Dispatches from the Robot Wars; Or, What is Posthuman Security?

My guest contribution to excellent blog “The Disorder of Things” . This post builds on some ideas discussed amongst the participants at the ‘Posthuman Security’ workshop (www.posthumansecurity.wordpress.com)

The Disorder Of Things

Audra MitchellA guest post from Audra Mitchell, who is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of York. Audra is a Fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation (2014-15) and has held or will hold visiting fellowships at the Universities of Queensland, Edinburgh and Melbourne. She is the author or editor of three books: International Intervention in a Secular Age: Re-enchanting Humanity? (Routledge, 2014); Lost in Transformation: Violent Peace and Peaceful Conflict in Northern Ireland (Palgrave, 2011) and (ed. with Oliver Richmond) Hybrid Forms of Peace: From the ‘Everyday’ to Postliberalism (Palgrave, 2011), as well as articles in Security Dialogue, Review of International Studies, MillenniumBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations, Third World Quarterly, and Alternatives, amongst others. She blogs at Worldy IR. Audra’s current research project explores how mass extinction challenges the ontological and ethical underpinnings of ‘security’.

“So when are the intergalactic robot…

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One response to “Dispatches from the Robot Wars; Or, What is Posthuman Security?

  • brodix

    This wouldn’t post at The Disorder of Things, so I’m trying it here…
    If we are are going to seriously critique the western paradigm, since it is currently dominant in the understanding of what it is to be human, I think three major assumptions, which are being carried to the point of reductio ad absurdum need to be examined.
    First and foremost is the notion of time as a linear progression from past to future. Instead it is an effect of change by which future becomes past. To wit, the earth does not travel some fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth turns. This makes time an effect of action, similar to temperature. Essentially time is to temperature, what frequency is to amplitude.
    Just that with time we experience the particular and with temperature, we experience the cumulative. Yet there is no universal measure of time, just the cumulative effect of much action. In fact, a faster clock burns/ages quicker and so recedes into the past more rapidly. consider that, the next time you are in a rush.
    Suffice to say, this undermines the whole notion of spacetime being anything more than clever math. Just as epicycles were clever math, but there were to giant cosmic gearwheels to make it work. It is actually contradictory to say distant galaxies recede because space expands, because that assumes an otherwise stable speed of light across the expansion. Otherwise the speed of light would have to increase in order for it to remain constant to this expanding space and so the effect would be unmeasurable.
    Thus time is more a tapestry of interlocking actions, not a highway from one place to another.
    While the rational, linear side of the mind might be compared to a clock, in that it is a function of sequence, the other, emotional, non-linear side is a thermostat, as in hot/cold, stress, pressure, elation, etc.
    The next paradigm to be considered is the monotheistic assumption of a spiritual absolute as an ideal. The absolute is basis, not apex, so a spiritual absolute would be that essence of being from which we rise, not an ideal form from which we fell. Suffice to say, it is a political convenience for those running society to assert order is divinely manifest and they are its chosen representatives, rather than emergent, with those most capable of riding current fashions and passions being momentarily on top. We all have our tribal identities and biases, but they don’t need assertions of absolutism to power them and goad those most fanatical to extremes.
    The last point is that money is a contract, not a commodity. Every asset is necessarily backed by an obligation and when a society’s government willingly incurs debt in order to create a medium of exchange, it is public property. We no more own those bills than we own the road we are driving on. It is this collective desire to acquire large stores of these notes which is fueling much of the destruction of the environment, as the capitalist system has metastasized from an efficient mechanism of exchange, to the production of capital as an end in itself and so the economy, the society and the environment have to support this creation of abstracted, extracted value.
    What it really amounts to is a contract between a society and its members and the more we need it to interact with others, the more we empower those controlling it. In a healthy, organic society, such needs as elder and child care, primary eduction, community infrastructure, etc, can be organized and financed through the local society, using local, public banks, if necessary.
    Just some ideas to throw out there, for when the old ones finally give out.
    John B. Merryman Jr.

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