Is the databody the next step towards becoming an Übermensch?

On: October 8, 2007
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zarathustra

“All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.” (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, §3, trans. Walter Kaufmann)

Nietzsche did not prefer men as an average being. In ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ he claims to consider men as a necessary step between the evolution of apes towards the Übermensch. In this book, Nietzsche refers to Zarathustra, a mythical Persian prophet who proclaimed to be the founder of Zoroastrism (Persian state-religion). This religion carried out a dualistic message between good and evil. According to Zarathustra, the best decision was to choose the spiritual being, which was forbidden to be portrayed. This was the one and only god (a divine Übermensch), and all the other gods were half-gods.

evolutionary process
The concept of the Übermensch brings me to the notion of the databody, which is a body of personal data (an extensive profile) that is constructed by means of connecting databases. This body could be the next stage towards the realization of Nietzsche’s’ Übermensch. Steve Kurtz introduced the databody, which he referred to as the fascist sibling of the virtual body.

With the virtual body came its fascist sibling, the data body-a much more highly developed virtual form, and one that exists in complete service to the corporate and police state. (Steve Kurtz)

This concept and the notion of the Übermensch have fascist connotations. To clarify the notion of the databody and to relate it to men, I will be making use of a metaphor and will be referring to the image. To my opinion, the databody has more authority in making decisions that involve the government’s approval, then its human counterpart. For example, in case of an incorrect administrative data entry, a database gets corrupted (a corrupt databody) and someone could be denied to cross the border. This is why I am relegating to men as sometimes living in the shade of the databody. To conclude, the databody got rid of (bestially) emotions, which makes it less evolved than men kind, but – in Nietzsche’s sense – made a big step towards becoming an Übermensch.

3 Responses to “Is the databody the next step towards becoming an Übermensch?”
  • October 10, 2007 at 11:18 am

    The ubermensch could probably be as you stated; hidden inside the concept of the databody. However, with the ubermensch always comes control. Control about the definition of what the ubermensch IS, aesthetically speaking. Like interpretation in religion, this definition has many facets. So, again our quest for freedom, embodied in a romantic vision of the databody where we can do anything, results in dependence on external factors and definitions, i.e. control.

  • March 31, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    [...] databody is all the data that a single person has left or put on the Internet. A more thorough description of the databody can be found here. We are currently scraping thousands of Myspace profiles that we will transform into a databody [...]

  • October 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    [...] nor spirit, but a digital continuation of the online social life. Perhaps we could even call it a databody. Ofcourse  things can be said against this claim, all of which I wish to [...]

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