Strategists of the postmodern confirm that gods, like the other big stories promising eventual but deferred freedom through the labour of the negative, are moribund. With the death or disappearance of god, therefore, the standard of Being and the Same, the ends of man and machine, become contested, 'freeing' the machines into the community of their alterity, the politics of their dissimilitude? This understanding of postmodernity is an error; after all, what could be so dreadful about the end of big stories? The facile evocation of the new gods of alterity and the abyssal reflexivity of linguistic determination merely sustains ideation within a formal world, anxiously preserving its ignorance of matter. The ruling ideas never reflected, as Marx desired that they should, the ruling classes; the rule of the Idea itself is an index of a degrading species. the 'heat-death of the intellect', as Schopenhauer insisted against every Hegelian preservative. Postmodernity has nothing to do with the demise of narrativity: the 'post' of postmodernity refers not to the historicity of the present age, but to the posts in a 'second, and infinitely more complex cortex' to which the speaking animal is harnessed. What Marx only thought as 'fantasy' recodes and reassembles reality: as capital becomes the DNA of determinant technology, living Jabour is retrofitted as mere 'conscious linkages', reacting to digital stimuli, in 'an automated system of machinery ... set in motion by an automaton. a moving power that moves itself'. Capital, inheritor of the 'infinite will' and perpetrator of the romanticism of permanent revolution, the divine automaton.
kind of an amazing second paragraph for a review of Blade Runner
Hence Deckard-Descartes's self-misrecognition, a machine that thinks but thinks it is what it is not, certain that it is not what it is, ironically answering his own question, 'how can it [i.e., Rachel] not know what it is?' All the games of Cartesian dualism are played out in the Voigt-Kampf duel, implanted memories vitiating the content of certainty, but not its axiomatic form. The Voigt-Kampf is a struggle between artificial intelligence and synthetic viscera, cephalization versus the acephalization of the machine, Deckard-Descartes (synthetic humanity) inevitably losing out in the Voigt-Kampf with Batty-Bataille (the replicant Ubermensch driven by commerce) as, bizarrely, the latter enters into an animalization of the machine, howling like an artificial wolf in his acephalic, quadrupedal pursuit of his hunter.
[...] While there remained the option of being a spectator, then, Zhora's death is aestheticized in the dual sense of being exploited for its spectacular qualities and being the object of disinterested pleasure: Zhora appears to us as an expendable incident, a marginal action in the wings of the main field, consumed solely in her death. But for this very reason, we fail the VK-empathy test the film presents us with through her graphic, sacrificial consummation. [...]