Arthur Kroker: The “Trans-Subjective” Mind: Process vs. Traversal

Arthur Kroker: The “Trans-Subjective” Mind: Process vs. Traversal

What might be called the subjectivity or, more precisely, the “trans-subjectivity” of digital inhabitants seems to be in the process of abandoning its temporary habitat in human flesh in favor of a permanent orbit of high-intensity connectivity. The splitting of the body of flesh, bone, and blood from the network body of light-space and light-time does not take place by means of a physical separation of this doubled form of being, but by a method that is precisely the opposite. If contemporary technological discourse in favor of “big data” and “distant reading” is to believed, bodily subjectivity is about to be colonized by a form of digital trans-subjectivity where consciousness is radically split. On the one side, consciousness under the sign of the regime of computation: distributive, remote, a relational matrix with perception shaped by algorithms, understanding mediated by digital connectivity, memory installed in all the waiting data archives, personal history recorded in permanent electronic traces. Process minds in the data storm. On the other, the emergence of a new form of technological consciousness as the name given to a form of thought that, having no existence apart from the shock of the (data) real, traverses the entire field of technology, thriving at the folded edges of biology and digitality, articulating itself in the language of the dispersed, the fragment, the wandering particle, formed by the soft materiality of the intersection, the mediation, just that point where computational consciousness actually begins to reverse itself into a universe of unexpected discoveries and unanticipated minoritarian thought. The fateful meeting of process mind and traversal mind, this conjunction of distributive consciousness and a new form of manifestly folded, open-source thought, is properly the key epistemological exit to the posthuman future. Signs of pitched struggle between these two opposing trajectories of posthuman consciousness are everywhere.

– Arthur Kroker, Exits to the Posthuman Future (pp. 24-25

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