The Laboratory of Desire

Today the greatest ignominies exist not because we commit them but because we let them happen. They develop inside emptiness.

—Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

More than any other significant project in our time it has not been the erasure of the boundaries of thought and technology, nor that of flesh and technics, but rather the erosion of the entropic distance between life and death. We live in a time when the very prison house of life is giving way to neganthropic laughter of eternal death-in-Life. Is this not the presumed project of H++, the extropian soteriology of the secular priests of our age seeking none other than immortality by whatever means.

From the Singulatarian dreams of Ray Kurzweil to the dance of convergence tech invading the human genome in Zoltan Istvan this secular mysticism of immanent exit seems madly reminiscent of all those syncretic cults of redemption during the late Roman Empire. Whether one seeks escape into some virtual cave of immortalist electronics, or the merger of mind and machine in the robotic transmutation and alchemy of machinic life we seem teetering on the edge of species death at the hands of our own ghastly dreams and nightmares of eternity. An inverted monotheistic hybrid this secular age of machines and artificial intelligence has triggered age old dreams of desire. Like children of some lost covenant, or the Promethean desolation of some broken quest for mastery, we are entering the last stage of the human condition reversing the poles of technicity. Allowing the prosthetic child of our long journey to exit us in its autonomous quest of transcension we are giving birth to monstrous worlds.

American History has never existed, only its myth, the strewn leaves of some grand narrative recycled under the mask of liberal or conservative appetites, and depending on the splicing and editing of those involved one gains neither an accurate representation nor a parodic tale of ultimate degradation and toxic grandiosity. Instead one is left with a dismal wasteland of competing dialogues which for an Alien Mind never mesh into a whole or totality (which was always a myth and mystic rationality anyway!), but rather the fabricated sequences of an ongoing apocalypse.

Are we not reenacting a staged drama, a script from the futurial gradients of some hypervalent mind whose sole reduplication of action and thought is to manipulate the tertiary stream of memory and desire of the human herd? Like cattle being led to slaughter we seem oblivious to the underlying currents of our age, as if the compliant mindlessness were itself a part of the very functional programming of our contemporary rationality: the normative give and take of a forgotten system of control that has always seemed to trigger its effects retroactively during the recycled temporal infestation of fear and horror, hate and bigotry. Hasn’t it always taken the destruction of a world to create one? Only a literalist of the spirit would contemplate the sadness of eternity. We have no time for sadness.

Like the lost tribes of some insignificant thought we move in zombie like fashion to the music of dead angels. Clipped even of our wings we wander this earth thinking we are free to choose our destinies, when in fact the future works its way backwards like some trickster speaking gibberish to awaken the holy fools from their distempered lives. No, this is not a world, but rather a laboratory of experimental decay and growth seeking through the electric flesh of corporeal desire to create something new, an impossible possible. Chance and necessity working hand in hand are producing in the alchemy of desire a new world out of the ruins of the old, and we who are the ‘last men’ are entering the dust of oblivion giving birth to strange gods.

Since we are already dead, let’s make the most of it!

(Zapatista proverb)

 

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