This is the attempt to put down some inchoate reflection that comes to me again and again. When Heidegger speaks of the ‘danger’ in the ‘Question Concerning Technology’ what is the danger? The danger seems to be the way in which this latest epoch of being may close down the voice of Being so that it cannot speak its truth (of time) anymore and that from now on we will only hear the enframing tendency of the technological. As such technology is dangerous to Being. There seems to be something ironical in this (at least insofar as my reflection makes sense) for Heidegger is in a sense one of the first philosophers of the non-human -dasein being subject to the whim of being in many ways. The irony I mean comes from the idea that in order for technology to be dangerous in any meaningful sense it surely must be dangerous to something. We have answered this already though, it is dangerous to Being. But Being in this sense is made possible by dasein existing as a human. One might say that in a sense Heidegger would not care even about dasein other than that it allows being to speak (any being which allows Being to speak would be equally valuable). If though we let through the limited sense that human dasein is required for Being to speak, then this dasein becomes important in this sense. The point is to establish a sense in which this vessel for the speaking of Being is better preserved (according to Heidegger) in one state rather than another. I would like to suggest that this pre-danger state we can call ‘human dasein’. It is almost as if Heidegger believes that the restraints of the human mean that it enables a special relation to Being, one that could be endangered by technological enframing: the openness to the truth can be closed down leaving us perpetually stuck in the mirror of calculative thinking.

People question whether or not he is right in his analysis. I would like to propose that if you think of human-dasein having a kind of incoherent essence then probably he is correct. This seems a strong claim. Heidegger’s yearning for some simpler kind of existence appear often. The peasant in the field, the poet, the homecoming traveller, these motifs all seem to evoke a sense that we would identify with romanticism if we did not know this was not his aim. Heidegger thinks a world is withdrawing. Not just any world, the world possibility for Being as temporality to show itself as itself. The enframing produces enframed time as well as physical space. Being withdraws never to return. The possibility of the simple life and the immediacy of existential temporality seem inextricably linked together. In this sense isn’t he then correct? If you take that kind of human-dasein as the measure, technology as we now even more experience it, eradicates this relation. The relation to nature is only fed back to nature through technological grasping (taking up gardening because it’s good for you, travelling because it is a criterion for self development etc.).  Modern calculative thinking epistemological relations do not allow for this [naive] state to persist. But it isn’t just peasant simplicity that is entailed by this. There is a raft of ideas entailed in our incoherent self-processing that comprise the human accretion. There are no sharp lines here, but the blur is happening right now and last century Heidegger could at least see the old world still partially in place. We are finite, but a section of us is pushing that as hard as we can. We are local, and yet now we are not. The mystery of facticity is replaced the appearance of a scientific necessity. We come to understand (partially thanks to Heidegger) that we are not fixed selves, fixed souls. These naive concepts of existence come unravelled. This incredible mutational event of cybernetic sexual transformation does indeed bring to light the possibility that a human-dasein -a creature knowing its own finitude and yet possessed of an inner authenticity that may escape the idle chatter of the world may retreat. This once creature of community and mores is human more and more if and only if human is just a biological classification.

Ironically the rise of the biological human signals the end of the physically/sexually/culturally/religiously restricted one. This all makes the after human sound incredibly positive. This is not the case. Whilst it is true that Heidegger’s human-dasein is possibly a less laudable entity that he would have us believe, the posthuman-dasein is not necessarily an improvement (insofar as the language of improvement makes any sense). Accelerationism offers no viable alternative for a more satisfying existence. Indeed part of the problem is that an actual satisfying existence is in a sense only possible under the sway of the Heideggerian gods (the role of the mystery) and the acceptance of finitude. There is only speeding towards the inevitability of machinic-transformation or biological-machinic hybridization. Survival modalities of cognition are all that essentially triumph. Left accelerationism solves little as it attempts to preserve Heidegger’s human in community etc using technology to prop this up. The gaping void will be still all too visible.

Of course Heidegger’s human is still with us in vast (most) swathes of the population. Poverty breeds unreflective hand to mouth existence, possibly speckled with moments of something transcendent. Yet even these vast populations are still largely driven by the enframing machine, its power is immense. Heidegger writes in ‘The Question…’ that Holderlin says something to the effect that ‘where the danger lies, there the saving power grows.’ There are two possible versions of ‘the saving power’ I can envisage in this situation (that H might approve of).

One is that the machinic transformation fails (AI does not successfully equal human ability and we reach a limit that we cannot surpass without a yet not visible set of ideas) and miraculously ecological large scale disaster is somehow averted. In this instance the continuing unravelling of human-dasein continues to a point where it is liberated into being (within a certain fleshy finitude) culturally almost anything. The failure of machinic transformation feeds back to generate a kind of non-naive-post-calculative thinking that we cannot yet conceive of. This new way of grasping enables a (for Heidegger) more authentic experience with our temporality and hence Being). Two is that the ecological disaster will render many of the technological systems dysfunctional. Presupposing a) part of the environment is habitable and b) part of this habitable part is available to others than the remainder of a technocapitalist elite then that part of the population barred from remaining technological systems will be forced to engage once more in the joys of labouring hard for its existence and hence(for Heidegger) will regain its connection enabling Being to speak once more.

 

  1. If the moment of NAARP significance has passed in its strong metaphysical form, we are in the moment (for some) of insignificance. This moment can be superceded (by NAARPs) only by epistemic certainty of the deity (which might entail strong supernaturalism) or (in a weaker form) by magickal entanglement with existence that operates in relation to what we call our will.
  2. A take on Johns’ ontological Neurosis could ally it with a paradoxical manifestation of a free will that suggests an underlying determinism. That is, consciousness as released deeper and deeper into epistemological questioning (scepticism) is aptly named as Neurotic. This Neurosis appears as a motion that is simultaneously controlled and uncontrolled. Each proposition meets its doubting double, yet the enquiry in general is felt to be determined by the specific NAARP’s ‘interest’.
  3. This creates an interesting motion. The deity as metaphysical certainty still enables scepticism about the nature of the ‘what’ of the world as the deity does not give these answers in scripture (unless one makes a Spinozistic identification). Whereas putative certainty of the materiality enables scepticism about the nature of the spiritual. Both start points are incoherent, the nature of the deity was endlessly debated and no firm conclusion reached (Kant spotted this problem), yet the nature of physical being is equally theoretically contested, just with much more complicated reasoning. Yet both start points present a front of coherence. This fulfils an old CEO descriptive structure known as incoherent coherence. The successful description of materiality shows itself as a kind of resolved matter of solidity just as the deity showed itself as a certainty that could not be properly defined. Below this surface lies incoherence.
  4. Neurosis entails awareness of the problem and this is the issue here -epistemology out of control but known to be so. Descartes can see this is the case. Only a God can save his project.
  5. If the spiritual Neurosis is incoherent-coherently maintained then material Neurosis is released. If the material Neurosis is incoherent-coherently maintained then the spiritual Neurosis is released.
  6. Scepticism as neurosis guarantees that everything is questioned (it is the motion of doubt). Consciousness released into this mode cannot but apply this to everything -how do we know anything? The Wittgensteinian/Heideggerian showing that ‘knowing’ has a proper home was the only salve to this problem. In truth it is only a partial fix. This keeps scepticism at bay insofar as there are no reasonable grounds (criteria) to raise doubts. Chaos magickal possibilities (agnostic disjunction) infer any manifestation that can supply even marginally feasible criteria can get agents to work for it.
  7. Chaos magick is a manifestation of this spiritual Neurosis of pneurosis as we might call it.
  8. Metaphysical-insignificance demands either no supernaturalism or supernatural realism and in its strongest form is incompatible with weak insignificance.
  9. If AI operates without agnostic disjunction then it’s epistemology will be locked down. to insignificance.
  10. Insignificance is only relevant to guilt bearing NAARPs in the shadow of either live or dead organised religion.
  11. Guilt and Neurosis are clearly related. Though when the spiritual ontology is settled guilt is more clearly defined. When material ontology is settled, guilt is less clearly defined (a part of pneurosis).
  12. Metaphysical-insignificance is better compatible with the fruition of the human cognitive abilities into AI as our successor insofar as the AI may be stripped of the accretive baggage of humanity (but not accretions as such). This issue though turns on a further disjunction: whether or not a sufficiently developed system automatically generates (chaos) magickal abilities through conceptual accretion or whether it loses them by some actual difference between the fleshy forms and the machine (one generates a magickal capacity the other does not). If the latter is true, this represents the clearest statement of Heidegger’s ‘danger’, for in this instance spiritual potential is actually destroyed by machinic certainty -and thus arguably ultimately inferior to the reality warping beings that made it. If the former then the superior machinic comprehension would enable it to be able to reality-alter in a much more controlled manner than its fleshy predecessors, and possibly fathom the ontological actuality of what is occurring.
  13. Guilt is a major force in restricting human magickal operations since its background pneuminous structures can easily disable desired outcomes. An entity without guilt (like a possible AI), if magickally enabled would be unrestricted in this manner.
  14. A guilt free entity is aptly labelled ‘psychotic’.
  15. The moment of pneurosis is transcended by the AI psychotic. This may be precursored by a proliferation of psychotic NAARPs or rather PAARPs (Psychotic Accretion-Assimilation Regional Processor. PAARP though is a contentious term as the self is in a sense constituted by the Neurotic moment. Psychosis is pure control by accretions.

 

 

 

 

 

In this informal chat Johns continues his thoughts on the threefold of experience (Heidegger) and the constant conflicts of concepts which create productive difference (Hegel’s dialectic). Johns suggests that the contemporary ‘subject’ is determined by societies power to employ it as yet another object of value within its system of arbitrary value. Johns explains that this operation functions on the false notion of reality as tautological (pragmatist) and the subject as tautological (the subject as tool).

In this informal chat Charles Johns, editor of The Neurotic Turn, tries to describe his two philosophical terms ‘neurosis’ and ‘assimilation’. He also tries to explain why he thinks these descriptions become necessarily disclosed and why they are necessarily prevalent in our current epoch (for example the exclusion of the definition of neurosis in the 1980’s within the D.S.M created a repressed symptom, or, the uprise of mass-conformism and iphone narcissism shows a larger more acceptable state of neurosis etc).

It is a testament to the situation that I feel embarrassed writing this. However part of my writing has always been anecdotal as I feel this helps it hook [the theory] to experience. My wife was raising swiftlings that had fallen from nests. This task is somewhat harrowing as they have to be ready to go before the other swifts leave -swifts are here in the UK for 12 weeks approx. There were three; after some weeks of nurture one swift successfully took off, but the other two looked weren’t looking hopeful. One kept trying to fly but just couldn’t, it would flutter and drop to the ground whilst the other would make no attempt to leave. All the swifts left the sky bar two, that clearly would leave any day now. Things looked desperate and I felt for both wife and swifts (as they have to be put to sleep if they wouldn’t fly). Such situations like all those of a degree of despair call for requests from transcendent powers. In organised religion it’s called prayer, otherwise it’s magick/sorcery -whatever you will (no pun intended).

I did nothing elaborate but retrospectively I can see it ticks the chaos magickal boxes. As I lay in bed before sleep I went with my quite poor visualization skills to see the swift God[dess] to ask for help in encouraging it’s children to take flight. Frankly I can’t remember a lot of what happened. In truth all I know is that I woke up in the morning and had completely forgotten about it. Fairly early I must have driven off to do some early morning task. As I returned up my street I met the aforementioned wife walking up it towards me looking around as she went. I pulled up and she told me that both the swifts had gone and flown down this road. She was extremely surprised at this as one (the fluttering one) had been deemed hopeless from suspected damaged air sacks and the other was still extremely timid only yesterday. However on the first attempt to release them both had flown straight away. She was now checking the gardens down the street in case they had crashed, but could not see them anywhere.

It was only at this point that I actually remembered my previous night’s supplication. The wave of excited shock is one I have had before but so far for me it is scarcely less strange each time. Maybe there is some inuring that comes with the possibility being accepted at all, but otherwise the reality rupture affect (yes I mean affect) is still is quite profound.

This is the moment. This is the same sensation that all of this is about. The point is not to tell you that the swift spirit is real and can help your injured swiftlings or indeed any spirit is ‘real’. The message is the same: existence shows itself in such a way that it can appear that informational actions (what I call pneuminous) can affect the restraint of the everyday world (the umbratic). It is completely understood that the above anecdote can represent nothing more than chance. The swifts were due to leave, maybe they were pushed to action by their own innate knowledge that it was time to go. However, in order to be certain that it was chance I must know the how things are with apodicticity (as opposed to apodidaeity (swift joke)).  If I do not know this then in asserting chance as the truth, I beg the question by helping myself to the assumption of a materialist ontology in order to deny the possibility of magick.

This moment is the same one that discloses manifestationism, not as a meta-philosophy as such (though it is one) but more as the very nature of our relation to how we accept what things are. Ontologies compete for our attention. As agents we work for various ontologies. Agnostic disjunction means that we have to choose in order to act, though the choice is only by virtue of what ontology (accretion) we work for. Philosophy in this sense shatters the naivety of being and agent of the truth. Of course many NARPs believe they exactly are that i.e. that they are working for the true ontology. Without the agnostic disjunctive/manifestationist insight anyone can end up as a dogmatic agent of an ontology. Laruelle achieves something similar with the notion of ‘philosophical decision’ but somehow seems to close ontology down non-philosophically. Non-philosophy is not a meta-philosophy, manifestationism in part definitely is -though it is an immanent one. Philosophy (this philosophy) means recognising the agnostic disjunction wherever it pops up so you may ask ‘why am I an agent for this choice?’

Paranormal phenomena are special because the nature of these events perpetually keeps the manifestationist agenda open. Paranormality can only be drawn into science as legitimate, it cannot be defeated by it. Any attempt by a ruling ontology to define away such events, results in the same question begging problem outlined above, this psychologically manifests in mistrust of authority -a similar pattern is found in competing political ontologies, where dominant democratic capitalist accretions become doubted by their agents (and begin to lose them). Post truth is one such consequence.

I want to say there is something wrong with certain accelerationist trends that overly fetishise and glorify technology but I can’t really. Not without committing myself as an agent of an untenable naturalism. I can feel though the power of that accretion in its appeal, Srnicek and Williams call it ‘folk politics’ and find it as untenable as I do. What I do think though is that there is some kind of tendency created by the fetishised techno-accelerationist coolness to reject common natural aesthetic beauty. Obviously ‘natural’ is a difficult , what I mean by it though is something maybe approaching the term biophilia. This too is inadequate as I feel what I mean would also encompass the stones and the weather and not just the fauna and flora. There has to be a way to not overly romanticise and yet learn from the romantics. Heidegger was close to this. A magickally open ontology that can harmonise the technological/accelerationist aura (in Benjamin’s sense) and simultaneously permit the NARP’s engagement with ‘nature’ is required.

A suitable accretion that harmonises these two tendencies is of course, the swift.

A blur. A wedding party. A synthesis. A darkness. Are these identical? Of course not they differ wildly as accretions. Coffee, black coffee has accreted the power of a gateway, inextricably tied to scorched engine oil. But a blur, a wedding party, a synthesis and a darkness are all related. The blur is the blur of intoxication that belongs to the essence of celebration. The blur is also the blurring of two NARPs -a wedding. Such a blurring is of course also a synthesis. A darkness? Well it is a darkness for the previously disparate elements which are now forever altered. Even deaccreting is never complete. Pneuminous lines exist in their temporal points forever, their appearance of fading is just a temporal appearance. A blurring too is a kind of darkness. A celebration is accreted to darkness, intoxication brings darkness on many horizons. Coffee folds back in as darkness. But coffee does not blur in the same way. Coffee blurs by speed but separates by intensity. It jags and points. Coffee celebrates but does not bring darkness, it brings light and speed. Speed? Where have we heard that before? An occult/speed connection? Is Twin Peaks in this way not an accelerationist call? ‘Damn fine coffee’ sings the virtues of speeding things up. Here though the word virtue has a particular ring to it -we cannot simply negate the ‘damn fine’ part. Some accelerationism might advocate any old coffee, but not Cooper. His must be quality. Does this mean the acceleration is incidental to the quality or are the two related? Does Cooper hint at a ethical (left?) acc program as opposed to Earle’s (right?) acc. An interesting twist on the left hand path. As if we required a confirmation (to the general acc association), consider again the scorched engine oil-coffee accretion. Speed. Is. A. Gateway. That recognizes and perpetuates conscious-awareness as opposed to the synthesizing power that reduces it.

There is no spatial, chronological or privileged difference anymore between the real and the concept it mirrors. The real is imaginary and the imaginary is real. It is the closing of this distance that creates a flat, immanant and blindly operational space which I call assimilation. We cannot even relapse into older physicalist notions of the real such as external space and time: an action figure toy does not breathe-in the atmosphere of such a ‘space’, it’s context does not refer to that context shared by physical bodies in space and their social-political narrative.

King Kong is no less real than the chair you are sitting on. Both can be represented in external or eidetic space, Both have a use tem in language (i.e “have you seen King Kong?” or “where is my chair?”). Both have other relations that differ from their present use; King Kong is identified through various relations, contexts and histories such as Science-fiction, the toy industry, the film industry, exoticism, the place Skull Island etc.

Reality – the sum of experience – is not weird, funny nor horrific, ‘It’ simply is. The only other capacity that can achieve this indifference, this reality, is neurosis (hence equating neurosis with experience). In Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle neurosis is the only thing that escapes designation (goes ‘beyond’ it). Content in the mind is designated as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘pleasurable’ or ‘painful’ but neurosis is the condition which produces content in the brain; it decides, through repetition, whether X will appear bad or good. In other words, the neurotic capacity to repeat and fixate (i.e to simulate experience) is found in both sane and insane experiences, both happy and sad ones. Ergo neurosis is this indifferent reality that we speak of (or at least the condition for it). The ability of this Expressivist (Deleuze) or Contructivist neurosis is precisely what Baudrillard is talking about when he observes the relative autonomy of simulation and simulacra (from army training courses to Disney Land); that the real is manipulable based on the relatability of signs, and it is only ‘use’ (and the conventionalising of use) that separates the reality of Disney Land from the reality of a romantic relationship, a 9 – 5 job etc. To be sure, there will be simulations (assimilations) that appear without your consent (what has been ontically found in traditional psychological neurosis); your mind will try and make a reality out of something, a web of designations that one could live within. Based on generic and personal dialectics between general concepts (their ‘shareability’) and your experience, such tensions will spark semantic tensions, but this doesn’t have to be exclusively psychological; a man’s fear of nudity might stem from him encountering his parents having sexual intercourse at an early age, but other symptoms can occur simply by living in a restrictive society. The idea of getting up at 6am the next morning is semantically implicated by the state of drunkenness I am in at midnight. These are not neutral concepts changing under circumstances of the individual; they are concepts that have their own pleasure principle, their own likes and dislikes, their own preferable assimilative processes. 

Similar to psychology, however, there seems to be a heuristic difference between process and form; the almost vitalist force of un-designateable reality, of infinite neuroses and assimilations, that only take on meaning when formed and chafed by humans (or living creatures), that become representations amongst other representations like some form of atomistic idealism. The designation of meaning is superimposed onto the domesticated world through our practices, and we inherit these meanings as they enjoy dominion over us or become ‘challenged’ (Nietzsche). The usability of the concept has always carried a correlate of desire with it (the need to be used) and hence concepts cannot be severed from the desire for designation, ergo, concept traces will always tell you more than what is designated on the surface (see Graham Freestone – ‘Spider-Spit’). We always knew this sensitive fragility in the ‘human subject’ (the psychological subject) but now its time to look at the concepts ‘themselves’, as artefacts of the incoherence/incommensurability of present day human.

The first dictum of psychology ; one should never blame themselves for themselves.

Accelerationism  in its naive right/left format focuses too heavily on physical technology. Left wing human emancipatory aims are noble but do not seem to recognize the kind of terrible truth that the Land-Narp, amongst others, have grasped. The criteria now largely back the manifestation of the non-self. Sloterdijk’s rear guard action against the secular world is doomed if it retains even a shred of romantic humanity. The soulless, godless human must be something else. This is not to deny the manifest obvious continuing proliferation of religion, it merely notes that there are swathes, powerful swathes of the world where the agents of the various mono-gods have largely lost. Left-wing accelerationism has no clear picture of what the Narp/subject/individual should be. To this extent its implausible mobilisation of technology against capitalism saves us only into nihilism. Even accepting the possibility of an unforseen reconstruction of the Narp that is satisfying to its being sufficiently that it can withstand the nihilism it has no particular program to face to changes that must come about in the region previously known as subjectivity.

Right-wing accelerationism is much more honest and realistic. Whether it’s the alien capital god from the future retro-temporally assembling itself, or just the recognition that capitalist forces cannot be arrested and hence need intensifying towards a possible technological singularity/other unknown outcome, these are bizarrely notions that make more sense. Of course the former stretches possibility and invokes a certain poetic understanding of the situation, dragging pneuminous interference and hyperstition in as criteria for its agents advocacy. Nevertheless in both cases there is a certain eschatological inevitability that chimes more honestly than dragging humanity out into a techno-communist future.

This position though seems to lack its own grounding. It privileges capital as the driver of technology and hence acceleration. There is a degree of efficiency to this but it seems it misses the information that drives the physical technology. This is naive to a point, of course the Land-Narp knows this and the two are not separate. But in knowing this we grasp the central point: Conceptuality is technology (Hegel knew this). Occult reverie immediately looms on the periphery at this intimation; this is to be acknowledged but not explored directly here.

Of course the machines manipulate the pneuma too, and AI can in time forge incredible new accretions, this is not to be denied. What must be taken into account is the possibility that this machinic force could be supplemented by harnessing the power of the Narps. In a certain manifestation Narps are a kind of bio-computer, this is a minimum, other manifestations credit Narps with hidden incredible pneuminous powers that can affect umbratic forces (siddhi e.g.). We do not say such powers are real, but even without such possibilities Narps still form incredibly powerful processing units which if released from the impoverished standards of education could achieve so much more.

This is what a true acceleration would look like. It has no particular left/right wing bias but would genuinely attempt to free the full capacity for ontological reflection/manipulation. Such a notion has left agency support insofar as it advocates full on educational emphasis in society. This advocacy though is towards full philosophical reflective freedom (such as it is), with the concomitant ontological pluralism (manifestationism) and is not in service of a communist-state, rather it seeks to accelerate Narp potentiality to see ontological possibilities currently ungraspable. Massive global/state support would of course be required for such an unlikely program. Yet the right wing program would also not find this so repellent insofar as it has not attempt to limit capitalist progress per se other than through the educational investment.

This program does not attempt to say what all such super-educated people would or should do, it only says that making use of the population as the powerful processing units they are, along side the developing AI/technology would be a more efficient accelerationism than capitalism alone and quite possibly opens new ontological horizons for the cohabitation/combination of both species.