[Humanist] 24.921 in denial

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed May 4 07:16:34 CEST 2011


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 921.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Michael S. Hart" <hart at pglaf.org>                       (164)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.920 in denial

  [2]   From:    Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>                       (149)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.920 in denial

  [3]   From:    James Cronin <jgrcronin at gmail.com>                        (22)
        Subject: Technological prosthesis


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 23:59:39 -0700 (PDT)
        From: "Michael S. Hart" <hart at pglaf.org>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.920 in denial
        In-Reply-To: <20110503050723.006BE13AC06 at woodward.joyent.us>


The lever is just a tool. . . .
Fire is just a tool. . . .
The wheel is just a tool. . . .
The pulley us just a tool. . . .
Gears are just tools. . . .
Windpower is just a tool. . . .
Metals are just tools. . . .
Chemicals are just tools. . . .
Airplanes are just tools. . . .
Trains are just tools. . . .
Cars are just tools. . . .
Trucks are just tools. . . .
Steam engines are just tools. . . .
Internal combustion is just a tool. . . .
Nuclear power is just a tool. . . .
Solar power is just a tool. . . .
The space shuttle is just a tool. . . .
Guns are just tools. . . .
Media are just tools. . . .
Language is just a tool. . . .
Books are just tools. . . .
Email is just a tool. . . .
eBooks are just tools. . . .

Michael S. Hart
Founder
Project Gutenberg,
Inventor of eBooks
Co-Founder
The World eBook Fair

FIVE MILLION FREE eBOOKS!
July 4 through August 4 @
http://worldebookfair.org



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 11:46:59 -0700
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.920 in denial
        In-Reply-To: <20110503050723.006BE13AC06 at woodward.joyent.us>


One would not care for "depoliticization," because that is philosophically
absurd, if not impossible.  Tools, anyone?  Well, imagine strolling up to
the stone workbench at some slate or flint scree, say 200,000 years ago?

 The master blade-chipper has an array of sharp flints laid out, some are
handtools for flensing game, some primitive spear points, the bow not yet
having been invented...?  You might wish, indeed need to have some of the
hand cutter/scrapers too.  The question is, those new TOOLS need to be
assigned their tasks.  I might want a couple for deer meat, extra sharp and
large...but if I cannot corner my roebuck, I might want a couple of smaller
ones, to carve up that lumbering fellow over the next ridge who scares my
game off, and make a neat edible stack of his better parts, to roast on a
carved stick, what say ?

It all *depends* on the purpose and use of the same design of tool.  I can
arrange my debits and credits for the Tax Man, and I can send an encrypted
order to some waiting terrorist on the other side of the world, and decent
humanity.

Jascha Kessler


-- 
Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648
www.jfkessler.com
www.xlibris.com



--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 20:56:11 +0100
        From: James Cronin <jgrcronin at gmail.com>
        Subject: Technological prosthesis
        In-Reply-To: <20110503050723.006BE13AC06 at woodward.joyent.us>

International media are reporting that President Obama was watching on
a TV screen as a commando gunned down Osama bin Laden. Via a video
camera fixed to the helmet of a U.S. Navy Seal, White House chiefs of
staff watched as bin Laden was shot in the left eye. This sequence of
events has already been anticipated and rehearsed, as far back as
1984, in Paul Virilio’s prophetic vision of the prosthetics of
technology whereby the eye itself, through technological mediation,
becomes a weapon: 'The Eye-Tracked synchronization system fixes the
pilot’s gaze, however sudden the movement of his eyes, so that firing
can proceed as soon as binocular accommodation is achieved. Finally,
there is the “homing image”, which joins together an infra-red ray and
an explosive projectile fitted with a special device. This device acts
in the manner of an eye, picking up the image of the infra-red-lit
target. The projectile that makes its way towards the image – and thus
towards the target for destruction – with all the ease of someone
going home. The system, which is attached to the latest missiles, once
again illustrates the fateful confusion of eye and weapon.' (Paul
Virilio, 1989, p.110.).

Reference
Virilio, P. (1989). War and Cinema: The logistics of perception.
Trans. Patrick Camiller. Verso: London. (Original work published
1984).





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