I’ve had all things cyber on the brain since finishing Erik Davis’ Techgnosis: myth, magic + mysticism in the age of information. Davis’ work sprawls with examples of the interpenetration of technology and spirituality, from antiquity up to the bleeding edge (you can check out his web site here). It’s worth a read for nothing else than to learn about groups like the extropians, some of whom hope to download their minds onto computers and live forever.
Although Techgnosis provides a thorough look at the spiritualities that have emerged in and around the computer, I found myself a bit bored. No, I had not heard of half of the groups listed in Davis’ tome, but I already had the general idea: neo-gostic/pagan-cyber mysticism (or something like that). As I did some blog searching I found out that I wasn’t the only jaded kid with a Mac. The anarchistnews has a nice survey of techies saying that people just don’t get hot and bothered anymore with visions of cyber utopia or apocalypse. Robots will take over the world . . . we will all become cybergods . . . yeah we get it. Can I get a little help with my mortgage?
This is not to say that the melding of wo/man and machine has stopped its steady advance. No, but it has lost its hold over many people’s imaginations. Maybe that “new myth” smell has worn off. I think we see a symptom of this in the rise of auto-tuned vocals in popular music, from Kanye to Bon Iver (on Woods). While I personally don’t heart it, auto-tuning is a sign of our increased comfort with a cyborg aesthetic (PS you HAVE to see Bjork’s music vid, All Is Full of Love, for its cyborg aesthetic). Think of it as a spellcheck for your pipes. Now all we need is a robotic paparazzi (CCTV?).
What about you? Still excited/terrified by computer technologies increasing hegemony? Or is it all old news?