Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] The newconcept of Humankind CulturalNarcissism from francesco monico

Thank you Francesco for introducing this topic. There are many angles to
look at and routes to take in setting on a trek through the richness of your
material. I'd like to start with a first post, and more will follow:

In what ways can narcissism and anthropocentrism be applied to a human who
is unleashing biology and engaging a bio-synthetic zone of existence? Human
enhancement projects have a goal and that is to take biology out of its
fixed nature and turn it into a workable palate. Design labs such as H+
Lab, DIYbio and DIYgenomics encourage new theory and practice for those who
want to be at the center of their own evolving bio-synthetic system.

Do-it-yourself human enhancement domain has a certain familiarity. For
example, the theory and practice of second-order cybernetics placed its
formidable authors-Norbert Wiener, Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, as a
type of subjective elitism, in a claim that the observer must be included in
the system in order for the system to exist. If the mind/brain is central,
if not pivotal, to a cybernetic system, would this be the epitome of an
anthropocentric, self-referential human-machine? Further, in that
technology's tools are most often available to those who partake in
highly-financed projects, such as the Biological Computer Laboratory at the
University of Illinois (1958-1975), and the lab is referred to as the
"Nerve" and its founder, Heinz von Foerster as its head, would that not ever
so more characterize this milieu as narcissistic at its best?

Alternatively, designating one's experience of existence at the locus of
one's future experiences makes sense. Who would know how you think and feel
better than you?

Nevertheless, if and when humans diversify further and into a distributed
cognition, what image will ego see when looking into a mirror? This
reflection could frighten us deeply or give us immeasurable psychological

Natasha Vita-More

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