Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In space nobody will have to poop



Of course, a well known anti-transhumanist has reacted to the recent YES! to Transhumanism statement with a blog post titled Yes!Trons Defending "The Transhumanist Core" from the HumanityPlusTrons.

The author claims not to take seriously the "batshit crazy" transhumanists, which I find difficult to believe it considered the time he spends writing about them. One wonders whether he has any life or real work to do. I must admit to reading his blog frequently, because he is a very good writer who usually has intelligent (other) things to say when he forgets for a moment his obsession with transhumanists, but of course I do not bother reading his posts against transhumanists (50% or more of the content of his blog). Also, I don't need reading them because I already know his arguments empty words by heart, like "how can we account for the conspicuous prevalence in actually existing transhumanist-identified discourses of questions of personally overcoming ageing, death, embodiment, material history (as stakeholder contestation), conventional cognitive and morphological traits and capacities, or on imagined but presumably proximate technoconstituted entities who are assumed to exhibit such overcomings". Typical Carrico's bull writing style, taken from his complains against of the Oxford English Dictionary which, in a new entry, defines transhumanism as “a belief that the human race can evolve beyond its current limitations, esp. by the use of science and technology”.

His summary of "the whole let's freeze our brains while awaiting the Robot God to immortalize us in a cyberspatial paradise "program"" of the Cosmic Engineers is "In a nutshell, in space nobody will have to poop".

The author is not obsessed only with transhumanists, but also with poop, which he considers as a symbol of The Sacred Body: “it is true that life is lived in bodies, and that bodies are various and vulnerable and mortal and hungry for connection, and that embracing embodied life demands an embrace of all this about bodies. To deny their variation, their vulnerability, their mortality, their sociability is to deny the body”, that will save us from the body-loathing of “Transhumanists who want to talk about living forever in computers and not having bodies that have to poop” because they are “dispirited at the prospect of continuing to have to poop or whatever it is that freaks you out so much about bodily life”.

In other words poop, also known as shit or, in its bovine form, bullshit, the sublime act of sitting on a toilet to crap, is what makes bodily life worth living. Even better if it is a long and painful crap, to remind us that we live in A Mortal, Frail And Vulnerable Body. The author makes this point often with, very appropriately, long and painful verbal diarrhea Diarrhea. To which, I can only reply that I have nothing against poop, but somehow I do not consider it as a central defining feature of my human identity, and can even think of a couple of other things that make life more worth living.