Primitives & Extropians - both culiminate in totalitarian hierarchy [Hakim Bey] : LUSENET : Human-Machine Assimilation : One Thread

Primitives & Extropians


As M. de Landa points out, the autonomous machine derives from and defines the war machine (Taylor developed "Taylorism" while working in an arsenal). Extropianism has marked "cyberspace" as the area of struggle for "good" human/machine relations (e.g. the InterNet), and this struggle has taken on the aspect of a resistance against the "militarization" of cyberspace, its hierarchization as an "Information Highway" under centralized management. But what if cyberspace itself is by definition a mode of separation and a manifestation of "machine logic"?

What if the disembodiment inherent in any appearance within cyberspace amounts to an alienation from precisely that sphere of everyday life which extropianism hopes to transform and purge of its miseries? If this were so, the results might very well resemble the dystopian situations envisioned by P. K. Dick and W. Gibson; -- turned inward, this violent sense of contradiction would evoke the kind of futility and melancholia these writers depict. Directed outward, the violence would conjure up other SciFi models such as those of R. Heinlein or F. Herbert, which equate "freedom" with the culture of a technological elite.


-- Scott (, January 28, 2000


This guy has a good basic insight, which he's smothered under tons of jargon and verbiage. To 'translate', the key idea is that while primitives (luddites, anarchists, deep ecologists, etc.) are worried about restoring primitive, pre-agricultural, even pre-symbolic existence as a road to freedom - away from the increasingly oppressive (as they see it)corporate-techno domination of modern life, nevertheless, the definition of pure primitiveness itself would become a doctrinal concept that required definition and enforcement by an elite, which would itself become totalitarian. So you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

-- Scott (, January 28, 2000.

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