transhumanism

A Quote by Daniel Pinchbeck on art, techne, technique, technology, process, martin heidegger, arts saving power, technological enframing, deeper collective vision, world as art, sri nisargadatta maharaj, terrence mckenna, gadgetry, shift in perspective,

“(Martin) Heidegger notes that the origin of the word “technology” comes from the Greek word techne, and this word was applied not only to technology, but to art, and artistic technique as well.  'Once there was a time when the bringing-forth of the true into the beautiful was also called techne.'  He found this to be a numinous correspondence, and considered that, in art, the 'saving power' capable of confronting the abyss of the technological enframing might be found.

If art contains a saving power, it is not in the atomized artworks produced by individual subjects, but in a deeper collective vision that sees the world as a work of art, one that is already, as (Sri) Nisargadatta (Maharaj) and (Terrence) McKenna suggest, perfect in its 'satisfying all-at-onceness'.'  Instead of envisioning an ultimately boring 'technological singularity,' we might be better served by considering an evolution of technique, of skillful means, aimed at this world, as it is now.  Technology might find its proper place in our lives if we experienced such a shift in perspective–in a society oriented around technique, we might find that we desired far less gadgetry.  We might start to prefer slowness to speed, subtlety and complexity to products aimed at standardized mind.  Rather than projecting the spiritual quest and the search for the good life onto futuristic A.I.s,  we could actually take the time to fulfill those goals, here and now, in the present company of our friends and lovers.

Part of the problem seems embedded in the basic concept of a concrescence or singularity, which compacts our possibilities rather than expands them.  The notion of a technological singularity reflects our culture's obsessive rationality, reducing qualitative aspects of being to quantifiable factors, and imposing abstract systems over complex variables.  Instead of a technological singularity, we might reorient our thinking toward a more desirable multiplicity of technique.  Technique is erotic in essence; it is what Glenn Gould or Thelonious Monk expresses through the piano–the interplay between learned skill and quantum improvisation that is the stuff of genius.  Technique embraces the now-ness of our living world; technology throws us into endless insatiation.”

Daniel Pinchbeck

Source: 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Pages: 106-107

Contributed by: Darshan

A Quote by Ray Kurzweil on evolution, spirituality, and transhumanism

Evolution moves towards greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love. In every monotheistic tradition God is likewise described as all of these qualities, only without limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. Of course, even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially it certainly moves rapidly in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably towards this conception of God, although never quite reaching this ideal. We can regard, therefore, the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form to be an essentially spiritual undertaking.

Ray Kurzweil

Source: The Singularity Is Near : When Humans Transcend Biology, Pages: 389

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by James Hughes on transhumanism, buddhism, and no-self

Buddhism is a faith tradition and set of spiritual practices whose core idea is that human beings can become more than human by application of mental technology and self-discipline. As such it is probably the most compatible of the older faiths with transhumanism. But it is also quite
challenging for many transhumanists in its insistence that there is no discrete, continuous ego that could be protected and perpetuated. Many of the immortalists, for instance, find that a threatening idea, but I think we will increasingly see the truth of the emptiness of the self as
we apply neurotechnologies and life extension.

James Hughes

Source: http://ishush.blogspot.com/2006/06/interview-james-hughes-techno-social.html

Contributed by: Ryan

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