Stiegler, Lost by the Species

Until man, life rests on the combination of two systems of memory: genetic memory, DNA, and on the other hand, the memory of the individual, in the nervous system, the brain, etc. These two memories, which exist in all superior, sexed, vertebrate beings endowed with a nervous system… these two memories do not communicate with each other. They are completely autonomous, and consequently when an animal acquires an individual experience, something vital to it, the experience can’t be transmitted to the next generation, because the memory of the nervous system has no way of communicating with genetic memory. In other words, when the living being dies, all the experiences it has accumulated individually are lost by the species.

The news has only just broken: the life of Bernard Stiegler is (technically) over. I cannot proclaim to have any familiarity with his work, but what a life he lived — the bank robber turned philosopher.

I am currently thinking back to watching The Ister with Robin at Urbanomic HQ — clips from which are embedded above. An interesting film and an interesting introduction to a kind of post-Heideggerian Continental philosophy.


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