Posthumanism – initial thoughts

On Post/trans humanism and technological singularity.
My opinion on the whole subject is still quite open.

But, my intial feelings seem very similar to Raki’s. I can’t help but feel that there is a lot more we can learn about who/what we are already, (not to mention how we fit in with all the other species), including the ability to encourage amazing self-healing and other near-miraculous stuff. I personally think that we should really make sure we understand what a person -is- before trying to add in improvements, and I think there’s some way to go till we get that far.

I suspect, with no real evidence as such, that learning by ‘fiddling about with it’ in this case (life/humanity) could prove very dangerous.

I also vaguely feel that steaming ahead with technology to catapult ourselves into space and beyond is somewhat selfish when it involves wasting/wrecking the environment and the rest of the planet in the way human endeavours generally do. The consequences of our polluting are already upon us, is it right to carry on in an attempt to just get away from it?

As a side wondering, I can’t help but notice that a lot of the people pro this sort of technological-singularity-sort of stuff are male, while those who feel more uneasy with it female. I’m aware of the fact that this sounds rather much a generalisation, and also quite ‘feminist’, but I think there is something to be said for the negative effects of patriachal-society on all genders, and that the relience and focus on machine and technology over emotion/life/body etc is perhaps misguided? Boys and their toys? 😉

Maybe we can reach a ‘singularity’, but why do we have to use man-made technology for it? Isn’t it just a religious concept dressed in scientific terms?The only part of technology I feel to be truly useful in terms of helping people ‘evolve’ are the communications technology and internet – these allow for incredible exposure to and sharing of ideas, which in turn allows for a much more rapid mental growth. But it’s still only the tool – the real work and developing comes from the minds of people.

In sum : what makes us think we can do any better than what we already have? On the other hand, are the creations and technologies of people part of the ‘natural order’, and simply the ‘next stage’.?

I suppose that if my feelings are right, they’ll never develop a sufficiently realistic Artificial intelligence anyway..at least, not until they understand how to make something alive.

If you’re really interested in how to develop yourself, mind, body and soul, go and do Tai Chi for a year 😉

Oberon’s homies

Last’s nights dream was set in a big metropalis with undercurrents of dark forces and strange going’s on.

most interesting thing about my dream:

the sensation of my surface mind being put to sleep, and the wolf fighting to take over my body completely resulting in a transformation. (sadly didn’t get this far)

weirdest thing about my dream:

Some of Oberon’s fairies out to pay back Titania. But this time they were on a speedboat, had a variety of strange guns, and looked like will smith/men in black.

most generic/real life thing :

graduating along with Josie and Helen, forgetting to bring some smart shoes, and having to borrow a pair 3 sizes too big.

most annoying thing about my dream:
flirting with a pale, bags-under-eyes, unhealthy looking scrawny kid with stick on fangs (but they really work!) and generally very much a ‘vampire the masquerade’ fanboy. But he had information I needed!

somehow this all stuck together into something atmospheric and coherant. I love dreams. Just need to do the same with reality now..

Spiritual vacuum?

It seems to me that even people who deny that there’s anything more than a rational, physical-basis to who they are, can still suffer from what looks like a ‘spiritual vacuum’.

despite how well we think of our scientific minds, there’s still a human need to have -something- to believe in, place hope in, and gain strength from.

Something we can reach when alone.
Something to find when all the other distracting noise of the day’s events fall silent.

Money and relationships, or indeed any other ‘external’ attachments just don’t seem to cut it.

If the current state of human understanding is so great, why are so many people so unhappy, lonely, depressed, unsure – even when they apparently have every materialistic item they might need, money, a loving partner.

Buddhists talk about our minds grasping at external things and forming addictive ‘attachments’ in an attempt to aleviate suffering ((the suffering that comes from having a vacuum inside?)), when really the only way to attain ‘inner peace’ is by starting with the internal self and working outwards.

Our science and society might be full of good techologies to help utilise, fix or make the most of the enviornment and physical resources around us, but how useful have they been in solving the many personal, human problems, of every day life or making the most of the mind’s resources?

One of those days..

There I was, idly philosophising about the nature of the soul when I spilt very hot latte over myself.

First I thought “crap.” followed by “I’m going to look a right numpty with this sodding stain” followed by “ow..that kind of hurts”

So, being bored I went to the occupational health. And so the process begins. A first aider was called, a lot of fuss was made for admittedly a rather minor burn, and now I have a huge plaster taped to my stomach.

At the moment I’m trying to get my head round the accident-report-incident-details online form, the first step of a 5-stage process thats mandatory for any kind of ‘accident’.

The form itself is “helpful” in a ‘choose your injury from a drop-down box’ sort of way. All I really want is a place to type “I was an idiot and spilt coffee on myself and got a slight burn” .. but actually using this system getting such a simple message across is near-impossible.

I really want to fill in something like the following using their options-

Type of accident: struck by
Description of accident: flying/falling object
Area of Injury: multiple
Part injured: toxic effects
Agent of injury: weather. (other options include “loss of teeth” “amputation” and “Consciousness(loss off)” – also “hole” “stationary” and “self-inflicted”)

I could have fun with this for hours. Sadly it looks like it will take at least that long to fill this thing in…

edit – looks like I can’t even do that right! 🙂 :
Hi Catherine

You recently completed an Accident Report form, within the date field you put your date of birth, could you please let me know what date it happended so I can update the report.

Many thanks.

5-a-day?

For the last couple of days, my lunch has included the following:

x1x1x5
x2x1

Now, if I could just cut out the coffee and alcohol I’d be on my way to health :).

For the record

I’m at work AND I’m acutally in a good mood. Such a good mood that I’m humming to myself. No particular reason, just it’s nice and sunny outside, I have things to do, I’ve got my classic FM and ‘feng shui’ CDs to listen to. I also have carrot cake. This may have something to do with it.

Just thought I’d make a note of this incase it doesn’t happen again 🙂

also – noticing some changes since the first time I worked here, 3 years ago. One, it’s now 7p a cup of hot water (not free), and Two, the gay manager has gone from discreet to camp to actually having a big bristley tash, putting up to ‘village people’ level perhaps?

Word of the day: syncretic

I like this word: (thank you Stray

syncretic \sin-KRET-ik; sing-\, adjective:

Uniting and blending together different systems, as of philosophy, morals, or religion

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Zak and Paul visited last night, we spent 30 minutes rapidly getting everything out of my room so it can be painted (I have a LOT of books), only to find the painter had to cancel and can’t come till tuesday. So it’s another few days with no real ‘base’ for myself – but soon I’ll have a calm haven where I can draw, meditate and generally recuperate.

I’ve decided to stop trying to philosophise while at work; thoughts are too stagnant, too grasping, too limited – it’s like I’m straining for intellectual stimulation but the whole environment is too restraining.

Also, at the moment I’m mostly talking bollocks 🙂 . Or, I can’t explain what I mean in words yet. Or, it’s a waste of time even trying to do so. Instead my resolution is to stop talking and to start -doing-.

The first step is to pay more attention to my mind and what’s going round it as I go to sleep and wake up – finishing and starting the day in a calm and positive manner. The other step is to try and increase my sleep to a regular 8 hours, so I stop feeling like a zombie at 11am onwards every day. I’m also going to cut down alcohol a lot, it makes me feel maudlin at the moment.

I tried that mind-programming thing as I went to sleep last night “I will wake up at 7am, feeling refreshed”. I’m not sure about the refreshed part, but I did wake up at 7. How does that work? I also had a pleasantly vivid dream, can’t remember much about it now other than running with elk.

Yesterday, I also ran by the a grey and forboding sea, with the wind and rain picking up and driving into my face. Once I stopped trying to shelter from it, and just let myself -go- and enjoy the rain, and the wind, and a moment of just pure running – I felt so much better.

The last unicorn

I now have a DVD player; I purchased it last week the day before my graduation. The first film I have is the animated version of ‘the last unicorn’; my favourite childhood video.

I used to rent it out from the video shop too many times to be healthy really – as a not-too-young-child I put belief into the notion that white horses in the fields we sped past in my dads car may well be unicorns.

Rewatching it now was quite an emotional experience, for nothing else because it took me back to that time. What struck me though was that whole story seems to be pretty a coming-of-age affair – and also packed full of incidental wisdom. In fact I remember as a kid skipping past the ‘boring’ romantic stuff :).I won’t talk about it too much, the quotes speak for themselves.

But it made me think about the person you build up over yourself as you grow older, the way its so easy to forget. Despite getting my degree and sitting here in an office, somewhere underneath I am still the small girl who believes in unicorns. That I can still feel her fills me with joy.

‘But that was long ago,’ the girl said. ‘Now I am two — myself, and this other that you call ‘my lady.”