“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

Friday, September 22, 2023

Those Galaxies Last Week and This Week, a Human Structure Half a Million Years Old

 In Zambia. I love it when the empirical world exceeds our ability to theorize it. If you've been reading this recently you'll recall how excited I got about those galaxies from way "too far away" (too long ago) for any of the going theories of our cosmos to hold up. Galaxies that show up in the Webb telescope image...

One writer observed that it was like looking at a photo of your grandparents as children, only to find your own grandchildren also in that photo. 

Well how about this. The idea of "prehistory"—the very idea that evolution and history have a telos, a forwards gear—the very idea of progress—took a catastrophic hit a few days ago when archeologists published their discovery of a wooden structure in Zambia that is 476,000 years old. And as for that fucking charlatan Hegel...

It brings into question the very notion of "hominin" (which the science is using), "hominid," "humanoid" and all those uncanny-valley categories that define the human according to implicitly racist notions of the "missing link," and so on and so on. So I'm calling it a human structure. I believe that in the end this will prove to be MORE scientific than splitting hairs. 

This brings to mind a whole deconstructive question about adjectives. When you say something is "human" like when Captain Kirk calls Mister Spock's self-sacrifice "human," aren't you...etc... 

We have no idea what this is. We have no idea what kind of thing this is, the kind of being who made it...I LOVE it. 

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