Uexküll approached animals such as ticks, flies, bees, birds, sea urchins, etc. as subjects rather than mechanisms. Through a careful analysis of their physiology, observations of their behavior, and behavioral experiments, Uexküll would make deductions about what the experience of the animal is like or how that particular animal experiences the world or what he calls its “umwelt“. Thus, for example, in the picture to the right above, we see a comparison between the umwelt of humans (top) and the umwelt of bees.
Thus, in the bee umwelt depicted above, we encounter the interior world of bees or the world as they navigate it. Note, this alien phenomenology does not exclude the human, but merely opens us on to other worlds beyond the human. We’ll also notice that in the world of bees there are things that don’t appear in the human world and in the world of humans there are things that don’t appear in the bee world. […] In the world of humans you see a fish, a sailboat, and a cloud. In the world of the sea urchin, the fish, sailboat, and cloud turn into black blobs that are qualitatively distinct from one another.
Google’s Self-Driving Car gathers almost 1 GB per SECOND. Here’s what it “sees” making a left turn
Goggles is the image search feature in the Google mobile app, and by layering the app’s best attempts to match his photos, Bland has created an artistic view of the world as seen through Google’s eyes. […] “I suppose watching how Google combines things has helped me see the world in a less conditioned way,” he says.
- Jakob Schiller: “Google Is Alive, It Has Eyes, and This Is What It Sees”, Wired.
Uexküll empieza por distinguir cuidadosamente la Umgebung, el espacio objetivo en el que vemos moverse a un ser vivo, de la Umwelt, el mundo-ambiente que está constituido por una serie más o menos dilatada de elementos a los que llama “portadores de significado” (Bedeutungsträger) o de “marcas” (Merkmalträger), que son los únicos que interesan a los animales. […] Cada ambiente es una unidad cerrada en sí misma, que resulta de la captación selectiva de una serie de elementos o de “marcas” en la Umbegung […]. La primera tarea del investigador que observa a un animal es la de reconocer los “portadores de significados” que constituyen su ambiente.
[…] Heidegger llama das Enthemmende, el desinhibidor, a lo que Uexküll definía como “portador de significado” y Enthemmungsring, círculo desinhibidor, a lo que el zoólogo denominaba Umwelt, medio ambiente. […] Heidegger se refiere al experimento (ya descrito por Uexküll) en el que una abeja, en el laboratorio, es colocada ante una taza llena de miel. Si, una vez que la abeja ha empezado a chupar, se le secciona el abdomen, sigue chupando tranquilamente mientras se ve cómo le sale la miel por el abdomen abierto. […] No advierte este exceso, ni siquiera la falta de su abdomen. De ningún modo, aunque prosiga con su actividad institual, precisamente porque no se da cuenta de que todavía hay miel. La abeja está sencillamente atrapada en el alimento.
[…] precisamente porque el animal, en su aturdimiento, tiene relación con todo lo que encuentra en el círculo desinhibidor, precisamente por esto no se encuentra en el lado de lo humano, precisamente por esto no tiene mundo […] En efecto, el instintivo ser-capaz del aturdimiento absorbido, es decir, del estar atrapado en lo que desinhibe, es un estar abierto a…, aunque sea con la marca de no relacionarse con ello. La piedra, por el contrario, no tiene ni siquiera esta posibilidad.
[…] ninguna excitabilidad de la planta o del animal pueden llevar jamás a lo viviente hacia lo libre, de modo tal que lo excitado pueda dejar de ser lo excitante […] Plantas y animales dependen de algo que les es externo, sin “ver” nunca el afuera ni el adentro.
- Giorgio Agamben: “Lo abierto: el hombre y el animal” (algunas citas son de Heidegger).
… and right through the center of Waldo Jeffers’ head, which split slightly, causing little rhythmic arcs of red to pulsate gently in the morning sun.- The Velvet Underground: “The Gift”.
Her eyes with their long curved lashes looked straight before her, and though wide open, they seemed slightly puckered by the cheek-bones, because of the blood pulsing gently under the delicate skin.- Gustave Flaubert: “Mme. Bovary” (trans. Eleanor Marx-Avelin), II-VII.
Ses yeux aux longs cils courbes regardaient devant elle, et, quoique bien ouverts, ils semblaient un peu bridés par les pommettes, à cause du sang, qui battait doucement sous sa peau fine.- Gustave Flaubert: “Mme. Bovary”, II-VII.
I knew there was pain, but pain is not aching.- Television: “Venus” (1977)
William Potter: Ooh! It damn well ‘urts!- Lawrence de Arabia; David Lean: “Lawrence de Arabia” (1962)
T.E. Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.
Officer: What’s the trick then?
T.E. Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.
I wasn’t always smart, I was actually very stupid in school… [T]here was a boy who was very attractive who was even stupider than I was. And in order to ingratiate myself with this boy who was very beautiful, I began to do his homework for him – and that’s how I became smart, I had to do all this work to just keep ahead of him a little bit, in order to help him. In a sense, all the rest of my life I’ve been trying to do intellectual things that would attract beautiful boys.”
Michel Foucault, 1983.
“‘Into these love-matters even you, Socrates, might haply be initiated; but I doubt if you could approach the rites and revelations to which these, for the properly instructed, are merely the avenue. However I will speak of them,’ she said, ‘and will not stint my best endeavors; only you on your part must try your best to follow. He who would proceed rightly in this business must not merely begin from his youth to encounter beautiful bodies. In the first place, indeed, if his conductor guides him aright, he must be in love with one particular body, and engender beautiful converse therein; but next he must remark how the beauty attached to this or that body is cognate to that which is attached to any other, and that if he means to ensue beauty in form, it is gross folly not to regard as one and the same the beauty belonging to all; and so, having grasped this truth, he must make himself a lover of all beautiful bodies, and slacken the stress of his feeling for one by contemning it and counting it a trifle. But his next advance will be to set a higher value on the beauty of souls than on that of the body, so that however little the grace that may bloom in any likely soul it shall suffice him for loving and caring, and for bringing forth and soliciting such converse as will tend to the betterment of the young; and that finally he may be constrained to contemplate the beautiful as appearing in our observances and our laws, and to behold it all bound together in kinship and so estimate the body’s beauty as a slight affair. From observances he should be led on to the branches of knowledge, that there also he may behold a province of beauty, and by looking thus on beauty in the mass may escape from the mean, meticulous slavery of a single instance, where he must center all his care, like a lackey, upon the beauty of a particular child or man or single observance; and turning rather towards the main ocean of the beautiful may by contemplation of this bring forth in all their splendor many fair fruits of discourse and meditation in a plenteous crop of philosophy; until with the strength and increase there acquired he descries a certain single knowledge connected with a beauty which has yet to be told. And here, I pray you,’ said she, ‘give me the very best of your attention.
“‘When a man has been thus far tutored in the lore of love, passing from view to view of beautiful things, in the right and regular ascent, suddenly he will have revealed to him, as he draws to the close of his dealings in love, a wondrous vision, beautiful in its nature; and this, Socrates, is the final object of all those previous toils.
— Plato: “Symposium” [209-210].
"The fact that the winning [2012 US presidential] campaign’s “chief data scientist” was previously employed to “maximize the efficiency of supermarket sales promotions” does not thrill me. You should be worried even if your candidate is — for the moment — better at these methods. Democracy should not just be about how to persuade people to vote for one candidate over another by any means necessary."
Y todo lo hacemos tan rápido, siendo tan pequeñas, y estando en todas partes. […] Os llevaremos hacia donde nos digáis. […] os llevaremos hacia la nada. […] Juntos de la mano hacia la nada.- Hidrogenesse: “La Historia del mundo contada por las máquinas”.
A single mysterious computer program that placed orders — and then subsequently canceled them — made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity. The motive of the algorithm is still unclear.- CNBC.com
- J.G. Ballard: “Millenium People”, cap 21 (2003).
‘From now on, it’s going to be a lot harder,’ I commented. ‘The Science Museum, the British Library’
‘David, they’re the wrong targets,’ Gould closed his eyes in the sun, lost in a reverie of wings and light, ‘They’re the targets people expect us to hit. They’re zebra-crossing protests writ large, educated mothers demonstrating for speed humps outside schools. It’s what the middle classes do.’
‘Anything wrong with that?’
‘They’re too predictable, too sensible. We need to pick targets that don’t make sense. If your target is the global money system, you don’t attack a bank.
You attack the Oxfam shop next door. Deface the cenotaph, spray Agent Orange on Chelsea Physic Garden, burn down London Zoo. We’re in the business of creating unease.’
A bomb outrage to have any influence on public opinion now must go beyond the intention of vengeance or terrorism. It must be purely destructive. It must be that, and only that, beyond the faintest suspicion of any other object. You anarchists should make it clear that you are perfectly determined to make a clean sweep of the whole social creation. But how to get that appallingly absurd notion into the heads of the middle classes so that there should be no mistake? That’s the question. By directing your blows at something outside the ordinary passions of humanity is the answer. Of course, there is art. A bomb in the National Gallery would make some noise. But it would not be serious enough. Art has never been their fetish. It’s like breaking a few back windows in a man’s house; whereas, if you want to make him really sit up, you must try at least to raise the roof. There would be some screaming of course, but from whom? Artists—art critics and such like—people of no account. Nobody minds what they say. But there is learning—science. Any imbecile that has got an income believes in that. He does not know why, but he believes it matters somehow. It is the sacrosanct fetish. All the damned professors are radicals at heart. Let them know that their great panjandrum has got to go too, to make room for the Future of the Proletariat. A howl from all these intellectual idiots is bound to help forward the labours of the Milan Conference. They will be writing to the papers. Their indignation would be above suspicion, no material interests being openly at stake, and it will alarm every selfishness of the class which should be impressed. They believe that in some mysterious way science is at the source of their material prosperity. They do. And the absurd ferocity of such a demonstration will affect them more profoundly than the mangling of a whole street—or theatre—full of their own kind. To that last they can always say: ‘Oh! it’s mere class hate.’ But what is one to say to an act of destructive ferocity so absurd as to be incomprehensible, inexplicable, almost unthinkable; in fact, mad? Madness alone is truly terrifying, inasmuch as you cannot placate it either by threats, persuasion, or bribes. Moreover, I am a civilised man. I would never dream of directing you to organise a mere butchery, even if I expected the best results from it. But I wouldn’t expect from a butchery the result I want. Murder is always with us. It is almost an institution. The demonstration must be against learning—science. But not every science will do.The attack must have all the shocking senselessness of gratuitous blasphemy. Since bombs are your means of expression, it would be really telling if one could throw a bomb into pure mathematics. But that is impossible. I have been trying to educate you; I have expounded to you the higher philosophy of your usefulness, and suggested to you some serviceable arguments. The practical application of my teaching interests you mostly. But from the moment I have undertaken to interview you I have also given some attention to the practical aspect of the question. What do you think of having a go at astronomy?”- Joseph Conrad: “The Secret Agent”, chapter II. (1907)