[lit-ideas] Re: Posthuman, Space and Lifejackets

  • From: palma <palma@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2010 08:07:42 -0400 (EDT)

I encounter lots of animals, domesticated? by whom? On Fri, 8 Oct 2010, cblists@xxxxxxxx wrote:

On 7-Oct-10, at 9:10 PM, David Ritchie wrote:

What's next? Well, "the Posthuman," apparently and, to quote something from my e mail today, a return to "boundaries," but boundaries where "the limits of the human come into play" and so we will now "think about encounters with the animal and with technology and the machine."

A return to well within the boundaries, I think.

Encounters with the animal? Milk comes from plastic bags or jugs; meat is pre-digested into a semi-liquid slurry out of which 'hamburgers' are made; the only live animals one directly encounters are domesticated in the literal sense - i.e., well within the boundaries of the house (all others are 'beyond the pale'). Some might peer over the boundaries at the pathetic creatures in a zoo; for most, 'wild' animals are characters in a product of the infotainment industry.

Encounters with technology and the machine? For that we have the 'Mechatroniker' (the German term for workers in the field of what used to be auto mechanics, reflecting the increasing electronification and computerization of what was once a relatively simple machine). All other encounters are, once again, from carefully within the boundaries (read 'blinkers'), conducted through an interface - operating system, or 'server'. Even the Mechatroniker have diagnostic programs without whose guidance they will dare not lay a hand directly on the machine.

Yes, back to playing within the boundaries - away from the 'regions where it was hard to live' where one might stumble over a stone; or a lever, a wheel & axle, a pulley, or an inclined plane; or a human being - away from the madness ....

         'We have invented happiness,'
         say the last men and they blink.
         They have left the regions
         where it was hard to live,
         for one needs warmth.
         One still loves one's neighbour
         and rubs against him,
         for one needs warmth.

         Becoming sick and harbouring suspicion
         are sinful to them:
         one proceeds carefully.
         A fool, whoever still stumbles over stones
         or human beings!
         A little poison now and then:
         that makes for agreeable dreams.
         And much poison in the end,
         for an agreeable death.

         One still works,
         for work is a form of entertainment.
         But one is careful
         lest the entertainment be too harrowing.
         One no longer becomes poor or rich:
         both require too much exertion.
         Who still wants to rule?
         Who obey?
         Both require too much exertion.

         No shepherd and one herd!
         Everybody wants the same,
         everybody is the same:
         whoever feels different
         goes voluntarily into a madhouse.

         'Formerly, all the world was mad,'
         say the most refined,
         and they blink.

         One is clever and knows
         everything that has ever happened:
         so there is no end of derision.
         One still quarrels,
         but one is soon reconciled
         --else it might spoil the digestion.

         One has one's little pleasure for the day
         and one's little pleasure for the night:
         but one has a regard for health.

         'We have invented happiness,'
         say the last men,
         and they blink."

                 - Friedrich  Nietzsche,
              _Also Sprach Zarathustra_
              [W. Kaufmann's translation]

Chris Bruce,
Kiel, Germany

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  Ratio, enim, nisi judex universalis esse deberet, frustra singulis datur.

  [ _Quaestiones Naturales_, Adelard of Bath ]

Signora granda, testa che massa
massa ne passa, che quasi schissa,
Dia dei sostegni de cese e palassi
Dia de le taje che su ne tien fissi
Dia de le onde che le ne fa grassi,
ne ingrassa de ogni grassia, Dia Venessia -

aàh Venessia aàh Venàssia aàh Venùsia

Andrea Zanzotto, Filò, (Sezione: Recitativo Veneziano)

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