the lighter side of Lyotard

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by ubermich, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. ubermich amnesiac . . . Registered Senior Member

    Jean-Francois Lyotard: author of "The Postmodern Condition," wherein he was quite the stereotypical postmodern thinker. critiquer of: the state, modernist conceptions of learning/acquiring knowledge, enlightenment grand narratives. and promoter of individual political participation.

    then...something happened.

    "We live in a universe with an expiry date. Between 4.5 billion and 6 years from now (estimates vary, but 6 billion appears to be the upper limit), the sun will have suffered a 'heat death' and life on earth will be over. Dramatic (and even melodramatic) though this may sound on first hearing, in the early twenty-first century few of us are likely to lose too much sleep over such a projected scenario, given a time-span that is all but unimaginable to us as individuals surviving for only a few decades each....

    One recent exception to such apathy about the ultimate fate of the universe, however, was the philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard, who towards teh end of his life (he died in 1998) became somewhat obsessed with the topic, speculating in The Inhuman (1988) as to what the projected death of the sun might mean for the condition of humankind right now. 'The human race is already in the grip of the necessity of having to evacuate the solar system in 4.5 billion years', he informed us, attempting to inject a note of urgency into the debate.....

    ...suffice it to say for the present he expresses the fear that computers eventually will be programmed to take over from human beings, with the goal of prolonging 'life' past the point of the heat death of the sun. It will not, however, be human life that survives, and Lyotard is deeply opposed to any shift towards such an 'inhuman' solution, which, he claims, has the backing of the forces of 'techno-science' (technology plus science plus advanced capitalism, the multinationals and so on)."

    *ubermich blinks, then a smile slowly creeps across his face. the next minute, he finds himself on the floor, doubled over, clutching his stomach, and laughing like a hyena at the top of his lungs.*
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Xev Registered Senior Member

    Postmodernism, though it sound queer...

    Bleck. I don't see how you can read the postmodernists so well, I can never figure out what they are driving at.

    The language is so very, different.

    But the trend towards the inhuman in technology, or rather the fusion of human and machine, is a good 20 years old. Nanotech, GM, AI.....the fusion of human and computer, or the trend towards making the computer human like (modelling of belief systems), the prolonging of the human lifespan through technological intervention, the progress of medicine towards the more and more inhuman - swapping hearts was first, then we introduced pacemakers, fusing human and machine, and now we wish to grow organs, or modify non-human animals to be compatible donors. Then of course the growth of AI and - hell, I feel more for my computer than I do for most of my blood relatives and acquaintances. Androids? Fuck that, the human is becoming more and more machine like all the time.

    Edit to add:
    There was a point to what I just wrote. Really.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.

Share This Page