Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cyberfetus Matrix

Here is an early vision of extraterrestrial citizenry, an inspired rendering from the early days of the theory (thank you, MacPaint).

Proliferation of the cyberfetus, perhaps through cloning, follows a neotenous trajectory in the weightless, technology-dense environment of the space colony. Today, phone and internet carry much of our social connectedness, and our descendants will become increasingly symbiotic with their media infrastructure, as communications and tracking devices become increasingly somatically integrated. The rendering here suggests a persistence of electromechanical connections, but in the weightless cyberfetus matrix, chemical media—e.g., hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters—probably initially will compete with, then complement, then supercede electromagnetic channels.

Not framing the transition in terms of neoteny, Herbert Marcuse nonetheless saw that technology, spawned from the repression of libido, completes itself in the liberation of libido. He writes in Five Lectures: Psychoanalysis, Politics and Utopia,
"The achievements of repressive progress herald the solution of the repressive principle of progress itself. It becomes possible to envisage a state in which there is no productivity resulting from and conditioning renunciation and no alienated labor: a state in which the growing mechanization of labor enables an ever larger part of the instinctual energy that had to be withdrawn for alienated labor to return to its original form, in other words, to be changed back into energy of the life instincts. It would no longer be the case that time spent in alienated labor occupied the major portion of life and the free time left to the individual for the gratification of his own needs was a mere remainder. Instead, alienated labor time would not only be reduced to a minimum but would disappear and life would consist of free time."