[-empyre-] a book, dna and code

Nicholas Ruiz III editor at intertheory.org
Mon Oct 22 04:57:44 EST 2007


Is the Torah, an 'evidence' of God?  Interpretations
approach a horizon of evidence as a calculus...but
such systems of arrangement, of course, vary.

'Ownability' is one of the persistent corollaries of
human activity.  A by-product of the assumption that
one can have a 'culture' (singular or collective) of
one's very own, no?  We may argue that culture does
not exist, but that is probably beyond our scope here.
 In particular and lately--the ownability of genetic
material is at hand and stake...

Yes, I would say there is a science of politics, and a
politics of science, but not a politics of the
requirement for humans to aerobically respire...

Genes need not be 'equated' with life, in order to
understand that without genetic material, there can be
no cellular reproduction.  I am unaware of
non-cellular human life forms.  

NRIII

--- Jasper Bernes <bernes at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> Nick,
> 
> If you haven't already you should check out Richard
> Lewontin's
> writing on genetics, and his claim that the emphasis
> on the genome as
> a kind  of prime mover of reproduction
> itself reproduces an ideological tendency to 
> privilege intellectual labor
> over physical labor. A characterization that, 
> despite having been
> significantly challenged, still gets trotted out all
> the  time. Or Evelyn Fox
> Keller's writing. Or Lily Kay's. Or Judith's book.
> All  evidence a
> fundamental process of reification in which
> something that is  mutable, fluid
> and poorly understood gets hypostasized and all of
> the powers  it has in
> context get transferred to it in isolation--a
> formaldehyde heart  substituted
> for a real one. The ownability of the gene is really
> not much a  part of my
> claim here, although it's a corollary to it.
> Watson's remarks are  a perfect
> example. Just as the commodity fetish turns a
> relation between  people into a
> relation between objects, so too does Watson's
> spurious racial  science turn
> something that is culturally and historically 
> conditioned--race,
> blackness--into an object, a gene. And there is an 
> inexorable will to make
> science say this, regardless of how complex the 
> story it tells us remains.
> But I'm just assenting to what seems like people 
> here--and in science and
> the history/philosophy of science broadly--have 
> already been saying. . .
> Obviously, there's good and responsible science and 
> that's something else.
> But the above over-reaching seems to be a 
> occupational hazard there, as it
> is for intellectuals in general.
> 
> In  that, it's precisely the fact that life's
> reproducibility has not been
> discovered, unless you think that genes = life. A
> claim that, as far as I
> understand it,  not many people would agree with
> these  days.
> 
> Jasper
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nicholas Ruiz  III" <editor at intertheory.org>
> To:  "soft_skinned_space"
> <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Sent:  Friday, October 19, 2007 4:58 PM
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] a book, dna and  code
> 
> 
> Genetic research is remarkable, hence the
> sustainability of  discussion revolving around a
> concept such as DNA poetics...but I remain 
> unconvinced
> that it is a commodity 'fetish' of some sort, a
> modern
> labor  by-product or effect of some kind, a Marxist
> problematic...how so?
> 
> A  discovery has been made regarding life's
> reproducibility.  The fact that  parties seek to
> capitalize upon (make useful) such a discovery for 
> the
> purpose of life's 'extension', medical treatment,
> agricultural  technology and so on, only continues
> the
> human conditional trend of the  ancients: religion,
> astrology, alchemy, animism, shamanism,  sacrifice,
> etc...old tools of the same trade, no?
> 
> The patenting of the  Code, its privatization, seems
> to
> cross a species sovereignty of some  kind,
> bioethically...but if one is unwilling to give the
> Code its liberal  universal due, how can one argue
> for
> a sovereignty of the  Code?
> 
> 
> 
> Nick
> 
> 
> --- Jasper Bernes <bernes at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> 
> >  Steve, Judith et al,
> >
> > As I see it, the very isolation of "genes"  and
> > "genomes," and the tendencies
> > to fetishize these as  miraculous actors, so well
> > demonstrated by Judith's
> > book, is  consonant with the logic of the
> commodity
> > that undergirds
> >  capitalism. I think that, for instance, people
> like
> > Lukacs are  pretty
> > convincing about the ways in which some of the
> basic
> >  philosophical positions
> > of scientists are, actually, class
> >  positions--bourgeois, reified, passive,
> > brimming with antinomies. That's  not to say that
> > science isn't productive of
> > knowledge or  technics, or can't work against
> > capitalism (which capitalism
> >  itself always does). It's only that science
> > presupposes and depends upon  an
> > enormous division of labor, one that often gets
> > projected  onto its material.
> >
> > I'd like to hear more about this  ontological
> > equivalence between genes. I
> > don't at all understand  it.  But I'd like to!
> > There's a rather frightening
> > version of  genetically-engineered ontological
> > equality at the end of
> >  Houllebecq's The Elementary Particles. It would
> be
> > interesting  to
> > distinguish the neo-fascist brand from the
> communist
> > one. Do  you know the
> > book?
> >
> >  Jasper
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> 
> 
> Dr. Nicholas Ruiz  III
> Editor, Kritikos
> http://intertheory.org
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Dr. Nicholas Ruiz III
Editor, Kritikos
http://intertheory.org


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