The Ghost Still Haunts The Machine

There was a thought provoking book review in the New York Times late last year of Meghan O’Gieblyn’s God, Human, Animal, Machine in the New York Times Book Review. Here’s an excerpt of the review:

“But as O’Gieblyn argues, the ghost still haunts the machine. The self resists exile, creeping back into even ostensibly materialist theories. Many of the tech-utopians who congratulate themselves most vociferously on their affinity with the Enlightenment subscribe to quasi-religious worldviews — a phenomenon that O’Gieblyn, who grew up in a Christian fundamentalist family, is well equipped to analyze. Take, for instance, transhumanism, according to which ‘the evolution of the cosmos comes down to a single process: that of information becoming organized into increasingly complex forms of intelligence.’ For those who see ‘processes as disparate as forests, genes and cellular structures’ as forms of computation — as means of transmitting information — our world is re-enchanted. Everything is potent with significance, and history is a ‘process of revelation,’ culminating in the elevation of humans into ‘post-humans,’ or spiritual machines.’”

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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