Digitalization & reification

by Suspended Reason

Reality is wave-like, continuous, contextual etc” [Kevin Simler]. And yet we turn the world into a set of nouns which imply global, eternal qualities. What’s going on here?

The post-cybernetic tradition (Bateson, Wilden, some of the Frenchies) would say: reality is analogue, and langauge is digital. Social magic,” Bourdieu writes, always manages to produce discontinuity out of continuity.” So we might think of the conversion of a continuous and fluid reality into discrete noun-identities as digitalization.” Similar camps would refer to the de-indexicalization of local solutions—either by porting them to a new domain, or generalizing them outside their original domain—as reification.”

Hopefully, these terms can serve as useful tools in beginning to theorize functional pragmatism.

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