GABBLER RECOMMENDS: “If We Can Make Animals Smarter, Should We?” by Shayla Love

monkeys doing Freud “In Dvorsky’s eyes, transhumanists are ultimately focused on the alleviation of suffering. The transhumanist philosopher David Pearce , for example , is known for what’s called the hedonistic imperative, which says that genetic engineering and other technologies should abolish suffering in all sentient life.

But is this just another bias that uplift reveals? That if only animals could be smarter, more aware, then they’d suffer less? Is this a fallacy that could be our own undoing, rather than an animal’s salvation— the overvaluing of intelligence?

“What about the kinds of suffering that humans experience as a direct result of our higher-order thinking?” Povinelli asked. “I’ve met a lot of transhumanists and many of them are very unhappy and they’re suffering more than a lot of people that don’t think about these things every day.””

[Via]

 

See also:

GODS IN OUR MACHINES BY G.B. GABBLER

Did you miss out on our Circo del Herrero series giveaway?

Did you miss out on our series giveaway? Don’t fret! The first volume is permafree and available for download here.

 

BookTuber Tuesday – Lev Grossman on why Fantasy can answer questions Science Fiction can’t

 

Check out other book vlogs we’ve featured here.

Have a book vlog video you want us to check out? Submit a link below in the comments and it could make the CIRCO blog.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Ursula K. Le Guin Schools Kazuo Ishiguro on Fantasy

We saw this a few days ago and wanted to catalog it here:

Ursula K. Le Guin.

‘Mr Ishiguro said to the interviewer, “Will readers follow me into this? Will they understand what I’m trying to do, or will they be prejudiced against the surface elements? Are they going to say this is fantasy?”

Well, yes, they probably will. Why not?

It appears that the author takes the word for an insult.

To me that is so insulting, it reflects such thoughtless prejudice, that I had to write this piece in response.

Fantasy is probably the oldest literary device for talking about reality.

‘Surface elements,’ by which I take it he means ogres, dragons, Arthurian knights, mysterious boatmen, etc., which occur in certain works of great literary merit such as Beowulf, the Morte d’Arthur, and The Lord of the Rings, are also much imitated in contemporary commercial hackwork. Their presence or absence is not what constitutes a fantasy. Literary fantasy is the result of a vivid, powerful, coherent imagination drawing plausible impossibilities together into a vivid, powerful and coherent story, such as those mentioned, or The Odyssey, or Alice in Wonderland.’

Read the rest.

 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

Mythpunk

Quote:
Do we really need all these labels, all these punks? We probably don’t need them. But because of them, certain writers and works are talked about. So they enable us to have conversations we did not have before. They allow us to notice writers we might have overlooked. And they allow those writers to speak and say, “This is what I am. Or am not.”

Theodora Goss

I’ve been wanting to write about Mythpunk since JoSelle Vanderhooft’s interview of Catherynne M. Valente came out.

But I didn’t have time. And then a week later there was a Mythpunk Roundtable with Amal El-Mohtar, Rose Lemberg, Alex Dally MacFarlane, and Shweta Narayan, moderated by JoSelle.

And at some point I found Niall Harrison’s blog posts: Mythpunk and amimythpunkornot.com. All on Strange Horizons.

It was interesting to see that several of the above mentioned me. I also ended up in the Wikipedia definition of mythpunk:

“Described as a subgenre of mythic fiction, Catherynne M. Valente uses the term ‘mythpunk’ to define a brand of speculative fiction which starts in folklore and myth and adds elements of postmodern fantastic techniques: urban fantasy, confessional poetry, non-linear storytelling, linguistic calisthenics, worldbuilding, and academic fantasy. Writers whose works would fall under the mythpunk label are Catherynne M. Valente, Ekaterina Sedia, Theodora Goss, and…

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