Notes: David Porush

December 15, 2007 - technogenesis / temple of cyborgism

“Every time culture succeeds in revolutionizing its cybernetic technologies, in massively widening the bandwidth of its thought-tech, it invites the creation of new gods.” quoted by Erik Davis in Techgnosis, pg 37

The full paragraph:

“How do we reconcile the rationalism of utopian vision with the obvious irrationalism of postmodernism generally, and of cyberpunk/cyberfiction in particular? Gibson’s vision of cyberspace is dystopian, despite its desultory sensuality. How did American culture move so quickly from a postmodern vision of hell to a celebration of this technology not-yet-invented? It seems self-evident that utopian longings are part of a larger and more complex perception of massive change made imminent by a technological breakthrough. Every time culture succeeds in revolutionizing its cybernetic technologies, in massively widening the bandwidth of its thought-tech, it invites the creation of new gods. The invention of the phonological alphabet in the South Sinai in the fifteenth century b.c.e. almost certainly made the idea of an abstract monotheistic God thinkable for the first time. But along with such revolution comes inevitable apocalyptism, with its duality New World/End of the World. In other words, the utopianism of cyberspace predictions can only be understood as an attempt to tame, to rationalize, a more massively transcendent perception of metaphysical intrusion, the collision of the irrational future with the present.”

Porush, David
Hacking the Brainstem: Postmodern Metaphysics and Stephenson’s SnowCrash
Configurations – Volume 2, Number 3, Fall 1994, pp. 537-571