Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life Rehabilitating Art

I've mentioned before my predilection for that inconstant genre science fiction. I mention it again because of some issues that have been on my mind for sometime and how this genre - fundamentally concerned with entertainment - has programmed the dialogue.

Or in simpler terms - genetic engineering is not the new nuke.

Humans, being the tool-using monkeys that they are, have in the past generation started getting into such fun things as genetics, biomechatronics, and all sorts of fields that hold the potential for what flighty nerds like to call "human enhancement." That is, using Science! to boost natural capabilities or - like in the experiments with neural interfacing - develop entirely new capabilities.

And alot of the language is being driven by Cold War era entertainment for twelve-year-olds. Cyborg monsters, genetic fascism, all sorts of screwiness that is no more grounded in reality than any sword and sorcery fantasy yarn. But, because it has technical sounding words, it has perverted the discourse of what we can do and what we already have done.

Let me give you a solid example of human enhancement - glasses. They make you see better, right? There ya go, technology has "enhanced" you. Ain't it exiting?

Proponents of this term and critics both fall into the trap of assuming it's not something we've been doing ever since Moon-Watcher first learned how to bludgeon a tapir with a bone. In two-hundred years, god only knows what a human being is going to look like but they sure as hell won't be calling themselves "transhuman" or "posthuman" or any of that nonsense. It'll most likely be "Mohammad Lopez."

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