2003 Abstracts Stage 3

The Fleeting Focus and the Phantom of Power

Nicholas Brandram, 2003, Stage 3

Subject: Post-Humanism and Post-Industrial Society in Occidental North East England from the mid twentieth century to the early twenty-first. Source: Part One – The Post-Human Condition by R. Pepperell Part Two – Liberating Technology by J. Graves Secondary support material Out of Control by R. Kelly The Inhuman by J. F. Lyotard Man and technology by B. Adkins Objectives: Part One – To show the theoretical and through example, empirical, paradigm shift from a ‘human-centred’ universe to a ‘Post-Human’ one. Part Two – To show the theoretical and through example, empirical, paradigm shift from an industrial society to a ‘Post-Industrial’ one. Method: Assumptions; 1. The Post-Human condition is the impact of high-technology on art, creativity, philosophy and what it is to be human. The argument is made that the changes going on in science, culture and technology are so profound as to wipe away hundreds of years of beliefs and to show that we are moving away from a ‘human-centred’ universe to a ‘Post-Human’ one, hence the universe’s shifting focus away from man (i.e. the fleeting focus.) 2. The rise of technology indicates the potential to expand and automate production. In a society where work is the central activity it is important to look at the implications of the shifting away from the paradigm that the Industrial Revolution and Age was and is. Our maintenance of power of manufacturing and of even intellectual superiority is becoming increasingly illusionary in our scientific society, as technology is responsible for the ‘inhuman’ wielding and controlling more and more, hence the apparition is that of human dominance (i.e. the phantom of power).

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