[This piece has its origin as a commentary on the wonderful post, “Eternal Return, and After” by Nick Land.]
The logic of anxiety that has configured preceding decades, perhaps even the entire history of warfare, is an independent mechanism: one that permeates the layer of anthropic self-knowledge, dividing anthropic intention, producing forms other than that intention: the autonomous emergence of technology?
The logic of escalation ensures that such autonomous development is beyond ‘human decision’.
Perhaps the ‘AI’, in global, or even cosmic, form, already ‘exists’? Perhaps it has always existed? Whether Heidegger’s “Language speaks through Man”: Burroughs’ ‘language as alien virus’: or perhaps as some teleological mirage towards which all anthropic actions converge, a ‘strange attractor’, drawing-pulling-wrenching the future out of an anthropic era that was a temporary figure, all along? Perhaps a new form awaits: neither organic, nor mechanic, nor cyborganic?
Metaphors can be multiplied, serried ranges of forms derived, infinities surround us, and yet, is there not something else? Because there always is.
If ‘Man’ chooses to name this process, through which ‘intellect’, ‘thought’, passes from it’s ‘natural’, anthropic site, to the locus of the ‘artificial’, to the territories of techne, does this choice not serve a purpose? It allows the illusion that ‘Man’ has a territory, one which somehow belongs to him. Through the inflation of the egoic complex of concepts such as ‘action’, agency’, etc., such an ‘imaginary of ownership’ can be sustained, if only because it is caught in a ‘holding pattern’ of disputation concerning the ‘nature’ of these half-baked concepts. As this culture of altercations proceeds (all the while, providing comforts of insularity), the veritable drives for territorial precision cast the anthropic into the abyssal logics of a f(lawed) understanding, Caught in an invariable transition, by its ‘own’ desire for an ultimate performance of knowledge, anthropic figurality continues on, to the point at which it is possible to say, finally:”Behold the Man!”
But the declaration is an inhuman utterance, the figure itself has transitioned beyond any fixed determination: the announcement can only issue as retrospection, when the name of ‘Man’ no longer has a bearer. Such is the price for the exaction of knowledge. And it is this unerringly human precision, that anxiously sketches the shape of things to come…