After the Last Man: Excurses to the Limits of the by Toivo Koivukoski

By Toivo Koivukoski

During this precise, enlightening monograph, Toivo Koivukoski explores the conditions that experience led sleek society to take advantage of the idea that of growth as a surrogate cosmology that offers members a feeling of position and objective. by way of linking quite a few historic paradigms from German Idealist philosophy to modern philosophies of know-how, this paintings of political concept describes an alternate, immanent development of improvement that's, in a feeling, pushed via its personal unintentional results. The meditations defined inside of this publication map out the hypertext pathways of our international method, making its constitutive kin and underlying suggestion strategies obvious.

Koivukoski mirrors the recent hyper-realities of digital communications applied sciences by means of structuring the textual content in compact subchapters which are associated via an index of topics that enables readers to "find their very own philosophy" by way of leaping to components of curiosity. If, as he argues, heritage understood in a linear, lockstep model is over, then the methods of constructing ideas may still switch respectively in order that the kinds of retrievals, anticipations, loops, and leaps that symbolize nonlinear, networked considering are consciously discovered in an identification of shape and substance.

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Extra resources for After the Last Man: Excurses to the Limits of the Technological System

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3. . except perhaps to make fish tanks out of them. 4. Tim Berners-Lee and Mark Fischetti, Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor (San Francisco: Harper: San Francisco, 1999) 5. http://www. carleton. ca/banner/general/about/basics. htm (14/10/03) 6. ” . . ” Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, §220. 7. For an autobiographical account of the demands of living inside of technology written by a software engineer, see Ellen Ullman’s Close to the Machine: Technophilia and its Discontents (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997).

One way of understanding total systematization is as a realization of idealism and an idealization of realism, that is as a reciprocating process of instantiating a universal model while rationalizing the means necessary to collapse the distinction between universal and particular, such that the model gains a sense of substantiality while particular beings are gathered together within a concrete universal. This process elicits a curious reversal of expectations, since the abstract totality in itself becomes the dominant phenomenon, while the particularities within it are diminished in their substance, reduced to white-noise static.

According to this view, promoted by Benjamin as a working critique of Hegelian history and its deterministic Marxist variants, the perceived se- Thinking Technology to its Ends 23 quence of historical causes is punctuated and brought into present consciousness by the existential clarity that attends crises, a clarity experienced in those moments when one is not only a witness to what is given but when critical recollection is moved by the spirit of history. In Benjamin’s words: To articulate the past historically does not mean to recover it “the way it really was” (Ranke).

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