File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0112, message 87

Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 10:55:39 +1000
Subject: Re: more on cyborgs and the inhuman


Comments at **

> hbone wrote:
> > One doesn't change the past, one changes one's mind - the same way one
> > changes one's  mind about the future.
> It seems you are still working with a "Myth of the Given".  My question
> to you, using your terminology, what is there about the past, that isn't
> in the mind?
**That's a myth I never heard of.  One thing not in my mind until a couple
of minutes ago was the "Myth of the Given", but it's in your mind, also in
your present recollection of an event that arrived in your mind in the past.

> What we call the past always demands interpretation and is usually
> structured in terms of narrative which valorize the past and give it
> meaning.
> When these structures change, the meaning changes, and, I
> would argue, the past does as well.
**Your mental structures change when you re-think the event (say reading
the Given".  My concept is that the act of reading/comprehending was an
a one-tim happening that no longer exists.

> It is a question here of moving from an observer universe to a
> participatory universe. Cyborgs live in the latter, not the former.
** This is your mental structure, your concept of a cyborg. Observer
universe or
participatory universe, one participates and observes. That doesn't mean it
is the same for two different persons. If a cyborg is a tool using animal,
humans are cyborgs, and so are a few other animals who use very
unsophisticated tools.

> > One isn't a citizen of the world, for there is no world group that has
> > citizens. One is automatically citizen of her/his birth country which
can punish >inappropriate behavior with death or lesser penalties.

> So there were no American citizens until the constitution was ratified?
**No. I suppose the former colony of Massachusetts had some laws it had
developed between the 1620's and the 1780's and I expect other colonies had
similar laws.  People of Massachusetts were "citizens" of Massachusetts. The
Constitution was a legal uniting of the states which created the institution
of Congress, the Presidency, and Supreme Cour.  Some thought the States
under the Constitution had a right to leave the Union.  Others did not.
> Besides this legalistic notion, what happened to the idea that one is
> first a member of an imagined community, and a citizen in that sense.
> **Nothing, but those who are not citizens of a real community can be
legally deported. As I read the map, every place on Earth is part of a

> Doesn't the law often merely formally legitimize what has already
> occurred?
**Yes.  In my opinion, one is an involuntary citizen one's nation-state and
subject to the laws it has legitimized..



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