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serialization of the group

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  • sava
    Going back to a question that Tommy raised once, more or less stated in these terms: well, see, technology is for example facilitating our actual exchange in
    Message 1 of 45 , Aug 1, 2007
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      Going back to a question that Tommy raised once, more
      or less stated in these terms: well, see, technology
      is for example facilitating our actual exchange in our
      Sartre group.

      I may sound really like an airhead to question
      technology and to use precisely a highly technological
      medium to conduct such questionning. In my just
      previous post I mentionned the Sartrean notion of the
      "serialized group". Our actual Sartre group is an
      excellent illustration of this notion of how
      technology serializes the group.

      First of all our "Group" is not a group: when the
      medium used for grouping is so essential to the group
      that without that medium the group cannot exist, then
      what is the binding purpose of the group falls in
      second rank, and the medium becomes primary. The case
      is obvious with our "Group", i.e, if there was no
      yahoo, and no computers, then there wont be this group
      either. Sartre may be the purpose of our group, but
      our group is just one of so many ways for yahoo to
      conduct business. Same case, although less obvious in
      academic classrooms. The classroom for teaching a
      Sartre class is assigned, and if the classroom for
      some reason is not functional, another medium of
      grouping may be found for a few classes, but finally a
      Sartre class is one of the many ways for this big
      technological enterprise as a university to do
      business. The university is not a means for a Sartre
      class, but it is the Sartre class that is a means for
      the university.

      Second, the "individuals" that make up our Yahoo
      Sartre "Group" have nothing of the individual
      uniqueness. The individuals here are nothing but
      screen names and IP adresses at the service of an
      outside instance of surveillance and control. Here
      anyone can pretend to be anyone, and anyone can
      replace anyone, easily. So much so, that this whole
      exchange between many "individuals" can be conducted,
      simulated perfectly from one single machine programmed
      to think in X many different ways, like when the
      computer plays chess with itself.

      The problem for Sartre is, of course, not with
      computers, and for us, not only with computers. It is
      a general problem: technology is erasing the
      differences and at the same time hindering
      togetherness. Hence the question: where to? Where are
      we headed to? What holds our future? What is going to
      HAPPEN? These are all modalities of the big question
      of the EVENT, or the EREIGNIS: what is coming? And
      what is appropriating what?





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    • cepav0
      The quote below is pretty clear as to the profound relation between Sartre s philosophy and violence. The cogito, the generalized cogito, is a crime (did I
      Message 45 of 45 , Aug 21, 2007
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        The quote below is pretty clear as to the profound relation between
        Sartre's philosophy and violence. The cogito, the generalized cogito,
        is a crime (did I hear Nietzsche somewhere?...):

        La situation veut que la vraie morale humaine prenne naissance dans
        cet acte isolé, purement individuel, de violence purement négative.
        Tentons de le comprendre dans son ambigüité et de légitimer cette
        violence. … en réalisant la liberté terroriste et négative de la pure
        conscience du monde par consomption du monde en face de la
        conscience, l'esclave réalise dans l'instant qui précède la mort
        cette conscience de soi que le stoïcisme, le scepticisme et le doute
        cartésien n'atteignent que dans la fuite et dans l'abstrait. … La
        destruction et le crime sont les conduites concrètes corrélatives du
        doute méthodique. [dans le crime] la conscience s'affirme dans sa
        solitude terroriste. Tout crime est toujours un peu un cogito.
        (Sartre, Cahier 418)

        What the heck, I'm giving it a try at translation:

        "The situation requires that the true human ethics is born out of
        this isolated act [the terrorist one], purely individual, of a purely
        negative violence. Let us try to understand it in its ambiguity and
        to legitimize this violence. ... by accomplishing the terrorist and
        negative freedom of the pure consciousness of the world, the slave
        attains in the instant right before his death to that self-
        consciousness that stoicism, scepticism and cartesian doubt attain to
        only in flight and in the abstract. ... Destruction and crime are the
        concrete behaviour correlative to methodical doubt. [in the crime]
        consciousness affirms itself in its terrorist solitude. All crime is
        always a bit of a cogito."

        Do I agree with this? Oh, not only that, I think these are some of
        the best lines ever writen in philosophy.
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