Last week there was a really great essay by Leon Wieseltier about the losses of the writer at the hand of technology, especially given the philosophical conundrum that is transhumanism.
In it, he muses—
The notion that the nonmaterial dimensions of life must be explained in terms of the material dimensions, and that nonscientific understandings must be translated into scientific understandings if they are to qualify as knowledge, is increasingly popular inside and outside the university, where the humanities are disparaged as soft and impractical and insufficiently new. The contrary insistence that the glories of art and thought are not evolutionary adaptations, or that the mind is not the brain, or that love is not just biology’s bait for sex, now amounts to a kind of heresy. So, too, does the view that the strongest defense of the humanities lies not in the appeal to their utility — that literature majors may find good jobs, that theaters may economically revitalize neighborhoods — but rather in the appeal to their defiantly nonutilitarian character, so that individuals can know more than how things work, and develop their powers of discernment and judgment, their competence in matters of truth and goodness and beauty, to equip themselves adequately for the choices and the crucibles of private and public life.
Oy. What an intellectual can of worms he just opened! He waxes on about philosophy, decrying modern culture because it tries to quantify the arts and that our future (Well, present.) is an effort to negate the human.
Here, this sums up the present quite nicely, as the description of posthumanism:
[Posthumanism] elects to understand the world in terms of impersonal forces and structures, and to deny the importance, and even the legitimacy, of human agency.
While this is supremely depressing (especially for a writer person like myself with a paltry career), this does seem to give a little hope. He wonders if humanism humanism is sentimental but finds it isn’t since searching for and attempting to have “a significant life” is always honorable. That is absolutely true.
Perhaps the void into which creatives throw their shit into is much bigger and open and harder to fish from—but it still exists. The swinging delete key of time hasn’t come in yet to invalidate all creative efforts just yet.