M&A Book Club Season 2: Ani*mystic Chapter1: Robots & Aliens

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Metropolis by Fritz. Langu

This year Aya and I are reading Ani*mystic by Gordon White from Rune Soup. I have read all of Gordon’s books, and I am excited to dive in. This week is a meditation on Chapter 1.

For years I taught a class called Computers, Robots, and Film at Fordham University. It was an incredible class. Often we discuss the relationship between aliens and robots – even though aliens were not on the curriculum. Gordon’s chapter sort of goes from robots to aliens which is why I bring this up. But I am starting in medias res. Let me instead start with what is alive in me.

“We make the ocean when we fish in it” This sort of encapsulates the feeling of this chapter and perhaps this book. What is the world? I read a book a few years ago by Markus Gabriel – a brilliant philosopher – and the book was called ‘why the world does not exist.’ I mean obviously the world exists. But we live in a time where someone can make the claim that the world does not exist, and this is partially Gordon’s issue – I mean this should be everyone’s issue because doubting something as fundamental as the world is totally nihilistic (even if it is a joke). This is not only an animist notion it is a nonduality notion – as a nonduality practitioner – this is how I identify with animism.

Gordon talks about another favorite author of mine, Charles Eisenstein, and the story of separation.

What is the story of separation – It is when we no longer make the ocean when we fish it. It is when the ocean exists apart from us.

As a once and future roboticist it is hard for me to see the “metaphor of machines” as the root of the story of separation- although this may true. Machines are other – they divide the world into natural and artificial – where as there is nothing nature and nothing artificial. A foreign seed becomes a local seed and a local seed migrates to become a foreign seed.

Make we should move to the metaphor of aliens now – and we are all aliens and all native. I am the other and I am the self.

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