A Hypnotic Hysteric Prefix: The “Hyperspectrums” of Logos

computronium

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Here in the West philosophers use logic in many different ways, yet they all share in a desire for certainty, and a need to describe and visualize arguments. But, how many of them after learning how to use logic understand their belief in it? In this short essay one will explore this question because within logic itself there are ruptures, splits, and frictions between different logic’s and their languages. One may express this as saying that there are two categories: Logic requiring the certainty of math, and logic in favor of the uncertainty of number. Such a distinction is well and truly a battle ground and living individuals are fighting for supremacy, yet this fight is also something marked by the philosophy known as Accelerationism and its cybernetic thinking.

What is now becoming widely influential, originated from the university of Warwick where an explosion of shared thinking centred around a research body known as the Centre for Cybernetic Research and Culture. The CCRU encompassing individuals such as Sadie Plant, Steve Goodman, Mark Fisher, and Nick Land. All working on producing and documenting new ways of recording and exploring the impact of networked technologies. The Centre was soon to be seen as rouge and unwelcome and was disbanded and shut down in 1997. This did little to usurp its growing influence which just migrated and mutated onto the very material it had been studying. Mark Fishers blog paired with the collection of Nick Land’s writings put contemporary culture under a more severe lens, and Steve Goodman took his understanding of digital media into the realms of sonic fiction. It is in Land’s work that we see a change in the use of Logic and a desire to re-formulate the use of number toward greater creativity and uncertainty.

The United Kingdom in no way can be said to have a monopoly on logos, the country is acknowledged to have significantly contributed to its central location and thus plays a pivotal role in what one wants to invite the reader to explore today: the uses of logic and how they relate to an increasing complexity of technological innovation marred by a slower progression in social and political behavior. Encompassing questions like: ‘Does logic, is logic culpable for the persistence of Ideology? However, let us stick with our first question; the understanding of a continuation of a belief in Logic. Consider the following argument in its entirety: It has a nice simple name Barbara.

 

All truth trees are mechanical / All truth trees are an argument /

All Arguments are mechanical.

 

Now consider a mere complex argument:

 

If all truth trees are mechanical then the truth of an argument is also

Mechanical. / But, if the truth of a truth tree is mechanical then truth

is also mechanical. / Therefore, we can conclude that truth can not

be in the form of a tree because a tree is not mechanical it is organic.

 

  

 

 argu 001

 

Such a conclusion was most strongly felt and one could say discovered by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Who famously ran up against the formal logic of his day as it was conceived by the logical positivists towards a Rhizomatic; lines of flight based form. It is in Deleuze where we first glimpse and read the conceptual routes of the CCRU and especially Nick Land’s practice of counting number which we might comment on later. However, although Deleuze may have expressed a disdain for the tree of logic. I find it hard to believe that he despised actual trees?

Truth tree Truth Tree

 

When we look at this example truth tree perhaps we may appreciate why this great philosopher had a disdain for the truth tree. Maybe, we can say in support of Deleuze that this destroys desire and causes suffering because its mechanics are geared towards digging deeper and deeper, into the ground. But, for Deleuze, who here follows Zarathrustra, ‘remain faithful to the earth.‘ we can say that Deleuze’s belief in on the one hand being against strict formal logic, but on the other hand he offers no consolation for the contradictions in life. (1) This then is his point and contribution, that the process of becoming should be naturally seen as involving desire that is not controllable.

It almost certainly is and therefore when we continue to look at the organic tree; we see how Deleuze’s fascination with affect and effect can be associated with the growing of a tree. Here Deleuze shares another fascination with the object called a seed; with that crazy German animator Hegel. These two philosophers differ in one has a deep distrust and suspicion of immediacy, and the other a love of immanence. The organic or natural tree assists in explaining Deleuze (even though there is much I do not understand about this great thinker and I look forward to positively looping back to…). One troubling thing this image of the tree helps to explain is Accelerationism.

The idea being that once a seed, let us say the seed of a tree in a forest receiving energy in the form of water, and then as a sapling in the form of light. Once given the water the plant experiences not only an explosion of growth but  is also a quotable example of how competition for access to the right information or the luxury of light drives the organism to its inevitable demise. This association of luxury with life is sometimes morphed into a ‘Luxury Communism’, and I prefer Mark Fisher’s ‘Acid Communism’ because it is truer to the corrosive elements of this belief, and I believe if an acidic kind of Communism were to have existed; who knows in a speculative sense perhaps it would have burnt Capitalism to reveal the Socialism behind this toxic veil?

The need for a kind of Socialism is self-evident; even though it can not really be said to exist today? But, strangely enough logic has followed suite in that if it attempts to explain the increasingly complex world it becomes so abstract that it can not be said to exist? In our everyday use of the word. In the sense that the algorithmic operating and coded complexity of machine parts like that of the Google search engine and deep mind A.I are often unreadable, and indeed frequently seen as unthinkable. But, the Deleuze/Land hybrid did think through, among, and within these new phenomena coming to the conclusion that desire is metaphysical and necessarily is forced out and through bodies due to production itself being a process we all are trapped in producing.

One admires Deleuze and Guattari’s description of the “I” the subject in Anti-Oedipus (1972) how they suggest its real but its strange and ‘wondering around the body without organs’.(2) The use of logic in this text is very intriguing bearing in mind the author’s intentions. First in nature there is a conjunction comprising of a flow (“and, and then …), then these coupling desiring machines that are busy grafting production fail and break down. Here the BwO (Body without Organs (a kind of reality)) intervenes and transforms the conjunctive flow into a disjunctive synthesis resisting triangulation and allowing for that which is numinous; i.e desire to be freed from its imprisonment. If we are Freudian readers we might reject this on the grounds that it is more than likely this Deleuzian disjunction is actually exclusive and a strict one, and so we can not be or replace our parents! The moment this can happen, Freud and many others would say that we would no longer be human.

Here we see Nick Land’s and other Accelerationist beliefs; that because of the very presence of Capitalism we are trapped within the logic of Deleuzian intensities; that intensity itself is within matter and Capitalism is the most efficient mechanism or machine that releases this intensity in ever more speedy, complex, and predominantly technological forms. For Land any attempt to control or escape this process of expansion and “intelligence increase” is bound to this inhuman dynamic; an energy that according to this philosopher is not within our control. Before we can continue describing Land’s fluctuations in his logical beliefs. I feel that it is important to express and explain the title of this text. The prefix hyper- is now questionably one of the most creatively vogue word components. A quick glance will reveal: Hyper-normalisation, Hyperdub, Hypochondria, Hyper-lapse, and Hyperstition. All uses of the prefix have manifested and entered the public lexicon in the last two decades.

The first stems from a documentary of the same name directed by Adam Curtis. Charting the alarming rate that things such as torture, racism, and all manner of evils have become normalised in a post truth world, and how this post truth reality has been manufactured by powers resisting change. Opposing and responding to such a horror Hyperdub the record label of a Kode called 9 consistently accelerates sonic fictions that wage war against any comfortable or overly stationary understanding of what comprises dance music. The record label name is apt, speeding up dub, the b-side, the side that is wholly other to mainstream music production’s anthropocentric slant, a side that embraces the voids within electronic sounds. Steve Goodman the man behind this behemoth of independent London based musical culture used to and I imagine still does operate with a logic taken from the philosophy known as Rhythm Analysis; a perspective on reality constructed and immersed in rhythms.

The last three show yet more potentials to see a logos, but if anything its beginning to feel like the ancient Heraclitus’s belief that there is such a thing as logos but man is mostly unable to grasp it. Is this because like in antiquity the word carried three interchangeable meanings? Surely it carries more, this well worn philosophical word? Most philosophers are fidgety uncomfortable beings and so sometimes appear subject to the apparition of being disease free and this is the condition called hyperchondria. The last two are fascinating processes to discuss, write, and think about. But, I am going to explain why they suggest the use of the adjectives hypnotic and hysteric are warranted when describing this prefix, and in what sense can we discuss speedy spectrums of logic? Are they accessible open systems or inaccessible?

Oh, I almost forgot about Timothy Morton’s Hyper-objects; these things that resist human objectification that is they can be thought but not really understood or experienced: planets, global warming, humanity, black holes, the Sarah, the amazon rain-forest, and many more. According to Morton’s dark stance on ecology, ‘humans and all entities are shy, retiring octopuses that squirt out a dissembling ink as they withdraw into the ontological shadows.’ (3) I enjoy his description of me as an entity I have felt quite at home in the ontological shadows. Alas, I have not read Morton yet but I will as the need to think less about humans is really current and important and Morton’s book certainly talks about it. But, I am wondering to what extent this philosophers thinking is somewhat defeatist in that it reads the Anthroprocene as this inevitable logical end and therefore his thinking may (I am only surmising) do away with prior thought that is still very useful and alive and so should be still considered valid. Buddhism, art, phenomenology, language, and psychoanalysis, all have something to add in furthering not a centric but a more anthropic re-assessment. But, I think Morton’s Mereology is great and may have a lot to say about the effects of technology on phenomena.

Hyper-lapse is the most hypnotic advancement in optics and a filmic manner of recording that the internet hid from me, and I have a youtube Vox video to thank for the introduction. This technology is a very direct example of how technology literally alters the material of time on a scale quite unimaginable over two decades ago. Now with this quicker mode of editing light and what we record a viewer may find themselves traversing an entire city in a matter of moments. The distortion of scale is interesting, it makes the metropolises of the modern world seem more accessible than they actually are for the majority of us. It encapsulates that modernist magic of the camera lens taking us to places that we are usually not able to visit. When I first saw Hyper-lapse I was completely captivated by the idea that this is partial evidence for humans being cable of doing something, that for decades since the birth of relativity in physics has been seen as impossible: altering the speed of light.

One’s thinking about this is perhaps a little dreamy and “out there” because I realise that both general and special relativity are grounded in Einstein’s mathematical excellence and the speed of light is considered universal because c  is the speed that all information and matter in the known universe can possibly travel. But, here we have two things: the extent to which the universe is known and the association of this speed with light. Hyper-lapse’s extreme distortion of this natural phenomena makes it behave abnormally and this very abnormality interests me a great deal. It’s original meaning might stray and mutate towards a quicker alternative lapse. Accelerationism’s discussion of feedback loops and always alternative uses of number makes re-positioning this filmic technology possible. In a discussion conducted by the CCRU with professor D.C. Barker a man who once worked for Nasa streamlining the process of information analysis; during the conversation Barker’s speech feeds my hyper-lapsed dreaming.

‘They cannot see the machine for the apparatus, or the singularity for the model. So tic-systems require an approach that is cosmic abstract ̶  hyper-materialist ̶ and also participative, methods that do not interpret assemblies as concretizations of prior theories, and immanent models that transmute themselves at the level of the signals they process.’ (4)

Barker uses this prefix to pre-fix materialism and this is why it is hypnotic. When we say that I am human we are bound by Barker’s reference to time. The ticking of time is evidence itself that it is not quite true that we cannot see differences and Barker explicitly asserts that we humans as matter are a kind of hyperactive material. What is more hypnotic is that the methods systems of time require chime to the clock of social perception; that our body has a direct relation to the wider social entity whether it be a small community, city, or nation. (5) So, with this abnormal possibility of the hyper-material called time we are encouraged to free theory and embrace a process within the signal itself.

Imagine our perception placed at the very moment of a lapse in time, a tic, a click, its all too slick. Time and information are weird things; recently I was reminded by the great Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli that the relation between these phenomenon create this mysterious thing called now. But, Rovelli draws our attention to this signal’s strangeness. That for now to exist information has to be ordered in an organisation in the past and in the future it will be chaotic; otherwise the second law or principle of thermodynamics would be false, and it is not. As an animator I am perhaps somewhat closer to time and therefore the belief that it has its own matter is something strongly lodged in my own beliefs and so I am looking forward to the moment this concept is fully embraced by a culture. In other words I am looking forward to the time when it becomes a Hyperstition. Again, a body accepting something alien to it?

Hyperstitions are a little hard to determine but beginning with a nice pleasant one: we could start with Walter Benjamin’s ‘dialectical images’ accepted into wider cultures of the Anglo-saxon part of existence with assistance from various outstanding and inspiring individuals throughout the 90’s. It is with Benjamin that I want to wrap up this short but eclectic discussion on belief. But first there are of course other Hyperstitions because they come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. As a matter of fact Hypernormalisation is a Hyperstition, every successful design movement embraced by a market, new technologies such as the Light emitting diode, Abenomics (the system of economics expounded by the leader of Japan), and hopefully in the near future universal basic income will become accepted into the global cultures of this world. With this Accelerationist # we are faced with a confusion regarding our original topic; the dynamic between mechanical truth and organic truth needs carefully thinking through, and perhaps rather than truth I should be using the word belief. However I think truth is fine because we tend to believe something if we are certain of its truth, if it seems as being self evident to us.

Such certainty does not just arise if our systems of belief are generated by our intentional authoring of them and so Land’s enthusiasm for the idea that today’s living beings, the current human population is destined to live its life out in a kind of enslavement to capitalism I still find worrying although I think his appropriation of Kurt Gödel’s numbering to be interesting and important. It takes us to the final aim of this paper and that is to have demonstrated the vast spectrum of possible logics and the belief in them in today’s contemporary culture. One last demonstration of this would be to embrace the notion that the diversity of language supports the diversity of logic; a liberal notion but one that has some use. Doe it really matter if our truth is mechanical or organic, and what does one actually mean by such distinctions? Well depending on where you look and who or what you talk to {…} you might agree with the post-humanists that humanity has a predestined fate.

Or, you might agree with that of a Hegelian inspired history culminating in what Benjamin famously described, ‘history breaks down into images’. and that is what we have for belief: images. It is in the curation and care for these images that we may resist the nasty unwelcome belief of right-wing Accelerationism (escape from mass inequality is for the non human). I have not really spoken about hysteria, about how this use of hyper is ‘hysteric’ but I feel that one does not need to because ‘hyper-‘ matches the differing definitions of the word. In fact, whether or not your pro or against this philosophical/capitalist belief one should be aware of its hidden hysteria in that it may well be just a brief symptom, but an important one. We ignore it at our peril and instead of being more and more, marginalized by inhuman forces; I for one would prefer to grow a forest of truths nestled within the landscapes and valleys of a hyper-spectral kind.

‘The wildness of the beast is not swallowed by the forest; instead it gives to the forest a margin. But, this margin is not a fixed demarcation and is not illuminated by the light of day. The shadowy animal, trembling with uncertainty in the evening wind, is man.’

(To)Tm)ToorTm).

Organic Truth and not Mechanic Truth and not Organic Truth or Mechanic Truth. (I still believe in organic truth what ever this entails{…}).

 

 

 


1/Nietzsche. (2006). Thus Spoke Zarathrustra, Cambridge University Press. 6 

2/ Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, (1983). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 16

3/Timothy Morton. (2013). Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After The End of the World, Post-Humanities 27, University Of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London.

4/CCRU, (2015). CCRU Writings 1997-2003, Urbanomic, Time Sprial Press. 156

5/See Hegel or a Hegelian like Emile Durkheim in Moral Education: The Elements of Morality.

6/For a brilliant explanation of this visit: https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/kurt-godel-number-theory-and-our-programmatic-future/

7/Walter Benjamin, quoted in Susan Buck-Morss. (1991). The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge MA; MIT Press, 220  

8/Nick Land. (2012). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007. Urbanomic, 91.

 

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