All posts filed under: culture


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culture / machine / ontology / Politics / work

Markets effect the generalized dispersion and annihilation of collective power.  Along with the material inputs to industrial production, labor is brutally dismantled by the process, decrypted, dissolved; we sink into the soil or melt into the sky (to become plague-vector of planetary toxicity.) Creation disappears beneath commerce, enfolded within the commodity, its tiny molecular flux occluded by continuous and irruptive exchange. Work in every sense today is turned by the market against itself, against people, […]

Nietzsche, Corruption, Exhaustion

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corruption / culture / enlightenment / exhaustion / free spirit / Gay Science / individuality / Nietzsche / progress / religion / superstition / war

In book I, section 23 of Gay Science, Nietzsche deploys a theory concerning the rise of the individual in relation to the signs of corruption in a society. This corruption signifies for Nietzsche the development and culmination of superstition in a culture. Superstition in this text is equated with the “second-order free spirit.” Unlike the religious advocate, the superstitious is always more of a person, meaning that the appearance of this attribute is the development […]

Energy and Culture: Notes on “Postmodern” Science

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art / communication / complexity / culture / energy / form / history / individuation / information / knowledge / legitimacy / narrative / noise / non-linearity / ontology / Science / Mathematics / Technology / self-organization / transcendence

Science, Information and Time There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil. Alfred North Whitehead It is necessary to go beyond all the pieces of spoken information; to extract from them a pure speech-act, creative story-telling which is as it were the obverse side of the dominant myths, of current words and their supporters. It is also necessary to go beyond […]

Nietzsche and the Capture and Domestication of Peoples

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apparatus of capture / culture / custom / decay / democracy / genealogy / image of thought / individual / instrumentality / Nietzsche / nomad / overman / Politics / power / religion / society / sovereignty / state / unground / universal / universal politics / utopia / war / war machine / warrior / Zarathustra

  “You shall obey—someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself”—this appears to me to be the moral imperative of nature which, to be sure, is neither “categorical” as the old Kant would have it (hence the “else”) nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to her?), but to peoples, races, ages, classes—but above all to the whole human animal, to man (Beyond Good […]

The Future of Information

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art / counter-symmetry / creativity / culture / difference / divinity / enlightenment / equilibrium / history / image / information / life / nature / noise / probability / revolution / Science / Mathematics / Technology / separation / symmetry / war machine

In reality, goals are absent. Nietzsche Rivalry is only a spectacle; it is the state of appearance. Equilibrium is phenomenal, and the distance is real. The law of opposition belongs to phenomenology; the law of irreversibility or of falling downstream is real. Behind all representation. Michel Serres A Genealogy of Modern Science Science appears to begin with the Greeks: somehow, somewhere, a resentful pre-scientific impulse begins to criticize the unity of life and culture. Some […]

Nomads: Space, Solitude, Science

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becoming / chaos / culture / Deleuze / desire / multiplicity / nomad / reason / Science / Mathematics / Technology / Serres / space / state / unity

Royal science is inseparable from a “hylomorphic” model implying both a form that organizes matter, and a matter prepared for the form; it has often been shown that this schema derives less from technology or life than from a society divided into governors and governed, and later, intellectuals and manual laborers. …all matter is assigned to content, while all form passes into expression. (Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus) The difference between state science and nomad […]

Time and the Cultural Unconscious: Nietzsche and the Future

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chaos / culture / freud / materiality / metaphysics / Nietzsche / resistance / society / subject-group / time / unconscious / value

Woman at the Window Salvador Dalí, oil on board (1925) What do we understand to be the boundaries of our neighbor: I mean that which he as it were engraves and impresses himself into and upon us? We understand nothing of him except the change in us of which he is cause — our knowledge of him is like the hollow space which has been shaped. (Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak 118) Stripped of its social connotations, […]

The Power to Will: Nietzsche and Becoming Free

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culture / difference / God / grammar / human / labor / literature / Nietzsche / Politics / power / text / theory / will to power

Reaching Out The will to power is not essentially political; it aims beyond politics towards a more subtle possession. The will to power is articulated as a higher expression of the will to live, as opposed to the will to survive. It is the will to exercise power. Its primary function is to be functional, that is: dynamic, active and creative. This kind of willing indicates not a static ideal will rather an energetic, even […]

Nietzsche and Sexual Politics: Energy and Difference in Power Relations

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bodies / culture / difference / Foucault / freud / identity / Marx / Nietzsche / overman / Politics / posthuman / sexuality / time

Dionysos and Ariadne We do not generally recognize how temporary our concepts and customs are. Foucault has argued our modern concept of sexuality is rooted inextricably in the specific marriage rituals in late Western society. His genealogical-historical method is reminiscent in many ways to Nietzsche’s. Both will explain by turns how this or that concept has its true origin in a (relatively) quite recent conceptual matrix, as opposed to some ancient transcendent intervention. Both show […]

Culture, Language, Multiplicity

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culture / language / multiplicity / silence / society

The space of a remark is not merely a site for events, but always a sort of home: it plays host to flocks of fragmentary feelings, to parasitic swarms of minimal ‘incorporeal’ entities. Language is sense only in immense assemblages. Books are mass conflagrations of innumerable pieces of inchoate noise. This is why the novel is always — unresolved. Feelings and intensities are irreconciliable because they are irreversible and contain their contradictions: words are their […]

A Question for Institutions

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culture / identity / institution / Science / Mathematics / Technology / speed / survival

Establishment always occurs simultaneously with a change in focus, a reconstitution at a higher level of analysis. The origin of institution lies in an emergent super-organization, capable of responding to abstract summarizations of events, persisting as a kind of discipline, a higher and orderly vantage point with which to regard the chaos of local ecosystemic coordinations. Institution is a concept-State: its function is to designate a new layer of coordinated activity which is to established […]

‘A Chain of Necessary Rings of Culture’: Nietzsche and the Ability of Science

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aesthetics / culture / Eternal Return / Human All Too Human / Nietzsche / religion / Science / Mathematics / Technology / universal politics

In sections 4 and 5 of Human All Too Human, Nietzsche develops a non-linear train of thought that attempts to analyze and reconstruct the experiences and concepts of religion, art and science. There are developmental factors and connections among these three, for “art raises its head when religion relaxes its hold,” and the “scientific man is the further evolution of the artistic” (150; 223). Poets, for example, construct bridges to distant ages and dying religions, […]

Nietzsche and Psychology

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creativity / culture / geology / Nietzsche / productivity / psychology

Just as the glaciers increase when in the equatorial regions the sun burns down upon the sea with greater heat than before, so it may be that a very strong and aggressive free-spiritedness is evidence that somewhere the heat of sensibility has sustained an extraordinary increase. Nietzsche (§232, Human, All Too Human) As Nietzsche develops it, the specifically psychological question is already a social investigation, perhaps even close to the anthropological question. The psychologist asks: […]

Nietzsche’s Historical Chemistry and the International Scene

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culture / habit / history / institution / Nietzsche / pleasure / Serres / universal politics

“Departure requires a rending that rips a part of the body from the part that still adheres to the shore where it was born, to the neighborhood of its kinfolk, to the house and the village with its customary inhabitants, to the culture of its language and to the rigidity of habit. Whoever does not get moving learns nothing, Yes, depart, divide yourself into parts. Your peers risk condemning you as a separated brother. You […]

From Nonsense to Sense

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culture / ontology / sense / transversal / wittgenstein

Towards a Meta-problematics of Sensitivity 0 / Preface Can we separate sense from situation? If sense is first broached in the rupture of presence– if sense is merely an immanent intelligibility– then accordingly we would wish to know which ontological rules, if any, sensibility obeys. But is sense actually structured this way? In attempting to answer this question, our first guiding principle shall be that not only is ontology inevitably economized and politicized as an […]

Against Culture

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culture / difference / freedom / love / name / non-life / other

The identity of the same is an equivocation, a place without place. The “I am” is an assertion of allegiance before it attains any sort of meaningful substance, and this allegiance to the same name in the face of the other is the second term of meaning, the same/other dyad being exceeded by their connectivity, which erases their separate identity– and resolves an irreducible separation by re-inscribing this self-difference already in the name of the […]