Futurological Discourses and Posthuman Terrains

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* Article: Futurological Discourses and Posthuman Terrains. By Dale Carrico. Existenz, Volume 8, No 2, Fall 2013

URL = http://www.bu.edu/paideia/existenz/volumes/Vol.8-2Carrico.pdf


" Seven basic distinctions seem to me key to grasping futurology as both a discursive and a sub-cultural phenomenon:

(1) technologies and technology: the actual constellation of artifacts and techniques in the diversity of their stakes and specificities as against technology as a de-politicizing myth disavowing these specificities;

(2) progress and destiny: techno-developmental social struggles in the service of avowed political ends in a material historical frame as against a paradoxical naturalization of progress into destiny, autonomy, convergence, and/or accelerationalist momentum;

(3) mainstream futurology and superlative futurism: hyperbolic techno-fixated norms and forms that suffuse popular marketing, promotional, consumer discourses as well as neoliberal administrative, developmentalist discourses as against the futurist amplification of this speculativeness, reductiveness, and hyperbole into faith-based, techno-transcendental, putatively scientific but in fact pseudo-scientific, quasi-theological aspirations toward superintelligence, supercapacitation and superabundance;

(4) superlativity and supernativity: posthuman/ transhuman against bioconservative/naturalizing futurisms, highlighting continuities and inter-dependencies of the two, as distinguished in turn from legible democratizing technodevelopmental social struggle, consensus science and sustainable public investment;

(5) posthumanism and transhumanism: post-humanisms as variations of superlative futurology against post-humanisms as variations of the critique of humanism, amounting to a distinction of moralizing prevalence as against ethical reconciliation;

(6) futurist discourses and subcultures: material differences in the objects and archives of discursive as against subcultural formations;

(7) futurity and The Future: distinguishing between the political openness inhering in the present in the presence of ineradicable stakeholder diversity as against instrumentalizing projections of parochial fears, fantasies, and stakes that would disavow and so foreclose futurity."