Archive for human
The effort to survive and to be better is something indicative to the living experience. Specific to humans, the phenomena is not synonymous with their nature, as nature suggests too rigidly a mission of these entities. The human experience is in fact a system made up of individuals who derive their value from one another, and from non-human entities. While the dynamism of the living experience cannot be possessed by individual entities alone, it is physical and encompassing of the system of entities. The ideal of “nature” is an over simplification of the dynamic system of life.
In chatting with people online about the enduring Jobs crisis in the USA and distribution of wealth (value), I regularly received responses that people (Americans in this case) care less about others who have (per the responders) intrinsic value. And so, I’m compelled to ask the question: If some, thing, has an intrinsic value, how can it’s care be avoided or go uncompensated? Please take a quick moment to give me your thoughts on THIS SURVEY
At Michigan State University’s “Commodification, Technoculture, and the Human” conference, presenter and author from Simon Fraser University Andrew Feenberg acknowledged the internet as a technology and compared it to a “wheel chair ramp”. It took me by surprise, as I would hold that the internet is NOT a technology, but a space…software, for instance, is analogous to the “wheel chair ramp” – simply because of its ability to possess ambiguous functionality relative to its user. The specific designation of the “wheel chair ramp” is important, because it could be identified as a “skateboard ramp” to some skateboarder, right!?…Similar to how the LinkedIn application could serve multiple purposes depending on the user.
Perhaps the internet requires much more definition, as the roots of the word can be confusing. Inter: situated within – Net: any network or reticulated system of filaments or the like. Its terminology is synonymous with the “web” or a web, which requires multiple linkages to points of initiation in order to exist well. If this is the internet that Feenberg is referring to then I’d think it accurate. However, the internet is not actually a web of ever connected points. Information destinations are not required.
The internet is analogous to space. Regardless of whether or not we access space, its potential exists – we can access or insert entities of sorts into the space regardless of, if another user were present to receive information of sorts from the distributed. Space is a dynamic system of expanding material potential as is the internet’s material potential. The potential of the internet expands as users (or rather, potential users) access to the internet expands – access could come in many forms including, user population(s) growth or by computing speed or by computing power… The internet, regardless of the constraints of the word, it cannot be identified as a specific technology.
Feenberg’s internet analogy using the ramp came from a paper that he presented on how mediation or rather, bureaucratic regulation, should shape use of the internet space. Of course, his presentation regarded the internet as a technology which is much more suitable to be regulated than a space – similar to regulating the building of space-penetrating vessels through standards and institutions instead of regulating the actual engagement of space. It reminds me of Billy Bob Thorton’s movie The Astronaut Farmer. These types of mediation would (will, per Feenberg) occur from an access, speed, and power standpoint.
From an economic standpoint there is a price threshold that divides users from non-users of the potential space of the internet, and while the older generation of participants of this conference firmly expressed their pessimism sentiments and about private industry’s ability to suppress the pervasive engagement of space, I honestly resented their lack of activist zeal. They’re generations’ willingness to allow an ownership ideology to pervade the legal will of our society’s engagement of its potential is stifling…I’ll save that argument for later…lol…
It would be silly to suggest that Feenberg hasn’t provided some valuable contribution to the philosophy of technology and the exploration of critical theory, but his inability to forecast an age of increasing segmentation of networking technological use by sentient beings and suggest that we may need to accept the inevitability of using a weak or regulated AI (artificial intelligence) for IT (information technology) ontological rationale out of our diverse set of interactions shows 1) a lack of ambition or vision, 2) his age, and 3) his discipline specific, novice. It makes me wonder more about if philosophical explorations alone can produce robust stances on modern issues of sorts. A bureaucratic regulatory style or establishment of institutions subject to potentially elitist bias is yet another band-aid to the “problem” of technological pursuits…..human kind has the potential to be past the age of the band-aid.
What a good time in Salt Lake City. When I told people that I was there for a conference on technology and spirituality, they would all (every last one of them) pause and ask “technology and spirituality?”…as if the two will never have to collide and either, merge well, or battle for dominance in the ages to come. All I see are battles…..lol….. as technological progression and incentives to be rational modify societies naive inability to question well. The kinds of polar opposites that technology and spirituality create are what excite and scare simultaneously; at some point the rift between the two will come to a head….I’d like to prevent people on both sides from losing theirs (heads that is).
This pic is a snap shot of my presentation at the University of Utah on the phenomenological impossibility for spiritual understanding to create pervasive harmonies within the cognitively elite species (modern and post human species). Without wasting space writing about why and how I think that this argument is important (hopefully its obvious) I’ll just dig into the diagram titled incentive model.
The ‘S’ represents a spirit (or Souls) and the ‘P’ represents a physical being (or People). The red diamond represents resources of sorts. The top is a representation of scarce resources and the bottom is a representation of relatively abundant resources. this rationale will be elaborated on much more in my book scheduled for 2011…but can be understood in the Dubai vs Duba scenario of the book that I released this past July 2010.
During my talk in Utah I stated that the value proposition of spirituality was plainly, to “connect people”. I saw that the Mormon, Christian, and Other attendance agreed through a series of tweets on the topic at #ts2010. Regarding Integrationalism and how it relates to Transhumanism, I am chiefly concerned with how we pursue connecting people in the future. So we all have the same mission, but I’m not optimistic about the potential of the current spiritual strategies that we are employing to achieve the value proposition.
In my previous book I elaborate on how spirituality is a direct spawn of individualism; and further, how it is a parent of unavoidable ideas such as elitism, entitlements, and protectionism…of course there are more, but these are chiefly important when considering how or if human kind will interact well; and further, connect.
Referencing the upper portion of the pic above, we currently interact in an economic reality of scarce resources of sorts…hence the need for markets and market segmentation and the whole array of socio-cultural benefits and ailments that accompany market labels. In a scarce economic state the ‘P’ compete directly to procure to scarce resources. We’ve been interacting in this fashion since the beginning of our existence, well before our Homo sapiens sapiens state. In this type of economic reality ‘P’ don’t actually have the incentive to connect, and ‘S’ don’t actually have the incentive to connect our well being. ‘S’, per it’s wide spread definition and scholarly elaboration in countless texts, are specific to ‘P’ and exist to interact with ‘P’ either alone or on behalf of some high powered supreme spirit. Either way, a spiritual ‘P’ understands itself as being directly connected to its ‘S’, and the partnership empowers both to protect their own existence above competitors. This makes for violent outcomes. We’re all familiar with war, right?……LOL…
Regarding abundance and the lower portion of the pic above, spirituality also has significant impact on the sociological understanding of individuals relative to their surrounding society. Under all spiritual beliefs the individual has the potential to become favored, favoured, blessed, enlightened, etc…the jargon depends on the spiritual system and cultural adoption…but the understanding is pervasive: All ‘P’ with ‘S’ counterparts have the potential to become -special- to sum it up in one word. I deal that is, special, provides some (or much, in a technologically miniscule setting) potential for a disproportionate allocation of resources to the anointed ‘P’. Hence, ‘P’ interacts indirectly with its competitor in the diagram to procure….more.
‘S’, incentivizes the individual’s ability to become omni-selfish at some point depending on intellectual ability, socio-cultural status, and/or economic reality. Technology’s ability to help us quantify, interpret, and distribute resources of sorts will be crucial in human kind’s pursuit of an actual civil society. Peace, is not a phenomenon that human kind will achieve without its technological-extensions as I’ve called them in the past. Perhaps the evolution that will proceed a physical metamorphosis of human kind will be an ideological metamorphosis, from that of divided survivalists to an understandingly connected group of highly rational beings; pursuing protection of like life-forces as the supreme priority.
“Were all virgins to the joys of Loving without fear” – Janelle Monae.