Archive | September 2018

The Anthropocene and “the Global Brain”

For the last few posts, I’ve been examining the Anthropocene as an example of what Timothy Morton has called “hyperobjects”. Hyperobjects arise in that realm I previously wrote about as the “irreal” or as “Third Space”, as a kind of interstice between the strictly “subjective” and the strictly “objective”, and have in that sense a certain, what we might call “occult” or magical character in that they largely defy adequate definition or description in any indicative or prosaic language. Their very indistinctness, fuzziness, and indeterminability is what makes them hyperobjects in the first place. “God” for example. Hyperobjects are those issues and things that we have great difficulty “coming to terms with”, which is why we often resort to a more mythical idiom in an attempt to lend them some concreteness, since our language otherwise lacks precision.

So, I want to continue with our discussion of the Anthropocene and attendant concepts like “the Global Brain” as just such hyperobjects and perhaps give a convincingly clear explanation for the existence of these strange things called “hyperobjects” at all.

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The Anthropocene is The Matrix

We are trying to approach and investigate the meaning of the Anthropocene like explorers who have discovered a strange world inhabited by strange creatures, some of which may be quite dangerous, for it is, in some sense, the “New World”.

It also strikes me that the Anthropocene may be taken as the meaning of the movie The Matrix. That would account for its ambiguous character as being both “hyperobject” and yet also “hypersubject”. For me, in any event, The Matrix is quite a remarkable movie, since it parallels many of the themes found in William Blake — the Matrix as Blake’s “Ulro”, the Architect as Blake’s “Urizen”, and even Neo shares some characteristics with Blake’s “New Adam”, Albion.

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What is “Technocratic Shamanism”?

It strikes me that, before I get into the potential redemptive factor in the Anthropocene, I need to explain what Algis Mikunas means by “technocratic shamanism”. The term appears in an essay called “Magic and Technological Culture” contained in the book Consciousness and Culture: An Introduction to the Thought of Jean Gebser.

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