machinic man

If we are programmed, the question is: “how do we know that we are alive and free rather than performing scripted responses?”

Consider this: It appears that our conscious attempts to dissuade us from painful actions, yet once we are comfortable, we seek out and find more pain and revel in it. This new pain we embrace gives us a new purpose: avoiding pain again.

This causal circularity allows us to continually overcome or to continually fail, both of which provide movement, purpose, and drive even if they achieve nothing.

For comparison, we have programmed machines that also attempt specific repetitive actions and either succeed or fail but look as if they have drive and purpose through movement. They just don’t rationalize their behavior through happiness, contentment, or pain.

(from Samuel Butler)

attention awareness behavior belief capitalism change choice community control creativity death desire ego emotions fear freedom goals growth happiness identity insight knowledge labor language life logic love pain perspective politics power present psychology purpose rationality reality reason responsibility self society stress time truth value work