2009 and After
PS. The texts are written a while ago, and looks like I won't be able to re-write them... What I intend to do is to offer sidenotes, brief comments on my own writing.
I do not know the future of those pages. I even do not know the final form of it. All I can do is to follow the thought or the inquiry which started this project.
"American Space" is another name for the man-made universe, the only fully human reality. It was said already that our high tech civilization in an extention of our mind, the true essence of humanism. This is the world for the people, of the people and by the people.
Tech 1: Work
Tech 2: Working
Tech 3: Worker ...
Theology of Technology
SummaryI call it "History of the Future" and believe that there is a lot of future not only in our past, but in our present too. I thought about changing the title to "Technology of Theology" to stress the fact that our big goal is the creation of God, but I decided that better to focus on technology for readers sake.
QuestionsQuestions? How about -- why two title pages? This one -- and title... This is my last book. Literaly. I hope I can finish the others.
NotesЛюди смертны, потому что между ними нет любви. Скорбь сына над смертью отца есть жажда победы над мертвой природой, "В муках сознания смертности и родилась душа человека". <<70>> Yes, I agree with another dead Russian (Fedorov, quote in Russian above): we die because we do not love each other. That simple. Why do you think my sister, my mother or father died? Because I didn't love them. Yes, it's not just me, of course, but I am talking about me. I didn't love them enough. Why do you think Jesus died?
I will die for the same reason.
Well, I have to mention the end of Fedorov's thought: I don't love myself. No, not enough to live...
Казалось важным, и в Москве, и после, словно от того, что пойму, все встанет на место. А потому надо спешить, надо успеть...
Где ты, старичек Федоров? И отец мой умер. Не думаю, что он поддержал бы это идею воскрешения.
У меня самого с вечностью много проблем. Да и нужно ли человеку быть вечным? Человечеству -- да, а я лучше смертным останусь.
INTRO: BEING GOD
PART ONE. THE WORK
1.1. THE WAY OF RESURRECTION: TECHNOLOGY
1.1.2. Demons, Angels and Machines
1.2. THE SUPER-MACHINES: COMPUTERS
1.3. ME AND MACHINE
2. GESTELL: WISDOMS OF THE GERMAN CHRISTIAN MIND
3. [From _God's Diary_]
4. HELLO, DR. FRANKENSTEIN
PART TWO. THE WORKING
1. Technology and I
2. THE POLITICS OF A MACHINE
3. Commodification of Body Parts
4. REAL PLEASURE
PART THREE. THE WORKERS
1. NAKED FEAR
2. THE CLASS WARS
3. NOTHING PERSONAL
The far is close. There is no "faraway" anymore. Not a space, but the space of a feeling. Thought is the place. No more dictatorship of the Outside.
I remember my fascination with the reversed perspective of the icon; the logic of the Other World is opposite. The far away objects on the foreground? Well, the logic of space in KOG is different, because traveling with the speed of light I could be instantly everywhere. There is no faraway for angels. Wow! But on another hand, there is no close-by either. The physical three dimensional space is re-arranged by the gaze. Like a movie!
Space? What space? The space died with God.
I sit in front of TV, watching this Byzantine method in action. The faraway events brought to my face by the close ups, squeezing my physical environment out. No, my "natural" surroundings haven't disappeared and this double sensitivity is stressful and confusing. Of course, I do not notice the pressure swamped by the action. I switch on and out of my mortal existence and travel in God's space. Actually, the world dances around me. How could I take it? I must be out of my mind. I am out of myself. That's why I am motionless, paralyzed by the motion of the world in front of me.
I have to write about technology to explain the nature of my angst. I live in this new place which I call "American Space," technological space, a space of time. It's not a cultural construct but the infrastructure. The base, according to Marx, my true reality. It's no less real than the physical space and my freedom or pain in this space are not cultural or intellectual, but very real.
I broke this project down into three parts -- The Work, The Working and The Workers. I hope that the Christian analysis of technology (Part One) could help to understand the mechanics of resurrection. Part Two is about "the working" of this new space. The last -- about the experience, the soul in KOG.
I never understood why the party insisted on making the worker into a cult. They were everywhere, with the protestant fanaticism the Soviet mind praised the Working. As if Russian communism was the late experience of the missed reformation. The curse of Adam, the labor, became the focus and the subject of the Socialist Realism. I myself wrote the plays in this "workers" genre when the production of something (a new trans-Siberian rail-road, for example) becomes the object of art. Yes, there were people in it, but the process of working was the plot and hero. Ah, we have to love the course as if it was God's gift!
According to the new Christian poetics of the workers' kingdom, work was the best of all human activities. My life alienated from me in labor, meshed with the lives of others, unknown millions, alive and dead, was preserved in the artificial "thing" -- it was a product of love! The computer in front of me is the monument of this love no less than a cathedral or a book. The hours of machine and human labor, the entire knowledge gained for million years made it possible. There was a political campaign in the seventies, the push for quality of the Soviet products. The western goods were of a superior quality and that fact taught me where are the real workers and their dictatorship. Not in Russia. I knew it all along, I remember treasuring my first ball pen -- I should have noticed that its powers were in the hidden deep inside Love. The censors in the Ministry of Culture had strange silent gleams in their eyes, my pages on labor smell of Nietzsche. The subject was a politically correct and yet nobody in the workers paradise believed in working.
The Americans made their peace with labor through commodification. There was a reward for hard and honest labor -- the money. They too no metaphysics in working, it's just a good business, right way to success and rewards. They don't think that we surrounded ourselves with this love, which we call technology. We don't know that our planes are "working" and don't fall from the skies because of this love. There is more comradeship and brotherhood in the car than in any church or party. And it's humble as true love is. I wish the modernists wrote about it in their hymns. I want the postmodern to get off this track of being terrorized by our new brave world. Our technological wonders are better than us. I bet there is more humanism in a car than in a driver. The second nature knows how to love, the worker should learn from this work how to be a human.
I live in Fairbanks with forty below in the winter and I have no parka or winter gear. I travel though channel of love, protected and preserved from the death waiting for me outside. If the technology of my living conditions will break for a day, the human life here would collapse. That much for the mercy of mother Nature. There is more love in the electric bulb than in sun. No know it without knowing, we pay for the bulb. No, sir, there is nothing for free in the First Nature, we pay a higher price for living there -- we die. Remember about it in the hospital.
I remember about it in Russia and Africa. It's easy to remember than the lives of loved ones depend on it.
"American" is not a synonym of communism, but a stage of it. "American" is a manifestation of the new age and the most advanced incoming universal culture. "Universal" literally. Our high tech is the first primitive form of the new proto-divine existence. Charles Darwin would put them in the very beginning of the evolutionary ladder. "Technology is a systematic of an art" (Webster) -- I can live with this definition of the future. Alas, we have to remember the Greek meaning of art (craft and skill) and forget about "non-practical" understanding of art. We have to remind ourself that "artificial" is simply "devisedd by art" -- no negative connotations attached. "Tekton" (Greek) is a builder, carpenter Jesus.
Of course, there is the conflict between the two natures.
In the fanatical love of cars the feeling of physical homelessness plays a part. It is at the bottom of what the bourgeois were wont to call, mistakenly, the flight from oneself, from the inner void. Anyone who wants to move with the times is not allowed to be different. Psychological emptiness is itself only the result of the wrong kind of social absorption. The boredom that people are running away from merely mirrors the process of running away, that started long before.2
"The flight oneself, form the inner void" can't be anything but the establishing the outer void, which is technology and its culture. Speed formalizes my alienation from myself through the Great Void, replaces my psychological emptiness with the actual movement. Entertainment is a technology of divorcing myself from I and I have to stay busy in order not to return where I came from. Obviously each of us within the techno-motion is stripped of identity. Traffic of movies do equalize. It's not a democracy of the different but the sameness which needs no freedom. Here all three -- Work, Working, Worker -- unite: Car, Driving and Driver. To keep me from being bored by the highway, I need additional changes. My radio is on. My return to myself, driving a car, is more difficult than while I'm walking.
Not that simple, my fellow Americans.
In American Space you have no time. Adorno has continued Dante's travels in Inferno:
Running in the street conveys an impression of terror. The victim's fall is already mimed in his attempt to escape it. The position of the head, trying to hold itself up, is that of a drowning man, and the straining face grimaces as if under torture. He has to look ahead, can hardly glance back without stumbling, as if treading the shadow of a foe whose features freeze the limbs. Once people ran from dangers that were too desperate to turn and face, and someone running after a bus unwittingly bears witness to past terror. Traffic regulations no longer need allow for wild animals, but they have not pacified running. It estranges us from bourgeois walking. The truth becomes visible that something is amiss with security, that the unleashed powers of life, be they mere vehicles, have to be escaped. The body's habituation to walking as normal stems from the good old days. It was the bourgeois form of locomotion: physical demythologization, free of the spell of hieratic pacing, roofless wandering, breathless flight. Human dignity insisted on the right to walk, a rhythm not extorted from the body by command or terror. The walk, the stroll, were private ways of passing time, the heritage of the feudal promenade in the nineteenth century.
Even getting out of the car I find myself on the street, another technology prepared for my perpetual motion. I'm being directed, the space is measured and pre-arranged. Urban space is active, it distracts me from being alone. I am still with them, people and the outside, the real source of my terror. I stop. The system continues to work and I am working as a part of it.
Are you working out? Everything is work, even resting. The techno-culture is inside me. I don't need hardware to function as computer. I'm hooked and wired. I like it, I paid for it. I better remember why. I must remember that I have to keep the distance with the Second Nature with the same precision I keep my separation from the First Nature. Of course, I have to be strong not to dissolve myself into the new womb, becoming a child and embryo. This human world offers me peace and comfort forever. I have to work to preserve myself from becoming the worker. I better watch myself, paradise is a biggest test offered to us. It's easy to lose your soul in a shopping mall.
One must know how to love. It's impossible without loving the present. Remember it, when you read my pages full of rage and anger about the spectacle of paradise. Remember, one must hate in order to love. Be outrageous, be a true son of the End and the Beginning.
Apocalypse is the best thing which happened to us. Resurrection is even better. Technology fills the void left by the end of the world and -- I do not notice the loss of myself and the world. That's the trick left out of the book of Revelations. John had his visions, we had the actual thing. He didn't know that the end won't be noticed. Well, I didn't notice my birth either.
Yes, it's always both and extreme. Very bad and very good.
Finally, the real Power is in technology -- an organization of knowledge. Ridiculous to talk about computers without mentioning the power. We pretend that it's just a business of linguistics. Knowledge is power and technology is knowledge. A hard drive is an expression of the Nietzsche's will for power. There is a stone hidden inside my PC, the war machine. What do you think takes place when I turn on my computer? I attack.
I had no plans to write about "technology." I had to yield to the pressure of the cultural environment, the constant usage of this word. My subject is me and not the world outside. But how can I tell you about my feelings without talking about OUR reality. We share the world, so I share my thoughts about it. That much I can do for a reader.
Oh, yes, the title of this introduction to theology of technology. I hope it's self-explanatory. Technology is nothing but the mechanics of the divine. We are at the very beginning of this process of creating God. That's right, the One you know. We will have it. It's just a matter of time.
This directory I started when I staged "Reckless" by Lucas in 1996 (You can rent the movie they made from the play). I struggle with the text full of postmodern insights to understand the playwright, who didn't understand himself (very much like myself). I even wrote an article and mailed it to the New England Theatre magazine only to recieve a letter with a friendly advise not to write "personal" scholary articles. Genre was my problem -- always. Here is one of the versions of this paper Reckless Death