Otto Dix, Self Portrait of Mars, 1915
McLuhan said: “Every media work us out completely”
I’ve been (re)dragged into excessive conversations with all sorts of softwares, communicating in the inhuman medium called “machine language”, aka programming.
Observing the outside then became a function performed by the machine’s I: it’s seeing the world through a bipolar personality that operates in an acute dichotomy between zero and one, black and white, good and evil. Reality is made of procedures, modules, statements, debuggers, purifiers, validators – it’s rationality all over; it’s specialization all the way.
“SPECIALIZATION IS FOR INSECTS”²
I felt horrible, been growingly molded and worked out into the machine’s reality-tunnel, incapable of emitting any other signal but that acknowledged by “it”.
And then a Voice arrived from the Blogosphere. Hafeez asked me why I no longer write. I answered that “I can no longer write, for I have no soul”. He then replied with a vice-versa smile: “Maybe writing will get you back your soul?”
I feel it’s probably the most subtle and deep answer to the “Why do I write?” question. Writing is fighting, a battle to get back your soul.
The soul, so it seems, neither needs a body nor an avatar – some corresponding words will do.
I’m not sure, but does it matter what kind of corresponding words are sent over the wire?
(Can Twittering save my soul?)
1. It has been noted, By Roland Barthes for instance, that sometimes it is the opposite action – that of cutting off all communications – which restores and/or preserves one’ soul. Barthes interprets Rimbaud’s total silence as an act similar to Abraham’s silence – under the Kierkegaardian perspective – when told to sacrifice Isaac.
2. “SPECIALIZATION IS FOR INSECTS”: a citation from Robert Anton Wilson‘s “Prometheus Rising”, where RAW mentions the incredible diversity and versatility of the human race. We’re capable of anything as a race, and of doing many diverse things as individuals. Specialization is a plague of the modern market forces, aspiring at the creation of cost-efficient humanoids, i.e. robots. McLuhan, in war and peace in the global village says similar things.
3. Music piece from Aisha, Death In Vegas, The Contino Sessions ( a song that worth a separate post)