Digitizing the Universe: The New Alphabet and the Global Battle for Human Nature

By Paul Privateer.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The presentation explores the revolutionary nature of digital technology, claiming that the “digital” constitutes a new and fundamentally radical alphabet, a system of meaning that is profoundly different than traditional world alphabets. The difference-that of “virtual incarnation, of thought becoming material-is having a profound ideological effect on different global cultures. The digital alphabet has invented postmodern technologies that, in turn, are responsible for constructing a new “reality” and its culture, that is, cyberspace and cyberspace. This presentation will explore how these two productions are at the center of global ideological battles over what is human and what constitutes legitimate human systems. In particular, I will investigate how the digitalization of capitalism, the ubiquity of information technologies, globalization expansion practices, and research in biocyborgs (the transhuman enterprise) together are at the heart of our modern global battles.

Keywords: Digitalization, The Politics of Cyberspace, Global Culture Wars, Cyberculture, Digital and Nanotechnologies

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.15-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 480.189KB).

Dr. Paul Privateer

Professor, Consortium for Science Policy abnd Outcomes, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Dr. Paul Michael Privateer currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Consortium of Science Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) and the Film and Media Studies Program (FMS). His latest book, Inventing Intelligence: A Social History of Smart (Blackwell, 2006) has been discussed on the BBC and reviewed in the Guardian. His work has also had national and international exposure through the New York Times, CNN, PBS, ABC, USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and NPR. His current research is a book length study entitled The Culture of Culture Wars: Neurons, Virus and The Global Battle for Human Nature. The book explores how the evolution of human neurological and immune systems might explain the ideological contours of postmodern culture, especially in terms of its four dominant practices: the invention of digital capitalism, the ubiquity of information technologies, the globalization of indigenous cultures, and the proliferation of posthuman bio-medical technologies—each of them a virtualizing and immunizing cultural practice.


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