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The Way Things GoAn Essay on the Matter of Second Modernism$
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Aaron Jaffe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816692019

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816692019.001.0001

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I Don’t Know about the Coming Singularity

I Don’t Know about the Coming Singularity

I Don’t Know about the Coming Singularity
The Way Things Go

Aaron Jaffe

University of Minnesota Press

Ray Kurzweil describes the “coming singularity” as the tipping point between humans and thing-machines, as well as the involvement of two kinds of non-things: trash and trinkets. This chapter demonstrates how suddenly, books have become nearly forgotten things as students nowadays carry all kinds of gadgets. It cites H. G. Wells’ The Sleeper Awakes in explaining the onset of a communication breakdown between the future and the past; for instance, the inefficiencies of the book in the age of televisual gadgetry. The chapter also discusses how scale and direction are the two factors affecting the way things go in second modernity. It cites Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s art film The Way Things Go in representing human resignation to the inhuman unfolding of events or things running by themselves.

Keywords:   Ray Kurzweil, singularity, The Sleeper Awakes, H. G. Wells, second modernity, The Way Things Go, Peter Fischli, David Weiss

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