Thursday, November 3, 2016

POST-HUMAN, ANTHROPOCENE - THE HUBRIS OF WESTERN THOUGHT

Right now, the hottest new thing in pioneering thinking and in the media revolves around the posthuman (How to think the genetically modified man, the man-machine, man surrounded by things or thinking machines, etc. .) and the "Anthropocene", a new geological epoch marked (negatively) by the presence of Man. It is interesting that these two schools of thought, which often overlap, are based on two assumptions, i.e. on statements that need to be supported later. Indeed, for many geneticists, the post-human must be a change / mutation of homo sapiens, which does not seem ready to arrive, and many artificial intelligence researchers doubt that robots will ever be “intelligent” enough to threaten us on their own. Furthermore. for geologists, the mark of man on the geological layers is not obvious. I say right away that I am not a  fierce neo-liberal conservative, but an anarchist who is just trying to reflect and identify the real problems. It seems, therefore, more appropriate to consider these two theoretical fields as speculative fields, not as scientific truths. Now, what do these theories reveal, not on the future of the man or his environment, but of our way of thinking about the world? We are still and always stuck in a Western thought that cannot detach itself from its two fundamental - and catastrophic in many ways- characteristics, which are the Apocalypse and hubris. The Apocalypse, because we always run to disaster, or we're already there, and we must therefore save ourselves, even if it is against our will  (The ravages of the idea of "redemption"), and hubris, because we, humans, are able to change the world in our image, like real demiurges (positive or negative). There is a common thing in this double vision, either positivist (the post-human is the bright future of man) or pessimistic (the post-human announces the end of mankind, the power of robots, and the Anthropocene indicates a tragic point of a geological no-return ) which is, again, this decidedly Western ethnocentrism that we can’t seem to get rid of. Indeed, the post-human announces the end of what kind of humans? Those who are rich enough to be cloned or artificially enhanced. And about the Anthropocene: who will not survive climate change and other disasters? Us, because First Nations have a level of adaptability much higher than ours. Imagine for a moment a world suddenly without electricity, and compare what would happen in the Mongolian plains, in the Amazon forest and New York, Paris and Tokyo. To me, the post-human and the Anthropocene are the most glaring expressions of the anguish of the White (Wo)Man, a égrégore it creates to confront a world that it controls and understands less and less. A mestizo world, a young world, a rising new world made up of other non-white humans.

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