Plus ça change…

A brief excerpt from a lengthy and intelligent piece by Dr. Ray Tallis, refuting the babble spouted by noble savage, back-to-nature, global village idiots, far too many of whom I seem to be running into recently. Wow, that was a bloody unwieldy sentence and no mistake..

“Tereza is staring at herself in the mirror. She wonders what would happen if her nose were to grow a millimetre longer each day. How much time would it take for her face to become unrecognizable? And if her face no longer looked like Tereza, would Tereza still be Tereza?”
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera.

“…If, as I believe, the distinctive genius of humanity is to establish an identity which lies at an ever-increasing distance from our organic nature, we should rejoice in the expression of human possibility in ever-advancing technology. After all, the organic world is one in which life is nasty, brutish and short, and dominated by experiences which are inhumanly unpleasant. Human technology is less alien to us than nature (compare: bitter cold with central heating; being lost without GPS and being found with it; dying of parasitic infestation or spraying with pesticides). Anyone who considers the new technologies as inhuman, or as a threat to our humanity, should consider this. Better still, they should spend five uninterrupted minutes imagining the impact of a major stroke, of severe Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease on their ability to express their humanity. Those such as Fukuyama who dislike biotechnology do not seem to realise that the forms of ‘post-humanity’ served up by the natural processes going on in our bodies are a thousand times more radical, more terrifying, and more dehumanising than anything arising out of our attempts to enhance human beings and their lives. Self-transformation is the essence of humanity, and our humanity is defined by our ever-widening distance from the material and organic world of which we are a part, and from which we are apart.

L’homme passe infiniment l’homme. (Blaise Pascal, Pensées)

In short, do not be afraid…”

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2 thoughts on “Plus ça change…

  1. Once Dr. Tallis has finally managed to distance himself from his organic nature, do you think he’ll have reservations at Cryrogenics Inc.?

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