ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "group cohesiveness" square in my 8-1-16 Group Dynamics card for the Group Dynamics & Character-building Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

"Defining Humankind"

As the Lacuna grew,
it raised new questions
about what kind of society
they were building and
who belonged in it --

or not.

Some people, like
Weavercreep and Operetta,
had enough negative experiences
that they wanted to get back
just a little in return.

Others, like Shuttlecock,
simply wanted to make sure that
they got to set their own standards here
and nobody could hurt them anymore.

Many just wanted to be left alone,
of whom the Minotaur was the most vocal,
not that these tended to say much.

A few, such as Hootowl and
the Lord of Pr0n, wanted to find
ways for everyone to get along,
which was easier said than done.

They argued, sometimes, over
whether and how to define humankind,
because all of them had run afoul
of other people's definitions that
more or less excluded them.

They argued, often, over
who got to make the decisions,
because some of them were good at it
and some wished only to avoid it
and all of them had an interest
in what actually happened.

It was a complicated situation.

In the Lacuna it was clear that
there were many ways to wire a brain,
and most of them worked, at least
well enough for going on with.

The question of including
neurotypical people alongside
neurovariant people came up and
was tabled and came up again.

It was Astin who, listening
to the arguments as they rambled
through the Flask of Phlegethon,
pointed out that xe had been to
Cascabel and seen the monuments
to what happened when people got
too invested in dehumanizing others
and started a war over it.

The tavern hushed.

Nobody really wanted to risk
a repetition of the Massacre of Casabel.

The arguments didn't stop entirely,
but they did tilt toward acknowledging that
all members of Homo sapiens were persons
regardless of their wetware or other traits.

What few rules began to evolve,
in a culture that preferred to customize
its solutions, favored diversity
over discrimination.

It wasn't an answer to everything,
but at least it provided an ideal, and
that too was enough for going on with.

* * *


Dehumanization is a cornerstone of war. It also underlies the discrimination and segregation against people with disabilities. There are ways to work from dehumanization toward humanization.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-09 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
I wonder what the AYES have to say about the matter.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-09 01:55 pm (UTC)
thnidu: our cat (Ista)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Oh, very good point.

And while reading your comment I suddenly acquired a purring lapful of insistent kneading that seemed to be demanding an answer to a similar question.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-09 11:26 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Nobody really wanted to risk
a repetition of the Massacre of Cas

This is an excellent point. People who still remember atrocities will work much harder to avoid repetitions of them. Even at lower levels, this holds true -- notice how the Republican attempts to repeal the Great Society advances didn't really take hold until most of the people who actually remembered the Depression had died off.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2016-10-10 12:00 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
Even if they don't actively adhere to the philosophy of malocracy, they act as though they do.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-09 04:56 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
... and when you have a smallish society, you don't need a lot of rules... because you can deal with *people*, not the law. But I'm also glad they recognise that they're going to need more as they grow.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-01 06:49 pm (UTC)
bairnsidhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bairnsidhe
I have many feelings over this. We discussed android personhood in SciFi Literature class the other day, and I wanted to hit many of my classmates in the face with a raw fish, because their definition of personhood hinged on passing the Turing Test. I can't pass a Turing Test on a bad day, I can barely pass a Captcha on a good day. How the frick frack am I supposed to count as "human" or "person" to these people if their tests depend on factory-standard wetware? And how am I supposed to trust them if I can't be sure they'd count me as human if it came to it?

Did NOT help that the main reason we discussed that was to determine if a robot can be raped. THAT had a whole separate set of fears involved, too. Because "corrective" rape is still an idea many people have about persons like me who include lower-than-standard sexual interest or response in their custom wetware packages.

I'm glad the Lacuna is being much more open in humanness and personness. (Separate categories, but at least they have put humanness inside personness, and use species to designate humanness. Doing it the other way around is... scary.)


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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