Friday, April 30, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] Narcissism and Anthropocentrism (was ...)

Francesco wrote:

"I agree with you that we need an urgent meditation on human becoming
multiple-selves. ... You said what is 'centrism', and you're right is
very anthropo-centric, I would say colonialist on regard of otherness,
but what is "centrism"? It is a culturally driven outlook, a
vanishing point through which we retrieved a position in a realm
without 'telos', the question is if today after the post-psychology,
post-sociology, the idea of the ecology of the mind, centrism is still
a valid position, or if we have to retrieve from the past the
polytheistic position in order to set our self in this new realm."

In my view, no religions or gods or combination of religions or gods
can logically help humanity survive a Technological Singularity.
(Even if a singularity comes in surges and spirts rather than in one
fell swoop (which, to contrasting to Kurzweil, I doubt it will.)
Here, polytheism could be psychologically helpful for those resisting
evolutionary change, but probably only as a mythic ghost if
superintelligent life forms arise.

"For that reason there is a political issue on this discussion: 'In a
world where religious dogma and political hegemony erupt a sense of
unity, connectives, and peace - a focus on Eco-centrism could be a
meaningful antidote.' Well we could say a necessary antidote, and it
seems to me that we have to start from the animal kingdom reaching the
P. Singer proposal to extend the debate on Human Rights not only at
all humankind but to all living beings."

Yes, you are correct, it ought to be "necessary". Singer has many
valid arguments, especially concerning animal rights, but I am not
convinced that we have the knowledge to understand how animals might
want to be cognitively enhanced, which is an issue on the table and
one which Singer is addressing. For example, as humans enhance (with
AGI, for example); will we want our beloved animal companions to also
enhance? How much intelligence will actually be beneficial to a dog,
horse or pig? Will these species actually want more cognitive
abilities? What about sensory abilities? How many molecules can a
dog sniff that will actually bring about happiness (in that happiness
is a fundamental goal of well-being).

"Your human enhancement engages immersivity, simulations, experience
design within the field of media arts and the areas of brain-share,
and consciousness expansion, and brain emulation within the fields of
cognitive and neuroscience and the field of artificial intelligence.
This will reset the narcissism but also the basic 'libido' (psychic
energy) and also the concept of Love. That you define "love" a strong
positive emotion and pleasure, love as 'well-being'. Going directly
into the idea of love you got the point of the installations."

"Facing the monotheistic, ego driven vision of the realm, is everyday
more urgent to became capable to open us to a plurality of worlds in
which humankind is hosted, I would quote Roy Ascott:"

"*Every fibre, every node, every server on the Net is a part of me.
**It's a phase space I'm in, a sort of tele-potentiality. As I
interact with the Net, I reconfigure myself. My net-extent defines me,
just as my body defined me in the old biological culture.I am
weightless and dimensionless in any exact sense. I am the reach of my

Ascott's vision is poetic and viable. But we also need to realize
that privacy as well as individually is not such a bad thing. Our
current philosophy about connectivity, transparency, collective
commons, fluidity, etc. is beautiful and I have subscribed to this set
of behaviors for quite some time. Nevertheless, I have always been
able to shut my door, or sit quietly alone in my rose garden without
interruption. I value my own individualized experiences because I
enjoy being with me, and I consider this a viable sign of well-being.
Equally, I find a desire for open communication and shared realities
of multiples as viable signs of well-being. In light of this, I think
it cannot be one or the other, but diversity of existences.

"As you wrote Natasha: Toward Plurality and Plasticity! That we can
change in toward polytheistic and dynamic vision of the world."

"Facing the enhanced realm of the Net, we need to reconfigure
ourselves, from one side negotiating a new position in the Nature,
extending the XV century debate on native indios to animal and plants,
from another side extending in a radical way the P. Singer proposal,
developing the technoetic starting building a cyber-ethic (is a fact
that today's only living philosophy is the ethic one)"

The idea of "Morphological Freedom" (More 1997; Sandberg 2009)
includes all sentient life forms. Nevertheless, it might be
advantageous to amend this project to include all life forms. It is
actually absurd and undignified to assign intelligence as a precursor
of a life form's value or worth. Plants are powerful agents of life
(and death).

"The question is if is correct the idea of the radicalisation of the
Singer proposal, we have to extend the human rights to nature and to

Yes, but not human rights. A different set of rights that humans can
author, but which are not based on a human-centric judgment of what
rights are or are not appropriate. This is nearly an impossible task,
but many humans have an ability to deeply understand non-human animals
and plants. Unfortunately, other humans think they do, but they are
simply anthropomorphizing.


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