De/Re/Human/Eyes

Sorta having to dash this off before I dash off to work but, for some reason (maybe I’m looking for baseball news in the wrong places) a fair amount of stuff about humans came across my eyes today. A lot about humanizing, dehumanizing and rehumanzing. What is human?

I don’t know but I sort of use a working definition that, in a very general sense, a human is anything with an articulated consciousness of death.

Anyway . . .

RO - retina images

Downward-Facing Capitalist Dogma:

Yoga classes, or the bike workshop offered by the New York tech company, might be considered part of the notion of “technologies of the self.” Foucault coined the term to refer to the techniques “which permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.” But in the case of the office yoga class, this technology of the self has been recuperated so dramatically that it is no longer about constructing selfhoods, but rather about destroying them. The endpoint of the drive towards maximum efficiency and perfect optimization is the reduction of the worker to a being less than human. Your work will never be enough; corporations offer yoga classes to improve cognitive function, simply because it is not yet possible for them to replace us with machines that need no such care.

Miquela the ‘cyborg’ and handbag drones – Milan fashion week’s weird vision of the future:

Conspiracy theories swirl around Miquela, too. Some argue that she is the avatar of a publicity-shy singer, others that she is an art project or a creation of a panicking music industry (her digitally adjusted oeuvre is on Spotify). Judging by her Instagram page, many of her fans believe she is real – although they concede that she has been a bit heavy-handed with the Photoshop. Others disagree heartily, shouting things such as: “She is fake! She has no visible pores,” in the comments. (Her lack of pores comes up a lot as proof that she is synthetic, like a Turing test for the Instagram beauty-tutorial age.)

The Root of All Cruelty?:

The limitations of the dehumanization thesis are hardly good news. There has always been something optimistic about the idea that our worst acts of inhumanity are based on confusion. It suggests that we could make the world better simply by having a clearer grasp of reality—by deactivating those brain implants, or their ideological equivalent. The truth may be harder to accept: that our best and our worst tendencies arise precisely from seeing others as human.

To be a zombie all the time, requires such dedication.

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