[-empyre-] Ontology again

dean wilson deanwilson9 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 24 19:34:38 EST 2007

Steve's taxonomy:

"To argue that 'science is not THE best way to explain everything' well
that's just nonsensical, what do you have left but religion, faith,
magic, transcendentalism, humanism none of which explains anything."

Then above:

"From  now on then we are controlling things which previously
controlled us, because we dominate the planet we become accountable
for it.  If you have the ability to manipulate the genetic structures,
gender, what is normal and pathological then you are going to have to
decide every thing; gender, eye color, skin color, intelligence,
Everything. And I mean Everything from choosing what is allowed to
evolve to deciding what can become real."

I see the logic in there, since escalation is part of the pattern. But
these ideas seem to reduce possible events to calcuable functions and
systems that neglect the tantalizing prospect of people like Samuel
Beckett and other untidy matters like desire, tsunamis, meteor showers
... Besides, if the premise is true, then the need for "control" would
be a predetermined trait and "we" would not be able to "decide" as
free subjects. Those decisions would be made for us before we were
born. How convenient.

A few days ago Judith brought up ideas of pleasure and the wonderful
word "oedipalism" while continuing, usefully, to advocate skepticism
toward representations of DNA. The biological sites of unconsious
drives may be locatable through some scientific/rhetorical slight of
hand in the near term, but I can think of quite a few things now,
perhaps naively, that are beyond the alleged control of well-paid
scientists, including the scientists themselves.

Bourdieu might say that control obsessions have less to do with
imperialism, or Marxism, and more to do with the reproduction of
symbols, or a kind of denial. It's curious how equating the social
sciences with hard science can throw the historical process into a
tailspin, or ... god forbid ... disorder. One example of a meaningful
shift in capital perhaps might be the reasonably quantifiable measure
of population. Do the alienated, powerful, antisceptic, wealthy,
mass-mediated humans really have all the power to determine who or
what is to be born? Will they determine "Everything. And I mean
Everything" for populations that are "out of control"? I think the
Chakrabarty insinuates some of these questions into the ongoing

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