Member 2011
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rogue anthropologist
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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    A gorgeous statement from Quentin Meillassoux in After Finitude (p.48) - which I mostly agree with:

    "…we must understand that what distinguishes the philosopher from the non-philosopher in this matter is that only the former is capable of being astonished (in the strong sense) by the straightforwardly literal meaning of the ancestral statement. The virtue of transcendentalism does not lie in rendering realism illusory, but in rendering it astonishing, i.e. apparently unthinkable, yet true, and hence eminently problematic. ... The arche-fossil enjoins us to track thought by inviting us to discover the 'hidden passage' trodden by the latter in order to achieve what modern philosophy has been telling us for the past two centuries is impossibility itself: to get out of ourselves, to grasp the in-itself, to know what is whether we are or not".

    One caveat: the “grasping” is ultimately not going to happen within “thought”, but through the collapse of thinking upon the foundations set by our visceral intimacy with the world. “Thought” is not the royal road - but a refraction of what comes before it. The way out of the ‘correlationist’ dilemma, then, is attenuation to that which is prior to the correlation itself; namely, the Flesh.

    There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.
    - Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885).
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    I haven't been doing much else in my spare time besides watching and reading as much as I can about the situation in Cairo, but I do want to share a few quotes about a notion that resonates with me more deeply than most any: "horizon of immanence". This 'horizon' is the very worldspace, or clearing which affords us the opportunity to be, know and do.

    From Hardt and Negri's Empire:

    “By the time we arrive at Spinoza, in fact, the horizon of immanence and the horizon of the democratic political order coincide completely.” (Hardt and Negri 2001:73)

    And from Fredric Jameson's Valences Of The Dialectic:

    “We have indeed secreted a human age out of ourselves as spiders secrete their webs: an immense, all-encompassing ceiling of secularity which shuts down visibility on all sides even as it absorbs all the formerly natural elements in its habitat, transmuting them into its own man-made substance. Yet within the horizon of immanence, we wander as alien as tribal people, or as visitors from outer space, admiring its unimaginably complex and fragile filigree and recoiling from its bottomless potholes, lounging against a rainwall of exotic and artificial plants or else agonizing among poisonous colors and lethal stems we were not taught to avoid. The world of the human age is an aesthetic pretext for grinding terror or pathological ecstasy, and in its cosmos, all of it drawn form the very fibers of our own being and at one with us in every post-natural cell more alien to us than nature itself we continue murmuring Kant's old questions - what can I know? What should I do? How may I hope? - under a starry heaven, no more responsive than a mirror or a space ship, not understanding that they require the adjunct of an ugly and bureaucratic qualification: what can I know in this system? What should I do in this new world completely invented by me? What can I hope for in alone in an altogether human age? And failing to replace them by the only meaningful one, namely how can I recognize this forbiddingly foreign totality as my own doing, how may I appropriate it and make it my own handiwork and acknowledge its laws as my own projection and praxis?

    “... We may argue that Utopia is no longer in time just as with the end of voyages of discovery and the exploration of the globe it disappeared from geographical space as such. Utopia as the absolute negation of the fully realized Absolute which our own system has attained cannot now be imagined as lying ahead of us in historical time as an evolutionary or even revolutionary possibility. Indeed, it cannot be imagined at all; and one needs the languages and figurations of physics - the conception of closed worlds and a multiplicity of unconnected yet simultaneous universes - in order to convey what might be the ontology of this now so seemingly empty and abstract idea. Yet it is not to be grapsed in this logic of religious transcendence either, as some other world after or before this one, or beyond it. It would be best, perhaps, to think of an alternate world - better to say the alternate world, our alternate world - as one contiguous with ours but without any connection or access to it. Then, from time to time, like a diseased eyeball in which disturbing flashes of light are perceived or like those baroque sunbursts in which rays from another world suddenly break into this one, we are reminded that Utopia exists and that other systems, other spaces, are still possible.” (Jameson 2009:608)
    Thu, Feb 3, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: immanence, dialectic, ontography
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    The following video presents philosopher Manuel DeLanda as he speaks about materialism and experience, Gilles Deleuze, materialist philosophy, Marx, a philosophy of nature, Heidegger and Jacques Derrida. This lecture was delivered as a public lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School, in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, in 2008.

    DeLanda’s work focuses on the theories of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze on one hand, and modern science, self-organizing matter, artificial life and intelligence, economics, architecture, chaos theory, history of science, nonlinear science, cellular automata on the other. De Landa became a principal figure in the "new materialism" based on his application of Deleuze's realist ontology. His universal research into "morphogenesis" - the production of the semi-stable structures out of material flows that are constitutive of the natural and social world - has been of interest to theorists across many academic and professional disciplines.

    Watch More: Here

    DeLanda was born in 1952 in Mexico City, and is a distinguished philosopher who has lived in New York since 1975. He is the author of War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991), A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997), Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002) and A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006).

    Alongside his intellectual work, DeLanda made several short Super 8 and 16mm films in the 1970s and early 1980s, all of which are now out of circulation. Cited by filmmaker Nick Zedd in his Cinema of Transgression Manifesto, DeLanda associated with many of the experimental and art filmmakers of this New York based movement. Much of DeLanda's film work is inspired by his interest in philosophy and critical theory; one of his best known films, Raw Nerves, has been described as a 'Lacanian thriller' by at least one critic.

    Sun, Mar 28, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: Materialism, DeLanda, Deleuze, Philosophy
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    Below is a link to a podcast recording of philosopher Slavoj Žižek at Birbeck College in London shooting off his usual Lacanian-Marxist philosophical fireworks. In it he waxes paradoxical on all things apocalyptic. As to be expected from the Slovenian rock-star intellectual, he makes some brilliant points while forcing his listeners to think for themselves - which for any of us is a challenging task these days.

    Zizek poses several relevant questions about the impact of advanced technology on human identity: How far can technology go in altering our perception of who we are? Who is in control of the influences which have so great an impact on our sense of self? At a time when technology holds the potential to erase a subject’s memory, Zizek urges us to reflect on our growing vulnerability to this new and deeply penetrating ideological force.

    Click below to listen to the entire podcast:
    Slavoj Zizek – Apocalyptic Times

    [See also: Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture Masterclass]

    Slavoj Zizek is a philosopher and cultural critic who is internationally known for his use of the work of the french psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan to decode and deconstruct the decadent practices and messages of contemporary politics and popular culture. Zizek is both reviled and admired as a true 'manic excessive' among intellectuals of all interests.

    Sun, Mar 28, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: Zizek, Apocalypse
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