META-NOMAD

Z/Acc Primer

Where the hell do I even start with this absolute megalodon of societal pessimism? Well let’s start from the one titbit we have with regard to Z/Acc, this tweet:

It’s cute isn’t it? In fact, you’re now within the camp of people who know the entire Z/Acc Twitter lore, yep that’s it. And I know what you’re thinking, ‘Wait, that’s it? How and why do I keep seeing ‘Z/Acc’ everywhere on Twitter? I mean there hasn’t even been a badly formatted, unnecessarily long WordPress post on the topic ye-‘

Welcome, my friends, to the Z/Acc primer.

Endre Tot.

What does the Z of Z/Acc actually stand for you ask? Zero. Zero/Accelerationism or Zero Acceleration, the proposition of Z/Acc is that we’re not, or we’re not going to accelerate, not the process of deterritorializing capital, we’re not going to accelerate actual progress, overcoming, capital, utopian dreams, nothing…we’re going to accelerate absolutely nothing. However, at this stage that makes Z/Acc hardly different from collapse culture, secular eschatology or industrial meltdown, does it? I mean, saying that we’re not going to progress is hardly novel, there’s hundreds of books on the topic by plenty of conspiratorial nuts. (I’ll probably list a few to be quite honest.)

Anyway, let’s assimilate Z/Acc into the actual theory of Accelerationism, no one has yet done this, perhaps because Z/Acc is just too pessimistic, even for those weirdos on Twitter. Accelerationism is inherently a theory of time. Whether you take that time as McKenna’s timewave zero phase-esque thing, “Accelerationism is a demon, not an ideology”  (as noted by Amy Ireland) or complex integration of economic means of escape via Kantian time. Either way, Acc is a theory of time. L/Acc wish for time to work in the typically mistaken (in my opinion) progressively linear fashion, and for time to work in their favor with regards to propagating a technological utopian (Marxist) society, complete with UBI‘s and all that meaning eroding jazz. R/Acc, in its initial formation and on what would be considered a material-chronic spacio-temporal plane – common reality – has not chained itself to the archaic theory set in chronic time, and as such acts as a reterritorialization movement in relation to L/Acc’s consistent compiling of ignorance. “You’re getting it wrong again, here’s what we might have done had you not overstepped your means…again.”

R/Acc’s inherent understanding of agency within unhinged time allows them to acquire the blackpill-visors and metaphorically witness capital’s convergent lasso come forth. With L/Acc searching for the – supposed – true agent of acceleration exterior to capitalism, which in the view of R/Acc is capitalism itself. Thus the spectrum upon which both L and R/Acc coexist is one of ontology, wherein one side (L/Acc) promote an ontologically objective structure of time, with humanities agency at the wheel, and the other end (R/Acc) accepting the ontology of the future as a constant. R/Acc accept that capital is critique. A rock dropped into water ripples outwards, reverse these waves and they culminate at the event of the rock’s splash, apply this metaphor to time and we have to ask what is controlling the waves, and what is the event. Put in a stupidly simplistic manner we might say that the waves are controlled and are themselves capital and the event is the Singularity. Hell, this is old hat, you can delve further if you like, I recommend the early NCRAP Lectures with Land.

So what does this make Z/Acc if acceleration is inherently temporally based. It makes it god-awful. A strange theorization of stagnation within a theory which is ever moving. Z/Acc seen from a layman’s point of view would be the immanentization of Gnon into the schema of man, let’s bring the attitude of Gnon to the fore and witness his apathy in relation to ‘Accelerative-man’. It’s tough to really talk of stagnation in a way appropriate for what springs to mind when I think of Z/Acc. Hell, perhaps Land said it best when he mentioned that the ‘Z’ of Z/Acc can quite aptly be replaced with ‘Zombie’. Let’s talk this hellish future of zombified, zero acceleration!

“and the story of the boy who cried wolf has two additional morals not often remembered: first, the wolves were real; second, they ended up eating the sheep.” – Greer, ‘The Twelfth Hour’.

In fact let’s begin with something Greer is very keen on bringing to the fore and something he expounds upon in great detail within his book The Long Descent (here) – a book which acts as a Z/Acc primer of its own, so let’s begin not with any external specifics acting upon civilization, but the inherent mistake civilization makes of itself, catabolic collapse:

Catabolic Collapse – in short:

Firstly, the classical collapse. Societies – according to Tainter (1988) – begin to break down once they reach a certain level of complexity, that level is such wherein a decrease in complexity would yield benefits to society. This is where acceleration stops, by the way. Each breakdown in social complexity leads to fragmentation into a lesser form of complexity, society becomes simpler as it breaks down. This is the traditional form of collapse, largely sociopolitical. Now one could argue that accelerating the process here would allow for the actualization of a patchwork of micro-states, many – or a few – of which would be able to create for themselves an accelerative society.

So what of catabolic collapse, “The theory of catabolic collapse, explains the breakdown of complex societies as the result of self-reinforcing cycle of decline driven by interactions among resources, capital, production, and waste.” (Greer, How Civilizations Fail)

Don’t tell those optimistic techno-capitalists, but feedback-loops work the other way too.

Resources (R): Naturally occurring exploitable resources (Iron ores etc),

Capital (C): Factors incorporated into the flow of society’s energy (Tools, food, labour, social capital etc.)

Waste (W): Fully exploited material that has no further use.

Production (P): Capital (C) and Resources (R) are combined to create new Capital (C) and Waste (W)

So from these constants (which are very simplistic as a means for ease of understanding this) we can begin to outline basic states of a civilization:

Steady state (SSv1): New capital from production to equal waste from production and capital [ C(p) = W(p) + W(c)] = SSv1

C(p) = New capital produced = W(p) existing capital converted to waste in the production of new capital inclusive of W(c) existing capital converted to waste outside of production. W(p) and W(c) is M(p), maintenance production. M(p) maintains capital stocks at existing levels. So:

SSv2 = [C(p) = M(p)]

In the absence of growth limitation capital can consistently be brought into the production process, making this process self-reinforcing, so, SSv2 = The Expansion of the USA during the 19th century. This self-reinforcing process may be called an anabolic cycle. It’s limited by two factors that tend to limit increases in C(p): Firstly resources which are finite, and as such have a ‘replenishment rate’ (r) or [r(R)]. This replenishment rate is largely due to natural processes and out of man’s control, leading into the Law of Diminishing Returns. Also these resources r(R) have a rate of use by society [d(R)] and the relationship between d(R) and r(R) is a core element of the process of catabolic collapse.

Resources used d(R) faster than their replenishment rate r(R) become depleted: d(R)/r(R)>i. This resource must be replaced by capital to sustain maintenance and as such the demand for capital increases exponentially as d(R) and r(R) both simultaneously increase. And so, unless you live in a society with unlimited resources, or resources that have unlimited replenishment (You don’t.) then C(p) cannot increase indefinitely because d(R) will eventually exceed r(R), society will use more shit than it has, basically. You can go a little further with r(R), because the processes of society are always reliant on the minimum resource, this is known as Liebig’s law.

Resource depletion – as shown above – is the first factor in overcoming the momentum of an anabolic cycle. The second is the relationship between capital and waste. M(p) rises and W(c) rises in proportion to total capital, alongside the fact that as M(p) rises, C(p) also rises as increased production requires increased capital – self-reinforcing – and this of course increases W(p). One must utilize these when studying the end of anabolic societal cycles wherein a civilization has two choices.

Choice 1: is SSv1.1: C(p) = M(p) and d(R) r(R) for every economically significant resource. We could call this Sustainable Steady State – Man not being silly. (I am avoiding here how to bring this about via societal controls, it’s not my aim.)

Choice 2: ACC-Sv1: Accelerative State V1: Accelerate the intake of resources through military conquest, innovation of techno-capital etc. (Accelerate the process). This of course increases both W(p) and W(c), which go on to further increase M(p). This means only one thing, a society that wishes to remain anabolic must expand its resource base at an ever-increasing rate to keep C(p) from dropping below M(p). If society fails to achieve this ever-increasing rate then it enters into contraction: nC(p) < M(p). Meaning capital cannot be maintained and is converted into waste, populations begin to decline, disintegration of social organizations, societal fragmentation and decentralization, loss of information. These societies can return to SSv1.1 if they bring d(R) back below r(R). But what is they do this…this: [d(R)/r(R) > 1]. That, right there, is the most simple way of explaining the majority of civilization’s problems, that means that M(p) exceeds C(p) and capital can no longer be maintained, resources deplete etc. This eventually results in the catabolic cycle of self-reinforcement in which C(p) stays below M(p) whilst both decline. C(p) approaches zero whilst capital is converted to waste.

(Once again, this is largely from John Michael Greer’s How Civilizations Fail: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse.)

And there you have it, the basics of collapse. That’s excluding the general ignorance, stupidity and arrogance of humanity and other societal defects, but by and large that’s the route in which we create our own demise. There’s of course other factors effected by us which I shall list a few of, but the theory of catabolic collapse is central to the Z/Acc debate in terms of accelerationist theory. The average time it takes for a society/civilization to collapse is 250 years by the way, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re safe.

So what of Z/Acc here. I think it’s a fairly simple task to materially understand how stagnation will happen within a civilization now, however, does this have much to do with the temporal theory of acceleration? It certainly throws into the air questions with regards to the means of which capital wishes to propagate its longevity and continuation. Perhaps a hegemonic, global method of control simply isn’t appropriate. Ever feel like you’re in a giant test-kit for capital? Well, perhaps capital now wishes to downscale into a microcosm of intelligence wherein production is acceleration focused. The tendrils of future capital are hitting against unexpected d(R), fucking humans and their robotic Santa toys. [Systems of] Capital is generally ignorant of the finite. And so a proposal would be to retain humanity within smaller and smaller microcosms of M(p) as a means to have greater control over d(R) and W. Z/Acc is the reset button, except pressing it to completion takes roughly 250-1000 years.

The Myths We Tell Ourselves:

I wrote about this further in my post Greer’s Future, but in short:

However, there’s another very specific idea that invades Greer’s work consistently. Often directly, but more often it sits quietly at the sidelines, smirking at its own reality. And this is Greer’s almost a priori notion that civilizations collapse, end, stop-being etc. With Greer the possibility for anything to end is always possible. This seems quite obvious, right? Well, not so. People hate to think that even their most luxurious comforts – ones that have always been around – would cease to be. So why would they even start to believe in a world where the basics will become a struggle?

Also specific to the Greerian reality is the fact that semantically collapse is quite commonly mistaken for an instantaneous event. This is quite simply wrong, in fact, it’s so wrong it exists solely in the realms of escapism and quasi-romanticism. No wonder the amount of post-apocalyptic media has increased in recent years, I mean what other generation(s) yearn for a reset button more than those who’ve been promised so much and allowed so little. Media such as Fallout, Mad Max, The 100, The Walking Dead etc aren’t truly horror, not really, for the simply fact that humans are still around and not only are they doing fine, they’re actually doing quite well and in someways progressing in healthier directions that their previous societies. And so at heart all these programs, games etc. is – at the very least – optimism, but also a perception of time in relation to collapse which is simply wrong. We think of ‘collapse’ as the collapse of a table or chair, a quick successive tumble of parts, yet once that which is collapsing grows in complexity (a civilization for instance) then the process of collapse becomes far, far longer. Emphasis on process here, the process of collapse will see chunks of civilization fly of and attempt to be replaced or repaired in relation to their previous standard, slowly but surely everything sort of disintegrates at such a rate that those living within it only notice the stark difference in conditions years later.

The myth we tell ourselves is deeply routed in modes of binary thinking of black and white, wrong and right etc.. A mode of thinking that’s ever-growing in society. It’s the difference between apocalypse and SSv1 (Steady state society), we’re either fine, or it’s all over. We’re never simply descending into chaos, things never truly get worse it seems because we’re always replacing the ‘worse’, smothering it with some new form of innovation that makes it look better. The myth we tell ourselves in everyday life are along these lines:

They’ll think of something…”

The world’s fucked, everyone knows that, better to not think about it.”

“It wont be that bad…”

And on and on with your dull co-workers, the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and shouting “La la la la la la!” whilst food prices rise, death tolls rise, roads aren’t repaired, certain trees and species die etc.

Here is a list of apocalyptic predictions. There’s something which connects all these in relation to their understanding of collapse and apocalypse. The date can be plotted on a chart, it’s an instantaneous event. That’s the myth. We’d love for that to happen. If everything changes all at once then we only have to deal with those consequences, not the ones we’re within right now. The inverse or this, is the myth of progress, which can aptly be assimilated onto Christian eschatology:

“Over the last three centuries or so, Christianity’s influence on the Western intellect has crumpled beneath the assaults of scientific materialism, but no mythology has yet succeeding in outing it from its place in the Western imagination. The result has been a flurry of attempts to rehash Christian myth under other, more materialistic names. The mythology of progress is itself one examples of this sort of secondhand theology. Marxism is another, and most of the more recent myths of apocalypse reworked the Christian narrative along the same lines that Marx did, swapping out the economic concepts Marx imported to the myth for some other set of ideas more appealing to them or more marketable to the public.” – Greer, The Long Descent

Peak Oil:

Peak oil is the theorized point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which it is expected to enter terminal decline. Peak oil theory is based on the observed rise, peak, fall, and depletion of aggregate production rate in oil fields over time. It is often confused with oil depletion; however, whereas depletion refers to a period of falling reserves and supply, peak oil refers to the point of maximum production. (Hubbert peak theory)

 

Z/Acc Externals I: Climate

Long Term Effects of Increased Carbon Dioxide. (I and II)

Planetary Vital SignsNASA

Climate Change Summary – Guy McPherson

Collapse Data Cheat SheetLoki’s Revenge

Soil and Water RealitiesLoki’s Revenge

Tech vs Climate ChangeYale Environment

The Myth of Solar Energy – Liam Scheff

Wind and Solar Will Save Us DelusionOur Finite World

Renewable Energy Wont Save UsFuturism

2018 Warmest Year on RecordScience

Renewable Delusion Lecture – Dr Vaclav Smil

 

Z/Acc Externals II: Attitude

Human Optimism Disallows the Reality of ApocalypseNature Neuroscience

The Myth of ProgressDo The Math

Extinction Anxiety – Carolyn Baker

The Telltale Signs of Imperial Decline – Charles Hugh Smith

Reality Denial and Optimism – Chris Hedges

The American DreamDoomstead Diner

Overworked Peasants – more C(p) needed for M(p) – Business Insider

 

Z/Acc Externals III: Economics

Great Depression 2.0Press Herald

Global Bear Market 2019CNBC

Corporate Buybacks Feedback LoopCNBC

Germany RecessionBusiness Insider

Paycheck-to-paycheck Living Increasingly CommonThe Inquirer

£1.5 Trillion in Student DebtNewsrep

Slow Growth ChinaThe Guardian

UK Financial CrisisThe Week

Yield Curve First InversionBloomberg

Price Rises in U.S.France24

 

Z/Acc Reading List:

Fundamentals of Ecology – Eugene P. Odum (Or any basic textbook on ecology.)

The Limits to Growth  – Dennis Meadows, Donella Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III

Overshoot – William R. Catton Jr.

The Decline of the West – Oswald Spengler

A Study of History (Abridged) – Arnold Toynbee

Where the Wasteland Ends – Theodore Roszak

Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush – John Michael Greer

The Long Descent

Dark Age America

Retro Future

The Collapse of Complex Societies – Joseph Tainter

 

 

 

Left-Wing Melancholy is a Death Wish

Left-Wing Melancholy (LWM): Feeling of senseless of the present and futility of the future, coupled with a sweet delight of the lost past. It differs from ordinary melancholy by its fixation on the general unattainable, and therefore unrealizable, good. Formed in light of the today’s contrast of communism for the elite in the Silicon Valley (see “utopia of consumption”, “utopia of technology”) and the collapse/obsolescence/alienation of all the previously accepted forms of mobilization and organization of liberation movements. (here)

LWM, in short, nostalgia for a better yesterday, and sadness in a lost tomorrow. An idea which is entirely in-keeping with the pithy throwaway line “It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism”. (See Zizek, Jameson or Fisher.)

I’ve recently come to another pragmatic roadblock with regards to Left/Right attitudes, one so utterly cumbersome and frustrating that I decided once again to dip my toes into recursive political writing – God this shit never ends! – anyways, for you proles, the attitude is roughly thus: The Left sees a vast multitude of their problems as coming from the maliciousness of capital(ism) – I know, original right…and by the way the bracketing of capital(ism) is important, and is to be returned to later. Whereas the Right sees the majority of their problems as faults (tricky wording for any seething Leftie) within a fairly straightforward system. Let’s delve into this excrement.

I’ll start with an extrapolation of the Right-wing view here as – with regards to this issue – it’s the one I hold. Quickfire Round: Westerner, young, educated, middle class and have easy access to that which fulfils my needs. That’s right baby, I’m in the sweetspot, this isn’t just privilege, this is M&S privilege! Of course, that’s what any Leftie would say when reviewing my cosmically random social attributes, that I’m privileged. Oh for sure what I have is extremely nice, comforting and easy to get-by with. Whether or not it’s privilege is another issue entirely, and one I wont delve too much into here. Now, back to the Right-Wing view as-per one’s own ‘problems’. Let’s list some things righties may see as problems: Bad health, bad fitness, bad diet, bad finances, low education, lack of responsibility and lack of meaning, to name a few. Now with regards to a Right-Wing perspective each of these can – if one has the impetus – be fixed.

You’re unfit? Go to the gym, can’t afford the gym? Do a bodyweight routine at home, haven’t got the time? It takes 30 minutes to one hour per day, now we’re in excuse territory (Something you can’t blame capital for…later)

Bad diet? Do 30 minutes of research and eat healthy food, can’t afford healthy food? There’s affordable healthy options if one is to take the time to prepare them.

Bad finances? Prioritize, stop spending your money on useless entertainment that you’ll drop at a moments notice.

Low education? Part time distance learning, online courses, library books, Youtube tutorials.

Lack of responsibility? Take responsibility for the above and you find that the last item – meaning – comes into your lives.

Congratulations, you’ve just become a shitlord.

 

You hear that? It’s out-of-shape lefties seething at the very core of their Being. Let’s roll through what they’re going to say.

“Go to the gym, you say! But why? Do you not understand that the idea of ‘fitness’ is merely capital(ist) propaganda to make you believe the idea of work is beneficial?!”

“Dieting! Healthy Eating! Do you not know that both of these things are merely forms of capital(ist) propaganda used as a means to continue the idea of body dissatisfaction and fat shaming?!”

“Bad finances?! Oh, so we should all just succumb to the life of an ascetic should we? You want me to sacrifice my social life for what? So I can put my money is some capital(ist) savings Bank?”

“Low education, oh great, here we go again! The undereducated are lesser people are they?!”

“Responsibility, well, life’s inherently meaningless anyway and it’s easier to imagine the end of the world that the end of capitalism, so I’d only be taking responsibility for capital(ism) so why bother?”

 

I feel a little sick after typing those out. But hey, I’m sure they’ll be accepted without any backlash. Ok, I somewhat shoehorned capital(ism) in there for most of them, but if one is to do a quick Google search, one finds that at pretty much every turn Lefties and left-wing journals tend to push the blame onto the – now – free-floating signifier that is ‘capital’ or ‘capitalism’. And this is why I’ve been bracketing it. Because a vast amount of contemporary politicians and philosophers, alongside amateur theorists and bloggers – more often that not of a leftist calling – use this word ‘capital’ in a free-floating way. What they really mean by ‘capital’ is this.

Within contemporary (hype) political usage Capital means the tempo-historical deification of Capitalism as a means of shifting every single fault of self, society, religion, family, locality or ego onto an indistinct ideological catch-all. Hell, I’ve done it a few times. And so I put it to you that the infamous quote: “It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism” in a contemporary sense that is, actually means: “It’s easier to imagine the end of MY world than to give up capitalism.”

Leftists, in their incessant dogma that all forms of ‘wellness’ are capitalist propaganda enter themselves into toxic double-bind. Psychologically a priori to them is the fact that capitalism is bad, and thus all that is connected to capitalism is bad, including ‘wellness’ and as such they want that which is not capitalism, which is not ‘wellness’ subsumed into capitalism. They wish for some strange form of Utopian collective support network they really can’t explain. One where what? You each spoonfeed each other vitamins in some kind of Marxist prayer circle?

The idea of waking up and feeling alive, feeling good, feeling well spans back throughout all of history, and when it is absent look for the writings of those being tortured and ask of that which almost certainly seek. You wish for this ‘better’ life and yet cannot even fathom the idea that capital is not everywhere (shock fucking horror!) you may step out of your door without your earbuds in or a phone in your pocket, you may go for a walk and think not of how to overthrow capitalism, you could go see how it feels to attend to that which your body and mind almost certainly crave, care. But you wont, the idea of actual care is utterly alien to you. Capital hasn’t taken it away, you’re simply too wrapped up in your own narcissism to part with the only thing that gives your life meaning, the depressive dregs of left-wing melancholy which you cuddle night and day in a ritual of pride! You could metaphorically logoff from all the inputs that you know allow you the political melancholia you so crave, you could do so and undertake many-a fulfilling action, task, job, pastime, event or scene, the majority of which were – and have never been – tied to any political outlook, it is you personally whom allowed the idea of parasitic capital to infect your entire life, so do not blame those who walk a path entirely alien to your very Being.

Oh you poor things, yearning for a better yesterday, because of course one needs no excuse for that which is impossible to reach such as…the past. And yet still so sad about that forgotten tomorrow, you managed to put all of time in the past, you’ve given up the flame to the version of you that never was, and never would be! Perhaps it’s best you wallow in your depressive cocoon forever more, for I’m sure on exiting you’ll notice how it has become attached to your shadow.

Towards a Serresean Patchwork

Introduction


In this essay I plan to analyse that which shall be called the ‘Serresean patchwork’, a spacio-temporal multiplicity which also acts as global topology, akin to a knitted patchwork quilt pertaining to the work of Michel Serres. Utilizing texts from both Michel Serres and Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, all of whom have conceptualized the idea of ‘patchwork’ within their work. Alongside utilizing Lucretian atomism as the materialist philosophy underpinning the work of the aforementioned theorists. I shall begin by briefly expanding on Michel Serres’ conception of time as a ‘crumpled handkerchief’, for this temporal reading is both relevant at a foundational level and acts as the cause for the contemporary Lucretian process. Following this I plan to appropriate this reading of time onto the materialist framework of Lucretian atomism, extrapolating on the Lucretian process of material becoming itself, from laminar flow to vortex. I then plan to move the Lucretian process from its traditional temporal/abstract root to physical space via assimilation of the process itself onto the ‘smooth and striated space’ of Deleuze & Guattari, allowing each abstract atomist process to be assimilated onto a material movement or allotment between smooth and striated space. Finally I intend to explain how this atomic spacio-temporal triptych of crumpled time, Lucretian atomism and Deleuzoguattarian space allows for a clearer vision of a ’Serresean patchwork’. A patchwork which inherently utilizes each section of this essay as a means for its own structural and topological becoming. Each theoretical underpinning contributing to various factors in relation to the patchwork’s becoming, movement, purpose and realization.

 

Serresean-Time and Lucretian Atomism


I shall begin from the bottom and work my way upwards, axis here being factually useless, but metaphorically useful. The foundation is time itself. In this case Serresean-time. Take the temporal plane and imagine it appropriated onto a handkerchief (Serres, M. Latour, B, 1998: p60). One could, for ease of familiarity, draw a grid, or line onto the handkerchief, plotting points equidistant along the line as a means to track days, weeks or years. Now imagine one is to crumple this handkerchief, one would find points from the line’s ‘past’ meet points of the line’s ‘now’ or ‘future’. Not only does this conception of time reveal the falsity that is temporal linearity – for ancient ideas are still present, as I will show it also conveys the nonlinear dynamics of Serres.

In the act of crumpling, a rigid linear system is transformed into that which can now touch, meet and share data with parts of the ‘system’ further than one ‘step’ backwards or forwards. Of course, in the case of the handkerchief in relation to time, there is no physical sharing going on, there is no literal material time-travel. The crumpling of the handkerchief is a Deleuzian moment of historic-cultural warping, wherein traditional linearity is found archaic, and in specific reference to Serres’ utilization of such a temporal conception, we find that which we now call fluid systems or atomic physics has always been upon the handkerchief in another form, under another name, previously Atomism, or more specifically Lucretian Atomism. Lucretius arrives from the past riding a Serresean handkerchief crumple, allowing the nonlinear dynamics of the ancients to infect the future. And so from this act of crumpling one understands that “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Serres, M. Latour, B, 1998: p93) only retro-temporal discoveries.

This nonlinear temporality is with or under Serres at all times and as this essay deals directly with Atomism and flat planes intended for temporal crumpling, one needed to expand upon this re-conceptualizing of time before moving forward. For if at a foundational level there can be some form of temporal transition, then movement, line, becoming and space are all inherently altered. Keep the potential for crumpling at the forefront at all times, even the dullest of historical islands may find new life via a crumple transition.

There is one specific philo-scientific crumple I wish to discuss in-depth, the aforementioned Atomism, specifically of the variety shared by both Serres and Deleuze & Guattari, Lucretian Atomism. An ancient physics thought and thus made redundant by contemporary science and henceforth resurrected in time via new found evidence and interest within the area of nonlinear dynamics; or, compressed, the ‘ancient’ physics of Lucretius met with the ‘now’ during a temporal crumpling. In either case, the idea pertaining to the form of both Lucretian Atomism and atomic physics remains. A Deleuzian moment wherein the ideas of the ‘future’ were already within the culture of the future, waiting for their chance for materialist assimilation, waiting for two distant points on the handkerchief to meet. The specifics of Lucretian Atomism in its ‘original’ state are relatively simple, a few interconnecting parts and intensities creating a process culminating in compound realities. Yet, this process of Lucretian Atomism in relation to that which I wish to write about – the Serresean patchwork arising from Deleuzoguattarian space – is a little more intricate, as such, the following section is pure Atomist extrapolation as a means for latter clarification. From laminar flow through to vortex, the Lucretian process arrives.

For Lucretius everything flows, “Everything begins with atoms falling through the void.”(Webb, D. William, R., 2018: p4). The flow of these atoms in the void is such that each is parallel to the next, a series of symmetrical atoms falling through an infinite space, forever. This parallel atomic descent is called ‘laminar flow’. The underlying atomic reality prior to the world – this is made clear later – the recurrent element from which difference equals/becomes actuality. The question is, how does change appear within the laminar flow?

My first point of interest is the common comprehension and perception of the laminar flow, attesting to a stereotypical form of sequential order, yet this order, wherein each atoms falls to zero, this order of ‘the same’ is thus of “non-being” (Serres, 2018: p134) and acts as the disordered, allocated and striated plane from which can arise – at the very least – a possibility of the world (Ibid, p133). The growth of something from the void is thus ordered, the void itself is disorder. Yet for there to be a world something needs to come from the ‘non-being’ of the laminar flow, and thus there needs to be some form of difference or division within the sequential atomic parallel, and therefore a beginning of such a form of division. Enter the clinamen, the minimum angle of declination against the laminar flow (Ibid, p25), the diagonal within and from the parallel atomic sequence and the spontaneous breaker of symmetry (Serres, 2006:p15). The clinamen acts as the primary agent of division, underpinning the possibility of a patchwork – as I will show – for the clinamen is “transformation in general” (Serres, 2018: p114). Acting as the ur-transformer, the clinamen is that which quasi-instantaneously begins a chemical reaction, and is that which over the course of a thousand years leads to erosion of a coastline.

The clinamen is only the initial part of the multi-stage process which ends in the formation of things (Ibid, p50). Alongside acting as ur-divider, the clinamen is “the smallest imaginable condition for the original formation of turbulence” (Ibid, p24). The pre-condition of turbulence as it were. To understand turbulence one must return to the laminar flow as seen as a river or stream. A river descending wherein both its periphery and centre follow the same path, that is until a peripheral trembling begins, or in the words of Lucretius “trementia flutant”, ‘trembling thy undulate’ (Ibid, p61). And it is this ‘trembling’ which is seen by Serres as turbulence, an intense halt within the rivers’ flow, stability within the ever-descending instability of the stream (Ibid, p61). Turbulence, a point on Serres’ handkerchief begins to form, begins to darken, begins to stabilise in its ability as temporal transmitter…a historic-cultural point begins, for “time is the fluctuation of turbulences” (Ibid, p115).

To return to turbulence as it is atomically. The wish of Atomism and physics in general is to understand how order comes from disorder, how, to utilize the Serresean tongue, a single sublime form may arise from the general background of noise or static (Serres, 2008: p51-55). The transition from the disorder of the laminar’s atomic chaos to the order of formed things begins with turbulence; it is a transition both acting as turbulence and made possible by turbulence. (Serres, 2018: p47). The clinamen declines into the flow causing an inception of turbulence (Ibid, p25), which in turn “secures the transition” (Ibid, p47) and a point in the flow begins to tremble. From this ‘trementia’ “it preserves the forms” (Ibid, p61). Against the ever flowing laminar decline, against atomic chaos, turbulence acts as a temporary island of stability, a form of transition in the river’s flow, a form amongst a multitude of others. Not sequential, systematic nor symmetrical in their becoming, only spontaneous, “appearing stochastically” (Ibid, p25). Each separate turbulence born via its own repulsion of another, “born from deviation” (Ibid, p114).

Random scattered turbulent stabilities within the flow form a pseudo-coherent system when viewed from a single turbulence’s birth in relation to another’s fall, or when viewed from ‘first’ to ‘last’ to arrive across the tempo-spacial length of a human life. As such they’re often referred to as ‘history’, which in the intelligent materialism of Serres acts as nothing but the stochastic collection of intense impermanent spacio-temporal unstable-stabilities (Lezra, J. (ed.). Blake, L. (ed.), 2016: p28). As with the clinamen, these stabilities stolen from the process as a whole become disconnected, cogs without reception, if only one could maintain each element atop one another simultaneously, an un-halting all-at-once proclamation is the only route to traditional articulation of the Serresean multiplicity.

Yet all of the process thus far has been nothing but transition. Turbulence as transition to that which is the ‘stage’ able to form things (Serres, 2018:p50), to the tourbillon or vortex (Ibid, p49). To think of a ‘children’s top’, spinning top or rhombus (Ibid, p50), for that is the image of the vortex: “unstable and stable, is fluctuating and in equilibrium, is order and disorder at once.” (Ibid, p50) the most stable of instabilities momentarily printed onto the handkerchief of time, for the vortex is “the formation of things” (Ibid, p50) and is thus that which we materially interact with. Born from a hierarchic process of instability: laminar, clinamen, turbulence, vortex, each more stable that the last, yet all temporally mortal and destined once again to deteriorate to zero (Ibid, p41). Each further stage a greater layer of stability atop the laminar flow, concluding in the tangible vortex sitting in the world, a conjoiner of atoms, a stable-unstable safe haven from the cosmic atomic horror of Atomism. “Rotating, translating, falling, leaning and swaying.” (Ibid, p49), the spinning top of the Lucretian atomist idea itself has remained a stable-instability for thousands of years, its velocity slowly dwindling until the 17th century, wherein the spinning top traversed a crumple in the handkerchief of time, allowing it to superimpose its image upon the minds of Galilei, Descartes and Gassendi, wherein the vortex was rejuvenated.

This extrapolation of Serres’ reading of Lucretius will, for now, seem lonesome and without relation to anything tangible. Yet this preliminary framework is necessary for a full understanding of that which is to be undertaken later. The Atomism of Lucretius and the Serresean crumpling of time spills, connects and overflows into much, if not all of the patchwork-structure to come.

 

Deleuzoguattarian Space in Relation to Lucretius


With Lucretian Atomism established as Serres’ atomically recurrent reality (Lezra, J. (ed.). Blake, L. (ed.), 2016: p28), the question remains as to what arises from the turbulent birth, what is it in actuality the Lucretian process forms as its conclusion? Wherein does one find the formed thing which is brought forth by the vortex? Following the process through from laminar flow to vortex I intend to answer the question – along with the questions above – what of the ‘space’ unto which the vortex forms its things? For initial answers to these questions I turn to Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, for both Serres and Deleuze & Guattari both take their philosophical trajectory – in part – from the writings of Lucretius, especially in relation to where space and flow are concerned. And so in terms of utilizing a theoretical reading of space which can be appropriated onto the later patchwork for need of physical becoming, I look to ‘the smooth and the striated’.

Deleuzoguattarian space of the duality, or more aptly plurality ‘smooth and striated’ is much akin to the Lucretian duality of matter and void, one immediately finds that a simple opposition between two parts leads to a complex difference in relation to wherein each coincides, that is, the simple opposition of two camps brings forth a multiplicity of relations. The conceptual pair move quickly away from geometrical ideas of space in relation to material, borders and enclosures and towards a “complex mixture between nomadic forces and sedentary captures” (Lysen, F. Pisters, P., 2012), these Deleuzoguattarian spaces are less – if at all – spaces of tradition, but spaces within which events and movements can happen and the type, intensity and relation of events and movements to the space is key in determining the space’s own type of either ‘smooth’ or ‘striated’.

As I have stated smooth and striated space “exist only in mixture: smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into a striated space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p552) and so a definition of one is reliant upon the other, the task of description itself an intertwined nonlinearity. However, I shall begin with the smooth alone, until mixture is mandatory for articulation. “Smooth does not mean homogeneous, quite the contrary: it is amorphous, non-formal space prefiguring op-art” (Ibid,  p554). Smooth space is of events and haecceities (Ibid, p557), directions rather than metrics or dimensions (Ibid, p 556). Striated space on the other hand, is a space in which empires occur (Ibid, p575), a momentary stability much akin to turbulence, for on either side of the striated is the smooth, one side waiting to once again produce striation, the other the smoothness striation becomes; the perpetual transition of one into the other, yet only striation allows a compound reality to occur.

A simple metaphor allows greater clarity in understanding the notions of smooth and striated space in relation to the Lucretian process, the metaphor of the farmer and the nomad (Ibid, p559). The farm and the farmer exist in a closed off, allocated striated space. A space which is a line or shape between points, a stability within chaos (Ibid, p559), each seed a clinamen of its own. The nomad on the other hand is entirely unallocated in its existence, a point between lines, over boundaries, allowing the plot & grid, the natural and the cosmos to pull him to and fro. “The respective role of point, line and space” (Ibid, p560) matters not when the point in question acts upon the whim of intensities, allowing wind – as an example – to control the point’s direction.

However, both spaces in relation to the Lucretian process reveal the strange peculiarities of both the smooth and the striated. For even though Serres attests that turbulence brings order from disorder, with said disorder being the laminar flow itself, the laminar flow is in fact a space of striation, which is a space of order and allotment. For the symmetrical atomic repetitive space has been succinctly allocated and allotted. The homogeneity of the laminar flow attests to the fact that the flow itself is the tightest striation of all – atomically regular intersections make it pure limit-form (Ibid, p566) – this is why Serres places much emphasis on the relation between the clinamen and freedom. Not only is the clinamen an escape from a limit, but it is the birth of all possibility after the recurrent atomic cage. “- the clinamen appears as freedom because it is precisely this turbulence that resists forced flow” (Serres, 2018: p107) the clinamen not just as a chaotic break for the sake of symmetrical-breaking, but the angle deviates in the direction of a spontaneous freedom, it begins the journey “From pure to applied” (Serres, 2006: p15).

The striated fabric exists in a tight, interwoven manner, a fabric allocated and allotted to become a place for the formation of things within axis (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p552), a place of archetypal, physical progress. For “-progress is made by and in striated space, but all becoming occurs in smooth space” (Ibid, p564). So, perhaps we must say that all progress is made within and from the vortex, but all becoming occurs between the clinamen and turbulence – order from chaos, not the reverse as it seems at first glance. The transition of turbulence is the transition of smooth to striated. For one begins with the pure cosmic limit-form (Ibid, p566) of the laminar flow, tight, recurrent striation allocated between successive points, descending eternally. The clinamen comes forth, an atomically smooth nomad deviating across the laminar’s striated totalitarian farmland, no longer allowing itself to be hemmed in, it takes up the angle of direction and in its revolutionary act literally draws smooth space upon the direction taken (Ibid, p433).

Acting as the “shorthand for nonlinear dynamics” (Abbas, N. (ed.)., 2008: p51) the clinamen is that which begins – from its nomadic drawing of smooth space/declination – the process of interweaving, fragmenting, tearing and axis producing whilst simultaneously allowing the growth of temporary points of turbulence atop the Serresean handkerchief. With its inherent attribute of bifurcation and division it acts as the messenger of smooth space, “that smooth space that changes in nature when it divides” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p 563), the clinamen as division’s pre-condition and its intensification of turbulence-becoming-vortex; the clinamen as the messenger of temporal and spacial fragmentation and freedom. And yet this atomic nomad is but the pre-condition for another authoritarian allocation. For the clinamen intensifies into turbulence and the transition from smooth to striated begins, the turbulence-becoming-spinning-top intensifies further into a vortex for a final allocation of vortex-striated. With the vortex or space of striation becoming a “central perspective” (Ibid, p574) upon the global and temporal topology to come.

Beneath both Serres and Deleuze and Guattari is De rerum natura, is an ever-flowing, ever-intersecting and interweaving postulation of freedom, not just within the reductive confines of man, but at the atomic level. A nonlinear uncertain world, making and not-making decisions and from such a text, from such a conceptualization and conclusion comes the possibility of an interwoven reality. Separate atomic retirements existing away from the void within a topological patchwork of their own creation.

 

Towards a Serresean Patchwork


My direction for a Serresean patchwork takes its trajectory primarily from the preface of Serres’ The Troubadour of Knowledge and as such, this is where I shall begin and return to for need of topological clarity. We begin with an emperor on stage, ridiculed by the crowd for his clothing, “A motley composite made of pieces, of rage, of scraps of every size. In a thousand forms and different colours, of varying ages, from different sources, badly basted, inharmoniously juxtaposed, with no attention paid to proximity, mended according to circumstance, according to need, accident and contingency – does it show a kind of world map.” (Serres, 2006: piii), in short the emperor is “enveloped in a world map of badly bracketed multiplicities” (Ibid, pii) It is this ‘world map’, this topological ‘mosaic’ (Ibid, p155) I wish to explore, not the epistemological connection to the emperor, nor the dry satire of power, no, one intends to assess the becoming of the enveloping patchwork. For the plurality of a mosaic is the proposition of a puzzle (Ibid, p154), a puzzle to be worked out away from archaic monism and centrality. The puzzle itself is of the Serresean vein and thus becomes within and from the Lucretian process. The Emperor’s patchwork a world map and allegory of spacio-temporal difference, and so, I view the potentiality for a triple layered actuality: Lucretian Atomism, Deleuzoguattarian space and Serresean topology flow into one another as a means for the construction of a topology.

We begin once again by assessing the foundation, the potentially flat plane that is the emperor’s “map-cum-greatcoat” (Ibid, pxiv) – herein abbreviated as ‘greatcoat’. A temporal and spacial plane, much akin to Serres’ handkerchief, the coat folds, crumples, rips, tears and bundles together, a metaphorical spacio-temporal and cultural map of ragged, patched history crumpling up, for the emperor states “my time has sewn them, then melded them together, tattered rags, certainly, but rags become my very flesh” (Ibid, p147). Prior to this ‘melding’ however we have a composite, the melded coat is of personal attribution, each melded composite is of and for a single being, yet what of the composite, the coat prior to the ‘incandescent assimilation’ (Ibid, pxviii) into unification, what is the nature of the non-unified composite? The patchwork material without owner? And yet to focus on the singular perception of the patchwork unified/melded, one finds “the sum of these individually experienced perceptions creates a global topology that has no common language because it is composed entirely of subjectively gleaned information” (Lee, C, T., 2014: p195-196) and so even though ‘one’ has a sum experience, the underlying dynamic is still at question. The patchwork exists with or without an owner, the global topology of rags and tatters continues to assimilate and flow whether or not a unity of personal relations is found.

A construction mirroring the Lucretian process must too begin with a laminar flow, a foundational layer, the greatcoat’s own fabric. A fabric which “intertwines in this way: over, under” (Serres, 2006: p20) akin to the Deleuzoguattarian intertwining of the horizontal and vertical. The fabric-qua-laminar-flow is the metaphorical embodiment of sequential limit-form, a greatcoat of striation allocated as world-space for the progress of the Lucretian process. Yet the greatcoat exists in a paradox. For acting as laminar flow the greatcoat ceases to materially exist if it is without stray threads, rags, tatters or patches, without the becoming of atomic-difference within its striated-eternal-sewing, the greatcoat simply remains a parallel void of non-being and thus materially ceases. It is not until a nomadic thread divides the fabric that a world may possibly be born. That a single patch may arise from its cloth.

To move from the laminar layer of fabric to the singular parts of the greatcoat: A rag, a tatter, a scrap or more aptly, a patch; “local patches activated or created by contact and brought together into an ocellated fragment” occupying volume and expanding into the global (Serres, 2017: p140). A patch as the shadow of a fingerprint within a topology, within a bouquet, a patch as a single momentary turbulence pulled inwards towards other fragments, to form an un-analysable mingle (Ibid, p172). The singular patch as a state of momentary turbulence entering into an “intelligent materialism” which “considers the world a network of primordial elements in communication” (Abbas, N. (ed.). 2008: p65). The stochastic repulsion of turbulences and thus patches (Serres, 2018: p114) creates in its wake an immanent network, a birthing of difference, actualized into the formation of multiple patches (or a patchwork), each their own mixture of smooth and striated within a vortex-qua-striation, a space trembling vortically until its declination back to zero.

These singular patches, these “Knotted points” in the fabric (Ibid, p150), working at the intersection of many other patches (Serres, 2006: pxvii) become the greatcoat-qua-patchwork. A temporally-crumpling plane, a “combinatory topology in the literal sense” (Serres, 2018: p122) and a cybernetic combination of chemistry and contemporary physics (Ibid, p147), alongside being “-the birth of things – the fundamental mode of existence of all things”(Ibid, p122) and so “the angle of the atom” i.e. the clinamen, is not just ‘the freedom of the subject’ (Ibid, p27) as Serres states, but truly is freedom in the purest sense, away from political, geographical and metaphysical tyranny. As I previously made clear, the Lucretian process is in part synonymous with the transition of smooth to striated space and as such allows for the becoming of a space wherein cities or empires may occur (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p575). The greatcoat-qua-laminar as world map, is atomically indebted to the Lucretian process and thus assimilates the same process onto its own periphery, therefore, to return to the clinamen, we find our single revolutionary atom has transformed into the physical embodiment of a patchwork-becoming; a clinamen-qua-nomad cuts through longitude and latitude, slicing the grid of striation, following the process through, until, atop the greatcoats’ periphery we find a vortex-becoming-city, the birth of a patch. This is how the atomic language allows us to become master. (Serres, 2006: p48)

Not a master of the centre, for a universal centre only exists for a single emperor – hence the never ceasing laughter of the public (Ibid, pxv)-, but the master of a patch or single centre, or unified composite of patches, for “you need a cross to locate the a centre” (Ibid, p18) and as such any idea of subjective centrality implies a composite of interlacing patches. Not a point on a line, nor a line between points (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p 559) but a mixture of both systems, wherein the former point on a line is a nomad-qua-clinamen bifurcating the stable line-qua-relation of the latter line between points, the points of which are vortex-qua-striation, a quasi-chaotic process which gives birth to “a topology of interlacings, a hydrology of what flows through the network” (Serres, 2018: p72) And so each crossing, – not perpendicular, but sporadic –  each line between points is additional communication within the global topology of subjective relations. And so “the world is only laminar flux” (Ibid, p79) the perpetual order from atomic disorder, birthing into lines between points, birthing into smooth spaces from the clinamen, the nomadic clinamen intensifying/drawing smooth space from the greatcoats’ laminar fabric and following the process forward into further spaces of striation, striated vortexes, which are allocated patches of striation upon the world and as such potential empires (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p 575). Each of which flows in relation to that which it previously deviated from, a topology. A topology atop the temporal handkerchief, each patch a historic-cultural stability with the potential for the metaphorical warp, the temporal superimposing. The greatcoat temporally crumpled, ripped and torn, nomadically sliced, divided and transformed, approximately striated, allocated and allotted, topologically connected, related and interwoven. Or put very simply “The world is a multiplicity of flows inclined in relation to others” (Serres, 2018: p79).

One now views the greatcoat and finds it true that “existence is topological rather than geometrical” (Herzogenrath, B. (ed.). 2012: p44). The greatcoat-qua-world-map is a cybernetic wonder, a topological network and a geographical patchwork. All a constant mixture, patches as deviation from equilibrium on their rise from zero into stable vortexes – striated compound spaces -, towards their decline and deterioration back to zero. “Knotted points occur” in the fabric (Serres, 2018: p150) and are swiftly assimilated back into the laminar flow – the dull embroidery-, a patch is a moment, it is an event within the grand greatcoat and is prey to the realities of physics and so many cease simultaneously as others may begin. The patches stagnating and disappearing when moved to the singular melded patchwork, the owned unification, but when moved towards a global topology however, rags and patches grow and die, become and decline in relation to the Lucretian process. In accordance with an intelligent nonlinear materialism.

 

Nonsecular or: Perturbed Over Time


You feel the greatcoat’s fabric against your skin; the stagnated and complacent patches feel all too familiar, it is unification a priori. No one speaks of the emperor’s old clothes, incandescent and utterly complacent in their assimilation, each rag, tatter and patch heralding a part accepted. Why bother with the stage if the purpose of your theatrics is to boast a truth, your own truth. A voice from the back calls out Cast your coat to the floor!” A patchwork wound so tight as to suffocate, each part atomically chained to the next. You cast it into the global, the threads loosen and one can finally breathe. You shed your coat and it crumples onto the floor. You walk to the back of the theatre and take up a spare seat. Surrounded by a thousand languages, bereft of commonality. Amongst the cackling of the audience you ponder what’s so funny, a man to your right taps you on the shoulder, directing your attention to the stage. Your vision surveys the room. Everyone’s naked, their heads rocking in hysterics. You follow their line of sight to atop the staging. At first you see your old greatcoat, a greying heap slumped onto the boards. Minutes pass and you relax into the crowd. Your greatcoat livens, multiple gradients of colour wash across each patch. Your grin begins to widen. Threads begin to dive and fray, dance and duck. The greatcoat leaps from the floor, a few feet into the air, halting momentarily before finally exploding into a web of patches and tatters! Growing and shrinking, thickening and curling they dance along their threads of relation, you begin to chuckle. Until finally, materializing from the void of the stage, appearing from nowhere come a thousand separate greatcoats each retaining the singular for a mere moment before erupting into the dynamic physicality of multiplicity, a world of flows before you, a play of interweaving. You relax into the gales of laughter as the final remnants of your old greatcoat naturalize into the frenzy.

 

Conclusion


In conclusion one finds that not only is the Lucretian process relevant to the formation of a Serresean patchwork, but it is in fact integral to its structure, to the structure of global topological construction.  From the process one understands the clinamen-qua-nomad as that which acts as the pre-condition of the world. The clinamen which in relation to Deleuzoguattarian space acts too as the physical atomic embodiment of freedom against the sequential limit-form of striation. Striation-qua-laminar-flow in its universal allocation as parallel-void becomes the chaotic-nothingness of zero wherein everything can divide from. Division which in its spatially smooth/turbulent transition simultaneously draws smooth space and circuitry of relation; a stochastic bifurcation into turbulent deviation and onwards into topological communication. This process finds its physical conclusion atop Serres metaphoric patchwork-qua-world robes. The global periphery as laminar-fabric transforming via the division of a nomadic-thread which then incepts a turbulence, a knot-becoming-vortex, continuing into an unstable-stable vortical movement of multiple axis concluding in the formation of things, adhering to an intelligent materialism. Upon analysing the ‘Serresean patchwork’ one finds a process of multiplicity which in accordance with its underlying Lucretian flow is only analysable in its separate parts, but only tangible, realized and  sublime in its whole. That is, the Lucretian vortex must be still spinning, for observing this patchwork changes the outcome.

 

Bibliography


Serres, M (2018) The Birth of Physics. Trans. Webb, D. Ross, W., New York, Rowland & Littlefield

Serres, M (2006) The Troubadour of Knowledge. Trans. Glaser, S.F. Paulson, W. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Serres, M (2007) The Parasite. Trans. Schehr, R.L. Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press.

Serres, M (2017) The Five Senses. Trans. Sankey, M. Cowley, P. London, Bloomsbury Publishing

Serres, M (2011) The Natural Contract. Trans. MacArthur, E. Paulson, W. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Deleuze, G. Guattari, F (2016) A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Massumi, B. London, Bloomsbury Publishing

Lezra, J. (ed.). Blake, L. (ed.) (2016) Lucretius and Modernity. UK, Palgrave Macmillan

Abbas, N. (ed.). (2008) Mapping Michel Serres. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Herzogenrath, B. (ed.). (2012) Time and History in Deleuze and Serres. London, Continuum International Publishing Group

Serres, M. Latour, B. (1998) Conversations on Science, Culture and Time. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Lee, C, T. (2014) Haptic Experience in the Writings of Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot and Michel Serres. Germany, Peter Lang.

The Function of the Academy

There is much that can constrain or suffocate a work of thought, of theory, of philosophy. There are editors, critics and shills, classical religious and political bodies, demonstrations, burnings and bannings, yet none more harmful to a work of thought that that which promises it its sceptical freedom, indeed it is the Academy itself which is sole eroder of a theoretical work’s decency. It is the Academy in all forms which pollutes the very root it so promises to help grow. I say in all forms for the Academy has and always will enter into various areas of critique under different names. Whether it’s a Chomskyan Manufacturing, a Moldbuggian ‘Cathedral’, a doomsayer’s ‘devil-machine’, a Serresian ‘Parasite’, Debord’s ‘Spectacle’ or plain old media-systems-propaganda-worship, that which attempts to broadcast art, theory, music or vision to the masses always does so via a lense of constriction, and thus that which you are seeing, hearing or reading has already been tampered with.

Mirroring Buren’s essay[1] wherein I found inspiration for this piece, one must define the function of the Academy:

 

It is the place where the work originates.

It is generally a place of WEIRDness: Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic. It is indebted and economically-umbilically linked to a WEIRD government or state.

It is a stationary place where portable and lucid works are produced.

 

And thus the contemporary importance of the Academy is established, and if one is hopefully not too blind, they can see as to why a work created in such a place may have a few progressive stains dribbled upon it, or as to why certain work might not make it out alive so to speak. Buren calls the studio the ‘first limit’, upon which all subsequent limits will depends. Yet the Academy is not just some vague room in which anything can be produced, it is quintessentially WEIRD and that is thus our first limit. The Academy of course is also where numerous critics, lecturers, tutors, reviewers, scholars and specialists come to review papers, dissertations and thesis’ to see if they make the cut, to see if they’re moulded or mouldable enough to jump through the Academic hoops, if not of course there’s a pre-constructed system to deal with work unfit for Academy consumption: a bad grade. As such it is the Academy and its practioners alone whom decide that which is a continuation, that which is to become canon, that which is to be the ‘correct’ reading; it is the Academy and the Academy alone which decides whether or not a work shall become part of its and thus the recognized ‘future’.

And so as Buren’s ‘studio’ is the reality for the work of art, so too is the Academy the reality for the work of philosophy. Much like Buren’s claims of art, the work of philosophy too becomes more mature the further it distances itself from the death-grip of the Academy, the further it strays away from the world of checkboxes, grading and marking the further it enters into the actual world of thought and freedom. And so Buren proclaims:

“If the work of art remains in the studio, however, it is the artist that risks death…from starvation…”

So too does the philosopher, writer or theorist risk death if their work remains within the Academy. One will find once they free their work from the academic cult of WEIRDness that is is finally able to breath, to live and to…feel uncomfortable. Indeed the supports you so relied upon within your industrialized-education-complex wither and die at the sight of an original mind, one not poisoned by the water of WEIRD canals. Unlike Buren’s art-from-the-studio however, one may, can and should produce work outside the Academy, not with the Academy and not of the Academy. Imagine that dear fellows, writing what it is that actually comes to your mind when reading Kant, Nietzsche, Hobbes or Rousseau without feeling an authoritarian obligation to sculp your supposedly contrarian musings into another dreary Academic repetition.

And so I say to you ‘amateur’ or ‘professional’ or ‘practicing’ philosopher there is no such thing. You have been moulded, your work sculped and the higher your form of personal academic achievement the further your work has been lost to the chasms of WEIRDness. So where does one wander once they’re banished or have managed escape from the Academy, sitting atop its marble steps you ponder what to write about, who and when to write about. After the Academy there no longer has to be a why, when, who or what as to you’re writing. You’re writing because you are writing. Your work becomes entirely its own existing for its own sake, within a decaying blog, or viral pamphlet. Your thesis read by 4 people disintegrated into the WEIRD-abyss, rife with merit-signalling and brown-nosing. Your 4000 word pulsating screed on the hell-time of a cybernetic patchwork transition stage on the other hand was read and enjoyed by many.

If the work of philosophy remains in the Academy, the philosopher and philosophy both risk death.

 

[1] The Function of the Studio – Daniel Buren

 

 

Short Critique of the Left/Right Spectrum

1. The Current Left/Right Political Spectrum.

With regards to politics, the left-right spectrum is a methodological whore. It sells its numb, transparently accessible banality to anyone capable of understanding 2 directions. “He’s lefty scum!” shouts ol’ Barry down the pub, “Well, my my, looks like we have a centrist here ol’ chap.” quips Lord Pithington. Media, lingo and the political system itself have all picked up this linear infant and utilized it for their aims and agendas. They needn’t use other methods such as the compass or Nolan chart for many don’t know of these more detailed instruments, to venture past the ease of Left and Right is to venture into swathes of uninterested shitmunchers, the rabble whose mass will help define the direction, as such, complexity is left at the door.

The terms “Right” and “Left” refer to political affiliations originating early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799 and referred originally to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France. As seen from the Speaker’s seat at the front of the Assembly, the aristocracy sat on the right (traditionally the seat of honor) and the commoners sat on the left, hence the terms right-wing politics and left-wing politics. – Wikipedia.

Currently both ‘left’ and ‘right’ consist of their own individual grouping of ideologies, movements and economic styles. The left inclusive of Communism, Socialism, Liberalism, Anarchism, equality, progressivism and unionism, whilst the right is inclusive of Conservatism, Monarchism, reactionaries, Fascism, traditionalism and (arguably) Capitalism. I am not putting forth that this is exactly how L/R is, I am saying this is how the majority see the spectrum, as such, it’s where we should focus our attention.

2. Inherent Problems With L/R.

; the shortest schema is the drama (dream or nightmare) of the straight line.” [1]

Who ever thought a compression of fragmented abstractions connected to all modes and systems to a line, would be widely regarded as a good system for discussion. For there to be a coherence within the contemporary definition of L/R we must understand our place within the theatre, with regards to each other and largely within the spatio-temporal. We must understand that L/R is moving, as is time and space, yet there is no synchronization.

Take L/R’s practical origin and watch as it mutates with each passing week. It begins its act within a role it has been cast, within a material space at the time of its birth. On a practical and abstract level all members of the audience knew where they stood, even those not in the room. And so the monarchists found themselves on the right, the commoners to the left. 2 fixed positions finding their meaning in relation to each other, in relation to their time and to their space. Beyond those moments L/R was dragged screaming into a world never intended, as such it became uncanny and out of place, stretched, pulled, manipulated and abused into submission by multiple parties on multiple instances; this poor innocent linearity taken from its temporal home and strewn across humanities dirty history.

A simple analysis of China brings to the surface key problems of criteria and definition. For China is simultaneously Socialist and unabashedly Capitalist in its nature, so where does it find itself on the line? I imagine for many it’s to be found far left, for some a little further to the right, never fixed, always moving, for in reality it is China-present. Do as the majority and view the left as progressive and the right as conservative – the West will love you for it – in-keeping with tradition the left moves into the bright future and the right into the dark past (supposedly), yet what of those who wish to take from the past into the future, where upon the linearity do they lie?

If what Wittgenstein says is true and indeed “A Picture is a fact.”[2] then a ‘snapshot’ is the only mode in which L/R could ever find its feet. It can only stand and explain with shared knowledge of its surroundings and context, all that has come and gone in relation to the snapshot must be bared for the linearity to have any weight. This quiet political line drawn into the present will find itself ever-expanding/shrinking, changing and moving in countless directions and within countless systems; this illusory fixed system stretched thinly over time has only increased confusion and extrapolated misdirection. The same L/R linearity from over 200 years ago is still acidicly caressing contemporary politics, dragging with it all that survived, however small, however large. And so L/R attending from its origin allows itself to fracture and continue for whomever shall bear it: The L/R of a left-winger and the L/R of a right-winger are 2 entirely different spectrums that are supposedly identical.

3. Possible Futures: To Move Away From a Cartesian Political Spectrum.

When I write here of Cartesian, I refer to Cartesian space. If one implies there is in fact a grid upon which one can plot a point, one must make sure that all others are talking of not just the same point but the same grid, once both of these have been identified their positioning must be exact or problems will arise, perpetual disagreements will begin and confusion becomes foundation. This said, all may have the same grid upon which they are plotting their abstract political points, however, where upon that grid they put their point is entirely up to them and is in relation to their personal subjective view of the intensity of said point. If we’re to look at say democracy in the West, one can witness it both getting larger and smaller. For democracy grows in dimension, spreading itself over vaster areas of land, alongside spreading further into micro-communities and businesses, yet at the same time key/primary aspects of democracy grow smaller and constrain (free speech), as such whatever it means to be democratic or to be ‘democracy’ is a point which is at the same time shrinking, enlarging, moving, grabbing from the past, hurling into the future, whilst simultaneously being part of multiple grid-systems and plottings. And so, we have to move away from grid-systems when it comes to politics, unless of course we can somehow make clear the position of a movement on some form of Global grid, inter-connected to all involved.

So, what do we do:

 

CURRENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT (INCLUSIVE OF FLOW):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POTENTIAL:

 

 

[1] Desert Islands – Gilles Deleuze

[2] Tractatus Logico Philosophicus – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Adulting, Responsibility and Collapse

Humans desire demise, more specifically their demise. It’s been this way forever. The only change is that of type. Which type of demise, collapse or apocalyptic scenario are you lusting for the most? Do you have pathological obsessions about the Black Death 2.0? Perhaps you wish for an exponentially hotter existence? Or is it just one of the classics? Either way, before man can begin any endeavour, inclusive of his own existence, he begins mentally sketching out the minute details of collapse.

 

Collapse: [kuh-laps]

1 :to fall or shrink together abruptly and completely :fall into a jumbled or flattened mass through the force of external pressure

2 :to break down completely :disintegrate

3 :to cave or fall in or give way

4 :to suddenly lose force, significance, effectiveness, or worth

5 :to break down in vital energy, stamina, or self-control through exhaustion or disease

; especially :to fall helpless or unconscious

6 :to fold down into a more compact shape

 

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Albrecht Dürer, 1498.

 

Even those structures that give us warmth and the illusion of safety grew their roots in eschatological forests. You may believe that true Good is to come, and the faithful shall be delivered unto the new era of Good; or Pestilence, War, Famine and Death may ride down and smite the heathen; or cometh the Day of Judgement; the Newton Occult; death of pre-1914. These examples still each a hot ember in the hearts of many, but the embers have burnt out and all but disappeared for others: The 2011 Rapture, When Prophecy Fails, Y2K, 2012, Heaven’s Gate and an apocalypse for every year (almost) have all been revealed as false prophets in the push for the end.

Even if one is to put pure-theological apocalypticism aside, political movements most notably Marxism and Nazism both strived for a state of perfection, and history will show you the results. More’s Amaurot, the Ballardian High Rise, Fordlandia, Drop City, Palmanova and Ordos all micro-failures in the stupefying realm of anthropocentric hope. And if reality wasn’t enough to nourish your end-appetite then why not turn your skinny necks in any direction: Films, novels, TV and some albums have all begun to act as distraction, medication or disclosure in relation to the end-times.

The opposite to collapse is a failure, why? Desire.

We are currently engorging on a feast of human failure and learning exactly fuck all from it. But why learn when one could, if they so wished, avoid the inevitable: For if you have the money and the audacity you may wish to become an ice-pop, a cryogenic test awaiting re-awakening post-collapse; or become literally vampiric and suck blood from the young.

Hey citizen! Scared of the oncoming collapse? Worried about yours and your family’s safety? Then we have 3 options for you:

Prolong: Why not grin ‘n bear it until it’s all gone away.

Avoid: That’s right, we’ll seal you away until the event is over and all is safe.

Health: Why not face the event head on? But at peak physical health and fitness.”

The desire for collapse is hedonistically transparent. This desire, that desire, the one we all yearn for in moments of despair, the encroaching want for removal of responsibility. To watch as the hierarchies crumble, the institutions cease, to witness the destruction of an infantile God, one without after-thought for its residents: The desire for a restart.

That’s what the majority of us believe, the ignorant mass who view the kill switch as a blessing. Oh shit! We fucked up! Better pull the plug! And as you rip the plug from the wall the building comes with it, your family is crushed and your left without skin. You back away screaming with realisation of the truth; a collapse is a restart combined with the cumulative burden of past failures, mistakes and wastes. The realisation that the collapse ‘event’ is embedded within our future, the mandatory single-line journey to demise, and we all have a ticket. Humanity gravitating towards the dead-time of post collapse, where we wonder aimlessly without hope, reason, use or practical purpose. The clean slate of our most narcissistic dreams is already smeared with shit and blood.

You cannot grasp the enormity of the universe and your atomic place within it, the fact that time and the world does not revolve around you. So you fantasize of the end, dreams of a world in which your life may finally have meaning. Suddenly the ‘store’ no longer exists, and so you’re driven back to your animalistic roots. You now exist in a world where survival is meaning. A world which by all accounts sound extremely hostile with regards to a bunch of vidya addicted shut-ins who rarely get up before midday.

The reality is that of a regrettable scat fetish, in which once the shit hits your face, you finally realise you’ve romanticised the hell out of being shat on. And that will be your collapse.

I’m getting ever closer to the point wherein my posts no longer need a ‘Why?’ as to their creation, that said, the seed that spawned this apocalyptic assemblage was a piece of terminology: Adulting. A term which repeatedly appears within the feeds and threads of left-wingers and liberals – often quite famous ones. For those that don’t know the meaning of this toxic signifier, here is a description. Inclusive of housework, booking appointments, cooking, cleaning etc., basically, it signifies doing practical jobs needed to survive in a world where survival is secondary. Don’t keep your house tidy? Oh well, untidy house for you. Can’t be bothered to cook? Just head to a take-out. Each and every need is catered for you by a third party, you sold out your nature to the cheapest bidder.

The term implies an inherent contradiction within society. For there’s a clear desire for a restart, and a very clear message that we’d have no fucking clue how to. For those who’ve yet to read David Korowicz’ Trade Off, read it.. A succinct 80 page paper on global systemic collapse, with its primary focus on economic connections. To compress this miserable delight, in short: The economy runs roughly off singular companies/groups doing singular tasks. Tasks which are then connected via multiple means to their next stage. This form of connection runs across all modes of economics, transaction, trade, travel etc. For example:

The farmer who grows the potatoes, knows not how to dispatch them to multiple retailers. And neither does the retailer know how to grow potatoes on a large scale.

So, put precisely, you remove one of these singular moments and all of a sudden the system risks collapsing in on itself, due to a diversified ignorance:

The implication being either, everyone is seriously reliant on the previously made, or, in a darker more post-Hobbesian turn, those who do-not-know are reliant on those-who-know. Don’t know how to grow food? Cook? Clean? I’ll show you, at a price. Work for me, or die.

The concern of post-collapse society will not be ‘How to Re-build’ but ‘How to (did we) Build.’. Ultimately it will be how to take responsibility entirely for oneself. The underlying problem with the term ‘adulting’ and the culture that surrounds it is the refusal to grow up: If one is Adult-ing there’s an implication that the person in question is a child. And what comes with childhood is a lack of acceptance with regards to mortality, structure and responsibility. ‘Adulting’ is the lie that one can truly bear responsibility without sacrifice.

If one is to look for other reasons as to why conservatism and right-wing political thought is gaining traction with youth, they need look no further than what it is the right-wing sells: responsibility. The disrespectful chaos of the left ultimately leads nowhere, and now more than ever the chaos has become physically emboldened by the ‘paradise time-islands’ that are Universities. And so when the young are surrounded by nothing but disenfranchisement, disrespect and blame, those who are sensible look for the groups taking the full force of the burden, those owning up to having to deal with the problem – whatever it may be – themselves. Those saying you can be part of something, as opposed to a free-floating identity in a sporadically pulsating political mess. Those who fully admit that to be part of something one will have to bear some weight, yet the alternative is simply to brush off the slightest piece of liability immediately.

And when the time cometh that society need be rebuilt, one shall find hordes of middle-aged ‘adults’ whining at the reality before them. One shall find refusal of cooperation, responsibility or practical burden combined with irony, sass and general irreverence en masse.

Considering my No Driver at the Wheel list contained ‘Stop Being Pathetic’, and the above post relies on one becoming practical I’ve added a few links and resources:

PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR AN ADULT:

HOW TO LIVE LIKE A KING FOR VERY LITTLE – THOR HARRIS

Jordan Peterson – The Tragic Story of the Man-Child

Jordan Peterson – Responsibility

Stop messing with your sleep – Download f.lux

No More Zero Days

Fitness

Build Muscle


FURTHER:

UtopiaThomas More

The Modern UtopianRichard Fairfield

The Hot Zone Richard Preston

Straw DogsJohn Gray

High RiseJ.G.Ballard

UtopiaChannel 4 (TV)

Idiocracy (Film)

The New World (Film)

On Idle Chatter

 

In writing my posts I realised there is at least objectively one thing I always strive to free myself from: Idle chatter, or idle talk. chit chat, banter, gossip, tittle-tattle, small talk etc. Actually, that last one is extremely apt. The talk of the small. I’d extend that to the talk of the most utterly boring, vapid, narcissistic, Z-Virus ridden shit-munchers.

The idle chatter I talk of is indeed inclusive of the most basic chit-chat, that of the weather, or ‘how one is doing?’ etc., those care-free seconds when faced with a retail employee both parties believe has to be filled. What a dreadful world to have to live in, where each and every mutual silence others feel compelled to fill.

 

Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.”

Samuel Beckett

It should be obvious to the reader as to why talking, as an act, is of such importance. The local and often global act of verbally spreading a message. This is often incredible when the message in itself is sincere, well-formulated, based off previous principles and is formed next to integrity, yet within the realms of idle chatter this is not so. For those 2 old ladies chatting in the queue who merely repeat information they’ve happened to hear to one another is…nothing, for the kids at school to repeat a news story and also repeat the ‘opinion’ is in itself a travesty. This simple act of unloading the ‘weight’ of information from one to another is something entirely lacking in structure. Free-floating tit-bits of information and knowledge dragged screaming from context or source, are remove from their rooted structure and thrown around aimlessly, often to simply fill a void of awkwardness; when one talks idly the possibility for conviction is taken out back and shot.

Not only this, but the lame project of idle chatter inherently decimates active thinking, opinion and thought. One can understand the picture of Corbyn, Trump or North Korea given to them in full, however detailed or vague that picture is, yet if they don’t actively mould that picture with their own tools, they are useless. Make it your own – however marginally – or shut the fuck up.

Anything can be dragged in, anything can be shat out. And none of it matters. No idle chatter matters, or will ever matter. For it was all born from the numbing spew of an idle brain and unrestrained mouth; if no thought or structure has gone into what’s being said, if what is currently audible has not been acted upon within the mind, then, in short, it’s human-static. The static of human life, the point in which all our advances: biological and technological, leave us momentarily as we become fearful of silence. Within a world in which all moves exponentially towards some undefinable ‘event’, moments of silence almost feel illegal. And so those who live in fear of social etiquette, awkwardness and the uncomfortable become slaves to their short term memory, and kick their idle motor into over-drive:

 

God forbid,

I live in silence

for just a second.

Hey Gary, did yo u he re ab out Sarah?

God forbid,

That nothingness lasts

for just a breath.

Gary h e s ting Steven.”

God forbid,

The original to come forth

and the existential to lay its root.

An y way man I’ll let you g t on.”

God forbid,

I live without approval,

or without ease of the day.

Oh my. I ‘ s raining. Again.”

God forbid,

I examine or intrigue.

What a miserable day.”

God forbid,

That I think.

 

The internet has become useful in eradicating idle chatter. The idea of saying ‘hey’, ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’ before tweeting or commenting is absurd. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with asking ‘how are you?’ only that, if one is going to ask such a question they should have an actual interest in the answer. Which leads me to my main problem with idle chatter: The answers don’t matter. What is asked, said and repeated never matters, these people are just filling a void because they are uninteresting and haven’t a unique thought in their bodies.

2 overweight zombies in the retail queue feel compelled to open their top holes, for silence has come. What falls out is tit ‘n tat, ‘n lil’ bits of shitty gas, this odd hot air that I must back away from. Certain words break through the desensitized-mesh: Weather, doctors, you, me, I, want, need, have. Before long each word fragments into the next and my hearing draws deeper into my head, my vision locks onto the nearest point of interest and I’m taken into a place of deadened static. The sounds of the zombies is a low buzz, my blood no longer works.

I look into the street and a thin man with tar for skin looks at me, smiling. His teeth are made from keys. He’s cleared the street. Before him, knelt, are integrity, wonder, intrigue, examination and awe. He says: “Don’t worry bucko, I’ll slaughter the other synonyms later.” And with that they all die. Quietly, slowly, a most unusual death, one in which the judged appear to be alive, yet aren’t, their skin goes grey, and they can no longer talk, as if their minds are witness to their own death repeatedly.

 

In fact, this can be the 6th addition to my ‘structure list’ from No Driver:

1. Leave irony and cynicism at the door.

2. Allow for maximum human enquiry.

3. Exit as first priority.

4. Rhizomatic conservatism.

5. Don’t be pathetic.

6. No Idle Chatter

No Driver at the Wheel

Highly recommend reading through ‘Prior Reading’ at the bottom before continuing.

 

 

No Driver at the Wheel.

 

We’re trapped in the belly of the horrible machine,

and the machine is bleeding to death

 

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Dead Flag Blues

A car with no driver at the wheel is very much the case for both right and left wing contemporary youth movements. With the right-wingers being sucked in and consumed by a lust for identity and individualism amongst the overwhelming progressivist pressure for all to enter into a framework of diversity, inclusion and tolerance. Whilst across the river left-wingers are willingly being absorbed into a western system of ideological language and supposed inherent moral superiority, without question of origin, evolution or history. [1]

Both of these cases however have something in common, they both lack structure. Both are too short-sighted to see beyond their immediate identity politics towards a higher goal. Neither has a programme of practicality or use beyond an ever-lasting present of which they’re fuelling. The discussion of a programme is one that many are reluctant to have, largely due to the fact that the reality of such a discussion would mean one has to exit from the comfort of meat-space’s name-calling reverberations and actually move themselves to another form of praxis.

I’m being careful here as to not signal that I find meat-space or real-physical-life synonymous with praxis, this would be a grave error. For the era of change via physical representation is long over, the viral assimilation of cyberspace into near enough every inch of day-to-day life put a stopper on physical primacy. Yet the ease of social networking, collective engagement and viral meme creation is not a move towards substance. In fact the general rate at which cyberspace moves often imposes fragmentary ideas. Ideas, theories and systems which are open, growing and developing one day and entirely closed, changed and even non-existent the next, a rate of movement which leaves the user lacking in commitment and attention for an underlying structure, often for fear of being made aesthetically redundant or seeming out of touch. This form of ‘social chaos’ is something mentioned in an interview with Nick Land for syntheticzero.net:

I’ve got a whole ankle-biting fraternity on Twitter now. I am not identifying you with them, let me make that clear from the start, but I think that their question is very much like yours. One element of it is age. Youngsters are highly tolerant of massive incendiary social chaos. – But I just don’t think you can make an ideology purely out of entropic social collapse, it’s not gonna fit together. It is not a sustainable, practically consistent process and, therefore, it’s a bad flag for acceleration. It produces a reaction that will win. All historical evidence seems to be that the party of chaos is suppressed by the party of order. – What I would say to these crazy youngsters now is, you don’t have a programme. What you’re advocating leads perversely to the exact opposite of what you say you want.

Nick Land, syntheticzero.net


Youngsters being “highly tolerant of massive incendiary social chaos” is of little choice to them, it is a tolerance of fatigue as opposed to excitable involvement. Various early youthful camps which have attempted to sway such a chaos only end up fanning the flames. For instance the Occupy movement was nothing more than a gasp of narcissism void of any ulterior motive other than to be anti-order, a movement who’s existence could only be made possible with such an order in place. One has to be tolerant of this chaos for fear of going mad, there’s little alternative other than to: Join a pre-existing faction that’s knee-deep in political malaise, feign ignorance or simply enter head-first into an overwhelming state of perpetual anger.

I am perceptive enough to understand I fall into the aforementioned ankle-biter fraternity, a fraternity I might add whose rhythms are getting increasingly more predictable. Multiple parties continuously attempting to hone in on the kernel of another’s thought, without the foresight to wonder of a conclusion or aim. Land – in the above quote – gestures, quite authoritatively, towards a possible aim, that of order. Of a programme which is strict in the knowledge of the underlying factor for previous young movement’s failings, namely: A programme which leaves the chaos at the door.

[1] In fact I’d be willing to go further and argue that the radical leftists that have been behind the scene for the past 20-30 years have simply fallen into a natural current, a current they believe to be epistemologically pure in its moral and social direction, a current that will eventually spew into a foaming sea and be swallowed whole along with its occupants, who, by this point are willing to be taken by any tide strong enough of persuasion via virtue. Any future the left – doubtfully – has is without both a driver and co-ordinates; entirely reliant on the infrastructural circuits, roads and pathways of external sponsors.

 


 

Leaving Chaos Behind

To watch a show such as The Brady Bunch, Happy Days or The Good Life in 2017 is to advocate for gun control amidst a firefight. This perspective however is glaringly obvious to us all in 2017, even those who grew up with such shows can now see through the kitsch smiles, upbeat intros and albeit ‘classical’ communal problems. The idyllic projections of everyday life may now seem frustratingly ignorant, yet it’s an ignorance of hope, as opposed to contemporary media’s reversal of such classical perspectives which is inherently toxic and degenerative.

The reverse of the romantic display is the bastard creation of producer and executive, a vision based on sales: The belief of what a dysfunctional family or life looks like, the depressing alcoholic, drug-addled teens, TV that mocks itself, satire so biting it lashes at those who are the purpose of its creation, TV of people watching TV. The viewer becomes clinically attached to cynicism, self-depreciation, and corrosive ‘edge’ – because these things are easy quasi-complexities, that help one to think that they’re getting it, that they’re above it.

We know The Brady Bunch doesn’t exist…couldn’t exist, but be damned sure, many of us wish they did, and many of us are trying to create such a world in which they can. Yet, to watch and consume the adverse is to inject vitality into a cynical-simulacrum; ‘That’s how it is in day to day life.’ you say, as you claw your eyes from the box as your overweight children sink further into the sofa, your hubby announces “It’s so true! It’s so true!”, the laugh track hits, hubby snorts, applause.

:the ability to interdict the question without attending to its subject is, when exercised, tyranny.”

I’m not going to direct this whole thing towards TV, that’d be too easy, it’s only that [2]TV was one of the primary mediums which utilized irony to the terminal degree, wherein it is no longer “Sincerity, with a motive.” once the motive has been destroyed in place of pure unalloyed, shallow consumer pleasures, you’re left with an irony that will tell you exactly what you want to hear. Once the motive of irony and active cynicism is lost it is no longer a phantom-sincerity. One of the intrinsic problems of irony and those who consistently utilize it as a means of control, is their agenda of choice is extremely difficult to identify. And as irony, not just as a cultural norm, but as a signifier of intelligence and experience becomes more prevalent, what’s really being exacerbated is not just the idea that it’s impossible to mean what you say, but in fact, it’s bad to be sincere, for this would signal one has a lust for conservatism, the old ways. A heartfelt need for a programme, for a structure; a want for something…stable.

And so the viewer is left with that which they believe has fulfilled them, but they will once again need in an hour or so, and as our attention span lessens the rate at which content will be destroyed and replaced with something holding a little more micro-toxicity, taboo and contempt for its viewer will increase. As I mentioned before – sort of – answers to these overarching questions are of course difficult, yet what seems to be the true difficulty is starting to even formulate a means to their answers, a programme or structure that bears its past failings, utilizing their mess to construct at least something.

But irony’s singularly unuseful when it comes to constructing anything to replace the hypocrisies it debunks.”

Irony here is really acting as one of the primary infectious symptoms of that which is royally fucking you: progressivism, with a large side helping of postmodernism. Let us focus on the latter, for much has been said of progressivism. I wasn’t one – at first – to entirely dismiss the benefits of post-modernism, it has quite successfully deconstructed/destroyed various forms of thought which were in part restrictive or suffocative, the problem remains that the cons of postmodernism greatly outweigh the pros – see my (old) essay here for a brief rundown of PoMo’s successes, failings and general problem of existence. But what’s the problem of postmodernism with relation to creation of a programme? This lengthy metaphor from David Foster Wallace [3] addresses some of my concerns:

 

For me, the last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you’re in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party. You get all your friends over and throw this wild disgusting fabulous party. For a while it’s great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown, a cat’s-away-let’s-play Dionysian revel. But then time passes and the party gets louder and louder, and you run out of drugs, and nobody’s got any money for more drugs, and things get broken and spilled, and there’s cigarette burn on the couch, and you’re the host and it’s your house too, and you gradually start wishing your parents would come back and restore some fucking order in your house. It’s not a perfect analogy, but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it’s 3:00 A.M. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody’s thrown up in the umbrella stand and we’re wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders’ patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We’re kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we’re uneasy about the fact that we wish they’d come back–I mean, what’s wrong with us? Are we total pussies? Is there something about authority and limits we actually need? And then the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually to realize that parents in fact aren’t ever coming back–which means we’re going to have to be the parents.” – David Foster Wallace

 

Foster Wallace here was largely addressing artistic culture, or ‘liberal arts’ culture as he often called it, I’d like to stretch this metaphor to the present day and allow it to help us understand the problem of this programme. The chaos mentioned early on by Land is the party, which it seems we are currently beginning to tire of, the rate at which information is moving and memes – not just in the traditional image based sense – are flowing is reaching its limit, at least within the current systems of control, we’re at a point in which the ‘fresh takes’, ‘new memes’ or ‘hot articles’ come across as hastily sketched blueprints. We’ve seen this all before and as such we’re simply given more as a means of fulfilment as opposed to something of actual quality. And as fun as all of this has been, and as much as I’d quite like to do this again some time in the very distant future (for an allocated amount of time with parental supervision), right now I need some sleep, and I need to check my diary – and bank account – and remember where I was at, the revelling has taken too much of a toll on my house, a house which I’m only just realising the amount of effort that went into its construction, and if this house falls we’re all royally fucked. Some of the party dwellers think we should never speak to the postmodernists again and the house should be stripped of all their additions – some of which others think are actually beneficial. But wait, our parents aren’t coming back…ever, it is our duty to tell these postmodern fuckers to leave. But they won’t, so a few us retreat to a quiet room, where we make sure to never give in to postmodern revelling, we begin a micro-society or programme that focuses on life before the party mixed with contemporary technology.

 

[2] In fact TV hasn’t helped at all in the push of identity within political fringe groups: “For 360 minutes per diem, we receive unconscious reinforcement of the deep thesis that the most significant quality of truly alive persons is watchableness, and that genuine human worth is not just identical with but rooted in the phenomenon of watching.” – David Foster Wallace, E Unibus Pluram

[3] As I’ve put a large amount of David Foster Wallace references in this piece I would like to clarify a common miss-reading of his work, especially as I’m talking about irony a lot here, DFW is by no means a postmodernist, the man knew the workings and failings of PoMo fiction better than anyone. Some like to state he’s a meta-modernist, or post-irony, or new-sincerity etc. some piece of highfalutin for what we once called sincerity.

 


 

Taking the Wheel

This brings me to the abrupt end of this piece. That of gaining a programme. Or at least, in part beginning very early formations of what a programme may entail at this juncture, whether it’s too late, too early, or we’re simply too deep into the chasm of labyrinthine malaise that any programme at this point would only be a heavy manifesto in-favour of whatever other programme assimilates our minds that week. It should come as no surprise that the end of this would be a matter of pushing for coherent structures. Structures and programmes based of complex research, historical documentation and rigorous routine – hopefully. Taking the wheel of a driverless car may seem like a larger task than it actually is. You may worry that to ‘take the wheel’ is to be in the care of the other passengers; fear not, for if they don’t like your driving there’s always the option to pull over and let them out, another car will come along soon. You may ‘take the wheel’ and realise you have no map, or that no one wants to head in your direction. But let’s make one thing clear: The person who is too scared to take the wheel of a car without a driver, shouldn’t be angry nor surprised when they plummet off a cliff. So, how does one go about undoing their back-seat belt, climbing the seats and safely strapping themselves in for the ride ahead:

First – and in my mind foremost – within this new programme is sincerity of voice. To build another movement off the laughing stock of any other, is to build on sand. As fun and rebellious as Kekistan, /pol/ or calling others silly names may seem, it achieves nothing in the long run. This system of irony in which the majority are deep within eludes its users at every turn. Users of irony emit quasi-experience and seriousness via their cynicism, each and every ironic quip can better the next, for there exists no hierarchy in a world that takes nothing seriously.

Secondly, restoration of natural human enquiry: To pursue scientific endeavours and invent without restraint, to shop around between sovereignties, jurisdictions and ideologies, to engage in industrial and commercial activity with minimal state intervention.

Thirdly, fixation on the definite possibility of free exit:

“We believe that giving primacy to the right to choose one’s social contract, including creating a new one, cuts through the unresolvable tangles of determining exactly what universal human rights are and what type of society is just. As long as people voluntarily join groups, and can voluntarily leave, we have neither the right nor the need to judge the details of how those groups organize themselves and define their rights. We seek neither the right to dictate how other people should live, nor for the burden of figuring out how to make utopia, but only that each of us may live as we see fit.” – The One Universal Human Right

Fourthly, a return to dignity without hierarchic nostalgia. The roots of conservatism intend to drag from the past small, applicable, practical parcels of data which will benefit the present, yet, with them come traditions, aesthetics and ideas of old. The contemporary lusting over the ‘classical’ is a pitifully transparent gesture as best, and pathetically short-sighted at worst. One can return – in a sense – to these forms of behaviour, activity and inquiry without attending to their repetitive output.

Fifthly, attending to your own routines. Understanding something that a vast amount of the left doesn’t: No system (at least currently, or pre-singularity) is going to sort your life out. It will, may or should give/attend to the tools necessary for communal and personal success, whether or not one makes the decision and effort to take up those tools and master them is their choice. No system, at least not one I’d ever want to be part of (remember choice & exit), is going to get you out of bed everyday, provide adequate nutrients via feeding tube or make sure your laces are tied, and be sure to be wary of one that promises such things. Attending to yourself is inclusive of attending to ones own personal well-being, once more, a state, system or structure may allow for the means to ‘get better’, whether or not you or another wants to get better is personal choice; a choice that should remain strictly outside the public sphere.

1. Leave irony and cynicism at the door.

2. Allow for maximum human enquiry.

3. Exit as first priority.

4. Rhizomatic conservatism.

5. Don’t be pathetic.

 

 

Non-mandatory prior reading/viewing:

The Dark EnlightenmentNick Land

Patchwork Mencius Moldmug

E Unibus PluramDavid Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace – The Problem With Irony

Between Irony and Sincerity – MN

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.

 

 

Election 2017, Great Britain: The Grey Whig-ged Vampire

We’re becoming redundant.

This will be the first few years of the beginning of Britain’s farewell as a global ‘power’, neither of the clear choices in this election, namely: Theresa May (Conservatives) & Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), are actually innovative in the political sense, neither of them seem to be interested in technological-progression or ‘demanding’ more, they both adhere to the general public’s love of a miserable form of British stasis; Britain is completely stuck between 1960 and 2000, not much that we have now, wasn’t possible then, yet, going by the exponential possibilites of advancement within various fields, we should, in theory and often in practice (Shanghai/Dubai) be making progress. I’m neither pushing the left of right, or unconditional wing of any certain ideology here, only that the possibilties are there, yet no one dare mention them in fear of leaving the Britain’s comfortable temporal-Island.

Britain has in many ways become a Grey Vampire:

“Another tactic – particularly effective at wasting time and energy this one – is the claim [by grey vampires] that all they want is a few clarifications, as if they are just on the brink of being persuaded, when in fact the real aim is to lure you into the swamp of sceptical inertia and mild depression in which they languish.

“But what differentiates the Greys from other kinds of vampires is the disavowed nature of the feeding. Grey Vampires don’t feed on energy directly, they feed on obstructing projects. The problem is that, often, they don’t know that they are doing this.”

“…once their shield of sociability and charm falls away, they become revealed as horribly, tragically cursed, existentially blighted. But the Grey Vampire is also a subject position that (any)one can be lured into if you enter certain structures.”

It may be a bit of a stretch to apply the concept of a Grey Vampire to an entire country, political system or government, yet that’s how one feels, as if Britain is sucking its general public into a cataclysmic-bore, a hole that has no bottom nor any falling, it’s there and that’s about all there is to it. The ability for Britain’s political system to act as a banal-loop of comfort; you have to ‘have bad for the good’ they say, the problem with this is that those who go from the ‘bad’ to the ‘good’ could merely exist in a nightmarish game of back and forth between zero-change.

Praxis: A back and forth between Labour and Conservative – both of which adhering to their follower’s expected blueprint-esque morality systems -, with both sides feeling a glow of relief as the other takes the reins for another 3-4 terms…and then back, the swing of a monotone pendulum ,a pure political-linearity in which those who publically exist on the line as ‘subjects’ of the state are born into knowing no other alternative, taught from birth that the past was mostly horrible, or only acted as a means of progression for the current/the modern, and those systems of the past were regressive, backwards – cannot be changed (now)? – and that where we’re at now is the best possibility, once again, we come back to the fact that Whig history is the given position from birth for most western countries and their citizens.

Launching off from inherented whig history however we find a current problem: within Britain and Britain’s education system: yes, the past is given as a form of ‘bad’, yet the future is rarely discussed publicly, it’s that which is out-of-reach and exists only within a World of Tomorrow dream, to demand automation as the East is beginning to would be a form of political suicide and would begin to swing the dreary-pendulum back the other way, thus, for either party to move towards either direction on their already suffocating linearity is the possibility and inevitabilty of changing hands once again – with those on the fringes (Liberal Democrats) acting only as a quasi-potential for actual change.

One should address the other ‘alternatives’ here. One could of course spoil their ballot, this is an option, it’s an option which for the unforseeable future will do very little due to the education systems control over the populous, unless there is drastic action taken in some sense towards the government, the amount of spoiled ballots will not rise above 5%. You could also ‘Not vote’ of course, there’s that.

You could also leave the country, go somewhere that doesn’t just take a linear form of their own history into account, but actually takes the actual future into account, one filled with possibilites and systematic progression, one with working sense-organs.