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About ElegantWaffle

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  • Birthday January 17

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    Garfield High School
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    I, just like everyone else, am a neoliberal subject. It's okay though. Radical freedom allows for a disruption of what was once thought stable. :^)
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    Thinging things
  1. Hello all. I need some help with Heidegger today. I really want to run this K and the impact is the destruction of our essential relationship with Being because the technical thought of the aff destroys nearness and "the thing". I don't really understand what any of that means though. Could someone explain it to me? I tried to read "The Thing" to get a better understanding of what nearness is but that just confused me a lot more. What is nearness? What is thinginess? Why is our relationship with Being so much more important than nuclear war? Thanks in advance. This is the impact card by the way. Please explain it to me ;-; *The aff’s world subsumed by calculative technological thought destroys our ontological relationship with Being. Our instant access to everything as a tool for use obliterates the essential being of all things making even total planetary destruction a radically less important issue and a likely inevitability. **gender paraphrased Caputo 93 (john, Demythologizing Heidegger, p. 136-41) The essence of technology is nothing technological; the essence of language is nothing linguistic; the essence of starvation has nothing to do with being hungry; the essence of homelessness has nothing to do with being out in the cold. Is this not to repeat a most classical philosophical gesture, to submit to the oldest philosophical desire of all, the desire for the pure and uncontaminated, not to mention the safe and secure? (2) In his essay "The Thing" Heidegger remarks upon the prospect of a nuclear conflagration which could extinguish all human life: [hu]Man stares at what the explosion of the atom bomb could bring with it. He does not see that what has long since taken place and has already happened expels from itself as its last emission the atom bomb and its explosion—not to mention the single nuclear bomb, whose triggering, thought through to its utmost poten­tial, might be enough to snuff out all life on earth. (VA, 165/PLT, 166). In a parallel passage, he remarks: ... [Man finds himself in a perilous situation. Why? Just because a third world war might break out unexpectedly and bring about the complete annihilation of humanity and the destruction of the earth? No. In this dawning atomic age a far greater danger threatens—precisely when the danger of a third world war has been removed. A strange assertion! Strange indeed, but only as long as we do not meditate. (G, 27/DT, 56). The thinker is menaced by a more radical threat, is endangered by a more radical explosiveness, let us say by a more essential bomb, capable of an emission (hinauswerfen) of such primordiality that the explosion (Explosion) of the atom bomb would be but its last ejection. Indeed, the point is even stronger: even a nuclear bomb, or a wholesale exchange of nuclear bombs between nuclear megapowers, which would put an end to "all life on earth," which would annihilate every living being, human and nonhuman, is a deriva­tive threat compared to this more primordial destructiveness. There is a pros­pect that is more dangerous and uncanny—unheimhcher—than the mere fact that everything could be blown apart (Auseinanderplatzen von allem). There is something that would bring about more homelessness, more not-being­at-home (un-Heimlich) than the destruction of cities and towns and of their inhabitants. What is truly unsettling, dis-placing (ent-setzen), the thing that is really terrifying (das Entsetzende), is not the prospect of the destruction of human life on the planet, of annihilating its places and its settlers. Further­more, this truly terrifying thing has already happened and has actually been around for quite some time. This more essential explosive has already been set off; things have already been destroyed, even though the nuclear holocaust has not yet happened. What then is the truly terrifying? The terrifying is that which sets everything that is outside (heraussitzl) of its own essence (Wesen)'. What is this dis-placing [Entsetzendel? It shows itself and conceals itself in the way in which everything presences (anwest), namely, in the fact that despite all conquest of distances the nearness of things remains absent. (VA, 165/P1.T, 166) The truly terrifying explosion, the more essential destruction is that which dis-places a thing from its Wesen, its essential nature, its ownmost coming to presence. The essential destruction occurs in the Being of a thing, not in its entitative actuality; it is a disaster that befalls Being, not beings. The destruc­tiveness of this more essential destruction is aimed not directly at man but at "things" (Dirge), in the distinctively Heideggerian sense. The Wesen of things is their nearness, and it is nearness which has been decimated by technological proximity and speed. Things have ceased to have true nearness and farness, have sunk into the indifference of that which, being a great distance away, can be brought close in the flash of a technological instant. Thereby, things have ceased to be things, have sunk into indifferent nothingness. Something profoundly disruptive has occurred on the level of the Being of things that has already destroyed them, already cast them out of (herauswerfen¬) their Being. Beings have been brought close to Us technologically; enor­mous distances are spanned in seconds. Satellite technology can make events occurring on the other side of the globe present in a flash; supersonic jets cross the great oceans in a few hours. Yet, far from bringing things "near," this massive technological removal of distance has actually abolished nearness, for nearness is precisely what withdraws in the midst of such technological frenzy. Nearness is the nearing of earth and heavens, mortals and gods, in the handmade jug, or the old bridge at Heidelberg, and it can be experienced only in the quiet meditativeness which renounces haste. Thus the real destruction of the thing, the one that abolishes its most essen­tial Being and Wesen, occurs when the scientific determination of things pre­vails and compels our assent. The thingliness of the jug is to serve as the place which gathers together the fruit of earth and sun in mortal offering to the gods above. But all that is destroyed when pouring this libation becomes instead the displacement of air by a liquid; at that moment science has suc­ceeded in reducing the jug-thing to a non-entity (Nichtige). Science, or rather the dominion of scientific representation, the rule of science over what comes to presence, what is called the Wesen, which is at work in science and technol­ogy, that is the truly explosive-destructive thing, the more essential dis-placing. The gathering of earth and sky, mortals and gods, that holds sway in the thing—for "gathering" is what the Old High German thing means—is scat­tered to the four winds, and that more essential annihilation occurs even if the bomb never goes off: Science's knowledge, which is compelling within its own sphere, the sphere of objects, already had annihilated things long before the atom bomb exploded. The bomb's explosion is only the grossest of all gross confirmations of the long-since accomplished annihilation of the thing. (VA, 168/PLT, 170J When things have been annihilated in their thingness, the mushroom clouds of the bomb cannot be far behind. So whether or not the bomb goes off is not essential, does not penetrate to the essence of what comes to presence in the present age of technological proximities and reduced distances. What is essential is the loss of genuine nearness, authentic and true nearness, following which the actual physical annihilation of planetary life would be a "gross" confirmation, an unrefined, external, physical destruction that would be but a follow-up, another afterthought, a less subtle counterpart to a more inward, profound, essential, authentic, ontological destruction.
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