The End of Sex

[This article was originally published in "Metal and Flesh," It was translated by Briant Sarris.]

"Today I think the alien is inside."–William Gibson

Reading the already vast literature that is currently accumulating on
the Internet and the technological revolution is like leafing through a
panic-stricken Bible: on the one hand, there are apocalyptic and
paranoid prophets; on the other, witnesses (martyrs) announce a promised
land of rhizomatic hyper-icons and the beatitudes of technology. William
Gibson himself, who coined the term "cyberspace," is perfectly content
to extrapolate our present technological fictions pessimistically.

However, the worldwide expansion of the digital realm should not lead to
a simplistic utopianism, nor to a dystopia of anti-technological
depression. The third position of neutral observer is also denied us: we
do not have the luxury of not thinking about what already affects us all

The technology of the Internet confirms Ferdinand de Saussure's
discovery that language, taken on the level of signifiers, is only a
series of relative and negative differentials, which can be written
minimally as [0,1]: from the outset language was already digital. Those
two basic elements can, inside every computer, be combined into
algorithms to create text, calculate the trajectory of atomic bombs,
manage stock portfolios, in brief create a world. This world is a
reality that imposes itself; it is not a virtual double of "true
reality," as some think, but is, in fact, a continual prolongation of
what we have always termed cosmos, i.e. the linguistic fiction of our
perceptions (which creates the consistent imaginary of what we term
"human life"). As such, nothing new, if not an almost infinite dilation
of reality and its simulacra that sustain us. The debates about virtual
reality are thus, at this level, false. Our world has always been
virtual, from the moment man began to speak.

To call this a liberation (which is the beatitude discourse) is to fall
into the trap of being blinded by the Law: beneath the infinitely
increasing Imaginary, works the hard and fast rule of the binary
materiality of language. The Internet is the maximum extension of the
idolatry of the signifier, of objects, of representations. The feeble
credo of our Entertainment Society (Soci