File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0112, message 52

Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 15:29:14 +1000
Subject: Re: more on cyborgs and the inhuman


The role of the intellectual is to change the minds of others.  Philosophers
attempt the taak with words, but who knows what they mean?  Humpty Dumpty
told Alice they meant what he meant them to mean, no more and no less.

As for dualisms:  organism/environment, actor/concept, seem obvious as
breathing out and breathing in, but there may be as many interpretations as
there are people who give thought to those terms.  In another sense, they
are only words.

I can't imagine how machinic anthropology would relate to today's social
problems.  Organisms are living machines, environments sustain and destroy
them.  Can't imagine either without the other, but await your exposition.



> hbone wrote:
> >      Computers, satellites, and rockets have cyborgian elements
> >      which assure diabolical
> >      and  accurate means of delivery, not to mentioned perfectly
> >      programmed religious fanatics for whom martydom is the path
> >      to Paradise.
> Hugh,
> One of the things I want to emphasize here is that my interpretation of
> what I am calling the cyborg isn't along these lines. I see it as
> immanent (we have always been cyborgs) and not external or new.
> This leads back to your earlier post and the comments you made. I don't
> think dualism is necessary in terms of actor/concept -
> organism/environment. Also the question for me isn't eliminating greedy
> person or refuting the philosophy of neo-liberalism, but how do we
> transform the existing structure. I think the machinic anthropology I am
> proposing may help work through some of these issues.


Cyborgs are a late development of the process of mankind assisting its own
evolution.  From Stone Age to Computer Age, clever inventions helped the
species evolve into conditions of comfort, culture and power that gave
supremacy over all other species.

But the A-bomb, completed about the same time that Computers were born, was
one of the
first clever inventions that could threaten  homo sapiens on a global basis.
Evolution could  become devolution.  Now we have an severla nations possess
and unbelievably large arsenal of nuclear weapons, plus chemical and
biological weapons which singly or in various combinations can destroy
populations, cities, lands, and make air water and food unfit for human

A less onerous but distressing outcome of cyborgian technology is the
Communications and Entertainment complex which envelops the Globe as
Spectacle, pollutes minds, wastes time, energy, money, and increases the
flow of wealth from poor to rich


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