Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Snippy Snippets, the Sequel

I am often accused of trying to stamp out imagination when I offer up my critiques of Superlative technology discourses and movements, but it is clear that imagination suffuses my own moral, aesthetic, and political perspective.

It's just that I know that True Belief is not imagination, delusion is not imagination, evangelism is not imagination, anti-democracy is not imagination, finding in "the future" always only a mirror of your heart's desire or secret dread is not imagination.

The Superlative super-predicated aspirations to technoscientific superintelligence, superlongevity, and superabundance that define so much technocentric discourse -- functioning as the disavowed regulative ideals articulating prevailing neoliberal "Developmental" and "Progressive" discourses but explicitly avowed in their clearer, more marginal and extreme sub(cult)ural "futurist" variations -- are, as much anything else, symptoms of the fears and fantasies of precarious agency in an era of unprecedented disruptive technodevelopmental change as well as expressions of opportunistic, usually anti-democratizing, will-to-power in the face of that change.

Technoprogressive perspectives, to the contrary, seek to democratize ongoing and interminable technodevelopmental social struggle so that the distribution of the costs, risks, and benefits of technoscientific change better respond to the aspirations of the actual diversity of stakeholders to that change....

[W]hat should have emerged by now is a sense of the perspective in which my "negative" critiques are lodged, a sense of what I am positively defending when I am negatively decrying formulations, tendencies, and attitudes I regard as pernicious. Amor Mundi is love of the world, and the Yes of that worldly love reverberates in the No with which I confront the would-be destroyers of the world, both those who would destroy the living world through reckless extractive industrialism and corporate-militarist competitiveness, as well as those who would destroy the open world of plurality through reactionary politics, technocratic elitism, fundamentalism and True Belief, or moralizing, evangelical movement anti-politics.

To recap the post for which this one is sequel, although I am regularly castigated for my "negativity," "failure of imagination," "rhetoric over substance," "lack of a comprehensive vision," and so on, it remains true that often it is the very readers who make such charges who go on to attach themselves to the most negative, off-the-cuff, decontextualized goofs I've posted here on Amor Mundi while completely ignoring my regular efforts to provide more positive, substantial, comprehensive posts of the kind they claim to crave. In order to direct some attention to this weekend's Amor Mundi and Technoprogressive Advocacy (to which I devoted real time and attention), I wanted to repost smaller more "negative" and snippy snippets from that longer, more thoughtful, more positive piece to provide readers more of what they really seem to be looking for, whatever their protestations to the contrary, all in the hopes that this will lead some more of them to engage with the actually more useful piece from which they are culled.

1 comment:

David said...

True Belief is always the enemy of wider imagination.