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Scaling the Noösphere

Richard Doyle,

Originally posted on October 21, 2010

Technology Biology

Richard Doyle earned his Ph.D. in rhetoric at University of California, Berkeley. He was the Mellon Post Doctoral Fellow in History and Social Science of the Life Sciences at MIT in 1993. A professor of rhetoric at Penn State, Doyle holds appointments in English, Science Technology & Society and the College of Information Sciences and Technology. He was a visiting associate professor in the Department of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley in 2003.
Doyle teaches courses in the history and rhetoric of emerging technosciences — sustainability, space colonization, biotechnology, nanotechnology, psychedelic science, information technologies, biometrics — and the cultural and literary contexts from which they sprout. Doyle has published two books: "On Beyond Living: Rhetorical Transformations of the Life Sciences" (Stanford, 1997) and "Wetwares: Experiments in PostVital Living" (Minnesota, 2003) — in a trilogy about emerging transhuman knowledges. These knowledges and practices, linked to molecular biology, artificial life, nanotechnology, psychedelic, and information technologies render the experiential distinctions between living systems and machines frequently dubious and often indiscernible. This excited and confused rhetorical membrane between humans and an informational universe nonetheless broadcasts a clear message: Humans, in co-evolution with the technical matrices transforming the planet, find themselves in an evolutionary ecology that is as urgent as it is experimental.
Continuing his collaborative work on the "transhuman imperative," Doyle (aka mobius) has now completed the trilogy with a scholarly book about archaic and contemporary psychedelic media technologies and the evolution of mind: "The Ecodelic Hypothesis: Plants, Rhetoric and the Evolution of The Noösphere," currently in press with University of Washington. Other current projects include a book, "Admixtures: Dialogues After Genomics" with anthropologist Mark Shriver. The Admixtures Project has grown The Penn State Center for Altered Consciousness, currently investigating the genetics and phenomenology of legally-altered consciousness with the help of a flotation tank.
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