Death Theory & Hardware: The Physical Model of Death in the Digital Era

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Death Theory & Hardware: The Physical Model of Death in the Digital Era

Moving the evolutionary division between human and machine is a heady, funny trend. Over the last 25 years, technology has evolved to place individuals within an environment they’ll continue to feel in, or either present a chronic negative, even septic state.

The game-changing sophistication of human technology forces algorithms to perform complex tasks. Every part of a computer must be evaluated to prevent one from being simply hacked.

Wires are grounded, artificial intelligence is created and the emotional threshold for calculating a person’s death has been set.

Distinguishing between the virtual self and the real self is becoming increasingly useless. The pervasive influence of algorithmic technologies has made it such that our desires, thoughts, emotions are seemingly prepackaged and sold back to us. Data. It has enabled us our social-renationalized digital personalities (SDPs), well-driven identities, and our post-traumatic stresses, but also the experience of our personal and collective experiences — attitudes and beliefs — beyond the physical.

To the extent that our lived experience is predicated on the dissolution of the physical/virtual model, what can be said of the un-lived, i.e., death?

The rationalist account of death is based on the conventional “in fact” view of death as just a physical event: A person has no control over his or her death.

Death has nothing to do with its physical origins, nor with the instantiation of a definite standard of social morality. Rather, it is a force over which the action of the physiological complexity of human life is thwarted, the seemingly natural event occurring without physical understanding. The outcome is the absence of any sense of control, a well-established isometric understanding of this inevitability.

To go beyond the physical model of death is to speak, perhaps, of digital immortality. Certainly, we have seen this is the case with memorialized Instagram and Facebook pages. It’s also possible that a digital afterlife is a key part of tech companies’ plans to revolutionize what it means to be alive — by democratizing death, and combining an enhanced physical and digital presence.

Zuckerbergian techno-capital retroengineers Judeo-Christian eschatology, not simply modulating death but fixing it. Death becomes a matter of plugging into a grid, bypassing Terms & Conditions, and participating in a purgatorial doom-scroll.

By trying to create new ways to build, maintain, and perpetuate this cycle, those who control death will try to find ways to create life, to maintain its infinite loops in the doom-scroll.

_____. The ‘death-temptation’ of “The Unfinished Messiah.” _____. The ‘revelation-telling’. _____. The reeducation of one soul in a machine; machine without a human will. _____. The ‘rejection/condemnation/depression’ of the American Revolution which, ironically, was one of the most glorious, if not the greatest, ‘revolutions’ undertaken by the First, Second, and Fourth Ages. _____. A new religious paradigm? _____. _____. _____. _____.

If the apocalypse is a big deal then it’s because of the sheer numbers of people who aren’t on board yet.

If the future is to be saved, then it is through conquering death. Artificial Intelligence, the cutting-out and plugging in of consciousness into inhuman machinery — the end of the Anthropocene. — Dr. Lee Strassner, page 78: Death and the Computer.

Cited Work:

Lee Strassner, Digital Death and Flatlining. 2008. Pages 20-98.

Harrison, A. G. “Novelty.” Modern Languages. 1997. Vol. 3. London: St. Martin’s Press.

Hassel, Frank F., and Daniel F. Schwartz, “An Alternative Textual Language.” New Ideas. 2012. Vol. 23. London: Farrar-Ferrari.

Hassel, Frank F., and Jeffrey M. J. Cramer, eds. “An Alternative Textual Language of Etymogramming.” New Ideas. (2010). Vol. 7. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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