Saturday, September 30, 2006

By the way, American Fascism looks....

... like this bill.

Justin Raimondo has it right. here's the nut graph.

The ultimate expansion of the "unlawful combatant" definition to include any and all opposition to the War Party, whether military or political, is only a matter of time, and not much time at that. This administration and its allies have long maintained that their critics are "objectively" aiding the terrorist enemy. If Iraq is the main theater of our war on terrorism, then criticism of the war effort, such as organizing an antiwar demonstration, amounts to "material support" for "hostilities against the United States." . . .

Read the whole thing as they say and be afraid. Be very afraid. (Have you ever felt like wishing for a military coup because you thought it might be a step up?...just thinking out loud. Nothing I've written should be considered as aspersions against O Mighty King George...Wouldn't think of it. Fucking treasonous vote stealing presidential bastard. I probably didn't mean that either ha ha your O Your Eminent Fullness King George...)

Why I Haven't Been Posting as Much At Cyborg Democracy...

...Because I'm more worried about a fascistic American Theocracy that's anti-tech at its core essentially waging war against the Secular Other--which includes everyone on this planet. I'm afraid that, for me, that trumps jet packs and flying cars--not that they aren't cool. I also think the American vote theft story is true. And if you don't want to read 6 or 7 books or read a dozen websites daily then just listen to this four minutes by Mark Crispin Miller.

The Transhumanism Meme/"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins

(Because Theocracy is the enemy.) Cool moments: When he talks about "faithheads" and mentions the Flying Spaghetti Monster by name. He expresses a kind of bafflement with scientists who are devout. Definitely understand that vibe. On the other hand, whenever I hear articulate British people talk on a chat show it reminds me of a Monty Python skit. Note the jazz intro.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Monsters, Tolkien, Zombie rights and the limits of tolerance

Donna Haraway pointed out that
"Monsters have always defined the limits of community in Western imaginations."

I thought of that listening to a wonderful lecture series on fantasy literature by Tolkien scholar Michael Drout "Rings, Swords and Monsters" in which he notes that Tolkien always felt the Lord of the Rings argued for multi-cultural respect, tolerance and mercy. In response to critics who pointed out that the orcs are unremediable evil and never given quarter, he responded that you couldn't expect even a book of mercy not to have monsters.

Which brings me to the recent zombie rights rally in Austin, Texas (care of BoingBoing):

This rally is a wonderfully funny comment on the reductio ad absurdum of a certain kind of liberal sensibility which always bends over backward to humanize the Other, the monsters. On the one hand this sensibility is a necessary and even heroic challenge to the pressures to dehumanize and demonize others, queers, cyborgs, Muslims, Huns, etc. But I have always been troubled by the occasional liberals I meet who have never consciously considered a boundary to their tolerance, and muddle along with a "embrace first and ask questions later" impulse.

Back in 2002 this issue was one I confronted when a neo-nazi group joined a transhumanist web-ring, and I mobilized a group of the ring members to start a nazi-free webring. Some of the webring members who were not nazis, or anti-nazi, were unwilling to endorse their expulsion on the grounds of tolerance and free-speech. I disagreed that was appropriate for a private, self-defined group. I'm not happy about the denial of the right to speech or assembly to far right groups, as some laws in Europe do, but there is no excuse for tolerating them in a private association.

Anyway, thought I'd lay that little mental nugget before the group today, since it has been one of my central obsessions - the proper definition of the boundaries of moral community - with the question being, what are the monsters that technoprogressives are willing to exclude from mercy, to give no quarter, to deny civil rights, and so on? If we couldn't wean zombies onto a brain replacement foodstuff (as humanized vampires in fiction learn to drink blood from animals or blood banks) then I suppose zombies would be outside my gated community.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blade Runner Spinners or Jetpacks in our Future?

If this Slashdot story is true, then a Blade Runner Spinner is in your future. Or perhaps even personal jetpacks. Could even be retrofitted for a Moller Aircar, whenever that gets built in 2525. Related: My fave humble compressed aircar looks to be building nicely. Need investors to bring the car to the US....uh, Google philanthropy and Mark Cuban? Come on fellas.

The Transhumanist Beat "City Girl" by Kevin Shields

"Evolution" by Cinematic Orchestra