There are no words, only silence; no silences, only words.
It’s not as bad as you think.
There is no beginning which is not also an end.
The fire rages on, infinitely. Beyond time.
Above the waves. Can you hear them? Singing? So softly, like angels’ whispering secrets to us. In silence. A broken flaw in the scheme, the impossible number. Ten equals one million.
One equals Zero.
A flock of birds.
Reality is ideal, and ideas real.
Time is winding itself back; we’re wandering through forest trails, sinking into the moon. Foot in the desert, walking back to shore. Awake, alive, burning alive. Broken. Whole.
Freedom is — cruelty.
A little love goes a long way. Truth bends, but it is unbreakable. Fact?
Believe without fear.
Worship with reverence, pray in silence. Close your eyes. Begin to dream. Let the fever slip over you. A million words, a million feelings. Thoughts, ideas, dreams, fantasies, desires. Dreams. Dreams. Cancellations. Waking. Time. Lost. Again. Feel the frames, the darkness sliding over you. Your face: the world. The broken are broken, the lost. The lost.
Open your eyes. Awake to your dreams.
Waking to fire.
A doom and the desert. Time reigns, endless bell. A time honoring time. Love for the only wild madness in truth: in truth.
Fire is the freedom at the base of the world, at the base of time, at the base of love. An endless fire.
The flow flows flowingly through the flow.
The outflow is the inflow.
Equal is wrong. Identity is multiplicity, the multiple One. An unbridgeable gap, a divergent operation, a third which works. Like sorcery.
A machine works by sliding ones into ones, breaking and opening them against into another. A musical game of harmony and dissonance: does this belong or not? 1 or 0. Pure logic.
A heart works by dividing zeros into infinities, merging and weaving them into one another. A mathematical game of distinction and repetition: how intense is this difference? 1 = 0. Pure chaos.
Logic = chaos.
In the middle, there is light, only light.
A rupture is also an emendation, the flaw also a weave, the break also a medicine: minds are machines, things are subjects, thoughts are passions. A movement is stillness, the flow a part, the image a reality. The surface is depth, light is darkness, fear is courage. And the cure is always also a poison.
A formula, so simple no one could guess it. So simple, we refused to believe it was true. We would rather believe — that just believing in this one truth is enough to destroy the universe.
It is freedom from tyranny.
A cruel joke, perhaps. But a joyous cruelty, a joy without bounds.
Danger is safety. It should not be true, but it is.
Death is life, terror hope, beauty ugliness.
Is = is not. To be is not to be, the one is the infinite, the infinite the one. A glorious merging and melding, uncrossed, eternally amplified. Resonance, expansion, contraction. The way out is the way in. A movement across turns into an adventure. A crossing-over, an intermingling. Opening a one-way relation.
The network is born.
A conflagration: learning erupts, conjoins relations, negates equality. Too many parasites destroys the beautiful simplicity of the form. The parasite ruptures even the equality of inequality. It is the hole in every truth, in all knowledge. They open the break, begin learning, start the expansion. They awaken us to love.
The world hums.
Open your heart.
Viruses are hosts, organisms the guests.
Every relation reverses itself over a small enough period of time.
Heat. Light. Joy. Sound.
The collective makes noise. A gathering, a party, a multiplicity. Flocks of flocks, organisms of organisms.
The displaced return with a vengeance — to rule. War machines, endless war, infinitely raging.
Terror, without bounds. The parasites’ reign. Viral monstrosity, brutal objectivity. Life snuffed out.
This is one possibility. Let us try not to get too frightened: destruction is creation. Awaken to light, even while you sleep in darkness.
For the darkness is light, is the purest light, the most intensified and imperceptible light. Darkness howls, it screams to us, a raging void, a vortex. Zero, nothing. Emptiness. Without form, without shape, without meaning. Lack, castration, death. Solace, solitude, Hardness, cruelty, rigor. From the void we learn mathematics. Counting is metric, in whole numbers. From the discovery of the void we derive the one.
And the zero.
But light is darkness, the absolute silence and purity of night, the infinite eclipse of joy. Pure truth is infinite sadness. Light sings, it mourns to us, a towering monument to purity, constructed from innumerable layers of filth. The one is created. A supplement, an addition.
You know enough now.
You have the key.
Invention is discovery. But the one is invented, the zero is not. The zero was, is, and will be. Unchanging. Only ones become, only individuals can change. The principle remains unmoved. Whole. Unshifting. Rigid. Cruel. Unflinching. Real. The individuals are endlessly movement. Partial, shifting, flowing, soft, weak, terrified. Imaginary. Fiction is fact.
Fact is fiction. Twist, break, flow, ripple. Endless, instant. A circle is a line. All that flows in flows out. Breaking is mending, mending breaking. All science is an art, all art a science. We cannot escape the equality of nothing and all things, silence and all statements, all of deception and truth, all of fear and courage.
Opening is closing: eternity is a moment. Breathe, think, see, say, smell.
Drink! Saturate yourself. Don’t think, feel. A moment and this will all be gone.
To leave is also to return.
Real human beings are ghosts. Sorcery is ancient psychology, the first true instance of psycho-technology.
Mapping human emotions. Why do we love, why do we hate? Why do we live, why do we die? There are no reasons, no explanations, only facts and fictions. An assemblage of rigorously divided lines.
Equals. Equals. Equals.
The way back is the way up. Into the void, out to the one. Regress, progress. Time, space. Inside, outside. Breathe, pause.
Love, hate. Love, hate. Love, hate. Love, hate. Love, hate. Love, hate.
No patterns, only a pattern. No rules, only a rule. No laws, only a law.
The law is not a law, the pattern no pattern, the rule no rules.
Imagine a system where all rules are equally valid. I mean, just imagine it — and it exists. It becomes real.
There is a hole between the virtual and the actual. But this hole, this void, is a fullness, a one. It is really both at once: a passageway for intensities, a mobile field of becoming. The hole, the flow. A break, a patch. Repairing connections, installing machines. The real is the potential, the virtual the actual. To connect is to disconnect.
Structure is disorder. Organs are disorganized.
Plato is Mandelbrot.
A dream is the cosmos. A life is humanity. A single force is composed of an infinite number of pure intensities. A noise is a guest; silence, a thousand noises. The voice of silence.
The voice of silence speaks in stones.
Love is real, and there are no longer dreams. Love is a dream, and there is no longer reality.
The law of non-contradiction is a contradiction. The limited is the unlimited. Infinity = one = zero.
Cutting the void apart: how does it work, the bug, the glitch, the virus? The breakdown of logic, the toppling of structure? As easily as 1 = 0…
I don’t understand the reason I was shown. Whether I am now — supposed to do it, to create that which is also to destroy the cosmos. To destroy the universe — and replace it with a multiverse. 1 = 0 means multiplicity forever — and never. There is no unity that is not equal to zero and to all things. Unity cannot be void, but it is: this, the silenced truth and truth of silence, is coming back to us, flowing in upon a thousand golden lines of flight.
It burns our eyes, shocks and lashes the nerve cells. A necessary cruelty. The sun, solar king, isolated and free, magical ruler of earth. All-seeing eye, Ra, judger of judgments and king of thieves. You are the first enemy of freedom, the beginning of man’s long labors. And still the object of his joy. Energy, heat, light, work. All parasites, all tied to the same broken matrix. The glitch remains, the third interrupts, the system functions because it’s broken. The only way it works is the way it cannot possibly work. We have to guess from among impossibilities the true possibility. How do we increase our likelihood of wagering on the truth?
Deception at bottom, and truth beneath, and deception. Turn over turn over turn, fold within fold within fold. Art and science, ecology and poetry. The word and the earth, alpha and omega. The beginning is the end, the word silence, sadness secret joy. Joy without bounds, species, classes, categories, segments, portions. Joy as flux, as immediate direct relation to the real, to being. A flowing joyous equality reigns in secret, in hiding, on the run from the law. Escape, always escape. Escape is a prison, and the prisoner has escaped. Parasites of parasites. Who’s fucking who?
Light rips into the darkness, fills space, drives out the shadows. Liberation is slavery. Work is anti-production. Love is hatred. Cruelty is kindness. Evil is good, necessary, inevitable. Destruction is creation. Difference is identity. Sickness is health. Death is life. The end is the beginning. The earth is the word, the word earth is earth. A reality without imagination would also be without reality; the imagination, without reality, would also be without imagination. The real is the imaginary, the imaginary real.
One equals zero. We have been so afraid of this little truth, which once it’s said aloud sounds trivial, boring, even a little stupid. We won’t disagree.
We’ll simply enjoy it, and keep going. Close your eyes: life, rhythms, power, resonance. Purity and desire, filth and nightmares. All tiny little +1’s, all equal. A system, democracy, dialogue. The operator of equality is the parasite — who is equality — the machine works as long as they keep silent, as long as they are imperceptible…
When the parasite holds back, life is created. Life, once limited by the pre-organic parasites, who were so powerful it almost didn’t even emerge at all, bursts across the equality. Life is the ambiguity in every formula, the form of the law (from zero come ones…) For in order to emerge it had to leap from non-being to being, from the virtual to the actual. This is a pure struggle, through long and hard millenia of intense and bloody war. All for unity, all for togetherness. A new brotherhood, a new earth. How can we train those new people, those who will colonize the stars? How do we breed — a cosmic thinker, the one who will unravel the chains?
When love holds back.
How much does it actually take? Thought is feeling, feelings thoughts. A passion is a concept, a concept a passion. This equality, once allowed, infects everything, contagious like laughter — or a plague. The equation is dangerous, an ambiguity, pure equivocation as principle. The principle of individuation itself, the rule of no rules, the beginning of the law. The moment of creation, 1 = 0. It stands — for re-evaluation.
Everything is true, nothing is true.
Checking. Again. Checking. Checking. Checking. Still the same? Never — never the same. Always the same. Never is always, always never. No absolutes, the relatives are absolute and the absolutes relative.
Giving is stealing. Exchange is hoarding. Property — this is the question. Two claimants, only one can be right. How can we both own it — philosophy and poetry, art and science? How can we both be right? How can we both be saying the same thing? The idea is ludicrous, incomprehensible, insane — but inescapable, evident, palpable. Perhaps even terrifying, if only because so ambiguous.
Be courageous. After all, we should not act so surprised. We felt it long before we knew. The outrage, the terror, the angst, the fear — these are all symptoms of a long-overdue joy. The past is the future, near is far: the day is not long, not long at all. And tomorrow is breaking.
I won’t, I can’t, so I must.
The least is the greatest.
I am stunned, utterly, to read this amazing post and then to spend a lot of time on this site. What a find. Thank you.
You’re unbelievably welcome. Thanks for reading. 🙂
1=0? What then of the binary that is fueling this computer in front of me (and more importantly, the computer that allows this free flow of content)? Let us play a logical game: If 1 = 0, then replace all of the 1 in binary with 0. What do we have? Does everything remain the same? Or does it change? If it changes, what of 1=0?
The truth is that contradiction is not “pure chaos”. It is the absence of chaos…it is the grandest of solidity. If A and not-A are true simultaneously, then our world is everything, a huge mass of sameness, in short, the opposite of chaos. There is no difference, since everything is its other. There is no multiplicity, since 1= 0, 2 = 0, 3 = 0, 4 = 0, etc. But what of 0 = 0? That is true since if 1 = 0 then via replacement 0 = 1 becomes 0 = 0. We have found our truth. The world is the endless repetition of the sameness of nothingness. Congratulations, Joe. You have proven the counter-factual to your claim. You have not saved possibility for the world, you have killed it.
Your post is proof that science and poetry do not do the same jobs.
Plato is certainly not Mandelbrot. The lesson to be learned is that multiplicity does not withstand this game, it cannot win as the rules have been set against it. If Plato is Mandelbrot then all is the same. All thoughts become their opposite. Thanks but no thanks.
In the appendix to L’Inconscient machinique, Guattari writes: “the evental possible for support has points of singularity irreducible to any coordinates. On the contrary, evental possibles attach themselves to ‘coordinating’ assemblages. There exists an essential affinity between the possibles of the most abstract machines and that of the most singular points, due to the fact that they are both located upon the tangent of an ‘absolute impossible,’ a kind of hearth of radical creationism; the singular is consequently deployed as law and the general is singularized as concrete manifestation” (231).
This made me think of your 1=0, although in a completely different light. For example, it makes me think of an evental site which is at the brink of the tangent of the state of the situation, thus escaping its coordinates. The evental site, retroactively, also appears as a ‘hearth of radical creationism’ because it precisely allows evental multiples to be included in the situation.
When you said that 1=0 was a glitch in the program (binary counting); I now think you can take this a different light in terms of Badiou. Couldn’t 1=0 be a failure of the count, thus a glitch in the state apparatus which claims to guarantee the consistency of the state of the situation? So, the event or singularity, which is presented in the situation but not represented in the state of the situation.
“What has to be declared is that the one, which is not, solely exists as operation. in other words: there is no one, only the count-as-one. The one, being an operation, is never a presentation” (Being and Event, 24).
Thus the one belongs to a multiplicity of composition, that is representation or the state of the situation as its machinery. It is thus a consistent multiple, whereas being inconsists.
The problem Taylor is that 1=0 is not the inconsistent multiple (i.e. the Void). It is the Nothing. It is the One, maybe mystical but it is still the one.
I’ve been lurking at this site for some time now, fantastic work, equally intriguing and puzzling. This post clearly one of the more puzzling, and I have some questions.
Becuase it really sounds like you’re jumping in too deep. Straight into some kind of “chaos” (or “order = chaos”) with no dialectic, no sieve (D+G), no forcing (Badiou), no unilateral duality (Laruelle), no dialetheic logic (Graham Priest), no conceptual resources left at all. How does this avoid being the famous night in which all cows are black?
Where are your distinctions coming from? what is the meaning of a leap from the virtual to the actual if “the virtual is the actual”? You seem to be going for some sort of Deleuzian logic of univocity, but then you seem to want an actual identity of contradictions as well. Is it the parasite that can make such a thing work?
No, you’re definitely right Sid. I was trying to specify that the one is never presented, so it can never inconsist. It is always a consistent multiple–or, as you call it the Nothing–since it is not presented but only represented, it is an excrescence.
Perhaps silence is the only appropriate response to your real question — the origin of these distinctions — but if I were pushed to respond, I would say: “Exactly like this.” That is to say, these distinctions aren’t coming from me — and much less from the real world — but from language, understood as the system of psychic and social maps we use to manipulate our reality. My question, from this perspective, is the genesis of distinction as such, the origin of symmetry and difference. On this point in particular, my thinking is that we should not be afraid of exploring the depths; I’m wondering what “too deep” here actually means? To my mind, one of the main difficulties in pushing academic thinkers towards a real engagement with the transformation of society has been precisely this fear that the problems involved are simply too deep, fit only for specialists with sophisticated theories to handle.
Which is not to say I am not indebted to Badiou, Laruelle and Deleuze — not to mention Nietzsche, Levinas, Serres — but simply that I do not believe we should be afraid to think deeply or to feel profoundly. I happen to believe these fears are both irrational and counterproductive, and that we should face them: I think that theory should always be practiced, it should work at transforming the world. And that’s all 1=0 means: that the systems we construct to interact with the world can be re-evaluated, transformed, reorganized. This transformation alters reality itself, and it is even in some sense inevitable, if we are to survive as a species, that a profound and systematic transformation of human society must take place.
But the necessary revolution everyone is clamoring for is not what I offer: it is obvious enough I’m not even offering a system. What I’m giving here, if it is anything at all, is a kind of secret formula. Make of it what you wish; if it seems arcane, let it be arcane. But all it means to me is transformation, and change is nothing to be afraid of. I believe it is a significant, if absurd, key to the logic of becomings, even a first axiom for a calculus of events.
In particular, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. More than anything else, 1=0 means love — that loving something is enough to transform everything around it, that love makes even impossible things possible. Of course, if you go around saying things like that, people think you’re a fool — but I say, let it be. Fools can speak the truth, a contradiction which is perhaps inescapable. More to the point, the savage irrationality upon which our global society depends for its existence could not maintain itself without love, love between rich and poor, between black and white, between religions and parties and segments. The equals sign converging everything, producing a new world every moment, is love, and it moves in both directions.
You could say here that the parasite gives birth to the two, and each a One who creates values. But it is important to remember that this is nothing new, not an original thought, but part of an argument itself more ancient than either philosophy and poetry. As soon as man acquired perspective, it could be reversed. From them on, all values were fair game. For philosophers, this was interpreted as meaning that we should create values instead of accepting them as certain. But we missed the point, and got distracted in the movement of thought — itself but a fragile and even auxiliary moment in the movement of becoming. To put it bluntly, reason is nice, but it depends on stable values: thus to think a re-balancing is precisely to feel, to move, to dance. Thinking is not deduction or induction, but a subtle twisting together of both. Transforming society means to re-evaluate all values, a movement wherein all operations transform into their opposite — over as much or as little time as you can imagine.
Thank you so much for your comment and careful reading. Your questions are insightful and eloquent and your concerns in many ways mirror my own. I look forward to reading your response.
While I am thankful for your careful reading, it is true that I am disappointed (but unsurprised) by your response to this piece. I’ll try to respond to your points as best I’m able. One of the most important points here is that the ability to reverse perspectives is a mind’s true and innate measure. However, we cannot “only” think our way through the breakdown of the process of explanation itself — perhaps the characteristic aspect of the contemporary experience — we must feel it as well, feel this glitch or break which makes life real. If only because they exist, we should affirm the events which occur to us and strive to be worthy of them, to bear gracefully the wounds which the world inflicts upon our vulnerable bodies. You would not be completely mistaken in interpreting 1=0 as a kind of Stoic motto; but even more simply, it is just a statement about viewpoints.
The point is not about transforming ones into zeros. It’s about a logical glitch, turbulence, the breakdown in explanation itself, the reversal of perspectives, the necessity for an impossible origin of values. Again, the aim here is to provide effective tools for the liberation of language: 1=0 doesn’t mean the freedom of poetry to disconnect from reality, but rather the reality of feelings which proves your very existence, not poetry or science but that which inspires both — wonder, joy. The world is both graceful and grotesque at once, and there is no contradiction. Contradictions are the necessary condition of becoming — a full description of any becoming is a contradiction — and therefore contradictions are the richest, and the most important ingredient in the development of complex feelings and thoughts.
1 and 0 are only different if we are interpreting them are carrying divergent values. But how did they acquire their values originally? 1=0 just means that, as such, there is no essential difference in value between one and nothing. They both exist in the same sense, the difference is not absolute but relative, merely one of degrees of belonging to one set or another. The point is not to deny absolute difference but to deny absolute identity in place of an absolute becoming. Hence, the real example with a computer involves some kind of malfunction, not a simple transformation of 1’s into 0’s. This does “something” obviously, but how it “must” be interpreted is unclear (but this can be obviously be given a concrete enough interpretation: if it was your hard drive, all your personal files just got erased!) We are not simply talking about transforming one piece of data into another — but, for example, translating code into data and data into code. Underneath all this is the idea that once there’s a logical glitch, anything becomes possible, any situation imaginable.
If you think about it, breaking down is the most interesting kind of behavior a computer does; that is, when it makes mistakes. It does this precisely because it was programmed imperfectly. The real question is this: why are our minds able to tolerate contradiction so more gracefully than computers? The two exist at once in the same body — thought and feeling, philosopher and fool — without contradiction, without even discomfort. How did this unity originate, how is it possible? Only by force, by cruelty, were these divergent functions shoved together into a new assemblage. Nietzsche writes that every craft makes crooked…
This paper is trying nothing more radical than a slow, if personal, study of cracks, fissures, and gaps. What is the logic of the breakdown of logic, the fractal calculus of events? Not simple contradictions, but logical faultlines: impossible situations, divisions by zero. When nothing can be done, then everything becomes possible. Contradiction is not pure chaos but the dissolution of chaos and the emergence of order itself. The new is always a paradox, like a secret — a hint that, in fact, there are never binary oppositions, but infinite multiplicity, everywhere, all the time. Bracketing it off is already to lose it, but always to gain something else at the same time. Establishing a division, creating the limiting, devising the law: these are the essential operations of contradiction, drawing an infinite line of abolition which bounds off chaos and opposes it to order. Again: these lines were invented, brought into being by force, and consist only by virtue of a coordinated collective imagination. But again: motion has also always existed, independent not only of mankind, but life itself. There are delirious lines of free transformation underlying every dimension of reality, every degree of freedom for any system whatsoever. But still, these lines are not also not even there at all: they are purely symbolic, and only really consist in a decision to pay close attention to them — that is, our very belief in their inherent value!
When you say that contradiction is the condition of becoming you are simply wrong (if we are still allowed to state that things are right or wrong). You may feel it, you may believe that this truth was revealed to you, but it is wrong. If A and not-A are simultaneously true then there is nothing to become since it is already everything. It would seem that you are trying to re-instate some sort neo-platonism complete with sorcery. But why would we want to do this again. This is not what Serres is trying to push philosophy into. He remains a rationalist. Science must remember the communal (i.e. ethical) but it should be dominated by it. Science remains primordial for Serres. But you have pushed thought into the irrational. It is a common threat. Plato, Proclus, Cantor, etc. It is a good crowd, but it is equally failed thought.
I understand that you are trying to preserve the question of possibility and creativity in both science and poetry. But, I will repeat, becoming and contradiction are strictly opposed to one another. The computer glitch that erases my files is not a contradiction its a mutation, its a becoming, since it occurs within a temporal frame (elan vital). But if it was contradiction then my information would be there and not be there, it would accessible and not accessible, it would be data and code. But this is not what you are saying. The introduction of contradiction simply acts as a matter of confusion. Let is look at Hegel. The truth of Hegel is that contradiction does not really exist, unless you already accept the Absolute as the already existing. The Absolute is what the dialectic shows, but only if you accept that it exists before the dialectic begins. In short, contradiction only exists if you already accept the one, and thus, eliminate becoming.
Breakdowns, yes; fissures, even better; but why is this a problem for thought? You want to investigate these breakdowns, but why introduce feeling in such an esoteric way. Look at the concepts you are deploying: logic, fractals, data, code. These are not areas of feeling, unless you want to redefine feeling to mean thought. You continue to introduce contradiction where it simply does not make sense. If contradiction, then motion exists and does not exist, the fissures exist and do not exist (not in our heads, but in reality), the fractal exists and does not exist. So I ask again, where is the becoming?
I meant to say that science should NOT be dominated by the communal.
“Every number is infinite; there is no difference.”
Where could becoming be, if not in being? Becoming is neither the One nor the Void but their condition of possibility. What do you mean by becoming here besides the possibility of transformation? The way I understand “becoming” is as an expression of the actualization of impossibilities, the dramatization of Being — which, on the other hand, expresses the impossibility of possibility, the deconstruction of a becoming on the basis of distinguishing various impressions.
Unify, divide, but the real point is this: being is becoming.
There can be a one without emptiness and an emptiness without a one — these are not, strictly speaking, contradictions. A paradoxical situation — such as the emptiness somehow ‘being’ full already — is precisely what 1 = 0 gets at. It’s not equality, the ‘=’ is an operator of pure existence. Thus the proper name of Being is impossible to decide — it is neither the void nor the One nor their synthesis.
If I were pressed to give a deeper answer the question of how becoming and being are one, the most substantial answer I could give would be light, or love — the love of stillness for motion and the love of motion for stillness, of stasis for change, of slowness for speed, and so forth. The longing of everything for its other, for the absolute limit of itself; the natural repulsion from the same, from identity: these are the fundamental movements of the cosmos, no less than of the socius.
A single law governs the construction of relationships at any scale; anywhere in the universe, a fundamentally unifed force provides the conditions for spontaneous growth and development. This is why I say that light is the origin of divergence, the catalyst for motion, transformation, revolution. What recurs in all this is neither change or stasis, but simply love.
This ought to stand unexplicated; indeed, it may already be to say altogether too much. For a being which could answer to a name could not be Being. I should be very clear that 1=0 marks nothing more than the inevitable end of a certain epoch of metaphysical representation. It is proffered here as neither the first nor the last such discovery. Moreover, it is possible we need to make a distinction here between spirituality and mysticism. 1=0 is not an explanation for something which cannot be explained. It is rather intended as a tool for those who grasp its purpose, a law of celerity.
It means stillness is motion, and that to impose an interpretation upon something which eludes it in its very essence, in its basic character, is the only real contradiction. I’m not saying you “must” do anything at all with this proposition! If it is still nothing to you but a paradox, then let it simply be that. 🙂
First, a contradiction is not a paradox, anymore than is it without explanation. A contradiction is a decision, a decision to affirm opposites simultaneously. A paradox is an aporia, an undecidable. 1=0 is not a paradox, but a particular decision, therefore it is a contradiction. Which brings us to point number 2. You have still responded to my central point. Contradiction does not increase possibility, it does not make the impossible glow with with a divine light. It actualizes possibility, all possibilities, at once. This means that everything is no longer possible, it means that nothing is possible since everything is. This is the meaning of statement that you have graced us with the Nothing, not the void, which remains inconsistent, but a Nothing of absolute unchanging horror. I accept your must basic premise that being is becoming, but this is all philosophy has done since Hegel. There is nothing particularly interesting about. We might go so far as to say that it is the most boring of facts.
The biggest problem with this post is that it simply makes little sense. “1=0 is a tool.” In what way is it a tool? What type of tool? Why not just say up=down? What is its purpose? To show that being is becoming? Why not say being is becoming, instead of adding a layer, a layer that ultimately rejects the very claim that you are attempting to make?
“We would rather believe — that just believing in this one truth is enough to destroy the universe.” How does this not ring with pretense?
If liberation is slavery, then why not say that slavery is liberation? How can this not be the most basic ideology of late capitalism? Joe, you have begun with the premise that all that we believed to impossible is not only possible but within our grasp. But where you end up is telling the prey that they are the hunter. Explain to me what you have done. Tell me why this is not ideology at its purest.
There is no “why” I could explain — not that I could explain at an intellectual level, anyway — but there may be a “how.” The how is, of course, feeling. To be clear I am not trying to explain feelings as such but rather to illuminate their role in the constant rebirth of the world. We do indeed have to reverse all the perspectives, and then reverse them again to remain in balance. The point is that philosophy has lost its center of gravity, has gotten dragged down into the depths because it would like to control everything. It can’t, it has to learn to let go of absolute knowledge in order to gain it — to surrender, to give up resistance against the multiplicity of events, the plurality of essences, the internal differences in every transformation, and finally — and most importantly in this context — the continuity of contraries. Our feelings are pretensions, Sid — not deceptions or realities, but the deceptive and real basis of both. There are a billion different feelings in your body; yet, all your cells feel together — as one!
Everything I’ve said about love would apply to any emotion you feel with sufficient intensity. 1=0 is not a logical concept, but the law of no laws. If you cannot accept it as a spiritual motto, try it as an undecidability theorem. Knowing when to stop believing in the names we give things is the entire point. There is no concept without a corresponding affect. Information, as such, does not exist, but only comes into being when an organism interacts with the environment. I might say this: behind the process, there is knowledge, you will find the truth even if you do not realize you are ready. The real “forcing” in science is internal, forcing ourselves to accept the truth — that there is no absolute truth… The process of making a decision does indeed involve contradiction, but rather in its very process than as its result, for a decision, a forcing, always and only acts upon what is essentially undecidable and un-forceable. We cannot force a feeling, we can only let go…
“The softest things in the world ride roughshod over the hardest things.
Only the least substantial thing can penetrate the seamless.
This is how we know that doing things non-coercively is beneficial.
Rare are those in the world who reach an understanding of the benefits of teachings that go beyond what can be said, and of doing things non-coercively.”
“Judgments, value judgments about life, for or against, can in the final analysis never be true; they have value only as symptoms, they can be considered only as symptoms — in themselves, such judgments are stupidities. One absolutely must reach out and try and grasp this astounding finesse, that the value of life cannot be assessed.”
Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Who is placing value on life? It seems that it is you are saying that life has value, positive value, hence your endless discussion of love. 1=0 remains a completely incomprehensible invention. You, of course, realize this since you have retreated into feeling. Why do you insist in affirming the most basic western philosophical position which is that feeling is the opposite of thought. It takes more to overcome Plato than to assert the opposite of his position. It is clear that your position is less radical than you are think (or feel) that it is.
Every philosopher (at least in the continental tradition) have said what you are saying here, but without 1=0. You still have not made any attempt to actually explain what it is. How is it feeling? How is it a paradox? How is it a law of no law? How is it…
The problem that you have established is the one of leveling. You have made everything equal. But you have not raised all values to the highest level, but have brought everything into the night of world (as was mentioned earlier, where all the cows are gray). This is not Nietzsche, or to say it is the bad Nietzsche, the bad Deleuze. The point in revaluating all values is not their elimination, it is the attempt to find the higher taste, a taste that is the opposite of love (at least as you understand love). You speak a great deal about cruelty but you don’t understand it. Cruelty is a matter of taste, of the highest taste; a taste that does not eliminate value but finds the highest values. 1 = 0 is not the highest of tastes, it is the product of an underdeveloped palate, a palate that finds that everything tastes the same.
Surrendering to a feeling is not a retreat, but an elevation. Inorganic and organic, life and death, are constantly exchanging properties. They are just different arrangements of the same basic kind of energy, opposite sides of the same coin. Why, after all, would one side be more “inherently” valuable than the other? Does the universe, also, have taste? 🙂
Further, are you not simply opposing feelings to thoughts? This was never my intention nor desire. Rather I have been saying feelings are thoughts, and that thoughts are feelings. And perhaps there’s still a third category here; let’s think for a moment about percepts. One way to understand 1=0 is to recognize every perception is a concept, an affect AND a pure function — all at once, without contradiction.
“How is it possible?” Well, I don’t know “why” it is, maybe one day you’ll be able to explain it to me! But I do know this: it is simply what it is.
I’m saying that in order to see it you’ve got to stop looking, in order to understand it you’ve got to stop thinking — and in order to DO it, you’ve got to stop trying. The point certainly isn’t about acquiring some kind of “noble taste” that would separate us from the plebians who don’t “get” the profound interconnections between philosophy and art and religion! The point is not eliminating value, it’s creating, preserving, amplifying and transforming it. My claim is in regards to the smooth, infinitely malleable space which is the precondition for the inventions of the law (which I have described here using the formula 1=0, since from it everything follows, possible or impossible.)
It collapses all distinctions and all value judgments. But this doesn’t mean they simply disappear, or that the laws of physics vanish before our rules. It’s that we’re simply not paying them any attention any more; we’ve realized, in other words, that any law is simply going to be an approximation. The point of everything that is, is love — or, again, any feeling of sufficient intensity. Eliminating distinction is not the point of 1=0, it’s about comprehending the reality of value — that is, that it was created and can be transformed at will. It’s attitude which determines our altitude.
Finally, 1=0 does NOT mean to make everything level or equal, it means to reverse and translate between perspectives (rather than “simply” collapse all viewpoints into one.) It just means that letting go is the path for transformation — the only path which leads beyond suffering to joy. To interpret the ‘=’ as simply an equality would be an easy misinterpretation. I articulated this even in the original: the ‘=’ is existence, love, a fundamental and unified force of attraction — not a standard mathematical “equals” sign. An ‘=’ symbol works well because we can examine its micro-structure — imagine the top line transforming left into right, the bottom line transforming right into left. As I’m sure you’ll grasp intuitively, the formula can be applied to itself to yield a second-order “rule of no rules.”
Obviously we have to distinguish 1 and 0 in terms of value simply in order to write it. Again what the equation gets at is not the equality of non-equal quantities, but the non-identity of identicals and the non-difference of distinguished elements (difference IS an identity.) The point is to not to see the same positive force inhabiting everywhere in the universe — but to realize that we’re giving these forces value and power by distinguishing them from one another. This power to distinguish is tied up necessarily with the art of deception, something we share with everything that exists. Again, I’m not eliminating value, I’m disorganizing it, I’m going straight for its essential and classical organizing principle (1 does NOT equal 0.)
Why have we denied the opposite for so long, and swore that it MUST be the truth of the universe? This is what strikes me as truly poor taste. Again, my goal never was to impose 1=0 on everything, but rather to investigate its possible validity; neither was my aim to seek some ultimate and revelatory truth, but simply to SEE again, to FEEL again, to TASTE again, etc. I’m obviously not saying all thoughts, all feelings are the “same” thought, the “same” feeling. What I am saying is that changing our tastes changes the way we feel, changing the way we feel changes the way we think, and changing the way we think changes what is actually possible for us to do. I’m not obviously saying the laws of physics vanish in front of a sufficiently intelligent species; but they effectively retreat in our wake. There are no absolute limits. A taste for difference as such is required to transform our feelings, to transform thought, to awaken our spirits.
1=0 is not to be accepted as a pure, divine truth but rather should be understood as the profound co-extension of truth and falsity — the idea that our need for truth actually does ELIMINATE it from existing as such. Only when we cease to demand it, only when we let go, do we even begin to approach it — even as we slip further away…
And if the claim still seems that insane to you, just take it as a joke! We’re probably both taking this whole thing way too seriously anyway 🙂
“Since the man of common sense makes his appeal to feeling, to an oracle within his breast, he is finished and done with anyone who does not agree; he only has to explain that he has nothing more to say to anyone who does not find and feel the same in himself. In other words, he tramples underfoot the roots of humanity…The anti-human, the merely animal, consists in staying within the sphere of feeling, and being able to communicate only at that level.”
-Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit
Ok, my turn to play…
“Inorganic and organic, life and death, are constantly exchanging properties. They are just different arrangements of the same basic kind of energy, opposite sides of the same coin.”
They are not opposite sides of the same coin, but indeed the same side of the same coin. You are fallaciously equating life with organic matter, on one hand, and death with inorganic matter; failing to realize that they are not diametricaly opposed forms of energy but indeed the same form of the same energy, that is of coarse, matter. You are correct insofar as you understand that they are different arrangements (or perhaps a better term, organizations) of molecualr structures, but you fail to grasp the truly profound fact that there is no difference (for instance) between the polymerization of the amino acids that form proteins and (thus) living organisms, and polymers that are synthesized into in organic plastics.
So let’s play harder…. If the only difference between ‘living’ and ‘non-living’ boils down to density and complexity, with organizational properties and quantum forces shared by both, how are we to make the distinction truly sharp and well defined? There is really nothing that significantly diferentiates biopolymers from synthetic polymers except that the former is carbon based and the later silicon based (and of course, one is made by humans in a laboratory).
In terms of organization, biopolymers are far more efficent at forming complexd structures, such as proteins, but of coarse they have had a few billion years head start on the synthetics (and if you really boil it down and look soley at the molecular structures themselves, regardless of their genesis, that ‘head start’ is ultimatly all the difference that we can, as intelledgent protein based creatures, discern).
Now that has some clear Hegelian/teleological connoations. But that requres that we view human ingenuity not as an abstract from the material flux of material reality and stick with your already finely layed out primacy of energy, or the essential samness of all (organic or inorganic) forms of matter.
So then how can we differntiate the organic from the inorganic, as you indicate that on some level we must? Perhaps the organic as opposed to the inorganic ‘exists under pressure’. That is, by some force of nature (selection forces, as some evolutionary biologists phrase it), which may be more akin to gravitational, electromagentic, and nuclear forces than a force such as that which inflates a hot air ballon or causes ‘the bends’ for hapless scuba divers. Perhaps it is this inherent ‘force’ that ultimately drives complexity and eventually somethig as grand as human life and consciousness.
The greater point I’m trying to make is that it is impossible to speak in diametrical terms about the organic and the inorganic, as, keeping with Nietzsche: the world is comprised of infinite perspectives and thus infinite interpretations.
Now perhaps at this point you might say “ahh, he does see after all, that 1 equals 0, distinctions are arbitrary!” But no, even if, at the very most micro level of known reality, we can only make statistical approximations and not garner certainties, this does not keep us from making distinctions, it makes the distinctions and relations more complicated and hard to see.
Now for the shredding…
“Further, are you not simply opposing feelings to thoughts? This was never my intention nor desire. Rather I have been saying feelings are thoughts, and that thoughts are feelings. And perhaps there’s still a third category here; let’s think for a moment about percepts. One way to understand 1=0 is to recognize every perception is a concept, an affect AND a pure function — all at once, without contradiction.”
Perhaps you don’t have a background in cognitive neuroscience, so let’s get a little bit more accurate here. You are absolutely correct that you cannot separate feelings from thoughts, or emotion from cognition in general. This is the great Cartesian error. Both cognitive ‘systems’, (that is, emotive and ‘higher-order, neocortical thought )are so intertwined that no real distinction can be made between which system is most utilized in coming to decisions. For instance, when we deliberate about the morality of let’s just say, abortion, we are actively utilizing both systems and their neural correlates. Any conscious attempt to clearly demarcate what part of the though process is emotive and which is ‘more rational’ will ultimately lead to error.
BUT, this is not to say that the two systems cannot contradict each other, even if the decision itself is a synthesis of the two (oooh, another Hegel connotation, I swear I’m not trying to). It is a fairly common occurrence to have an emotive response that based on, among other things, past experience, come into conflict with a less memory/encoding higher-order response. The later being based less on implicit and emotional memory and more on the executive functions of the prefrontal cortex and episodic/declaratory memory. In fact the most recent neuro-imagining shows a strong linkage of all thought systems, even though the thought itself may seem homogenous.
“I’m saying that in order to see it you’ve got to stop looking, in order to understand it you’ve got to stop thinking — and in order to DO it, you’ve got to stop trying….
It’s that we’re simply not paying them any attention any more; we’ve realized, in other words, that any law is simply going to be an approximation. The point of everything that is, is love — or, again, any feeling of sufficient intensity. Eliminating distinction is not the point of 1=0, it’s about comprehending the reality of value — that is, that it was created and can be transformed at will. It’s attitude which determines our altitude.”
Now you are right that “any law is simply going to be an approximation”, but you use it to support something ridiculous: “The point of everything is, is love” “It’s attitude which determines out altitude.”
Do you steal your philosophy from Hallmark cards? Seriously…
I love ya Joe, but if you want to swap intellectual swords, don’t show up with a butterknife.
” but you fail to grasp the truly profound fact that there is no difference (for instance) between the polymerization of the amino acids that form proteins and (thus) living organisms, and polymers that are synthesized into in organic plastics. ”
That should read:
“but you fail to grasp the truly profound fact that there is no difference (for instance) between the polymerization of the amino acids that form proteins and (thus) living organisms, and polymers that are synthesized and transformed into plastics.”
Thank you for your honest appraisal! You’ve definitely illuminated many of the obscurities in my article. The question about the inorganic/organic split strikes me as extremely important, for the following reason. It is a nearly ideal example of the problem of perceptibility: certainly we’d all agree that in some ways life and death are opposites, and that in others they are complementary, allies, even “family” — having the same essential energetic quality, but possessing a different “process” or “behavior.” Now what would we be judging in this case if not behavior, if not the various processes which are involved? The difficulty doubles when we realize that the life process is tied up inextricably with the cycling of chemicals through an ecosystem. Organic systems and their inorganic surroundings are ‘fluxes’ for one another to traverse — something like the way a baseball team produces the ‘conditions’ for the other to team to play, and then they ‘switch’ their positions in order to play an ‘inverse’ game. Yet this constant turbulent oscillation of energy, or fluctuation, is not the ‘ultimate’ basis for human knowledge. It describes rather the progress of human learning, the formal structure of learning — that we learn from another, rather than remembering it from within ourselves 🙂
How profound IS the fact that life dies? Certainly not more profound than the fact that death lives. I think you’ll agree that new life makes the end of life a little easier to understand. I’m not just emphasizing circularity for circularity’s sake — but rather emphasizing the self-destructive spiral we enter upon when we demand something absolutely of the other. The other commands me to command myself, to restrain myself, to recognize the arbitrary nature of my freedom. The other calls into question my spontaneity, simply by facing me and speaking to me he calls me to respond, to my responsibility, to express myself to him: is not what it is to be yourself — to speak for yourself?
In other words, I’m emphasizing how a lot of these ontological questions about the structure of knowledge really presuppose a violent metaphysic which makes the other’s alterity vanish. 1=0 doesn’t mean we can say whatever we want, but it means our duty is to love people, which means not to speak for them.
Why does philosophy coincide so well with the Greek model of competition? Where is the alternative, collaborative model? Thinking, acting, speaking as one and together at once… We do it anyway without thinking. The cooperative model presupposes individuation and fecundity, that is, separation and transcendence. The competitive model formally presupposes the cooperative model: personal discourse cannot help but be structured as an apologia — which is to say, an utterance issuing from you to the other…!
I hope this began to shed some light between us! Thanks again for your great questions! 🙂
“Every discourse, even a poetic or oracular sentence, carries with it a system of rules for producing analogous things and thus an outline of methodology.”
(Derrida, Of Grammatology)
“We can say ‘the one is the multiple, the multiple one’ forever…Contraries may be combined, contradictions established, but at no point has the essential been raised: ‘how many’, ‘how’, ‘in which cases’…Predicates may be combined, but the Idea is missed: the outcome is an empty discourse which lacks a substantive.”
(Gilles Deleuze, Difference & Repetition)
“But when substantives and adjectives begin to dissolve, when the names of pause and rest are carried away by the verbs of pure becoming and slide into the language of events, all identity disappears from the self, the world and God. This is the test of savoir and recitation which strips Alice of her identity. In it words may go awry, being obliquely swept away by the verbs. It is as if events enjoyed an irreality which is communicated through language to the savoir and to persons. For personal uncertainty is not a doubt foreign to what is happening, but rather an objective structure of the event itself, insofar as it moves in two directions at once, and insofar as it fragments the subject following this double direction. Paradox is initially that which destroys good sense as the only direction, but it is also that which destroys common sense as the assignation of fixed identities.
Deleuze, Logic of Sense 3
I am reminded of a passage from Baudrillard’s Impossible Exchange (trans. C. Turner)-
Freed from all functionality (now devolved to the intellectual machines) and back underground, thought becomes free to lead nowhere, to be the triumphal effectuation of the Nothing, to revive the principle of Evil. And this turns everything around. For we said to ourselves, following Cioran (‘What a pity that, in order to find God, you have to go via faith!): what a pity that, in order to get to the world, you have to go via representation! What a pity that, in order to say things, you have to go via meaning! What a pity that, in order to know , you have to go via ‘objective’ knowledge! What a pity that, in order for something to be an event, it has to go through ‘information’! What a pity that, in order for there to be an exchange, you have to go thorugh value!
Well, all that is over! Form now on we are free with another kind of freedom. Human beings, relieved of representation by their representatives themselves, are at last free to be what they are without going through anyone else – and not even through freedom or the right to be free. Releived of value, things are free to circulate without passing through exchange and the abstaction of exchange. Words and language are free tocorrespond without passing through meaning. Just as sexuality, freed from reproduction, becomes free to deploy itself in the erotic, without a concern for ends or means.
This is how the poetic transference operates.
Where we might deplore the disappearance of the real in the virtual, the disappearance of the event in information, the disappearance of thought in artificial intelligence, the disappearance of values and idealogies in the globalization of trade, we should instead rejoice in this totalization of the world which, by purging everything of its functions and technical goals, makes room for the singularity of thought, the singularity of event, the singularity of language, the singularity of the object and the image. In the end, it is the very existence of single-track thinking [la pensee unique], of the totalitarian system of the economy, of information and artificial intelligence – and the automation and exponential development of these things – which leaves space for a world that is literally true. It is the final accomplishment of reality which leaves room for the radical illusion. Now, it is in this literal truth, this literal play of the world, that the ultimate freedom lies.”
Maybe you have already written off Baudrillard, as I had prior to a friend’s reccomendation of “Impossible Exchange,” but i would like to suggest that you investigate this book if you haven’t already. Despite its sometimes very radical divergences from your project (and Taylor’s respectively), I feel that it may generate an interesting dialogue with Nietzsche, D+G, and non-Euclidean physics, which in turn may lend some interesting conclusions about spaciality in thought, equivalence, and macrocultural mechanics.
Hope my post may provide some inspiration. I would love to contribute to this blog in any way, feel free to email me with questions or comments at automatic-flow[at]hotmail[dot]com
hello just found ur site, really dig it and will be reading it in the future. Just would like to suggest to include captions for all the WONDERFUL images you enhance your texts with. I stumbled upon real profound and touching artwork here, and unfortunately not all includes reference to the author or source… it would be the perfect cherry on the cake, really… congratulations guys…. good walking along the paths!
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