The Information Bomb (Radical Thinkers)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
“Civilization or the militarization of science?”
With this typically hyperbolic and provocative question as a starting point, Paul Virilio explores the dominion of techno-science, cyberwar and the new information technologies over our lives ... and deaths. After the era of the atomic bomb, Virilio posits an era of genetic and information bombs which replace the apocalyptic bang of nuclear death with the whimper of a subliminally reinforced eugenics. We are entering the age of euthanasia.
These exhilarating bulletins from the information war extend the range of Virilio’s work. The Information Bomb spans everything from Fukuyama to Larry Flynt, the Sensation exhibition of New British Art to space travel, all seen through the optic of Virilio’s trenchant and committed theoretical position.
terrorism and people who have lost arms, legs, their mobility, sight, speech or virility are all afflicted at the same time by a forgetting, a paramnesia. On the one hand, they more or less consciously repress 40 PAUL VIRILIO the unbearable images of the accident which violently deprived them of their able-bodied state; on the other hand, new visions force themselves upon their minds, in sleep or in half-sleep, as a compensation for the motor and sensory privations that now afflict them. In
2 I.e Monde, 16 September 1997. 61 62 63 PAUL VIRILIO THE INFORMATION BOMB Making information resonate globally, which is necessary in the age of the great planetary market, is in many ways going to resemble the practices and uses of military intelligence, and also political propaganda and its excesses. 'He who knows everything fears nothing; claimed Joseph Paul Goebbels not so long ago. From now on, with the putting into orbit of a new type of panoptical control, he who sees everything -
them to abolish the distinction between working hours and private life for their employees? Or the introduction in Britain not simply of 'parttime' but of 'zero-hour' contracts, accompanied by the provision of a mobile phone. When the company needs you, it calls and you come running. The reinvention of a domestic servility ultimately on a par with the electronic incarceration of offenders in the closed circuit of a police station. The smaller the world becomes as a result of the relativistic
whole swathe of techno-scientific positivism crumbling away noiselessly, with the ruination of the first zenithal historic monument. Since the beginning of the 1990s, with the end of the Cold War and the geopolitics of the Eastern and Western blocs, we have been seeing not only the unfreezing, the decomposition of the old Soviet empire, but also the collapse of the astronautical empire - in spite of the endless proliferation of observation and telecommunications satellites. 1 Being based on the
dozen grown men wearing nappies and bibs and busding around on stage, stumbling, fighting, falling, screaming, cuddling, playing ring 0' roses, shutting each other out of the circle and so on ... These burlesque figures were like neither children nor adults. They were false adults or false children - or perhaps caricatures of children. It was not easy to say precisely which. Similarly, when Bill Gates, who is in his forties but has the outward appearance of an adolescent, ventures to declare