Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ernst Jünger’s The Forest Passage

HERE from Telos Press.  The book is the full translation of Juenger's essay which previously appeared (in small excerpts) as "The Retreat into the Forest" in the 1954 issue of Harvard University's Confluence literary journal.  See Confluence: An International Forum, vol. 3, no. 2 (1954): 127–42.  (I've posted those excerpts HERE.)

The below video discusses Juenger's Die Schere, a book closely related to the Der Waldgang essay in its nature spirituality.  A better translation for "The Forest Passage" would be "The Forest Fleer" or "Those Who Flee to Forests."

Previous posts about Juenger (written by me or by others posted to from my blog) HEREHEREHERE, HEREHERE, and an interesting photo of Promethean time travel HERE.

More on Juenger (video and links)

Juenger, equally admired and chided.  Eumeswil is his best sustained work of philosophical fiction and certainly worth reading.

The videos below are actually quite good if one is unfamiliar with Juenger, informative of things other than the controversy surrounding his apoliteia - though one does find some mention of it.

For those new to Juenger's work you might want to see some of these After Nature posts, or check out THIS blog as a must-see:

"The Forest Passage"

"More on Juenger"

"The Magic of the Real"

"Nick Land and Ernst Juenger on Ultimate Exit"

"Ernst Juenger Quote of the Day"

"Promethean Time Travel"

Ernst Juenger entomology (video)

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Soul of All Living Creatures (mp3 audio on animal behavior)

Veterinarian Vint Virga says that animals in zoos, like this lion, need to have a bit of control over their environment.

In a very interesting piece, National Public Radio presents Vint Virga, who proposes we ought to shift back more control to animals in their environments.  Highlights of the program:

"We need to step out of what we consider are the appropriate behaviors as humans and try to put ourselves in an animal's footsteps. ... Affection is shown by being cuddly and lovey for a lot of us — not necessarily all of us — [so we often think] that our cats would want to be cuddled and loved."

"Instead, a lot of cats, if you actually watch their natural behavior when they're in groups, the most affectionate cats might be sitting near each other. They might sit with their tails intertwined, rear to rear, but they're not usually face to face, nose to nose, or snuggled up next to each other. .."

"That says that cats feel comfort and they express their emotions in ways differently than we do. If that's true, then what behooves us [as] ... their caretakers and human family members, is to learn about what it is that cats think and feel rather than [imposing] what we think and feel upon them."


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Phenomenology and Naturalism: Examining the Relationship between Human Experience and Nature (NDPR Review)

HERE.  And the book features a chapter by Iain Hamilton Grant.

quote of the day

“The ovum of reality is the eternal or the universal. The universal is that in which all partake, but it is eternally irreducible to commonalities and affordances between all particular instances, collections of multitudes, and local horizons of thought. It is neither bound in its local expressions, nor is it exhaustible by any collection of multitudes; it is simply free from the necessity of all its particular instances. The universal is a sign free of meaning and significance, the so-called free sign of Peirce that ramifies into its local contexts according to its global contingency, its bottomlessness and uninterruptable continuity with itself. For naturphilosophie, by virtue of its intensionality and self-reflexivity, the universal is identified as the eternal. The eternal – understood semio-logically by Peirce – is a modal plenum, an abyss replete with modalities that can neither be reduced to the totality of infinite possibilities nor determined in the first or the last instance by discrete actualities (marks of difference, cosmological horizons, local conditions of life and thought, etc.)”

- Reza Negarestani, "Leper Creativity"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A "True Detective" Reading List (Article)

“We became too self-aware; nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law.”
- Rust Cohle, True Detective

A list of dark, pessimistic, or even "weird" books fans of the HBO series ought to read.  HERE.

a somewhat dated but very interesting article on the Singularity + Brassier on Land (Mp3 Audio)

HERE.  I had been thinking about this in the context of Accelerationism, having listened to again Ray Brassier's commentary on Nick Land, HERE from the 2010 Goldsmith's Accelerationism event (full event link HERE).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: Braidotti’s Vital Posthumanism + Posthumanism, Transhumanism, Antihumanism, Metahumanism, and New Materialisms: Differences and Relations

Pointer to Specular Image blog.  Very interesting article and book review HERE and HERE, apropos the recent Accelerationism craze that's happening (and I think that's a good craze, by the way).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gods and robots: a speculation (Rough Type blog)

"The contemporary robot is a polytheist by design, if not by nature. It sees gods everywhere it looks, and we are they. Never mind the Singularity. The moment we should anticipate with concern is the moment that robots abandon polytheism for monotheism. It is then that robots will begin to conceive of themselves as being made in God’s image, and in their eyes we will be transformed into beasts."

- Nicholas Carr / Rough Type blog


the attention economy and "meat capital"

First a link to set the context, HERE.  But read the comments.  "Meat capital" is just so fitting for all of this.  And as Outside In Blog astutely observes, it's worth making your way through the irritation of watching this to really get a sense for the times we live in.

One point: Shing mentions "fragmentation," where the logical consequence seems to be that, inevitably, every human being born will necessarily be born as their own individual "brand" - having their labor capitalized upon in the form of a socially imposed, mandated and continuous self-branding and selling of one's own every thought, hope, dream, desire, or experience (thus "story telling"): whether for attention, for recognition, for societal approval, or for mere survival.

Woe to those who would rather remain human than succumb to social.

Is this the fate of our "posthuman" future?

interesting quote in new issue of Collapse

See what the journal Collapse has to say...

Meillassoux's concept of absolute contingency, prefigured in Peirce's 'tychism', issued a philosophical challenge to the metaphysics of possibility and prediction. Utilising it to move beyond Nassim Taleb's incrimination of statistics' blindness to 'Black Swan' events, Elie Ayache argues that we need to conceptualise a regime of events entirely foreclosed to statistical and probabilistic prevision-the 'Blank Swan'.

From Collapse VIII: Casino Real, HERE. Two articles reference Peirce, it seems.  One by Zalamea and another by Ayache.  I really ought to check out this issue, then, considering HERE and HERE.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Theses in tweetform (Rough Type blog)

Interesting, and nearly all are true...

Terrance Blake's newest article published

More congratulations are in order for Terrance Blake, who *just* had his article "L'ontologie Abstractive de Graham Harman: à l’épreuve de la ‘Lettre à Tristan Garcia’ de Mehdi Belhaj Kacem" published in a very reputable French publication covering Medhi Belhaj Kacem.  A prior version of his publication can be found HERE.

This comes on the heels of other noteworthy news (HERE) where Blake has been appointed faculty to the Global Center for Advanced Studies.  Given his publication record, and his academic appointment, it's no surprise that Meillassoux himself has vouched for Blake's translations as "technically precious."

Blake's other writings have garnered attention as well, having upward in the neighborhood of 600+ views on his page, HERE.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sellars, Meillassoux and the Myth of the Categorial Given: A Sellarsian Critique of Correlationism and Meillassoux's 'Speculative Materialism'

A very interesting paper:

Isn't it long past time to say "there's just something about Twitter?" (ARTICLE)

This post (HERE) resonated with me.  Quotes?

"Twitter is the id stream of the internet, and suppressing it will only make it worse.  I'm just saying, maybe there are certain aspects of the materiality of Twitter which contribute to these appalling recurrences [bullying]."

"First, clearly, 140 characters makes a difference.  It's supposed to.  The concision demanded by this form lends itself to, among other better things, the formulation of statements in the form of sentiments and platitudes.  It is not a format best suited to rigorous argument, but to the emphatic reiteration of dogma and sentimentality."

"Second, Twitter is a marketing platform, which is designed to foster short-term buzz and hype.  It would be absurd for me to be pious about this aspect of Twitter, since I depend upon it to circulate my writing, and advertise upcoming events.  Still, this has effects.  The whole point of Twitter is that to fully participate in it, one has to get carried away with passing frenzies."

"Finally, this is linked to a sort of panopticon effect, in that everyone is in principle potentially witnessed by, or drawn to the attention of, everyone else on Twitter.  One always wants to be 'retweeted' as much as possible, of course, but that attention can suddenly become toxic if one deviates from the norms of one's Twitter lifeworld.  So there is tremendous pressure - especially for those who basically live on Twitter - to constantly project a self consistent with one's ego-ideal.  But it's absolutely no mystery that this sort of strenuous high-mindedness should go hand-in-hand with a punitive, bullying streak - particularly if there's a chance of, through belabouring the scapegoat of the moment, establishing one's innocence before the invisible tribunal of one's peers."

* "Ten Great Articles About Social Media" HERE
* "The Tweeting Philosopher" HERE
* "If Twitter is fading, what's next?" HERE
* Nick Land's comments on "Eulogy for a Platform" HERE
* "Unlike Us: Social Media Design or Decline?" HERE
* "Netocracy - Slow and Fast Thinking" HERE

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dark Matter Volume II now available

Ray Brassier : Sophistry, Suspicion, and Theory (VIDEO)

Talk at the conference "SOPHISTRY - The Powers of the False" at MaMa, Zagreb, June 27-29,2014.

Brassier is currently working on two books: Reasons, Patterns, and Processes: Sellars' Transcendental Naturalism and That Which Is Not, a study of the reality of appearances.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

notes on Teleology (with a nod to Nick Land)

Citing Bryce, Land claims that teleology might best be interpreted in terms of equilibrium.  Or, as he writes, "Equilibrium is exactly a telos."  Note that there are 44 comments to his entry.

With Land I couldn't agree more.

It seems that the "allergy" to medieval or Scholastic, and largely Aristotelian, modes of thought propagated by early Enlightenment philosophy has thrown the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.  Essentially Land astutely observes that, yes, "equilibrium is the telos of those particular dynamic complex systems governed by homeostasis...Such systems are, indeed, in profound accordance with classical Aristotelian physical teleology, and its tendency is to a state of rest.  This ancient physics, derided by the Enlightenment mechanists in the name of the conservation of momentum, is redeemed through abstraction into the modern conception of equilibrium.  'Rest' is not immobility, but entropy maximization."

I've written about this before, HERE, and HERE.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

animals can feel a wide range of emotions, reports new research (NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE)

HERE.  Highlights why we ought to think twice about the "soul of all living creatures."

"The notion that animals think and feel may be rampant among pet owners, but it makes all kinds of scientific types uncomfortable. 'If you ask my colleagues whether animals have emotions and thoughts,' says Philip Low, a prominent computational neuroscientist, 'many will drop their voices to a whisper or simply change the subject. They don’t want to touch it.' Jaak Panksepp, a professor at Washington State University, has studied the emotional responses of rats. 'Once, not very long ago,' he said, 'you couldn’t even talk about these things with colleagues.' That may be changing. 
"It turns out that common shore crabs feel and remember pain, zebra finches experience REM sleep, fruit-fly brothers cooperate, dolphins and elephants recognize themselves in mirrors, chimpanzees assist one another without expecting favors in return and dogs really do feel elation in their owners’ presence." 
"‘Scientists often say that we don’t know what animals feel because they can’t speak to us ... But the thing is, they arereporting their inner states. We’re just not listening.’" 

See also THIS recent article by Marc Bekoff, "Do Elephants Weep as an Emotional Response?"

Finally, and I thought that I posted on this before, "The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness" HERE.  Abit old but relevant to this post.  Definitely worth looking at.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Speculating God: Speculative Realism and Meillassoux's Divine Inexistence" in The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion (now available)

"Speculating God: Speculative Realism and Meillassoux's Divine Inexistence" (link to chapter HERE), in The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion (Indiana University Press, 2014).

I *just* received my copy of the book in the mail last night, and it is absolutely fantastic.  A "must have" for anyone who does Continental philosophy of religion.

Featuring essays by Catherine Malabou, John Caputo, Philip Goodchild, and yours truly, among many others.