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Facing the Noise & Music: Playgrounds for Biophobic Citizens


Facing the Noise & Music - Playgrounds for Biophobic Citizens

SoundEagle falls into a deep coma and awakes in a future where cultures and institutions have seemingly been restructured as vehicles of liberation rather than restraint. Instead of wallowing in the modernist legacy of seeing things in strict duality (such as good versus bad, and black versus white) and insisting on the authenticity of experience, many aspects of sociocultural activities are now associated with the pursuit of rampant pleasure and unrestrained enjoyment.
Dystopia?!
Taking the perspective of sociology, philosophical anthropology and cultural history for this journal entry, here is a glimpse of future as witnessed by SoundEagle, a future where social landscape and cultural terrain are (re)engineered to such an extent that memory and history, along with the constituents of the physical world, are largely Lego sets, permutable ingredients and programmable fodders to serve and populate the playgrounds for biophobic citizens.
The tourism, leisure and entertainment industries have supplanted the military and industrial sectors as the foremost industry worldwide. Competing with online social media and other Internet trappings for human attention and patronage, the construction and marketing of museums, theme parks, casinos and other tourist attractions have become all-consuming whilst perpetuating a high level of abstraction and commodification of reality through diversion, fantasy, nostalgia and entertainment.These industries are symptomatic of a rather nonchalant way of thinking about culture, insofar as the dominant criterion for a good culture is that it exists as a living culture, mutable in every conceivable way rather than fossilised for the sake of authenticity at all costs — for nothing is pure, and all things are more or less hybrids reconstructed, reconstituted, appropriated or simulated in one way or another, as tampered and altered as genetically modified organisms and foods.

Even when accompanied by some educational purposes, these hybridised forms of recreational activities are out-of-place with the roles and purviews of traditional museums, conservatories, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and scientific expeditions that seek to understand and preserve artefacts, cultures and places of historical or natural value. There is an ongoing dilemma to the extent that competition, funding shortages, financial cutbacks, changing public tastes and waning cultural authority are not only impelling more museums, conservatories, sanctuaries and parks to adopt and experiment with new media and subjects of exhibition, but also exposing them to the danger of being revamped, co-opted, privatised, or even liquidated for alternative uses, land speculation, higher-value investment and redevelopment.

The explosion of tourism, leisure and entertainment in both the physical world and the virtual environment of online media has resulted in the global sanitization of pleasure and the perpetuation of hedonism, where certain values and ideas about human lives are rooted in or benchmarked against the perspective of youths fascinated by toys, juvenilia and pop culture, which are now instituted as the dominant resources in social and personal development.

Whilst playful participation and leisure activity are important agents of socialization that shape identity, behaviour and outlook, their effectiveness is debilitatingly compromised by the disproportionate growth of high-intensity entertainment that emphasises extreme behaviours and lurid spectacles. The imbalances between entertainment and education, and between self-satisfaction and self-improvement have become much more problematic in the technophilic fantasy overlaying the world of games and amusement — a world conspicuously designed to be as engrossing as possible to those whose individualistic worldview tends to be only as large as self-interest and self-centredness permit, and whose craving for amusement, escapism, technological excitement and adolescent anarchic antics finds few objections and restraints in the anthropocentric staging and distorted reading of landscapes and cultures, let alone of animal characters and natural history.

Anthropomorphic stories and images have become the de facto means for objectifying everything for instant gratification and sensory gluttony, entrenching the human race in a cosmology that both forgets and forbids the recognition of limits and otherness, as well as enslaving peoples in a social atmosphere and collective consciousness that see living things as cartoons, animations, animatronics and bionics, all of which betray the prolonged state of insatiable juvenile gratification.

Old age and senior folks are nowhere to be seen, and are supplanted by ‘teen age’, in which exploitation of, and atrocity to, animals, plants and the environment in the name of art, entertainment and cultural (re)production are so pervasive as to become the dominant social climate with universal acceptance.

There is no natural history, no objective past and present. There is only unnatural future, a future that continues to hold the past and present captive, a future that can neither seek a true reflection of the world nor escape from its own entrapments.

Reality is now available in, defined by and lived via a series of potent, fast acting, total recalls of fun, fantasy, romance, adventure and violence. The end of natural human beings and the spread of simulacra and synthetic beings are complete once the full artificialization of human consciousness is achieved with memory implant, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, in which both humanity and the environment are reduced to figments of the collective imagination, wantonly feeding pleasure centres and cerebral G-spots.

Being the only “mature specimen” alive, SoundEagle is ironically spared the compulsory “rendition” on account of extreme rarity, and is allowed to be preserved for novelty as well as a “living fossil” possessing cultural and biological uniqueness from a bygone era.

Transhuman, Posthuman, Neurotechnology, Neuroengineering, Neural Networks, Neuroscience, Memory Transplant, Augmentation and Reprogramming

Transhuman, Posthuman, Neurotechnology, Neuroengineering, Neural Networks, Neuroscience, Memory Transplant, Augmentation and Reprogramming.

Submitted as a response to Weekly Writing Challenge: Dystopia!

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23 comments on “Facing the Noise & Music: Playgrounds for Biophobic Citizens

  1. I was ready to signup for this new world and then I read:

    “The imbalances between entertainment and education, and between self-satisfaction and self-improvement have become much more problematic in the technophilic fantasy overlaying the world of games and amusement — a world conspicuously designed to be as engrossing as possible to those whose individualistic worldview tends to be only as large as self-interest and self-centredness permit…”

    Point well-taken. Write on, SoundEagle, Write on.

    Like

    • Hi Ben, how have you been? SoundEagle has not heard from you for quite a while, and is delighted by your reply and encouragement here, on the basis and to the extent that you are (re)thinking about not (re)entering the playgrounds for biophobic folks.

      May you find March an edifying month as it ushers springtime to the northern hemisphere!

      Like

  2. […] Facing the Noise & Music: Playgrounds for Biophobic Citizens | SoundEagle […]

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  3. You too, my friend.

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  4. I think that is one of the so much important information for me. And i am glad studying your article. But wanna observation on some common issues, The web site taste is perfect, the articles is truly excellent : D. Excellent process, cheers

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  5. Isaac Asimov would be impressed. Both with setting and writing.

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    • Thank you very much for such a high commendation, Carl. It would indeed be a special honour if the late Asimov could be alive to review both the setting and writing. Happy springtime to you and your family in March!

      Like

  6. Reblogged this on The Sand County and commented:
    I highly recommend this essay. I find that many of the cultural activities and the desire to preserve our practices in perpetuity, which Soundeagle is writing about, is a subject which has arisen not only in my own thinking about our world, but also in my own historical-philosophical research.

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    • Thank you, Jeremy, for reblogging the post to alert people of our mutual research interests.

      SoundEagle has been very occupied with errands and caretaking duties lately, and will attempt to return to the blogosphere as soon as possible. At the moment, only short visits are possible.

      Like

  7. It is ironic that we want to preserve our practices in perpetuity and yet we are producing a wasteful, destructive, synaptic culture with little memory for anything beyond the ability to seize upon temporary sensory experience as authentic. A modern/post-modern nightmare indeed. Naturally, a culture of the simulacra is a more easily policed, commodified and segmented culture. Science fiction writers have long been imagining dystopias where our senses are “managed” by remote control. Whenever I walk down the street and see virtually every person with their head down in an eye phone I can’t help but imagine this myself.

    From an historian’s perspective, what I find so interesting about this subject is how the obsession with history that occupied the nineteenth century philosophers and twentieth century totalitarians has been replaced by another form of totalitarianism: the manipulation of the body as a machine. I think there is a rather logical progression from a view of history as coming to an end and a world that is completely managed for the supposed bliss of its human residents or the maximized profit of its masters (who are themselves fettered by their machines). There are countless ways of looking at this problem, but I especially like your very thought-provoking and creative exercise in using sound, music, and pleasure grounds as a field for envisioning a “freer” and more natural and biological world where a wild “floraison” is still possible.

    I think a project which envisions a world without policed experiences is an important exercise in preserving our humanity and demonstrating our compassion for other life in our world.

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    • Thank you very much for your detailed, thoughtful and highly pertinent comments! SoundEagle can’t agree with Jeremy more.

      We can also identify the cosmetic and fitness craze as being similarly problematic and wasteful to the extent that if or when millions of fashion lovers, beauty queens, gym junkies, bodybuilders and exercise devotees could transfer some or all of their time, energy and resources that they routinely lavish on their bodies to more important, pressing and/or farsighted engagements such as gardening, weeding, growing crops, greening and/or protecting the environment, participating in communal activities and local projects to increase local or regional health and sufficiency, then they can still be physically active, healthy and simultaneously contributing to their societies and environments, instead of being largely individualistic, if not narcissistic, in their pursuit of beautiful or fit bodies to conform to some social norms, and/or to achieve fame or success in competitions through training, ingestion, injection, surgery and even gene-therapy.

      Perhaps one day nobody needs to worry about beauty and fitness anymore if genetic engineering can make everybody beautiful and healthy. And then more, if not all, humans can worry about and devote themselves to other things . . . . . Wishful thinking???

      SoundEagle recently appended a new paragraph to the post:

      Being the only “mature specimen” alive, SoundEagle is ironically spared the compulsory “rendition” on account of extreme rarity, and is allowed to be preserved for novelty as well as a “living fossil” possessing cultural and biological uniqueness from a bygone era.

      Also added another image, which concerns Transhuman, Posthuman, Neurotechnology, Neuroengineering, Neural Networks, Neuroscience, Memory Transplant, Augmentation and Reprogramming.

      Like

  8. Hi SoundEagle!
    Thanks for stopping by. You outdid yourself on this one. It always good to read that mature specimen got saved; especially in our quick to discard others world.
    Kudos! :-)
    Eliz

    Like

    • Hi, Ms Elizabeth Obih-Frank! Thank you for appreciating SoundEagle‘s eventual survival, against all odds, as a mature specimen to boldly face the noise and music in the playgrounds of biophobic citizens. The logic or premise is that the survival is necessary in the futuristic scenario for SoundEagle to have observed its citizens and surroundings, and subsequently logged this very journal entry as a warning to posthumanity gained and a eulogy to humanity lost.

      Like

  9. A thoughtful cultural analysis on the narcissism of our times.
    Ah the fitness fetish of the middle classes-jogging, power walking, straining away at expensive and pointless instruments of “exercise”. Why don’t they just do some actual work?

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  10. Very insightful. Have you ever read Yuga:an anatony of our fate by marty glass? A good read, I think you might enjoy.

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  11. […] SoundEagle falls into a deep coma and awakes in a future where cultures and institutions have seemingly been restructured as vehicles of liberation rather than restraint.  […]

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  12. […] Facing the Noise & Music: Playgrounds for Biophobic Citizens […]

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  13. Very interesting read. Though I wonder if this is truly the future, or just an unmasked version of the now. Trans-humanistic tendencies have only enhanced the velocity in which we find that crossroads between entertainment and education. Edutainment, the wave of the future!

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    • Hi Joshua, thank you for your comment. Given the severity of the situations being described, this post is definitely painting a futuristic scenario, and the trajectory towards that future seems to be well on the way at many parts of the world.

      There are ongoing and new issues (apart from benefits) in entertainment and education as well as edutainment, and some of these issues are going to be even more pronounced and/or intractable further along the trajectory.

      Like

  14. Challenged with “dystopia” you plunged write in.

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