quarta-feira, 17 de março de 2010

Technophobia! Science Fictions Visions of Posthuman Technology


Techno-heaven awaits you. You will be resurrected into posthuman immortality when you discard your body, digitize your mind, and download your identity into the artificial brain of a computer.

Cyberexisting in virtual reality, you will live forever in a perfect simulation of divine bliss.

This techno-heaven is envisioned by a cult of techno-priests—scientists and their apostles—who profess a religious faith that the god Technology will eliminate the pain and suffering of humans by eliminating humans. These techno-utopians fervently believe that technological progresswill lead to perfection and immortality for the posthuman, cyborg descendants of a flawed, inevitably extinct humanity.

Is this a happy dream or a dismal nightmare?

In contrast to this bright vision of a pain-free, posthuman technoheaven, science fiction frequently paints a dark picture of technology. From the destructive robot-witch of Metropolis (1926) to the parasitic squid machines of The Matrix Revolutions (2003), the technologized creatures of science fiction often seek to destroy or enslave humanity.

Science fiction shows the transformation into the posthuman as the horrific harbinger of the long twilight and decline of the human species.

In its obsession with mad scientists, rampaging robots, killer clones, cutthroat cyborgs, humanhating androids, satanic supercomputers, flesh-eating viruses, and genetically mutated monsters, science fiction expresses a technophobic fear of losing our human identity, our freedom, our emotions, our values, and our lives to machines.

Like a virus, technology autonomously insinuates itself into human life and, to ensure its survival and dominance, malignantly manipulates the minds and behavior of humans.

This book explains the dramatic conflict between the techno-utopia promised by real-world scientists and the techno-dystopia predicted by science fiction.

Such technophobic science fiction serves as a warning for the future, countering cyber-hype and reflecting the realworld ofweaponized, religiously rationalized, and profit-fueled technology.



Introduction: Dreams of Techno-Heaven, Nightmares of Techno-Hell

o n e
Technology Is God: Machine Transcendence

t w o
Haunted Utopias: Artificial Humans and Mad Scientists

t h r e e
Cybernetic Slaves: Robotics

f o u r
Machines Out of Control: Artificial Intelligence and Androids

f i v e
Rampaging Cyborgs: Bionics

s i x
Infinite Cyberspace Cages: The Internet and Virtual Reality

s e v e n
Engineered Flesh: Biotechnology

e i g h t
Malevolent Molecular Machines: Nanotechnology

n i n e
Technology Is a Virus: Machine Plague

t e n
Epilogue: Technophobia

Notes
Bibliography
Index


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