Saturday 4 July 2015

Cyberspace & Cybertime

"Cyberspace grows in an unlimited fashion, yet mental time is not infinite. The subjective nucleus of cybertime follows the slow rhythm of organic matter. We can increase the time of exposure of the organism to information but the experience  cannot be intensified beyond certain limits.

Beyond these limits, the acceleration of this experience provokes a reduced consciousness of stimulus, a loss of intensity which concerns the aesthetic sphere, that of sensibility, and importantly also the sphere of ethics. The experience of the other is rendered banal, the other becomes part of the uninterrupted and frenetic stimulus, and loses its singularity and intensity - it loses its beauty.

Thus we have less curiosity, less surprise; more stress, aggressiveness, anxiety and fear. The acceleration produces and impoverishment of experience, because we are  exposed to a growing mass of stimuli that we cannot elaborate upon, according to the intensive modalities of pleasure and knowledge.

Again we have more information, less meaning; more information less pleasure. Sensibility is within time. Sensuality is in slowness, and the space of information is too vast and fast to elaborate upon it intensively, deeply. At the point of intersection between electronic cyberspace and organic cybertime is found the fundamental crux of  the present mutation. The great majority of humanity is subjected to the invasion of the video-electronic-flux, and suffers the superimposition of digital code over the codes of recognition and of identification of reality that permeated organic cultures.

The psychopathic epidemic that appears to be spreading in social behaviours also depends on this gap, on the asymmetry between the formal emission ( the techno-communicative system ) and the format of reception ( the social mind). The acceleration produced by the network technologies and the condition of precariousness  and dependence of cognitive labor, forced as it is to be subject to the pace of the productive network, has produced a saturation of human attention which has reached pathological levels.

In the labor process we no longer have availability of time, attention is supersaturated. First of all we have no time for attention within work, and secondly we have no time for affect, for that kind of spatial attention that is eroticism, the attention to our body and to that of others. Sensibility tends to become obtuse. but what happens when we no longer have time for attention.

What happens is that we preconceive things badly; we're no longer able to make decisions.... Society risks being propelled into a condition of panic, of defuse psychopathology, of desensitisation and disaffection. Annoyance in the face of the other and the aggressive reaction are the roots of the new climate of war into which the West has fallen.

To understand the origin of this psychopathology we must first look at the relationship between cyberspace and cybertime. Cyberspace is th infinite productivity of the General Intelligence, of the General Intellect of the Net. When an immense number of points enter into a a non-centric and non-hierarchical connection we have the infinite production of signs, i.e intelectual commodities.

Yet cybertime is by no means infinite. Cybertime is the organic, physical, finite capacity to elaborate information ..."

Franco Bifo Berardi on Cyberspace & Cybertime - extract taken from Precarious Rhapsody - Semiocapitalism & The Pathologies of The Post Alpha Generation - (Minor Compositions, 2009) 

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