Wednesday, May 13, 2020

quote of the day

"The dissatisfaction of the spiritual man is even more dangerous than that of the starveling."

- Ernst Junger (as the character "Manuel Venator in Eumeswil, 1977)

Syllabus and Course Materials for "The Philosophy of Technology and Organic Being"

HERE. This is an online research seminar with hopes of decent output of a publishable paper or two, or chapter or two for a book, by fall.  I've been live-streaming on my YouTube channel each lecture and have been considering live-streaming as well discussions on Kant's third critique, which is the other major thing that I am reading this summer.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Na’s painting, and an update

A summer of aesthetics (Kant's third Critique) and a new online seminar I'm running, "The Philosophy of Technology and Organic Being." Deleuze, Ruyer, Simondon, and lots of Bernard Stiegler. The painting below was done by my talented wife. Her paintings are beautiful.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Bernard Stiegler, Nanjing Lectures

Amazing work by Stiegler in this; picked up his original trilogy which, so far, looks just as good.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Tales from the Loop TV Review (Amazon Prime Original TV Series)

No, just... no.

About five years ago I discovered and recommended a little gem of a show called Black Mirror (see HERE) which at that time I described as "smart" and "compelling," and  I stand by those words today.  I had found Black Mirror quite by accident on Netflix before it had wound up becoming the phenomenon that it is and am glad to have gotten in on the ground floor.  When I saw Amazon Prime release its own futuristic sci-fi series with a dystopian twist I certainly had to check it out thinking there might be a good possibility it would be up to the standards set by fellow Black Mirror. 

Don't. Waste. Your. Time.

I watched two episodes, but one, really, is all that it will take to show you that this has nothing on Black Mirror, and still further less with the '80s throw-back Stranger Things. In a nutshell the premise of the show is that there is a machine called "the loop" which is built "to unlock the secrets of the universe" (or something like that) and then episodes refer back to the machine or people who've dealt with it in some way.

Ok, so-far-so-good.

The first episode "Loop" pretentiously trudges through, quite literally, fifteen minutes of silence at a time attempting to appear deep and contemplative all the while giving you, well, zilch to be contemplative about.  The acting in this episode is probably the worst I've seen - like, ever - on streaming television, and the plot is flat-out stupid. The plot description reads, "A young girl living in a small town becomes curious about the mysterious work her mother conducts beneath ground at a facility known as the Loop." Whelp, that's about it. Like I said, it is hopelessly vague and at bottom just vapid. But, maybe that episode was just a ding. So I tried again.

Episode three, "Stasis" repeats a Twilight Zone plot from "A Kind of Stopwatch" and the more poignant "A Little Peace and Quiet." Unlike those episodes, though, the plot here may as well have been written by a sixteen year old who is discovering the difference between puppy-love and reality.  Leann Lei's performance (and I use the word "performance" loosely) is horrid, and I mean... horrid.  As "May" she has a crush on Ethan while tied up in a current relationship - and having found a machine that can stop time, rushes to use it in order to go on a date with him (which includes having sex in the middle of the street while time is stopped, by the way). In her words, "I've found a way for us to be together."  Not like breaking up with her current boyfriend would be a much easier thing to do - if we're to follow the sort of "empowered woman" logic that is thrust in our face on more than a few occasions in all of this and thus appears quite charlatan rather than sincere. No, she has to stop time to peruse her options.  Add that to the fact while in stopped-time she accidentally finds her mother naked and prone atop a man who is not her father and then doesn't even bother to tell her father (and what's with all of the sex-pose-on-top stuff anyway?) - and she ditches Ethan after calling him a "cripple" and decides that the fact that he was freaked out about a machine that could stop time and potentially keep them there forever if the machine broke again was just too much for their budding relationship.

Garbage. Two hours of my life I'll never get back. I am utterly speechless, amazed even, that amazon would attach their name to this complete and utter trash. If it sounds like I have some sort of ax to grind against this show then trust me, I don't.  It's just that this was so terrible that I am actually offended.  It basically insulted my intelligence like no other program has before and most likely will insult your intelligence as well.

The reviews I've read concerning this program are luke-warm.  That's too warm for me.  Honesty is best policy: this is pretty terrible stuff. Go watch re-runs of Stranger Things or Black Mirror. You'll thank me for it.

Deleuze and New Materialism

In the world of contemporary philosophy there are those who comment on Deleuze and who "get it," and others not so much. Keith Ansell-Pearson "gets it" and obviously is a foremost scholar in Deleuze studies. His "Deleuze and New Materialism" paper -found in Sarah Ellenzweig and John H. Zammito, The New Politics of Materialism (Routledge, 2017) - is top rate. Link HERE.

Friday, February 21, 2020

It's Time to Go: United States Conservative Secession is Here

Modernity is apocalypse. If you can't see that you soon will. As early as 2014 I predicted the acceleration of this apocalypse, based only however on a prognostication from a much more capable philosopher, that of Nick Land (see my "A Humble Attempt to Introduce the Philosophy of Nick Land, HERE). In many ways Land's accelerationist idea of hyper-fragmentation makes even more sense now than it did then. In short, Nick Land is a prophet and what he has prophesied has turned out to be true.

The United States is fragmenting, and quickly. Yet also, there is a cultural fire that has slowly been consuming more and more, and becoming hotter and hotter. Near its peak, how will things turn out? What will be left after all has been consumed? Is there a place, a zone, where freedom might continue to live?

There are philosophers who have provided us with some clues, some pieces of maps, who have already forecast the condition. It is to those philosophers to whom we must turn. Contemporary, Nick Land. And adding in from the history of philosophy and literature, Ernst Junger (1895-1998). 

That said, I direct you to below where you'll find a few important Landian After Nature posts on Land's work, as well as a book recommendation. These posts - written as far back as 2014 - were written  in the spirit of secession, in full cognizance of the oncoming cultural apocalypse. Not because I am a conservative, but because  afterall, the Jungerian anarch - the spiritual reactionary - wears chameleon like colors until the end, until it's time to go.

In some sense the ship has already sunk, or better, the city already burned to the ground. Liberalism's sacred nihilism revels in its own continual self-destruction.  The endless self-loathing and self-destruction is never enough, yet it fuels the elan vital of those spiritual reactionaries who sit back and watch the world burn. It is the reason why the forest flight was necessary - from warrior, to worker, to anarch, to forest fleer, to ...

Inner emigration is a tricky game. In order to "cross the line" as Junger puts it, one must be able to forecast conditions. Nick Land is extremely good at doing that.

This article, "Secession fever spikes in five states as conservatives seek to escape blue rule" uncovers the already-emerging blue-prints of a US divided into self-governing new states.

The time is now. It's time to go.

Nietzsche, the other great prognosticator tells us that,

"Pity is the practice of nihilism. To repeat: this depressive and contagious instinct crosses those instincts which aim at the preservation of life and at the enhancement of its value. It multiplies misery and conserves all that is miserable, and is thus a prime instrument of the advancement of decadence: pity persuades men to nothingness!”

— Nietzsche, The Antichrist"

“Being nationalistic in the sense in which it is now demanded by public opinion would, it seems to me, be for us who are more spiritual not mere insipidity but dishonesty, a deliberate deadening of our better will and conscience.”

— Nietzsche, Unpublished Note


From After Nature:

Nick Land (and Ernst Juenger) on Ultimate Exit

More on "ultimate exit" - thoughts on Accelerationism, Promethianism, and Neoreaction (NRx)

And finally, an interesting book parallel to our reaction against liberalism's sacred nihilism.