The Future is Going to Come True

Diddling away at an article for a special volume on the future, I was pleased to find some provocations in the work of Bernard Stiegler. Somewhat philosophical, but highly relevant (if we can make such distinctions)…

We should probably, some many years later, ask just what is Being now? A hard call. Technological innovation does perhaps require us to re-evaluate how we imagine ourselves. The development of genetic science transforms life by raising questions about – and actually interfering in – DNA determination of identity and reproduction (of persons, and of plants). Medical breakthroughs permit organ transplants, in vitro birth, and soon, cloning and further extensions of life though prosthetics and bionics. Death too has been transformed though new drugs, new wars and new viral threats. Work, creativity and decision-making are now facilitated by machine. Even writing proceeds without pens, as I write with a stylus directly onto a screen, not to mention the impact of spell-check and format or grammar, or the possibility of instant publishing via website and blog. CGI in the realm of video destroys indexicality once and for all. There is much more about which we could go on, Bernard Stiegler makes a good effort at this in Techics and Time (I994/1498:86-87).

But all these changes were already underway. We had only not recognised them as already at work from the, so to speak, very beginning.