chapter  2
24 Pages

Numerical Being and Non-Being

Probing the Ethos of Quantification in Bereavement Online
ByAmanda Lagerkvist

We live in an era in which a series of linked, and reciprocally-reinforcing developments, theoretical and practical, have accelerated that process, making the world more and more quantifiable and open to mathesis. The world has become more and more a field of numerical operations. The entire planet is swathed with dust and sand; a material–symbolic pointer to the fact that time for humanity is in effect running out. Salvation for the human race is salvation for technological modernity and its numerical modes of being. Intuitively, there is a qualitative and insurmountable difference between the realm of measurement, algebra, computation, and calculus and the realm of those profound human experiences, their moral imperatives and indeterminate open-endedness. The threat of human existence to be engulfed by numbers, and reduced by scientific thought, was one key imperative for the emergence of the philosophical traditions of existential philosophy and transcendental phenomenology.