What is the use of the technology we are enjoying so much every day? Are we really freer than ever before, thanks to our beautiful machines? Are digital machines really so important for us? Are Netflix, Twitter, Instagram and all of the other social networks making us stronger, as we can immediately spread our individual thoughts through the digital space?
Could artworks in the digital world generate the good active nihilism Nietzsche has been talking about? Can we take useless digital tech machine and spread them all over the metaverse with a huge LOOOOL showing how technology can be useless and still beautiful in doing good esthetic? Will a LOOOOL free all of us?
At the end of the day, following the great philosopher “only as an aesthetic phenomenon can human existence and the world be (or appear to be) justified”!
I have read a very enticing article on the https://www.irishtimes.com
It is an interview by Joe Humphreys to the famous philosopher Nolen Gertz (author of Nihilism and Technology https://www.amazon.it/Nihilism-Technology-Nolen-Gertz/dp/1786607034 ) and is about how Friedrich Nietzsche would interpret our society of the social technology.
The idea is to understand whether technology could be but a different form of passive nihilism, and after the “God is dead” claim, we are not falling into another psycho slavery, driven and built around us by the cage of the social technology. You can find the full article here.
What is really interesting to me is the following part, that in a sense generated the idea of a new series of artworks of DArtCo: “The Useless Machines”.
Passive and Active nihilism in Friedrich Nietzsche
Joe Humphreys: Is that where technology plays a role today – in spreading passive nihilism?
Nolen Gertz: “Yes, I think the two go hand in hand.”
“Nietzsche describes five ways priests help us [counterproductively] to deal with nihilism. You can do it through self-hypnosis – drinking or medicating. You can do it through mechanical activity – just do what your boss tells you to do. You can do it through petty pleasures, like charity work. You can do it through herd mentality – just try to be with as many people as possible and do what they’re doing. And you can do it through orgies of feeling, whether positive or negative, like [watch] a football match.
“Technology offers us new versions of these five techniques. You can think of tech companies as modern-day priests. So, you have your Netflix for techno-hypnosis. You have ‘do whatever your Fitbit says’ for mechanical activity. You have Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo for your petty pleasures.
“Obviously herd mentality language is what Facebook and Twitter use – you have your followers. And then you have orgies of feeling – I call it orgies of clicking, more recently called cancel culture – where you log into Twitter and find out who you get to attack that day.”
How does one break this cycle?
“Nietzsche says the possible cure for passive nihilism is active nihilism. He makes an important distinction between passive nihilism, when you stop caring – just a sort of defeatism, and active nihilism when you are actively destructive.”
So, to be free by bad passive nihilism we must deploy the good ACTIVE nihilism… and to do this, we could use technology to open the cage, not to build one… Being active, not passive and submissive like slaves!