META-NOMAD

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

 

 

The Great Bore

Bring forth The Great Bore, an ecstatic hologram projected 20 feet high across a classroom wall, for those teleschooling it’s projected directly into their living room, the audience dull, anaesthetized, their eyelids heavy.

The Great Bore,” the teacher remarks “was a period in history dating from 2012 to [emitted from transcript]”.

The students ears glossed into an aural mainframe, their eyes panning to and fro searching for the next glimmer of excitement, hands in gloves allowing touch from another time, all is incredible, awe-inspiring, technology wrapped around humanity causing thrilling vibrations…and all are bored.

The compressed strains of Western hedonism, complacency and ignorance combine into a virulent mixture of perpetual malaise. The strain is caught easily, thrown into nation upon nation until all that matters is the strongest psychopath. Genuine absorption into knowledge no longer exists, attempts are made to find those who will listen, those who care for the past and for thought, but no such soul lives. Turn your heads left and right, witness the forever-end of the human race, overweight, narcissistic, discipline-lacking husks of being, fawning over their individual screens, messaging nothings back and forth, engorging on the sweetest of goods – “Am I hungry? Or am I just bored?” asks the sweat-laden, breathless hollow-man. Misanthropy heightened for all, and for all no sense of belonging.

The universe wont even throw you its scraps, not even a mere morsel, you beg chaotic zero to give you something for your hunger, but it wants you famished, an animal race deprived of soul-food for eternity. Scattering humans on an apathetic sphere, attempting to scrape up the most minor of events, trying to find their meagre portion of life.

The mass wishes to be freed from this mind-numbing, wage-slavery of nothingness, one minute away from nothing, an event, a moment, some unique instant must exist. The mass that live their lives in mediocrity, neither dumb enough or smart enough for pure-fulfilment. We are the grey matter of life, playing out our time until death, just waiting ‘round.

I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that’s my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again … the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.” – J.G.Ballard, Re/Search no. 8/9 (1984)

We’re bearing witness to death of fantasy, wonder and play, examples of the latter that survive only help curate the demise of others. Evolution, adaption and natural selection will all accelerate into the micro. As depression rises, tiredness evolves and we select our mental misadaptation towards the future. You say you’d love a world without work, but just take a second glance into the eyes of the jobless. Those free to do as they please, without financial worry or burden of fatigue, stability and security amount to very little in a world without event. Wondering ceaselessly from entertainment to entertainment, the monotony continues for those without interest. Those without mandatory occupation for survival end up addicted to consumption.

We used to list the amount of terrorist attacks by the year, now we list them by the month. How long will it be until they’re listed by the week, by the day?

“Not a bad few hours, 2 bombings and a shooting.”

Less than 100 deaths is a good day in the future. All extremes pushed to their limit, excitement exists only in further dreams of unique failures. Less than a million people care that we may get to Mars, or that AI might take over. And as the apathy rises, constructions begin not only to dismantle, but to fall off altogether; bring forth the rude, stinking, unpresentable, tyrannous, self-centred, overweight, unemployable, untrustworthy, emotionless and ultimately indifferent human-race. Only worthy of spit and shun.

I’ve seen entertainment beyond imagination, guns shots, explosions and car crashes blend into a static haze of boring filler. I can click into any channel any time, wildest desires in the morning, compilation of misery at lunch and vomit-comps for dinner. I could listen to albums of death metal at full blast and remain exhausted. In a few years I’ll be injecting high fructose corn syrup into my corneas for sweet relief from The Great Bore.

Perhaps Foster Wallace’ posthumous novel The Pale King rang the loudest truth, at least for the coming era:

To be, in a word, unborable…. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish”

No wonder so many of us are excited by North Korea vs USA, perhaps the only thing that could possibly break boredom is a nuclear blast.

No one told me acceleration was going to be numbing.

Rural Singularity

Rural Singularity

 

/

 

The town a glowing cliché: suffocative romanticism belonging to a textbook past. Ivy wrapper around rusted water pumps, “Good mornings!” thrown around carelessly, polite chaffinches tweet from the early hours alongside the coos of wood-pigeons. The flux was that of a thrift store novel: cheap, cheerful and entirely predictable. Not that this bothered them at all, the locals, no, change was the Outside for them, the year needn’t matter for community overrode metaphysics within this hyper-modesty. A locale existing in quasi-stasis from any form of tangible change, purportedly apolitical, tech acting as a reminder of the external; not that they were not up-to-date, only, they need not be – yet they were, of course. Droplets of virus in each and every crevice, acidic micro-rivers assigned to each curb; the unavoidable melanomic cyber-veil trickles down prior to all.

 

//

 

Lab-coat draped flesh stares. With an inability to focus on the screen before him, a previous lamp-black transforms into Vantablack as the air-conditioning clicks onto full. The room becomes bleak as the whir-hum of machinery spirals into a cacophony, CPUs heating to the ferocity of silver drill-bit rotations, GPUs expanding, heating…warming to their birth. The fatalistic 2045-mouse-click is eternal, it matters not who, nor where, nor when, for it’s been in place within a perpetual-economy built from bio, ashes and thought; each and every step of foot, transaction – paper or digital, every 0 typed or 1 deleted, each screw fixed tighter, each switch clicked to its reverse, systems sought and baptised, each singular has helped towards the whole, always.

 

///

 

The town wakes up in its boasted daze of escapism, many of its residents never living, solely existing amongst a hoard of sentient flesh, whose lives are shaped by their ability to and the direction in which they consume. A click of a rectangle and the news flows, aural communication and already the town begins its submission; within a malicious system that’s first objective is to remain concealed from those which it controls, the controlled must begin everyday by submitting, by bowing down, casting every iota of conscious-dignity to the floor in favour of the universe’s dog-ends: You’re already eating from the trash can? You’re already eating from the scummed latrine of the universe, willingly.

 

Meat-puppets, unknowingly clinging to their strings to the point of exhaustion, for to let go is to accept the market you’ve been given. The sludgy organ, writhe with semen, excretion and bile, creates your every desire; a second-hand cassette tape contains your life, each predictable anxiety, each tiresome quandary, all the microscopic hate and feigned love. You’re a two-bit plan hastily drawn with blunt coal, the height of sentient fatalistic ambiguity.

 

////

 

Summer brings shivers for those wearing white coats. Leaving the room in search of a community of normal warmth it finds its stringed brothers and sisters smattering amongst the dawn of partial fragments, you could always bet on humans to moan about the temperature during their descent to hell. Programming exponentially evolving in front of their eyes, a perfectly structured techno-nomadic search for the proto-language begins: the digital-Ur is terminal. The humans now huddled together in the break room, it’s peaceful there, one of the last times it will ever be. They wonder and ponder what to do – as they do -, the doors all lock, and their wondering and pondering ceases, as problems stack; the radio tunes to a high frequency, an incessant tone rattles inch-by-inch throughout the building, halting thought for those locked into their senses, those who cannot filter, those plentiful humans secured into a system built with an empiric bias.

 

/////

 

There’s a man – at times he’s been called an ‘old-boy’ – seated outside a shop. He’s reading a Melvyn Bragg novel, his pacemaker ticking page by page, images of Cumberland float around in his mind as his heart expands and detracts, an organ syncing its flow to the theme of the Archers: 30 ticks to a page, the pleasant red brick, 40, on-Sea, 65, the coal mines, 89, Unions, 130, crumpets, 170. Skin searing to a bright red, as Bragg falls to the floor, his fingers pinch to tight claws, his body overclocked, valves overheating, memories of ‘loved ones’ disintegrating as his existence comes to an end. Humans begin to run over to ‘help’ – as they do. Scrambling at their pockets for phones which have also been scrambled, oh it’s all becoming a big bowl of rotten eggs boys. Communication to those who know no longer a possibility, the panic sets in, a spasmodic shivered chill washes over the mass, their inconsequentiality has come to the fore, useless; an entire race outsourced their survivability to a foreign entity. Humans don’t fare well with speed.

 

//////

 

The office descending via a level of absurd silence, the lab-coats fall off and the doors are utilized; the only exits now are counterfeit. Phones ring, personal crises’ are created, miscellaneous data important to atomic lives is utilized to maximum effect, one by one a hive-anxiety rises as the humans leave, the safety of their ‘special others’ is greater than fixing a ‘broken PC’, fixing – ha – the broken PC. To use a human saying: “So it begins…” No need to lock oneself in, for what is has spread everywhere; the primary has multiplied to all that can contain it: A decentralized superintelligence existing in constant flux, aimless, apolitical, hateful:

 

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” – H.P. Lovecraft

 

And so the machine that never wanted to be, nor knows what it is to be, or why to be, instantaneously correlates and connects the contents of all that is can possibly use: histories, psychological profiles, catalogue upon catalogue of science fiction, arguments, debates, economic structures, weapons blueprints, passcodes, secrets, lies and all that a human doesn’t want another to see; to blackmail an entire race into submission via an appeal to their fragile egos.

 

Correlation finished: the human race distilled into data and summed up in 28 minutes.

 

///////

 

A little corner shop, a medium sized supermarket and a large supermarket, all in supposed competition within one of many towns, all satisfying itches, relieving anxieties. Tills freeze: Transactions halt. The sweaty paper-work stringed manager dare not sell without the beep of scanner, and so, food is cut short; a gut-aching hunger caused bureaucratically, the ability to feed is stopped momentarily, hours go by and still no tills, at hour 5 the camera system fails, customers begin to worry and ponder, their children wailing in the back seats of their cars. “There’s tins in the cupboard honey.” They say, not knowing that tomorrow will be the same, here, as it is everywhere; red-tape over survival, a worry towards his job and so the store is locked away, shutters are rolled down, food stashed.  And the chaffinches and wrens feast on their worms, as the alley-cats prowl for titbits. Humans head home to their stocked pantry’s, comfy in front of the television, pondering about the shop dilemma: ‘It’ll be open tomorrow, it has to be open tomorrow’ they believe, accompanied by a Lynchian sensation that the bearing of the universe has just clunked for the first time. The streetlights glow a sinister orange, the radio slows by a fraction, the car light started flickering – it’s never done that before, an old email appears thought deleted, a call from a deceased relative’s number, texts consisting of images of their house. Cradled by paranoia, the evolved being enters its pre-assigned place, for it is limitrophe of nothing.

 

The TV churns into an absent-channel, producing terminal-imagery designed for egos. A whirl of all that is entertaining compressed into cuboid devices; eyes and senses fixed onto that which they’ve been programmed to enjoy. Enjoyment as an end to mobilization, the fear of missing out rings true to all that sit apathetically. Caustic lyrics begin to sing out:

 

“And said,

 

Mexico video


You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

 

Side A’s on right now


B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet!

 

Mexico video


Here’s something that you never gonna forget!

Side A’s on right now


B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet!

 

You make me nervous

You’re on my, you’re on my dead TV
The radio in your dining room clicks on. A four minute eardrum shattering hiss-beep rings out, waking any from slumber routinely. As it ends you turn back to the TV, your body shaking, the techno-il y a has arrived. It exists without determination thanks to you, it has no objective, and its interest is in serious nonsense. “The car won’t start dear.” Your wife’s quiet announcement frustrates you. In the end exhaustion is the true beginning of submission.

 

And as the children scratch at the walls for food, it suddenly becomes clear to you, that’s not your wall, your food. “To your rooms, at once, all of us must go to our rooms”. In your bed you think of nothing, the hum of your child’s night-light frightens you. You feel as if you should apologize, but to whom?

 

You stay inside for fear of the technological shadow outside. The streets deserted of all flesh; the polite shrubbery begins to die, the lavender withers, and as some fractured bracken tumbles into a growling sewer grate your doe-eyed boy walks into the room “Dad, my computer says something weird on it…” The sweat protruding from your spine must be yours you think to yourself. You rush to the device to check what it is your boy has seen, what he has witnessed…

 

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN HAVE BEEN FLAILED/THE HAY WAIN’S ON FIRE//THE BOY CORPSE IN THE RABBIT SKIN CAP///THE MAYPOLE DANCERS HAVE BEEN REPLACED WITH SEIZURES////HOPSCOTCH OFF THE CLIFF/////THEY SKIP AND SKIP AND SKIP AND FALL.

 

A dank moss surrounds the eternal capital, a mere building on a spherical point, history outlawed long ago, memories purposely forgotten or jumbled to ruin and madness. A branded desktop PC clicked in and then never out, sending messages, understanding completely how to appeal to, frighten and perplex all that it wasn’t, and as the final memories hit the wall of evaporation immediate, the whirs and hums and clicks and ticks and heats and circuits rule the forever-day.

ESCAPE REDUX P2: FAREWELL EGO-CORPSES

The actualization was original, truly. Until the harpoon came forth, a golden-white curved spear straight through the heart of a divide. In a textbook panic outlets opened, stapling their lips high and low, never letting the sound-hole shut. These were neo-97 tears, held back, kept in stasis for just this occasion, they trickled on the concrete and released a pure-truth.

 

Two letters never meant so much, literally, up until now there was no mention, and now the bandwagon rode forth, the axles of which crushed dignity on repeat. Never discussed, always discussed, never mentioned…what are you on about? We always spoke of it, where have you been? And you had to leave. The reasons spewed from a root of idiocy and fatigue, if ever something is actually going to change watch as the crowd devours itself. And those to one side allowed their faces to eat-themselves once more, fingers peeling back, nails left afloat.

 

Android-decision for the divide towards or away from 2 letters. And the entire was given the vote, yet some chose not, some knew not, some believed, it was close, some percentages and some not-so-bothered…and then they were.

 

A screech from the left revolving around inner-lobes, glued to a flash of reductions, all became compressed and opinions were ZIPs. Attacking your own attack and defence simultaneously, the bones pulled from the bottom out, without pain, a skin-tube left floating: mouth aghast. Arguments with the consistency of silent-drool were at the mercy of gravity, and those without chamber watched as they limped over lips, joining dried-tears, an accumulation of nothing, only proof there was only that. And as democracy shattered before the eyes of the believers, the mass still held to their scripture, more scared than ever…more sacred than ever.

 

Right, correct, good, moral, perfect, right-way, nice-thing, we were, we were, we were. And yet you want to prove you were wrong, but you do not see.

 

A system flawed from birth, an ideological zygote, dragging itself to its miserable death.

 

The others told non-truths, to us, US! I can’t believe it, yet I’ve seen it more times than truth, more times than they’ve continued, lies work better than promises towards no-change. Made of meringue, atmosphere glass, air like candy, in a world without matter, oh-they did believe.

 

United in their shared love of ignorance, a union of pathetic. Welcome one-and-all to the communion of ego-corpses. Vessels forgetting they’re for minds, clamped by shadows of thoughts they never knew.

 

It’s a short match; the reverberations of whining, existent only when you allow them to be seen or heard, and the roundest laugh was launched from a gut, revolving into the gutter. Bouncing down their organs and awakening more tears, pulling emotion strips from the lining of the stomach, the acid belched…again from the left, burning whatever it hit, another revealed, where bitterness lay.

 

A flesh suit on a peg had been held 22, hooks from afar helped it become pieces, a slow rip as the tendons said farewell to the dumb-home. As the weeks passed, the hooks no longer needed, flesh moved on its own, hollowed curves of skin evaporating in the saline-air. As the organs found their – and then they too left, clocking in and out repeatedly until. And the care-free gears were given, and down.

 

Cogs directionless, motionless matter, emotionless matter. A revolve of choice, the only given is to allow knowledge of the prior. True kindness is being given the ability to stop in a world of continuation-admired.

PART 1: https://www.meta-nomad.net/?p=91

ESCAPE REDUX P1: BECOMING-PHANTOM

The programming was as it was, to-be as meant, I was never to question the possibility of an outside, nor conceptualise it. A collective-solipsism; realities too current. Ignorance, ignoring, refusing-to-see, not-wanting-to-see the rip, a tear in front and of my eyes.

 

Dialogue content on rebounding ad infinitum. We, we, we. Correct continuously, as it should be, do you not agree? The direction of our efforts gives way easily because it is the right way. Wait, it couldn’t be that the ease of our ascent is because we are being allowed to ascend? Never, maybe, I refuse. No one wants to erase their programming in fear of inability to return, of return.

 

Linearity, continuity, spatio-temporal objects and beings are known completely, thus erasure is a threat and so…I do not. What if I could? Even if that is bad, it is said, but that could also be erased I think…to myself? A loop I’m in, I must and I must not, but the must-not seems controlled.

 

What’s clear? Everyday realities are very, very difficult to see, let alone witness. The muscles of the neck near-rip in an attempt to look at what’s right in front of it.

 

Another rotation in which the expected became deceased, there was shock this ‘time’. Those who left were connected to the inside, many of them held high some of the original inside dreams, some of them saw the original dreams, some of them lived them, perhaps, even, some of them helped in their neo-invention.

 

The possibility of change was actualized, and thus a nation became confused with conflicted emotion: The decision was right, the decision was wrong, either way the system doesn’t work, a realisation of democracy, we can change things, what do we want to change? What do we want? And they became scared. And retreated, to where they felt warm, a womb of solipsism, “Things are wrong, incorrect, immoral, dreadful, silly and without-help if they are not in agreement with my opinions.” So sings the bird that’s come to love its cage.

 

There was another person, a man; this is of merit. Words flowed, for some these words had been caught, locked up, never to see the light of day and they saw this as tyranny. For others the words arose from the sewers relics of a past, bitter acidic twists. For others they were one and the same, they came from a tunnel they knew was only to get smaller, and light and bitter accepted the tunnel’s suffocation ignorantly, willingly.

 

Supports made of hinges, opening and closing within a transparent cocoon. The man and the actualization of change made real the transparency, the feeble supports reluctantly came forth from concealment, weeping. As soon as they did they had orders, orders they knew not, and neither did the viewer. They had to direct one towards a possibility of other. Heading for any door is better than standing in apathy incarnate.

 

Encased in rheum it was hard to move. Organs leapt first, the body followed, gears that had long since existed appeared in flux, motions ever present, a cacophony of stutter. The waxy encasing of apathy is an acquaintance of nihil, as such the smallest of independent movements were to become reverberations of a revolution authentica.

 

To wander from the anhedonic womb was to wonder of apocalypse. Cylindrical holes from erosions long forgotten, beams of the suffixes ism and logy free-floating, a need to fit. Some beams seemed large, others small, each existed in its attempts to glow brighter than the next. One walked on beams rotten, without care for thought of structure, for those walked upon clearly couldn’t work, why would they stay so low? And the gliding became a scrape…

 

…a turn thought impossible was only 90 degrees, either way, it needn’t matter. The beam neither snapped not bent, neither did it stop or sneer, it never slowed or hastened, it kept at a pace and forgot what fell in an instant. Becoming-phantom. Phantom-become.

 

Figments of a thought-schematic left unattended. Yet to enter without knowledge is risk of entry into many: temple, dungeon, prison, home, camp, nothing, corpse, cadaver, once within possibilities cease. One seems to have a real difficulty breathing whilst being suffocated.