This story began about the death of my good friend, Ken Doyle but instead, it’s a rant against futurist denial people and self important and patronising academics with the gall to believe understanding transhumanism is beyond mere mortals.
I went to the wake of an old friend yesterday, a man I nicknamed ‘Citizen Ken’ because he was a man of the people, the kind of guy who would never say no and fought with his every breath for the rights of every citizen to be a citizen. Ken was the kind of person I hope we should all aspire to be. Then he died.
Life’s like that, apparently. There are an increasing number of people who might argue to the contrary. like, for example Max More of Oxford University and his letter to Mother Nature .
On the other hand, even though I, a mere mortal not an academic, might recognise this, it goes on. Check out Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence by Hans Moravec. And without rigorous academic examination, shock, horror.
It is tiring and depressing when so called intellectuals dismiss your thoughts or contributions with platitudes and patronise you with,well, bullshit.
Everyone likes and longs to read seminal works, those definitive stories that allow neophytes to determine their authenticity and thus achieve acclaim and mutually agreed academic authority.
Isn’t it a pity then when I recommended a certain book -Mark O’Connell’s To Be A Machine, as a useful introduction to transhumanism, for it to be dismissed as a ‘Travelogue’ , a determination I’m sure came from a quick browse of the book’s pr blurb rather than any rigorous examination and thus below academic interrogation.
Why? because in that so called travelogue he chose to confront as many of the forerunners and primary protagonists of the transhumanists he could find. If the truth were told I could name at least a half a dozen more.
To them, the so called academics, it doesn’t matter. What will happen has been determined and they’re not concerned with unintelligible gibberish from people who never really saw anything from their point of view, anyway.
I nicknamed Ken, ‘Citizen Ken’ because that encapsulated what he was, a man of the people. He fought for the right for people to be people, no paramaters defined or included. If it could be worked out, it would be. That was his genius as a politician.
As for academics who might dismiss his admonishments, theories or development plans as ill thought out nonsense, Ken would nod and say, ‘fuck off’ and then facing those who believed in him, he’d say, ‘the only truth I know is you.’
pic credit: Darren Bolger