automation, capitalism, control, desire, exchange, immanence

Firestorm

Bomberg, The Mud Bath

Bomberg, The Mud Bath

Twins. Capitalism is nihilism, an endless betrayal of production in favor of an infinite — imaginary — debt or Void, which implies the transcendental equivalence of all processes, their essential or characteristic meaninglessness. Indeed the hostility towards life evinced in the machinations of capitalism are strictly correlate to the heterogeneous means by which nihilism achieves its destructive victory: through a generalized deterritorialization which can barely halt before its radically external, schizophrenic limit.

Firestorm. Heidegger reminds us that despite our apparent control over the machines we create, that in fact we do not even control the desire within us which causes us to create, to use them, or to extend our control over the world through the conception and production of new machines. To this problem, indeed, there is no solution, and very likely there will never be any solutions. The mystery, the secret truth of desire, lies within the machine.

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being, communication, Deleuze, immanence, language, Laruelle, naivete, paradox, philosophy

Laruelle

Notes on the Preface of Laruelle’s Critique of Deleuze

“There is reason to revolt against the philosophers,” this is where philosophy, in its greatest triumph, only further encourages itself. This is the moment, when philosophy perhaps no longer recognizes the autonomy of science and art, that it denies their autonomy, and with the utmost subtlety.
Francois Laruelle, “I, the Philosopher, Am Lying: A Response to Deleuze”

Deleuze has discovered a secret — the secret or the property of philosophy, a secret which gives us the impression that it is very old and that it has been lost. He discovers the philosophical idiom, which now becomes alien to itself, but which remains an idiom precisely because it has become the language of the infinite. The language of the good news is absolutely private and absolutely universal. Their coincidence is the peak of the self-contemplation of the philosophical community. Hence the horror displayed towards transcendent artifacts like consensus and communication.

Laruelle, ibid.

1.
Francois Laruelle opens the preface of his remarks on Gilles Deleuze by stating that it is necessary to thank Deleuze for having said so clearly that philosophical discussion is neither interesting, or perhaps even possible, unless it is directed towards an outside of thought.

This praise should be read with more than a slight nuance. For Laruelle goes on to argue that the authors of What is Philosophy? have another interest than directing thought towards an outside: namely, in what Laruelle distinguishes as “laying claim to philosophical naivete.” [Laruelle, “I, the Philosopher, Am Lying: A Response to Deleuze” 1] Laruelle declares the object of such naivete to be to force us in the corner, figuratively speaking — to make us give up the secret to our tricks. They do it so well, it works.

The effect is generic, perhaps even all-too-human: through its innocent provocation, the laying-claim to “philosophical naivete” itself inevitably calls for the clarification of anyone else’s ultimate presuppositions as regards their own relationship to philosophy. Laruelle calls this “innocent” laying-claim a paradox — Deleuze abandons disputation, while succumbing to the worst excesses of communication.

It would still be wholly necessary, notes Laruelle, to explain the reasons for abandoning communication, and precisely in terms of the reality of thought. Laruelle notes Deleuze’s behavior in this case is symptomatic: the ashes of a critique of communication end up communicating only the reasons for abandoning communication.

2.

Laruelle is rigorous on this point in particular: philosophy, if it it is able to pass for the paragon of dogmatism, the most complete form, is also that which inscribes communication, “relation,” into the essence of Being.

Here we are asked to consider Leibniz, and his concept and practice of communication. They are dogmatic and destroy themselves, Laruelle says, for they are communicated from his philosophy itself.

But what about Deleuze? It is the same paradox in reverse which affects Deleuze’s philosophy, Laruelle argues. A great deal is communicated, little understood — and even less utilized. And so perhaps, Laruelle continues, the problem is undecidable, at least in philosophical terms, since each philosophy defines for itself a concept of “communication.”

By doing so, they scramble any codes which would allow an “objective” evaluation of both communicational and non-communicational powers.

The combination of these powers, along with the power of miscommunication, defines the philosophical, according to Laruelle.

3.

This book, What is Philosophy?, is highly anticipated, critically acclaimed, and widely successful — in short, completely assured of its own force. It makes the affect of the philosophical depend upon science and art, but not “themselves” or practically, rather upon the philosophical concept of science or art. Not upon geology, but the philosophical concept of geology; not upon x, but the philosophical concept of x. Philosophy denies the autonomy of science and art, declares their immanent practices without concepts to be heretical.

This is the point, precisely, where philosophy encourages itself to deny the autonomy of art and science with even more subtlety: Laruelle observes the “concordant” style of the work, its “local” style of reciprocal respect. He grants this is undoubtedly that within it which is opposed to communication — but is it not, he declares, also its most unapparent ruse, its greatest danger, and also the remedy itself for whoever knows how to identify in it — this last sleight of hand?

4.
The self-affirmation of philosophy does nothing but trouble other philosophers.

Laruelle wonders: how do we make this immaculate book into a problem — a new type of problem, since it’s already the solution to the problem of what a problem is?

Suppose there is a book, Laruelle says, and that it is called What is Philosophy? Suppose further that it claims to respond to this question, and through its own existence, in its very manifestation.

It would therefore be impossible to discuss the book, because it would be at the very center of philosophy, and philosophy would be at the very center of this book. Because one does not converse with God, one does not communicate with natural phenomena.

One does not argue with Spinoza.

This book is absolute, Laruelle writes.

It has written, spoken, and made itself into a response to this question: ‘what can a book do — what can a philosophy book do, especially?’

In other words, it can do nothing but auto-write, write itself right in front of you.

And so, Laruelle asks, what could readers do — but get off on a philosophy being done without them?

Laruelle admits he can no longer give in to the tone of Deleuze’s voice, that is: if it is indeed a question of doing what they’ve done, rather than saying what they’ve said.

And perhaps, Laruelle quips, there still remains one last situation they have not foreseen: really doing what they have said they have done, or what they have only done by saying it, once again mixing doing and saying under the name of ‘creation’ — as all philosophers have.

It remains to do the immanence they say, Laruelle asserts. Laruelle is clear about the point here: not to comment on the work, not to make a problem of it, is “perhaps to no longer want to do something besides what they have done.”

Is it still perhaps possible, Laruelle asks, to really do what they have thought to do?

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axiomatics, badiou, Deleuze, determination, French Translation, immanence, Laruelle, non-philosophy, the count, the multiple, the One, the Real, Theory / Philosophy, Untranslated Theory, vision-in-one

Translation of Vision-in-One: Additional Definition to Laruelle’s Dictionary of Non-Philosophy

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The following is an entry from Francois Laruelle’s Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie. Paris: Editions Kimé, 1998. Original translation by Sid Littlefield, 10/31/07.

Vision-in-One (One, One-in-One, Real)

Primary concept of non-philosophy, equivalent with “One-in-One” or the “Real.” What determines the theory of in-the-last-instance and the pragmatics of the Thought-World (“philosophy”). The vision-in-one is radically immanent and universal; it is the given-without-givenness of the givenness of the Thought-World.

Philosophy is the desire and oppression of the One, divisible or associated with division. The problematization of Being (Heidegger included) supposes this barred One without really thematizing it. Philosophies of the One (Plato, neo-Platonism, Lacan) suppose a final convertibility with Being based on the fact that Being is given a final objectivity, that is ordered by the criteria of Being or abstracted from them. All ‘thoughts of the One’ are still structured like that of metaphysics: They hold an ultimate bound between the metaphysics of the science of Being and the science of the One. Hence the necessary disqualification of the One of the Greek from its empirical component, the one of the count or counting (Badiou), a point of extreme conflict between Being and the One and the ‘death’ of the former. The philosophy that wishes to be post-metaphysical oscillates, in the best cases, between the end of Being and the end of the One, while never ceasing to honor metaphysics.

Non-philosophy enunciates a series of axioms on the One understood as vision-in-One and no longer as the desire of the One:

(1) The One is radical immanence, identity-without-transcendence, not associated with transcendence or division.

(2) The One is in-One or vision-in-One and not in-Being or in-Difference.

(3) The One is the Real in so far as it forecloses all symbolization (thought, knowledge, etc).

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artificial intelligence, complexity, creativity, evolution, immanence, interface, machine, network, nomads, self-organization, virtual

Remarks on Computational Creativity

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Artificial intelligence stands in need of a fresh thought: a new thinking of complexity, of the virtual, and of machines. Instead of a virtual founded upon forms which remain forever the same, we need an idea of the virtual founded upon difference itself. We need a creative virtuality.

The task of building a robot demands a lucid and algorithmic way of grasping the frame problem. An adaptive principle of distinguishing problem spaces, some genetic evolution culminating in the capacity to mark a difference. So how do the sense organs evolve? Which is another way of asking: how does experience form?

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being, ethics, immanence, love, ontology, revolution, Whitehead

Nature, Politics, Revolution


Roger Brown, ‘Talk Show Addicts (1993)

Events are named after the prominent objects situated in them, and thus both in language and in thought the event sinks behind the object, and becomes the mere play of its relations. The theory of space is then converted into a theory of the relations of objects instead of a theory of events… If you admit the relativity of space, you must also admit that points are complex entities, logical constructs involving other entities and their relations.
Alfred North Whitehead, The Concept of Nature

Immanence is, upon its surface, just a word which indicates that amongst the present relationships we observe, we perceive them as interlocking — that reality is ‘inner space.’ Another way of saying this would be to say that we do not believe there to exist a deepest space. Thus when we make a claim of ‘pure’ immanence, we assert that there are no ‘extra’ layers of being above or beyond the situation, and that nothing spontaneously intervenes from another order of time. Immanence implies something special about the initial conditions of any space it is applied to: namely, that they open onto multiplicity, and fold in upon themselves without reference to an exterior. That there is no ‘outside’ of Being: this is pure immanence.

Nothing encapsulates an anti-immanent perspective more closely than the delicate epistemological framework inaugurated by Plato (but exemplified best, perhaps, by the cogito) which asserts that knowing and experiencing are but modalities of a fundamental distinction. Life is essentially separate: both within and without, split between thinking and acting.

In fact, a closer look reveals a complex topology of theoretical spaces. We find sense separated from truth, yet mysteriously contained within it. We ask: if reality is just what is contained in our modes of experience, how can we account for the existence of undistinguished situations (out of which our ‘distinctive containers’ evolved)? The answer is — we cannot! Because of the ‘implicit transcedence’ in a distinctive geometry of experience, we literally cannot speak them — because we “aren’t them.”

Is it really so clear and distinct that such separated spaces would not communicate? Whatever the case may be, in every theory advancing a transcendent distinction as primary, there emerges the necessity for an enduring interface produced by a geometric projection between the distinguished spaces. In the ontology of Alain Badiou, ‘fidelity’ names the connective operation between elements of an enumerated network of forces. In the clarity of this fidelity, the distinctions between subject and event, process and underlying ‘reality’ become critically blurred and radically ambiguous. The void can no longer be absolutely distinguished from the situation. That radical reflection which discerns the indiscernible becomes autonomous by this same maneuver — in his somewhat classical conception, the subject-space is divided between art, science, politics and love. But we should not judge from this that these spaces are indeed so indubitably separated (in reality or in Badiou’s ontology,) nor should we conclude from his idiosyncratic treatment of the ontological question that his project is without precedent.

For example, when Deleuze and Guattari say that “Love is an index of the reactionary or revolutionary investments of the libido in the socius,” they are indicating a requirement not only for political thought, but for creative activity in general: when we participate in sociality, if we do not do ‘it’ with love, the engagement becomes reactive, anachronistic, even “passive-aggressive.” Badiou’s sort of fidelity has a similar requirement: you belong to the event only when you have made it what it is–and by this process, we become what we are. You either enter with love in your heart and hands open in passivity — or you do not really enter at all, or only to critically misjudge the nature of your relationship to the event. For without love there is no revolutionary necessity.

Love is most important when it is immediately political, when it is immediately ethical. When love is so intense that it resonates, when it is totally without jealousy, this is when love unfolds its mysterious potential: its capacity to inspire, to dominate, to intensify a flow of desire. Love is reality: it’s affect is most closely claimed by the word ‘infusion.’ An unasked-for love is indiscernible, if only in its inclusivity — which is why love is an ethical intercourse, or else a tragic ignorance: “If you do works of faith and you have not love, you do not know me.” I think it has been forgotten that Nietzsche descries not only pity, but also philanthropy, for within he could smell the vulgar desire to be praised. There is a kind of giving which is a selfishness posited for a love of mankind, and there is a kind of “love” founded upon God looking upon us and thinking of us as blessed. But love without jealousy is love without guilt, and a self-praising lifestyle is unfit for the faithful. Love is first giving in, not giving out.

We say love is perhaps the revolutionary impulse, for it is that emotion which first reminds us, with piercing clarity, of our real condition. Suffering is not guilt; pain relates to situations which are not eternal, to arrangements which evolve and change by their nature. To love means we could not stand the shame of another’s degradation; to love is to know the shame of the situation and to not accept it. Hope is only for a truth which is wagered upon, but love engages our responsibility to create new spaces for living-togehter. Thus to wager on an event is to become an intense potential for difference. We wager our singularities, and we have faith; only then can we create a new kind of situation. Faith has to be propelled; it doesn’t exist in rest. Ontology is the science of rest, the psychology of sleep: it provokes the deepest revelations, but not the deepest joy. That there is still a non-ontological space for thought today we perhaps owe to the endurance of joy. Our experience of political reality is intimately shaped by an careful community ‘surgery’ which conditions potential expressions of value. In practice, only a delicate subdivision accomplishes the total vision of faith, or ontology. A numerical theory of the event aims at continuity through becoming, where a genetic theory of society aims at becoming through intensity. The political is the abstract: the question of politics is that of clarity, and the truly political desire is a progression: from the will to transparency, to the will to distinction, and finally, the will to loyalty — or the will to power.

Thus the rise in vivid experience of the Good and the Bad depends on the intuition of exact forms of limitation. Among such forms Number has a chief place.
Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought (107)

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