Loads happening right here. Theoretical Man is happening at a rate that I do not quite feel ready for, or so it always is in life. The future always meets me unprepared. Really! I have been served a few whopping surprises in the past few weeks. This is good, very good indeed! I am also at times impossible with my friends and this will range from behaviours that have me telling them to get lost and stay away from me, to being overwhelming in my need to communicate. Mileage always varies with me, steady-state was never quite my domain of endeavour.

I am working on the issue of identity. It is one of the tallest orders regardless in which context you decide to pick that one apart. Identity is one of the first issues that any novelist ever tackles. Read James Joyce’s Ulysses, read Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, read Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and you will find studies in identity beautifully and critically packed as works of literary art. I was blessed by the gift of identity in a way that has me feeling like I have had unprotected intercourse with it, and am now not only impregnated with its DNA, but also virally infected by it. Identity is another key to the man-theoretical, as knowledge and paradox are its accessories.

I have wondered for whom I am writing Theoretical Man, and once again, like with fiction, I find that it too is written for me. I want to understand what it is that I have somehow connected in my mind as being the puzzle of human existence. The only way that I am ever going to understand it, find its flaws, and gain some satisfaction, is if I write it and thus expose my mind’s machinations and fantasies. All of this is done in the name of nonfiction, all of this is done in the name of human inquiry in action to use Peter Reason‘s expression.

My inspiration is coming from the digital culture that I am embedded in. That is, inspiration is coming from what I read, from what I have learned, from the interactions, from the relationships, from the conversations and from what I am learning at all loci of my existence. I was surprised to see David’s first reactions to what I have been rattling off here. In particular I do like the reality aspects he brings in, and the questions that he is asking.

On occasions I do experiment with putting myself in the bin of the transhumanists, but often I prefer to call it trans-humanism. In a sense some of this can be looked as being beyond humanism and I have also played with the expression “Quantum Humanism.” And here we are right back to the question of identity. How do we classify this theory? How do we label it? Where does it belong to? How do we transact with it?

Still, to be in a place where people firmly believe that life can be artificially enhanced and augmented to the point of immortality, goes against my own tao. My own tao does not believe in much at all, it is a non-believing tao, and that is exactly who is informing my reasoning and writing.

LIFT07: Wednesday after the Workshops

Laurent Haug, David Galipeau and Dannie Jost.

My Favorites on Flickr