March 06, 2004

in the belly of the beast

Good to see you writing Trevor. It's sure flowing along. I will read it tomorrow morning over morning coffee if I have time.

I got back to Adelaide from Canberra late Thursday. I was too exhausted to blog then or on Friday. I go back tomorrow night to Canberra for another stint of negotiations.

There is little time to worry about inner experience, or the conflicts involved in reaching out to another individual. One is plugged into a ongoing functionality that is all about power, relationships, communication, mastery and conquest.

Whilst in Canberra I had a lot of dealings with bureaucrats who ran the numbers on the computer models that took a couple of hours to fire up. They sort of gazed across the population as an object. They stood apart from the world they surveyed and manipulated: a spectatorial distance between viewing subject (the bureaucrat) and the viewed object (the health of the population) Theoria was conflated with numbers. Buried in the numbers was a visual metaphor of clarity about numbers that revealed the health of the population. Numbers were everything in the buraucratic gaze.

I kept on thinking of Heidegger. and his idea of the high point of modernity as the conquest of the world as picture. The picture were numbers modelled in mainframe computer since these numbers represented, or corresponded to, the health of the population. The numbers implied that the object stands before us and can be seen with crystalline clarity by the instrumental reason of a Godlike economic science.

Me? I hung onto the lifeworld, the doxa of public opinion, and lived mutilated bodies seeking to avoid the surgeon's knife.

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at March 6, 2004 10:57 PM | TrackBack
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