“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.”
“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).”
“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.
I’ve just finished a review copy of James Hughes’s “Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future.” I was skeptical when this one arrived, since I’ve read any number of utopian wanks on the future of humanity and the inevitable withering away of the state into utopian anarchism fueled by the triumph of superior technology over inferior laws…
“Roden wants to develop a theoretical framework– he calls it “speculative posthumanism”–that will allow us to think through the possibility of unboundedly weird forms of posthuman life. In the absence of such a conceptual apparatus, he thinks that we lack the resources to think the difference the posthuman impies. According to Roden, contemporary philosophy, because dominated by various forms of critical anthropocentrism (roughly, philosophical positions that identify conditions of knowledge claims with distinctively human modes of cognition) pre-emptively bounds the weirdness that the category “posthuman” solicits us to think…”