Panspektrocismens arkimediska punkt

Läser lite Arendt. Kom att tänka på det där med panspektrocismens subjekt.

Här ett citat, i slutet av Arendts text om rymderövring och Människans plats i det hela.

Without as yet actually occupying the point where Archimedes had wished to stand, we have found a way to act on the earth as though we disposed of terrestrial nature from outside, from the point of Einstein’s “observer freely poised in space.” If we look down from this point upon what is going on on earth and upon the various activities of men, that is, if we apply the Archimedean point to ourselves, then these activities will indeed appear to ourselves as no more than “overt behavior,” which we can study with the same methods we use to study the behavior of rats. Seen from a sufficient distance, the cars in which we travel and which we know we built ourselves will look as though they were, as Heisenberg once put it, “as inescapable a part of ourselves as the snail’s shell is to its occupant.” All our pride in what we can do will disappear into some kind of mutation of the human race; the whole of technology, seen from this point, in fact no longer appears “as the result of a conscious human effort to extend man’s material powers, but rather as a large-scale biological process.”

Under these circumstances, speech and everyday language would indeed be no longer a meaningful utterance that transcends behavior even if it only expresses it, and it would much better be replaced by the extreme and in itself meaningless formalism of mathematical signs. The conquest of space and the science that made it possible have come perilously close to this point. If they ever should reach it in earnest, the stature of man would not simply be lowered by all standards we know of, but have been destroyed.

En hel del av detta kom ju sedan att fångas upp i diskussionen om posthumanism och transhumanism.  Kom att tänka på en grej som jag lyfte – men inte löste – i min gamla artikel om panspektrisk övervakning. Frågan rör hur vi samhällsvetare bidrar till just det där fjärmandet som Arendt är orolig för – om än i kontexten av det som då kallades stor data. Alltså,

there is a wider issue at stake here. While researchers may decry the practices of neuromarketing and speculative mobilising of consumers’ desires, academics are fellow travellers in the shift towards panspectric modes of organisation. After all, notions of ‘dividual selves’ and ‘imitative rays’ serve to stabilise a world-view in which the human mind is seen asdispersed and configured by traceable influences – effectively cementing the idea that human behaviour can be predicted. If there is such a thing as a post-human condition (Hayles 1999), such discourses seem to dovetail with the architectures of panspectric surveillance. (351-352)

Som sagt, detta löstes inte riktigt i artikeln, och jag vet ännu inte om det finns något sätt att skriva sig ut ur en sådan utveckling. Poängen här är väl att Arendts fokus på naturvetare och teknologer är lite missvisande – humsammare kan också spela med i konstruerandet av en arkimedisk punkt som i slutändan får Människan att se liten ut.


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