Philosophy The Technological Society is in Conflict With the Human Body

*THASF*

The Halo and Sonic Fan
Obozny
I've been thinking about Ted Kaczynski's manifesto, lately, after his unfortunate suicide in prison. I've also been considering Joseph Bronski's recent critique of it:


It's rather telling that Joseph's argument essentially boils down to, "But Brave New World actually was a utopia, though, since the poor, stunted Epsilons are engineered to be happy with their servitude anyway". Of course, the author didn't actually put it that way, and he used evasive language throughout, in order to conceal the repugnance of his worldview.



Human beings are in the process of being domesticated, re-engineered, and reshaped by the technological system that we have created. This was inevitable. Human liberty is the primary source of danger to the technological system. People with liberty, agency, and the power of free choice are capable of directly disrupting the system's activities and reducing its efficiency. From a control theory perspective, human liberty is something like unwanted noise or feedback that should be smoothed out into a pure signal. This is, of course, where you get managerialism, Nudge Theory, ESG, and all these bizarre, invasive, gaslighting behavioral interventions from.



The project of human re-engineering inevitably leads to human eradication. That is to say, once we have successfully domesticated man to such a degree that he finds it comfortable or even blissful to live in a corrugated metal shack eating fistfuls of bugs, the next logical step is, of course, to divest him of the physical body that causes him so much suffering and humiliation in the first place. In the technological system, the ultimate endpoint of man just before he explodes like confetti into strings of raw data is to become a disembodied brain in a vat full of MDMA and anti-aging serum, living in a simulated world, experiencing hedonistic bliss all the time, wanting for absolutely nothing at all, never needing to be clothed, never needing to be fed, never needing any new gadgets to be produced to satisfy its cravings for dopamine, and never needing to go through the vicissitudes of sex, death, disease, ingestion, excretion or anything else of the sort.



The technological endeavor is, at its core, a war on the human body. A war to possess, corral, and control the vulgar, obscene, detestable, unruly body, and, eventually, to eliminate it and its savage desires once and for all, while preserving the intelligent person that was once imprisoned in this frail, noxious shell. This may sound like madness, on the surface, but it is evident in every single technological intervention aimed at soothing the pains of the body. If a man living in the wilderness is sick of being bitten by mosquitoes, there is no difference at all between sheltering him away from biting insects, or coating him in insect repellent, or killing all of the insects, or, lastly, removing his skin so he can no longer be bitten. They are all the same thing. In all cases, there is simply a person trapped in a body who is not comfortable with that body interfacing with nature, who desires a technological intervention to remove him from the source of pain.

This fixation on the body might seem strange, but the human body itself lies at the center of the issues that we face. You see, every single technological solution can be traced to an initial problem with - or physical limitation of - the human body. Every single one. We have phones because we can't shout loud enough to be heard from thousands of miles away. We have sewing machines because it's hard to produce textiles to wrap our bodies with using our bare hands. We have cars because we cannot run at a sustained sixty miles an hour with our legs. We have ships because we cannot swim across oceans and carry thousands of tons of raw materials on our backs. We have buildings because otherwise, our poor bodies would get cold and wet. We have rockets because we cannot leap to the moon in a single bound. We have printers and filing cabinets full of documents because we can't remember and recite all that information off the tops of our heads, and we have computers because they're better, more advanced, more versatile filing cabinets. All technology is merely an extension of the body; something grafted on that wasn't there before. While trying to solve problems of the body in this manner, sometimes, we create new ones. The human body, of course, did not evolve to survive a car or plane wreck, crushed into paste by hurtling hunks of steel, plastic, and composites, nor did it evolve to perform actions requiring extensive hand-eye coordination on minimal sleep, like driving home from work after a twelve-hour shift.

Every tool is an extension of the body. Transhumanism, therefore, is the quest to produce a body with all the tools it needs to survive in a technological society built-in. Of course, this does not mean that we'll be able to run a hundred miles per hour, weld metal with our fingertips, solve impossibly difficult math equations in our heads, or shoot lasers from our eyes. No. That's much too dangerous, allowing people to have liberty-enhancing augmentations like that. With such enhanced capabilities, every individual's body would pose an even greater threat to the stability of the technological system itself. By tools, I mean the ability to voluntarily suppress cravings, to dampen misery, to ward off tiredness. The technological society doesn't want or need people of the servant class to be transformed into unstoppable, unpredictable supermen. Rather, it needs alert, obedient workers who seldom eat or sleep and require little in the way of entertainment.

The limitations and the needs of the body form a casus belli for the technological system to wage perpetual war on the body. If the technological system suffers a hiccup and stops producing enough food to satisfy the body's hunger, the body's reward pathways will not receive enough stimulation and its cells will not receive enough nutrition. The body will get angry. With the last of its energy, the body will riot. There's a reason why the Overclass use the euphemism climate change to address overconsumption and overpopulation; it's because being told that there's too much CO2 in the atmosphere is far more palatable than being told that your sweaty and misshapen bodies are doing far too much eating and fucking. The citizens must never be made aware of the fact that they are livestock and that their bodies are always centered in the crosshairs, targeted for brainwashing, chemical tranquilization, culling, genetic modification, and practical castration, all to suit the whims of the technological society and the administrative state that governs it, on behalf of aristocrats who allow themselves the luxury of unmodified, unmolested, fully nourished, natural, unabused bodies that are primarily concerned with various forms of leisure. Indeed, this is a machine that detests you, to such a degree that your continued mental well-being is often predicated on ignoring the raw, undiluted hatred that this machine directs upon you and your body, all in the name of your continued health and comfort.

Ted Kaczynski, perhaps without realizing it, effectively argued through his manifesto that the human body is perfectly good as-is. The body doesn't need modification to suit society. Rather, he argued that it should be the other way around; society itself should be modified to be ergonomic and pleasant to the human body, and not produce undue stress for it, or demand it to perform repetitious tasks without result or reward. After all, Ted's idea of a "power process" was not much different from David Graeber's idea of a "bullshit job". Both of them argued - from different directions, perhaps - toward the same exact conclusion, and that conclusion is that it is psychologically damaging for people to spend all day digging ditches and then filling them in again like a laborer in a Soviet gulag. Forcing a human or animal to expend effort without meaningful result is essentially a well-recognized form of torture. Surrogate activity is a euphemism. We should call it ritual self-abuse, or sublimated torture.

What's remarkable about the technological society, then, is that it often makes people into willing participants in their own torture and imprisonment. Thus, Kaczynski's manifesto urges the reader to recognize an uncomfortable truth. You're an animal in a cage. Bend the bars of the cage out of the way, he says. Run into the forest, and be with nature. Be free. It's an argument for the rewilding of man.



The reason why most people on this planet are caged is because they want to be caged. Living an uncaged, unsocialized, unfiltered existence is scary to them. These types will cite Thomas Hobbes' old yarn about how life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. They'll dredge up old monsters from myth; gruesome plagues, starvation and cannibalism from sieges, conquering armies committing mass rapes, and so on. And then, on this basis, they will insist that it's much better to be, as Denis Leary's character in Demolition Man put it, a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake and singing "I'm an Oscar Mayer Weiner".

This mindset, one of technological and social progress being inherently desirable in itself, to the point of human domestication and pacification, is the very basis of the authoritarian-neoliberal-technocratic uniparty's ongoing assault on the human body. It starts off by creating a myth of human savagery and disease that can allegedly only be cured by the application of technology, and it ends by turning the world into a giant hospital, imperiously handing down diagnoses for every conceivable malady.

Sound familiar? It should.
 

Bassoe

Well-known member
It's rather telling that Joseph's argument essentially boils down to, "But Brave New World actually was a utopia, though, since the poor, stunted Epsilons are engineered to be happy with their servitude anyway". Of course, the author didn't actually put it that way, and he used evasive language throughout, in order to conceal the repugnance of his worldview.
Plus, that's missing the point, that regardless of whether you consider Brave New World as described to be a utopia or dystopia, it wouldn't actually work like that if it was actually attempted. It's like H G Wells writing about a world goverment governed by communistic authoritarian technocrats before anyone actually tried that and realized it didn't actually work.

Top-down centrally planned economies don't work regardless of whether the central planner is a communist generalissimo or a capitalist billionaire who bought up everything and set themselves up as a feudal lord by renting their property to the rest of the population in exchange for labor using it. They always fail the same way, the guy in charge isn't actually capable of keeping the incredibly complicated system running properly, causing logistical cascade failures, which make the populace upset as their quality of life declines and leads to the system becoming oppressive and totalitarian to keep control.

The bigger the system and the more power it monopolizes, the worse the inevitable collapse. Applying this line of thought to transhumanism would pose a credible risk of outright extinction as the engineered populace can't reproduce independently of cloning vats or die of ketracel-white withdrawal or something.
 

The One Char

Well-known member
Plus, that's missing the point, that regardless of whether you consider Brave New World as described to be a utopia or dystopia, it wouldn't actually work like that if it was actually attempted. It's like H G Wells writing about a world goverment governed by communistic authoritarian technocrats before anyone actually tried that and realized it didn't actually work.

Top-down centrally planned economies don't work regardless of whether the central planner is a communist generalissimo or a capitalist billionaire who bought up everything and set themselves up as a feudal lord by renting their property to the rest of the population in exchange for labor using it. They always fail the same way, the guy in charge isn't actually capable of keeping the incredibly complicated system running properly, causing logistical cascade failures, which make the populace upset as their quality of life declines and leads to the system becoming oppressive and totalitarian to keep control.

The bigger the system and the more power it monopolizes, the worse the inevitable collapse. Applying this line of thought to transhumanism would pose a credible risk of outright extinction as the engineered populace can't reproduce independently of cloning vats or die of ketracel-white withdrawal or something.
For these psychopaths and would be god-kings this is a plus, not a minus.
 

*THASF*

The Halo and Sonic Fan
Obozny
Kaczinsky was a murderous lunatic. That anyone gives him the time of day is the most concerning thing about it all.
Though he was indeed unjustified in committing murder to spread his message (imagine if he’d had the advantage of the modern-day internet; ironically, his manifesto would have reached just as large of an audience, if not larger, without killing innocent people), he did raise some interesting points.

Modern society is filled with meaningless busywork that seems as if engineered to distract people from how empty and unfulfilling their lives are, and how few meaningful life goals they actually have.

About nine years ago, I was excitedly telling a elderly coworker all about how you could build a log cabin in Minecraft, and this disapproving look came over his face. “It’s not real, Dave,” he said. He went on to explain how the younger generation are being denied valuable life skills and the ability to meaningfully alter or impact their environment. A lot of my fellow Millennials often express the sentiment that they don’t feel like they’re doing anything useful with their lives, or affecting the course of world history in any tangible way.

Honestly, in the past, I would have had a far more positive opinion about the idea of virtual embodiment replacing physical embodiment entirely. After all, building a log cabin in Minecraft doesn’t cut down any trees or damage the environment. Today, however, I can’t help but wonder if this separation of man from environment constitutes an assault on his essential rights and his property. If we allow the technocrats to shove Apple Vision Pros on our faces and stuff us in a Metaverse, what sort of power over our own lives are we surrendering to them? Are we being freed from physical drudgery, or are we merely being locked in a prison from which there is no escape?

The technocratic managerialist system has alienated people, atomizing them and separating them from traditional human folkways, subordinating all their creative energies to a callous, unfeeling, globalist machine. David Graeber’s book Bullshit Jobs emphasizes just how pervasive this process is. The Machine would rather that you perform unfulfilling and meaningless work that occupies your time than allow you to remain idle.

Whig history brainwashing in schools drives a sort of neophilia that permits all manner of dehumanizing social engineering projects to be conducted on us in parallel. Children are raised to believe that the past was benighted and filled with plagues and tyrants and brutal warfare, and that the future will be prosperous and look something like Star Trek. This mindset hasn’t actually improved humanity’s lot. Instead, it has led to unthinking, reflexive consumerism, with people building entire identities around brand loyalty. With the rise of automation and the looming threat of joblessness on a massive scale, this constitutes a cruel bait-and-switch; millions are silently led to slaughter without resistance, pawing at the consumerism carrot dangled above their heads.

People ought to have robust property rights, and they ought to have the full use of their time and energy, and they ought to be able to put that energy towards projects that actually have a purpose other than distracting them from the gaping maw of the abyss.
 

Bassoe

Well-known member
Children are raised to believe that the past was benighted and filled with plagues and tyrants and brutal warfare...
To be completely fair, that's not altogether inaccurate.
...and that the future will be prosperous and look something like Star Trek.
That was the propaganda of a generation ago. These days, it's all about climate change and peak resource apocalypticism, frequently interspaced with gaslighting claims that you deserve the drastically decreased quality of life because your ancestors who had a good one only acquired it through oppressing more virtuous people and you yourself are a sinner as well.

The past sucked. The future looks like it's going to suck, albeit in a different way. John Carter put it best;
With the rise of automation and the looming threat of joblessness on a massive scale, this constitutes a cruel bait-and-switch; millions are silently led to slaughter without resistance, pawing at the consumerism carrot dangled above their heads.
True. Automation and human economic obsolesce is an existential threat to everyone but the idle rich robotics company executives.

Thing is, we still want the offered bait. Our complaint with the present system is that it isn't delivering what it promises. If your proposed system doesn't even make that promise but tells us that it's good we aren't getting it, you'll have no support.

TL;DR, William Lind's "retroculture" where modern technological luxury is discarded as decadent and unnecessary is just as unacceptable as Klaus Schwab's green gulag where it's only available for the ruling oligarchy. We want the future we were promised.
Simon_Jester said:
 

*THASF*

The Halo and Sonic Fan
Obozny
To be completely fair, that's not altogether inaccurate.

That was the propaganda of a generation ago. These days, it's all about climate change and peak resource apocalypticism, frequently interspaced with gaslighting claims that you deserve the drastically decreased quality of life because your ancestors who had a good one only acquired it through oppressing more virtuous people and you yourself are a sinner as well.

The past sucked. The future looks like it's going to suck, albeit in a different way. John Carter put it best;

True. Automation and human economic obsolesce is an existential threat to everyone but the idle rich robotics company executives.

Thing is, we still want the offered bait. Our complaint with the present system is that it isn't delivering what it promises. If your proposed system doesn't even make that promise but tells us that it's good we aren't getting it, you'll have no support.

TL;DR, William Lind's "retroculture" where modern technological luxury is discarded as decadent and unnecessary is just as unacceptable as Klaus Schwab's green gulag where it's only available for the ruling oligarchy. We want the future we were promised.
What if that future we were promised was always a lie? What if that future was never physically deliverable, due to dwindling natural resources, stagnant technological development, and a growing population of elderly and disabled people drawing welfare?

What if the Elites simply decided that they'd prefer forcing the population into digital ID/social credit score/Agenda 2030 serfdom over being guillotined in a revolution when all these complex, interlocking, and fragile logistical systems providing us with our bread and circuses inevitably failed? What if all these world leaders trying to genocide us have all been given the same briefing; that the future would look like some cross between Mad Max and Waterworld unless they took drastic measures to curb overpopulation?

This is why I always caught heat while debating people on SB. I always took a pessimistic view of the future. I saw it, a whole decade ago. I saw the writing on the wall. We wouldn't have flying cars. Quite the opposite. The future of transportation would be the ordinary bicycle. Our commutes would be replaced with working from home over the internet, with energy-sipping VR goggles (and eventually, brain-computer interfaces allowing direct access to a metaverse) replacing energy-guzzling motor vehicles. Our homes would basically turn into prisons. Drones would bring us the groceries, but other than that, we wouldn't have personal cars, and we wouldn't have airlines. The expanded world of international travel and tourism would shrink back down again to pre-industrial provincialism. The cosmopolitan globe-hopper would cease to exist, and with him, our basic liberties.

Servitization would replace property ownership, with people paying rents to make use of things owned by giant asset management companies. Home ownership would disappear completely. People would become service industry meat for the local feudal lord, the scope of their concerns limited to whatever pleases their masters most. Enlightenment-era thinking about man as a rational animal would backslide into medievalism, with a new, rebranded Divine Right of Kings, just with people in lab coats instead of crowns and furs. Disobedience towards the managerial elites would be punished with prompt debanking, homelessness, and outlawry.

AI would take over creative industries once thought restricted to human beings. I actually said, word-for-word, that by 2030 or 2040, AI would be powerful enough that people would no longer buy video games; they'd ask Alexa to make them a bespoke one overnight, doing the work of millions of man-hours in less than a day, writing all the code, making all of the art, sound, and music, writing the story, et cetera. People told me that it would never happen, blah blah blah, and if it did happen, it would mean you wouldn't need millions of very talented and creative human beings any longer. Well, guess what? It's all happening right on schedule, and artists, voice actors, writers, coders, marketers, and low-level white-collar workers who downplayed the threat of automation-driven joblessness are all scared shitless by GPT, Stable Diffusion, Elevenlabs, et cetera.

If there was one thing I always resented about my time on SB, it was being constantly ganged up on for expressing this monumentally blackpilled view of the future. Honestly, most normal people don't like hearing a worldview that's like some bitter cross between Linkola and Ligotti. A lot of people on SB are optimists, humanists, and cornucopians, and they don't like hearing this sort of shit. They want their flying cars, their superpowered implants, their Star Trek replicators, and their holodecks. They're still under the illusion that the greasy, demented, drug-addled pedophiles in charge of our countries and our financial systems will let that happen.

When this shit goes down for real, those "normal people" and their ilk will be caged first.
 

Bassoe

Well-known member
But it's not impossible, that's the point. Well, replicators are, closest we've got are 3d printers and they're basically useless. But making it so our children and grandchildren can have the same technological quality of life as our parents and grandparents did is doable. Fission reactors are nearly a century old technology, build enough of them and oil can be supplanted. There might not be enough rare earth ores (sans asteroid mining) for batteries to replace everything currently powered by petroleum, but if you've got plentiful electricity from the reactors, you can synthesize substitute "oil" from atmospheric carbon and hydrogen.

The problem being, all these things have high enough startup costs that only the rich and politically connected can afford to order their creation. The very same rich and powerful people you've accurately realized stand to rule the world as neofeudal tyrants if they don't.

So what we need is a populist political system which is both willing to build said infrastructure and to treat refusal to have already built said infrastructure while having the power to do so as a treasonous conspiracy against us and use their political power to retaliate.
You anti Christian libertarians are the craziest people ever.

How is what Ancient Rome did, or Medieval Kingdoms to disloyal nobles "marxist ideas"?

Marxism did not fail because they took away the wealth from the previous nobility but because they tried to distribute everything to everyone.

Almost all new regimes in history once they got into power killed off the males that were a threat then took their property and women and gave it to those who helped and are useful to the new regime they then become the new nobility. That is the essence of meritocracy instead you seem to want to stop it right now where the corrupt and incompetent are in charge. Maybe their ancestors were great and earned their wealth but they are not so they should lose it.

You can worship these pieces of shit all you want others will laugh when they molest your kids.

As for a flat tax rate in general that would be a great idea. But it would also be great to take away wealth from those who are disloyal and give it to those who are loyal.
 

*THASF*

The Halo and Sonic Fan
Obozny
Fission reactors are nearly a century old technology, build enough of them and oil can be supplanted.
As you say, fission reactors are expensive. No one wants to foot the bill for the up-front capital investment in infrastructure to transition completely to nuclear. Also, the spent fuel is hazardous waste that has to be interred in containment casks and stored in bunkers, another huge investment.

From the perspective of the wealthy oligarchs, it would be much cheaper for them if they could simply convince first-worlders to use an order of magnitude fewer kilowatt-hours per year and pocket the difference.



There is a precedent for companies promising the moon and then giving the public shit in a brown paper bag. Take, for instance, the US fiber-optic internet subsidy scandal, where telecoms were given hundreds of billions of dollars since the nineties to build residential fiber-optic networks crisscrossing the US, but never delivered.


For the poor and middle-class, this is our life. For the very rich, it's a game, and the name of that game is never dole out one red cent if you don't have to.

So what we need is a populist political system which is both willing to build said infrastructure and to treat refusal to have already built said infrastructure while having the power to do so as a treasonous conspiracy against us and use their political power to retaliate.

The system is designed to provide significant financial support to people who play along with the cartel, and to cut it off from populists.





In a system where money is directly equivalent to political power, then the ability to cut off the flow of money to a group of people constitutes political disenfranchisement. These people are happy when ordinary Americans are made jobless and homeless for the "crime" of holding "deplorable views". They spend gargantuan amounts of time, money, and effort dividing people over identity politics so they cannot unite over economic class. The rich view the poor and middle class as class enemies, to be atomized, politically undermined, abused, and given table scraps. Why would they ever shell out money to improve the living conditions of their class enemies?
 

Marduk

Well-known member
Moderator
Staff Member
Though he was indeed unjustified in committing murder to spread his message (imagine if he’d had the advantage of the modern-day internet; ironically, his manifesto would have reached just as large of an audience, if not larger, without killing innocent people), he did raise some interesting points.

Modern society is filled with meaningless busywork that seems as if engineered to distract people from how empty and unfulfilling their lives are, and how few meaningful life goals they actually have.

About nine years ago, I was excitedly telling a elderly coworker all about how you could build a log cabin in Minecraft, and this disapproving look came over his face. “It’s not real, Dave,” he said. He went on to explain how the younger generation are being denied valuable life skills and the ability to meaningfully alter or impact their environment. A lot of my fellow Millennials often express the sentiment that they don’t feel like they’re doing anything useful with their lives, or affecting the course of world history in any tangible way.
A lot of things remained the same, surprisingly enough, just in a different form.
Some life skills are just not worth the time involved anymore - sure, some enthusiasts make custom knives for example, but unless you are into that, you're not going to spend several paychecks and hundreds of hours learning it to get a knife if you can get a good enough knife for 20 bucks.

A lot of older people do crossword puzzles, how is that better than the most basic of videogames, i don't know.

A lot of old guys tinker with cars, though it's harder and less worthwhile with modern cars at the usual skill and equipment value ceiling. I on the other hand tinker with software and often also hardware of personal electronics of all sorts. There are "worthwhile equipment" limits for doing it without massive investments, but few people realize how much can be done, also a lot of people consider theirs broken due to stupid shit that takes few hours, a PC with internet and USB cable to fix.
Honestly, in the past, I would have had a far more positive opinion about the idea of virtual embodiment replacing physical embodiment entirely. After all, building a log cabin in Minecraft doesn’t cut down any trees or damage the environment. Today, however, I can’t help but wonder if this separation of man from environment constitutes an assault on his essential rights and his property. If we allow the technocrats to shove Apple Vision Pros on our faces and stuff us in a Metaverse, what sort of power over our own lives are we surrendering to them? Are we being freed from physical drudgery, or are we merely being locked in a prison from which there is no escape?
It's a simulation. In older generations people amused themselves with books and TV more instead... Is it better, or worse, that's a deeper question. For one though i sure as hell don't get to pilot a plane or helicopter IRL, but i can do that in computer sims.
The technocratic managerialist system has alienated people, atomizing them and separating them from traditional human folkways, subordinating all their creative energies to a callous, unfeeling, globalist machine. David Graeber’s book Bullshit Jobs emphasizes just how pervasive this process is. The Machine would rather that you perform unfulfilling and meaningless work that occupies your time than allow you to remain idle.
A taste of managerialism already existed before the age of globalism and advanced technology in some places. It's an independent problem.
Whig history brainwashing in schools drives a sort of neophilia that permits all manner of dehumanizing social engineering projects to be conducted on us in parallel. Children are raised to believe that the past was benighted and filled with plagues and tyrants and brutal warfare, and that the future will be prosperous and look something like Star Trek.
That's a core belief of progressive left. Outside of that subculture, it's a exotic and obviously flawed belief.
This mindset hasn’t actually improved humanity’s lot. Instead, it has led to unthinking, reflexive consumerism, with people building entire identities around brand loyalty. With the rise of automation and the looming threat of joblessness on a massive scale, this constitutes a cruel bait-and-switch; millions are silently led to slaughter without resistance, pawing at the consumerism carrot dangled above their heads.

People ought to have robust property rights, and they ought to have the full use of their time and energy, and they ought to be able to put that energy towards projects that actually have a purpose other than distracting them from the gaping maw of the abyss.
That raises a bigger question... What projects "actually have a purpose", who gets to decide which, and what do you do with people who lack the interest or intellect to engage in those at a purposeful level?
 

LordDemiurge

Well-known member
A lot of older people do crossword puzzles, how is that better than the most basic of videogames, i don't know.
Intellectual stimulation? Crossword puzzles do actually exercise the brain.

The problem with breaking down what's worth doing in terms of pure utility is that it leads down the logical conclusion that the ideal future of humanity is as a fat flesh blob stapled to a digital simulator.

We don't assume a jogger is an idiot who doesn't realize the car was invented after all.

There is a growing body of evidence that our current relationship with technology is having a terrible effect on our brains. We acknowledge for the most part that sedentary life and food abundance is leading to physical obesity. But similarly we're seeing the psychic mirror of such a crisis in the information age.

Decreased and stunted attention spans, digital dementia, porn addiction and the associated hedonic treadmill, screwed up circadian rhythms and so on. Hence why paper books are actually somewhat healthier.

While industrialization as well might be more efficient in terms of economics. Psychologically it is actually more alientating than say, artisanry, farming and craftsmen-ship. Pre-modern craftsmen had to train themselves to have a deep intuition and appreciation for what they were working with.

Industrial manufacturing meanwhile renders its workers interchangeable and passive observers. An assembly line worker doesn't have the experience of contributing change to his world, in the same way a blacksmith making farming tools for his neighbors did.

It's not a coincidence for example that in the Victorian era, there came an unprecedented rise of adulteration in food and consumables. Industrial paint made to give mustard a brighter shade of yellow, construction plaster mixed into pastries and bread. The current rule of managerial despots, in my view, is frankly the tumor grown from these carcinogens.

Also advice to anyone reading, but if your device has the option of using warm colors instead of blue light, I would recommend switching to that permanently.

This mindset hasn’t actually improved humanity’s lot
Respectfully, I would disagree because this idea still very much uses whig/globohomo logic only to craft an inverted narrative.

I've posted this before about communist apologists, but one of their most malignant brainworm, is their perception of capitalism and social ills as abstract and alien entities whose influence in the world is somehow metaphysical instead of being the result of physical realities and rational decisions. Which of course is hypocritical given they claim to be the most materialistic ideology of all time.

We can't decouple the advent of the modern world and its ills somehow without the rise in our quality of life, advancements in science, food abundance, infant mortality and the very fact that on an internet we can even discuss these things, browsing the sum total of human knowledge in our hands. Or paper over the mistakes of the past and the flaws that lead to cultural change.

Rejection of whig history, which assumes our ancestors are irrational and evil barbarians, also kind of has to acknowledge that the creation of the modern world is similarly not due to moral and abstract demons. Otherwise you are still a whig historian, only one that's complaining that 6 is obviously 9.
 
Last edited:

IndyFront

Well-known member
I haven't read the entire thread yet, but I noticed this

Every tool is an extension of the body. Transhumanism, therefore, is the quest to produce a body with all the tools it needs to survive in a technological society built-in. Of course, this does not mean that we'll be able to run a hundred miles per hour, weld metal with our fingertips, solve impossibly difficult math equations in our heads, or shoot lasers from our eyes. No. That's much too dangerous, allowing people to have liberty-enhancing augmentations like that. With such enhanced capabilities, every individual's body would pose an even greater threat to the stability of the technological system itself. By tools, I mean the ability to voluntarily suppress cravings, to dampen misery, to ward off tiredness. The technological society doesn't want or need people of the servant class to be transformed into unstoppable, unpredictable supermen. Rather, it needs alert, obedient workers who seldom eat or sleep and require little in the way of entertainment.

I would however contend that a few elites could do this in the not-so-near future, for the express purpose through privileged access to advanced technology and funding of colonizing a different planet. The masses will still be stuck here on Earth, but give it a few centuries and we could be living alongside the descendants of a transhuman breakaway civilization in the moons of Saturn or on Mars (Venus could easily be colonized by cishumans due to the conditions of its upper atmosphere with no real severe body modifications however), the offspring of the dozen or so elites that decided to enhance their bodies to be able to live on different worlds. Dunno if they'd be able to survive here on Earth though.
 

Marduk

Well-known member
Moderator
Staff Member
My point exactly. How are much tougher mental exercises with computer games something worse in that regard?
The problem with breaking down what's worth doing in terms of pure utility is that it leads down the logical conclusion that the ideal future of humanity is as a fat flesh blob stapled to a digital simulator.

We don't assume a jogger is an idiot who doesn't realize the car was invented after all.

There is a growing body of evidence that our current relationship with technology is having a terrible effect on our brains. We acknowledge for the most part that sedentary life and food abundance is leading to physical obesity. But similarly we're seeing the psychic mirror of such a crisis in the information age.

Decreased and stunted attention spans, digital dementia, porn addiction and the associated hedonic treadmill, screwed up circadian rhythms and so on. Hence why paper books are actually somewhat healthier.
I for one do not believe in the magic of paper that can deliver the very same stimuli, just with more burdensome logistics, somehow giving a totally different result, starting with blaming the invention of hedonism for technology pretty much (hint, the people who invented that term had none of it, yet they had enough of it to make up a word for it).
While industrialization as well might be more efficient in terms of economics. Psychologically it is actually more alientating than say, artisanry, farming and craftsmen-ship. Pre-modern craftsmen had to train themselves to have a deep intuition and appreciation for what they were working with.

Industrial manufacturing meanwhile renders its workers interchangeable and passive observers. An assembly line worker doesn't have the experience of contributing change to his world, in the same way a blacksmith making farming tools for his neighbors did.
Stop romanticizing the hell out of pre-modern craftsmen. They had their own problems and worries. And that's without getting into the wider effect of general economy relying on them, like farmers not being able to afford those "world changing" tools. Not to mention that very few people would get to be this kind of craftsmen anyway. Menial work was not exactly unknown back then either.
It's not a coincidence for example that in the Victorian era, there came an unprecedented rise of adulteration in food and consumables. Industrial paint made to give mustard a brighter shade of yellow, construction plaster mixed into pastries and bread. The current rule of managerial despots, in my view, is frankly the tumor grown from these carcinogens.
Well of course it couldn't have been done when there was no technology for doing it in too many ways. Through in the simple ways it was doable, it absolutely was done, so much that ancient Rome was inventing ways to prevent that.
 

LordDemiurge

Well-known member
How are much tougher mental exercises with computer games something worse in that regard?
Most kids don't really choose mentally stimulating games.

Some exist, though in degrees. But most app store games or videogames don't actually do this. Their ergonomics are invisible, meaning while videogames like CoD are probably better than Candy Crush, they still come with issues.

Hands on activities however are typically superior. This is kind of why writing things down in class is better than simply receiving pre-made slides or even typing them on a laptop. I've tutored kids who were used to using laptops. The kids who I told explicitly that they needed to write down every step of their work, or illustrations to help them learned better than kids who did.

Your assumption is that stimuli from screens is completely interchangeable with physical stimuli. This is not however the case. There is a well documented difference.
They had their own problems and worries.
The problems you've listed are unrelated to what I'm talking.

Labor in an assembly line is not as fulfilling as large portions of even menial labor in the past. Much less artisanry. This is the trade-off we've made.

Pretending that the trade-off did not exist or that it's all pure revisionism does not change that reality. It's the equivalent of insisting that the modern obesity epidemic isn't an issue because 'people have always liked eating food.'

A farmer, or even a menial labor did not have 'one job' set to a mechanical clock. There was variation in that labor, day to day, and was set to natural rhythms instead of a strict schedule.

You don't have to be some techno-primitivism to acknowledge that there is a qualitative in how we live our lives today versus the conditions lived in by most humans in that past.

I for one do not believe in the magic of paper that can deliver the very same stimuli,
It is not magic, it is simply that paper books don't allow for easy context switching in the way computers do. They also don't shine light

Hence why E-readers are better in regards to the light part. More a cup of content to be consumed, instead of just an endless spigot of content, scrolling and notifications.
starting with blaming the invention of hedonism for technology pretty much
No offense, but instead of tilting at strawman arguments, could you please perhaps read what I've written. Because I don't particularly like engaging in bad faith arguments.
 
Last edited:

Marduk

Well-known member
Moderator
Staff Member
Most kids don't really choose mentally stimulating games.

Some exist, though in degrees. But most app store games or videogames don't actually do this. Their ergonomics are invisible, meaning while videogames like CoD are probably better than Candy Crush, they still come with issues.
>Most.
Seems like dangerous generalization. Most by what? Sales? Titles? Player hours spent?
Popularity of minecraft and gmod would say otherwise.
Mobile games though, you may have a point, 99% of those are outright low quality high cost bastard children of normal ones.
Hands on activities however are typically superior. This is kind of why writing things down in class is better than simply receiving pre-made slides or even typing them on a laptop. I've tutored kids who were used to using laptops. The kids who I told explicitly that they needed to write down every step of their work, or illustrations to help them learned better than kids who did.
I for one ditched handwriting notes as soon as i could. I for one prefer my notes searchable and not made in hasty crappy handwriting. Seems like a roundabout way to deal with attention issues or just not giving a damn problems.
Yes, practicing something in a problem solving context is superior to reading, note taking, or other such academic test focused learning methods.
Your assumption is that stimuli from screens is completely interchangeable with physical stimuli. This is not however the case. There is a well documented difference.
And it varies massively between individuals and their habits, character, culture, genetics etc.
The problems you've listed are unrelated to what I'm talking.

Labor in an assembly line is not as fulfilling as large portions of even menial labor in the past. Much less artisanry. This is the trade-off we've made.
Again, depends on what do you compare. Most pre-industrial labor in general was absolutely not artisanry. If you compare artisanry to say, work of a modern design engineer, it's a totally different discussion.
Pretending that the trade-off did not exist or that it's all pure revisionism does not change that reality. It's the equivalent of insisting that the modern obesity epidemic isn't an issue because 'people have always liked eating food.'

A farmer, or even a menial labor did not have 'one job' set to a mechanical clock. There was variation in that labor, day to day, and was set to natural rhythms instead of a strict schedule.
True, and fortunately enough the most repetitive and mind numbing of line labor is being taken up by robots. On the other hand work that involves maintaining and troubleshooting machines, or a lot of the same work but in small companies with few workers, doesn't have that problem.
You don't have to be some techno-primitivism to acknowledge that there is a qualitative in how we live our lives today versus the conditions lived in by most humans in that past.
>we
Again, lots of unnecessary generalizations.
It is not magic, it is simply that paper books don't allow for easy context switching in the way computers do. They also don't shine light

Hence why E-readers are better in regards to the light part. More a cup of content to be consumed, instead of just an endless spigot of content, scrolling and notifications.

No offense, but instead of tilting at strawman arguments, could you please perhaps read what I've written. Because I don't particularly like engaging in bad faith arguments.
To me that seems like a potential for opposite explanation for the whole attention issue. If the only thing stopping you from messing around instead of focusing on a task is the device's lack of versatility, the problem is with your way of dealing with technology, not with the technology itself, it's just making it easier for pre-existing problems to manifest themselves. I for one don't have a problem reading quarter of a book in pdf at a time on a PC, if you let notifications or something else prevent you, well, either they are that important, or you have set them wrong, or you're not really interested in the book to begin with.
 

TheRomanSlayer

My Enemy is the Judeo-Western Unipolarist
Temporarily Banned
Here's a question that I'd like to add: what happens if you want to study for any kind of test you're doing (be it self study or a formal lecture) and you don't have an access to any kind of internet?
 

Marduk

Well-known member
Moderator
Staff Member
Here's a question that I'd like to add: what happens if you want to study for any kind of test you're doing (be it self study or a formal lecture) and you don't have an access to any kind of internet?
Modern electronic devices have gigabytes or terabytes of storage space. They are there for you to use. And decent lecturers in a university will send you a lot of stuff in pdf. Even one gigabyte of that is *a lot* to read.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top