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comment by theadvancedapes
theadvancedapes  ·  617 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm longevity blogging.

I think it is interesting to note that the amoeba metaphor was also used to illustrate the nature of the imaginary limit-image in-itself (i.e. the virtual domain, the excessive sphere of language) by psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (see: Lacan, J. 2005. Position of the Unconscious. In: Écrits: The First Complete Edition in English. Translated by Bruce Fink. New York: Norton. p. 846-8.). When thinking the "limit-image" in-itself think for example the radical multiplicity of views that humans posit in relationship to the whole of reality but which have no physical substantiation (i.e. sub-atomic string worlds, multiverse worlds, post-human utopian worlds, heavens and other supernatural worlds etc.). These "limit-images" don't "physically exist" but they nonetheless structure the motion of human subjectivity (and in radically different worldview domains).

In some of my recent Ph.D preparations I have found this video useful to illustrate the potential large scale meta relation between the imaginary nature of language in its relation to biology (i.e. the nature of humans as "linguistic bodies") where the "amoeba" can be visualized as language, the paramecium can be viewed as "pre-historical primates" and the interaction between the amoeba and the paramecium over time can be viewed as the stages of "pre-history" (amoeba surrounding unaware paramecium), "history" (paramecium struggling in vain to escape the totalitarian control of the amoeba) and the "end of history/event horizon" (the death of the paramecium and the triumph of the amoeba). In this mode of representation the imaginary domain in-itself can be conceptualized as a type of infinitely divisible immortal surface that pre-disposes humanity from ever being satisfied with the contemporary state of the world (i.e. no matter where you go in history you will find people positing or striving for some utopian image of perfection).

This is extra interesting in the context of the contemporary scientific mode of technological singularity theory. The question from my perspective is how should we interpret this utopian positing of actualized future immortality? Should we think that the contemporary positing of humans utilizing a scientific view of the world as legitimately going to actualize some form of human immortality? In this mode we could think of some continuously transforming identity structure that was capable of achieving ever greater degrees of cognitive control over its surrounding medium of interaction (which is certainly what many humans desire spontaneously). Or should we think that there is a general imaginary force colonizing the whole of humanity that is expressing in-itself the force of immortality in different cultural forms? It is certainly the case that the idea of immortality has been around for as long as we have written accounts of human thought and the archetypes of immortality likely stretch back to pre-historical times. In other words, could it be that the force of immortality is an inhuman virtuality that is "always-already" a part of the linguistic/symbolic order structuring an insane "super-human" motivation in some type of meta-historical dialectic?

If we are to seriously entertain the latter hypothesis then how should we approach scientists who are working in the genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics revolutions and their potential consequences? How should we think about their symbolic interventions in the world? On the one hand clearly their worldview structures have far greater actual effectiveness then any previous worldview structures, even and especially when factoring in idealistic positing (where typically religious ideal positing is totally impotent). However, there is still usually a profound gap between the ideal positing of scientists and the actual manifestation (the consequences) of the positing. In that light how should we entertain the possibility that the ideal positing of scientists related to radically longer life expectancy (genetic engineering of our stem cells, nanotechnological replacement of biology, etc.) could lead to consequences that are dramatic... but dramatic in a totally unexpected way? In other words could it be that the idea that we will eventually be immortal will not actually lead to the actualization of human immortality, but rather some other type of event horizon or radical discontinuity where we confront directly the limits of human existence?