Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Matrix for Chickens; Or, "Darkness - Has Taken My Beak"

It's actually not really a matrix, because it doesn't produce a simulation. The purpose of this arrangement is not to replace but to prevent consciousness.

Actually, neurologically we can't really be sure what's going on here based on the description - it's an art installation after all - but it seems as if the idea of the exhibit is to decrease animal suffering by decreasing their consciousness, and that is just as important a question. Maybe we're living in a simulation, but in this simulation we experience pleasure and pain, and the animals we raise for food experience massive amounts of pain. The serious proposal has already been made to engineer livestock that are incapable of feeling pain (yes, at first blush it seems grotesque, but can you make an argument against it?)

And if we really are able to farm fully decerebrate chickens (and not just blinded ones), they cannot be conscious - cannot ever in their lives have been conscious - in any way. Therefore they cannot suffer, repugnant as this may look to us. BTW, remind you of any Metallica videos?

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