Accelerate

Internet as Gutenberg 2.0

Utilizing the London Bridge terrorist attack (June 3rd, 2017) lead Theresa May to proposition for net regulation, a transparent scapegoat to push a regressive and potentially catastrophic call. The cracks are beginning to widen within archaic organizational forms, largely within democratic hierarchical institutions such as the UK government. Their eyes anxious in the face of political obsolescence, watching with fear as the – in their opinion – intolerable decentralized chimera that is the internet (cyberspace) exponentially grows and mutates within their supposedly air-tight system. Clawing at the last flecks of a systematic reverberation ready to break free. Unable to efficiently mould a tool they once thought would be a footnote in technological history into their antiquated party. Of course those who actually know understood May’s plan for regulation was absurd.

Even to the most amateurishly tech-literate May’s call was ludicrous and short-sighted. With a vast amount if not the majority of businesses, institutions (inclusive of State), educational facilities and personal computers using open source software, alongside a call to ban end-to-end encryption, that which keeps all manner of personal files safe would then be at the whim of any bored hacker. In short her call to make cyberspace cybersafe would in fact act in the opposite direction. The Conservatives currently bearing the 15th century Catholic torch only too awake one morning to find someone has hard-coded a theses into No 10’s door.

Something incomprehensibly large is at stake here, an event of which the only comparison resides with the invention and widespread utilization of the Gutenberg press, or printing press – the wide or wider assimilation and decentralization of the internet, cyberspace and networking (with a strong emphasis currently on the Blockchain) into society and general day-to-day life; pervasive technology at its most viral.  This motion or acceleration in its entirety could come to a country-wide not worldwide halt if net-regulation was to pass, transforming the UK into a closed network, a form of network which is incompatible with the future. Net-regulation acting historically as the Pope not banning the printing press per-say, only restricting its usage to a central body. Though by their very nature both the printing press and the internet are destined for decentralization, it is either to destroy them entirely or let them: ‘Do what thou wilt’.

“In the age of information sciences the most valuable asset is knowledge, which is a creation of human imagination and creativity. We were among the last to comprehend this truth and we will be paying for this oversight for many years to come.” – Gorbachev, George Gilder, Economic Education Bulletin, 1991

Fortunately due to the ever-increasing concentration on popularity in politics the chances of UK based net-regulation are now slim (though we do already have the Snooper’s Charter). Ironically the drop in Tory favourability is in large part due to Labour’s understanding and utilization of social media and memery in the recent election.

In short net-regulation would allow the Government – via control of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – to regulate/control/authorize what it is the population is allowed to see, learn, watch and use. Basically the call for a severing off from the internet into a state-controlled micro-net, away from one of the last truly free ‘spaces’. Away from an internet free of state jurisdiction, kept from an immediate personal freedom the likes of which haven’t been seen since the advent of the printing press.

“It cannot survive without a captive media and educational system, which the Internet will route around. Also, its financial system is a mess and could collapse at any minute. The whole thing will be lucky if it lasts another ten years.” – UR

EFFECTS OF GUTENBERG 1.0

“He who first shortened the labor of copyists by device of movable types was disbanding hired armies, and cashiering most kings and senates, and creating a whole new democratic world: he had invented the art of printing.” – Sartor Resartus, Thomas Carlyle.

The Gutenberg press invented in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg is the reason you have widely available books, the reason – to an extent – you know what you know: religious texts, school textbooks, political manifestos all owe their popularity to abundance, a feat only achievable via a printing press…in some ways it’s the reason you’re reading this – the ever growing need for literary mobilization and accessibility. (Of course a lot of what you know has its inherent footing in multiple factors: tradition, family, birthplace etc. yet one can clearly see that without the press widespread literacy and ideas wouldn’t hold anywhere near the kind of depth it currently does.). And in many ways the printing press was the second largest factor in the Protestant Reformation which effected your life in an unparalleled manner.

One must however look at the pre-Gutenberg dilemmas/restrictions to truly understand its impact. A time in which texts were written by hand by copyists and scribes, meaning only a few copies of singular texts were ever produced sky-rocketing their value and thus creating a clear divide between those who could afford to be literate (the elite) and those who could not (the serfs). The serfs thus becoming reliant on a travelling scholar or mere tradition for their education which in itself holds inherent restrictive factors.

The key problem with remaining reliant of a single source as a means for knowledge/education is – of course – that your world-view is entirely bias and somewhat controlled by what the elites entitle you to know. A claustrophobic system of knowledge in which what you ‘know’ is moulded by what you’re allowed to know – one can see clear parallels here with the proposed net-regulation. A distinct system of oppression via reduction of a means to understand one’s cage, or that one is even in a cage. In relation to free speech “It is not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard, it is the right of everyone in the audience to listen and hear” (Hitch). Yet with reference to our literary travelling scholars herein lies an inherent flaw, for if one is only given one person to listen to, or a single collective, or a centralized controlled mass of outlets, then the right to listen is merely an illusion of freedom. (Think the difference between BBC, ITV and C4.). This is exactly where your freedoms lie under net-regulation. One can imagine paying a monthly fee for a ‘News Package’ for the internet, or perhaps a higher monthly fee for the ‘Advanced News Package’ etc. etc., yet at their root each package is to go through a form of vetoing process anyway so what you receive need not matter. To receive only what another wants you to receive.

‘If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.’ – Thomas Pynchon

I digress. Prior to the printing press the production of a text was a laborious process. As such ‘events’ such as book-burnings could truly be held as a means to control the flow of specific information, or the movement of a society of religion. Generally speaking scribes and copyists were of religious affiliation and were already under a form of print-regulation themselves, with what it was they were copying/transcribing undergoing strict authorization from the Catholic church, and as such an echo-chamber is created in which only the smallest of leaps are to be made, more than likely via the most minor of alterations to the text. So to invent the printing press was to increase literacy amongst the general public, an entire system of knowledge no longer restricted by capital gain.

“Scholars have long recognized the essential role of the press in spreading Protestant doctrine. Luther himself, in fact, claimed that the invention of printing was a gift from God to reform His church. But Eisenstein argues that print did more than spread the Protestant Reformation: in an important sense, print caused the Reformation. Without access to the printed editions of biblical texts and church fathers, and the worrisome variants on crucial dogmatic issues they contain, Luther might never have been stimulated to develop his revolutionary new theology. And without accessibility to print, Luther might never have spread his ideas not only in the Latin of the scholarly community but also in the vernacular German of the lay community.” – Robert Kingdon, “Review of The Printing Press as an Agent of Change”, Library Quarterly (1980)

It is a mystery to me how my theses, more so than my other writings,. . . were spread to so many places. They were meant exclusively for our academic circle here. . . . They were written in such a language that the common people could hardly understand them.” – Luther addressing the Pope.

The single most drastic and everlasting effect of the advent of the printing press was its utilization by Protestant Reformers in the creation and dispersion of pamphlets (Theses) which in turn pushed towards the Reformation. Which in itself has far, far wider implications than those immediatly apparent in the 16th century.

Protestantism sealed a pact with historical destiny – to all appearances defining a specifically modern global teleology – by consistently winning. Individualization of conscience – atomization – was made fate.

When considered as rigid designations, Atomization, Protestantism, Capitalism, and Modernity name exactly the same thing.

Protestantism is a self-propelling machine for incomprehensibly prolonged social disintegration, and everyone knows it.” – Nick Land, The Atomization Trap

I’ve used Land’s piece quite crassly here I have to admit, but to understate the effect of the Reformation and in turn Protestantism on contemporary society would be a grave error. As Land states: “When considered as rigid designations, Atomization, Protestantism, Capitalism, and Modernity name exactly the same thing.” so the advent of the printing press has a lot to answer for, but quite bluntly the Gutenberg Press is the catalyst for modern Democracy as we know it. The vessel which unknowingly sailed swiftly away from any & all forms of socio-political hierarchy and centralization, hierarchal structures which the certain parties often find themselves stuck within. Yet the effects of the press were not seen until 100s of years after its implementation and as such one feels as if we’re still in the wake of Gutenberg’s mutation. There exist here – in terms of the press acting as catalyst – few parallels with the internet, at least those specifically related to inherent technology. For the internet is tech-in-itself, as opposed to the press which is reliant on that which it produces and isn’t inclusive of built-in networking capabilities. The press can only become a ‘faster-horse’, it cannot transform or innovate into an engine.

INTERNET AS GUTENBERG 2.0

In 2016, 85 % of European households had access to the internet from home, as for the world see here. To ignore the prevalence of the internet is to ignore that which will be at the forefront – or more than likely will be the forefront – of the next ‘era’ of human history – in whatever multiple changing forms it holds throughout. It has assimilated into every business, official body, Government program and economic counterpart, alongside its central role in popular society (social media, smartphones, smart-TVs, etc.) It is an accelerative force within itself, growing and evolving each day, at an uncontrollable rate. Therein lies a problem for retrograde forms of government, those who want the state to remain separate from the internet. For a state to say they want to remain separate, or create a separate centralized, nation-based internet is for that state to admit that they do not understand the internet, either you have none, or you have all (and free). One could argue here that North Korea have managed to control their internet output in relation to their public, I would reply by arguing that they’re finding it difficult to control their electricity and as such I can’t imagine the percentage of North Koreans on the internet is vast.

As we’ve seen from history, the single revolutionary theses isn’t the problem (one can burn a single theses in minutes), it is the Internet’s networking (we’ll get onto networks later) ability to spread a single piece of ‘dangerous’ information quickly and efficiently, and once it’s ‘out-there’ it is near uncontrollable. The State’s attempts beyond net-publication become fruitless, for to capture, segregate or ‘ban’ the publisher is only to acknowledge that there’s something ‘out-there’ they don’t like, which urges one all the more to read it.

ACCESSIBILITY AND COST

The statistics I’ve previously linked show the rate at which in the internet is growing/expanding…is accelerating. With access to the internet becoming close to a human right (see Web Junkies for the adverse effects of this). It’s in our homes, our libraries, our schools, our jobs, our pockets etc. there is no getting away from it. In fact those who are ‘away’ from the internet nowadays often do so in a moment of Walden or McCandless-esque romanticism, as if to be away from the net is in itself some feat, like climbing Everest, or running a marathon or…deleting Facebook. Not only this but in terms of affordability there is little competition when it comes to a course of pure knowledge/entertainment, one can buy a used PC for under £100 and subscribe to a monthly line rental for less than £10 per month. One could in fact go as far as to buy a Raspberry Pi, connecting them to the net for under £100. All of this is ignoring Smartphones of course, which are slowly becoming the vast majority’s primary means of networking and communication, allowing for the ability of instantaneous updates whilst mobile. This accessibility allows for the general population – those who’ve become largely disillusioned with their Government – to be at the forefront of not a revolution but a transition:

“Revolutions are relative; if you get mugged by change, it is a revolution. If you were prepared for, or ably adapted to, the change, you may be able to call it a transition.” – Is it a transition or a revolution? – Carl H Builder.

It is of course very unlikely that just by the vast amount of accessibility, smartphones etc. that the population are adapted for a full transition. There is always the possibility of a dark-transition, in which access becomes control, those locked into a pre-monitored social system – especially one under the already passed Snooper’s Charter – are submitting prior to any technological-Reformation, they are complicit with changes either way, whether that be the emancipation of the left, or the authoritative AI control of the right.

SHORT CRYPTO HISTORY & THE BLOCKCHAIN

Before beginning any extensive extrapolation into what networks are I feel the need to ‘briefly’ explain cryptocurrency and the Blockchain, as it will be of the utmost importance in the network section, those of you already familiar with the technology feel free to skip to ‘NETWORK’, seriously, it’s dry.

In late 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown inventor of the now very well known currency Bitcoin, announced he had developed a “Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, the idea of ‘digital cash’ had been around for a while, but up until Nakamoto’s development, no on had been able to create such a thing, at least not a system which avoided the ‘double-spend problem; (I’ll get to that) The most important aspect of Nakamoto’s invention however is not it being ‘cash’ but the fact it is decentralized.

Centralized systems usually have something along the lines of a central server, team, ‘bank’ or middle man to take account of all transactions, accounts and transfers etc. which in turn prevents double-spending (A given set of coins is spent in more than one transaction). This server could then be referred to if disagreements amongst users or within payments came up, the task was to create a system in which this central entity – in this case a server – wasn’t/isn’t needed. If one is to take this idea further however they realise the drastic real-world implementation, a state, economy or world without banks or state affiliated third parties, an economy in which each Blockchain is entirely its own.

So how does this work? Well money, generally, is basically a system of verification: Data-entries, numbers on a screen, proof of transaction, digits within an account etc. So, how do the databases of a cryptocurrency work?

There is a network of peers (Peer-to-peer), every peer on that network has the entire history of every single transaction on that network, and as such, the balance of every account.

Transactions

Meta gives X Bitcoin to Tim; transaction is signed by Meta’s private key; the transaction is broadcast network-wide; the transaction becomes confirmed. This confirmation is key, confirmation means the transaction is set-in-stone and becomes an irremovable part of the Blockchain (which I’ll get to). Miners confirm these transactions: Miners make it clear these transactions are legit, send them throughout the network, and help make them part of the Blockchain: for doing this ‘job’, the miners get rewarded with the currency in question.

Miners

Since the network is decentralized anyone can be a miner, there is no central authority to delegate jobs/tasks. Miners use their computers, or computer’s power to find a ‘hash’ which connects the newly mined block with its predecessor. The miner’s computers are in a certain way working out a puzzle, the difficulty of this puzzle increases with time and as such limits the amount of currency that can be created in a given amount of time. Once the puzzle is figured out the miner adds the block-mined to the blockchain and is rewarded.

 

BLOCKCHAIN

Put simply: A shared collective history of all transactions on a digital network, a copy of said history is stored on each and every user’s computer (a node), the blockchain itself and all transactions are public and can be viewed by anyone.

Cryptocurrencies are cryptographically stored. They are not secured by humans, or matter, but by maths, which does-not break. I’ll add these descriptions of the Blockchain are very dry, as for their importance and potential for ‘transition’, that will be made apparent in the ‘network’ section.

To use conventional banking as an analogy, the blockchain is like a full history of banking transactions. Bitcoin transactions are entered chronologically in a blockchain just the way bank transactions are. Blocks, meanwhile, are like individual bank statements. Based on the Bitcoin protocol, the blockchain database is shared by all nodes participating in a system. The full copy of the blockchain has records of every Bitcoin transaction ever executed. It can thus provide insight about facts like how much value belonged a particular address at any point in the past. The ever-growing size of the blockchain is considered by some to be a problem due to issues like storage and synchronization. On an average, every 10 minutes, a new block is appended to the block chain through mining. – Investopedia

By design, the blockchain is a decentralized technology. Anything that happens on it is a function of the network as a whole. Some important implications stem from this. By creating a new way to verify transactions aspects of traditional commerce could become unnecessary. Stock market trades become almost simultaneous on the blockchain, for instance — or it could make types of record keeping, like a land registry, fully public. And decentralization is already a reality. A global network of computers uses blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. That is, Bitcoin is managed by its network, and not any one central authority. Decentralization means the network operates on a user-to-user (or peer-to-peer) basis. The forms of mass collaboration this makes possible are just beginning to be investigated.Blockgeeks

Note the decentralized structure below.

 

NETWORKS

Let’s first take a look at the four basic forms of organizational structure:

“1. The kinship-based tribe, as denoted by the structure of extended families, clans, and

other lineage systems;

 

2. The hierarchical institution, as exemplified by the army, the (Catholic) church, and

ultimately the bureaucratic state;

 

3. The competitive-exchange market, as symbolized by merchants and traders

responding to forces of supply and demand;

 

4. And the collaborative network, as found today in the web-like ties among some

NGOs devoted to social advocacy.” – [link]

 

[link]

The four basic organizational structures T, I, M, N: “To do well in the twenty-first century, an information-age society must embrace all four forms.”

With a tribe acting as tribal or clan type structure: kinship, blood.

Institutions: classical management structures with leaders and hierarchies.

Market: Acting in this case not as capitalism but as pure ‘exchange’

Network: All-channel network where all member are connected and can communicate with each other.

 

“For democracy to occur, the framework requires not only the addition of the forms but also a feedback of the latest form, in this instance the market, into the realm of the earlier form, e.g., the state.”

 

Below the embedded tweet I’ve transcribed Naval Ravikant’s entire thread of the importance and innovation possibility of Blockchain’s with relation to markets and organizational structures in the coming future, it may seem a bit gratuitous to transcribe it in full, however, there was nothing I felt needed cutting.

1/ Blockchains will replace networks with markets.

— Naval Ravikant (@naval) June 21, 2017

“Blockchains will replace networks with markets. Humans are the networked species. The first species to network across genetic boundaries and thus seize the world. Networks allow us to cooperate when we would otherwise go it alone. And networks allocate the fruits of our cooperation. Overlapping networks create and organize our society. Physical, digital, and mental roads connecting us all. Money is a network. Religion is a network. A corporation is a network. Roads are a network. Electricity is a network…Networks must be organized according to rules. They require Rulers to enforce these rules. Against cheaters. Networks have “network effects.” Adding a new participant increases the value of the network for all existing participants. Network effects thus create a winner-take-all dynamic. The leading network tends towards becoming the only network. And the Rulers of these networks become the most powerful people in society. Some are run by kings and priests who choose what is money and law, sacred and profane. Rule is closed to outsiders and based on power. Many are run by corporations. The social network. The search network. The phone or cable network. Closed but initially meritocratic. Some are run by elites. The university network. The medical network. The banking network. Somewhat open and somewhat meritocratic. A few are run by the mob. Democracy. The Internet. The commons. Open, but not meritocratic. And very inefficient. Dictatorships are more efficient in war than democracies. The Internet and physical commons are overloaded with abuse and spam. The 20th century created a new kind of network – market networks. Open AND meritocratic. Merit in markets is determined by a commitment of resources. The resource is money, a form of frozen and trade-able time. The market networks are titans. The credit markets. The stock markets. The commodities markets. The money markets. They break nations. Market networks work where there is a commitment of money. Otherwise they are just mob networks. The applications are limited. Until now. Blockchains are a new invention that allows meritorious participants in an open network to govern without a ruler and without money. They are merit-based, tamper-proof, open, voting systems. The meritorious are those who work to advance the network. As society gives you money for giving society what it wants, blockchains give you coins for giving the network what it wants. It’s important to note that blockchains pay in their own coin, not the common (dollar) money of financial markets. Blockchains pay in coin, but the coin just tracks the work done. And different blockchains demand different work. Bitcoin pays for securing the ledger. Ethereum pays for (executing and verifying) computation. Blockchains combine the openness of democracy and the Internet with the merit of markets. To a blockchain, merit can mean security, computation, prediction, attention, bandwidth, power, storage, distribution, content… Blockchains port the market model into places where it couldn’t go before. Blockchains’ open and merit based markets can replace networks previously run by kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs. It’s nonsensical to have a blockchain without a coin just like it’s nonsensical to have a market without money. It’s nonsensical to have a blockchain controlled by a sovereign, a corporation, an elite, or a mob. Blockchains give us new ways to govern networks. For banking. For voting. For search. For social media. For phone and energy grids. Networks governed without kings, priests, elites, corporations and mobs. Networks governed by anyone with merit to the network. Blockchain-based market networks will replace existing networks. Slowly, then suddenly. In one thing, then in many things. Ultimately, the nation-state is just a network (of networks). FIN/ Thank you, Satoshi Nakomoto. And to all the shoulders that Satoshi stands upon.” – (originally split into multiple tweets), Naval Ravikant.

What begins now is my reading of Ravikant’s thread. To replace networks with markets is to begin the transition, to understand that with Blockchains as pure-replacements there begins a deconstruction of hierarchy, a complete removal of third party entities involved with business and transaction. Though it begins a deconstruction of hierarchy in the traditional sense it also allows for micro-states in which a single Blockchain is taken as the network. This is reminscent, but entirely opposite to Mencius Moldbug’s Patchwork:

“as the crappy governments we inherited from history are smashed, they should be replaced by a global spiderweb of tens, even hundreds, of thousands of sovereign and independent mini-countries, each governed by its own joint-stock corporation without regard to the residents’ opinions. If residents don’t like their government, they can and should move. The design is all “exit,” no “voice…A Patchwork realm is a business – a corporation. Its capital is the patch it is sovereign over.” – Patchwork1

DISCLAIMER w/regards to Patchwork: I understand, as many did not, Moldbug’s original Patchwork within the 4 parts rested completely on government control, there was ZERO room for individual constraint, so before someone comments saying I’ve bastardized Patchwork, yes, I have, but in full knowledge of what the original meant.

 

Blockwork (short/crass):

So, really, as the crappy regressive governments who failed – as Gorbachev stated –  to understand that knowledge and data are the single most valuable currency begin to crumble, they will indeed be replaced/naturally split up (via a reversion to archaic organizational structures) by mini-states, micro-nations etc., yet each one of these would have it’s own Blockchain, it is not beyond the limits of technology (as we can clearly see) to alter rules, rights, permissions etc. therefore each countries network/market = Blockchain is their basis for government.

“First, security is a monotonic desideratum. There is no such thing as “too secure.” An encryption algorithm cannot be too strong, a fence cannot be too high, a bullet cannot be too lethal…No cop ever stole my bicycle. And this will be far more true in the Patchwork, in which realms actually compete for business on the basis of customer service.” – Patchwork1

 

More than likely beginning from the classic decentralized platform in which those who reside in said micro-nation are able to view each vote as it is counted – if that’s their chosen system -, they can view government expenditure, tax expenses, etc. Of course, one could just as easily ‘exit’ to a Zuckerberg fairy-tale UBI land wherein they’re controlled by a dictator-corp, or a fully communist Blockchain wherein equal payments are paid out regularly etc. etc. you get the picture. However, with this concept of micro-nations as underlying Blockchains comes the bringing of the past into the future, for the previous organization structure layout of T,I,M,N, becomes overwhelmed, one could if there was enough people who wanted it, begin a tribal state, or a hierarchal state with a trickle-down Blockchain, or a divine-right system wherein tokens are gifted to those with certain DNA strains…the world is your decentralized oyster after all.

One could (quite easily) argue that with the inclusion of various forms of organizational states security would become but an illusion, yet, in-keeping with the original Patchwork (I’m ready for hell on this one.) the emphasis on security as customer service alongside “exit” over voice allows for those who aren’t receiving the service they feel they deserve to leave, as a meritocracy one can in all transparency view those who have and more importantly have not worked towards the profitability (if that’s the states’ aim) of the Blockchain, one can by all rights move (exit) to a state in which their Blockchain is working, or distributed agreeably to their tastes whether that is an agenda based around: Commerce, tech-innovation, acceleration, monarchy, entertainment, energy etc. if they feel that their current states’ Blockchain isn’t distributing its resources effectively…they can leave, if its system of accumulation doesn’t meet their standards….they can leave. It allows those who feel a compulsion for ‘return’ to do so, and those who feel compelled to accelerate to do so, allowing T, I, M, N to all exist freely, together, or not at all atop a horizontal decentralized -at first – Blockchain.

 

 

I digressed…hard. The conclusion(?) will be somewhat of a ramble, I’m not sure I can piece this mess together. Though, in terms of the Gutenberg press, which is where started remember? The internet is its 2nd iteration, not physically of course, merely in terms of its accumlative effects, many of which – I hope – I’ve listed here. It’s world-wide pervasive assimilation can’t come fast enough, for it shall throw us far beyond where we ever thought we’d end up, much like in the 16th century. Those who attempt at net-regulation/control will be severing the artery of the future, with the potential for a full scale national fatality if they don’t heal the wound. Those adhering to hierarchal restrictions are free to do so – once it all comes down – yet it’s more applicable they do so within a micro-state. If you disagree with a top down hierarchal structure – the structures that work by the way- then you are free to exit, head off to grey-shirt Soylent-ville, you are free to do this. You’ll feel cheated when you’re stood in a (soylent) bread line, and the other’s stand out like a Jackson Pollock abstract hanging in Plato’s Academy.

 

 

Hyperstitional Brand Entities

HYPERSTITIONAL BRAND ENTITIES: WENDY’S IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.

 

“…the official Wendy’s Twitter account — an unexpected beacon of light in 2017 — has shown us that brands have the potential to do so much more.” – Mashable

Prior to the dawn of dark-cybernetic entities hell-bent on enslaving the human race, we are witnessing the rise of brands as entities. Abstract consumerist veils taking on personalities to shadow their inner hunger for capital. Twitter accounts controlled by workers, click-farmers and cyber-proles are becoming characters in an economic play, a production of which they have immediate control. The Wendy’s Twitter is not a beacon of light, in fact it’s the furthest from light, it is a dark accelerative force towards ‘brand as reality’.

Brands having personalities, or human characteristics is hardly a new idea: McDmconalds with it’s golden arches and – now somewhat stained – Ronald McDonald, Burger King with The King and it’s over-the-top naming devices and KFC with the Colonel. This however does continue into regular, non-sentient characteristics, such as ‘smoothness’ for body products, or ‘refreshing’ for beer etc. yet, until around 1-2 years ago, no brand had really come alive. The advent of ‘meme marketing’ will act as a potent catalyst in the accelerative process of brand hyperstition.

“hyperstitions act as catalysts, engendering further (and faster) change and subversion. Describing the effect of very real cultural anxieties about the future, hyperstitions refer to exponentially accelerating social transformations. 

Hype actually makes things happen and uses belief as a positive power. Just because it’s not ‘real’ now, doesn’t mean it won’t be real at some point in the future. And once it’s real, in a sense, it’s always been” – Hyperstition

Wendy’s Twitter ‘sass’ and ‘personality’ acted as a sharp ‘relevance’ kick for other consumer brands, it put forth the question of their position in the current economy, how are they going to act…these other personalities? For them to retaliate is to accept their existence, speak and reply, or die.

For one thing, taking on board the idea of using memes and contemporary net-culture as a means of promoting your business/brand is a risky move, there has been numerous cases where brands have attempted to utilize a meme for brand advancement, only to be laughed, retweeted and quoted out of the room by a gaggle of millennials, ready and willing at a moments notice to ridicule an intrusion into their culture; a culture which by all accounts is excessively fast paced and fragile, a repeated image can last from hours to years, a saying or piece of slang used effectively could boost sales or merely get a snigger.

But what of this decision for other brands? Brands which had existed for years as ‘established’ professionals of the economy. The question put forth was whether or not big-business wanted to descend to the level of its consumer? Would it be wise for them to mingle into the crowd they advertised to and for. There seemed to be the act of stepping down from a pedestal. Yet this is entirely untrue. In their decision to reply the brands took up the trident of temporal awakening and bent it to their will, instead of death via cultural stasis within an ever accelerating structure, the entities decided to animate and take their place at the Twitter table.

Making the decision to reply is an irreversible step, the process has begun; classic ‘2-dimensional characters’ shall be no more, they offer nothing but an immovable script (stuck at some point in the 80’s) awakened brand-entities offer a consumerist friendship, a level of trust. Instead of organising a McDonald’s birthday party for ya boy’s 5th bday, why not just DM Ronald. M. at 3am in the midst of a tick-binge; publically call The Colonel a shit-eater after he delivers you a chicken-bucket with a piece missing; riff with Wendy till the early hours because the only semblance of warmth that exists in your life is that of your laptop screen.

“capitalism incarnates hyperstitional dynamics at an unprecedented and unsurpassable level of intensity, turning mundane economic ‘speculation’ into an effective world-historical force” – Nick Land

“illusions – if people believe in them -change the course of history.” – Fernández-Armesto, Civilizations

“What makes Brown’s responses so boss is the fact that they don’t sound robotic…the team creates personalized, thought-provokingly witty responses that sound like they came from your sassy best friend.” – Mashable

That first sentence in itself is terrifying enough, “they don’t sound robotic”, not that the 8 year old pig tailed girl was ever meant to be a robot, no, only that, one is conversing with a Twitter account, something has emerged, something has become real. People will say “Did you see Wendy’s on Twitter last night…damn.” Gone are the days of brand suspicion, the days of understanding that a company isn’t there for you, it’s there for you.


Wendy’s is allowing existence of other brands: Either come alive, or die in a regressive pit of 80’s slogans and non-immediacy. Wendy’s has tapped in to the main artery of the attention economy, immediate feedback from an abstract entity via your phone; thus one could begin to really feel as if it were a friend they were simply texting. The rise of brand-entities, public discussions between The King and Ronald, a bare-knuckle meme fight in a Little Chef carpark, Hardee’s blocks Wendy’s from its feed due to public humiliation, insult after insult, ‘burn’ after ‘burn’ all accumulating in a hyperstitional consumerist brand-entity arising from the past, where it has always been, and as such finds its assimilation into human society that much easier – “Wah you mea’ man, Wendy’s alway been aroun’!”

That’s her over yonder, where she resides, Wendy, queen of the Curve. The 8 year old auburn pig-tailed cyber-behemoth, she’s been around for centuries, a neolithic brand. A faint giggle clicks off the horizon as you pull your phone from your pocket, a dozen discussions amassed in seconds upon seconds on your feed, brands, apps, old friends, dead-brands, software, bots, all discussing the news: RATS HEAD FOUND IN BURGERJOINT the title says, pun after pun, quip after quip, the discussion rotates between brands, a cyber-dopamine addled fight for retweets and likes.

Let me repeat, Wendy is not your friend, Wendy’s Twitter page is not your friend, whether or not what is or is not controlling them is witty, it’s all programmed, whether it comes in an instant or not, it is lacking authenticity in every sense. Dragging itself from economic insecurity via a deconstruction of that which surrounds it; taking hold of cyber-culture and molding it towards a malicious end. An end from which comes the customer’s demise, you’re car will be making fun of you as drive down a state-sponsored highway, the date and time blocked from view…”Where shall we eat tonight hun?”

“I don’t know darling, somewhere that hasn’t publicly called me a cunt would be nice.”

Nick Land, CCRU, Accelerationism and Neoreaction – An Overview & Guide

INTRODUCTION:

 

Firstly, why the hell am I writing ‘this’? There have been countless attempts in recent months at articles towards something like a ‘Who is Nick Land?’, ‘What is Accelerationism?’ or ‘What is Neoreaction?’ or short essays attempting at a general encapsulation of a man whose work, as far as I can see, exists purposely in a Pynchonian cyber-scattering. When one comes across a fresh piece of Landian theory, they become a momentary data-archaeologist, raking through the datacombs in the hope of finding a measly piece to this chaotic assemblage. So, why? Because scatterings aggravate me, especially when it comes to monetized repetition, articles repeating vague biographical ‘facts’ and tit-bits without any real relation to the theory and critiques Land has made; simple frustratingly transparent semi-hagiographic pieces largely in relation to the mythos of Land’s time at Warwick. So I felt, in a way, that there should be at least some attempt at a ‘piece’ which not only discussed Land himself – only when needs be – but also extrapolated as to why there is such a following. A place in which 3 key ‘theory’ components which are in way ‘linked’ can be found together. I must stress, this is not my attempt to lump any 1 of these things with another, no, only that when one comes across Land’s work they hear of Accelerationism, and following that Neoreaction, and not always in that order, think of this as a kind of beginner’s guide, or overview of 3 very eclectic and scattered ideas.

 

I already understand that this piece, article, essay, word-mash, is going to come across as a complete gushing for my admiration of Land’s work, which in itself will utilize many of the stylistic choices and theoretical devices employed by Land himself, hopefully by the end of this piece, the reader, in part, will understand why the work of Land (& the CCRU) is so infectious – whether maliciously viral or not – and why it finds its way seeping into the smallest of academic and creative pursuits and quandaries. Take this piece as assemblage of Land, CCRU and all that gravitates towards, a place on the internet where you can (hopefully) find all you need to guide you down each dirty ‘n clean alleyway à la Land.

And with regards to the Dark Enlightenment/Neoreaction section, if by now it’s clear, simply talking or writing about something does not mean an affiliation or support for that ‘thing’, however toxic people may find it.

Discussion Support.

Enjoy, or don’t.

 

BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY:

 

“Academics’ lives are seldom interesting…What do you know about me, given that I believe in secrecy? … If I stick where I am, if I don’t travel around, like anyone else I make my inner journeys that I can only measure by my emotions, and express very obliquely and circuitously in what I write. … Arguments from one’s own privileged experience are bad and reactionary arguments.” – Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations, pp. 11–12

 

Henrik Palmgren: “Introduce yourself to the audience a bit…”

 

Land: “Umm…well I mean…it’s hazy to me, so I think it will be hazy to other people.

 

For those familiar with Land the first quote by Deleuze is almost absurdly relevant. From my somewhat excessive research and reading into Land, one thing – amongst many – has become clear with relation to ‘biographies’, he’s not particularly interested in them, especially his own, what’s of importance is the work that came from that ‘era’ however trivia filled and ‘cool’ it was. That said this – sadly – is what interests some people – in part – about Nick Land.

 

And so: (all links are NON-referral)

 

Nick Land is an English philosopher and writer – Wikipedia.

 

1987-1998: Land lectures in Continental philosophy at Warwick university.

 

1992: The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism is published.

 

1995: Land becomes co-founder (along with Sadie Plant) of the Cybernetic Culture Research Institute (CCRU), a student-run collective unofficially ‘part’ of Warwick’s philosophy department.

 

1997: Plant leaves Warwick, as such Land becomes ‘leader’ of the CCRU.

 

1990’s: Land produces/publishes various short articles for & alongside the CCRU.

 

Unknown Year: Land collaborates on a text called Necrophysics with physicist Rhett Allain.

 

Unknown Year: Land moves to Shanghai

 

Unknown Year: Land becomes editor of Urbanatomy and teaches at the New Centre for Research & Practice.

 

Unknown Year: Land begins writing psychological horror.

 

2011: Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 is published.

 

2014: Templexity: Disordered Loops through Shanghai Time is published.

 

2014: Phyl-Undhu is published.

 

2015: Chasm is published.

 

Land’s two current blogs are: Urban Future 2.1 and Outside In, alongside his twitter: @Outsideness

 

Also a link to his old blog posts: Old Nick Stuff, Hyperstition and CCRU

 

And I’ll leave this here as a sort of footnote, for those who can be bothered with the ‘cool’ biog-elements.

 

EARLY-LANDIAN PHILOSOPHY:

 

I shall try give a brief overview of elements of Landian philosophy, however, to succinctly explain ‘it’ in its entirety within say, 10,000 words would be difficult. Also, when talking about Land’s older word (pre-Shanghai) it’s important to keep this quote from the man himself in mind:

 

It’s another life; I have nothing to say about it – I don’t even remember writing half of those things … – An Experiment in Inhumanism, Robin Mackay

 

The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism is Land’s only full length academic book, and more than likely be will be his last, due to his distain with Western academia, whether or not there will be more theory-fiction, who knows?

 

The book itself is unlike any other ‘commentary on another’s work’ I’ve read, it’s far more lucid, much like a set of meditations on Kant, Bataille, Nietzsche, Marx and Schopenhauer, as opposed to a rigorous in-depth ‘critical’ analysis of Bataille’s work.

 

Being Sufficiently does a great job overviewing the work.

 

“Ever since it became theoretically evident that our precious personal identities were just brand-tags for trading crumbs of labour-power on the libidino-economic junk circuit, the vestiges of authorial theatricality wear thinner” – Land, Thirst, Preface XIII

 

“There is one simple criterion of taste in philosophy: that one avoid the vulgarity of anthropomorphism. It is by failing here that one comes to side with cages. The specifics follow straightforwardly:

 

“1. Thoroughgoing dehumanization of nature, involving the uttermost impersonalism in the explanation of natural forces, and vigorously atheological cosmology. No residue of prayer. An instinctive fastidiousness in respect to all the traces of human personality, and the treatment of such as the excrement of matter; as its most ignoble part, its gutter…

2. Ruthless fatalism. No space for decisions, responsibilities, actions, intentions. Any appeal to notions of human freedom discredits a philosopher beyond amelioration.

3. Hence absence of all moralizing, even the crispest, most Aristotelian. The penchant for correction, let alone vengefulness, pins one in the shallows.

4. Contempt for common evaluations; one should even take care to avoid straying accidentally into the right. Even to be an enemy is too comforting; one must be an alien, a beast. Nothing is more absurd than a philosopher seeking to be liked.” – Land, Thirst, Preface XX

 

Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 begins with Land’s more formal essays on Kant, Heidegger and Nietzsche, the kind of essay you would find from an extremely gifted and philosophically energetic and original thinker, this aside, these essays are, in terms of Landianism, components of an academic system and as such are a falling back into the security of the institution. From here there is a set of 4 essays (Spirit and Teeth through to Making it with Death), each of which are still within academic jurisdiction, yet one feels they are beginning to push away from the ‘accepted’.

 

From here on out in Fanged Noumena we are reading the Land we’ve heard about, the central section of the text I would personally say is the most theoretically important in terms of Landianism, spanning from Circuitries through to the famous Meltdown, we feel Land is working with the philosophical intensity of a madman, a worry begins to build during reading, as one realises what it must have been like to have this kind of scheme flowing 24/7, a hypnotic whirlwind of anti-humanism, cybernetic-theory, Gibson-esque language, post-structuralism, nihilism, and a general sense that at any second something has to give. Which, in a way, during the last sections of the text it does.

 

“Level 1, or world-space, is an anthropomorphically scaled, predominantly vision-configured, massively multi-slotted reality system that is obsolescing very rapidly. Garbage time is running out.

Can what is playing you make it to Level 2?” – Fanged Noumena (Blurb)

 

From A zIIgothIc–==X=coDA==–(CookIng–lobsteRs– wIth–jAke–AnD–DInos) through to Tic-talk something has given way in the author, they’ve entered into and are writing from a plane of existence which is very difficult for the reader to attend, there’s a level of separation which in itself addresses in some ways why the ‘Human Security System’ the Land of the 90’s sought to leave/destroy is actually beneficial at times.

 

“Whenever its name has been anything but a jest, philosophy has been haunted by a subterranean question: What if knowledge were a means to deepen unknowing?”


 

CCRU

 

As I’ve stated in the BIO section, CCRU stands for Cybernetic Culture Research Institute, a collective, that:

 

does not, has not, and will never exist‘.”

 

A collective whose interests spanned a broad range: Continental philosophy, post-structuralism, cybernetics, science-fiction, rave culture, jungle music, occultism, cyber-philosophy & culture, AI, accelerationism, time-theory, theory-fiction, Lemurian-studies, cryptography, Marxism, capitalism, Afro-futurism, Indo-futurism, Sino-futurism, & more.

 

Here’s a the CCRU GlossaryYou’ll need it.

 

I have to admit at this juncture – and this will most likely be the case for much of this piece – that the CCRU is difficult to ‘sum-up’, and near impossible to begin describing without using source material from the Unit itself:

 

Ccru retrochronically triggers itself from October 1995, using a UK University as a temporary habitat. Its emergence is sequenced and accelerated by a series of singularities” – CCRU, Communique One,

 

“Many members of the Ccru had fled cultural studies, disgusted by its authoritarian prejudices, its love of ideology, and pompous desire to ‘represent the other’ or speak on behalf of the oppressed. To us, it never seemed that the real articulacy of the left academic elites was in any way superior to the modes of popular cultural expression which were either ignored or treated as raw material to be probed for a ‘true’ (ie ideological) meaning by white middle-class intellectuals.

 

These events sought to reinforce and energize the interrelations between elements of theoretical research and popular culture.

 

Ccru is an ongoing experiment in collectivity, collective production, anonymity, and masks, dedicated to practically dismantling standard models of social existence, by pursuing ethics in the spinozistic sense (experimental production of collective bodies).“- CCRU, Communique Two,

 

“Still nominally affiliated to the famously post-structuralist Philosophy Department of Warwick University, England, the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit is a rogue unit. It’s the academic equivalent of Kurtz: the general in Apocalypse Now who used unorthodox methods to achieve superior results compared with the tradition-bound US military. Blurring the borders between traditional scholarship, cyberpunk sci-fi and music journalism, the CRRU are striving to achieve a kind of nomadic thought that to use the Deleuze & Guattari term—“deterritorializes” itself every which way: theory melded with fiction, philosophy cross-contaminated by natural sciences (neurology, bacteriology, thermodynamics, metallurgy, chaos and complexity theory, connectionism), academic writing that aspires to the future-shock intensity of jungle and other forms of post-rave music.” – Renegade Academia, Simon Reynolds. (As a matter of fact the Renegade Academia article is probably the most succinct when it comes to describing CCRU.)

 

“Their unattributable, arcane writings, telling of strange inhuman entities, hyperstitional personages and syncretic pantheons, are uniquely disturbing and compelling: it is as if the group had collectively accessed hitherto undiscovered realms of bizarre archetypes. They successfully smeared the line between the real and what they called the ‘hyperstitional’: fictions that make themselves real through collective practice.” –  An Experiment in Inhumanism, Robin Mackay

 

So, what the fuck is or…was the CCRU? I guess in ‘layman’s’ terms it was a collective that wanted to push the boundaries of philosophy and theory, a collective who felt suffocated and constrained by the over-bearing heavily – being an understatement – left-wing leaning academic system. A group who sought to utilize methods, devices, texts and ‘thinkers, whom/which otherwise would be deemed weird, non-professional, unquantifiable, ‘esoteric’ and not fit for proper academic theorizing/essay production.  

 

(Links to most relevant page – directly to their work)

 

The list below is but a few of the members of CCRU, the selection is of those who are more prolific, or perhaps simply standing a little more in the spotlight, that said, a trip down any one of these hyperlink-holes will shed some (dark) light on the ‘point’ of CCRU.

 

This mythological somewhat cult-like group is inclusive of and affiliated with:

 

Iain Hamilton Grant

 

Ray Brassier

 

Reza Negarestani

 

Mark Fisher

 

Kodwo Eshun

 

Robin Mackay

 

Luciana Parisi

 

Matthew Fuller

 

Hyperdub

 

Kode9

 

Anna Greenspan

 

Hari Kunzru

 

Jake and Dinos Chapman

 

0[rphan]d[rift>]

 

“He regarded the degeneration of his ‘breakthrough’ into a ‘breakdown’ as ultimate and humiliating proof of the incapacity of the human to escape the ‘headcase,’ the prison of the personal self. Wretchedly, for Land, it was no longer possible to tell whether his speculative epiphanies had been (as he had believed at the height of his delirium) glimmers of access to the transcendental – or just the pathetic derangements of a psyche pushed to the derisory limits of its tolerance. The experiment was over.

When I contacted Land about the republication of his works, he did not protest, but had nothing to add: It’s another life; I have nothing to say about it – I don’t even remember writing half of those things … I don’t want to get into retrospectively condemning my ancient work – I think it’s best to gently back off. It belongs in the clawed embrace of the undead amphetamine god.”

An Experiment in Inhumanism, Robin Mackay


One commented (on Twitter) has made it clear that leaving out Gnon was a grave error, I feel this is the most applicable place to put ‘Gnon’, it especially needs to be put prior to NRx.

Land’s own short write up of what Gnon is can be found here: http://www.xenosystems.net/the-cult-of-gnon/

Extracts from the piece:

If The Arbiter of the Universe merits abbreviation (“TAofU”), Nature or Nature’s God has a much greater case. A propeller escapes awkwardness, and singularity compacts its invocation. NoNG, Nong, No — surely, no. These terms tilt into NoNGod and precipitate a decision. The ‘God of Nature or (perhaps simply) Nature’ is Gnon, whose Name is the abyss of unknowing (epoche), necessarily tolerated in the acceptance of Reality.”

“Gnon is no less than reality, whatever else is believed. Whatever is suspended now, without delay, is Gnon. Whatever cannot be decided yet, even as reality happens, is Gnon. If there is a God, Gnon nicknames him. If not, Gnon designates whatever the ‘not’ is. Gnon is the Vast Abrupt, and the crossing. Gnon is the Great Propeller.”


 

ACCELERATIONISM

 

Both the left and right accelerationist thought can be tracked back to the work of Marx, Nietzsche, Land and the CCRU. That’s as much of history of accelerationism really needs, it wouldn’t be in-keeping to drudge up the past every 5 minutes now, would it? (But that’s the way things are…now.)

So, what is accelerationism, that elusive political and social ‘theory’ which has been picked up by the likes of The Guardian and the New Statesmen, yet still comes across as a little vague.

To put accelerationism into a sentence:

 

“‘accelerationism’ is the idea that the only way out is through”. – Steven Shapiro.

Capitalism isn’t exactly working and there’s no going back, so what can we do?

“Accelerate the process” – Deleuze & Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p260.

“if capitalism generates its own forces of dissolution then the necessity is to radicalise capitalism itself: the worse the better. We can call these positions accelerationist.” – accelerationism, Benjamin Noys

and Noys 3 examples of accelerationism:

 

Behaviourism is a psychology which begins with the needs of commodity production in order to develop methods with which to influence buyers, i.e., it is an active psychology, progressive and revolutionizing kathode (Kathoxen). In keeping with its capitalist function, it has its limits (the reflexes are biological; only in a few Chaplin films are they already social). Here, too, the path leads only over the dead body of capitalism, but here, too, this is a good path. – Brecht

There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present-day society: to retreat ahead of it.
Pleasure of the Text, Roland Barthes (1973)

One must push through to the other side rather than drag one’s heels.
The Exploit: A Theory of Networks, Galloway & Thacker (2007)

 

“Accelerationists argue that technology, particularly computer technology, and capitalism, particularly the most aggressive, global variety, should be massively sped up and intensified – either because this is the best way forward for humanity, or because there is no alternative. Accelerationists favour automation. They favour the further merging of the digital and the human. They often favour the deregulation of business, and drastically scaled-back government. They believe that people should stop deluding themselves that economic and technological progress can be controlled. They often believe that social and political upheaval has a value in itself.

Accelerationism, therefore, goes against conservatism, traditional socialism, social democracy, environmentalism, protectionism, populism, nationalism, localism and all the other ideologies that have sought to moderate or reverse the already hugely disruptive, seemingly runaway pace of change in the modern world.” – Accelerationism, Andy Beckett

“For Landian Accelerationism, capitalism is a machinic, ‘techonomic’ (technological-economic) explosion, whose self-reinforcing, self-excitatory mechanism is best modelled as a runaway cybernetic feedback loop (it should be said that if you’re a cyberneticist, everything is best modelled as a feedback loop). This just means that the immanent dynamics of capital push necessarily towards the ever-greater expansion of capital – Marx’s M-C-M’ circuit is cybernetic runaway par excellence – and immanent within that expansion is a necessary co-dependence of technological and economic advance, including ever-increasing powers of abstraction and computation. As ‘capital’ expands in both space and time (imperialism, futures’ markets), the market, understood in its Misesian sense as catallactic, itself becomes a sort of distributed computer for the calculation of prices, spontaneously generating collective intelligence far in excess of what humans are consciously capable of mastering. Thus, the market an sich is a form of ‘artificial superintelligence’ long before the computer is even invented. This is, in part, what Land means by the “teleological identity of capitalism and artificial intelligence.”- Accelerationism, Left and Right, Park Macdougald

 

 LEFT-ACCELERATIONISM (L/Acc):

 

Left-Accelerationism  wants to accelerate technology for the benefit of mankind, beyond the oppressive nature of capitalism, to utilize modern technology as a means of emancipating man from a life of work, to use technology in a socially beneficial way (automation etc.)

 

Probably the most read and prolific text with regards to accelerationism is Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek’s #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics.

 

Also: #Accelerate. The Accelerationist Reader

 

 

“[Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams] consistently refers to its future not as communism, but “postcapitalism.” It’s a world without work, but also without the commons. “The theory of the Communists,” write Marx and Engels, “may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” But here, private property remains untouched. The productive apparatuses are to be fully automated, removing workers as much as possible from every stage of the production process: who, then, will own them? Who will own the commodities that these apparatuses produce? And if humanity is unburdened from the need to work and left to produce freely in the pursuit of its own self-expression, who will own that? Without anything to oppose bourgeois property, the result could be fully monstrous: a bloated, gluttonous ruling class engaged in limitless production, and recapturing any losses when the new peons come to spend their universal basic pittance. The propertied classes would fuse with an automaton that requires no human parts except for ownership to form a single apparatus; Utopia as a cyborg dictatorship.

This future has, in fact, already been described – it’s E.M. Forster’s 1909 science-fiction story The Machine Stops. Here, all of humanity lives in tiny cells within the body of the vast subterranean Machine. The Machine produces all their consumer goods, it provides them with anything they might want or need at a moment’s notice, it speaks to them, and allows them to speak to each other through video-messaging. People tend not to leave their cells; it’s not forbidden, but it’s certainly not encouraged. Full automation. Universal basic income. A networked society. In the end the Machine starts to slowly disintegrate. Billions die, and Forster, who had something of a reactionary streak, can only see this as a good thing. Who owns the Machine? The Machine does.” – The Future Has Already Happened, Sam Kriss

 

“Work for work’s sake is a perversity and a constraint imposed upon humanity by capitalism’s ideology of the work ethic. What accelerationism seeks is to allow human potential to escape from the trap set for it by contemporary capitalism.” – #Accelerationism: Remembering the Future, Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams and Armen Avanessian

“But politics is not all hopeless. Left Accelerationism is an alternative, and it’s the idea that the only way out of multinational late capitalism is through it. Capitalism has one direction at this point and that’s collapse. Either it collapses into socialism or fascism, but it’ll collapse. Technological growth is a consequence of capitalism and technology. It can and should be repurposed. Left acceleration anticipates this collapse and aims to utilize technology to not only nudge the collapse Leftward, but to seize control via a counter-hegemony symmetrical to right populism. Marxism for the 21st century is nothing if not left Accelelerationism.” – Nick Land & Accelerationism, Isaac Camacho

 

RIGHT-ACCELERATIONISM (R/Acc):

 

“Right-accelerationism has converged with neoreaction precisely because it identifies the deterritorialising force with capitalism itself: it sees itself as biting the bullet, and claiming that if we want to accept the liberating alienation of capitalism we also need to accept an inevitable return to the familiar feudal structures it fleetingly displaced. Whereas classical fascism used techno-capitalism as a means to the end of anti-modernism, neoreaction uses anti-modernism as a means to the end of techno-capitalism. This is why it is sillier than fascism in my opinion – because it has sacrificed whatever liberating force it initially ascribed to capitalist alienation upon the atavistic altar of feudal domination. It is the only strand of accelerationist thought that could be said to read the above paragraph and find something worth accelerating, at least insofar as it sees capital’s oppressive reconfiguration of the social space as the inevitable price techno-industrial development.” – So, Accelerationism, what’s all that about?

 

“Deleuze and Guattari’s machinic desire remorselessly stripped of all Bergsonian vitalism, and made backwards-compatible with Freud’s death drive and Schopenhauer’s Will. The Hegelian-Marxist motor of history is then transplanted into this pulsional nihilism: the idiotic autonomic Will no longer circulating idiotically on the spot, but upgraded into a drive, and guided by a quasi-teleological artificial intelligence attractor that draws terrestrial history over a series of intensive thresholds that have no eschatological point of consummation, and that reach empirical termination only contingently if and when its material substrate burns out. This is Hegelian-Marxist historical materialism inverted: Capital will not be ultimately unmasked as exploited labour power; rather, humans are the meat puppet of Capital, their identities and self-understandings are simulations that can and will ultimately be sloughed off.”- Mark Fisher

 

“Chalmers says there are four options for us in a post-singularity world: extinction, isolation, inferiority, and integration.

The first option is undesirable. The second option would keep us isolated from the AI, a kind of technological isolationism in which one world is blind to progress in the other. The third option may be infeasible because an AI++ would operate so much faster than us that inferiority is only a blink of time on the way to extinction.

For the fourth option to work, we would need to become superintelligent machines ourselves. One path to this mind be mind uploading, which comes in several varieties and has implications for our notions of consciousness and personal identity that Chalmers discusses but I will not.” – The Singularity

The Singularity: A Philosophical AnalysisDavid Chalmers

 

UNCONDITIONAL ACCELERATIONISM (U/Acc):

 

Unconditional accelerationism begins with a renunciation of the retrograde politicisation to which accelerationism has fallen subject. It denounces the tedious political forms and utopian humanist fantasies of the self-titled left-accelerationists, their high-modernist pretence to control over the uncontrollable. That Srnicek and Williams identify Land’s work as pointing merely to an indefinite steady state of ‘neoliberalism’ betrays the radical limitations of their conceptual universe. The triumphal march of capital does not begin and end with a historically limited human ideology.

Unconditional accelerationism rejects simultaneously the right-accelerationists’ Yudkowskian concern with control and evaluation, with shaping the explosion of modernity, with guaranteeing its heterogeneity, with exploring the possibilities of a supposedly ever-improving transhumanism. The aggregate improvement of humanity’s condition is, to be sure, a fact to which the traditional left seems incapable of responding. But beyond the nostrums of race and nation, the right-accelerationists seem all too anxious over the tearing-apart of humanity that this process has increasingly entailed. Despite their claim to a radical and ‘dark’ identity with acceleration, they model with bureaucratic pedantry forms of government within which they hope the explosion can be moulded and recuperated.

Against all this the unconditional accelerationist celebrates and intensifies the fire of modernity as a whole: both the flows of capital that compress the world ever tighter in a liquid despotism of the machine that is remodelling and resequencing humanity, and the flows of social cybernetics that are overwhelming political institutions, turning despite themselves towards terminal delirium. In the West, it is Frankenstein that constitutes the figure determining modernity’s course: the tool that overthrows its master. Trade. Social media. Artificial intelligence. In cybernetic modernity the story is repeated over and again. Unconditional accelerationism identifies with this process of overthrow in its kaleidoscopic multiplicity. System disease. Weaponised nihilism. K-insurgency. – Acceleration without conditions, Vincent Garton

 

REAL LEFT ACCELERATIONISM:

The distance ‘to’ communism and towards the creation of the material basis for communism can be shortened by means of accelerating capitalism. Capitalism blinded by its insatiable hunger for self-expansion doesn’t produce with living conditions of the producers in mind, as such, taking reference from Marx’s Capital, Jehu’s R-L/Acc is a utilization of capital’s blind self-acceleration towards an abrupt ulterior (communism), the material basis of which is slowly (unknowingly) built during the accelerative process.

“Of course, capitalism does not intentionally lay the material basis for communism, but the creation of the material basis for communism is the necessary result of capital’s incessant revolutionizing of the forces of production of material wealth. Communism, Marx argues, is the necessary, though unintended, by-product of capital’s own relentless self-expansion.

Even if we assume that capitalism creates the material basis for communism, this does not imply the process itself can be sped up. What is it about the unconscious manner capitalism creates the material basis for communism that makes an accelerationist program possible?” – Making a Marxian labor theory case for  an accelerationist strategy, Jehu

“The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself. It is that capital and its self-expansion appear as the starting and the closing point, the motive and the purpose of production; that production is only production for capital and not vice versa, the means of production are not mere means for a constant expansion of the living process of the society of producers.” – Capital, Karl Marx

“According to Marx, the limited aim of capitalist accumulation is itself a barrier to the completion of its historical mission to create the material basis for communism — and this requires an important caveat: Capital is only concerned about its self-expansion and nothing we do can alter this essential character. While capital is creating the material basis for communism, it does this in a self-contradictory way as the blind working of the laws inherent to the mode of production.

The case for intervention is the blind, unconscious character of capitalist accumulation itself.

Marx explains what happened when England introduced a limit on the duration of the working day that had the effect of limiting the aggregate duration of both paid and unpaid hours of labor: Capital immediately went to work on means to circumvent this limit by intensifying the exploitation of wage labor within the new shorter work day.

These new means of evading the cap on aggregate labor time included new technologies, more advanced science, increasing efficiency of labor time and materials, new organization. The shortening of the labor day also facilitated this intensification because the workers could labor more intensely in shorter bursts. As a result of the shortened working day, economic expansion, i.e., capitalist accumulation rose five-fold.” – Making a Marxian labor theory case for  an accelerationist strategy, Jehu

ACC/EXTRA:

 

MeltdownNick Land

 

CyberpositiveSadie Plant and Nick Land

 

LA 2019: Demopathy and XenogenesisIain Hamilton Grant

 

Swarmachines – CCRU

 

Nowhere fast? A brief critique of the Accelerationist Manifesto – J D Taylor

 

Some Reflections on the #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO – Antonio Negri

 

A Quick and Dirty Introduction to Accelerationism – Nick Land

 

Fragments on MachinesKarl Marx

 

#rhetttwitter


 

 DARK-ENLIGHTENMENT, NEOREACTION (NRx):

 

We’ve been attempting to re-order society on the basis of equality for a very long time, we’ve been trying to make everybody and everything equal as best we can, we’ve noticed unjust and unfair systems and have tried are damned best to work them through and make everything ‘right’. It hasn’t worked, why? People just don’t want to cooperate; our attempts at making life better for people via utilization of modern scientific and technologic innovations have failed miserably. Why is this? Well, humans are far more complex than any seemingly transparent equality system we conjure up. Our inability as the human-race to not fit in means any machinery or processes we create, which in their creation are ‘tight’ and intricate, eventually end up being bastardised towards our lack of complacency. The majority of systems have ignored Hobbes and have completely forgotten that man is animal and is constantly competing for power, influence, wealth and (now) fame. Limitations merely create competition as opposed to equality, the stakes get higher and higher, the tension builds until the split becomes a 5/95.

 

People have been lured in by quasi-innovation, their lives have become ‘better’ in the most comfortable ways, better quality mattresses, attainable food 24/7, high-fructose, MSG-pump, infantile knowledge sources that are easily digestible, maddeningly large amounts of high-end entertainment, a catastrophic amount of complex escapist systems and structures, all this innovation makes them feel as if their lives are going exactly as they should be, and that everything they need they have, whereas, the matter of fact is, this material camouflage only acts a defence mechanism against a failing, deteriorating and generally incapable government.

 

As far as where to begin with Neoreaction, I personally would recommend listening to the first hour of Nick Land’s recent interview with Red Ice Radio. It’s definitely one of the more accessible sources, and it means you can get to grips with a vast amount of material in a short time.

 

“Ultimately, however, if after all these centuries of trying to improve society based on abstract ideas of justice have only made life worse than it would have been under pre-Enlightenment social systems, the time has come to simply give up the whole project and revert to traditional forms whose basis we might not be able to establish rationally, but which have the evidence of history to support them.” – Introduction to Neoreaction

 

Welcome to the “Dark Enlightenment”: We are unequal and Western Civ is Unique and impossible to replicate.

Western civ is the product of individualistic aristocratic egalitarianism caused by indo european battle tactics learned as pastoral radiers. Objectivity, debate and science, and the unique western solution to the problems of politics and market are the product of the need to obtain consent from other peers, rather than obey a chosen leader. – Welcome a New Member

The Dark EnlightenmentNick Land

Neo-reactionaries head for the exit.”

“…winning elections is overwhelmingly a matter of vote buying, and society’s informational organs (education and media) are no more resistant to bribery than the electorate, a thrifty politician is simply an incompetent politician, and the democratic variant of Darwinism quickly eliminates such misfits from the gene pool.”

Where the progressive enlightenment sees political ideals, the dark enlightenment sees appetites.”

As the democratic virus burns through society, painstakingly accumulated habits and attitudes of forward-thinking, prudential, human and industrial investment, are replaced by a sterile, orgiastic consumerism, financial incontinence, and a ‘reality television’ political circus. “

By cropping out all high-frequency feedback mechanisms (such as market signals), and replacing them with sluggish, infra-red loops that pass through a centralized forum of ‘general will’, a radically democratized society insulates parasitism from what it does, transforming local, painfully dysfunctional, intolerable, and thus urgently corrected behavior patterns into global, numbed, and chronic socio-political pathologies. “

Once it is accepted universally, or, speaking more practically, by all social forces wielding significant cultural power, that intolerance is intolerable, political authority has legitimated anything and everything convenient to itself, without restraint. “

Firstly, the crime is augmented by a purely ideational, ideological, or even ‘spiritual’ element, attesting not only to a violation of civilized conduct, but also to a heretical intention. This facilitates the complete abstraction of hate from criminality, whereupon it takes the form of ‘hate-speech’ or simply ‘hate’ (which is always to be contrasted with the ‘passion’, ‘outrage’, or righteous ‘anger’ represented by critical, controversial, or merely abusive language directed against unprotected groups, social categories, or individuals). ‘Hate’ is an offense against the Cathedral itself, a refusal of its spiritual guidance, and a mental act of defiance against the manifest religious destiny of the world.”

“Secondly, and relatedly, ‘hate’ is deliberately and even strategically asymmetrical in respect to the equilibrium political polarity of advanced democratic societies. Between the relentless march of progress and the ineffective grouching of conservatism it does not vacillate. As we have seen, only the right can ‘hate’. As the doxological immunity system of ‘hate’ suppression is consolidated within elite educational and media systems, the highly selective distribution of protections ensures that ‘discourse’ – especially empowered discourse – is ratcheted consistently to the left, which is to say, in the direction of an ever more comprehensively radicalized Universalism. The morbidity of this trend is extreme.”

At its most abstract and all-encompassing, the liberal-progressive racial dialectic abolishes its outside, along with any possibility of principled consistency. It asserts — at one and the same time — that race does not exist, and that its socially-constructed pseudo-existence is an instrument of inter-racial violence.”

Above quotes from: The Dark Enlightenment.

Another key reactionary is Mencius Moldbug who’s archived blog Unqualified Reservations displayed a ferocious appetite directed at underpinning and explaining contemporary political, technological and social problems.

The other day I was tinkering around in my garage and I decided to build a new ideology.”

In my experience, most sensible people consider themselves “moderate,” “centrist,” “independent,” “unideological,” “pragmatic,” “apolitical,” etc. Considering the vast tragedies wrought by 20th-century politics, this attitude is quite understandable. It is also, in my opinion, responsible for most of the death and destruction in the world today…”

“…the problem with moderation is that the “center” is not fixed. It moves. And since it moves, and people being people, people will try to move it. This creates an incentive for violence – something we formalists try to avoid.”

Replacing your own ideology is a lot like do-it-yourself brain surgery. It requires patience, tolerance, a high pain threshold, and very steady hands…”

…There is no point in starting this messy experiment only to install some other ideology that’s the way it is just because someone said so. Formalism, as we’ll see, is an ideology designed by geeks for other geeks. It’s not a kit. It doesn’t come with batteries. You can’t just pop it in. At best, it’s a rough starting point to help you build your own DIY ideology. If you’re not comfortable working with a table saw, an oscilloscope and an autoclave, formalism is not for you.” – Formalist Manifesto

“I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”- The Education of a Libertarian

Neoreactionary Movement – Rational Wiki

 

Geeks For Monarchy: Rise of the Neoreactionaries – Klint Finley

 

Dark Enlightenment Reading List

 

Social Matter – Contains a weekly ‘This Week in Reaction’

 

Reactionary Philosophy in an Enormous Planet Sized Nutshell

 

The Dark Enlightenment for Newbies

 

Moldbug’s Gentle Introduction

 

Moldbug’s Open Letter

What is #Rhetttwitter?

The elusive hashtag #rhetttwitter or sometimes capitalized as #Rhetttwitter has been found amongst many conversations on Twitter within the past few months, often being produced from a group of accounts all of whom share somewhat similar interests. A strange, absurd, techno-Lovecraftian feeling emerges when one journeys down the rabbit-hole of rhett.

Even in its beginnings it seems #rhetttwitter remained unbound within the constraints of the internet, so much so that it even eludes the “Who Said it First” Twitter search engine, with results returning its first usage as sometime in May 2017, when in fact, if one is to spend the time scrolling through its implementation on Twitter, they’ll find this is the oldest remnant of rhett:

A tweet containing what seem to be the 3 primary collaborators of rhett: @liquimountain, @cockydoody and @badguytheory. This original tweet also contains some of the key components of #rhetttwitter, – that is, if such a structure could ever be created – notably: The Work & memes of the scientist Rhett Allain, National Bolshevism and political-memes. Other key features of #rhetttwitter include: The work of philosopher Nick Land (@Outsideness), the work of CCRU, Accelerationism (predominantly U/ACC), 🅱️, Marxism, K-death, tics, Deleuze & Guattari, annihiliation, Capitalism, cybernetics, AI, and more.

 

The question “What is #rhetttwitter?” has been asked before, here are the answers thus far:

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The Black hand of futurity.

The DELL delivery team: Deterritorialising, Emergent havoc, Landian,  Looping time.

The Other World.

Really Horny Excitable Theory Thots

NOT a bunch of neofascist, pretentious Deleuzians.

A posse of Landians.

Some computer anarchist thing?

Is actively working to break the Mind/Machine barrier in cooperation Musk who is paying to live on as a meme

A bunch of esoteric accelerationists.

Ideological weightlessness while moving upward.

The third and fourth incarnation of weaponized memes.

Originally a customer service department for United Airlines (went rogue).

Bunch of cool people who believe in unconditional Accelerationism.

Accelerationist transhumanists

NOT a cult

Is ☭ a Duginist ☭ SWP ☭ front

Folks who read esoteric philosophy and make jokes about it.

Is a Duginist pysop.

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Rhetttwitter can be one and many and all of these things, some at once, or all at once, at none at once and not at all. Meaning has expired and they’re unconditionally accelerating, with the only the possibility of end being complete demise and destruction. All efforts are stupid and yet ironic. If Gilles Deleuze is L/Acc and Nick Land is R/Acc then Rhetttwitter is U/Acc, what’s U/Acc? what’s U/Acc? What is U/Acc? U?ACC

Against all this the unconditional accelerationist celebrates and intensifies the fire of modernity as a whole: both the flows of capital that compress the world ever tighter in a liquid despotism of the machine that is remodelling and resequencing humanity, and the flows of social cybernetics that are overwhelming political institutions, turning despite themselves towards terminal delirium.” – Vincent Garton.

At all turns and dives Rhetttwitter acts rhizomatic and removes itself from any form of terminology or encapsulation; is acts as a form of Roko’s Basilisk, a virus, once one knows of Rhetttwitter they cannot escape, it is terminal. You may not care about rhetttwitter, but it cares about you. Or it doesn’t 

Many members, founders and slaves of #rhetttwitter search and beg for the infamous manuscript Necrophysics, a mythical collaboration between the physicist Rhett Allain and Nick Land.

Read:

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http://www.ccru.net/swarm1/1_melt.htm

Fanged Noumena – Nick Land

The Thirst for Annihilation – Nick Land

Anti-Oedipus – Deleuze & Guattari

A Thousand Plateaus – Deleuze & Guattari

Capital – Marx

Inventing the Future – Nick Srnicek

Urbanomic Publishers

CCRU Writings

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If you have to ask “What is Rhetttwitter?” you have already been infected. You’re in. Your cans of political Pepsi are now full of tic-ice-cubes, your Ligotti-esque meat-puppet strings are transferred to an self-conscious AI, all photos are filtered red, your image will slowly disintegrate; all of this is already too late of course. Enter into the vast cosmic cloud that has always loomed nearby, the techno-il y a. Any attempt to scrape the sizzled barcode off your arms is pointless, it will only grow larger. You dumb fucking memetic virus; actually, just let it go mate. or not, what?

 

 

 

 

Musk – Future

Musk allowing us some hope.

Accelerationism

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/11/accelerationism-how-a-fringe-philosophy-predicted-the-future-we-live-in

 

This article by the Guardian is a great miniature biography of Accelerationism and the CCRU, but it doesn’t actually extrapolate any ‘predictions of the future’.