[terenceblake] “Laruelle’s “non-standard” thought is thus a half-way house between standard philosophy and ontological pluralism.

{AK}: Academic philosophies of-, are, without exception, metaphysical-semantic inflations of concepts. There is an unlimited conceptual alphabet, so to speak, the majority of which is neglected in favour of the anthropic and academic preoccupation with the notion of realisation, and it’s hypostatic imaging as the ‘real’. The inordinate inflation of this principle is mainly due to deprivation and expression anxieties.  There are others, but their delineation requires a more expansive context of explication. We can call almost all socially institutionalised philosophy ‘realist’, in this sense. The reality principle is a not so strange attractor, exerting its pull on all communi-cable philosophies of the anthropic.

Laruelle’s response to both epistemological and ontological proliferation, is essentially a monist empiricism, or empirical monism, which he achieves largely through a judicious appropriation of Buddhist techniques of metaphysical deflation.  His borrowings, though, are selective, serving the purposes of his monist empiricism.  The nature of that selectivity; its procedures and omissions; strongly characterise it, I would argue, as an insidious apologia at the outset, for innate forms of positivist instrumentalisation at the social core. The instrumental option is nothing new, but the lengths to which Laruelle has gone, in order to absolutise it as a reality-bolstered axiom, show both a degree of intriguing defensiveness, and an ideological inflation of a very specific idea of ordinariness, which can only be characterised as some yet to be determined cultural resistance. The notion of resistance bespeaks a threat, whether hallucinated or not. Obviously, whatever its forms, that threat is interpreted as a threat to the core reality of positive instrumentalisation.
Laruelle’s conversion of philosophies into a Lego or Meccano set of material possibilities is something that SF thinking has been doing all along, with far greater range, but it doesn’t just do that alone, nor as some kind of monotonous revelation.

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<span style="font-family: Georgia;">[terenceblake] "There is the non-standard voice of an unknown stranger and an unassimilated foreigner in Laruelle’s texts (“étranger” in French means both stranger and foreigner) along with the more standard voice of a Continental academic philosopher. Even the title of the book expresses Laruelle’s awareness of, and struggle with these two voices.
Laruelle’s appeal and continuing relevance lies in the difficult and conflicted harmony (or at least co-presence) of these two voices. He maintains the exigency of immanence in perhaps its purest form today, although that very purity may have prevented him from attaining it except in its most general, and programmatic, outlines.</span>

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<span style="font-family: Georgia;">{AK}: How 'pure' can such an exigency be, if there are two irreducible voices? Is that not a telling duality artefact of the current fad for the transcendence of immanence?  To describe it in terms of 'purity' at all, betrays this idealisation of the immanent, and thus, concomitantly, of its polar twin, the transcendent.  The same conventional and questionable logic of metaphysical distribution informing both terms is at play; the same hallucinated surfaces of substantial structuring and positivist instrumentalisation continue on, like cartoon characters running past the edge of a cliff, in theoretical mid-air, their dogmatic limbs spinning around according to their misplaced nostalgias of effective philosophical or non-philosophical, action.

[terenceblake] “Reading this book and the immediately preceding books (where Laruelle tries to come to terms with Lacan) and also the succeeding ones (where he tries to come to terms with Levinas and Althusser), we can see that something more than non-philosophy is required if Laruelle is to actually implement his research programme.
Laruelle is in need of a non-standard supplement to allow him to pass from the critique of philosophy’s sufficiency and abstract programmatic talking about a different mode of thinking to its concrete practical effectuation.

{AK} When John Coltrane said that he didn’t know how to stop playing his saxophone solos, miles Davis told him: “Take the horn out of your mouth!”

[terenceblake] “We can conclude that despite the seeming promise of its (negative and positive) heuristic principles of Laruelle’s metaphysical research programme it is missing a crucial element: the bridging principle that would permit the practice of non-philosophical thought. This un-bridged gap accounts for the disappointing attempts at realisation, usually amounting to repetitive affirmations of a “new use of philosophy”  by Laruelle and his disciples, as if simply proclaiming something made it so. This characterises Laruellean non-philosophy as a form of performative idealism

{AK}: I agree. There is a risk of instituting an insularity of action or performance, something I cautioned against, almost two years ago:

“[John Ó Maoilearca]: “Individually, they are all One – and this is firstly a performative gesture before it becomes an ontological thesis (that tells us ‘what they are’)”:

{AK}: If this “One” is “firstly” a somatic sign, is such deliverance into an ecstasy of accomplishings, not a flight into an ‘action mysticism’?
There are two possible subtextual registers operating here: one, is the anchoring in a kind of  Wittgensteinian “showing” that sidesteps interpretative drift; two, is the implicit valorisation of an unquestioned expediency, in the appeal to ‘practical action’ as an unquestioned ‘given’.
The dancing ‘body’ is, in-deed, important, but it is precisely because of that import that it risks returning to whatever insidious & coercive dualisations are floating around: the remnants of Cartesian afterglow.”



As far as I can tell, so far, Laruelle took Derrida very very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that his response against Derrida reads like a satire of Derrida. He really had nowhere else to go, at that level, except to produce a rehabilitation of the ‘real’ or ‘reality’, using Zen-like logics to do so; basically, shifting the philosophical grid away from ontological concern, and onto the populist conceptuality, albeit Zen-powered, of this common term.
That he engages in a conceptual populism is perhaps shown by his practice of basing axiomatic definitions on common epistemological assumption (‘that which everyone already knows’). This is an appeal to the effortlessness of the ordinary. But it is also, as he would say, but is careful not to, an ‘autoposition’ of the ordinary.  In addition, my argument would be that this ‘autoposition of the ordinary’, as inflected by an ordinary understanding of science, too easily plays into the hands of a crass, instrumental positivism; from there, perhaps, it is processed into a surface of conceptual consumerism.
This is shown by the considerable elisions of interpretation Laruelle practices in his encounters with Derrida. The ostensible reason for these omissions is structural; he projects onto the ‘philosophies of difference’, the burden of various binary and triadic structures; as characteristic of them, and of ‘ontological philosophy’, in general.
He imagines, that by dispensing with ontological concern, and switching to the conceptual populism of reality, he can escape those structural burdens.
By casting ‘ontological philosophy’, as a Moses before the promised land of Being, Laruelle can then institute his notion of ‘the One’ as a Zen-like immediacy, transforming the onerous textuality of ‘ontological philosophy’ into programmes and workshops under the signs of the ‘real’ and ‘non-philosophy’.
This has the advantage, of course, of socialising ontology, but eventually Laruelle and his followers will find that sheltering in the contemporary nostalgia of social-scientific-empirical modularisation comes at a price. Monotonously chanting positivist mantras, in the name of the ‘real’, does not make that price less exorbitant.  No ‘axiom’, however facile, can satisfy that fee.

The Institutions Of Philosophy: Games Of Academic Pac-Man


Nietzsche, using empiricism and the language of differential force, critiqued the docility of traditional form.

Heidegger, using temporalised ontology and the question of being; its space of inquiry; to recast and redistribute traditional categories, according to their originary source intuitions, as given by the Presocratics and etymological excavation.

Derrida, using structural critique, displacement, and deferral, displaces the centralising hegemony of traditional categories.

Laruelle, using presumptions of disciplinary sufficiency suggested by prima facie, nominal unity, critiques the category of philosophy.

It can be seen that each uses an allegedly neglected categorical perspective to disrupt and/or displace, the thetic integrities of his predecessors. Each tries to consign their predecessors to the role of being an unwitting dupe of a categorical system. Whether an unknowing emissary of the mechanisms of ‘metaphysics’, ‘philosophy’, or whatever else the predecessor is held to have proposed; the systematic nature of any semantic extension, always makes available resources not belonging to that extension, for the purposes of critique.
This seeming relay race of disciplinary discursivities, each discourse a conceptual ‘Pac-Man’ trying to gobble up all the others, is quite possibly an academic corollary to the internal sectarianism of corporate bureaucracy.
So many semantic inflations, cunningly twisting around each other, and all on the basis of an unceasing argot of positivist exploitation.


I agree that reiteration alone, doesn’t necessarily equal an overall, theological closure, of any kind, whether actually ‘theological’ or not. What I’m suggesting, is the extent to which fetishisation might be going on; my impression, is that, in the contemporary era since the 1990s, it is the case.

My other implicit point, concerning “additional didacticism”, and its “burden”, referenced of course the general obligations of communication; but more particularly, the seemingly endless task of pointing out the habitual closures of knee-jerk positivist surface rhetorics, forever in thrall to unconscious substantial assumptions, whatever those assumptions may be, and where the fixation with which, constitute problematic blockages of thought and conception.
Running along with a positivist line (of thought), and then simply switching to another, whilst always susceptible to the celebratory image of bricolage; if done whilst under the spell of a blocking, unconscious substantial assumption; is forever condemned to unknowingly circulate around the economy of that blockage and it’s assumed configuration.
Back in 2009, I wrote this YouTube message to the poster of a Heidegger video.

“It’s kind of like this:
                              All metaphysical terms are like train tracks, the lands are converted into territories, epistemic dwelling zones, the stations are the points of validation, and/or categorisation, the points at which the territories are legitimised as realities.
        The problem is that all metaphysical terms have their origins in the general lebenswelt or sensorium of anthropic experiences, experiences which are largely informed by common understandings pertaining to anthropic utility, so to speak. This bias, whilst not necessarily damaging in and of itself, is the vector by which all the ignorances that doxa is prey to, come rushing back in.
       The lust for the final object or “”ground””, for thought’s resting place (the “”topos of repose””, the throne of ultimate authority), traverses all relations hierarchically- order is conducive to “”understanding”” and “”substance””. It dreams of a final substance or theory: God, Unified Field Equation, etc., the “”head”” of the hierarchy. But every “”thing”” is constituted by relations, even, especially, nothing.
  Your experience of this “”nothing”” is perhaps of-

     Richard Rorty calls it “”radical contingency”” and prattles on about Wittgenstein saying we didn’t need a foundation anyway. He has university funding, a best selling book that domesticates Derrida for American pragmatism, etc..
     Buddhist “”sunyata””, but you are freaked out by an ingrained and conditioned need for an objectified position. British culture, especially, is inimically hostile to that which it cannot practically manipulate (handle, grasp). “”Keep it real””: the folk wisdom admonition that polices all exercises of speculative imagination.

  You fixate on the possibility of “”Absolute Nothingness””, admit its “”identity”” with the “”Absolute””, but simultaneously alienate yourself from both.
Each of these three terms are essentially questionable. As is “”necessity””, too.
Of course, “”necessity”” has its application, in the calculus of cosmological forces structuring “”physicality””, even there, though, it is beginning to be readjusted and recontextualised.
    You are not allowing yourself to think. You allow the stock Pavlovian reactions of your culture to prevent you thinking past the tradition of metaphysical emotionalities.
    The map is not the territory, the territory is not the land.
    Every journey is driven by some purpose.
    If you lose the way, whose purpose is it?
    Nietzsche said that he sometimes felt like he was a pen that was being written with.” 19 December 2009 00:34 (GMT-8)

Although it’s questionable, in many ways, it serves as a kind of rough filler prose, to further delineate the issues at play. I hadn’t yet got back into philosophy; was constrained by the comprehension limitations of my interlocutor; so it was an example of the “additional didacticism”, and its “burden”, that I refer to, here. At the time of writing, I felt that it didn’t really communicate precisely what I was getting at.

Over the years, I’ve noticed the philosophy blogging scene circulate around the same network of substantial assumptions, without showing any awareness of its effects.  Instead, there is only positivist emphasis of metaphysical insularity, shown by the still prevailing preoccupation with notions of ‘reality’ or ‘the real’, conducted in largely antiquated ways; an antiquary of lazy ignorance rather than exploratory insight.
One has to acknowledge the truth! On the whole, people would rather argue over contrived trivialities, as long as they are sufficiently consensual, than work towards personal insights. This, it seems to me, is as operative in philosophy (or ‘non-philosophy’), as it is in electoral politics.

The exclusive preoccupation with the positive rhetorics of traditional substantial assumption is always weighed down by strategies of fixation, as configured by the limited horizons of ‘preferential belief’.

Both overt and covert, this socialisation of metaphysical possibility results in ghettos of l.c.d.* habits of reflection (*lowest common denominator/liquid crystal display) chaotically circling around uncertain, substantial commitments, and displacing their logical considerations. All this, largely as a result of futile attempts to appease the populism of utilitarian relevance, and its traditional imagery. Entire industries of reinscription are needlessly created, between unnecessary and equally insular, fashioned contrivances. This is merely philosophy (or ‘non-philosophy’), as consumer appeal. The destructive business of substantial commitments, of substance addictions, remains entirely unquestioned and unthought.


It’s enough of a task to write in a way that one considers satisfactory according to one’s own criteria; but to add the burden of communicating to those subscribing to other criteria, criteria that do not exert the same effects on one’s personal procedures, as they seem to exercise on those others; is an additional didacticism weighed down precisely by that which one is obliged to contest.

It’s somewhat uncertainly amusing to note the general history of conceptual inflations surrounding the words, and concepts, of ‘immanence’ and ‘transcendence’.

The progress has merely been from the 18th and 19th century, as well as theological, fetishisings of the one; to the physics-envy, and scientististic differentiation, fetishisings of the other. Both have had a tendency towards positivist abbreviations and assumptions, automatically eliding, misrepresenting, or otherwise dismissing, serious narrative consideration of the opposing polarity’s distributive obligations.
There comes a time when a culture or civilisation is required to be equal to the self-images of development it has expressed; chaotically and clumsily weaving filigrees of positivist abbreviation around ad hoc structures of cartoon-like formalisation, might fulfill some Deleuzian fashion for ‘rhizomatic’ proliferation; or some other differential reaction to prior homogeneous styles of thought; or the opposed movement of homogenising reaction to allegedly established differential styles of thought; but all of that is a far cry from understandings not quite so susceptible to such fashionable and predictable fetishishisations, and, let us be honest, is a gesture of general cultural ‘backtracking’, one of enormous proportions. The gesture, being honest once again, is a revelation only of the inability to actually think in any way beyond the knee-jerk positivist surfaces of chosen substantial assumption. The entire sequence proceeds only according to the display of so many disingenuous nostalgias.
That’s not really a burden one would wish to carry; but it does require pointing out.

‘Immanence’ and ‘transcendence’, are always contextually dependent, and interdependent. Context is always subject to radically variable determination. So, neither is susceptible to any final determination. The same positivist instance, can be both ‘immanent’ and ‘transcendent’, both attributions being drawn from equally possible and available contexts.
Contexts themselves, can be both formalised or unformalised positive instances in their inflationary and extensible forms, as substantial orders. They are metaphorics, and their characteristic structural economies are the substantial patternings configuring logics of intuition and their substantial assumptions.
Anything at all, can be a ‘positive instance’, or a ‘context’.


I guess, because it’s an academic industry, money is always a problem. That problem filters its way through institutional procedures and practices, affecting the work done, in various ways.
The whole ‘public intellectual’ thing is a concern with public relevance, a relevance that is always in question; increasingly so, when financial, political, and social information electronically proliferate into the new forms and swarms of a ‘cloud’ based culture. It’s all ‘in the air’, so to speak. I guess, Marx’s dictum, “All that is solid melts into air”, has become literally true, lol.

There are countless ways of manufacturing meaning, and I’m sure they’re all worthy pursuits; but there are different understandings, purposes, and needs; so that automatically creates a diversity of requirements. In unsettling times, of radical change, people are under duress to congregate around ideological simplicities, or at least they are more susceptible to them. That may be what’s occurring in general intellectual and academic discussions. They’re trying to mine a simplicity of sense; the motherlode of a superconducting, integratative (sic) efficiency. It’s the corollary of the profit drive, which is the corollary of a ‘Heaven’ ideology. They worship the god, ‘BetterOff’, so avidly, they are unable to contemplate or even acknowledge, anything else. That’s their ‘reality’, and it’s the only game that they can play, but they themselves are the pieces in that game.


I couldn’t be bothered, to read more than two pages, and the abstract, of ‘Rocco Gangle’s’ essay, “THE THEORETICAL PRAGMATICS OF NON-PHILOSOPHY”, so I wrote this instead.

I have no objection at all, to using category theory or any other metaphoric, as a way of modelling philosophical structures in different ways, hopefully innovatory and insightful, at least for those who do them. Utilising the characteristic structures of different domains, as mutual metaphorics of transformation and transposition, is just one basic, combinatorial technique of SF thinking. To be done well, it really has to be intuitive and fast, at the speed of thought, sensing all possibilities, and no longer being bound by any habitual ideology of conventional use. When it’s done badly, it descends into mere contrivances of uninspired variation, essentially anchored within the anchoring horizons of conventional fixation.
It’s against this bad trend, the trend towards self-satisfied ‘banality’ described below, that the animus of what I’ve written is a cautionary gesture. Especially so, given the current confusions of epistemological inflation observable throughout contemporary cultures. This is not a time to retreat into the false security of nostalgias, disingenuously erecting old challenges as a ‘holding pattern’ of new sensationalisms.  Piddling around with a combinatorics of disciplinary differences and outlook is ‘merely’ the specularity and fusion of what are, after all, initially contrived Aristotelian habits. Using, but not being bound by the conventional disciplinary protocols of, those habits of disciplined difference, is an automatic prerequisite of SF thinking.  But SF thinking, at least in terms of my own personal receptions, moved far beyond these incidental transcendences at its outset.
Hence, a certain reluctance to return to such archaic concerns, especially when such emphatic sensationalism is presented so exclusively. It’s a bit like watching an ecstatic crowd learning the first two letters of the alphabet, and inflating the bare achievement of that task, to the proportions of a universal revelation.
It’s just the logic of mass hysteria; a painfully slow and sensationalist shift of fixation by structures of consensual dogma; a ‘reality’, that just can’t be taken too seriously.

The distinction between the performative and the constative is an opportunity to critique both; not only in terms of each other, their usual conceptions; but also, in conjunction with the greater, fresher insights and understandings, enabled by a theorisation no longer quite so tightly bound by their insular everyday nostalgias.

Raging absolutism is the corollary of everyday insularity, whereby, it is not any thinking of the Absolute, in itself, whether in its ‘philosophical’ or ‘religious’ guises, that is generative of problems, but rather, it is the social game of authoritarian fetishism, or fetishising authority, that arises due to the lazy, narrow, and utilitarian demands for totemic simplicity exemplified by everyday insularity.
The hostility to the alleged alienations of ‘philosophical theory’ are the characteristic response of everyday insularity, of its contrived resentments towards any cultural horizon exceeding its immediate, avaricious grasp, the stubborn belligerence towards any development not susceptible to its order of banality. This is the revenge of positive instrumentalisation (instrumental isolation?), of an insularity itself an instrument of general instrumental production, on everything that does not submit to the injunctions of instrumental isolation, to its “unilateral usage… as mere material”.
Unwittingly perhaps, Laruelle gives unilateral expression to a Heideggerian enframing, to a technological telos, and a primacy of purified manipulation as an ‘end in itself’. One which converts everything into a resource, into ‘mere material’, into the homogenised techno-calculi always constrained to monumentalise ‘unilateral use’.

As soon as people are viewed as ‘expendable’, whether ‘instrumentally’, or even as a result of some logic of humility and charitability, privileging the social over an overweening individuality, Kant’s injunction concerning the treatment of people as ‘ends in themselves’ is lost. Whatever the dialectics of initial value may be, contrary gamings of casuistical interpretation are always a possibility; not only because of disingenuous desire, though that is all too commonly displayed, to the extent of formally constituting entire institutions of exploitation; but because the boundaries of perceived fidelity are themselves often problematic and inherently perspectival.
That Laruelle, at first glance, might be seen as rehabilitating the perspective of a lost proletarianism, with an ‘alternative stream’ of ‘oraxiomatic’ usage; sidestepping the perceivably baroque convolutions, and apparently resolution-allergic of Derridean usage, for example; is certainly the positive rubric or face of its contemporary display.  But one has to ask, whether or not, this fasces or fascia is singular, in the monolithic and perhaps ‘narcissistic’ way it would like to consider itself – it’s so called ‘vision-in-one’? On the one hand, it is possible to sympathise with Laruelle’s metaphoric of what is after all an ancient concern stretching back to Eastern forms of thought, then to Ancient Greece, and on to the ‘present day’. The stock of images by which this concern has been known through the ages, are profuse.

Laruelle’s selection from this resource, and retrofitting of that which he selects, are highly specific to his purposes. The usage, is not that of some expansive tolerance resulting from immersal in an oceanic understanding. Unlike Freud, he does not disparage spiritual contemplation so readily, largely because he exploits the logics and concepts of its labours, in the service of the very instrumentalisation and everyday insularity that, ironically, they always gently questioned and transformed.  Whatever Laruelle’s personal relation to this area of ‘spirit’, his appropriation of its resources occurs, as we have seen, according to the modular receptions of a contemporary positivist nostalgia.

The retrofitting, caters to the immediate, avaricious grasp of everyday insularity, to its order of banality, and the modular-mechanical procedures of blocked understanding it follows. When these procedures are transposed to metaphysical and experiential registers; everything; every relation, every sign, every nuance, every self-image; is converted into an isolated and autonomous block. The contrivance of isolation and autonomy is the surface concession to ideologies of freedom. Beneath this concession, however, there is only the order of banality; it’s positive instrumentalisation; and its unilateral, monolithic and insular, purpose. This incommensurability of instrumental isolations, is the raging thought of alienation, on disconnection from that unilateral order. The exclusively modular understandings of positive instrumentality, can only function as component in the order of banality. Without this function, there is only rage.
That all this is so, is shown quite clearly by a history of that order’s domesticating responses, all of which seek to first abbreviate and then appropriate whatever developments might not be in line with its basic, unilateral procedure. We are not speaking of an alienated order, not resident in those who cling to its unilateral and modular procedures as its exclusive proponents. On the contrary, it is difficult to find those who have not been coerced into inhabiting its modes, in some way.

The rage for the Absolute, is a misnomer. Absolute thinking or thought always exceeds itself, usually in gestures of novel understanding. It naturally proceeds according to a free theorisation and inquiry. Such inquisitiveness is primary and playful, never under duress to any delimited fixation.

Rage, is always reactive, the result of frustration when expectations or desires are not realised; this discord between expectation and realisation generates a fixation, the fetishisation of the real. In contrast to the playful inquisitiveness of free theorising, which sets no boundaries of expectation, the entire spectrum of emphatic and emotive concerns revolving around the rubric of reality, is characterised by reactionary disappointment or disillusion.
Such a reaction is inherently the production of a social conditioning issuing discrepant injunctions and instructions concerning this ‘real’, which it simultaneously inculcates as insularising fetish, psychologising it as a cybernetics of ‘personal frustrations and satisfactions’. The reactive thinker is characterised by an onset of inquisitive thought subsequent to such inculcation; instead of exploratory free theory, there are only social inquisitions, all of which occur under the fetishised sign of ‘reality’, or the ‘real’.
It begins in disappointment; the psychosocial real, does not keep its expected appointments! Reality, is not real! This reneging on the consistency of pretences towards objective agreement, stages the reality fetish as consensually constrained, social drama, rather than exploratory expedition. The thinker who fetishises the real, is always a reactive thinker, never an exploratory one; always socially directed, never theoretically free; always an evangelist of the vicarious, of a vast variety of disingenuous indirections, never of honest innovations.

The Absolute was always the province of the ascetic, the mystic, the recluse, no one else really cared for it, enough to get angry over it. But realisation, however, was a different story. Absolute reality, could be left to itself, and those ‘crackpots’ who chose to dwell there. But the more mundane modalities, the realities!, of this Absolute, could be contrived both as a horizon of psychosocial contention; as a production line of regimented insularities supplying that horizon; and as ongoing narrative of discursive narcosis, the addictive configuration of the ecstasies of so many petty realisations. It is this narrative, which is the rage of the real. A rage that speaks with the full fury of alienated emotions invested at the outset in that social ordering of a disillusioning, regimented reality; because it never learned to think or question, naturally, without coerced reaction, for itself.

That this is so, is indicated by a distinct lack of experiential understanding, of spontaneous vitality of insight, in favour of bare articulation of the modular calculations of convention. Whereas, a spontaneous vitality whose understanding is already absolute, requires neither rage nor the ever-unfulfilled modular-metaphysical arrangements and production quotas generating that rage. Realities are enjoyed, when and where they are available; but “unilateral usage… as mere material”, is too redolent of robotic injunctions and cybernetic exploitations, both of them in the pejorative sense, to prove as anything other than profoundly distasteful.

The Breakfast At Camp Quest (Ion): Beyond The Anthropic, The Alien, And The Universe: Food For Thought

A big thank you to Michelle Filippi for this picture!

Michel Filippi - Breakfast

The tines of the fork*, or the various voices of the anthropic, under the sign of a forked imple(mentation) of techne, of technology-direction (the tines of a fork point in the same direction); are accelerated by those caffeine drivers of modernity, Tea and Coffee.

The plate in the distance, carries an uncertain food, the nutrition of the future; the future as nutrition.

The nearest plate, present at hand, is empty. This is a Platonic plate, a Platonised plate; empty, absent, of actual nutritional presence, but a space ‘full’ of ideas, ready to fill itself with the future, with the food of the future.

*Interesting resonance, cf. “Cranthimus Jaxley Terence is right.
Or, more simply, it’s what I would call the instrumental positivist’s revenge, on those theoretical tendencies that tend to suspend, and radically question, traditional substantial commitments. It’s the corollary, of what’s going on in current sociopolitical scenarios.
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· Reply · 27 August at 12:37
Cranthimus Jaxley
Cranthimus Jaxley It’s a kind of imperialism of stupidity, wherein the stupid are finding it increasingly difficult to hide the essentially militarised mechanisms of their exploitations. The gap between the ‘people themselves’, and their alienated forms of governance, has collapsed. The distance enabling disingenuousness, hypocrisy, and denial, has disappeared. The two tines of the Occidental ‘forked tongue’, have fused, and do not know what to say.
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· Reply · 27 August at 12:55″

This breakfast scenography, suggested the above conceptual geometry to me. From here, it is possible to go in many directions of connective interpretation, proliferating further conceptual geometries, perhaps ‘topologies’ is a better word.

Is this merely a consideration of consumption? One based on the question of consumption; on the model of consumption; on consumption as a metaphysical principle of configuration? Yes, it can be all of those things. It can even be used reductively and/or radically; in all kinds of inflationary ways. But let us not neglect deflationary possibilities; those options, where the model and its various mirages of explication, interpretation, insight, and intuition; in short, its modellings; withdraw and absent themselves, not only from the positive chatter of their inflationary insights, but from their usual and habitual conventions and uses, too; leaving metaphysical ground and space, not merely for another festival of extrapolatory combinatorics based on yet another well worn positive convention, but thinking something, everything, and nothing, all at once, simultaneously and systematically, and yet always free to go in any ‘metaphysical’ direction, whatsoever.  Here, of course, even the notion of ‘system’, comes into radical question. However, instead of following the traditional discursive and economic circuitry, of placing one positive insularity after another; in what can only ever be misguided attempts at positive domestication, a facile and reductive conversion of insights communicating very little or nothing; the relation of subsequence, here, might be better used as a means of maintaining that alleged ‘nothingness’, as a ‘fulcrum’, as it were, granting unlimited insight(s) into all possible conceptual geometries, the full range of theoro-topological possibility. So, with another resonance of the ‘fork’ and ‘tines’ metaphoric, an apt quote from Derrida.

“As such, philosophical discourse is always presented as a self-effacement before the thing said, before truth, before essence, before content, before meaning, etc. Philosophical discourse in fact strives for this wherever it is at work, and this effort has certain determinate effects in its partial successes and its necessary failures. What I advance here, therefore, is not a projected philosophical discourse. That is why I started by saying to the French Philosophical Society that I was not offering it a philosophical type of discourse.  Consequently, if it is the mark of philosophy that it efface itself, insofar as it is a signifying text, before the signified truth, the content, the presence of the meaning of being, etc., then what I proposed was a questioning of that mark. And I can only do that by inscribing it (in every sense of the word), that is, by exceeding philosophical discourse somewhere and thus writing a text which, I am afraid, cannot efface itself totally before what is to be said. It requires, solicits, and sometimes even obtains—as I am grateful to you for having proved by your intervention-—a “divided” attention—-to use your word. In broaching your question, you also noted that I meant something [vouloir dire] and that, even if you did not understand it completely, you were convinced of my wanting-to-say-something. I am less sure of this than you. I have posed the question of intention [vouloir dire], of its affiliation to the essence of logocentrism and metaphysics, elsewhere. At the point at which this question is posed, intention is no longer involved. Perhaps not even a questioning intention.
Finally, I freely acknowledge that the different stages of the path I proposed were very unequally illuminated. I will not appeal to time, which I have moreover amply overrun, to justify the fact that I have not been able to clarify equally all the words which I have used. As you have noted in an admirable word, they are nests of language, full or empty—who knows and it matters little, only the simulacrum matters here—the weaving [tissage] of which obscures its structure beneath all its folds, equally and simultaneously. It does not openly expose itself. [ll ne s’exp0se a plate couture] This is not the result of animal cunning but of the structure of a fabric or tissue [tissu], of the organization of the text. From the text which you wanted to pass unperceived, we leave ourselves free to concern ourselves with the content of this nestlike object. I have tried to justify theoretically the impossibility of illuminating, of giving an equal thematic weight to all parts of the text, which is made of differences and of differences of differences, and is therefore, in principle, irreducibly heterogeneous. This heterogeneity connects up again with what I have said about strategy: I privilege one or other chain of concepts in the light of a given context which, moreover, I can only analyze and master in part. I leave the other concepts in a shadow, be it provisional or definitive. I also try to formalize this shadow and draw its spectral and schematic figure.
As much as possible. Through forks and nests.’

Wood, D.C., and R. Bernasconi. Derrida and Différance. Coventry/Evanston, Ill.: Parousia Press/Northwestern Univ Pr, 1985. (pp. 87-9)”


The ‘architext’ is just structured information, in any form, whatsoever. It can’t be ‘centred’, as such, because no metaphysical commitment is asserted with respect to informational differences. The only way to centralise it, would be through a ‘metaphysics of information’. One in which the concept of information itself, at its most radical level, and in all its anthropic receptions, shows itself as a limited case; a case of limited perspective; a particular and closured procedure. This is only possible, in an economics that exceeds the ‘localisation’ of radical information.


I began writing this as a FaceBook comment, in response to this, , but it seems to have turned into a blogpost.

[Steven Craig Hickman] “It’s as if we are in a pre-WWII novel living out the nightmares and repetitions of some strange and nefarious experiment gone awry… someone plz close that portal and put the hellish brew back into the abyss.

Somehow we’ve got to stop the hate, now.

I keep remembering the first time I read Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here. But it can… and, dam it if we don’t do something it will get worse. As if Lewis were speaking of Trump: “People will think they’re electing him to create more economic security. Then watch the Terror! God knows there’s been enough indication that we can have tyranny in America—” …. listening to Trump bark at NK and Venezuela one wonders if he is seeking some event so he can impose Martial Law and become a populist dictator in actual not virtual fact and deed.

Sadly, we’re just allowing it to happen, and the Establishment dems and repubs are sitting idly by like idiots, doing nothing.”

{AK}: Really, Steven, what can they do? It’s the people themselves who voted for Trump. It’s the people themselves who swarm and cluster around whatever simplified political polarities are subjected to inflationary exploitation by businesses of fringe hysteria. It’s politics as identity ideology consumerism, in search of a ‘reality’.
The guy who started the ‘fake news’ business, catering for the Trump crowd, is actually a Democrat; but there is money to be made in selling the nostalgia of a certain kind of majority ethnocentric confirmation bias.
As I’ve pointed out before, many times on my blog, the dominant hegemony is oneiric. Only by looking at all the data, as configured by systems of dream and desire, does a certain clarity take place. In practice, everyone knows that. Marketing is all about that. Bannon, and Cambridge Analytics, exploited it to the hilt.
Positivist appropriation of mythic nostalgia is an ongoing fact. ‘In fact’, it produces ‘facts’. Paul Ricoeur’s “conflict of interpretations” is the model of the mediascape’s ‘contest of realities’. It’s all, a “Logan’s Run” scenario, driven by positivist desire.  Whether it’s a desire for ‘common sense’; ‘scientific sense’; ‘religious sense’; ‘financial sense’; ‘aesthetic sense’; or even ‘political sense’; it’s all deprecated into caricatures of ineffectual, positivist simplicity. Caricatures in the service of complexity-avoidance, at precisely the time when complexity is ‘reality’.
The explicit relation between Healthcare; the Protestant-Calvinist ‘work ethic’ and its accusatory moralisations, leading to various positivist moral isolations; and capital; necessarily sets up a gladiatorial arena of competing moral representations. The discrepancy between lived reality of social conditions and the veneer of obligatory moral presentation, necessarily produces reflexivities of moral representation, in which any simple notion of communal and consensual ‘reality’ is bound to collapse. This can be observed. This explains the disingenuousness of Trump speaking against ‘hate’, whilst “instigating it through his backdoor handlers”.

The “strange and nefarious experiment” you speak of, is exactly what Nick Land refers to, here, some years back, in response to my comments: “Science is modern, not accidentally, but essentially. Modernity is no mere bet, but a venture, through which everything is hazarded, including itself. The widest horizons arise from ‘within’ it (but its ‘inside’ is not, in reality, inside)”

It’s a good answer, and to varying extents, I can agree with it. But again, it’s very easy to fall into a ‘mythology of modernity’; a positivist caricature of surface technical achievements that actually neglects more complex and relevant microcultural-movements, not so susceptible to the abbreviations of modernist mythology. Is it even possible to close “that portal”? Or would that just be another simplifying figuration of positivist reduction? The panic projection of a horrifying ‘abyss’ into which can be cast the “hellish brew” of desire and profit driven alienations, dreamt as nightmare monstrosity?