Ground Zero

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Verso, 2002 - Philosophy - 82 pages
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How would it be if what we take for human advance were simply a technological progress that literally leaves us out of its equations? What if progress is not humanity striking out bravely towards the future, but an ultimately destructive force? In a remarkable tour d'horizon, Paul Virilio paints a bleak picture of current scientific, cultural, social and political values. Art has succumbed to the techniques of advertising and in politics, the battle for hearts and minds has become a mere convergence of opinion. TV ratings have triumphed over universal suffrage. The events of September 11 reflect both the manipulation of a global sub-proletariat and the delusions of an elite of rich students and technicians who resemble the 'suicidal members of the Heaven's Gate cybersect'. And, in this post-humanist dystopia, we are morally rudderless before the threat of biological manipulations as yet undreamt.

About the series: Appearing on the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, these series of books from Verso present analyses of the United States, the media, and the events surrounding September 11 by Europe's most stimulating and provocative philosophers. Probing beneath the level of TV commentary, political and cultural orthodoxies, and 'rent-a-quote' punditry, Baudrillard, Virilio, and Zizek offer three highly original and readable accounts that serve as fascinating introductions to the direction of their respective projects, and as insightful critiques of the unfolding events. This series seeks to comprehend the philosophical meaning of September 11 and will leave untouched none of the prevailing views currently propagated.
 

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Contents

Section 1
21
Section 2
26
Section 3
27
Section 4
34
Section 5
45
Section 6
69
Section 7
77
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About the author (2002)

Paul Virilio trained as an artist in stained glass, working with Braque and Matisse, as well as studying philosophy at the Sorbonne. In 1975 he was made director of the Ecole spéciale d'architecture in Paris. He retired from teaching in 1998 and now works with private organizations on projects to house the homeless in Paris. He has written many books, including War and Cinema, Open Sky, and Ground Zero.

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