Venetia Robertson, shown below practicing catching cyborg flies, is seeking Grinders for a survey as part of her thesis. She says:
Hi all, I am looking for people who would like to answer a brief survey regarding the intersection of transhumanism and identity, with a focus on notions of the spiritual, religious, sacred etc. I am a PhD student from the University of Sydney, Australia, and my thesis explores ideas of identity, particularly identity that is beyond that which is ‘purely human’. Any data I can get from people who are interested in or actively engaging with grinding, body-hacking, wet-ware, transhumanism and/or becoming ‘cyborgs’ would be greatly appreciated! Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org to be sent the survey and a participant information statement detailing my ethics clearance, or if you simply have questions. You can also check out my academic profile page at http://sydney.academia.edu/VenetiaRobertson. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
I took it myself on the weekend, and am keen to see what she comes up with.
What I would like to pick up and extend on are his comments on how ‘cosmopolitanism’ and Peter Singer‘s ‘expanding circle’ have helped erode our feafulness of the Unknown Other, through reading about and understanding cultures and people we don’t see in the world around us. As my friend David Forbes says, There Is No They.
Our increasing connectedness, and ease of making new connections, is the great benefit of technologies such as Twitter. I daily read the stories of people on every continent on this planet and above it (thanks to tweets coming in from the residents of the ISS).
I would also point to people’s further awareness of their place of ‘privilege’ through tagging their tweets #firstworldproblems. I know it can seem a tad trite at times, and it’s often just a way for people to feel better about bitching about their iPods or Macs. But then think back to your classic literature and remember just how insular and self obsessed some of these great works seem now; completely obsessed with Upper Class Problems. Yes, I’m looking at you Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde!
So tweet away and tag them guilt free.. but do try to ever expand your circle, there’s enough inward facing collectives out there today (fuck you Glenn Beck!), let’s shake things up and dare to join hands across timezones and yes, even generational limits (I dare to believe not all Boomers are evil!).
So last night, I linked to the Vigilant Citizen’s hilarious Fergie/Transhumanism/Eugenics/Satanism mashup, and apparently some Grinders followed the discussion over there with less than spectacular results. I would like to remind folks, that while our “friends” over at the Citizen sometimes do have a sharp eye for symbolism and are always good for a laugh, they are still a Christian-themed media-paranoia conspiracy site and thus are probably not really open for strenuous intellectual testing of their theories.
To you who posted over there (or tried and got deleted or locked out) in order to conter-act some of the scary or weird disinformation, I say good job. But alas, anything you say, it seems, will be brushed off as coming from an agent of the SATANIC GLOBAL TRANSHUMANIST CONSPIRACY. For those of you who got the brush off AND were threatened with an INTERPOL investigation or the threat of an anti-peadophile investigation or were all accused of being the same person – well give yourselves an extra 300xp and head over to Khannea Suntzu’s blog.
Suntzu takes apart the Citizen rant with a patience that borders on saintlike (or machinelike… muwhahaha…) with a rant of hir own – addressing the malicious fallacies contained in the original on a point-by-point basis. It’s the perfect antidote to your daily dose of crazed conspiratorial nonsense. And if you still have rage in your heart after that, remember that as a member of the SATANIC GLOBAL TRANSHUMANIST CONSPIRACY you get to go home to your house full of MK ULTRA brainwashed sex slaves and count the piles of money that your evil overlords gave you to post on the internet about H+.
Which is all to say: mea maxima culpa if I accidentally led any of you to where the internet sidewalk ends.