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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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    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

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    The great enhancement debate
    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    This is part 8 in the series: The Rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization




    "..the concept of “transindividuation” is one that does not rest with the individuated “I” or with the interindividuated “We,” but is the process of co-individuation within a preindividuated milieu and in which both the “I” and the “We” are transformed through one another. "

    Bernard Stiegler and Irit Rogoff, Transindividuation / Journal / e-flux


    Knowmads are the future of Individuation

    Increasingly the matter of our bodies, our bio-constructs, is being extended into virtuality. The extension of our sense thoughts on the net that we perceive as social networks, is nothing of the sort, it is in fact the quintessential rhizomatic expansion of our brains neural networks via an electronic medium into the infosphere.

    Though it is true that at present an appearance of a gap still exist between our bodies and the net, it is also concomitantly true that this gap is narrowing by the moment; in fact the time when our brains will integrate with machines is fast approaching, and though the uses for therapeutic purposes (at least at the beginning) are obvious and enlightening it is clear that soon thereafter the technology will spread to all of us.

    This has profound implications.

    The most intriguing and outright interesting implication is of course, what kind of mind will we operate as bodies extended electronically and directly plugged into the infosphere. To my mind the most salient feature implied by being extended into the infosphere concerns the individuation process.

    The mediated individuation process I perceive to be a disruptive process that casts a beautiful spell on us, a spell so disruptive that unaware to its implications we may inadvertently lose our directionality.
    The new process of mediated individuation in the infosphere is disruptive because of a very specific reason: it is disruptive because it represents a state of affairs where moments of autonomy and independence, originality of expression and creativity are kept to a maximum intensity.

    The process of infocological individuation is one of maximum intensity, a process wherein our conceptualization of personhood is undergoing dramatic changes, no longer discreet, it is fundamentally changing our perceptual mechanisms. The changes are subtle and almost imperceptible, but if we take a dip into the on-going destabilization factors appearing daily around us we may if our vision is clear enough, realize that the shift is upon us.

    This shift in the radical transformation of the process of individuation is a motion into a posthuman like re-appraisal of the individual as the new hyperconnected multiple dynamic mind. A mind realizing her directionality through the dissolution of location specific activity, extemporal in its expression and free in its self-description.
    It is the Knowmad, or indeed the Polytopian; terms representing a rhizomatic expansion of our neural network unto the infosphere and unleashing in the process a new force into the world – a freedom to be undefined.

    The freedom to be undefined I see as a force to be reckoned with for the simple reason that through the elimination of distinctions between natural and artificial, age old indicators of identity no longer hold sway.
    This new force, this (in a certain sense disturbing) modern day freedom to be undefined implies upon the process of individuation in a radical fashion, it changes the way we know things and since knowledge is the very backbone of our discernment capability, that which differs us from the ‘other’, the change in manners of knowing changes the process of individuation.

    We should have no hesitation in proposing that this variety of individuation probably symbolizes an advanced juncture in the evolution of our civilization.
    We need unveil this process, for behind its veil lies the wild intelligence of free beings, fiercely exploring possible venues and potential insights that bear little resemblance to that which we once were or once thought to be the 'real'.








    Intelligence thrives on wildness: It does not take well to enslavement.

    Pete Mandik, Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program, Washington University, St Louis, USA. (21C Magazine)


    “Sapere aude”

    “Sapere aude” (Lat.) meaning dare to discern or dare to know or better yet, dare to be wise, is the legacy we are carrying from Horace but more specifically from I.Kant .
    Kant and others urged us to liberate and stands for what is commonly called the age of enlightenment or the age of reason.
    Indeed we have taken many steps in our cultural evolution from the time of Kant and it may be the case that what we need at present is nothing short of a new revolution in values, a fresh reappraisal of the state of affairs of the world we live in, and the future we are co-creating.

    Jeremy Rifkin in a beautiful animated presentation called “The empathic civilization” reflects on our motion from the fictional groupings we have created in our past (such as religions, nations and so on) into what he describes as our present and future: “ We have the technology to think viscerally as a family”.
    But what exactly does “thinking viscerally” mean and how are we to dare to be wise (Sapere Aude) and realize the necessary conditions demanded by the changes in the world of technology and more specifically the changes brought about in and by the infocology we exist in.


    Thinking Viscerally

    Let us propose that what makes us special creatures is our capability to extend our bodies in space and in time. An extension, or better yet, an expansion or projection, of our visceral reality, across apparent boundaries, across imaginary localities. We are able via our imagination capability to “see” that which is not there in the material world, to envision that which was, or indeed that which may be. This very peculiar capability of human minds was historically that which allowed our specie to become so powerful in this biosphere. In fact it may very well be that our capacity for collectivity, for empathy and also for individuation is that very same quality, let us call this temporarily: non contextual viscerality.

    In a way, non-contextual viscerality I intend to mean the uncanny ability of the mind to project a virtual image of its sensory modality beyond its skin demarcation. Thinking abstractly is such a feat, as is imagining the structure of our ideal home or the face of a (as yet) non-existent potential mate.

    Thinking viscerally then.

    Thinking viscerally is a developing art; it is a new form of existential realism that presents us with a modern structure of cognition. It is my understanding that the visceral thought process engendered by our networked culture, enmeshed in the grid results in what may be called cyber intuition.
    A mediated visceral perception transposing the sensation of thought across time and across space.
    The idea behind visceral thinking or cyber intuition is that an increase in hyperconnectivity, extending our very own neural networks in our brains via the electronic mediums into the virtual redefines our fundamental conception of the embodied self.

    Redefining the embodied self into virtual multiplicity engenders the freedom to be undefined.

    There is a new world in here and out there, a world suffused with electronic extensions of minds, neural networks nested within networks, all flowing smoothly and inexorably into each other. The flow of motion of the inner and outer realities combines and recombines the visceral sense of the embodied mind in an ever expanding sphere of actuation, in that the sense thought of being both extends and dissolves. Whilst extending, expanding and dissolving the sense of beingness, that which originated in embodiment is transformed into a new sense.
    The sense of being a critical relevancy.





    "In the human sciences, culture and language have also been progressively engulfed by the universe of technics: the artificial realm of institutions, rituals, knowledges, symbol systems and practices that makes humans functional, speaking, meaning-making creatures; that is, what makes humans human. The essence of the human, it seems, is the technical; which is paradoxically the other of the human: the non-human, the manufactured, unnatural, artificial; the inhuman even."

    (Andrés Vaccari states about Technics and Time, quoted in: Bernard Stiegler and Irit Rogoff, Transindividuation. )






    Knowmads are critical relevancies

    Knowmads are visceral thinkers, expanded multiplicities, minds nested in vast and complex infocologies.
    As such Knowmads herald a new kind of mind, free to be undefined in a polytopian infosphere.
    Knowmads are critically relevant in as much as they recognize the vicariousness of their extension-ability in the relevant infocology.
    Complex meshworks, embedded in complex infocologies engender flows of intersubjective co-dependencies; these in turn loop upon themselves and re-iterate the intelligent directionality.
    The feedback loop here is obvious, but where is the individual?
    Answer: the individual will be extended viscerally across an indefinite infosphere, defined locally by the reflective relevant infocology.

    In a sense we could say that the aesthetics of the posthuman mind resides with a new kind of empathy born of the visceral expansion in complex infocologies. Such an expansion will afford us the luxury of an intelligent response to the evolutionary pressure made upon our embodied minds by the proliferation of augmented reality technologies.

    “There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars”

    Jack Kerouac


    Let us go everywhere...

    shortly to be continued..



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