channel, communication, flux, idea, knowledge, machine, network, system





The essence of a channel is to transmit, to disseminate, to yield a flux. The problem of knowledge is correlative to constructing an adequate channel for the reception of an idea, the “proper medium” for a thoughts’ proliferation. Expressed in this way the “idea” is only an ideal problem, which in reality takes on an unsettling and radical complexity. The pure and implacable universality of the idea gives way to the realization of the innumerable fissures and leaks comprising the real — and quite organic — larval origin of thought. 

A kind of thought which, to be sure, still does not issue from myself, and which is neither memory nor imagination, but is rather a thought which breaks through, which traverses me. Hence the universal is always shot through with contingency, a pure implacability which rests precisely upon history, upon the conquering, the decimation of nomad flows indecently refusing to conform. The drive to systematically master desire, for a generalized and radical constructivism, the subtle and uncanny “inner” dynamism of our age, is bent upon a wholesale transformation of the fundamental essence of humanity. 

The breakdown of this machine, this doom upon the universal, is perhaps capable of reproducing itself virally — even as a snapshot of an image of thought in the very process of decomposing (and in relation to which all philosophical gestures seem but supplications, and — so much more rarely — vindications.)

A new medium always is, it must be, painstaking crafted: for once forged, a channel exists only the precondition of a flow, and even upon the continuity of the flux. 

I want to think the concrete peculiarity, the absolute singularity of any channel as such. The continuous flow of water through the machinery of a dam, of a pipe; the unending drift of signals across our always-on global information networks. 

The channel faces every military risk imaginable: takeover, subversion, blockade. But it also faces every theoretical risk imaginable: hyper-specialization, perversion, madness.

Yet the truth is that a channel is only and always a meta-channel, an assemblage, a channeling machine blending very different channels together, and which itself forms a channel in relation to even greater such channels. Whether of water, cement, metal pipe, twisted cable or realized in the very trembling of air molecules, the channel compels us to turn towards what remains, what is not swept away by the flows. 

being, flaw, impossibility, knowledge, language, machine, message, metaphysics, ontology, trace, truth


Where is truth — in knowledge or learning? If truth is processual, it is therefore also non-definitional; if it therefore exceeds classification, it annihilates a priori any possibility of its subtraction or division as such. Hence truth is impossible; yet this “impossible” subtraction of truth from an inconsistency, once postulated, nonetheless functions, it even begins to produce something, the impossible even becomes possible — and so perhaps produces everything. Thus the question remains, like a bone in our throat: how?

Just as it is the subtlety of silence to express that which language cannot, it is the very non-being of truth which is the origin of being. This answer may sound like madness, but it is actually a calm and clear way of speaking: behind both the world and the word, a silence lingers. And just as the voice emerges from a background of noise, from sublime meaninglessness the truth is subtracted. It traverses the warp of both language and experience. Knowledge bursts along particular lines, through circuits of learning which are in no way arbitrary and contingent, but rather the expansionary fault-lines of history, the exposure or blistering of time itself which results from precisely this trace of impossibility exuded by the irreversible relation: a pure non-functioning, a subtraction and division of an irreversible flow, a growth which is only as biological as technological.

The machine is again the proper metaphor here, and yet it is not even a metaphor: against time itself, learning struggles to function, and functions only so long as it does not understand — hence this struggle is not a spirit but a trace of the spirit, a flaw in the univocal sense of Being, a break in the signal which itself signals. Like a halo, the flaw is a messenger, a fragment which doesn’t belong and never did, and is included only by being excluded. From this inconsistency the wor(l)d inevitably and irrepressibly flows.

being, cur(s)e, discovery, dust, fold, gift, knowledge, language, map, speed, spirit, Thought

Special Operators

How to begin to understand? Yet what is knowledge but the degeneration of learning? “Knowledgeable” thought waits, jealously, to snatch away our hard-won jewels of real experience — why this false patience, this impatience, this now-congenital haste? Thought and speed: thinking, the very light of speed in which all distinctions are blurred, internalized, folded — made significant again, logicized, facified. As though it lived only upon a vulnerable or delicate surface, in which it consumed itself in rapture; as though it perhaps experienced another thought within its detachment which, like the widening mouth of a bell, opens onto the world. Beyond time, the force of thought resonates with an irrevocable futurity: against the fold of the other, against the driving force of time itself, thought breaks free — hearkens and follows, a service without slavery. Thought specifies operations inflecting smooth space, the domain of an essential anti-principality: invention is discovery, a dangerous Gift. To estimate the spiritual progress of man: what else but this is Thinking, that dangerous remedy, the poison which, for a time, “cures” our illegibility? –We must not behave as though everything depends upon the existence or non-existence of an element, a relation, a system, even less a linguistic machine, to anchor thought. Stop interpreting and begin to think. Defy that cur(s)e which incurs, invokes, reverts: procure the logos wrapped within a mythology, unfolded only to become — ashes, a stone, nothingness. Dust. In the place of the sacred, we have substituted this heathen diagram; against the wall the burst recoiled — the remains, artifacts, lost or fallen: a coil of rope, a cross, a star. A map to dawn. Open thought to an outside, by any and all means available. Force your way free. Open the figure, draw without tracing. Begin, again.

abstract machine, code, Cognition, diagram, difference, energy, entropy, identity, knowledge, learning, memory, problem, structure, Thought, unconscious, wittgenstein

On Learning


One way of approaching the difference between knowledge and learning (so profound in our opinion that, despite their entanglement, there can be postulated neither a material nor conceptual ground which could ever serve to unify them) is by considering that even while wholly disparate, they are not in the least opposed for that reason. To learn and to know are two divergent operations, contrapositive dynamisms, which are nevertheless always both active simultaneously, as the “cutting edges” or ungrounding machines of cognition. A thought is grounded not in abstract oppositions, but in concrete forces traversing real problematic fields.

Knowledge is classically represented as a heterogeneous assemblage — our minds are far too imperfect to clearly perceive the pure, homogeneous Truth — which is self-totalizing and self-regulated by an internal learning process, charged with traversing its own experiences (as they are represented and reactivated as memories of varying intensities.) In this sense, abstract oppositions emerge only as variables of these mixed compositions of energetic and entropic flows. This is the illusion of hyper-diagrammatism (implying a kind of super-diagram of “all” thought.) We must try and see that thought isn’t about models and copies, not about identity and ideology — but rather about lines along which interminglings are operative, as though “between” concrete and abstract flows of energy — food for words, money for sex, death for love, virtue for pain, and on and on…

What is produced in this process of establishing communication between incommensurable problematic fields — or learning — should certainly not be characterized as a pure memory, but rather a decentralized and a-subjective cognitive process. “Thought” is not the difference between learning and knowledge, but rather an abstract machine which underlies them while nevertheless separating them, almost as though by an absolute divergence. Learning fights dullness and emptiness with lightning and fire, mortally threatening the stasis and death of “serious knowledge,” which would otherwise totally consume the brave and fiery heart of discovery. So let’s stop asking what “knowledge” and “learning” mean in themselves (and trying to ‘deduce’ the ‘difference’ — and thereby, most likely, only serving to overcode it by an all-too-serious line of death); let’s rather ask: how do these operations work?
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boundary, diagram, expression, form, knowledge, language, machine, network, organization, parasite, relationship, representation, topology, wikipedia

Expressive Networks

expressive networks

towards a new diagrammatic model for the abstraction and representation of relational knowledge

How can we apply distributed network theory to knowledge representation? In this paper, we advance a new hypothesis regarding the role of the network topology in information science. In particular, we argue for the need (and significant advantage) of thinking in terms of a parasitic or “counter-network” topology.

While networks are certainly good at representing many things, we need to recognize the significant limitations of this image of knowledge. What does this mean? That the network structure itself must be deformalized, made “molecular” and placed in constant pragmatic variation. The network topology is the most questionable “paradigm” today — despite, or in a sense, because — it has rendered the old hierarchical models obsolete. We find evidence of an uncannily deterministic (and even political) character of the network topology in terms of the protocol or prescriptive communicative rules ‘in force’ throughout the network space. But what if we were to consider a system where all the rules are optional?

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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

Energy and Culture: Notes on “Postmodern” Science

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 all the visual layers; to set up a pure informed person capable of emerging from the debris, of surviving the end of the world, hence capable of receiving into the body the pure act of speech.

Gilles Deleuze (The Time-Image)

Becoming unfolds along spatial and temporal symmetries. Biogenesis is the slow process of isolating extensive differences (from a million intensive differences) and making its form hard, becoming like a diamond or like a stone in the river — so that the difference become invisible to the stream, to the flow, but resists and therefore modifies the flow imperceptibly. Continue reading

biology, crystal, cybernetics, form, individuation, knowledge, machine, physics, psychology, Science / Mathematics / Technology, Simondon, structure, technology, tension

Simondon and the Machine: Technology, Individuation, Reality

Fractal Effervescence (2006), David April


Simondon and the Theory of Individuation

There is something eternal in a technical scheme… and it is that which is always present, and can be conserved in a thing.

Gilbert Simondon

Gilbert Simondon’s reformulation of information theory on the basis of a new philosophy of technology has, in comparison to earlier attempts, at least the following major advantages to its credit:

His thought introduces us to an entirely new way of understanding technology. His earliest work investigates the intrinsic nature of the machine. He asks about the conditions of the genesis of machines in the world, the essential nature of their concrescence from an abstract model.

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