“Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.” – Frank Herbert, Dune We live within a historical era that is literally defined by its abundance of information, and yet somehow, we lack an inability to believe in anything. This castration from meaning making manifests in a nausea; the effects of a stomach filled to the brim with nothingness, unable to take in anything authentic. But at least if meaning cannot be made, then the malaise of a dying world becomes muted. The death of meaning comes with many perks, of course. The moments before brain death as a result of the freezing cold come with a feeling of warmth. The commodity form that isolates us from each other creates a unity from this division based upon the joys of consumption. I am provided with many pleasures through my encounters with a technological apparatus designed at its very core to increase the flows of capital. The things that I believe do not change the fact that this essential encounter with the machine is accompanied by this increased flow. If belief does not matter for one’s life, it cannot hope to be attached to meaning. If what Sartre says is true, that “never were we freer than under the German occupation,” then never have we been less free than now. Never has what one believed, or what ideology they have invested in, or what position on social issues they’ve “stood up” for, mattered less.
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