THE ONTOLOGICAL PRODUCTION OF EXISTENTIAL LIMITATION

[Saris Aurelius] “I believe meaning exists, this is why I have will. There is meaning in that I have a sense to engage.”


{AK (CJ)}: “If both ‘meaning’ and ‘existence’ are forms of ‘standing forth’, then to ask whether “meaning exists”, suggests a simple statement of tautology; ‘meaning means’, or, ‘existence exists’?”
If both ‘meaning’ and ‘existence’ are forms of ‘standing forth’, then they are both forms of distinction or difference; ‘standing forth’, necessarily implies ‘that which stands forth’, as a distinct difference, with regard to ‘that which it stands out from’. Thus both ‘meaning’ and ‘existence’ share this differential structuring of the distinct.
Obviously, for you, the order of ‘meaning’ is not the same as the order of ‘existence’, as you locate the order of ‘meaning’, first, in a statement of belief, concerning an existential claim, which seems to assume the separation of the ‘order of meaning’ from the ‘order of existence’. The assumption of this separation suggests a very particular and determinate concept of ‘existence’, for which the mere quality of ‘standing forth’, ‘distinction’, and ‘difference’, are not sufficiently qualifying attributes. However, you link the belief in existential meaning, to the concept of will, presumably granting the concept of will membership within this specifically determinate concept of ‘existence’, a specificity initially separate from the ‘order of meaning’.


Obviously, the concept of will, in your discursive arrangement, functions as immediately existential, in the specifically determinate sense previously implied; whilst the ‘order of meaning’ does not so function, having to traverse the detour of belief before arriving at such existential immediacy, as configured by the concept of will. An additional detour, the possession of a “sense to engage” is stated, as another condition for the specifically determinate ‘existence’ of the ‘order of meaning’.


An initial separation between two forms of ‘standing forth’; producing an ‘order of meaning’ without determinate ‘existence’, and a specifically determinate ‘order of existence’, but without determinate ‘meaning’.
Yet the common background for both orders is ‘standing forth’ – the differential structuring of the distinct.
So we then have to ask why it is that a specifically determinate ‘order of existence’ gets produced?
What are the reasons for the production of such an ‘existential’ determination?
And why is the ‘order of meaning’ existentially indeterminate in the absence of the detours of ‘belief’, ‘will’, and the ‘sense to engage’.


Not mentioned, but present as background assumption, is the metaphysics of subject/object.
  >The concept of will, functioning as existential immediacy, is thus ‘objective’, an ‘objective feature’ belonging to the specifically determinate ‘order of existence’.
  >The concept of belief, functions as a switching point, between the separated orders of ‘existentially indeterminate Meaning’ and ‘meaningfully indeterminate Existence’.
  >This switching point oscillates between the ‘objectivity’ of the specifically determinate ‘order of existence’, and the presumably ‘subjectively’ accessed ‘order of meaning.


Given the background assumption and traditional conventions of the metaphysics of subject/object, the underlying rationale structuring the implicit presuppositions of your initial statement, become clear. The obvious resonances that might be suggested, are a metaphysics of the will, particularly as inflected by Friedrich Nietzsche, though earlier precursors might well be relevant, too. The structure is traditional, after all. There is a kind of metaphysical centring on psychological, perhaps sociological, motifs: ‘belief’; ‘will’; ‘sense to engage’; as anchoring points.


But one of the most important assumptions, the unanalysed assumption of separation, between subjectively accessed ‘meaning’ and objective ‘existence’; no clear criteria has been given for this separation; it is simply assumed, as a ‘given’; in this it follows a Cartesian route, the route of modernity.
The other, connected assumption, again taken as a ‘given’, is the production of a specifically determinate, concept of ‘existence’; again, offered without clear criteria, those criteria being largely social in origin, an unquestioned and shared habit of consensual inculcation.


The issue of existential legitimacy, of what counts as ‘objectively existent’ beyond the fluctuations of subjectivity; beyond the fluctuating subjective access to an ‘order of meaning’ characterised by existential indeterminacy; such existential legitimacy can only occur with respect to a concept of existence no longer bound only to the discernible difference of ‘standing forth’. In order for the concept of existential legitimacy to even arise, further criteria enabling such a legitimacy are required, these have to be invented and produced. What it is that does the inventing and producing, is an open question, and one can look perhaps to the ‘order of meaning’ for various entertainments, in this regard.
But equally, all the notions and habits constituting the metaphysical conventions issuing from the metaphysics of subject/object, are interpretative inventions produced out of the ‘order of meaning’, largely as a result of what can conventionally be called ‘social production’. Because social production is susceptible to the variousness of uses, the notion of shared consensuality arises and is enabled. This commonality, in systematic forms accounting for variousness of use, is the ‘metaphysics of objectivity’, said metaphysics being systematically linked to those forms as a mutually confirming corollary. Existential legitimacy, is a functioning protocol of metaphysical registration belonging to that systematic network.
But the limits of that network, are the limits of its ‘existential legitimacy’.

URBAN VERBAL PRODUCTION

Guðjón, sometimes one has to expand the notion of ‘following’ away from the usual, default protocols, of sense or meaning production, in order to make room for other kinds of expression.

Years ago, when playing in Oxford, there was a somewhat eccentric lady, often walking around the city centre, who would hold loud conversations with herself, whilst listening to music on headphones. I seen other similar characters, in London. Usually, these people are seen as ‘crazy’ or ‘mad’, constituting them as marginalised figures in urban life.
What was highly noticeable, was the preponderance of references to media circulation, within their verbal productions. References to celebrities, news topics, anything at all! The alleged craziness or madness was actually a mediation of media circulations, and this I found highly significant. Because there was a kind of ‘production’ going on, and that production was thoroughly determined by the encounter with mediated significances not marginalised as craziness or madness. There seemed to be a complicity at work, one which questioned the conventions of each of the elements constituting that complicity.

 

Apparently, there are quite a a lot of people who do talk to themselves, not in the sense of the people mentioned above, publicly and loudly, but to themselves, in private. This phenomenon, it seems to me, could suggest many things. Conventionally speaking, the obvious and sarcastically humorous implication, would be to talk about a sliding scale or slippery slope of sanity/insanity.
But I don’t think that that is what is going on.
Another anecdote: I remember being in the Marble Arch, KFC, in London. There was an Afro-Caribbean man, in his 30s or 40s, talking to himself; not loudly or too quietly, just normally. He was having quite a good self-conversation. After a while, I actually talked to him, and he instantly went into a normal mode, and we had a good conversation, though I don’t remember what it was about. I do remember that he was actually a very intelligent man, well balanced, by no means could he be classified as crazy.

 

The city is an urban machine, a semi-organic mechanism of intersecting forces, configured according to multiple conceptual images susceptible to topical presentation. Out of the profusion of those topical regulations, verbal production cannot help but express, at least partially, its conditions of production. It seems to me, that however such productions might be classified; whether marked as marginalised or privileged; significant or senseless; relevant or irrelevant; these markings, themselves, are merely the continuations of the productions that they attempt to categorise. I think that a lot more than this, is at play.

POLITICS IS OVER, NO MORE POLITICS

Politics is over, no more politics.
Politics requires a polity, citizenry with regards to a state.
The notion of a state is transforming. No longer does it conform only to geographical singularity of location, because the cultural markings of its former constitutions, its languages and laws, its people and their customs, all these have dispersed through various forms of technological osmosis into a global system, wherein, though they attempt to recover the localised flavour of their former connections, they are unable to do this without resorting to detours beyond the very traditional borders that they try to recuperate.
The nationstate as a geocultural form has broken loose from the moorings of locational experience, becoming so many fragments in an electro-globalised flow.
This flow has no borders, not even ‘global’ ones, and thus cannot produce sufficient geocultural delimitation to constitute a nationstate, even though such may continue on as repetitions, Doppler effects of geocultural memory within the overall information flow.

Protected: JOYS WITHOUT TOYS (Or Joy beyond the Objects and Objectives of Fear)

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Limited Inc., Hick Incorporations of Psychological Convention

This post is a response to this, https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/thought-of-the-day-the-limits-of-the-mind/

The span of the hand, of the ‘grasp’, of its apprehension; quite literally, a digital thought.
What is a ‘hand’, if not a digital economy of articulations belonging to some neural intent.


The dogmatist, a conceptual hick, clinging to the surfaces of unquestioned convention, there is only the positivist abbreviation of a hand as its mere anatomical form, together with the range of conventional uses and experiences associated with it. But such a domestication, perhaps appealing to a banal democracy of habitual use, neglects the richness of experience associated with this crucial element of anatomy. The dogmatist equating the expedient banality of his own ‘handy’ conceptions, with those of everyone else, merely engages in the universalising of that expedient banality, blocking any revelation of experiential richness that might reside in alternative, anatomical contexts.


The hand as a speculative figure, has been projected into many contexts, exceeding those of anatomy. But even in its anatomical setting, there is a richness of cultural relation irreducible to any single, positivist surface. The interiority, as it were, of speculative extensions issuing from such a richness of relation, literally within the hands grasp, can be contrasted with the exteriority of metaphoric projections, in which the figure of the hand and its qualities constitute a veritable swarm of metonymies.


The dogmatist, habituated to piloting only along positivist routes, can no longer think in any other way, reduced to squawking about a ‘truth’, which is merely the hypothesised, positivist form of his own alienation, stubbornly haunting his every ignorant thought.


Genghis Khan often used to signature himself as “the Hand of God”. It’s unlikely that he was a dogmatist.

THE THEATRICS OF LIBIDINAL LIMITATION

Some quick thoughts, weaving their ways, after being invoked by a discussion on Facebook, between Mario Hierro and Daniel Calder; a discussion which I did not fully read, whose assumptions I did not fully engage with or accept, but one which could perhaps be said to help constitute a relation of ‘tangential evocation’ with the foundational revocation of it, that follows. An essay towards an escape of the habits of its epistemology, a veering away from the ‘world’ of those habits and their development, an avoidance no longer exclusively governed by its ‘objects’.

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Metaphysics, after ‘Nature’, or after the system of ‘Nature’,  ‘Nature’ being the system of regularities or repetitions belonging to Kant’s notion of ‘Understanding’, or the ‘judgements of perception’; but this  ‘Nature’ is still notional, a regulating ‘idea’, thus, as a totality, ‘metaphysical’. So the concept or idea, of  ‘Nature’, is an ideologically circumscribed category whose interior determinations, that which it is said to encompass as its categorical domain, are an alleged ‘immanence’ whose very quality as ‘immanence’ is supported by a metaphysical or ‘rational’ idea.
If, on its other, originary meaning, the metaphysics are merely Aristotle’s books ‘after’ the ‘physics’, even here, with this bibliographic conception, the distinction between what is and what is not ‘physical’, is allied to a discursive separation perhaps or potentially itself reflecting the categories of ‘matter’ and ‘form’ constitutively residing at the root of metaphysics itself.
Mutual irreducibility necessarily implies mutual relation. When neither term of said relation is ever found as an incontestable purity; necessarily so, when the conditions of such foundation are preconditions always set and sought for from the location of the opposite term; then it is only left to speculative allegiance as to which term speaks.
The notion of a ‘universe’, is a guiding idea; and if the notion of what speaks is one linked to a metaphysics of ‘agency’; then the expansion of that notion of ‘agency’, looking for its epistemological and ontological ‘grounds’, so to speak, eventually coincides with this ‘universal’ notion. The coincidence is one of speculative totality, a movement in search of foundational objectification or reification. If that reification is merely the product of a search for epistemological-ontological reunification, a reunification itself produced out of fluctuating vacillations, or vacillating fluctuations, between the arbitrary terms of an alleged ‘mutual irreducibility’; then it is merely the case that this entire ‘metaphysical’ theatre of possibilities is one that arises as a result of objective desire, one dispensing the roles of reification according to this libidinal limitation.

CULTURAL IMAGES IN CYBERNETIC WINDS AT THE END OF HISTORY

Feudal nobility versus trading merchants who work with the world.
This falls into the classic pattern of the master/slave dialectic of Kojeve and Marx.
The slave overthrows the master through worldly power; in conventional terms, business, colonialism, et cetera, produced cash to pay armies and finance military rebellions.
The nobility then made concessions, lessening taxes, and so on, which rerouted resources from Royal appointed mercantilisms to the eventually enlightenment and modernist organisations of bourgeois capitalism.
If those mercantilisms were organised according to feudal or royalist hierarchy, the eventually modernist organisations required a different organising principle, not based on such hierarchy.
If royalist hierarchy had its origins in ability to provision efficient protection and provisioning of kingdoms, the new, eventually modernist, organisations were then obligated to function as a likewise or preferably better provisioning force, but one whose principles of organisation were more palatable to those that it organised; all this, if it was to effectively supersede feudal organisation.

Universality was the instrument used to garner the widest support, enabling bigger armies to be paid, more influence to be bought. This partial power grab from the ruling nobility was predicated on an ecumenical appeal, one that was articulated and deployed using the concentration of sociopolitical, military, and monetary forces at the command of merchantry.
Casting a universal net was always the best way of achieving quantitative force (the masses). Qualitative force (forms of activity concentration as nodes of network control), always had to rely on networks of relative, quantitative assent; or at least, not generate destabilising, quantitative dissent. If the qualitative forces, of ruling polarities, could not secure such more or less consensual networks, influence, power, and perhaps revenues, were considerably diminished. To the extent, that any conflicts between ruling polarities risked susceptibility to the question of whether or not such quantitative networks had been secured. It was out of this theatre of conflicting forces that the ideology of democratic universalism quite naturally emerged, as the simplest protocol of personalisation required for network efficiency. From a wider perspective, in no way could it seriously be considered an innovation, instead it was just a replay of a prior spiritual movement. The movement of ideological homogenisation had already been set by Christianity, itself a replay of anticolonial trauma, a replay conveying both imperial and colonised elements, a narrative pattern of irresolution itself perhaps eminently suitable as a therapeutic configuration applicable to all the travails of Occidental expansion, one calculated to appeal to all affected parties?
If the romanisation of the West familiarised the Occident with the experience of centralised administration and law, albeit from a polytheistic, spiritual base; Christianisation was that law as a universal projection, from a monotheistic, spiritual base, albeit, in Tridentine form.


The more sophisticated a network becomes, the more crucial does every node of its operation likewise become. Building in redundancy is costly enough; too much, is exorbitant.


Looking at the Earth as a site of global production, the immediate and interim task would be to generate as many exploratory tendencies as is possible. This is the injunction of variety, having a sufficiently wide spectrum of possibilities already inhabited and tested by experience, as a repository of future responses to unknown challenges. Under the sign of this injunction, no development can be underestimated, no culture can be dismissed. It is not the case, that there is any final arbiter of judgement or justification, in these matters; that it might be a case of either local or global appeal, whether in the political or any other sense. All of these categories are merely part of an ongoing process, one which requires further exploration before absolute, categorical fenceposts are dogmatically installed. From an operational outlook, such limitations of thought are a luxury that the alleged ‘species’ cannot yet afford.


Giving inordinate emphasis to anthropic culture of status and vanity wars, as an alleged driver of technological progress, is getting to seem ridiculous in an era where that culture obstructs said progress as much as it might be said to produce it. The reflex actions of ‘profitability’ have long been in counterintuitive excess of its usual, positivist, and hackneyed, justifications. Partisan rationales of all types continue to be trotted around as likely candidates of mass allegiance, so many would-be stallions of secure expediency in some hypothetical ‘race’ whose actual course no one has ever found.
Ideologies of progress require directions, about which there is mutual consent; the lack of which, given the absence of unquestionable, universal values; therein; resides the nub of the issue at stake.


Is survival enough, if that survival is hamstrung by an ingrained, genetic masochism, or cultural programming, whose parameters of a symbolic economy of ‘sweat’, ‘ground’, and ‘dust’, eventuate in the wrong kind of work ethic, one which actually obstructs free play, invention, and healthy innovation? If Baudrillard is right, that ‘work’, or ‘labour’, given its increasing dispensability to contemporary production scenarios, is actually a privilege that the worker could or should pay for, what fate for that Protestant work ethic, once so valued for its link to prosperity?


If qualitative force was once valorised for its ability to fend off competitors in the race of increasing provision for both itself and the quantitative masses, what value does it have when it can no longer do this, or when it elects to engage in partisan provision, in exclusive, non-universal ways? Is this backtracking from universal ambitions, exploitations, and responsibilities, a failure? Was the whole thing only ever a ‘Ponzi scheme’; a scam; a vast, historical heist? ‘Modernity’, merely a network aftereffect of the concentrated techno-compartmentalisations of such greed? One in which as much was lost, as gained? These questions accompany any and all historical change, and have no single answer; perspectives of evaluation multiply to the extent of producing potentially incommensurable narratives.


This is an age, perhaps like any other age, where nostalgias of all types make strong claims. But the danger of producing such nostalgias in ‘surround-sound’; in high-definition holography; and in the thematic repetitions of a gaming culture leaking its contrived ludicity beyond the borders of its productions into the wider, so-called ‘world’; all these developments are relatively new, the seeming reconfiguration of a historical womb or matrix, into which a culture that has perhaps lost its hubris seems to be retreating, perhaps unable to face the challenges it once so confidently faced.
Or it could simply be that the epistemological overflow resulting from what has been called ‘information overload’, exceeds traditional anthropic configurations, and modes of application, of knowledge? That a new episteme is necessary in order to effectively manage the unruly proliferation of data silos? This is not a new problem, neither is it entirely unanticipated:


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“Carmody essayed a feeble joke. is this any way to run a galaxy?’ he asked.
Well, how did you, expect us to run it? We’re only sentient, you know.’
‘I know,’ Carmody said. But I had expected that here, at Galactic Centre -‘
‘You provincials are all alike,’ the Clerk said wearily. Filled with impossible dreams
of order and perfection, which are mere idealized projections of your own incompletion. You should know by now that life is a sloppy affair, that power tends to break things up rather than put things together, and that the greater the intelligence, the higher the degree of complication which it detects. You may have heard Holgee’s Theorem; that Order is merely a primitive and arbitrary relational grouping of objects in the chaos of the universe, and that, if a being’s intelligence and power approached maximum, his coefficient of control (considered as the product of intelligence and power, and expressed by the symbol ing) would approach minimum – due to the disastrous geometric progression of objects to be comprehended and controlled outstripping the arithmetic progression of Grasp.'”


Robert Sheckley, “Dimension Of Miracles” (1968)


In addition:


“These were the innocent days before the problem became acute. Later, Index runs were collected in Files, and Files in Catalogs – so that, for example, C3F5I4 meant that you wanted an Index to Indexes to Indexes to Indexes which was to be found in a certain File of Files of Files of Files of Files, which in turn was contained in a Catalog of Catalogs of Catalogs. Of course, actual numbers were much greater. This structure grew exponentially. The process of education consisted solely in learning how to tap the Rx for knowledge when needed. The position was well put indeed in a famous speech by Jzbl to the graduates of the Central Saturnian University, when he said that it was a source of great pride to him that although hardly anybody knew anything any longer, everybody knew how to find out everything.”


(Draper, Hal. “Ms fnd in a lbry.” Fantasy and science fiction, Dec (1961).)



My own, “The Administrations of The Infinite” (
http://visionfiction.theotechne.com/WordPress/?p=686), further explores the predicament:


“However, because of the decontextualised nature of ‘cyberspace’, the degree of abstraction from the flow of ‘background life cues’, as it were, is greater. The increased abstraction enables a space wherein all possible ‘objectifications’ render as pure possibilities. Such a space, being conducive to ‘pure’ intellectual consideration, enhances the range of considerable possibilities to infinity: the task of navigating the infinite is endless, without final objectification. It is essentially the task of a writer. One is being asked to author one’s own life as an object in a general ontological system. “


“As the so called ‘world’, ‘itself’, dissolves into its ‘own’ possibilities, as one ontological habitat or another, pronounces its wary, self-interested, structural verdict, at every step of an abyyssal dissolution it tries to objectify as ‘elsewhere’, but which its very actions essentially constitute, the lecturer’s predicament is truly that of everyone and every ‘objective’.”


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The usual responses to information proliferation are various ideologies of necessity, and then ideologies of selective use and preference, in short, the specific and subjective question: “What do you want?”


Given that the notion of the subject is equally applicable, potentially, to any form of decision-making agency; whether a conventional ‘organic individual’, a ‘peoples’ (under whatever ‘collective’ rubric), a polity, corporation, or some other form of institution, to say nothing of possible ‘artificial intelligences’; the stage is effectively set for each and every one of those differentiated ‘subjects’ to engage in declarative interchange, according to network protocols they themselves propose.


Looking beyond the insularities of vision and perspective, the partisanship of purposes, all the ironies of global variety being compressed into electronic simultaneity. The resulting intermittent conditions of anthropic experience, oscillating between the parochiality of the local and the technological synthesis of the global, produces an abyss of possibilities no longer bound by the usual anthropic conventions of history.
The gates have been opened, for all insularities to disappear into each other and themselves, and perhaps even for insularity itself to disappear, leaving only a vast, global anxiety; one which no wishful plane of insularity can flatten; one which stretches in all directions; a multidimensional, epistemological environment surrounding each and every insularity attempting unilinear imperialism, in which every conquest or acquisition, is simultaneously a deprivation.
This is a new scenario, a world, if ‘world’ it be, where those who wish to lose themselves, find themselves; and those who wish to find themselves, lose themselves. A world where Socrates’s injunction to “Know Thyself!”, displaces every wishful and insular self-image, to reveal a fractal and fluctuating, processual core, stretching into the unknown. From this perspective, the earlier mentioned development of ‘surround-sound’, nostalgia-cocoons, is perhaps no surprise. The price paid by any insular ignorance with global ambitions, but unable to meet its global responsibilities. When imperial desire is not matched by imperial knowledge; when exploitation is the only epistemological relation; the ongoing production of horror, for which one’s own imperial allegiances are responsible; is quite naturally a scenario that the insular wish to block out and hide.

IDENTITY GAMING ON THE INTERNET: NEURO-BUBBLES PLAYING WITH MARKERS OF FLESHLY FORM, OR PERHAPS IT’S THE OPPOSITE?

Victor Tangermann’s article, “Actually, Social Media Isn’t An Echo Chamber” (https://futurism.com/social-media-is-not-echo-chamber/), claims that: “Social media might not be the filter bubble we make it out to be. Quite the contrary — having access to a social media feed could, in fact, push us to get our news from a wider variety of sources.”
Apparently, he is of the belief, in the Internet age, that a social media ‘echo chamber’ is merely the simplest of self-censorships: “we confine ourselves to news bubbles”; that, “[w]e wrap ourselves in a warm blanket of news that reinforces our beliefs and opinions back to us”; that, “Facebook News Feed is an echo chamber, reinforcing each person’s political and ethical stances.”


This simple equating of levels of information exposure to inverse levels of ‘bubble’ filtration or censorship, is not the significant issue at play. ‘Big, bad, corporations and governments’ do not at all have to engage in such primitive manipulations, though it’s not the case that they have desisted from this. It’s not necessary, not when considerable sections of the public themselves can do it for them. Not only do it, but advocate for considerably more extreme and sophisticated forms of it.
Identity politics, of whatever kind, too often, occurs in corporate-hosted arenas, in which the so-called ‘public’, knowingly and unknowingly, enthusiastically do the bidding of wider, corporate interests, usually because they derive some psychological and/or financial benefit from doing so.
Marketing campaigns are most easily conducted through targeting market sectors according to mass categorical relevance, in short, through market identification. Production imperatives often obligate ‘market creation’, which entails identity construction. Identity construction, is most easily achieved through simple opposition. Without opposition, the identity in question cannot determine itself, at least not according to the classical, Occidental demands for determinate identity, apprehensively delimited and in tangible form. It’s required for all ‘divide and rule’ operations, too.


No one is saying that because people choose to live in a bubble of constrained belief that they are going to practice a total censorship through outright suppression of alternative information. That the article has been written as if such a belief were the case, actually emerges out of, and caters for, the simplistic literalism that it attempts to modify. It’s a typical example of the kind of positivist and dogmatic ghettos wherein lazy, obstinate, and arrogant, thinking, attempt to surreptitiously install their hegemonic dominance. That’s not how it actually works.
At the risk of repeating such stupidity, it might be that further explication is called for.
The article is correct in describing the emotional entrenchment that takes place through oppositional discourse and exchanges. It is through these general and informal discursivities of exchange, that misrepresentations of opposing tendencies are formed. The identity warrior surveys a range of media, not just those directly affirming held identity, but also those media belonging to the opposition, or potential opposition, as a kind of reconnaissance of enemy territory.
This has been observed on the Internet for decades.
On virtual worlds, such as Second Life, it is easy to observe people quite deliberately seeking out ideological opponents, whatever the ideology concerned. Much of this has to do with the domestication of cyberspace, giving familiar and determinate form to the limitlessness of possibility that the Internet enables. There are no passports on much of the Internet, no common set of standards by which to organise identity exchanges. This then eventuates in a general situation of personal obligation and responsibility, as far as identity expression is concerned. What can thus be observed, is a scenario whereby those most inculcated with dogmatic styles of ideological expression, those most hostile to the unfamiliar and the unknown, are the most aggressively proactive of identity warriors, and the most insistent and devious practitioners of disingenuous misrepresentation.
The resulting chaos serves the interests of the same dogmatic cultural groupings that it has served in the past. At the same time as the Internet enables greater communication, this movement produces greater levels of reactionary irresponsibility and denial.
The construction of identity bubbles, previously catered for by national governments and media, has now devolved to islands of local enthusiasm, and their often hysterical productions. Accessibility to all global information is also susceptible to the full range of global interpretations, inclusive of the ignorances of extremist hysteria. These identity-gang tendencies have always been there, they were not necessarily or wholly invented by governments or corporations, even though they might be manipulated by them, or even arise out of them. In fact, a government or corporation itself can be considered as a ‘gang’.
The xenophobic impulse is, largely speaking, the origin of social identity in all militarised regimes. This impulse perpetuates itself through the people, themselves, and the Internet merely allows the expression of that fact.
It’s not that the Internet or social media is necessarily an “echo chamber”. Echo chambers are deliberately desired and constructed, for whatever reasons, to produce echo effects. The desire for an echoic existence is usually positioned psychologically, as a figure of narcissism. The ‘culture of narcissism’, as described by Christopher Lasch, in the 1970s, never went away. What can be observed, is this culture, very much a corollary of consumerist culture, repackaging itself as virtualised, social conflict. As previously stated, this repackaging has been quietly engineered over the last few decades, in virtual worlds and in computer gaming. It’s a repackaging, as both virtualised identity and opposition. What is at play, is the commodification of the unconscious, itself. Ironically, though it expresses and produces conspiracies and paranoia, aplenty, there is no actual conspiracy behind it, at least nothing beyond the people’s tacit consent and desire. The atavistic desire for romanticising fantasy nostalgias, seen in so many contemporary media productions, is merely a commodified escape route from the disciplines of incessant production, but one that has seemingly become itself an ‘incessant production’, showing all else in the light of this productive insistence. Hence, the hysteria and ‘fake news’. The simulacrum has merely announced itself.


The article merely outlines a simplistic, behavioural explanation directed towards altering a simplistic literalism that, in any case, only an ignorant attitude would entertain. That such obviousness requires the expression of an entire article to indicate, is itself a symptom of mass cultural identity presupposition, one that perhaps sustains the slow, decelerating and simplifying obligations of its own identity game.

 

ON ONEIRIC ECONOMY: THE TRANSACTION OF DREAMY EQUIVALENCES

Trump and Bannon, through ‘Cambridge Analytics’, are using the ‘Kosinski’ algorithm, which is just an updated data analysis technique, of the ‘markey survey’ type that enabled Thatcher and Reagan to win power in the last century. The irony is that through the ‘Kosinski’ algorithm, the USA is essentially governing itself, through its online behaviours, and wherever else data sets are sourced from. This self-governance tracks desires in ‘real-time’, the results controlling the delivery and logic of Trump’s public statements. It’s a libidinal economy of desires; an oneiric one, governed by dream. I wrote about this oneiric economics, back in the early 1990s.


It’s truly ‘consumer-driven’, as they say, a true reflection of the people. Because of this, it generates the responses typical of social hypocrisy; horror; displacement and projection of horror onto others; and entrenched identification with horror, universalising the horror as unavoidable, in order to justify the identification.
When a so-called ‘culture’ has no self-understanding, it loses confidence; and when the misunderstood forces of its emergence are spent, because of this lack of self-understanding, it looks to nostalgic repetition for replenishment.


The dominant sign of economy is no longer even ‘consumption’, but rather, that of ‘dream’. That consumer desire is retained, as a powerful motivic force, but does not at all displace its circulations and configurations according to oneiric hegemony.
Under the sign of oneiric hegemony; ‘industry’, ‘consumption’, ‘virtue’, ‘morality’, ‘reality’, and even ‘identity’; all of these are forms of capital, in the dominant oneiric economy.


[Originally appeared, March 4th, 2017 at 6:21 pm; http://www.xenosystems.net/the-sad-left/#comment-311892]

THE REQUIREMENTS OF GALACTIC COMPREHENSION

At this point, it almost seems as if the discussion is on the brink of an in-depth phenomenology of writing, or perhaps a grammatology of grammatology. If it should proceed in such a direction, then that excavation can be said to have already begun, and this notice of it, merely its somewhat formalised announcement or acknowledgement.
There are many points, here, in your preceding response, that have been introduced, somewhat in the fashion of a proliferation, multiplication, or dissemination, of the initial topical impetus, though there was more than one topic. The comparative simplicity of origin has escalated into a constellation of potentially unruly complexities. Perhaps we have moved from a solar understanding to the requirements of a galactic comprehension?

The ‘standard moves’ point was not aimed at anyone in particular, but does indeed seem to constitute a large amount of theoretical and philosophical output that we probably both have seen over the years. It’s certainly not directed at you, Terence. Neither, really, is it a critique of anyone else, the ‘standard’ does occasionally require sufficient expression so as to constitute its standardisation. Your observation concerning the “time-wasting obsessive ritual retracing of connections between tokens” is a personal evaluation based on your own engagement with Stiegler’s oeuvre, as you say, and if I had read much more of Stiegler perhaps I would agree with you. But this is not really the central issue that I feel is at play behind these concerns.
The issue is, I would suggest, considerably broader in extent and sidesteps the more localised concern of basic immersion in a particular oeuvre, a concern that you characterise as a form of immanence. The areas that Stiegler addresses, that he actually writes, ‘about’, are common topoi to those of us with an interest in such things. With this in mind, another question can be asked: is there any philosophical writer, at all, who does not engage in “obsessive ritual retracing of connections between tokens”, when they are under the impression of conveying some kind of conceptual innovation?
I ask this question, to point out the deeper pressures of conventional imposition that afflict every writing occurring between an author and a reader. Those pressures of conventional imposition are largely responsible for the over-explication, or, as you say, “obsessive ritual retracing of connections between tokens”, afflicting any philosophical author attempting to convey their particular weltanshauung. But the common denominator underlying all of these attempted conveyances are the somewhat uncertain figures
of ‘convention’. It is usually always with a never-spoken respect to, or for, this figurality; to the obligations of this ‘figured reality’ of the conventional; that most authorial productions seem to circulate. Every author senses the consensus in their own way, responding to it, according to their intuitions and receptions of it. But the consensual is always a generalising assumption, configuring the somewhat uncertain figures of convention.
If Stiegler has built a ladder to do a particular job of ascension, his continued maintenance of that ladder may not lead to any different elevation, but perhaps it maintains the safety of that stepped implement?

(Thank you, to Terence Blake of AGENT SWARM, for the Facebook discussion, of which this post is a response.)