Post History
August 23rd 2006

Jos de Mul (Erasmus University Rotterdam), published in Next Nature Paperback, 2005

For someone whose main instrument is a computer, the world becomes a gigantic database.

We see this database ontology at work, for example, when information technology is deployed in the field of genetic manipulation. The gene pool of life on earth is then no longer primarily conceived as a contingent and factual evolutionary constellation, but rather as a database of an infinite number of virtual life forms that can be actualized at will. Although not yet as spectacularly as in Spielberg's Jurassic Park, or in science fiction films such as Robocop, our world is increasingly populated with life forms created with the aid of informationistic bio-technologies.

The emergence of post-history will not completely put an end to historical experiences in our individual and collective lives. However, in the light of the developments, we may expect the post-historic dimension to increasingly become the fundamental dimension of human experience.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?

Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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