dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: transhumanism

go f…. yourself, sexuals (politically not correct, but honest)

I just blocked a person/site/group of people from my twitter account.

 

I don’t remember the name, something like sexual health and somethig with fantasy   (= {in other words}, SHIT [for me]).

 

Why would a sexual site like this follow me on twitter? Was it just a random follow, or did someone actually sit there and wonder whether to follow my twitter account and then decide it was a good idea?

It was probably some random commercial act, like people shuffling through the phone book to make calls to unsuspecting people to try and sell whatever it is they have or work for whomever they are working for.

I’ve always wondered how sexual people could take any interest in someone who is asexual, antisexual, celibate. Perhaps it’s rather a case of them wanting us to be interested in them, ’cause in the end, everyone is always interested in them and it cannot be otherwise. If it is, then they’ll make sure it isn’t.

 

What sexuals should really do is go f… sex.

 

Advertisements

I wish people would stop hijacking my identity

Let’s be clear about this: i identify as Neutrois.

Some people seem to think “Oh, this is a girl who identifies as Neutrois. SHE’s so cute”
or “Oh, wow, another fetish”.

I am a ‘they’ or an ‘it’, not a he/she or a mix of these. I don’t wear boy’s or girl’s clothes but clothes, I don’t gender everything that exists and I don’t think of people in terms of sexuality or gender, but think mainly in other categories: like who is this person really?!

Though Neutrois is a gender of sorts, providing a contrast to other genders, it’s actually a non-gender. It does not include rules such as that I have to wear pink or I need to wear make-up.

Neutrois want to move away from gender.

I wish people would stop calling themselves Neutrois and start educating themselves on what it means: What it means to people like me, and what it means to them. It’s not just a fancy word that sounds slightly french and “Oh, I’ll just use it for now to deine myself, but I don’t really know what it means”.

You can’t really say you are a Neutrois if you sometimes feel male, sometimes female, and sometimes Neutrois, I suggest you say “I sometimes feel Neutrois”, instead of saying you are Neutrois. There’s a difference there. You can’t say “I sometimes feel dysphoria and sometimes I don’t” and therefore I am a Neutrois. I don’t want to pathologise being me, but a Neutrois experiences constant overwhelming dysphoria to a point where it gets very dark and ugly, it’s not just about having a bad day once ina  while. It’s like people saying they have depression when they only feel a bit sad, usually for good reason. How does this minimise another person’s acute and bearable sickening depresion that is able to completely ruin his life if this person does not fight against it constantly, every single day?

Surgery to me is life-affirming, it’s a major part of the Neutrois identity. A Neutrois who does not want surgery and eventually wants to have kids and actually realy likes who they are without surgery, to me, is like a penguin who actually lives in the desert and does not like swimming and does not look anything like a penguin….

I hope you get my point.

A Neutrois who is pansexual…..I don’t get that. If you tell me you are Neutrois and thereby have major body dysphoria, especially about ‘sexual’ parts, then how do you experience attraction and how could you ever act on it even if your body was attracted to someone? And why call that sexual attraction? I think a Neutrois can experience romantic attraction, but when it comes to sexuality there is a natural repulsion due to them not liking their body parts and not even wanting to touch these themselves let alone anyone else going anywhere near them.

A Neutrois, basically someone who wants to remove all their sexual and gender aspects, including social stigma AND body parts who is a sexual? A eunuch who is a sexual? These identities do not match and would create great conflict in myself were I to identify like that. It’s like by having one of these identities you are at the same time denying another.

A Neutrois is, yes, it has finally been revealed, a non-sexual, a sex-less being. Compare it to an android or a disembodied spirit if it makes it easier for you to understand.

A Neutrois is more or less dissociated from the physical and prefers mental things to physical things. A Neutrois is not a fan of biology, not in its current state, anyway.

That’s why recently I have come to identify more and more as not trasgender, though I fit the category, but as transhuman. Transgender implies moving from one gender to another form of gender. But this is inaccurate for me. I want to be clear to people how I identify and I want my identity to match the definition that is out there, so I will in future reference trasnhuman instead of transgender. I want to reach a new paradigm in terms of humanity and body modification, in terms of language use and behaviour. It permeates every single aspect of my life and will affect me until I am dead and cease to exist.

 

Being Neutrois is a lonely, scary, uncomfortable, and even dangerous place to be. It is soul-destroying beacuse one receives nearly no affirmation of one’s identity and struggles to get a voice even amongst all these different queer peers. Even they mostly do not understand the concept behind this identity. And yes, it’s not that I woke up one day and knew that I was a Neutrois, I had to think about becoming a Neutrois. I had to decide to be a Neutrois, as rarely a Neutrois is born this way.

Neutrois is as much about ‘what do I want from my life and how do I get it’ and ‘who do I want to be’ as ‘I just feel shit in my body and wish I could change it and just know that something is not right’. But it’s definitely not ‘I am male or female or sometimes this and sometimes that’.

Be clear about what it means to live your life like a Neutrois. It has implications, you know. I challenge you to live like a true Neutrois!

a little ramble about the NaNowriMo meeting: if anyone at the meeting is reading this, remind me next time to talk to you in person about this…

I hate to admit it, but I want to meet people. I go out of my way to meet people.

Yesterday I was half an hour early for the NaNoWriMo meet-up that took place in a cozy cafe in a side street. I looked around and saw a woman eagerly typing on her laptop, with papers strewn everywhere, and I thought that must be what a true writer looked like. I wondered if the people I would meet would also be like that, obsessively writing and only looking up from their oeuvres to take a sip of  their drink or perhaps eat a slice of cake.

I tried to introduce myself, to make sure they at least knew, even just for a split second, that I did not identify as female, and therefore I called myself Dominic, and thereby implying that female pronouns are also black-listed.

It’s quite funny that almost all of ‘us’ write fantasy novels, stories about something extraordinary, or rather out of the ordinary, as they include fable animals or magic, fairy beings and such like. I am also keen on writing a fantasy story, because it opens up different possibilities if I stop being creative. It’s easier to make things up in a fictional world. To me, reality requires too much research.

But what I also find striking is that although many write fiction or fantasy, when confronted with fantastical ideas or transhuman thought, they are not interested. I mentioned that I didn’t have breasts anymore as part of my plea to not call me any female things, and one of them blurted out (it seemed almost involuntary, the response was so fast and sharp): “I’m not interested”.

I wonder why are you sitting here for, then, if it’s not about the people you meet? You are immersed in your writing and that’s great, but I personally wouldn’t come here just cause I can write with other people next to me. I can do that at home, and much more succesfully at that.

I am lucky though, though the people all left without saying a word while I was still in the bathroom, a man with a top hat drove me home cause it’s on the way to where he lives. It was refreshing to hear someone talk as fast as he does and be able to talk about things others might find disturbing..aka: ideas…but one thing did bother me. It only occured to me to be upset when I was already safely home and able to re-create the whole conversation. He basically related to me how he knew a thing or two about bullying and being deprived of his freedom and being different, because he wore hats and these are not fashionable. So he sometimes gets strange looks.     !     . Are you comparing having someone throw your hat in a tree when you were a kid to being transgender, excluded from society, deprived of your identity, doubted, poked, prodeed, raped, villified, accused, killed? (I obviously haven’t been killed yet, so who am I to talk).

Do you think the type of erasure is so similar, middle aged white cis male? (You probably don’t even get the fact that I am trying to stereotype you, too).

Then he talked about one of his most beloved movies, wherein a filmmaker shows stereotypes in a cicrus, people with lost limbs and strange faces, and generally different conditions and talked about this in the context of transsexuality, comparing how similar people reacted to disabled people and to trans people, practically creating a link with disability and being trans.

We all have our priviledges and are all on a quest either to gain them or more of them, or not to loose them. I still have many priviledges so I probably shouldn’t be too upset at people’s offhand remarks, but that’s exactly the point. That people speak their minds so freely abut topics they know shit about, and that they feel content and, moreover, entitled to show their emotions and pry into people’s lives and make judgements or dismiss someone straight out because, well, who represents the norm….? Right, not I.

This guy is divorced and he said his family couldn’t understand how his divorce happened so quickly and without problems, and how the divorced parties could still communicate normally with eachother. He even got criticised for his exemplary behaviour, and why, because it’s unusual. It’s normal to fight, and therefore you’d rather support such behaviour than laud a person for acting differently.

He of all people should understand the fact that we try to shape our world into what we want to see and what we want it to be like. Perhaps he should take another look at me and people who have a gender disconnect and really see what it means to live like that. Perhaps he should take his hat off.

 

“The philosophy of becoming supercedes the philosophy of being…”

quoted in ‘The Aesthetics of Transhumanism’ by Natashe Vita-More, 22.04.2011, http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/04/22/the-aesthetics-of-transhumanism/

 

The philosophy of becoming is the philosophy of evolving.

We should ask ourselves: have we already reached a stage in human evolution we are comfortable with?

What am I that makes me human, what am I that makes me humane?

 

Being human is simple, becoming human is almost beyond human capabilities. Being human is what we are now, becoming more human is what we should aspire to.

I’m not only talking about human form and design, the shape which represents us…but ideals, impressions, expressions.

We are the post-modern human, living in a world filled with technological advance. And yet, are we so different from our ancestors? We might be able to stave off disease more easily, to travel the world more quickly, to communicate more easily, but what about philosophy and social change, what about our language and behaviour?

Why is humanity still called ‘man-kind’? Why, with all our potential to help eachother and use technology for our benefit do people in third-world countries still starve? Why is there a third world? Why is there still poverty, greed, fundamentalism, murder, rape?

 

We have not evolved, at least not beyond ourselves.

We can’t say we live in a better future, when half of us are dying because they lack food, water and shelter. How can we say we are modern, when half of us are killed because of a lack of human rights. When the most vulnerable people in society are targeted BECAUSE they are most vulnerable.

We should measure our humanity through looking at the status of our most destitue members, by looking at the weakest, most vulnerable. By looking at our social systems (the law, healthcare, environmental legislation) and our entrenched beliefs (about ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality).

We are far from a wondrous golden age. We are repressed, we are lied to and controlled, mostly by our very own governments, we are harassed by people of the same country, the same faith, the same family. Dictatorships don’t just exist in the middle east or some communist country, they exist in materialistic minds and capitalist hearts.

As long as people are a commodity and tossed around by the forces of capitalism and gratification of the senses, no amount of scientific progress will be able to help us.

I’m not saying we need religion, there’s enough of that already, but we need to start believing in progress, not materialistic progress, but humane progress.

Or are we all too human to do that?

 

 

The brave new world part III: The art of being

The last article has focused on transhumanist science and technology, on revolutionising our prospects of living, on using technology to change our human functions. The dilemma of human fragility (physical) and human grandeur (intellect), and human spirit (motivation) creates the desire in many people to strive for better quality of life, to facilitate living, to reach a utopia where death and disease canot enter.

The human shape, our molecules and muscles and nerves and biological functionings have a great bearing on this desire to reach new goals in understanding and changing ourselves. For if functioning is to be changed, that which performs the function may also be altered.

What is needed to get to the roots of our being, to grasp ourselves, and to adapt and progress? First we have to think differently of ourselves. Thinking is philosophy, the doorway to conceptualising the world. Thinking is being, for if we never think of ourselves as human, if we think of ourselves as animals, can we really be human?

Transhuman Art is, like many other movements, a manifestation of thought, a result about thinking about transhuman art. The yearning for new forms, new dialoggues, new definitions, and the striving for knowledge and desire to re-unite opposing or vexing aspects of life, have come together to form a ‘transhuman art’. Transhuman Art is a mirror of human desires and impulses, so it does not transcend the human, but it is a way to communicate very human concerns.

New Media such as 3DGraphics, videography, electronic art, animation, conceptual art, role playing, internet art, and body art, as well as more traditional styles such as printmaking, sculpture, drawing, painting, poetry, performance art and literature are used by scientists and non-scientist artists (transhumanist artists).

Just as in any art movement, there are various artists and styles, so there is a wide range of conveyed emotions and senses.

Links to transhumanist art websites (Please click ‘Open in New Tab’ to open in new tab, as I am currently having problems with the link function on wordpress):

transhumanist.biz (Nano-tech art)
Nanomandala (spiritual side of Nano-tech)
Transhumanities (featured art styles and links)
dynamic body art (trans resistor radio interview)
Transhuman art gallery (featured artists)
Transhuman Art (featured artists)

My attempt at transhuman art:

future in our hand

humans and progress

revolution

 

 

The brave new world Part II: Transhumanist Research

The previous part of my article about Transhumanism was a short introduction of the movement that hopefully garnered a bit of interest for it.

The following is an elaboration on the introduction and another introduction for a third part that deals with one specific topic, that of the human form and related ideas about ethics.

However, let me begin by reiterating some basic tenets of transhumanism:

Transhumanists show a great interest in sceintif discovery and exploration, both of the external world around them and of themselves. Science fiction films and novels come to mind when one hears the word transhumanism, as it is implied that a lot of the concepts associated with this movement are revolutionary in a sense that they aim to go beyond the known, beyond what is even possible, beyond the human.

For this reason the movement has gained a lot of critics and skeptics. Since the movement focuses on such terms as future/enhancement/technology and on science, it is not very well understood and even often misunderstood and feared.

But little do critics take into account that without a spirit of endeavour and without transhumanist thought, the present as we know it would not have come into being, and perhaps not have come into existence so fast. For transhumanists often build upon the history of mankind and trace the roots of the movement back to the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

Today various scientific fields are full of transhumanist thinkers that aim at using their skills to enhance the human (quality of life and sustainability, cognition and other skills). The follwoing fields are areas of interest for scientific exploration (in no particular order): Cybernetics, Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Nanotechnology, Information Technology.

Japan cyborg research enters the skull

mind_controlled_robot

From cloning cells to creating robotic body parts, transhumanism is our constant companion in the quest for human enhancement and scientific discovery.

As is exemplified in the article ‘Japan’s cyborg research enters the skull’ (dated 17th April, 2008), researchers aim to use “real-time mind-controlled robotic limbs” to enhance motor skills for disabled patients. The way to do this is quite intrusive, but might yield a better quality life for the patient.

Enhancing the human is designing the human, re-shaping the human form and thus allowing for new concepts about what is human and how a human should/can perform. Scientific research and engineering (the practical and visible) spills over onto other fields as well, the Arts and Humanities, for example, where the concept of ‘Human’ is being re-adressed as part of the transhuman discourse. This might also have effects on other, not so obvious fields, such as Transgender Theory (eg. reassignment surgery) and Queer Theory (non-traditional ways of assigning gender).

TO DO LIST

To Do List 2012

The brave new world of going beyond Part I: A short introduction to Transhumanism

I have often wondered what is wrong with me, why I keep feeling like the eternal outsider. Perhaps I have now found what I was looking for all along, a synthesis of ideas that match my feelings more closely than any other: Transhumanism.

Transhumanism is not new. Transhumanism is happening right now, in the minds and actions of people all over the world. Transhumanism also happened in the past. Transhumanism is past, present, and future, because it is us.

A bit about me and why I find transhumanism interesting

I grew up travelling the world, because my Mum worked overseas for about 2-3 years at a time, and then the whole family had to move around with her, wherever she went. Me and my brothers repeatedly changed countries, schools, friends, and were constantly bombarded with new sensations, different social settings, and human cultures. every school system presented its own challenges, new peer groups formed constantly around us and dissolved again, we were accustomed to airports and other forms of transport, as we left our home town to move abroad.

This has given us an immense opportunity to get to know different settings, landscapes, foods, scents, cultural impressions, political systems, and ways of life, but also imprinted in me a sense of strangeness, of not belonging anywhere, really. Maybe it is because I was not prepared for the great impressions I received from constantly travelling and never really coming to rest, maybe it was due to my character (which tends to be a bit cynical) that I didn’t fully appreciated being moved around a lot and never having my own, never-changing place to stay. I don’t know this for sure, but I can say that it affected my worldview, and maybe has made me more prone to bouts of anger about the human condition and lack of closeness with others, a strong dissociation. For I often saw and still see my surroundings through a detached lens, I am often the observer of others, but rarely the one who actively interacts. I am often the disinterested third wheel in a relationship and never the one initiating close contact. I am often more intested in old buildings and historical figures than real humans and the lived experience.

I think that is why I am also more into science-fiction-related-material than I was before. I often considered sci-fi to be close to lunacy and not very practical. But this view has changed, and I am increasingly more interested in (a) what it is/means to be human, and (b) how technology and ideas can be applied to ameliorate the human condition.

H+

I started googling transhumanism and came to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism) to get an understanding about what it is (really) about, as it had only ever really existed as a vague idea in my head.

According to wikipedia, transhumanism is seen as “a continuation of humanism and Enlightenment thinking”. Transhumanist concepts tackle “the applications of advanced sciences to human biology” and a major focus of the movement is “the application of science to better the (individual) human condition, the improvement of human bodies…”. Transhumanists generally seek a control of human evolution and the use of new technologies to achieve that.

Another aspect of the movement is the critical stance towards biological determinism, and biology in general, as transhumanists tend to “see the very concept of the specifically ‘natural’ as problematically nebulous at best, and an obstacle to progess at worst”.

Transhumanism is a movement encompassing various thinkers and topics affecting the way humans live and the potential for human life in the future. It is geared towards a goal that is a sort of utopia, a reference point for the future: posthumanism.

Posthumanism is something to strive towards, as this quote exemplifies: ” They [transhumanist thinkers] predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label ‘posthuman’.

the Vitruvian genderqueer

Cognitive liberty, morphological freedom, procreative liberty

I personally cannot conceive of a time where transhumanist ideas were not in vogue or under scrutiny from various political parties and segments of society, and I used to be an Archaeology student. I think in humans there is a great motivation to strive to better things, to affect one’s environment, to change and adapt, to create and experiment, and to initiate ‘progress’.

A lot of humans want to gain knowledge about their environemnt (nature), their selves (human body and mind), and their abilities (boundaries and powers to transform). We wouldn’t have cars and tall buildings and complex social interactions if it weren’t for this desire to strive for progress.

Also, I think there’s still a great need for humans to “become more than human”, to exceed our limited potential and be the creatures that we envisage to be, but whose abilities we do not yet own. We look towards something greater than us to strive for, just like a child watches a sibling and tries to be as good at sports as them. There’s a competitive element there, perhaps a need to show off, to leave one’s mark, to create something new and exciting.

Transhumanism has to do with redefining humans and what life in the future could be like. It involves a lot of theorizing, but also has very practical applications. Eventhough this type of philosphy is called transhuman and even confronts us with menacing words such as ‘posthumanism’, it is not removed from humanity, humanism, and the human, because it is produced by humans, shaped and criticised by humans, and its efforts are to increase the quality of human life. It is no anti-human philosophy. Humans are at its centre, its focus is on making life better for individuals around the world.

I think individual choice is a major concern for transhumanist thinkers, and that’s another reason why this movement has become attractive for me. I don’t agree with every aspect of it, nor do I fully understand what it entails. I’m not really scientifically-minded, and have trouble understanding scientific concepts and mechanisms, but I like creative thinking and the expansion of thought. I wonder where it can lead and what it means for us common folk.

the universal brain

In the next post i would like to highlight some of the concepts of transhumanist thinkers, some more practical applications, and include some more personal commentary.