chapter  9
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BySimon Gottschalk

This concluding chapter first reviews the argument positing significant sociological and anthropological mutations in hypermodern society. Those occur at different levels of social life, mutually influence each other, and are especially visible at the terminal that both normalizes and accelerates them. Synthesizing the material reviewed in this book, the chapter then discusses three interrelated risks these mutations present to the terminal self, and suggests strategies to resist them or counteract their effects.

At the intrapersonal level, those mutations degrade the terminal self’s embodied engagement with reality, orientations to others, perceptions, information-management, experience of autonomy, privacy, agency, subjectivity, and the ability to sustain a mode of attention that overrides the terminal one.

At the interpersonal level, those mutations deteriorate the terminal self’s interactional aptitudes and replace them by different—and often de-humanizing—orientations. Because those aptitudes have always been central to social life and are essential to mobilize and organize, their degradation is especially significant.

At a more institutional level, the risks attendant to those mutations include the growing displacement of human functions by terminal apps, to the replacement of a liberal-democratic ideology by ‘information fundamentalism,’ and to the shift from human domestication of technology to the technological colonization of humans.