Wholly Inconsistent or Another Theory of The Drone or How Learning Leads to Terrible Things or Becoming Human, Again.

Author's Note:

This essay may require extended vocabulary and attention not available to readers depending on their current environment and access method.  The author recommends taking a deep breath and composing the body for a period of concentration.  The author recognizes this may be an investment without a monetary return and thus should not be done by those who literally measure time as money.

 

We - in general as the social, language, and art prone human species - profess ideas to test them with an audience - first our own self as the audience, then others.  If the experiments succeed by not getting us into serious trouble - however we perceive trouble - we integrate the response feedback into our bodies but not necessarily the "the truth" of the professed ideas.  For the most part we don't understand and appreciate thoughts, words, pictographs and any resulting behaviors as correlate and not equivalent.  We confuse coincidence of expression with consequences - this is a side effect of phenomena of learning.  Learning and adaption is a wonderful ability but also has terrible consequences if not constantly re-evaluated and embodied in a direct, real, physical engagement with the world.

 

The Profession of Politics and Its Goals

The dissonance of thought to behavior is politics and it thrives on the lack of critical, embodied thinking.  Politics cannot be anything other than the complete mis-association of rhetoric -> external truth and bodies -> accidental outliers.  Politics does not exist outside of that notional association.

 

(Some readers tend to prefer examples of the professed logic in action: When a brain/body combination that does not include direct attachment of a uterus [the most common "male" body] that brain/body combination can only speak and legislate about the fate of uteruses [the most common "female" body] from a false belief in truth beyond the uterus. A non-uterus bearing body has almost zero claim to actual knowledge about uteruses.)

 

(("male" and "female" are quoted above due to the fact that even those gender dichotomies are politicking.))

 

The feedback loop of political existence leads to a partially consistent experience of the world for individuals and groups of individuals.  This partially consistent experience involves the brutal destruction of life and liberty which must be professed away for those the politicking individuals and groups to continue to exist.  It cannot work any other way for the mis-associated politicians. As long as consistency is the external truth above all ideas and efforts the mis-associated thoughts->behaviors->consequences must be made to be consistent by any means necessary, including but not limited to, ignoring new consequential data, cutting off new perceptive pathways, and forming logical infrastructure that reinforces the ignorance.

 

(Some readers, but not necessarily the same readers referenced in the first parenthetical note, may desire more direct language.  Politics only aim is for its own survival.  A political entity does not have as its goal anything other than the thriving of the political entity.  All political systems - education, government, religion, corporations, an online social network - exist by mis-associating their rhetoric (the things people profess) with real world behavioral consequences (the things people actually do).  The mis-associations must be propped up with logical frameworks like political theory, economics, etc to make sure that only the data that supports the politic is perceivable and integrated.

 

The logical frameworks directly extend into technology - the technology is the body to the mind of the logical framework.  This is why we - as the American industrial-military-education complex - use drones more and more to do our killing, our delivering, our manual labor, our financial transacting and more and more our learning.  The drones disembody us from the world and ensure that our political activity can be fully consistent in its logic of mind-body duality and eternal truth - "the body was not harmed during the making of this politic." 

 

Another example, the "likes" and "pins" and "favorites" drive the eternal truth of the online feed that drives the embodied feeling that something actually happened during the reposting and liking of a thing that someone, possibly a drone, originally authored and posted.  And now the billions of dollars made from the liking of all the droned online behavior will be dispersed into more political survival of the liked activity.  {{Apologies to some readers for the last sentence in which irony and subtly was deployed as a test of concentration and ability to cogitate on recent events in the world and possible relations to this text.}}

 

One more example may be appreciated: fiat currency/modern money.  State backed (which is really just military might backed) money is one of the original technologies to embody a partially consistent, logical framework of disembodiment.  State created and backed anonymous currency - paper currency - turned non-anonymous electronic system of credits and debts used to exchange goods and services and ultimately to has as its sole aim to maintain the survivability of the state/entity backing the currency. The value of an exchange is not directly the goods or services exchanged and their embodied effect on the exchangers but rather the currency value over time of that exchange.  Two keys to the logical framework of that technology and its disembodied false associations of real value: the original anonymity encourages exchange activity and once that activity is sufficiently high the anonymous becomes known through ledgers.  Ledgers - records of debts and credits - becomes the controlling device of which political rhetoric survives - which exchangers of goods and services survive and which fail according to who best serves the backing politic.  It turns out, the more disembodied the exchangers the more the backing politic wants and needs them.  {Strange financial only entities, insurers, lobbying entities}

)

 

This political existence becomes its own destruction - once the politic completely disembodies its political members and becomes the ultimate, eternal truth of its own making - pure rhetoric - the bodies die and can no longer give themselves up to the rhetoric.  A political system as such has only one possible avoidance of that fate - to create new bodies (repeaters of the logics) that do not die in their total disembodiment of the contingent world.  The current non-aware computers and drones are excellent candidates for such bodies.

 

Critically Embodied Activity

Critical thought is an embodied behavior - it is wholly of the body and the body's immanent environment mashed with its lossy memory.  No thought, an "inner" thought or outwardly expressed blabbation, is independent of the body of the thinker and the contingent environment.  In opposition to the political the critical has embodiment as its aim - not consistency.  Embodiment does not have rhetorical eternal truth at its core.  Embodiment embraces the illogic of the immanent and does not force a logical, technical framework on the world.

 

Critical embodiment is not an active resistance but it is responsive engagement.  The activity of critical embodiment makes no claims about truth or of truth.  However, when supported by embodied evidence critical thinking does make claims against truth.  In this regard critically embodied engagement with the world is wholly inconsistent - it moves between the illogic of contingent relations  - between bodies and the expelled ideas/expressions of bodies - resisting resolution when the resolution is unwarranted by traces of non-equivalency.  Critical embodiment embraces contingent sustainability over eternal thriving of rhetorical truths.  There is nothing to seek but everything in its embodied, contingent engagement. 

 

(Some readers, who have made it this far, likely request a reprieve from possible solipsisms and the boring academic tone.  Basically there's an existential battle between the political and the critical - the rhetorical and the physical - the talkers and the doers - the Platonists and the hippies - the idea of eternal, absolute truths and a completely contingent reality. 

 

Far from a binary world, this battle is a gradient, a balance between the various extremes.  Both extremes EXIST but both extreme's are not the truth and one of the extreme views/ways of being is not survivable by its very definition... hint: political systems and rhetoric.)

 

Political systems and their technologies (all technology really) are based on the notion of eternal truth - there is absolute morality, predictability and control, absolute justice, right/wrong, good/bad, equality and inequality, equivalences.

 

Critical thinking involves assuming no eternal truths and behaving accordingly - always engaged in awareness and learning more.  Critical thinking seeks to guard against the misfires of learning - the mis-association of coincidental expressions, events and histories.  It does this directly by questioning everything, including itself and any of its methods.  Critical thinking is of the body - of the physical world.  It has no aims only flow of awareness from one embodied activity to another.

 

Art, crafts, swimming, writing, theater, climbing, foraging, campfires.... and an endless stream of touching the world activities are critical activities.  As is discussion, conversation, socializing, eye gazing and all other manners of connecting through various perceptive modes in the flesh.  To be embodied in anothers world... non-linear, non rhetorical activities.  The stuff of living.)

 

The Critical Question

The political cannot survive if humanity is to survive.  Political systems must always be temporary, local activities that dissolve as soon as they terminally disembody their members.  Politics is disembodiment - that is its activity, not just its aim.  It must divorce the ideas from the body in order to direct the flow of bodily resources (labor into military into property into currency into technology...).

 

Political systems and the profession of politics are an unavoidable emergent side effect of a hyper-aware, social, learning species.  Politics arise from the very tools selected for in humans by evolution - pattern recognition, language and tool making.  However, when left unchecked by a critical, embodied engagement with the physical world it destroys the human and the collective activity labeled humanity. 

 

The ultimate end outcome of total politics is non-aware drones extinguishing whatever humanity remains through bodily destruction and disembodied take over of drones droning with other drones - a convergence of high-technology, total belief in binary, eternal truth, and self-perpetuation of prediction and control.

 

There exists a near endless stream of empirical and logical evidence that establishing the unknowability and uncontrollability of anything but the most simple (non-contingent) objects and systems.  The political profession in its devotion to eternal truth simply ignores this embodied evidence - it must or cede its existence. Whether in America or other countries, nation states the political exercise of humanity is lost in endless droned based violence or mass mediated drone-like human activity.  Even the revolutionary movements in behavior and outcome have become almost indistinguishable from the political systems they revolt against.  It can be no other way if the basic premise of any activity is a rhetorical, disembodied approach. 

 

It is now a critical moment.  Dronity or Humanity?

 

(Here's a bone for the exhausted reader... a short summary:  The revolution will be televised, on Youtube on an iPhone watched by a drone.)

 

Becoming Human

It is unclear how to define humanity or what it means to be a human... exactly.  Humanity lacks definition, as does any living thing, precisely because it is living... contingently, complexly in the real world.  It's undefinability is its existence. 

 

Learning in an individual living entity is an extension of evolution - the responsive, embodied selection by consequences.  Learning has an existential danger in that its very utility can confuse the learner with false coincidental evidence and shrinking of the perceptive toolkit - learning can literally fold into itself.

 

The antidote to eternal death is critically embodied living where even the most deeply learned patterns are unlearned by learners as individuals and learners collectively.  This makes for a most certain failure of politics and eternal rhetoric.  The undefinition and unbecoming of humanity into a forever immanently renewed humanity may not win over the transcendence of a frozen in eternal truth dronity. And it may not matter to a quickly evolving dronity. 

 

(for the dearest of readers who made it to the end: For the few of us humans who'd like to smell the ocean and watch the sunsets and touch the grass, it would be nice if we renewed our embodiment with the world.)