COVID19 and the post-human era

“In the mid-1970s, Professor Fereidoun M. Esfandiary decided to change his name. From then on he would be legally called “FM-2030.”

Conventional names define a person’s past: ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, religion. I am not who I was ten years ago … The name 2030 reflects my conviction that the years around 2030 will be a magical time. In 2030 we will be ageless and everyone will have an excellent chance to live forever. 2030 is a dream and a goal,” he offered in explanation.

It didn’t hurt that by 2030 he would be 100 years old, an age he was sure he would reach.”

Let’s hear it for the post-human era!

Hayles on “Literary texts as cognitive assemblages”

“Following Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and Bruno Latour (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987; Latour, 2007), I conceptualize an assemblage as a flexible and constantly shifting network that includes human and technical actors, as well as energy flows and other material goods. A cognitive assemblage is a particular kind of network, characterized by the circulation of information, interpretations, and meanings by human and technical cognizers who drop in and out of the network in shifting configurations that enable interpretations and meanings to emerge, circulate, interact and disseminate throughout the network. Cognizers are particularly important in this schema because they make the decisions, selections, and interpretations that give the assemblage flexibility, adaptability, and evolvability. Cognizers direct, use, and interpret the material forces on which the assemblage ultimately depends (Hayles 2017).”

–N. Katherine Hayles, from Electronic Book Review, Aug 2018

Color in “Gravity’s Rainbow” (Hayles/Eiser ’85)

“The possibility of co-option is inherent in the way Pynchon constructs his critique. He can create color within his text only by naming it, and he can name it only by classifying it as distinct and identifiable hues. Similarly, we can participate in Pynchon’s creation of color only by decoding his color names, which implies that both reader and author are implicated in reducing the rainbow’s “endless streaming” to the distinct hues of Newton’s spectrum. At the same time, Pynchon’s color coding achieves its force because it utilizes Newton’s rules for color combination and refraction to create precise transformations that connect the color names with such far-reaching themes as racism, the link between the dye and munitions industry, and the effect of synthetic chemicals and drugs upon the fragmented consciousness that they both create and control. As the color names become linked with these thematic concerns, a pervasive ambiguity arises: are Pynchon’s acts of naming colors an escape from routinization, or an extension of ‘Their’ totalizing patterns?”

–N. K. Hayles and Mary Eiser, “Coloring Gravity’s Rainbow,” Pynchon Notes, 16 (Spring, 1985): 3-24.

Humanist transhumanism: Citizen Cyborg

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Humanist transhumanism: Citizen Cyborg

Speculative Posthumanism and “Dark Phenomenology”

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Speculative Posthumanism and “Dark Phenomenology”