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The Freudian RobotDigital Media and the Future of the Unconscious$
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Lydia H. Liu

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226486826

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226486840.001.0001

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The Future of the Unconscious

The Future of the Unconscious

(p.249) 6 The Future of the Unconscious
The Freudian Robot

Lydia H. Liu

University of Chicago Press

This chapter suggests that the Freudian robot embodies the unconscious of the posthuman social structure. Democracy drifts into technocracy, and language is impoverished and reduced to mere instrument. The recent evolution in the technology of alphabetical writing—especially in the postwar work on neural nets and the psychic machine—has allowed the techne of the unconscious to be refigured as a cybernetic process. With Printed English and with the eruption of the discrete symbol upon the scene of writing in the digital revolution, the ideographical movement of the phonetic alphabet can be said to have come full circle. That movement has made all the difference to how we think about language, writing, and the Freudian robot of the future.

Keywords:   unconscious, Freudian robot, English language, digital revolution

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