15.04.2020

An Update

 Why do we use the proposition up with the noun/verb date to imply the sharing of new information? Is it either the influence of personal computers or is it the movement of the “arrow” called time moves a long a vertical trajectory. But, in our calender’s dates do indeed move horizontally.

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At least this update will hopefully resist being out of date or outdated for the moment it takes to consume it. Anyway, I have secured a job on the beautiful island Taiwan, still teaching English, still teaching Children. I look forward to starting this new job in a new place and with new people but I also miss all the people I have worked with in Beijing; I had a great time and I am sorry this experience came to a premature end. Due to this nightmare Pandemic which has generated a world under lock-down. I myself have done two weeks of quarantine which is nothing compared to a vast amount of people around the globe. Subsequently those still under lock-down are the lucky ones. Throughout the poorer regions of the planet human life is in increased peril and danger. Such a situation has brought to light the precarious and ferocious inequality that handicaps our species and prevents the very real possibility of a global community – not one that is necessarily free from evil and inequality but one that is a tad bit more equal, less rascist, and prejudiced.

If anything this reality of a looming threat of an as-of-yet uncontrollable virus has brought the need for inclusive and strong truly global institutions into sharp focus. The disrespect given to the World Health Organization by the Trump administration shows the value of Bernie Sanders democratic presence and the push for a global health system. To deal with the coming phenomena that will effect the entire planet we all have established an understanding that something is changing and I hope and worry that this change will be for the better not for the worse. My Dutch peer Albin Van Latum wrote an accurate and heart felt facebook post you can read <here>

I want to share some of the things I have been reading and observing and loose thinking related to these things. I have almost finished reading John Gray’s book Straw Dog’s. A famous book that attacks the secular belief in rational progress inherited from the Enlightenment and secured this British political philosopher’s reputation. The book is well worth a read as it is written in an incredibly accessible aphoristic style. Highlight’s for me included some conclusive evidence against and an interesting support of the famous German Schopenhaur. Gray has an admiration for Schopenhaur because he sees him as providing a position against the importance of meaning and a human or anthropocentric belief in progress. Gray’s book also introduced me to Nietzsche’s reading of Dostoevsky and the notion that life is itself a dream attributed to the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu or Zhuang Zhou.

These are positives I take from Mr.Gray and I will read his other book on the Silence of Animals too. However reading Gray reminded me of something I have been trying to move away from that is a kind of voice that through a very powerful process of critical thinking arrives at an unhelpful perspective. I find Gray partially innocent of this but his work along with Nick Land has shown the existence of a dismissive or defeatist character to two very successful contemporary thinkers. I have been invited to re-write an essay on this and will accept this invitation at some point. I recently discovered a documentary based upon a Harvard academic’s recent book: Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism. Then I remembered a direct personal example of this idea at work. I had watched a lecture by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli on youtube <here>and then recently purchased a copy of his book The Order of Time. It now feels like the link between me interacting with Google owned youtube and purchasing a book is even more tangible and real.

Now a paragraph on personal desire for the coming months: 1) Improve both my Chinese and Japanese (but Chinese mostly), 2) revise formal logic and start learning writing about language and more logic/philosophy of language. Including: Theodore Sider’s excellent Logic for Philosophy (2009), plus the use of logic I learned in Leuven Belgium. This is partly because being able to think analytically is a healthy skill to have and I recently read an article that altered my view on the place of logic in the world: Alexander Klein’s The Politics of Logic. Also thanks to my friend Taz I am a fan of the HBO TV Series Westworld and I wish to write about the powerful philosophical ideas developed and brilliantly explored in these three seasons. Regardless of how your coping with this halted and haunted change in life circumstances remember to find pleasure, joy, and happiness in whatever form you find them in and then share them in whatever way you can.

 

Αιων εστι παισ

Aion esti pais

(Eternity is a Child)   

永恆是孩子     Yǒnghéng shì háizi

永遠は子供です。 Eien wa kodomodesu.

 

Then Nietzsche’s Interpretation:

 

“And as the child and the artist plays, so too plays the ever living fire, it builds up and tears down, in innocence – such is the game eternity plays with itself.”

 

“隨著孩子和藝術家的演奏,也演奏著永生的火焰,它會無辜地積澱和流淚-永恆的遊戲就是這樣。”

“Suízhe háizi hé yìshùjiā de yǎnzòu, yě yǎnzòuzhe yǒngshēng de huǒyàn, tā huì wúgū dì jīdiàn hé liúlèi-yǒnghéng de yóuxì jiùshì zhèyàng.”

….

「そして、子供と芸術家が演じるように、これもまた生きている火を演じる、それは無垢で蓄積され、そして破壊されます。それは永遠がそれ自体で遊ぶゲームです。」

`Soshite, kodomo to geijutsuka ga enjiru yō ni, kore mo mata ikite iru hi o enjiru, soreha muku de chikuseki sa re, soshite hakai sa remasu. Sore wa eien ga sore jitai de asobu gēmudesu.’

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Dubbing with Derrida

 

 

Dubbing With Derrida:

An underview of a Unique and Great French Philosopher

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[Je regrette que ce ne soit pas écrit en Français.]

 

The following is an attempt to provide an overview of one of my favourite philosophers and even with his renowned status as a university professor and the creation of his own way of doing philosophy Jacques Derrida and ‘Deconstructionism’ remain under-appreciated. Admittedly this may be the possibility of an impossibility: we may not be able to appreciate him enough; that is it may be humanely impossible to give Derrida enough appreciation. It is absurd to even raise the question, but why is it important to appreciate the achievements of this man? To answer this is simple. Jacques Derrida belongs to a group of thinkers gathered together under the tag of post-structuralism but for me he remains the most successful thinker at gaining acceptance in the highest level of a major public institution yet undermining its stability and in doing so democratised an industry and business that often excludes paths and practices of thought, reading, writing, and communication that are considered incomplete but still hide a logic just as certain as those that are streamlined into mainstream education as a commodity form.

The following is a humble attempt to be a good reader of Derrida and re-read some of his texts so as to deepen my understanding of the viral meaning his Deconstruction harnesses and hones.

 

Speech and Phenomena” (1973) La Voix et le Phinomene

 

There are interesting perspective on language involving a medieval notion of language; a trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The thoughts of a man named Ibn Khaldûn characterising language as a technical habit related to an art or craft malaka sintfiyya. The theories of language arising from German distinctions such as Frege’s Sinn (sense), and Husserl’s Bedeutung (meaning) lead to a Charles Morris’s idea of another trivium: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; which is in need of a separate consideration. Then Wittgenstein is chosen of Austin because he sits closer to a continental tradition and how in the Tractatus Wittgenstein runs up against the hegemony of knowledge; the hegemony that me and Derrida constantly complain against because of it’s crippling conditionalities (knowledge produces a reality bound purely by conditions that it alone generates). Phenomenology sits in a certain narrative of thinking that stems all the way back to Plato and then through Descartes and Kant arrived at its father Edmund Husserl. This philosophy then is one which is comfortable striving for the production of knowledge. Against this are different ways of thinking that reveal the truth of understanding. Derrida shows clearly how phenomenology may be read as successful in its aims of suspending the ‘natural attitude’ so as to assist in a truer understanding of our experience of a given phenomena.

‘Husserl will radicalise the necessary privilege of the phoné which is implied by the whole history of metaphysics, and exploit all its resources with the greatest critical refinement. For it is not in the sonorous substance or in the physical voice, in the body of speech in the world, that he will recognise an original affinity with the logos in general, but in the voice phenomenologically taken, speech in its transcendental flesh, in the breath, the intentional animation that transforms the body of the word into flesh, makes of the Korper a Leib, a geistige Leiblichkeit. The phenomenological voice would be this spiritual flesh that continues to speak and be present to itself—to hear itself—in the absence of the world. Of course, what one accords to the voice is accorded to the language of words, a language constituted of unities—which one might have believed irreducible, which cannot be broken down—joining the signified concept to the signifying “phonic complex.” Despite the vigilance of the description, a perhaps naive treatment of the concept of “word” has doubtless left unresolved the tension of the two major motifs in phenomenology: the purity of formalism and the radicality of intuitionism.’(D. 16)

Here we have a lot of things to unpack and offer a small explanation (I apologise to those who are acquainted with both Derrida and Husserl) so as to re-inforce my own small understanding of these European thoughts. I ponder, is it enough to say that the purity of formalism and a radical intuition can be connected and associated with Kant and Plato’s theories of ideas (the distinction between synthetic and analytical judgements are found uniform in our intuition, and ideas are mathematical forms). The spiritual flesh is seen as dependent on the unity of words and this indeed presents a linguistic continuum. Husserl’s theory of language as it is found in the second part of his Logical Investigations states that an ‘“empty thought” needs a sign as an “Intuitive Support”’ and ‘all thought is carried on by way of certain “acts” which occur in a context of expressive discourse’(Husserl, LI, II. 667… in Petr Urban’s The Relationship Between Thought and Language in Husserl’s Philosophy, Czech Institute of Philosophy). But, we also discover Derrida’s point of contention with Husserl when we observe that this German master saw both the sign and meaning as unified however the use of the word sign Zeichen can either be expressive Ausdruck or indicative Anzeichen. This seems like a small difference but from two different perspectives there is much to discuss and take from the position of Husserl ‘there is the possibility of a sign that signifies nothing; that has no meaning Beudeutung. Contrasting with Derrida where there is no sign without the signified. I will have to take a step back from the assumption that I know my everyday usage of language and also suspend judgement on various phenomena. I will read this book properly because one suspects this text along with On the Origins of Geometry to be essential in understanding the wider situation of the birth of Deconstruction and what questions this philosophy was born amongst. This leaves me to share two of the more important statements or benchmarks ever marked into the long history of thinking; and especially thinking about language.

 

  “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, dariiber muss man schweigen” (“What we cannot speak about we must consign to silence”).    

  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Philosophicus

 

II reste alors a parler, a faire resonner la voix dans les couloirs pour suppliéer l’éclat de la presence” (‘It remains, then, for us to speak, to make our voices resonate throughout the corridors in order to make up for the breakup of presence”)

– Jacques Derrida,

 

 

Of Grammatology (1976) De la grammatologie

 

I am reading from the text translated by the awesome Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak an Indian philosopher of great Great GREAT inspiration. For her never ending belief in education and the necessity of using language to fight for more equality and openness in our systemic structures of education and learning. Let’s begin with one of the great descriptions of Derrida’s philosophy, ‘Deconstruction seems to offer a way

out of the closure of knowledge. By inaugurating the open-ended indefiniteness of textuality—by thus “placing in the abyss” (mettre en abîme), as the French expression would literally have it—it shows us the lure of the abyss as freedom. The fall into the abyss of deconstruction inspires us with as much pleasure as fear. We are intoxicated with the prospect of never hitting bottom.’((Derrida, lxxvii)).

 

“If the nonphonetic moment menaces the history and the life of the spirit as self-presence in the breath, it is because it menaces substantiality, that other metaphysical name of presence and of ousia. First in the form of the substantive. Nonphonetic writing breaks the noun apart. It describes relations and not appellations. The noun and the word, those unities of breath and concept, are effaced within pure writing. In that regard, Leibniz is as disturbing as the Chinese in Europe: “This situation, the analytic notation of representations in hieroglyphic script, which seduced Leibniz to the point of wrongly preferring this script to the alphabetic, rather contradicts the fundamental exigency of language in general, namely the noun. . . . All difference [Abweichung] in analysis would produce another formation of the written substantive.”((Derrida, 27))

 

This re-production is interesting and I wonder how close it is to Delueze’s metaphysical understanding of the necessity of production. Although, like every text authored by Derrida this book is complex and explores many separate writers and thoughts it is useful in a summary to simplify; and so in this spirit I will take my lead from Wikipedia and split this text into two components parts, yet also add a third: the famous ‘Exergue’. The first two parts are comprised of Derrida’s study of the linguistic thoughts of two fellow French giants Ferdinand de Saussure and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Analysing Saussure’s idea of the ‘sign’ stating the claim that written symbols are not inferior to the phonetic sounds and matter of factly the privileging of speech that has been a constant since the beginning of philosophy is a fallacy according to Derrida; as he shows this opposition is an opposition held within language itself and therefore can not be overcome only embraced, only deconstructed.

The analysis of Rosseau’s thoughts on language is interesting. Pursuing a logic of supplementation Derrida analyses a chain of such events in Rosseau’s literary body. This analysis of the chain of supplementations has a psychoanalytic flavour beginning with the absence of a mother and moving through a presence and absence and then the priority of an absent presence written by Rosseau. One which is deeply haunting not just in how Derrida describes it but also in what interpretive difficulties it traces and marks for us today; and indeed the process is one which a person may readily identify with.

 

‘In his eyes it will remain the model of vice and perversion. Affecting oneself by another presence, one corrupts oneself [makes oneself other] by oneself [on s’altère soi-même]. Rousseau neither wishes to think nor can think that this alteration does not simply happen to the self, that it is the self’s very origin. He must consider it a contingent evil coming from without to affect the integrity of the subject. But he cannot give up what immediately restores to him the other desired presence; no more than one can give up language. This is why, in this respect as well, as he says in the Dialogues [Pléiade, vol. 1] , “to the end of his life he will remain an aged child.”(154)

 

As I am writing I am also reading the pdf copy of this text and it is not a preference the presence of an abundance of digital texts may indeed be turning me into an aged child. I would much prefer the actual book yet Rosseau is shown to be one of those that privilege speech. Remember Derrida supposedly does not mean to critique these thinkers and so I think he has more than a little respect and admiration for Rosseau; and I follow suite, Rosseau’s source for his study on language, a Duclos, provides a startling account of the liberty and therein the collective properties of “spoken” language and the political attacks that take place against language by way of alterations and shortenings. Duclos or Rosseau state, ‘The language is the property of the people. Each derives its unity from the other. For if language has a body and a system, they inhere in the people assembled and “bodily” united: “It is a people in a body that makes a language…. A people is thus the absolute master of the spoken language, and it is an empire they possess unawares.’(170) But, what of the written does it remain un-mastered, free, and unpossessable?

These difficulties are re-stated by Rosseau in terms of the voice and words pre-forming music, ‘If music awakens in song, if it is initially uttered, vociferated, it is because, like all speech, it is born in passion.That is to say in the transgression of need by desire and the awakening of pity by imagination.’(196) Pity interests me here; in Eastern culture, in Japan the Buddhists have a unique reading of the noun. Pity is read as mercy: Jihi 慈悲 has the radicals for happiness and sadness residing above the kanji for mind/spirit/heart. This Japanese noun would be well suited to Derrida’s method of working through the inner logic and contradictions of textual reality. What Japanese texts would enable a working through these signs of pity and mercy?

It is very clear, that many more readings of this book will have to be done for me to fully understand Derrida’s reading of Rosseau’s supplement and interval and this distinctly French exploration of language. Rosseau’s text are shown to contain much interesting reasoning on the state of linguistic change in his day and a discussion of a necessary relation of the child to the sign by way of non-relation; the sign is but it isn’t because unlike adults children do not immediately have a self relation from which to relate to a given meaningful phenomena such as a sign. Before I part ways with this book let’s look at this famous Exergue. Our looking at this description of ‘logocentrism’ benefits from the assistance of Gabriel Rezende’s work on this section of the Book. Rezende nicely describes this centrism and does so in an ambitious project of writing that emphasises the political aspect of Derrida’s work. Correctly stating the three problems that Derrida is dealing with: 1) our thoughts on writing are geared towards an ahistorical concept of phonetic writing, 2) Metaphysics is always bound to a logos, and 3)because of the later it can be stated that humans are nothing more than a teleology of sciences.

Rezende expresses why this part of Derrida’s book is so important and perhaps summarises why Derrida remains widely loved and deeply relevant to today and the future yet to come. It is Derrida’s respectful readings of the three big German H’s (Husserl, Hegel, and Heidegger) that culminates in the very real idea that a cultural teleology is present in the works of these major philosophers and results in logocentrism or the voice that speaks closest to the truth. In Deconstructing this Derrida helps us understand an absent cultural teleology one in which hidden truths are made manifest by the very grammars of writing.

 

Writing and Difference,(1978) L’écriture et la différence

 

A preface is a beautiful thing and in this book it is a translator’s. I am always taken a back at how a written object of respect and repute often comes with an introductory mask one that I often find just as rewarding. This preface does not disappoint I encounter: Epekeina tes ousias the Platonic term for the beyond of being, the shared interest in the difference between Sinn/sense and the senses; between Sein/être and Seindes/étant; the “ontological double genitive,” i.e., the necessary fluctuation of the subjective and objective cases in order to speak of Being, which always means the Being of beings and the beings of Being. Nietzsche gifts us voluntarism (the doctrine of the will) passed down to us from Latin voluntas our volition and funnelled through French vouloir implying even more of a wanting; and Edmund Hussserl’s distinction/opposition between hylé and morphé (matter and form). All of this and more is contained in Alan Bass’s short introduction.

 

Derrida begins his work on a note of anxiety one that is about language and in language itself. Discussing a kind of somnambulism (sleepwalking) situated between a structuralist ideal and the history of ideas; a schism within a force, ‘Form fascinates when one no longer has the force to understand force from within itself. That is, to create’(Derrida, 1978, 3). Here we find ourselves on the outside if we wish to be a creator? Thus soliciting a solicitation (check the Latin etymology), how writing and difference are intertwined. In Derrida’s intro we learn that there is an Art for Immanuel Kant and a Rousseau that is a hidden thing that does its work in secret, yet we can still understand that our imagination is what initiates such a process. We read of drastic yet true procedures, ‘One must be separated from oneself in order to be reunited with the blind origin of the work in its darkness’(D,7) and again this outside also applies to the purity of the literary morphé.

The pure book naturally turns towards this Eastern edge of this absence which, beyond or within prodigiousness of all wealth, is its first and proper content. The pure book, the book itself, by virtue of what is most irreplaceable within it, must be the book “about nothing” that Flaubert dreamed of-a grey, negative dream, the origin of the total Book that haunted other imaginations.’(D. 9)

Derrida could be giving a description of many of his own books and I can not help with my own personal connections to Asia; also long to return to the Eastern edge. This haunting of other imaginations is important it has a connection and relation to the production of truth and Husserl’s innessential (Unwesen). This we are told is dictated by an essence and happens under the rubric of sedimentation. Then a tussle between Flaubert and Nietzsche comes after Derrida’s own stylish eidetic translation, ‘the things for which we do not have enough forms are already phantoms of energy, “ideas” larger then the plasticity of style’(D.34) relishing in the natural lack of language; how it can never quite incomprehensibly structure and has to remain somewhat other to itself. A discussion on Foucault’s reading of Descartes’s nisi me forte comparem nescio quibus insanis…‘Unless perhaps I were to liken myself to a madman’(Descartes. First Meditation) associates this inoculation performed on behalf of philosophy by Descartes against madness is also a question of the sign. Derrida likens the Cartesian split to the presence of an obvious and then a latent language; intimately embroiled in questions surrounding knowledge as a historical construct and the attribution of meaning inherited from master Foucault.

Derrida’s own special Hegelianism rises when he starts discussing the juxtaposition of the Silent (the mad) and reason (the ordered mad) and how escaping reason is impossible unless you embrace its abstractions and its power to disturb. This Entzweiung, a dissociation that Foucault enacts; apparently ancient Greek logos did not have a contrary in comparison to classical reason (D.64). I am not certain what this implies the time of the ancient Greeks was so long ago yet perhaps this comment is a comparison between the pursuit of an Arche by the pre-socratics and the ideas against contradiction formulated by Aristotle and then developed by the Rationalists. Either way Writing and Difference offers questions that for me question writing over difference; that is the book offers an opportunity an invitation to write about writing. Which Derrida was overtly interested in privileging: the inscription over the act of speaking. The relationship between the younger French master and the older German master is fascinating and a relationship which I will be heavily invested in exploring in the coming years. This relation comes to the foreground when Derrida describes a Violence hidden in the history of Metaphysics. The need to determine one’s being in relation to Being.

Writing then is a very unique thing and deeply mysterious, the power of the pen endures in an age of instability. The power of our writing tools (I am eager to explore the power of the brush) remains because they are essential we need them to cut into reality and engineer new lines and sequences. Before, one finishes this the first brief reading and before this text ends with a commentary on the historical and the economical. One last reference to the great German master Husserl is necessary; Derrida cites some giddy German starting with the word Urtatsache (nonempirical factuality) and then moving onto two of Husserl’s sentences, ‘der intentionale Urgrund für meine Welt’, and ‘die Urtatsache, der ich standhalten muss’. After this, some beautiful reflections of what distinguishes a child or beginner philosophical baby from an authentic lover of wisdom. Derrida writes that the child will when first encountering a ghostly corner with an absence of light haunted by solipsism, relativism, and psychologism be naturally daunted; but we are told that, ‘The true philosopher will prefer, instead of fleeing from these ghosts, to illuminate the dark corner. Derrida, don’t pretend that you weren’t an infantile thinker once upon a Parisian dawn.   

‘This vigilance is a violence chosen as the least violence by a philosophy which takes history, that is, finitude, seriously; a philosophy aware of itself as historical in each of its aspects (in a sense which tolerates neither finite totality, nor positive infinity), and aware of itself, as Levinas says in another sense, as economy. But again, an economy which in being history, can be at home neither in the finite totality which Levinas calls the Same nor in the positive presence of the Infinite.’(D.146)

 

[There are so many books written by Derrida that are worth reviewing and so I will post a ‘Dubbing with Derrida: Part II’ at some point – Merci pour la lecture, mais j’ai maintenant besoin de revenir à l’étude japonaise]

Japanese

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This post includes a few things I have been reading and translating. I have already posted some of them on Instagram but here I have included a translation of my friend Yutaka’s book, and my teacher Yoko’s buddhist text. I have also included some important practice in Japanese grammar which I really need to commit to memory in a fluent way so I can use them correctly in speech. I also found this amazing website for students of Japanese: www.japanese.io it is full of a wide range of literature and I will be using it a couple of times a week.

 

このポソトは私の読むと翻訳するの物です。インスタグラムで前にアップロードしたにですけど、友達豊君の本も私の先生、陽子さんの仏教テクストの翻訳を有ります。そして、大切な日本語の文法の練習する事も有って、この事が私はとてもペラペラ経由で暗記しなければなりませんから、話すときに使えますね。で、この素敵なサイトを見つけましたので、このサイトは日本語の生徒さんために便利だと思います。www.japanese.io はたくさん文学が持つので毎週二回目使えましょうです。

 

….……………………………………………………………………….

 

 

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If we make space for worshipping our nature with sublimation, existence is magnified.

Spring is passing / the birds cry / and the fishes fill with tears on their eyes.

 

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Ah tranquillity! / penetrating the very rock / a Cicada’s voice.

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Zen does not shout:

Its will is free

We can swim in the sea of its heart

The place of decision is a turning point in existence

Is the natural profound meaning.

 

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Gradually meet philosophy

 

What good can I do when angry?

 

Yutaka Morinaga

 

Throughout the day there are many problems with being angry, right?

___ Morinaga, This way of resolving was an inconvenient state of affairs.

 

Morinaga ‘whether one likes it or not, it is a little laughable. A sporadic person, reaching their limit has an angry feeling, and this is an object of torment?’

‘sporadically, ‘yes, this is how it is?’

 

___what Sporadic people, and Morinaga want to say is failing to come to an end.

 

Morinaga ‘ sporadic people reaching their limit try and make a sign of the angry episode, this considerable speech is understandable. But, for example, you can’t control the anger, and the anger is unreasonable, oh dear!’

 

Sporadically, ‘well, yes, you can. Seeing the person who sells, and what person suddenly gets angry like this.

 

Morinaga ‘ Yes?!’

 

A Hypnotic Hysteric Prefix: The “Hyperspectrums” of Logos

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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.

 

  

 

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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.