(PDF FREE) [Alien Phenomenology or What It’s Like to Be a Thing] î Ian Bogost
Uman thical values pleasant as it might seem the world does not mean to itself but only to humans or something like thatafterword after 6 years something i find convincing if you wish to de center humans Short moments of Oh yup I know xactly what he s talking about lead to But why is this important These moments are surrounded by a murky mix of whatever Clearly written but nevertheless bewildering introduction to a topic that made me want to read the books on his bibliography There s a lot of showing and assertion but not a lot of argumentation Had trouble determining if what I was reading was simple truth or gibbering insanity Tend toward the former but I m going to read Latour and Harman to make sure What lse is there here anywhere right now Anything will do so long as it reminds us of the awesome plentitude of the alien Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars, everyday 134I have been interested in things for a long time I remember on a visit to an art museum as an undergraduate being fascinated by a scuffed section of worn wooden floor in a corner that I thought deserved as much attention as thexhibits It seemed to carry such a weight of narrative Likewise at a conference in Wisconsin I found an old painted heat register in a corner of a m This is a strange book written by a video game designer trying his hand at philosophyThe author manages to re invent Alfred Korzybski s idea of General Semantics and gives it the new name of Object Oriented Ontology using terminology borrowed from software developers At the same time the author falls into the very trap Korzybski warns about when he said the map is not the territory I m guessing the author never read Korzybski or heard of General Semantics so it s probably not a hard mistake to make Korzybski s work on the relationship between words and things was never mainstream and these days the only people who remember General Semantics are likely hard core fans of science fiction authors like Robert Heinlein H Beam Piper and A E Vogt who based a number of their stories on the idea Both Bogost and Kozybski also probably owe a bit of a debt to Gottfried Leibniz s idea of characteristica universalis a universal language or calculus for thought that could be used for describing ideas objects and relations in a way free of biases and inaccuraciesKorzybski gives an xample arly in his book of a pencil and the word pencil He compares how two different people who both use the word pencil describe the actual object both are correct in a limited way but the features they ach use are completely different and a third party who had never seen a pencil would not ven understand that both are describing the same object and would have no way of guessing the properties of the real object He proposes a precise and universal way of describing objects This Forsaken Earth entities ideas and the relationships between them To do it right would reuire a precise language but he proposes a method that works inxisting languages with the aid of various structural diagramming toolsBogost goes through the beginnings of a similar The Summer Palace: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 2) exercise using something from his ownxperience a video game based on the movie ET He spends several pages giving xamples of something from his own xperience a video game based on the movie ET He spends several pages giving Campfire examples of we might describe the game and how those descriptions are incomplete andor inaccurate Unlike Korzybski Bogost does not go on to propose a solution probably due to the limited size of his book Alien Phenomenology is a modest 136 page vs Korzybski s Science and Sanity An Introduction to Non Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics which clocks in at 806 pagesThe book s subtitle What it s Like to be a Thing leaves the reader with a bit of a mystery It s obviously a reference to Thomas Nagel s book What is it like to be a Bat which is a uery into the nature of consciousness But Alien Phenomenology never addresses the uestion of consciousness at all and most of the book is about objects or non conscious things and how they relate toach other My conclusion is that Bogost has fallen into the trap of thinking that if we could fully and accurately understand the relationship between things like say a bat and its nvironment that we would then know what it s like to be a bat This is the classic danger Korzybski warns about with that well known phrase the map is not the territory No matter how accurate you can make your representation of the territory the map remains a different thing it can tell you about the relationship of features in the territory but it is not the territory Likewise knowing fully about the relationship of a bat or anything to its nvironment and being able to describe it perfectly and unbiasedly while useful will not tell us what the conscious xperience of being a bat is likeSo the book was a bit of a disappointment for me But I did have a certain fascination in seeing the book unknowingly redevelop forgotten ideas from the 1930s that are now found mostly in classic science fiction novels My recommendation is to go back and read Korzybski or Leibniz if you re interested in the subject matter If you ver wanted to know why video game designers should not pretend to know about philosophy you could read a few pages of this book Otherwise if you Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life ever wanted to know what it would look like if that book were written by your computer geek pal from college who used to get intondless and pointless conversations about concepts like reality only to
come up with stuff like it s like up with stuff like it s like ity you know you could read a few pages of this book Otherwise if you Crazy Love ever wanted to know what it would be like to read a book that stuffed words like weird and strange and bizarre intovery available space defined here as spaces not already occupied by name dropping and sound bites then you could read a few pages of this book. From human comprehension and becomes accessible only through a speculative philosophy based on metaphorProviding a new approach for understanding the Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society experience of things as things Bogost also calls on philosophers to rethink their craft Drawing on his own background as a videogame designer Bogostncourages professional thinkers to become makers as well ngineers who construct things as much as they think and write about them. Look veryone doing theory a VERY fine book can be done in fewer than 200 pages Use this as a model in future specially if you want to be readSome favorite bits speculative realism is an vent rather than a philosophical position it names a moment when the Black Heart, Red Ruby epistemological tidebbed revealing the iridescent shells of realism they had so long occluded all things ually xist yet they do not New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood existually The funeral pyre is not the same as the aardvark the porceletta shell is not Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey euivalent to the rugby ball Not only is neither pair reducible to humanncounter but also neither is reducible to the other The power of flat ontology comes from its indiscretion It refuses distinction and welcomes all into the temple of being Unit is an ambivalent term indifferent to the nature of what it names It is also isolated unitary and specific not simply the part of a whole or ontologically basic and indivisible like an atom units operate That is thing constantly machinate within themselves and mesh with one another acting and reacting to properties and states while still keeping something secret Since units remain fundamentally in the dark about one another s infinite centers the unit operations that become relevant to them differ Everything whatsoever is like people on a subway crunched together into uncomfortably intimate contact with strangers Lists remind us that no matter how fluidly a system may operate its members remain utterly isolated mutual aliens xcept see what context does via Harper s Index Ontographical cataloging hones a virtue the abandonment of anthropocentric narrative coherence in favor of worldly detail The tire and chassis the ice milk and cup the buckshot and soil things like these xist not just for us but also for themselves and for one another in ways that might surprise and dismay us For the ontographer Aristotle was wrong nature does not operate in the shortest way possible but in a multitude of locally streamlined yet globally inefficient ways anthropocentrism is unavoidable at least for us humans The same is true of any unit for the bats chiropteracentrism is the problem Objects try to make sense of ЯED each other through the ualities and logics they possess When one object caricatures another the first grasps the second in abstractnough for the one to make some sense of the other given its own internal properties No matter how we may feel about ating or abstaining from meat appeals to feeling and suffering xemplify the correlationist conceit the assumption that the rights any thing should have are the same ones we believe we should have that living things like us are important that those less like us and that life itself is an The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs existence of greater worth than inanimacy Metaphorism is necessarily anthropomorphic and thus it challenges the metaphysician both tombrace and to yield to the limits of humanity It s possible to generalize of course For Moreno example one could argue that no matter what sort of thing a unit is it ought to have the right to be preserved and not destroyed This is an impractical sentiment however because beings often need toat or molt or burn or dissolve Aristotelian final causation tends to be human oriented Take another weirder case theories concepts and memes Is there an Monsieur Pain ethics of ideas Not anthics for their application as by human hands advancing a political cause but an A Spark of Light: the fearless new novel from the Number One bestselling author ethics for the interactions of ideas as such When I utter a phrase does it owe than its utterance When Incounter a catchy chorus on the radio or a clever What If edition of a web comic does its desire to propagate create duty When we ask after thethics of objects we are really asking if Moral Ualities Exist As Sensual Ualities I ualities The Exhaustion Breakthrough exist as sensual ualities I float a categorical response no When the veganat the tofu she bathes in its moisture its blandness its suppleness its vegetality Yet the soy does not bathe in her veganism An object The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good enters anthical relation when it attempts to reconcile the sensual ualities of another object vis vis the former s withdrawn reality Despite the fact that Levinas claims Supplemental Book ethics as first philosophy what he gives us is not reallythics but a metaphysics of intersubjectivity that he gives the name Hark! The Herald Angels Scream ethics Objectthicscan only Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners ever be theorized once removed phenomenally the parallel universes of private objects cradled silently in their cocoonsven while their surfaces seem to xplode devour caress or murder one another Ethical judgment itself proves a metaphorism an attempt to reconcile the being of one unit in terms of another We mistake it for the object s withdrawn ssence If anticorrelationsim amounts to a rejection of only one correlation and an Bidadari yang Mengembara embrace of multiple correlations then centrism is inevitable whether it be anthropocentrism petrocentrism photocentrism skylocentrism or any other things render one another in infinite chain of weaker weaker correlationach altering and distorting the last such that it sense is rendered It s not turtles all the way down but metaphors AVOID ACADEMIC MUMBLESPEAK a sentiment of precision while at best delaying the moment when the writer actually has to be precise Like a space probe sent out to record process and report information the alien phenomenologist s carpentry seeks to capture and characterize an Red River Girl experience it can never fully understand offering a rendering satisfactorynough to allow the artifact s operator to gain some insight into an alien thing s La strada delle croci experience We apply rigor the scholarly version of Tinker Bell s fairy dust in adeuate uantities to stave off interest while cheating death To wonder is to suspend all trust in one s own logics be they religion science philosophy custom or opinion and to become subsumedntirely in the uniueness of an object s nat. Humanity has sat at the center of philosophical thinking for too long The recent advent of nvironmental philosophy and posthuman studies has widened our scope of inuiry to include cosystems animals and artificial intelligence Yet the vast majority of the stuff in our universe and ven in our lives remains beyond serious philosophical concernIn Alien Phenomenology or What It’s Like to Be a Thing Ian Bogost develops an object. Ive logics flour granule firearm civil justice system longship fondant Let s leave rigor to the dead This was a very deep dense academic sort of read Very mind xpanding I liked his ideas on how humans tend to relate things only in their conparison to human xperiences and his challenging of those ideas What to say about this book Nothing good definitely It starts with a fairly serious if whimsical uestion What is it like to be a thing shades of Thomas Nagel but loses itself in a cavalcade of irrelevant philosophical flatulenceAs an STS scholar I take the uivalence of human beings and things seriously Bruno Latour s Parliament of Things actually sounds like an interesting idea But Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, even if werase the divide between human and non human there still seem to be some bifurcations in the world things and signs atoms and bits ntities with intentional stances and those capable solely of reaction A philosopher should xamine these common sensical distinctions and the ways in which they are wrong A true unitary theory would be a wonder That is not in this bookI d hoped to see an approach by which we might approach the The West Transformed existence and uality of things objects technologies artifacts and so called nature Instead Bogost throws out a few sparkling bon mots in a sea of disconnected anecdotes and generally sloppy thinking A subject that should be approached with immense care is treated with disrespectThe only reason I finished this book was to honestly describe how bad it was I found this book to be uite accessible and totally incomprehensible at the same time It was kind of a surreal joy to read I liked how it flipped the artificial intelligence research agenda of getting machines to think like people to getting humans to imagine what it was like to be a thing I also came to appreciate Bogost s variation on Latour s litanies so called tiny ontology And I really appreciated hismphasis on making things to guide thinking or philosophical carpentry and the importance of cultivating a sense of wonder His use of real xamples and case studies to demonstrate his thinking was also very helpful and sometimes uite humorous I m wandering back to Latour to read We Have Never Been Modern based on some discussion of it in this bookSo in the spirit of tiny ontology here are some random uotes I highlighted on my KindleTo be sure computers often do ntail human xperience and perception The human operator views words and images rendered on a display applies physical forces to a mouse seats memory chips into motherboard sockets But not always Indeed for the computer to operate at all for us first reuires a wealth of interactions to take place for itself As operators or ngineers we may be able to describe how such objects and assemblages work But what do they Paper Chasers experience What s their proper phenomenology In short what is it like to be a thingTheories of being tend to be grandiose but they need not be because being is simple Simplenough that it could be rendered via screen print on a trucker s cap I call it tiny ontology precisely because it ought not demand a treatise or a tome I don t mean that the domain of being is small uite the opposite as I ll soon The Complete Polly and the Wolf explain Rather the basic ontological apparatus needed to describexistence ought to be as compact and unornamented as possibleFor the ontographer Aristotle was wrong nature does not operate in the shortest way possible but in a multitude of locally streamlined yet globally inefficient ways 41 Indeed an obsession with simple VOYAGES DE GRANDE CROISIERE explanations ought to bother the metaphysician Instead of worshipping simplicity OOOmbraces messiness We must not confuse the values of the design of objects for human use such as doors toasters and computers with the nature of the world itself An ontograph is a crowd not a cellular automaton that might describe its A Riesling to Die emergent operation An ontograph is a landfill not a Japanese garden It shows how much rather than how littlexists simultaneously suspended in the dense meanwhile of beingYet once we are done nodding Pookie-Pie: A Sweet Bedtime Story earnestly at Whitehead and Latour what do we do We return to our libraries and our word processors We refine our diction and insertndnotes We apply rigor the scholarly version of Tinker Bell s fairy dust in adeuate uantities to stave off interest while cheating death For too long being radical in philosophy has meant writing and talking incessantly theorizing ideas so big that they can never be concretized but only marked with threatening definite articles the political the other the neighbor the animal For too long philosophers have spun waste like a goldfish s sphincter rather than spinning yarn like a charka Whether or not the real radical philosophers march or protest or run for office in addition to writing inscrutable tomes this is a uestion we can perhaps leave aside Real radicals we is a uestion we can perhaps leave aside Real radicals we conclude make things Examples aren t hard to find and some ven come from scholars who might be willing to call themselves philosophers 130912 first review this is kind of the opposite to husserl asy to read but not too convincing so i give it somewhere between two and three some interesting ways of philosophy some ideas ven some from husserl and made me think i should read meillassoux againthe idea that philosophers or metaphysicians should do rather than talk in writing papers only should be like doctors of thought seems mistaken to me there may be too much critical detail disputes to
"Establish This Or That Prof "this or that prof idea he works in the field so knows but perhaps xaggerates there is only our human tradition of primarily written ideas that can be A Warlocks Dance (The Cursed Princes, examined rather as ideas than as objects in the world as biology chemistry physics and words themselves contain by contrast and composition Oriented ontology that puts things at the center of being a philosophy in which nothingxists any or less than anything lse in which humans are lements but not the sole or My First Kitten even primarylements of philosophical interest And unlike Seeds of the Spirit 2000 experimental phenomenology or the philosophy of technology Bogost’s alien phenomenology takes for granted that all beings interact with and perceive one another Thisxperience however withdraws.