superconversations

July 24, 2015

Superconversation 57: Andrey Gorokhov responds to Oleksiy Radynski,“The Arts for the Global Conflict: A 2115 Report”

The joy of time travel isn’t to see how the world or people will look at a very distant point in time, but to find that there some concepts, pictures, artifacts, lifehacks, etc, that derive exclusively from one’s own era. Yet, what’s found is actually brought by the time traveler himself in order to save today’s artifacts and circumstances from decay, or — even better — from critique and close scrutiny . . . the time traveler becomes a smuggler: in order to stop something from being questioned, he smuggles it into the distant future, since no one is yet there to have any doubts about the many issues, ideas and controversies of our highly nontransparent age. It appears therefore, as though the real achievement of the future — its comparative advantage — is the absence of doubts, cognitive disorders, paradoxes and dissonances. There are no double binds in the future! In the future everybody cares for art and artists and we don’t even need to ask ‘why?’ . . . In the future, such questions, as well as many others, no longer exist . . .

Superconversation 56: Jason Adams responds to Jussi Parikka, “The Alchemic Digital, The Planetary Elemental”

Day 56: Jason Adams responds to Jussi Parikka, “The Alchemic Digital, The Planetary Elemental” “. . . it is the planetary computational accoutrement to the economic proper that ensures the just-in-time acquirability of the needed elements, such as the practice of High Frequency Trading (HFT) requires the development of software and hardware through which nanosecond-level […]

Superconversation 58: Mohammad Salemy responds to Aaron Schuster ,“You can’t Ask Everyone to Behave Ethically Just Like That”

Mohammad Salemy outlines some of the main criticisms of Accelerationism today and shares “a few insights (and perhaps critiques) in order to judge this intellectual movement from within its ranks [while providing] constructive insights on how to move forward from here”

Superconversation 54: Dana Kopel responds to Showkat Kathjoo, “The Memory of a Deluge and the Surface of Water”

. . . what to make of objects whose properties and relations are magical, decidedly unreal? Philosophy constitutes itself in opposition to magic; realism and rationality are understood to be incompatible with the inexplicable, unpredictable nature of wish-granting boxes, immortal apples who long for death, and other supernatural phenomena. While OOO and SR point towards a universe in which everything exists, the objects in these stories press further, insisting upon their own agency, centrality and unknowability. They are magic objects; they constitute miniature universes in which the tragedies and commonplaces of the “real” are constantly displaced by the possibility of unexpected transformation . . . [magic objects] offer an escape from the codified, knowable real, but one grounded in the reality of tangible things and the relations between them. They are magic not because of some illusionistic quality—that they are not, or something more than, what they seem—but because they possess supernatural abilities, affective and material capabilities literally beyond nature.

Superconversation 53: Mohammad Salemy responds to Carolyn L. Kane, “Plastic Shine: From Prosaic Miracle to Retrograde Sublime”

In order to respond to Carolyn L. Kane’s well researched history of plastic, I am expanding on the ontology of this synthetic substance and am highlighting the traces of its alien existence in various fields of knowledge by putting together a selection of images as well as introductory paragraphs from 12 wikipedia pages to reveal the extent of plastic’s penetration into our world.

Superconversation 52: Michael Ferrer responds to Nikolai Fedorov, “The Museum, its Meaning and Mission”

What is left of Fedorov’s program after its patristic cast is demolished? Arguably, the core insights of cosmism survive intact, only cleared of obfuscation. These are: the intuition that science and technology will enable us to direct our own evolution; the recognition that this enablement is itself a feature of the machinery of the universe; and the conviction that this activity should be both the subject and object of our species’ self-education. Fedorov both expands the Museum to encompass all the data of the world, and shrinks it to the size of the individual soul. The cosmist imperative, its cosmopolitan scope, results from this enlistment of human beings by the universe, to consolidate it as a whole through their observation and participation. Human history encodes cosmic history . . . Fedorov’s incipient cosmism, too, expresses both a local and a global trajectory, the rupture of Christian particularism by a scientific universalism that it had, in part, presaged. The role of the Museum in Fedorov’s essay becomes less strained when liberated from the convolution of filial veneration, and its status as an instrument of cultural unification becomes more compelling.

Superconversation 55: Liev Henrique Durán responds to Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, “Castroneirics: A Dreamitaph for Fidel (The Equisite Cadaver)

An exquisite cadaver, Fidel ossified in his undead flesh, clings to and haunts dreams, a specter haunting the Caribbean, not the Marxian spectre of Communism, rather an Inquiet Spirit, walking age upon age – not unlike that monarchial exquisite corpse of England, Elizabeth and her cadaverous Prince-Consort, undead, vampires haunting the living from the age of the past century. Fidel, the end of an age, the last of the revolutionaries, takes a last undead glance over Havana as he dreams his failed revolution into the silence of the grave not yet opened to receive him, a ghastly mouth awaiting his final oneiric emission, los sueños de 26 Julio, no sería realidad; the dreams of the 26th of July will not be realized.

Superconversation 51: Drew S. Burk responds to Emre Hüner & Pelin Tan, “The Forms of Non-Belonging”

How can we think of something we never before thought? How can we feel it? What is the feeling of it? Actually, this was [the] question when we began trying to understand form in the time of cosmos. I think an artifact, or the form of an artifact is always somewhat unknown because it also carries a potential.

July 10, 2015

Superconversation 48: Jason Adams responds to Keti Chukhrov, “Why Preserve the Name ‘Human’?”

. . . while Kant and Hegel are narrated as embracing the “inhumanness within humanness”, ACC/SR/OOO is said to posit alienation as something that must be endured beyond the human entirely, since the human is incapable of encountering the alien from within the human, as remains possible in Kant and Hegel. . .Such a claim seems a strange one . . . Does Chukhrov mean to say, rather, that for ACC/SR/OOO, the noumenal is inaccessible to the phenomenal subject, which must rely instead, upon reason, mathematics, carbon-dating, and other abstractions? . . . The fact that Reza Negerastani’s concept of the “inhuman”, for instance, supports neither Chukhrov’s rhetorical choice nor the distinction it is attached to, would seem to deepen the stakes of answering these queries properly.

July 24, 2015

Superconversation 50: Martin E. Rosenberg responds to Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “The Message of Francis”

. . .how is it possible for human beings to be both embodied and distributed at the same time. . .? How is it that they report on the experience of an emergent whole larger than that sum of the individuals involved? More to the point, to generalize the implications of my thought experiment: in light of the reference to the term “solidarity,” how can one get individuals to spontaneously behave in accord with the best interests of all, without coercion?

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The Persian Empire & the Question of Democracy in Herodotus’s Histories

Political debates surrounding the question of democracy versus elite despotism has an interesting history. As a Persian, I find the passages 80-87 from Herodotus’ Histories demonstrating how these debates predate modern Europe and are rooted, at least in written text, in the struggle between Persia and Greece for civilizational hegemony: 80. And now when five […]

Nick Land & Accelerationism

This is Nick Land, one of the most important philosophers of the last 20 years, and one the most innovative thinkers on the subjects of cybernetics and late capitalism. He is also one of the theorists of NRx, and is one of accelerationism’s primary figureheads. Nick Land didn’t always belong to the Right. Initially, he […]

The Ontology of Finance Redux

“The Ontology of Finance Redux” is an abridged version of Suhail Malik’s long essay “The Ontology of Finance: Price, Power, and the Arkhéderivative” published in Collapse Volume VIII Edited by Robin Mackay. Interweaving the works of Johnathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, Elena Esposito and Elie Ayache, Malik provides a tour de force critique of the […]

#AltWoke Manifesto

Introduction: There is no term more ubiquitous, obnoxious, and self-serving in our current lexicon as “woke.” Woke is safety-pin politics, masturbatory symbolism, and virtue signaling of a deflated Left insulated by algorithms, filter bubbles, and browser extensions that replace pictures of Donald Trump with Pinterest recipes. Woke is a misnomer — it’s actually asleep and […]

Brief Notes on Ideological Complicity

Ideology is a cynical self defence against the subject’s inability to reconcile themselves with their social existence, the selection between ideal adaptations to the world.* It is neither a surface effect or ‘false consciousness’ of an exterior force with which the subject [subjectum] contends, nor a material substrate of subjection. It is rather the means […]