Joshua DiCaglio “Scaling the Involution, or, The Cybernetics of Persuasion”
Modern science brings to our attention whole new scales of being, from cells and neurotransmitters to ecological webs and galactic distances. In the aftermath of the death of the humanist subject, these scalar descriptions present a new question: on what scale does interpretation, persuasion, or meaning exist? Who is the entity that persuades or is being persuaded? These questions become more potent as we attempt to adjust to the ecological impacts of the Anthropocene: how do we become persuaded by the reality of this larger-scale relationship? This talk connects the scalar developments of science to contemplative articulations of scale (in which individuals encounter a higher reality), rereading the ancient declaration to “know thyself” with the scales and loops of cybernetics and information. An account of the “I” who scales brings into view the primary obstacles to persuasion as we examine more precisely the scaled nature of this entity to be in-formed.