Thursday, March 22, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The reason that I believe this to be so, is because of the way he has framed the Taker and Leaver culture. He has made participation in Taker or Leaver culture a choice, and therefore, the essence of humanity now is based upon a taker culture that has centered the materials of the world around the preservation of its being.
What interests me is that I think Quinn is saying is that the Leavers are not afraid to not exist, they simply co-exist with the iminent non-being that all beings eventually become. The Takers on the other hand, are perhaps filled with an anxiety because despite having controlled some elements of existence, takers are not yet able to control the end result of their existence, which is non-being.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
I think that Heather did it best when describing her frustration with Ishamel's teaching. She began questioning Ishmael's connection of Earth to the human spirit, and by spirit I think Ishmael means condition.
The only Mother culture, insofar as humanity is concerned, is in relationship to how we get by, live, and exist; the bottom line is that we have to meet the needs of our basic condition and once those are met, the ability to design necessities beyond are trivial in relation to that first priority. Whether it is taker or leaver, our primary goal is the same and all subsequent goals dependent on the first alone.
I was with Ishmael when he said that we are enacting a story that puts us at war with the world through our use of agriculture. I could even understand how he said that increased food production always leads to an increased population. But when he said that the answer was to let people starve (and, yes, I admit that I'm probably coming from Mother Culture's perspective here), there he lost me. How can we be concerned with maintaining the diversity of the planet and not be concerned with people who are dying for lack of food?
And I do take issue with the fact that Ishmael said we always hear about sending food to impoverished countries, but not contraceptives. I, at least, have heard about sending contraceptives to impoverished countries, although it was in the context of slowing AIDS and giving women control over their bodies.
I also take issue, much like the narrator, with the fact that Ishmael calls our culture "Mother Culture". The fact that Ishmael explains this away by saying that culture is nurturing only offends me more. Who says that men can't be nurturing? And why is it still expected that women need to fill that nurturuing role? There are plenty of women who don't appreciate being boxed into that personality archetype.
Also, I disagreed with Ishmael's notion that the Leaver culture is somehow more conducive to the human spirit. On page 148 he says, "They're not seething with discontent and rebellion, not incessantly wrangling over what should be allowed and what forbidden, not forever accusing each other of not living the right way, not living in terror of each other, not going crazy because their lives seem empty and pointless, not having to stupefy themselves with drugs to get through the days, not inventing a new religion every week to give them something to hold on to, not forever searching for something to do or something to believe in that will make their lives worth living."
Well, of course not. They're busy surviving. That doesn't mean the Leavers feel more nurtured... it means they're tired. And that doesn't strike me as an automatically more healthy way to live.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Some of us (I'm talking about myself here) who stay up late studying technocriticism for fun occasionally need to be reminded about the priority of political, economic, and social concerns over those of technoscience. Technocritical writers like Carrico, however, understand the sociopolitics and the technoscience to be tightly interwoven. Our energy crisis and its associated climate effects, for instance, are not apolitical problems of technology. This perspective is well-explained in his 2006 essay, "Transformation, Not Transcendence". I especially like this quote (which itself contains a quote).
“The future,” writes science fiction author Bruce Sterling, “isn’t an alien world, it is this very world.” It’s the kind of insight that you never knew you needed to hear, until you actually hear it said. The future will be here, not elsewhere. And it will be shared. “The future is a process,” Sterling goes on to say. That process, whatever our wishes in the matter, will never amount simply to a process of scientific discovery or of engineers solving problems. Progress is not a wave for you to ride on or a Truth for you to die for, but a project that needs many collaborators to succeed.
I want to change the world, not to leave it. I want transformation, not transcendence.