Beyond Human

We, with our propensity for murder, torture, slavery, rape, cannibalism, pillage, advertising jingles, shag carpets, and golf, how could we be seriously considered as the perfection of a four-billion-year-old grandiose experiment? Perhaps as a race, we have evolved as far as we are capable, yet that by no means suggests that evolution has called it quits. In all likelihood, it has something beyond human on the drawing board. We tend to refer to our most barbaric and crapulous behaviour as “inhuman,” whereas, in point of fact, it is exactly human, definitively and quintessentially human, since no other creature habitually indulges in comparable atrocities.

-Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

The Daily Press

The daily press is the evil principle of the modern world, and time will only serve to disclose this fact with greater and greater clearness. The capacity of the newspaper for degeneration is sophistically without limit, since it can always sink lower and lower in its choice of readers. At last it will stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control.

-Sören Kierkegaard, The Last Years: Journals 1853-5 quoted in Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels

 

For more quotes like this, see irepeatinmysleep.wordpress.com.

The Guardian: Japan passes ‘brutal’ counter-terror law

Another government pushing for more power. Another people giving up their freedom for the ‘promise’ of safety.

-BeLessHuman

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/15/japan-passes-brutal-new-terror-law-which-opponents-fear-will-quash-freedoms

Be Less Human: One Year Anniversary

I started this blog-project Be Less Human [stumbling towards posthumanity] in May of last year with these words:

Whenever someone does something horrible, something reprehensible, something ‘evil’, we gape and wonder how humans can do such things. But what if this is just how humans are and what we need to do is to be less human?

It’s been twelve months now–I can hardly believe it–and in that time I’ve written about various and varied topics but what I haven’t done is defined what it means to be posthuman, or, more specifically, what I mean when I say posthuman. That’s still coming. It’s not that simple. I’ve been making notes but first I wanted to follow my interests and see if maybe a picture didn’t emerge by itself. I can offer you this though: You know when people shrug and say, ‘After all, we’re only human’? That’s what this blog is about. That’s the pivot, the fulcrum, and the bullseye.

Instead, inevitably, I’ve written a lot about Trump, starting with a very long open letter to my girlfriend’s dad, followed by many months of FB slacktivism. But it hasn’t all been American politics.

I’ve also written, among other things, about poverty, that [t]he problem is that most poor people don’t want to eliminate poverty, they just want to be the ones that are rich, about the dilemma of nootropics, about the shakedown that is Original Sin, about our Running Man voyeurism, and about The Great Housing Reset, where one night a year, wherever you lay your head, that house, that brownstone, that flat: tomorrow, it belongs to you. I’ve also published a list of the entire contents of my room, as well as two poems which I’m not going to link to here, ‘cos they shit.

Part of the project was also to share interesting, thought-provoking and well-written articles, of which there were many, including The Guardian’s If you were an elephant…, boredpanda’s sharing of Beth Moon’s photography of really old trees, BBC’s Dissolving the Dead (fascinating read!), as well as articles on the future of sex tech and more politics (here, just one more).

Plus, there were quotes from James Baldwin, George Orwell, and Kurt Vonnegut, among others, links to some cool videos, including Do you have a pointless job? and Keiichi Matsuda’s Hyper-Reality, and some funny pics too, including this one:

think too much

But there was one article I really wanted to write, actually in January, that I never got to. It was to be called The Game and it was very important to me which is likely why it kept getting pushed back. But I am working on it now, though not today because I spent it writing this instead (another delay!), so it should be ready soon-ish. Until then, there is this: Change Everything (or, Warming Up for ‘The Game’). That’s right, time to warm up!

Thank you and good night.

-BeLessHuman

 

You’re God damn right I did!

Code Red

“I think he wants to say it. I think he’s pissed off that he’s gotta hide from this. I think he wants to say that he made a command decision and that’s the end of it. He eats breakfast 300 yards away from 4000 Cubans that are trained to kill him. And nobody’s going to tell him how to run his unit least of all the Harvard mouth in his faggoty white uniform.”

-A Few Good Men

Let Trump testify.

The Guardian: It’s not just the 1%.

It’s a zero sum game: there are only so many good jobs, so many good schools, so many good neighbourhoods. If the poor are to be allowed their fair share, the rich must give up some of what they have. On the level of the individual, it makes sense to want the best for your children. But collectively, it can only lead to inequality. We must change our thinking about the worth or a person.

-BeLessHuman

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/08/dream-hoarders-1-percent-upper-middle-class

The Atlantic: When your child is a psychopath

A fascinating and disturbing look at psychopathy in children (and generally) with case studies and looking at the physiological factors and possible treatment during the developmental years.

Read the article here.

-BeLessHuman

Change Everything (or, Warming Up for ‘The Game’)

When Arthur Dent landed on Hawalius, “the planet of oracles and seers and soothsayers” in Douglas Adams’ Mostly Harmless, he found an old fortune teller living in a smelly cave swatting giant flies from dead goat-creatures, who gave him a photocopy of the story of her life with all the major decisions she ever made underlined, and told him to do the exact opposite.

This is my feeling of what it’s like being an American today. We may not think that the way we live, the things we like, and the opinions we hold are bad, each thing taken by itself, from seemingly innocuous indulgences like celebrity YouTubers and pizza delivery to graver issues like education and foreign policy, you may even believe these things are pretty great, but the increasingly unavoidable fact is that everything we do, have done, and continue to do, has brought us to where we are today.

Who can say which thing or things are responsible for what went wrong? No amount of reflection will be able to unravel the tangle of causation. The only thing we can take from it all is that if we are unhappy with how things are, and if we are serious about wanting to change things, we may not need to change everything, but we have to at least be prepared to change everything.

And who can do that? Who can change how they are? Who even wants to? We have a fantasy that civilisations can turn themselves around when they are on the wrong path, when really they move in one direction, and crash, and begin again. People don’t change, they double down.

And so we remain the old lady in the smelly cave swatting giant flies from dead goat-creatures. Because in the end, even a fortune teller cannot prevent herself from becoming what she has become.

-BeLessHuman

The Guardian: A food addiction has defined my entire life. And it is slowly killing me

As someone who doesn’t like eating, this is fascinating and alien. A woman’s struggle with food addiction, or ‘food addiction’, depending on your take on the issue. I have no solid opinion either way.

Read the article here.

-BeLessHuman