But I’m more interested in — and in some ways more frightened at the moment by — the existential problems arising out of what’s been called the Dialectic of Enlightenment. People like Anthony Giddens and Bruno Latour have been talking for decades about late or liquid modernity: what happens when the traditional axes of self are cut loose. For example, people no longer define themselves so much by their family name; we’re all singleton individuals. We know where we come from, but we don’t for the most part see “The Name” as a living entity to which we add. Likewise we are from a place, but we don’t any more expect to be born, live, and die within a couple of kilometers of that location, and we don’t define our identity by our village in the way that our forebears did. The same phenomenon is occurring with religion, profession, or trade — almost every traditional domain of human identity. Any one of these things — even all of them — might still be important to you, but at the same time they’re less absolute than they once were. The distance from one coast of the United States to another might be vast to walk, but it’s a day in a plane.An Interview with Nick Harkaway: Algorithmic Futures, Literary Fractals, and Mimetic Immortality / Los Angeles Review of Books
Narratives are flavors and moods. When you go to a place — especially if it’s huge and alien and unfamiliar — you come back and you pick two or three things that happened there that convey your experience. And some places are so big and huge and alien that that’s all anyone can do, even the people who live there. Narratives are compressed expressions of identity, cross-sectional slices. They can tell you things you need to know, but like any section or map, they do not tell you everything. We’re seeing a huge rush of narratives right now that purport to be all you need to know to deal with any problem. Trump is the king of that — “Make America Great Again” — but he’s far from the only one. For example, “creative destruction” was all the rage a while ago. There are so many, and they come and go. Some of them are actually useful and valid. Some of them are nonsense. But any theory that says that human life is about only one thing and everything else flows from it … handle with care.
Я читаю прямо сейчас последнюю книжку Харкуэя Gnomon – это отличная, хоть и несколько излишне многословная, литература. И, кажется, у великого Гибсона действительно появился продолжатель.