Ballard from beyond: six of the famed author's redefinitions

J.G. Ballard, whose relevance never waned during his writing career, is perhaps more relevant since his passing in 2009. His latest book, Selected Nonfiction, 1962-2007 (The MIT Press, 2023), more than illustrates the claim. The chapter "Lists, Captions, and Glossaries" includes and excerpt called "Project for a Glossary of the Twentieth Century" from the 1992 book, Zone 6: Incorporations. Here are six of those terms:

It types us, encoding its own linear bias across the free space of the imagination.

In this one line, Ballard invokes the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche ("our writing tools are also working on our thoughts"), Marshall McLuhan (assembly line), and Harold Innis (biases of media). 

A shrine to the desperate hope that one day the world will listen to us.

We could apply the same sentiment to social media, huh? Is this thing on? Hello?

Science fiction
The body's dream of becoming a machine.

If only.

The castration complex raised to the level of an art form.

How quaint, the missing pieces of this body. We can fix it.

The moral degradation of the machine.

Perhaps one of his more famous aphorisms and more and more relevant today. 

The economics of mass production applied to self-disgust.

Our hate of our own humanity is scalable.

Previously: JG Ballard (1930-2009)