Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sorry, But your soul just died

From neuroscience to Nietzsche. A sobering look at how man may perceive himself in the future, particularly as ideas about genetic predeterminism takes the place of dying Darwinism.

Click here for this sobering essay written by Tom Wolfe, really useful in knocking the ole ego down a few notches. I have been reading more and more about human machine interaction, recently about man and the machines that make music. I think that this essay has particular validity to some of my own research. I hope after reading the essay you do not feel like killing yourself.
I want to add my own personal note about this essay. I really enjoy reading this essay, I have read it several times. I have the anthology in which the essay first appeared (Hooking Up). I re-read the essay everytime I need to have a reminder that I am nothing special. That I am not the sum of my emotions that they are quantifiable. This may sound cold and sad, I think that it does sound cold and sad. To understand that our emotions, who we are as people is nothing truly special, provides us the lens to begin to work towards making something about us that is "worthwhile" This to me has always manifest itself in working hard to understand, respect the lives, wishes of other people, while still maintaining a careful balance of my own autonomy and selfish preservation. Tom Wolfes essay reminds me that as technologies power increases, that the tendency to quantify increases. We begin to quantify everything in our lives including that which makes us "unique" our thoughts and emotions. This essay is also an encouragement to myself and hopefully others, to work towards creating something of ourselves that is not quantifiable by the powers that be. To not set back with the notion that we are OK as we are, because we are not. We must work harder, day in and day out, to grow and become the person that we know we are capable of becoming. The risks that come with doing this are high, but the rewards are even higher. This essay reminds me that I cannot rest in the confines of a statistical notebook, I think Walt Whitman from A Song Of Myself can express this better then me.
Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-washed babe, and am not contained between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and everyone good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of the earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)
Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,
For me the sweetheart and the old maid, for me mothers and the mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.
Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be shaken away.

I have not seen the film SATANIC YUPPIES but it looks like it quite engaging. The last time I saw a film of this caliber was back in 2004 it was a wonderful film called the 7 Cigars about a group of vaudeville midgets and their crazed adventures.