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Self-Deselection: Technopsychotic Annihilation via Cyborg

Chris Crittenden
Ethics and the Environment
Vol. 7, No. 2 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 127-152
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40339039
Page Count: 26
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Self-Deselection: Technopsychotic Annihilation via Cyborg
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Abstract

The cry that advanced machines will come to dominate human beings resounds from the time of the Luddites up to the current consternation by the chief scientist of Sun Microsystems, Bill Joy. My theme is a twist on this fear: self-deselection, the possibility that humans will voluntarily combine their own bodies with technological additions to the point where it could reasonably be said that our species has been replaced by another kind of entity, a hybrid of human and radical enhancement, whether that enhancement stems from genetic alteration or the affixing of robotic parts. The paper discusses why this danger exists, focusing mainly on perilous psychological and cultural tendencies (though the amazing rate of technological change and its likely course are discussed). It then proceeds with arguments as to why such deselection is a kind of suicide and why this suicide would be a bad thing in the context of early twenty-firstcentury society. In the last section, ecofeminist theory is employed to generate a therapeutic ethic of social and political relationship that contrasts with a patriarchal model of dominative control through aggressive science.

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