A Brief Defense Of Transhumanism And Its Abolition
Shit is accelerating. Not just Language to Algebra to Calculus to Transistors. We are more aware of and referential to everything.
There’s a certain sector of society of which this is especially true, that understands and embraces this. And pretty much nobody else matters. For the very first time in history the brightest of the brightest are associating more and more, challenging one another and developing free of traditionalist frameworks. They are doing this in direct combat with the premise of social power dynamics. All along various distributions, people are challenging themselves to climb higher and they are finding places to go. The empathic are engaged like never before, entirely new vistas of understanding opening to them. Those focused on more autistic explorations of the inert are running wild. We are all moving faster.
And yet many of us are preoccupied with those who haven’t caught up or — even more amusingly — those who don’t want to. No doubt the spasms of their development or suicide will be enormous, and it goes without saying that we should mind their waves. But now is not necessarily the time to be preoccupied with them.
Of course we’re going to plant stuff in our neurocortexes, bypass language and see an explosion in the bandwidth of interrelation between these whirling hurricanes we call minds. Of course we’re going to jump the fuck beyond the chains of this deplorable gravity well, chew up regolith, tap ice and mine the strewn bits of metal candy just fucking floating there. Of course we’re going to figure out how to replicate or metastasize the constituent material of our hurricanes and share the party outward and outward until we have to bifurcate to deal with relativistic limitations. Of fucking course.
And so there’s a lot of danger in getting dragged down into defending — as I have repeatedly — this blossoming of freedom. We risk becoming self proclaimed partisans of the future in a way that is merely a commodified identity, a cheap ideological flag.
Transhumanism is not a bunch of white guys sitting in a room watching slides of poorly translated advances in biology. It’s not about taking our toys home and waiting for the robots to rescue us from reality.
It’s not an ideology — and insofar as it may drift in that direction it should be abolished. Insofar as it matters though, it is an idealism. Shorter still, an ideal: that of motion. We are not afraid of change. We are change. When we reach out beyond the present context we don’t do so in ignorance of it. Just dismissal of its value unto itself. A hundred million years is short term. You put on your shoes every morning, but you don’t live for the act of knotting shoelaces. In a matter of decades we have compounded more than a billion years of evolution. Things are only getting faster as the internet unleashes feedbacking cultural and memetic growth. And that’s still just the short term.
At its best transhumanism is not an ideology but a space to have discussions about our struggles in the present day without having to defend the very notion of change. Transhumanism is a safe space for those who recognize that the future is possible.