greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Mars Ho!

I think I may have had an epiphany or sorts. I've referred to myself as a transhumanist since sometime in 1997. It's even on the dust jacket copy of To Charles Fort, With Love. But now I'm beginning to see that when I say "transhumanist" I mean something quite different from what most people mean when they they "transhumanist." By transhumanism I didn't mean "an intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of new sciences and technologies to increase human physical and cognitive abilities and improve the human condition in unprecedented ways." It was never about becoming more machine and less human (or if it was, it isn't anymore), or even about becoming a better human. Rather, it was about becoming less human and more something else biological. I do see how technology (gene therapy, etc.) might someday make that a reality, but I still don't think that the transhumanist label applies to me. For one thing, there seems to be something inherently optimistic and anti-Nature in the ideas of transhumansim, and, perhaps (and someone's gonna yell at me for saying this, but I'm saying it anyway) anti-feminine. Transhumanism seems somehow very patrifocal, almost Apollonian to me, this attempt to escape the nasty, squishy flesh and replace it with nice clean mechanical bits. What's been happening all these years in my head is distinctly Dionysian. And it's never really been about becoming better, just different. Maybe "posthuman" or "parahuman" would be a more appropriate term. Oh, frell. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I should have thought on this more before speaking.

Anyway...yesterday was nice. Cloudy and warm and blustery with moments of bright sunshine (today is just sunny and warm). Spooky and I had a nice walk, lunch at Fellini's in Candler Park, then caught a 4:30 matinee of Timur Bekmambetov's Nightwatch (Nochnoi Dozor) over at Tara. I've been waiting ages, it seems, to see this film, and I wasn't disappointed. This is the movie that the two Underworld films would have liked to have been. Beautiful, haunting, epic, with an unexpected sense of humour. Later, after dinner, we finally saw Walk the LIne, which also gets two thumbs up. I thought both Witherspoon and Phoenix were absolutely superb. So, yeah, I used most of my day off to indulge in movies. Oh, I also saw a fairly silly something on the National Geographic Channel about Loch Ness. I'm becoming annoyed with the endless parade of Loch Ness documentaries. At this point, there remain no significant unanswered questions about the existence of "Nessie." No evidence now exists to justify further efforts and expeditures to search the loch for extant plesiosaurs (or whatever). The "surgeon's photo" was a hoax. Dinsdale mistakenly filmed a boat. The underwater photos published in Nature in the '70s were computer-enhanced shots of the bottom of the lake and a waterlogged stump. The lake simply doesn't have the necessary biomass to support a population of large predators. End of story. Loch Ness is a truly marvelous place, but Nessie belongs to the realm of Faerie, not science.

Here are a few photos from yesterday, behind the cut. I look disturbingly buff. I don't know what's up with that:

The tulip tress have bloomed.

Yep. Disturbingly buff.

The lightning-struck tree (on the left) from my dream and its companion, and suddenly this is putting me in mind of Yeats.
Tags: days off, loch ness, movies, spring, transhumanism
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