segunda-feira, 28 de julho de 2014

Armor and Blood - Titanic Clash at Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka Броня и крови - Титаник Столкновение под Курском: Танковое сражение под Прохоровкой

The diorama "Prohorovsky battle"was created by N.But, G.Sevostyanov and V.Shcherbakov artists from studio M.B.Grekov. It is a cloth with an area of 1005 square metres (length - 67, width - 15 metres) in.the museum-diorama "Kursk fight" in Belgorod.

All images Copyright (c) 1996-2012 The museum-diorama "Kursk fight" in Belgorod
Copyright (c) 1996-2012 Russian Cultural Heritage Network

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sábado, 7 de junho de 2014

Why I Write by George Orwell

From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.

I was the middle child of three, but there was a gap of five years on either side, and I barely saw my father before I was eight. For this and other reasons I was somewhat lonely, and I soon developed disagreeable mannerisms which made me unpopular throughout my schooldays. I had the lonely child's habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons, and I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued. I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life. Nevertheless the volume of serious — i.e. seriously intended — writing which I produced all through my childhood and boyhood would not amount to half a dozen pages. I wrote my first poem at the age of four or five, my mother taking it down to dictation. I cannot remember anything about it except that it was about a tiger and the tiger had ‘chair-like teeth’ — a good enough phrase, but I fancy the poem was a plagiarism of Blake's ‘Tiger, Tiger’. At eleven, when the war or 1914-18 broke out, I wrote a patriotic poem which was printed in the local newspaper, as was another, two years later, on the death of Kitchener. From time to time, when I was a bit older, I wrote bad and usually unfinished ‘nature poems’ in the Georgian style. I also attempted a short story which was a ghastly failure. That was the total of the would-be serious work that I actually set down on paper during all those years.

However, throughout this time I did in a sense engage in literary activities. To begin with there was the made-to-order stuff which I produced quickly, easily and without much pleasure to myself. Apart from school work, I wrote vers d'occasion, semi-comic poems which I could turn out at what now seems to me astonishing speed — at fourteen I wrote a whole rhyming play, in imitation of Aristophanes, in about a week — and helped to edit a school magazines, both printed and in manuscript. These magazines were the most pitiful burlesque stuff that you could imagine, and I took far less trouble with them than I now would with the cheapest journalism. But side by side with all this, for fifteen years or more, I was carrying out a literary exercise of a quite different kind: this was the making up of a continuous ‘story’ about myself, a sort of diary existing only in the mind. I believe this is a common habit of children and adolescents. As a very small child I used to imagine that I was, say, Robin Hood, and picture myself as the hero of thrilling adventures, but quite soon my ‘story’ ceased to be narcissistic in a crude way and became more and more a mere description of what I was doing and the things I saw. For minutes at a time this kind of thing would be running through my head: ‘He pushed the door open and entered the room. A yellow beam of sunlight, filtering through the muslin curtains, slanted on to the table, where a match-box, half-open, lay beside the inkpot. With his right hand in his pocket he moved across to the window. Down in the street a tortoiseshell cat was chasing a dead leaf’, etc. etc. This habit continued until I was about twenty-five, right through my non-literary years. Although I had to search, and did search, for the right words, I seemed to be making this descriptive effort almost against my will, under a kind of compulsion from outside. The ‘story’ must, I suppose, have reflected the styles of the various writers I admired at different ages, but so far as I remember it always had the same meticulous descriptive quality.
When I was about sixteen I suddenly discovered the joy of mere words, i.e. the sounds and associations of words. The lines from Paradise Lost —
So hee with difficulty and labour hard
Moved on: with difficulty and labour hee.
which do not now seem to me so very wonderful, sent shivers down my backbone; and the spelling ‘hee’ for ‘he’ was an added pleasure. As for the need to describe things, I knew all about it already. So it is clear what kind of books I wanted to write, in so far as I could be said to want to write books at that time. I wanted to write enormous naturalistic novels with unhappy endings, full of detailed descriptions and arresting similes, and also full of purple passages in which words were used partly for the sake of their own sound. And in fact my first completed novel, Burmese Days, which I wrote when I was thirty but projected much earlier, is rather that kind of book.

I give all this background information because I do not think one can assess a writer's motives without knowing something of his early development. His subject matter will be determined by the age he lives in — at least this is true in tumultuous, revolutionary ages like our own — but before he ever begins to write he will have acquired an emotional attitude from which he will never completely escape. It is his job, no doubt, to discipline his temperament and avoid getting stuck at some immature stage, in some perverse mood; but if he escapes from his early influences altogether, he will have killed his impulse to write. Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:
(i) Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.
(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.
(iii) Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
(iv) Political purpose. — Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.
It can be seen how these various impulses must war against one another, and how they must fluctuate from person to person and from time to time. By nature — taking your ‘nature’ to be the state you have attained when you are first adult — I am a person in whom the first three motives would outweigh the fourth. In a peaceful age I might have written ornate or merely descriptive books, and might have remained almost unaware of my political loyalties. As it is I have been forced into becoming a sort of pamphleteer. First I spent five years in an unsuitable profession (the Indian Imperial Police, in Burma), and then I underwent poverty and the sense of failure. This increased my natural hatred of authority and made me for the first time fully aware of the existence of the working classes, and the job in Burma had given me some understanding of the nature of imperialism: but these experiences were not enough to give me an accurate political orientation. Then came Hitler, the Spanish Civil War, etc. By the end of 1935 I had still failed to reach a firm decision. I remember a little poem that I wrote at that date, expressing my dilemma:
A happy vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;
But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.
And later still the times were good,
We were so easy to please,
We rocked our troubled thoughts to sleep
On the bosoms of the trees.
All ignorant we dared to own
The joys we now dissemble;
The greenfinch on the apple bough
Could make my enemies tremble.
But girl's bellies and apricots,
Roach in a shaded stream,
Horses, ducks in flight at dawn,
All these are a dream.
It is forbidden to dream again;
We maim our joys or hide them:
Horses are made of chromium steel
And little fat men shall ride them.
I am the worm who never turned,
The eunuch without a harem;
Between the priest and the commissar
I walk like Eugene Aram;
And the commissar is telling my fortune
While the radio plays,
But the priest has promised an Austin Seven,
For Duggie always pays.
I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And woke to find it true;
I wasn't born for an age like this;
Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you?
The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. Everyone writes of them in one guise or another. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows. And the more one is conscious of one's political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one's aesthetic and intellectual integrity.

What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. Anyone who cares to examine my work will see that even when it is downright propaganda it contains much that a full-time politician would consider irrelevant. I am not able, and do not want, completely to abandon the world view that I acquired in childhood. So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us.

It is not easy. It raises problems of construction and of language, and it raises in a new way the problem of truthfulness. Let me give just one example of the cruder kind of difficulty that arises. My book about the Spanish civil war, Homage to Catalonia, is of course a frankly political book, but in the main it is written with a certain detachment and regard for form. I did try very hard in it to tell the whole truth without violating my literary instincts. But among other things it contains a long chapter, full of newspaper quotations and the like, defending the Trotskyists who were accused of plotting with Franco. Clearly such a chapter, which after a year or two would lose its interest for any ordinary reader, must ruin the book. A critic whom I respect read me a lecture about it. ‘Why did you put in all that stuff?’ he said. ‘You've turned what might have been a good book into journalism.’ What he said was true, but I could not have done otherwise. I happened to know, what very few people in England had been allowed to know, that innocent men were being falsely accused. If I had not been angry about that I should never have written the book.

In one form or another this problem comes up again. The problem of language is subtler and would take too long to discuss. I will only say that of late years I have tried to write less picturesquely and more exactly. In any case I find that by the time you have perfected any style of writing, you have always outgrown it. Animal Farmwas the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole. I have not written a novel for seven years, but I hope to write another fairly soon. It is bound to be a failure, every book is a failure, but I do know with some clarity what kind of book I want to write.

Looking back through the last page or two, I see that I have made it appear as though my motives in writing were wholly public-spirited. I don't want to leave that as the final impression. All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane. I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed. And looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.
George Orwell: ‘Why I Write’
First published: Gangrel. — GB, London. — summer 1946.
— ‘Such, Such Were the Joys’. — 1953.
— ‘England Your England and Other Essays’. — 1953.
— ‘The Orwell Reader, Fiction, Essays, and Reportage’ — 1956.
— ‘Collected Essays’. — 1961.
— ‘Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays’. — 1965.
— ‘The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell’. — 1968.

quarta-feira, 7 de maio de 2014

Déjà-vu Karl Marx in the Matrix of History or Walter Benjamin’s "Tiger’s Leap into the Past" Correctly Read.

"Origin is the goal."
Karl Kraus, Worte in Versen, Vol. 1

History is the subject of a structure whose site is not homogenous, empty time, but time filled by the presence of the now. [Jetztzeit].* Thus, to Robespierre ancient Rome was a past charged with the time of the now which he blasted out of the continuum of history. The French Revolution viewed itself as Rome incarnate. It evoked ancient Rome the way fashion evokes costumes of the past. Fashion has a flair for the topical, no matter where it stirs in the thickets of long ago; it is a tiger’s leap into the past. This jump, however, takes place in an arena where the ruling class give the commands. The same leap in the open air of history is the dialectical one, which is how Marx understood the revolution.
Theses on the Philosophy of History. Walter Benajmin, 1939

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Karl Marx 1852

If you die in the matrix you die in real life...

terça-feira, 29 de abril de 2014

Waiting for the Barbarians: The Last Roman Enoch Powell

The lights are growing in the west,
Nor yet the east is black;
The sun goes slower down to rest
And brings the summer back.

I hate the growing light of spring,
I hate the lingering sun,
I hate the sights that only bring
Regret for summers done.
Day in, day out, the sunset sky
Renews the grinding pain
Of springs and summers gone that I
Can never live again;

And when the sun below the sea
The clouds with crimson dyes,
I shrink and turn; for there I see
My life that bleeding lies.

We are told that the economic achievement of the Western countries has been at the expense of the rest of the world and has impoverished them, so that what are called the 'developed' countries owe a duty to hand over tax-produced 'aid' to the governments of the undeveloped countries. It is nonsense—manifest, arrant nonsense; but it is nonsense with which the people of the Western countries, clergy and laity, but clergy especially—have been so deluged and saturated that in the end they feel ashamed of what the brains and energy of Western mankind have done, and sink on their knees to apologise for being civilised and ask to be insulted and humiliated. ("The Enemy Within")

Waiting for the Barbarians

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are due here today.

Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?

Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.

Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.

Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.

Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

by Constantine Cavafy
 Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

The Fall of Rome

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.

Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar’s double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.

by W.H. Auden

Time for some real changes!

quarta-feira, 9 de abril de 2014

Morality is Always on the Side of the Machine: Deep Stall over the South Atlantic: The Crash of Air France 447 by John David Ebert

Airbus`s murderous hubris at the botton of the South Atlantic :
"Airbus machines DON´T just fall out of the skies."

Airbus´s sidestick "fly-by.wire"

Boeing´s pneumatic stick shaker stall warning

St. Elmo's fire ghostly illuminates the cockpit, filled with the smell of ozone, as the plane was already flying through a severe thunderstorm system

"Anti World The Cabin as scenario
“Stepping back from the glare of the wreckage in order to gain some perspective on this catastrophe, we now turn to the world of books and discourse in order to remind ourselves of Heidegger’s point that, when a tool breaks, such as a hammer, it becomes suddenly conspicuous, standing out from the contextual background of its web of referentiality. “When a thing in the world around us becomes unusable,” Heidegger states, it becomes conspicuous. The natural course of concern is brought to a halt by this unusability. The continuity of reference and thus the referential totality undergoes a distinctive disturbance which forces us to pause. When a tool is damaged and useless, its defect actually causes it to be present, conspicuous, so that it now forces itself into the foreground of the environing world in an emphatic sense.”
The Age of Catastrophe Disaster and Humanity in Modern Times, p.43 

The Air France crash had been carefully constructed in many other previous incidents in recent years to become the paradigm itself of a systemic failure in the interface man/machine. It is described, as Gérard Arnoux, the head of the French pilots union SPAF, depicts, as a “computer brain stroke”. Let us begin with your Heidegger´s quote above in the chapter on Tenerife, with the "broken hammer" As Heiner Müller once said , morality is always on the side of the machine, because I would like you to start with BEA final report and political compromise between Airbus and its partners, the most concession the Corporation could allow itself and the key word in this report is the alternate regime “Flight Director”, that induced the pilots to a catastrophic chain of errors. They slavishly followed Flight Director pitch-up commands, ignoring 58 stall warnings in a ghostly environment, simply because “Airbus did not just fall from the sky” in Flight Director mode. They cannot, says the industry. When you buy an Airbus ticket, this mantra should be printed on the cover. I invite you, Ebert, to reconstruct, not in a simulator, but in a Pynchon´s entropic environment these tragic three minutes and a half as an eternal return, a symphony and cacophony of death, that opened a new age in the aviation . Without a pneumatic stick shaker, as in all Boeing machines, the pilots would never had a real chance, in this progressive unrealistic scenario as the deep stall swiftly unfolds, to feel, with their own hands, in dual input mode, the violence of the fall.

1. With Air France Flight 447, I think we have to keep in mind that two structural couplings which are normally essential for flying the plane came undone, or uncoupled: the first of those is the seamless fusion that must occur between the pilots and the new and highly automated flight systems. The pilot must nowadays form a "machinic assemblage" with the automated system, such that both pilot and computer are locked into a relationship of "structural coupling." The pilot's consciousness, that is to say, is not self-enclosed but ruptured into the feedback loop in which the plane's central nervous system must become an extension of his own. This is a kind of modern Centauric fusion, not of animal and man, but of man and machine.

But what happened in this case seems to have been the very opposite of the situation with Captain Van Zanten at Tenerife, where the problem was precisely that he was totally fused with the machine to the point that he could take no other data into account. In the case of Flight 447, the structural coupling of human consciousness with the plane's electronic nervous system was disrupted and the pilots were abruptly exiled from the plane's feedback systems. If this theory is correct, it is because of the freezing of external Pitot tubes on the plane that caused the computer to lose the ability to calculate the plane's speed, and without that data, it had a "nervous breakdown" and lost its orientation, immediately shutting down the autopilot and all the plane's automated systems.

But this had the effect of abruptly exiling the consciousness of the pilots from machinic fusion with the plane's nervous system and they suddenly found their own consciousnesses on the "outside" as it were of the plane's internal consciousness and had to abruptly switch to manual flying techniques, but it does not appear that they were able to do this fast enough to avoid the plane's going into a stall.

And that's the second structural coupling that came undone: normally, as you know, planes stay in the air because of the structural coupling between the angle of their wings and the airflow that engages them. But if the plane slows down by as much as a mere 10 knots, the angle of the wing changes and breaks the engagement with the aerodynamic flow over the wings and goes into a stall, which may have happened in this case. The pilots, overwhelmed with data from the shutdown of all the plane's automated systems, could not regain control of the plane quickly enough to avoid the stall, and the plane simply fell into the ocean at that point.

So the situation seems to be the opposite to what happened at Tenerife in which Van Zanten got stuck in his machinic fusion with the aircraft. Here the pilots were suddenly exiled from the plane's interior consciousness and were overwhelmed with too much data coming at them too quickly to process and also maintain the necessary pitch and power to keep the plane in the air.

Relying on automation, it seems, has become a problem for pilots these days, who wind up being poorly trained with regard to manual emergency situations. The automation is a nervous system that can act as a buffer between the pilot and the actual physical body of the plane itself, which further and further distances his consciousness from the necessary structural coupling with the aircraft to control it.

Automation tends to create electronic feedback loops that leave human decision-making out of account. We are creating a global world civilization that is always on "auto-pilot" and has therefore created the danger of rendering humans, with their old-fashioned philosophical free wills, superfluous to the automated functioning of these systems. Leaving the human being, with his Kantian-Schopenhauerian free will out of account, is creating an accident prone civilization in which free will cannot be injected quickly enough to keep up with the speed-of-light decision-making processes of the machines themselves.

Free will, according to Kant, actually injects new causal sequences into the world's otherwise predetermined cause and effect programs, but these machines are attempting to replicate those causal sequences of matter that do not leave room for the sudden injection of fresh causal sequences by the human will. We are slowly and gradually tightening up the civilization to the point that human freedom is now superfluous and there is, consequently, no room for it in the System taken as a whole. We are creating a civilization, in other words, that stands philosophically opposed to all the great antinomies of German Idealism and rejects them as incompatible with the System.
"The sharpest ideology is that reality appeals to its realistic character" (Alexander Kluge), since the German Idealism, since Clausewitz´s absolute concept of pure war. Let us talk about "overthinking" in the context of Frank Schirrmacher´s Thesis (Deputy Chief of FAZ) "Die Auswanderung des Denkens von dem Gehirn" (The Emmigration of the Thought from the Brain) (here is the interview: Kluge begins the interview with a “thought experiment” at the dawn of the Verdun Battle. No one could hardly suppose at that moment what a powerful and apocalyptic “idea” lies on the horizon, namely the “total war” (as “Materialschlacht”, “the war of materials and elements”), as Ernst Jünger would later immortalize in his writings. He means also, in this new digital world, there are only algorithms at work in a hyperspace, as in the Matrix. Algorithms give never up! They build up what you are, what you feel and what you think. We are not anymore in the realm of the classical thinking subject. Thinking itself becomes an obsolete category in the geometry of this new space, which is real time, there is no way to fix any individual historicity, historical consciousness, only flatness. Which kind of overthinking is at work at the AF 447 cabin in these three and half minutes?

As far as your second question goes, I believe I have actually answered it inadvertently in my answer to your first question, but for the sake of thoroughness, I will reiterate: the kind of thinking that has taken over in the situation with Air France 447 is precisely the dominance of pre-programmed "algorithmic thinking" that leaves no room for the injection of Freedom of the Will in any German Idealistic sense. That Abyss of Freedom which Schelling built his whole philosophy of the subject out of does not exist in the civilization of global algorithms which simply propagate themselves like mathematical viruses and end up paving over the Abgrund, or abyss from out of which Freedom accesses singularities of Thought. The Matrix covers up the abysses of German Idealism, just as it paves over Heidegger's Being, and attempts to substitute pre-programmed thinking and decisions in advance, which leave human autonomy out of account.

Human Freedom has now become a deconstructed relic in the post-metaphysical age, simply tossed aside into the middenheap (as pictured in the robot junk heap in the movie "A.I.") as one more discarded Idea along with all the others of the metaphysical age. The Subject has been hollowed out, and the walls of the newly formed hollow are inscribed with fresh programs that substitute the behaviors and thoughts of the cyborgianized human being in place of the classical philosophical Subject.

It is no longer what "I" think that matters, since the "I" that once formed the ontological basis for the Subject is no longer there and has left behind only a semiotic vacancy; but only what the Machinic Assemblage of Global Civilization thinks FOR me and on my behalf that matters. What I would do in this particular situation (any situation) does not matter, but what I-as-embedded-in-the-Matrix would do is all that counts. Autonomy is now regarded with suspicion and autonomous individuals who question the System, such as whistleblowers like Assange or Snowden, for instance, are regarded as heretics for daring to demonstrate anything remotely like critical thinking.

Unfortunately, I think the pilots on Flight 447 found that when their Matrix-embedded-I's were suddenly expelled from the machinic consciousness, there was no autonomous "I" left there for them to rely upon because there was no protocol for it in their training. They discovered in the matter of just a few seconds that the philosophical "I" that should have served them with autonomous thinking was gone and simply not there for them to use.

Hence, the problem of the elimination of the philosophical "I" in contemporary global civilization is that it can, and often does, lead to catastrophes of this sort in which machinic consciousness, together with its programs, does not match the program of human autonomy, which it has already a priori come to regard as superfluous.

Thank you very much, John David Ebert!

In memory of all the passengers and crew of Air France flight 447