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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) "Post-Colonial" Colonization
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 08:36:47 

On Wed, 5 May 1999, Michael Andre-Driussi wrote:

> In SCHISMATRIX, wasn't it the case that some fantatics (post-human
> pioneers) were altering themselves into "angels" so they could live in the
> alien environment of a gas world?  Here is a case of "Nature worship" so
> strong (i.e., don't change the planet, change the people) as to be blind to
> the ethical dilemmas of such radical self-modification.  Such "post
> humanism" might be only a mask for the serious generational questions faced
> by humans every day: should I emmigrate; should I wed; should I reproduce;
> etc.  But "should I become a mermaid, and all my offspring become
> mermaids?" is obviously of a different magnitude!  And yet, people
> willingly suicide in cults and on their own, so yes, people are capable of
> all sorts of things.

If you want to see more of the ethical dilemmas of radical
self-modification, you should read Greg Egan's works such as Diaspora,
Distress, and especially Permutation City.  He imagines people who take
all sorts of body shapes, who become software and "debug" and "edit" their
own personalities, people who have decided that emotions are just a bad
idea and have surgery to become "voluntary autists," and more! 


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