might otherwise seem innocent or non-political - a standard example is that one of the most important technologies of modern capitalism is the clock, because without it you can't synchronise human labour to the degree required by the capitalist mode of production. the clock, in tandem with the railway system, was instrumental in creating the working day by forcing labourers to work to an integrated schedule as a matter of urgency. all that literally changed how humans conceptualise time itself!

so to use one of your examples, the medicalisation of society, while greatly improving hygiene standards and life expectancy, also centralised medical knowledge and practices into the hands of a professional class with interests very different to those of their patients. this is inextricably tied to modern classism, homophobia, ableism, sexism, eugenics, and racism as we know them today. it's actually a big problem for human autonomy when a significant portion of the public must passively rely on a professional class that believes it is solely responsible for determining what constitutes sickness and health. when these behaviours are very much encouraged by medical technology, the solution to this problem is tricky because it can't be simple self-limitation on the part of doctors. their interests are to scrutinise and monitor the body from cradle to grave.

that doesn't mean technology is evil! it doesn't mean there aren't obvious benefits to stuff like medical science that even a child can notice! it doesn't mean we have to go back to the stone age! it doesn't even mean human augmentation is always a bad idea (that would be bad news for anybody who needs glasses)!

it does mean you can't view technologies as either a) inherently liberatory or b) objects that, while essentially politically neutral, can be politicised for either good or evil. we need to maintain a healthy critical perspective on technology because the belief that it can completely eliminate human suffering has really worrying implications. have you ever wondered why transhumanism appeals equally to silicone valley CEOs as it does to reddit anarchists? it might have something to do with how seeking self-actualisation in the act of consumption is a very comfortable part of contemporary capitalism?

I don't see how it requires a mind-body dualism either.

can you tell me how the belief you can "upload" your mind into a machine is compatible with the scientific materialism most transhumanists seem to take for granted?


[deleted] wrote


Dumai wrote

my problem is i don't know what a transhumanism that doesn't advocate the use of technology to completely transcend suffering would even look like.


[deleted] wrote


Dumai wrote (edited )

how is this focus on "expanding the realm of what's possible" still transhumanist if we're abandoning the cure for death and the mechanisation of life?

if we're not doing that, then how are we going to avoid the problems of technological growth that you and i both agree exist, and most transhumanists don't ever seem to engage with?