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Downing, D.L. (2007). Paranoiac Visions and Neo-Realities in the Recent Cinema: Reflections on Tausk's “Influencing Machine in Schizophrenia”. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(6):991-1006.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Review, 94(6):991-1006

Paranoiac Visions and Neo-Realities in the Recent Cinema: Reflections on Tausk's “Influencing Machine in Schizophrenia

David L. Downing, PsyD

… at last, I am part of the machinery — Brian Eno

This lyric from one of the composer Brian Eno's more rock-oriented works is sung as a kind of dirge-cum-ballad-of-liberation-and-surrender. This elegantly summarizes our culture's in creasing fusion with and dependency upon the nonhuman world of technological contrivances: cellular phones, the World Wide Web, electronic mail, pagers, video and virtual games, and so forth. Our metaphors, which tend to mirror as well as further construct our notions of ourselves and our world are similarly becoming increasingly technologized and dehumanized, marked by a blurring of the boundary between human and inanimate, with commonly used phrases such as logged on, online, connected, wired, viruses, and the like. While many of these terms connote some type of tie or linkage, it is not with some-one in the world of the Real, but some-thing in the virtual or imagined sense that can similarly be constructed or deconstructed according to our own whims and projections. Thus, the site of the emotional, sentient Self — of Agency and Mind—is reduced to that of some nameless device or processor of information a la a computer.

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