Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Annalee Newitz

I don't know how AlterNet columnist Annalee Newitz has managed to mostly slip under my radar -- I've heard the name, but had no idea how cool her columns were. She is worth checking out. Anybody who has the balls to write a nationally syndicated column titled "Fuck God" is probably OK in my book, even if AlterNet censored the title.

Her rant against extropians (AKA, "libertarian transhumanists") is great. A recent NeoFiles interview clarified that she is basically a democratic transhumanist in outlook who doggedly refuses to use the word because she thinks telling people they might live forever would be bad; it would just replace the idiotic dogma of heaven with another unachievable goal. I can see her point, and I've thought a little about the "branding" problem of transhumanism, since that word is mostly associated with the extropians and their nutty ideas -- libertarian economics (crap), cryonics (probably crap, definitely cultish), and transcending humanity (pseudospiritual crap).

I kind of like the ring of "technoprogressive" or "technoradical." It puts the emphasis on the politics of technology, and makes it clear where in the political spectrum it lies. And as far as Google knows, the terms are virtually unused for anything else.

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