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Re: <nettime> a call to the army of love etc. etc.
Newmedia on Tue, 18 Oct 2011 17:45:08 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> a call to the army of love etc. etc.


Keith:
 
Indeed. Like you my concern is with the HUMANS and not the "machines."
 
The relationship between the *humans* and their inventions has not    
always been the same, since, while we have remained the same, these   
inventions have themselves changed.                                   
 
In particular, if we will admit that our technology is an EXTENSION of
ourselves, then a definite watershed was reached in this process in
the mid-19th century.
 
ELECTRICITY!
 
What does *electricity* extend? Our arms and hands and feet? Our eyes
and ears and noses?
 
No.  Electricity extends our NERVOUS SYSTEMS.
 
Now that's a very different situation than the wheel or the steam
engine or the railroad or the printing press.
 
If *electricity* extends our nervous systems and if we will admit
(at least for the purpose of this discussion) that once-extended
our technologies tend to "self-amputate" and take on a "life of
their own," then what is the situation that results when our now
"autonomous" *nervous systems* . . . COME ALIVE?
 
Robots?  Cyborgs?  Wage-slaves?  Lady GAGA?  WIRED  magazine?
 
My concerns are about the HUMAN ECONOMY (as are yours, since that's
the title of an important book that you edited) and about how
*humanity* regains control over its own inventions.
 
For 150 years we have been under attack by our own ELECTRIC
inventions. If we understand what is going on, then we have a chance
to *retrieve* human agency and dignity.
 
Yes, I use machines everyday as do we all. Imagining that we should
discard them is silly and misses the "human" element, while acceding
to the "machine" imperative.
 
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY




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