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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Human=Computer

Saul Anton wrote:

>Simon's discussion of the human/computer analogy via the idea of
>writing or language as a technology, I would go along with a lot that 
>Simon has noted.  I would add, however, that the notion of writing in 
>Foucault, and, perhaps more importantly, in Blanchot and Derrida after 
>him (all of these deriving from both an appropriation and critique of 
>techne/poesis) is far more complex than the simplistic notion of
>technology that is usually batted around.  As Heidegger noted, the
>essence of technology is nothing technological.  Instead of forcing or
>playing accross the analogy of writing or language, it might be more
>useful to think of the term language or writing as a source both of the
>human and the technological in their "metaphysical" determinations.  Of

This is exactly what I was intending in what I wrote previously. I do
not see language as an analogy for technology, nor the inverse, nor as
an analogy for the human, or again the inverse. Rather, I see them all
as the same thing, different views of the same "multidimensional

As I tried to suggest in my previous posting, it is possible to regard
the human, both collectively and individually, not as a thing in itself
but rather as an instance of a phenomena (no reference to Phenomonology
intended here) or complex of things, where both the individual (and an
instance of the collective, such as a culture or sub-culture) are
posited as nexi in the field from which they arise. What these things
are connected to, in that field, is dependent on a myriad of complex
factors. In a way one could say that the field in question is the
totality of human potential (sort of the "langue" of existence) but one
could also say that it is language. I wouldn't bother to make
distinctions here, except only in so far as it might allow a more
detailed aspect of an argument to be moved forward.

In the same sense, I do not see much value in distinguishing between
language or technology. They seem to me as more or less the same thing,
both factors of potential and performance (with an intended reference to
the idea of the performative). By potential I intend to suggest that
they are very much the medium of things, whilst by performance I intend
the idea that an instance of human action results in something, which
might be language, might be technology, might be an artifact of some
kind. I would include the instance of beingness in this...that simply by
being, and in being aware of being, then an instance (a person or
collective) is performing itself, and thus realising itself as something
akin to an artifact (very likely within a linguistic reference).

What is interesting about the computer is that not only is it, as an
artifact, part of the linguistic but also its internal functioning is
essentially linguistic, and as such it functions, as an artifact, to
mirror itself...not just metaphorically but also in its actuality. As
such, it makes a very useful subject for the analysis of many of the
things that we are talking about here. However, I do not see much value
in elevating this technology to a special status, nor in making claims
for what it might allow in shifting human beingness (thus I reject the
notion of the post-Human, being dependent as it is on a definition of
the human that I cannot "read"), except that I would accept that it
might, as a self-mirroring artifact, allow us an extended awareness of
such things. Again though, I doubt that this is such a new thing.

If you wish to call all of the above a metaphysics, or an aspect of the
metaphysical, then you may. I would agree that it is all to do with
ontology, but to me this is a broader issue, which metaphysics is one
way of addressing. I would not however wish to limit an analysis to this

As an artist I have been constantly caught up in the perceived conflict
between the scientific, metaphysical and poetic approaches to
understanding things. After many years I am no closer to reconciling
these differences, except that I have become rather indifferent to the
finer points of the arguments and prefer to simply "let it happen" and
see what happens. Perhaps that is intellectual fatigue, or perhaps it is
another way of looking at things? Perhaps it is just cynicism regarding
what people get up to when they have too much spare time on their hands?

Simon Biggs
London GB

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