Case Studies in the Dualistic Nature of the Totality: Technology
The Allegory of the Accident
At 2:15 A.M., a miracle occurs in the emergency room of Kennedy Memorial Hospital.
It played out like this:
11:23 P.M.- Dan and friends are finishing off their weekly ritual of getting plastered in celebration of another week of work down the drain. Working for the past 13 years in a fast-paced assembly line, Dan and friends now require excessive alcohol consumption at least 2 nights a week to help pass away the time till retirement. 11:31 P.M.- Amy, who is 7 and a half months pregnant and a soon-to-be single mother, departs from her parents house. She is constantly bothered by fears of not being able to provide for her child and is plagued by worries over how to care for her child.
11:52 P.M.- Both within ten miles of their respective dwellings, Amy and Dan become soothed at the thought of being almost home and fade into thoughts of relaxation. This thought, combined with excessive amounts of alcohol, make it harder for Dan to focus on the red light at the quickly nearing intersection. Amy, in her downtrodden state, is also less aware of Dan’s vehicle rapidly approaching.
11:52:41 P.M.- Amy’s Ford Escort traveling at 42 MPH is now plowed in the driver’s side by Dan’s Dodge Ram. Which mildly slowed by a last minute slam on the breaks is still charging at 32 MPH.
11:53:24 P.M.- A nearby driver, Charles, sees the collision and immediately alerts Emergency Operator Suzanne by means of his Nokia cellular phone. Suzanne has 2 ambulances dispatched immediately to the intersection, where Charles is “afraid he can’t tell exactly what is going on.”
11:55 P.M.- The emergency crew, consisting of 2 ambulances, 1 fire truck, and 3 police squad cars, arrives at the scene. Charles rushes to Officer Daniels to give his mildly coherent account of the ‘real life emergency’. Officer Daniels follows procedure by calming Charles and attempting to get an accurate account of the ‘event’. Still in awe of the unfolding adventure, Charles mutters, “thank god I had my Nokia handy.”
11:52:26 P.M.- Amy’s door is completely crushed, leaving her arm now intertwined with the ‘Shatter Resistant Glass’ of her window. Fire/Rescue Engine No. 8 member Jeff is able to pry open the passenger side door and extract Amy. Upon noticing her critical condition, Jeff brings her to the ‘safety’ of the ambulance. He constantly reassures the comatose Amy, “you’ll be fine, just hang in there.”
Dan’s Dodge Ram is luckily equipped with Dual Side Airbags. He is extracted by Fire/Rescue Engine No. 8 member Frank, who brings the dazed Dan to an ambulance.
The fire truck now hoses down both vehicles to assure the surrounding residents that the situation is “under control”. The dramatic effects are accentuated to reaffirm the heroism of the emergency crew. One hundred and three onlookers will now disperse to flood the news of their encounters with the scene of a near death encounter.
11:58 P.M.- Jeff’s ambulance arrives at Kennedy Memorial Hospital. He proceeds to cart Amy into the Emergency Room and alerts the critical condition to Doctor Robertson, who immediately shouts orders to his lackeys. His qualifications to do so lie in the prefix of Doctor, the nurses must act upon his decisions. He, however, is calm as can be, he has “seen this sort of thing a million times.”
11:59 P.M.- Dan arrives at Kennedy Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. He is taken in, but it is quickly noted that he is n20.7ot in critical condition. He will sit in the hall awaiting care for 18 minutes until a certified doctor stops by and prescribes his ailments.
A large contingency of ‘populists’ and ‘progressives’ will find this aspect to be particularly disturbing. They feel there is a dire need to extend the entire medicinal institution to better deal with this painstakingly bureaucratic detail. The blindness to the social contexts surrounding this institution is another symptom of the success of the totality to separate problems with the Problem (the totality itself: the existence of civilization). The functionalism of leftism within that framework can be seen as it’s strong point of overall failure.
12:05 A.M.- As the textbook procedures are coming and going, so is Amy’s desperate grasp onto life. One is forced to wonder if her pre-accident dilemmas may weigh heavily upon the strength of that grasp.
Chemicals are now flowing through her blood stream via the IV injected into her veins. That very blood is pumping because of the ‘Life Saving’ machines that are mechanically replicating the functions of her vital organs in order to preserve her hollowing shell of a body.
The forced vital activities are not able to provide the same service for her brain. As the consciousness fades into oblivion, hopeful Nurse Becky wishes there was a way to ‘save’ the mind in a manner such as that being implored upon Amy’s ironing lungs. The brain reduced to a purely mechanistic component; the soul has lost its’ place in light of Modern Times.
A decision is passed o20.n from the Expert to now focus attention on the unborn child inside Amy. The decision is upheld by an instantaneous change of pace by the flock of lackeys surrounding Amy’s dying body.
It will later be explained by Dr. Robertson that it is a miracle and trophy to Progress that a premature baby can now be ‘extracted’ and placed in a replica womb where it can go onto live a ‘normal’ life.
This brief analysis is to be picked up by every bit of alert media who will later fight for the most dramatic reenactment of the situation for their sponsors to pat them on the wallet for. The best rendition will be rewarded with a ‘based on a true story’ made-for-TV movie, whereas the runner ups will be rewarded with a spot of a ‘real life’ drama show exalting the miracles of modern medicine and technology of the glory of life in the gory ER. This is the spectacle of our society in work.
The viewers wait at the edge of their couches and clench for closure as they await success though intervals of cleverly placed, 30 second, lifestyle enhancement, product pitches (In groups of 3 to 5 depending on the ability of the show to unknowingly lure consumers .). They all know the way the story ends, but the happy ending needs constant reimbursement for those partaking in the ‘most exciting age in history.’
Necessary detail: 12:11:32 A.M.- Amy has let go. A brief moment of inner contemplation at the gaping void of emotion on the part of the lackeys. Recovery begins, the show must go on.
12:14 A.M.- An emergency Caesarian Section is done on Amy’s corpse, the blood pours out of her deceased body and the fetus is removed from the womb. The Surgery Room is now in a state of panic as they race the clock to assure the baby is ‘alive’. The next couple hours will be the most strenuous the child will ever have. It goes back and forth on the level of criticalness. A swarm of nurses surrounds the mechanical womb, a machine is there to perform every function the baby needs to ‘live’. It is a battle of testing the child’s reactions to the technicalities of the mechanical womb. Only time will determine the fate of the baby.
12:15 A.M.- The evidence of disaster is now towed away; traffic patterns resume to regularity.
12:17 A.M.- Dan is finally visited by Doctor Smith. Upon quick examination the professional verdict is handed down. The verdict: the impact of the airbag with the inertia of the collision has resulted in a broken nose and jaw, on top of this, the seatbelt Dan wore broke his left collar bone. He had some serious bruises and scrapes, but nothing really bad, only appearing worse since the alcohol thinned the blood out and gave the impression of more serious bleeding.20.
The doctor hands down his decree and the lackeys pick up the mess. The word of manslaughter charges floats through ER walls and the doctor wishes for a second that the technology to so easily help Dan wasn’t available so he could suffer more for his folly. The thought quickly passes away as the good Doctor recalls that it is incidents such as this that “keep the medical establishment running”.
It seems that the new technologies nor only cure more effectively, but too quickly. Now it is the Business of Curing, and it needs more clients. This incident is business as usual to the medicinal establishment.
2:15 A.M.- After the long process of trying to replace the womb for the child, it is declared that the child will live. Excitement fills the ER staff for a moment before they move onto the next set of patients and unfolding dramatic moments.
The baby will be left electronically supervised until it can exist on it’s own. From there legal battles will ensue over ‘rights’ to the motherless child. As it is raised in a synthetic environment (more than likely with numerous new diseases) on synthetic ‘life sources’, it will rejoice in the knowledge that it was because of technology that it survived the disaster it’s mother didn’t.
The viewer rejoices in a daily affirmation of the privilege of being a sacrifice to the coming techno-utopia.
God bless Progress.
Refusal to Become History
The situation just explained was a made up story. That is a ‘based on a true story’ story, while specifics may differentiate, the situation is hardly a rare one in our society. More important than the story, however, is the tone.
Throughout the many Progress affirming stories our society loves to tell itself, is a constant theme, that of shortsightedness.
The totality exists by stagnating our daily life into a series of events. For each event there is development, climax and conclusion. All conflicts unfold and are dealt with and put away into storybooks for further lessons next time around. For a culture as obsessed with history and past experience as ours, the past is doomed to repeat itself. This becomes our ideology.
It is through our ideological looking glass that we can feel thankful for something that ‘gives back’ a little from what it takes.
In the situation laid out in the previous pages, the emphasis lies not on technology for creating the position in the first place, but for prevailing in the end (and for those who feel I have set up a straw person, you would need to look only at a newspaper or watch a few hours of ‘real life TV’ to find quite a few stories mirroring this one). We would sooner praise the artificial ‘life giving’ machines than question the role of the life taking ones. The situation builds to the throne of Progress instead of hacking at its roots.
There is also a clearly intentional overshoot of the amount of lives taken in the production of the ‘life saving’ machines. The majority of the high tech products are made in sweatshops which put known carcinogens into the air, water and soil. The unspoken cost can20. be seen in the development of such ‘plagues’ as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which has taken a much higher toll upon those forced to live and work in these areas. SIDS, however, is never given a name until it begins to enter the lives of those in the ‘first world’ populations. At this point millions of dollars are turned into research for a more synthetic approach to ‘deterring’ the problem. More medicines and technologies are seen as the solution to all problems. This is the dualistic reality inherent in the civilized mindset.
In the case of Dan and Amy, the totality allows for criticism only as far as to extend the limitations elsewhere. One group could see the situation as evidence for stricter legislations on drinking and driving laws (which could result in more clients for the Corrections and Enforcement Establishments). Another group could see it as grounds for more safety in vehicles (perhaps side mount airbags, added security equals added comfort equals added sales). The cell phone companies would be quick to point out their role in assistance (it’s worth the money if it saves lives [even if it gives you tumors]). It goes on and on, but it goes on in circles.
To isolate the situation is to enforce the power of the totality. The lesson learned should never accept the situation as it is, it should be grounds to reevaluate the entire circumstance. Why were the cars even there? Why was Dan drunk? Why was Amy so preoccupied? Anything short of a complete reworking of the society which allows such incidents will only find more problems in the end.
An example a little closer to home is the attitude that the success of recent confrontations, such as Seattle, Nov. 99, was based primarily on the organization that took place over the internet. True or not, granting to success to the technology is completely overlooking the factor that that very technology had in the success for the globalizing state powers. This case especially brings out this duality since those who profit from the sale and manufacturing of technologies had such a heavy hand in the first place. If a doctor says your intestines are bleeding you wouldn’t thank him for aspirin. This is exactly how the system was built to work.
It is because of this that we should never accept these situations as another lesson to be packed away in story books. Every time this happens, more validity is granted to the totality. It is a system of give and take, as long as it serves the same goal. The extra links on your chain come from the closing in of the fence that surrounds you.
Any action which seeks to reform the system will merely end up as the basis for more exploitation and constraint in another area/time. We must refuse to separate the past and future of our society, for it is all the same. We are the product of one ideology with many faces, and until the whole is taken on, we will find ourselves at arms with a new face.