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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    Parsing Hyper Humanism – a different angle to Posthumanism
    Project: Polytopia
    “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. “

    Paul Cezanne

    To paraphrase P.Cezanne then:

    “The day is coming when a single word, freshly observed, will set off a revolution, this word is individualism’


    In the first part of this essay, I have strived to show that the new state of affairs we have co-created composed of networks nested within other larger networks, demands of us a reformulation of the concept of individualism.

    Previously on “The future history of individualism pt 1”:

    “We have multiple networks inside our brains extending into multiple external networks mediated by electronics. Multiple networks in multiple networks, nested and co-evolving, mutually and inter-subjectively co-adapting to allow a multiple form of individuation process in which eventually no particular point of reference will be the original nexus of beingness. To describe such a situation, new in our civilizations evolution, we need reformulate the concept of the individual so as to better be adapted to the world we actually inhabit.”

    1. A Multiplicity of Singularities

    AT present it is my view that we are on the cusp of a number of singularities, each of which is already to different degrees operating and in an apparent so called process of becoming.
    This simultaneous process of becoming, or emergence, can and to my eyes should be, separated to its different varieties and subcategories and a proper taxonomy should be created so as to be able to clearly make sense of the myriad developments occurring in and around us simultaneously.

    The main reason I have for proposing a view allowing multiple realities to be conceived simultaneously as singularities, is twofold, the first is the fact that I do not believe that a singularity should be treated as a ‘one size fits all’ proposition.
    The second is that our culture, such as it is, prospers and thrives primarily because of the immense diversity of thoughts, sensations, mind events, art expressions and the like.
    In fact I think that the main scenario we need explore is the one where the life of our civilization, flowers into a number of simultaneous and possibly (and apparently) contradicting state of affairs.

    If you accept, as I do that the birth of language is in itself a singularity in which we already exist for a very long while, we can extrapolate and assume that just as the same kind of substrates (brains) has allowed the rise of multiple languages, including variations within variations, sublanguages and so on these same substrates will allow for a multiplicity of singularities. We may if we so desire look upon these different varieties of languages as layers upon layers, intersecting and intertwining, flowing into and out of spaces of embodiments, creating in their wake relations, tribes, peoples, nations, cultures and movements, and of course singularities.

    If language, as the great singularity we already exist in, processes meanings in a fractal fashion and constitutes a multidimensional phase space of complex interactions as embedded infocologies resulting in semantic extensions, only some of which are material, it will be fair to assume such will be the case of the coming singularities.
    The existence as a species within the language singularity has allowed a proliferation of modes of beingness, for by the simple act of transforming epistemic primitives into complex ideas, we have engendered a multitude of expressions permitting, as it were, a multiplicity of unique states of mind, none of which can be generalized or atomized.
    From the above stems the reality that we have grown to be neither a hive mind nor a separate individual; we have evolved to be something much more complex and to my eyes much more beautiful. (This is one of the reasons I have an optimistic, albeit aware, outlook on the future of humanity.)
    We have evolved as a civilization via the language singularity to be a complex system of systems, the metasystem we call the human race. An intricate and highly meshed form of networked life, a life worth living, a multifaceted and fascinating array of experiences simultaneously interlocked and open ended.

    Just as I do not advocate a super or meta narrative of the hyper complex reality we exist in I do not think that it will be conceptually beneficial to pack an ensemble of possibilities and probable unfolding of divergent paths into one container, namely ‘THE’ singularity or ‘A’ singularity. To the extent that we can predict or indeed minimize the surprises of the future we need take into consideration multiple narratives existing concomitantly and paralleling the layers of the language singularity.

    2. A way to look at history- language

    As the readers of the comments on a previous post concerning language: “is language a window into human nature?” would know, for a long while now I was amongst the few who accepted a weak version of ‘ The linguistic relativity principle’ or the ‘Sapir-Whorf hypothesis’ namely:

    ” The linguistic relativity principle, or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, is the idea that differences in the way languages encode cultural and cognitive categories affect the way people think, so that speakers of different languages think and behave differently because of it. A strong version of the hypothesis holds that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories. A weaker version states that linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behavior.”

    For many years the Chomskyan imperative of universal grammar had factually obliterated the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. The many mistakes of Benjamin Lee Whorf notwithstanding I believe that the appeal of the Chomsky universal grammar which basically claims that all languages share the same universal structure can be traced back to our innate desire for a universal theory of everything, or in other words to a ‘one size fits all proposition' that will encompass in an elegant (and simple to parse) fashion , all that we can conceive of, all that there is and all that can be.

    Of course I think that such a proposition is wrong headed and inherently misguided.

    in a recent article at the NYT, GUY DEUTSCHER, in Does Your Language Shape How You Think? writes that:
    "But 70 years on, it is surely time to put the trauma of Whorf behind us. And in the last few years, new research has revealed that when we learn our mother tongue, we do after all acquire certain habits of thought that shape our experience in significant and often surprising ways."

    Furthermore in the same article Deutscher reports:

    "Some 50 years ago, the renowned linguist Roman Jakobson pointed out a crucial fact about differences between languages in a pithy maxim: “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.” This maxim offers us the key to unlocking the real force of the mother tongue: if different languages influence our minds in different ways, this is not because of what our language allows us to think but rather because of what it habitually obliges us to think about."

    Does Your Language Shape How You Think? ( GUY DEUTSCHER at NYT)

    Taking my cue from the above I believe that the way we think about the term individual and the manner we conceive of the future as ‘A’ singularity are highly correlated and inherently limiting the visions of possible futures that are unfolding before us at present.

    The main reason for this correlation and inherent limitation is that by thinking about the singularity as ‘A’ singularity’ we are approaching this concept in the same manner that we approach an individual as a singular phenomenon. And in the same vein, just as an individual is anything but a singular phenomenon so is the case with the term singularity, it is anything but singular.

    By consciously and willfully changing the language we use, we may allow our minds, and the collective of human thought to breakthrough the limitations imposed by ourselves upon ourselves as a species and rise into a new form of posthumanism , a posthuman state which will truly reflect, the end stage of the previous singularity of language.

    "The individual is neither a quality nor an extension. The individual is neither a qualification nor a partition, neither an organization nor a determination of species. The individual is no more an infirma species than it is composed of parts."

    Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition
    . Trans. Paul Patton. New York: Columbia, 1994. pp. 246-47.

    3.There is no Common Human here

    To study the future of individualism we cannot study a process alone, independently of all others, for the simple reason that the conceptualization of the individual is a multileveled issue, ranging across domains and disciplines as far apart as epistemology and biotechnology.

    The experience of the world, that most magnificent of everyday existence experiences has become nothing more than a banality, an oblique triviality and an apparent fascinating triteness.
    And yet this immensity of momentariness is fully absorbing us, so much so in fact, that we tend to lose the insightfulness that makes this very experience, an experience of immense value.

    What makes the experience of the world a worthwhile existential actuality is the uniqueness of the individual, and yet this very uniqueness, this very authenticity of beingness, need be perceived in context if it is to carry its value into the future, if it is in fact not to become banal and inconsequential.
    The context is the hyperconnected virtuality we are currently creating, and this context I suggest is not unlike the famous Indra's net also used in this most amazing of books, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (commonly GEB) by Douglas Hofstadter to describe “Indra's Net as a metaphor for the complex interconnected networks formed by relationships between objects within a system—including social networks, the interactions of particles, and the "symbols" which stand for ideas within a brain or intelligent computer.”

    The hyperconnected virtuality we have created and into which we pour daily our minds, our sensations, our interests and indeed our inherent beingness is elevating and in fact transforming the common into the uncommon. The transformation I reflect upon when observing the actuality of the emergence of the multiple realities co-mingling and interweaving, twining and interacting, is one of mutability of sensation not previously experienced by a particular individual.
    The Indra net of the grid, connecting minds far apart has given new meaning and new manifestation to the sense of the common.
    Flowing and following the muse of the hyperstream of the infosphere we are rediscovering the magnificence and utter unpredictability of the individual when hyperconnected.
    Suddenly, rising in the most unexpected of places, allowing the serendipity of our intersubjective infocologies to prevail, the unknown integrates itself into the apparently common, pervading in the process our minds with new insights and visions of fresh horizons.
    It is of course disruptive, and yet to my eyes, this very disruption is a fascinating lesson in re- cognizing the beauty and intelligence of minds other than our own, minds that are anything but common.
    We finally realize that there is no such animal as a common human.

    The uncommon human I have described above recognizes herself as a composition of and in hyperconnectivity.
    As Lacan so aptly puts it: “A birth certificate tells me that I was born. I repudiate this certificate: I am not a poet, but a poem. A poem that is being written, even if it looks like a subject.” (Jacques Lacan The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis)

    The ultramodern node individual, in truth a Knowmad and Polytopian, can be said to be actualized on the net as an impact orchestrator, using the grid patois as a bootstrapping mechanism, cognition of language and the language of cognition simultaneously co-evolving within the larger framework of the world of mind.

    The hyperconnected mind is very much unlike the mind of old; it is a mind that self perceives as an actuator of change and influence, inherently existing within the chosen infocology of interest. Such a mind is, to my eyes at present the proto-post human mind.

    This indeed is a very disrupting situation, not unlike the Dada concept of disruption, in a very real and actualized sense then, I look upon the interminable flow of the infosphere as Dada.
    It is Dada in a new sense; a sense I think the Dadaists themselves could not conceive of, the hyperstream of the infoflow is Dada in as much as it is appears as an incoherent nonsense of uncommonality and uniqueness and yet allows a truly immense sense of creativity explosion to flower, a truly sensational sense of possible futures and new kinds of freedoms.

    It goes everywhere, touches everything and opens up the road to a multiplicity of singularities,in truth a hyper humanism, a different angle to posthumanism, explored in the next part.

    continues shortly..

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    Wildcat     Tue, Oct 5, 2010  Permanent link
    for those interested in the language aspect (the Universal Grammar issue) a recent article just popped up today on scientopia and is highly correlated to my take: The reality of a universal language faculty?
    meika     Tue, Oct 5, 2010  Permanent link
    Its good to see your thoughts 'at work' here, beginning to feel like I'm going in circles though. (partic with mention of GEB.)

    How do I find away to push through?

    hope i can get my poem together for ‘improving the human’ - Humanity+poetry comp tomorrow, been going around and round for 2 months now, round, and round and it's nearly a sonnet, hyperconnected, how do I put that into words of—

    read this post hoping to find a way
    Wildcat     Tue, Oct 5, 2010  Permanent link
    Didn't know abt this project sounds wonderful, I'll try my hand.. great project, thks, and hope you succeed in putting it into words, would love reading it
    meika     Wed, Oct 6, 2010  Permanent link
    well I sent one in to the comp, but, no great shakes