Anthropotechnics

Sloterdijk:

The concept of “anthropotechnics” rests on the hypothesis that the current psychophysical and social constitution of the species Homo sapiens — note the evolutionist emphasis of this classification — is based substantially on autogenic effects. In this context, the term “autogenic” means “brought about by the repercussions of actions on the actor.” The human being — especially in so-called “advanced civilizations” — is the animal that molds itself into its own pet.

Underlinings (#22)

Videodrome:

… on Wednesday, the video that was auto-playing in everyone’s feed showed the murder of two people. It’s impossible to tell how many people saw the video (though Facebook’s version of the video was shared 500 times before it was taken down), but user reports suggest that thousands and thousands of people witnessed—without being warned ahead of time or knowing what they were getting themselves into—a brief, vivid, and unmistakable snuff film. […] … There is some question as to whether media outlets should be showing these videos at all. In 2012, the sociologist Zeynep Tufekci wrote for The Atlantic about research suggesting that mass shootings, like teen suicides, are contagious: that by describing the specific method and setting of the killings, law enforcement and the media can prompt more of them.

Underlinings (#19)

Ted Kaczynski (the ‘Unabomber’, interviewed in the John Jay Sentinel):

… an antitechnological movement that focused on the elimination of capitalism would expend vast energy in return for ve[r]y little gain. What is worse, by focusing on capitalism the movement would distract its own and other people’s attention from the real objective, which is to get rid of modern technology itself. […] Furthermore, people would obstinately resist the loss of economic efficiency entailed by the replacement of capitalism with socialism. And even if you could somehow replace capitalism with socialism, capitalism would soon reappear and become dominant because it is economically and technologically more vigorous than socialism. This again is guaranteed by the principle of natural selection (Technological Slavery, pages 280-85) and is confirmed by experience: When the socialist countries of eastern Europe couldn’t keep up with the West economically or technologically, they reverted to capitalism. Sweden once was ideologically socialist, but in practical terms socialism never actually got very far in that country, and Sweden today is still capitalist. While remaining nominally socialist, China for the sake of economic growth now allows a good deal of private enterprise (i.e., capitalism) in its economy. Venezuela’s dictator, Hugo Chavez, talks about socialism, but in practice he leaves most of the country’s economy in the hands of private enterprise because he doesn’t want the drastic decline in economic efficiency that would result from the elimination of capitalism. I know of only two countries left in the world that are left of capitalism: Cuba and North Korea. No one wants to imitate Cuba and North Korea, because they are (from a materialistic point of view) economic failures. […] So, as long as we live in a technological world, there’s no way we will get rid of capitalism unless and until it is superseded by some system that is economically and technologically more efficient. …

Underlinings (#18)

Snippets from James Fadiman (interviewed by Matt Cardin):

Personally, if I accept the idea that this world has no invisible entities, this would mean that I’m agreeing with a single culture only a couple hundred years old and disagreeing with almost every other known culture that has ever existed on the planet. I’m not particularly convinced that we, among all the cultures of the planet, have discovered that these entities don’t really exist. […] … If we look at human culture and the record of wise beings, we either have to say that Socrates, for example, had a brain condition when he talked about his daimon, or that he was reporting real experiences. [Or both?] […] … There’s a wonderful quote from the French scientist, Lavoisier, who was asked about meteors. He denied their existence, because, as he said, “There are no rocks in the sky to fall.” […] … One of the things that delights me is the fact that discarnate spirits almost always seem to know your language. That’s unlikely if they’re speaking their own language. However, if they’re simply using what they can find in your brain to work with, it makes sense. Cases that really upset scientists are when people go into a trance and speak in a language they don’t know. It is recorded, and someone who knows that language listens and transcribes it. Sometimes, the language spoken is a dead language, which only adds to the mystery. […] … They say they’re helping you do this book, and that if you get it finished, the next thing you will be asked to do will be a lot more fun.” As I reflected on that, I thought it was the perfect way to manipulate my particular personality. A brilliant intervention. After that, whenever I worked on the book, I always asked for their help — whoever “they” were. […] … My theory is that you first need to get the demons out of the wound before reasonable advice can be utilized. …