“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Object-Oriented Ontology and Memory

The formal cause of something is its past, its memory, as in the memory inscribed in a silicon wafer. Memory precisely is a state in which “everything is there, but nothing is ever present.” We have already encountered the question of memory in thinking the continued existence of objects in the previous chapter. It seems appropriate then that the notion of bardo would come around once more, since bardos are the repetition of memories. This time, however, we are dealing with the bardo of dying, the way in which repetition is caught in something deadly. The (superficial, given) appearance of an object just is its warping by another object, which is another way of saying that the “past life” of an object is its form.

What Hegel says about the abstractness of the I cannot be said about how an asteroid piles into Earth, causing a gigantic molten chunk to blurt out the other side and become the Moon.The asteroid never encounters Earth as just a blank screen, onto which it projects its own fantasy, its form—its warping by other objects.The asteroid does not perform a negation of every positive content, a Hegelian “abstraction from all determinateness.” The ego of an object is simply the record of the traumas that happened to it—this goes for the objects called human, for whom the ego is a virtual, sensual object.Thus there are no blank screens in reality whatsoever.
--Realist Magic 

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