By John Gray
In The Soul of the Marionette, John grey attracts jointly the non secular, philosophic and fantastical traditions that question the very inspiration of human freedom. We flatter ourselves concerning the nature of unfastened will and but the main huge, immense forces - organic, actual, metaphysical - constrain our each motion. Many writers and intellectuals have constantly understood this, yet rather than embracing our we conflict opposed to it, with every body from global conquerors to trendy scientists dreaming of a 'human dominion' nearly comically at odds with our precise nation.
This is a stimulating and enraging meditation on every little thing from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.
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Additional info for The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Enquiry into Human Freedom
Creating an artificial human being was an attempt to defy natural law – a modern version of the alchemist’s dream. Using ideas borrowed loosely from Kabbalah, the Austrian occultist writer Gustav Meyrink’s The Golem (1915) is another fiction in this genre. According to J. L. ’ Fashioning a higher humanity is a dream whose absurdity goes unnoticed until reality, or another dream, dissipates the imaginary being. Even when they are explicitly designed to eliminate human flaws, artificial humans cannot escape the limitations of their creators.
As in Borges’s story, the modern scientific shaman and a new human species are both of them dreams. SOLARIS AND OUR WORLD Seemingly conscious, certainly alive, the vast water-covered planet of Solaris is engaged in a continuous process of self-transformation. In the Polish writer Stanislav Lem’s 1961 novel Solaris, what motivates this self-transformation remains in doubt. The book has been read as an exploration of the impossibility of understanding an alien mind. In another reading – which is not inconsistent with the first – Lem’s novel may be a parable of the search for God.
Who dares to think you can play with matter, that you can shape it for a joke, that the joke will not be built in, will not eat into it like fate, like destiny? Can you imagine the pain, the dull imprisoned suffering, hewn into the matter of that dummy which does not know why it must be what it is, why it must remain in that forcibly imposed form which is no more than a parody? Humans have long been possessed by the dream of creating superior versions of themselves: the homunculi and golems of medieval legends; in modern times, thinking machines that are far better calculators than humans could ever be and potentially also more self-aware: ‘The Demiurge was in love with consummate, superb, and complicated materials; we shall give priority to trash.