Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age

Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age

Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age

Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age

Excerpt

Ontology does not occur at a level reserved for principles, a level that is with
drawn, speculative, and altogether abstract. Its name means “the thinking of exis
tence.” And today the situation of ontology signifies the following: to think
existence at the height of this challenge to thinking that is globalness as such
(which is designated as “capital,” “(de-) Westernization,” “technology,” “rup
ture of history,” and so forth).

— JEAN – LUC NANCY, Being Singular Plural

The unthinkable is not something we are thinking about at the moment.

— PETER KENYON, chief executive of Manchester United
Football Club

In the Fine Underwear of Our Minds

There is a scene in Tom Tykwer’s rather pedestrian film Run Lola Run (1998) when the two protagonists—Lola (Franka Potente) and her boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu)—lie in bed discussing the random nature of love and existence. Lola asks Manni that age-old question which lovers often pose their partners: “Why me? Of all the people in the world, why did you pick me?” As we know, one of the main functions of romantic narrative is to weave all the strands of coincidence and contingency together in such a way that the lovers feel compelled to believe in the benign intervention of an invisible hand of fate. “It could not have been otherwise,” they tell each other. (If it could have been otherwise, then this counterfactual eventuality would have erased the first possibility, thereby permanently sealing the other road not taken.)

“Why me,” asks Lola, “and not one of those other girls?” Her boyfriend responds as the ancient script demands, reassuring Lola of those unique . . .

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