Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Niklas Luhmann writes with seeming common sense: 'It is not impossible but rather probable that humankind as a life form will someday disappear ... in any case, future societies, if they can continue to exist on the basis of meaningful communication, will live in another world, will be based on other perspectives amd other preferences, and will be amazed at our concerns and our hobbies.' [Observations on Modernity, 75]. Which seems fair enough; although I wonder whether one of Luhmann's central points in this book -- that our concepts of futurity are always contingent on the present society that constructs them -- doesn't unpick this rather. Say the future is radically different to the present. Who's to say that our concept of otherness itself (''...other perspectives amd other preferences...) will survive?

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