*Critique of pure laughter.**regenerates* the world, in a cosmic convalescence: the strangely familiar thing-beneath-things is shaken loose. —At the feast of the gods, laughter is inextinguishable (Serres’ *Hermes*).

# Category Archives: cosmos

# Affectivity, or What is an Event?

Events are *volcanic*. The event opens upon an outside, a beyond, a resonant and enigmatic depth. Events move the world, releasing free and untamed vibrations within and without us. They place being into relation with exteriority. But how does evental resonance work?

When the new breaks free it is almost like it suddenly becomes “permitted” to us to learn to see all over again. Perhaps it would be better to say: we are allowed to learn to feel all over again. Events never fail to connect up with an outside; they are erupting continually from underneath those powerful, serious and “grounding” forces which served to maintain the distance, to suppress the joyous escape of the event.

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# Imperceptible

“Regimes of signs are not based on language, and language alone does not constitute an abstract machine, whether structural or generative. The opposite is the case. It is language that is based on regimes of signs, and regimes of signs on abstract machines, diagrammatic functions and machinic assemblages that go beyond any system of semiology, linguistics or not. There is no universal propositional logic, nor is there grammaticality in itself, any more than there is signifiance for itself. “Behind” statements and semioticizations there are only machines, assemblages and movements of deterritorialization that cut across the stratification of the various systems and elude both the coordinates of language and of existence…

A Thousand Plateaus 148

The world is segmented, stratified, breaking or already broken-up: what happened, what is happening? What crosses over, releasing free, untamed intensities as it travels along the intermediary zones? What is it which is just now passing through — beyond, behind, between — these lines? How do these lines — and always bundles of lines, fibres — work? A question of codes, partitions, signal-sign networks: are these lines of forced motion (interpretation) or rather lines of free variation (experimentation)? “The mixed semiotic of signifiance and subjectification has an exceptional need to be protected from any intrusion from the outside.” (ATP 179) A single expressive substance precludes the development of nomadic machines — truth, God, the Earth, are not “allowed” to have an outside! Do we think we understand this “allowed”? What happened? But already in order to translate we must achieve an expressive unification, yet this by no means guarantees that the language we thus arrive at conveys a message: “You will never know what just happened, or you will always know what is going to happen…” (ATP 193)

All becoming are molecular — not objects or forms easily recognized from science, habit or experiences — and in this sense “unknowable,” at least from the outside. Are human beings the same way? Is there no relation of resemblance between the woman and becoming-woman, the child and becoming-child? “All we are saying is that these in-dissociable aspects of becoming-woman must first be understood as a function of something else: not imitating or assuming the female form, but emitting particles that enter the relation of movement and rest, or the zone of proximity, of a micro-femininity, in other words, that produce in us a molecular woman…” (ATP 275) The question is not about representing a woman, producing an accurate imitation of a particular molecular multiplicity — but of making something that has to do with that multiplicity enter into composition with the speeds of the image. In becoming we discover our own proximity to the molecular: “That is the essential point for us: you become-animal only if, by whatever means or elements, you emit corpuscles that enter the relation of movement and rest of the animal particles, or what amounts to the same thing, that enter the zone of proximity of the animal molecule.” (275)

Can we “make” the world a becoming? Only if we reduce ourselves to “one or several” abstract lines can we find our own proximities, our own zones of indiscernibility; that is, our own passageway to a becoming-everywhere, a becoming-everybody: “The Cosmos as an abstract machine, and each world as an assemblage effectuating it.” (ATP 280) Eliminate everything exceeding this moment; but don’t forget to include within the moment everything which it includes in its turn. We ourselves slip into the moment, which slips transparently into the impersonal, the indiscernible. “One is then like grass: one has made the world, everybody/everything, into a becoming, because one has made a necessarily communicating world, because one has suppressed in oneself everything that prevents us from slipping between things and growing in the midst of things… Saturate, eliminate, put everything in.” (ATP 280)

# Beyond Desire: Remarks on Nietzsche and Becoming

**Topos** (biocosm)

In the beginning all things were mixed together; then came understanding and created order.Anaxagoras [1]

What had to be accomplished in that chaotic pell-mell of primeval conditions, before all motion, so that the world as it now is might come to be, with its times of day and times of year, all conforming to law, with its manifold beauty and order, all without the addition of any new substance or force?

How, in other words, could a chaos become a cosmos?Friedrich Nietzsche [2]

The true difficulty for psychology is that the field of the unconscious is also the site of the production and interpretation of reality. With the unconscious we encounter thoughts and bodies mixed together heterogeneously, without the clear ontological divisions we tend in other disciplines to take simply for granted.

It is no wonder then why Lacan has suggested the reality of the unconscious is the most difficult subject for philosophers to approach [3] — for there is no ontological method which could aim to find handles on this incorporeal assemblage, on this “body without organs.” In the enfolding of the psychic within the material we discover a phenomenological reality of the unconscious which is necessarily presupposed by any ontological analysis. Continue reading

# General Relativity and Self-Reference

Recent theories of galaxy-formation and cosmic evolution are inching closer to embracing the radical geometry of general relativity. In the decades since the publication of the Schwarzchild solutions to the Einstein field equations as given in his theory of general relativity, many physicists have staked and made their professional careers on the seemingly abstruse mathematical issues involved at the heart of the debate.

Scholars have been fascinated and even sometimes ‘consumed’ by the study of black holes and the associated conceptual complexities, perhaps especially the novel interpretations of non-linear geometry relating to the prediction of an extreme curvature of space and time. Initially a seemingly bizarre consequence of the field equations, it was perhaps all the more so due to the very unique conditions under which this “affine” torsion, or gravity vortex, ought to occur.

Since the days of those first thought-provoking theoretical intuitions, the body of scientific theory regarding black holes has grown enormously. We now believe that black holes are cosmic anchors at the center of most galaxies, curving the geometry of the universe at large, perhaps even “fracturing” it into infinite geodesic ‘slices.’ We are fairly certain that there is an awful lot of something providing an enormous amount of gravitational radiation.

We also now have a deeper understanding using differential geometry of the Newtonian assertion that gravity is acceleration. We are even beginning to look for gravitational waves, or ‘graviton’ particles, which amounts to something like looking for an accelerating shift in the geometry of spacetime.

Most of us know, but perhaps have not fully recognized the importance of the geometric innovation within Einstein’s thought in shifting from special to general relativity. The explanation of this shift can be summarized as follows: in special relativity, Einstein is still using a more or less linear geometry of curved space, which is called a Minkowski space.

With the shift to general relativity, Einstein has gone beyond curved Minkowski spaces to a new kind of ‘self-constructing’ space called a Lorentzian manifold, which possesses a radical non-linear geometry of momenta, whose curvature is defined by stress-energy tensors (or momentum.) Einstein had fully embraced an exotic auto-metric geometry where solutions of the system of equations are potential spatio-temporal geometries.

We began by considering black holes to be ‘marginal’ occurrences, but we are beginning towards a theory where they play a central role in the evolution of the cosmos. The lesson of the history of black holes is that autopoesis is an adequate paradigm at any scale, from the quantum to the cosmic to the social. Evolution is what the shift to ‘non-linear’ geometry in general relativity means: not only that spacetime has a curvature, but that this curvature has a curvature, that it can be fast or slow, self-destructing or evolving, divergent or harmonious, unified or fragmented, self-similar or infinitely differential, and arguably, even self-creating. Evolution is a cosmic principle that applies equally to tiny particles as to living creatures and galaxies.

But we must always remember that the relevance of evolution is political first. The history of the discovery of black holes reminds us of the importance of seemingly marginal occurrences. In other words, we ought to distinguish more clearly between the event of change and the process of change. Most will agree that the process of change and evolution is always in some sense amenable to observational modelling, because reality as such obeys only an internal and self-created measure, or law of motion. The event of change is, on the other hand, ontologically transversal — a new space embedded within an old space.

It may also be helpful to think of this evolutionary ‘event’ as the shift between different spaces, or spaces moving at different speeds relative to one another. After all, even separated spaces can be made to intersect, and we can immerse a space within another space. So this is the cosmic situation: all spaces are interconnected, but all relationships are in flux. Knowledge, like life, is a rhizome, spreading out in all directions at once, ever-shifting, evolving and involving, gradually or quickly adapting to always-changing conditions.

The question of knowledge is always which situation it is deployed into, the transversal path it travels between spaces, or into an outer space from an inner space. What is important to recognize is that this fractal shift is nothing transcendental: it is a purely mathematical function. Consider a mapping f from a space A to a space B immersed within it.

**f: A -> B**

What is it that we should take the ‘->’ to represent? The ‘->’ stands for an energy-transformation method, or transversal *operation*. In other words, ‘->’ is any pairwise-matching rule that establishes a ‘rhythm’ *between* inter-facing geometries. We can understand this transformation in terms of Nash’s work on immersion. Simply consider that for a given element x of an inner space, we are guaranteed some information-preserving mapping onto the outer space (into which the subspace is immersed)– regardless of the global topogical structure *or* local geometrical structure of *either* of the spaces.

Now, most people know that Godel proved that a large class of deductive systems cannot find themseles consistent or complete. But we think it ought to be more widely known than it is that, since the publication of Spencer Brown’s *The Laws of Form*, we can consider mathematics, logic, set theory and category theory, while essentially unfoundable, incomplete and inconsistent, they are such only insofar as they remain confined within their own non-self-referential containers and categorizations (even ‘meta-mathematical’ ones.) Yet Brown explains that this isn’t bad news, but the best news: it was a clue that we can make use of a more fundamental pre-logic to *recursively* found mathematics itself. In fact such a ‘calculus of self-reference’ has been constructed, whose simple but somewhat non-intuitive rules allow us to inferentially derive logic, and even arithmetic and calculus, as well as set and category theory, and so on. In short, we can inscribe and prove even the most complicated results of some of the most advanced fields of mathematics using Brown’s ‘primary algebra’ (or *pa*.)

In the *pa*, we begin with the void. It is an undistinguished space; we could argue there is no Universe because there has been no distinction made. Since all distinctions are made by an observer, the Universe is still a void while there is no observer present. Not a vacuum but vacuous: those things which may exist have not yet been told they may exist. Upon this void, let us suppose an observer arrives. Now we have a distinction: there are *two* spaces and thus a Universe, that is, we have made a mark, crossed a limit, traversed an interface via a singular point of local geometrical tension, which thereby accounts for the construction and subsequent immersion-into-itself of a complex topological space. We shall call such a separable or self-immersible space an *observer space*. Note the recursivity of this definition, for we are not concerned here with a projective geometry (though it is simple enough to derive it from the primary arithmetic) or even the seemingly critical question of vision; what we are rather interested in is the ‘original’ nomad transversal operator–the *work* of the *observer*— which illuminates the heart of cognition, with the fact that the whole of mathematics (set theory, logic, arithmetic) can be derived from the primary arithmetic merely being the most clear example. *Observation is the primary transversal operation*.

Tranversal operators thus allow us to describe the evolving ex-tension of space from the involving in-tension of observation, from the *functionalizing* of the enunciatory-apparatus, or assemblage of presignifying intensities. Such an operator is a worker, and as such circumscribes and resonantes with the tension, or differential movement, between two spaces’ rules of measuring force. We could write: A(x) -> B(x), the particle *x* being the object-flow or subject-group. This can also be read as presenting *the differential momenta between two non-linear dynamic systems*. We can further decode this as a mapping which embeds or immerses an open space within itself, as in the conventional notation f(A)=B which often gets shortened even further A(B).

But the real question is this: where does the difference originate? Where did the tension come from in the first place? Not of course the tension within each space which forces every movement onto an observable path — but rather the tension ‘between’ spaces observed in the transveral (function *generating*) operator ->. The transformation-operation encodes a transversal action across any spaces. Thus it describes the molecular evolution of a subject group, and not the position of a null transcendent absolute point of view, but precisely that of an engaged self-observing agency acting within time to fragment, tear apart, and finally dissociate a space entirely — what eventually gets called ‘working’ — in order to transform it into another.