Are Singulatarians actually Puritans?

Will we be fucking after we leave our bodies behind for cyber-heaven? Over at Steal this Singularity, futurist gadfly R.U. Sirius has a hilarious and smart essay about people who imagine we will transcend sex and random goofiness after the AIs take over.

After returning home from annual futurist conference Singularity Summit last year, Sirius realized that nobody was addressing how our messy human desires and weirdness would be preserved in the coming age of intelligent machines. He writes:

Singularitarianism and — more broadly — transhumanism — has produced a veritable glut of abstract theorizing, so whatever novel perceptions or objections or concerns one may think one is bringing to the party, some smarty pants has probably swatted it away or incorporated it into its logical totality.

On the other hand, if there was a role for artists in [the futurist conference] Singularity Summit 2012, I didn't notice it. Sex — a primary desire for most humans — seemed to be almost unmentionable, if not entirely archaic. Heightened subjective states of consciousness — ecstasy, agape, rapture — seem to be well off the map . . .

This lack — this apparent negligence or denial or trivialization of non-obvious aspects of subjective human experience and peculiarity — may prove to be of minimal importance if transhuman techno-evolution stops short of the Singularity. If we don't design silicon intelligences that will, for all intents and purposes, replace us — or at least dominate our original biological brains if we take them within us — but, if rather, we simply end up with tools that amplify and enhance, then there's a reasonable hope for a diversity of mindstyles. Some will gather in Less Wrong communities where they will continuously refine rationality; some will live in an eternal, amplified Burning Man of lived art, presentation and playful deviance; most will dip into both these and other memeplex scenes while engaging in a world rich in opportunity for all possible expressions of humanness or posthumanness.


Read the rest of this essay over at Steal this Singularity

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