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Baudrillard’s Hypertelic Overdrive

06.09.08 | 1 Comment

I found this in Baudrillard Live: Selected Interviews. In Mike Gane (Editor), London: Routledge, 1993 . p.91. 

…[Destruction within universal discourse] is the paradox of saturation, inversion. There is a kind of reversible fatality for systems, because the more they go towards universality, towards their total limits, there is a kind of reversal which they themselves produce, and which destroys their own objective. It is what I call “hypertelia”, a way of surpassing function, past its own objective. One goes past finality. Things go too far. Cancer, for example, is a hypertelic process: the cells are too lively; they reproduce too quickly. For the organism itself, it is a catastrophic process. With systems of economy, knowledge, production, if they go too far in the one direction they get carried away and over-reach their own limits, and at this moment they lose themselves in reversal. For this reason the dialectical process is no longer operative. In my opinion, the dialectical process plays on certain divisions: production, sexuality, etc. There has been a phase when there really was a production and a dialectic of meaning. And then it contained too much. It is finished. Dialectics are finished. Another regime has taken over. And what interests me is the analysis of this regime.
SM: The regime of hypertelia?
Baudrillard: Yes. Hypertelia, excressence, proliferation.

It would appear that hypertelia is something built-in, a hylomorphic defect where the evolution of the technical object takes place with too many residual degrees of freedom rendering it too polyvalent or open-ended and not specific enough to be of cogent use. Is the opposite of hypertelia, infratelia? Is it like over-specialization? a hyper-pre-determination of the technical object whose development is hampered by too few degrees of freedom to accommodate adaptation? Felix

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