May I be allowed to express a hope that the analogy between this state of affairs in physical science and a marked trend of our epoch will become closer as time goes on? for the ultimate goal which I have in mind at the moment is certainly not yet reached.
To establish the necessary order and lawfulness in the human community, with the least possible interference in the private affairs of the individual, seems to me to be the aim of a highly developing culture. For this purpose the statistical method as used by the physicist appears very appropriate. In the case of the human community it would mean the study of the average mind and the average human gifts, taking into account their range of variation, and from this to infer what are the motives that must be put before human beings to appeal to their desires so as to secure a social order that is at least bearable in all its essential features.
Erwin Schrödinger 1935 Science and The Human Temperament
One day, when Rousseau was travelling through a crowded village, he was insulted by a yokel whose spirit delighted the crowd. Rousseau, confused and discountenanced, couldn’t think of a word in reply and was forced to take to his heels amidst the jeers of the crowd. By the time he had finally regained his composure and thought of a thousand possible retorts, any one of which would have silenced the joker once and for all, he was at two hours distance from the village.
Aren’t most of the trivial incidents of everyday life like this ridiculous adventure? but in an attenuated and diluted form, reduced to the duration of a step, a glance, a thought, experienced as a muffled impact, a fleeting discomfort barely registered by consciousness and leaving in the mind only the dull irritation at a loss to discover its own origin? The endless minuet of humiliation and its response gives human relationships an obscene hobbling rhythm. In the ebb and flow of the crowds sucked in and crushed together by the coming and going of suburban trains, and coughed out into streets, offices, factories, there is nothing but timid retreats, brutal attacks, smirking faces and scratches delivered for no apparent reason. Soured by unwanted encounters, wine turns to vinegar in the mouth. Innocent and good-natured crowds? What a laugh! Look how they bristle up, threaten on every side, clumsy and embarrassed in the enemy’s territory, far, very far from themselves. Lacking knives, they learn to use their elbows and their eyes.
Raoul Vaneigem 1963-1965 The Revolution of Everyday Life
Continue reading “no logic, no engine, no execution”
The history of our times calls to mind those Walt Disney characters who rush madly over the edge of a cliff without seeing it, so that the power of their imagination keeps them suspended in mid-air; but as soon as they look down and see where they are, they fall.
Raoul Vaneigem 1963-1965 The Revolution of Everyday Life, first paragraph
flawless maximum entropy analysis of the world-system by immanuel wallerstein, as quoted by christian fuchs in his article on slavoj zizek:
History is on nobody’s side. We all may misjudge how we should act. Since the outcome is inherently, and not extrinsically, unpredictable, we have at best a 50–50 chance of getting the kind of world-system we prefer. But 50–50 is a lot, not a little.
Wallerstein et al. 2013 Does Capitalism Have A Future?
Continue reading “maxent”
Last version: 17 September 2015
(50 pages — PDF — LaTeX)
Gameplay is politics
— Dialectics of game design
— part 1A: place of the subjective
— part 1B: action, manor of the subject
— part 1C: the real is the impasse of formalization; formalization is the place of the forced pass of the real
— part 1D: hegel: ’the activity of force is essentially the activity reacting against itself ’
— part 1E: subjective and objective
Does a digital game industry exist?
— Developing a game is developing a joint spirit
— Personal Relationships as the ground of Economy
— Players and Game Developers as Ecosystems
— Game Creation Space as a Pre-Economical Interspace
— Genre-ification of Games as the industrialization of the ecosystem
— Game Genre as a form of universal social labour-time
— What is the raw material of digital game ecosystems?
— Enthusiasm as spiritual raw material
— Playing as a realization of enthusiasm
— General Will as Full speech
— Narcissistic Antiprogression
— Antiprogression Chain
— Antiprogression Chains in The Purloined Letter
— Antiprogression Chains in Capitalism
“Lacan defined the objet petit a as the phantasmatic ‘stuff’ of the I’; as that which confers on the $, on the fissure in the symbolic order, on the ontological void that we call ‘subject’, the ontological consistency of a ‘person’, the semblance of a fullness of being – and it is precisely this ‘stuff’ which the analyst ‘swallows’, pulverizes. This is the rationale of the analyst, namely his repeated ironic allusion to Heidegger: ‘Mange ton Dasein!’ – ‘Eat your being-there!’ “ (p.262)
“Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Lacan: (but Were Afraid to Ask …”
Edited by Slavoj Žižek
via via elousia
cancer is a basic metaphor and it is a basic question: is cancer capitalism or is it communism? as leftists, and as seekers of a new “law and order”, i believe we have to say cancer=capitalism. and we have to find “resistance” as an immanent self-analysis of capitalism=cancer, and this puts the position of “doctor” in question. and this was precisely why i was trying to introduce “ausculter” (way of listening – the word literally means “listen to a patient’s chest” http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ausculter) as a political category to parallax “theory” (way of seeing — http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/theory)
Continue reading “ausculter”
I must go back a little, in order to make the matter intelligible. It may be safely said that during psycho-analytic treatment the formation of new symptoms is invariably stopped. But the productive powers of the neurosis are by no means extinguished; they are occupied in the creation of a special class of mental structures, for the most part unconscious, to which the name of ‘transferences’ may be given.
What are transferences? They are new editions or facsimiles of the impulses and phantasies which are aroused and made conscious during the progress of the analysis; but they have this peculiarity, which is characteristic for their species, that they replace some earlier person by the person of the physician. To put it another way: a whole series of psychological experiences are revived, not as belonging to the past, but as applying to the person of the physician at the present moment. Some of these transferences have a content which differs from that of their model in no respect whatever except for the substitution. These then – to keep to the same metaphor – are merely new impressions or reprints. Others are more ingeniously constructed; their content has been subjected to a moderating influence – to sublimation, as I call it – and they may even become conscious, by cleverly taking advantage of some real peculiarity in the physician’s person or circumstances and attaching themselves to that. These, then, will no longer be new impressions, but revised editions.
If the theory of analytic technique is gone into, it become, evident that transference is an inevitable necessity. Practical experience, at all events, shows conclusively that there is no means of avoiding it, and that this latest creation of the disease must be combated like all the earlier ones. This happens, however, to be by far the hardest part of the whole task. It is easy to learn how to interpret dreams, to extract from the patient’s associations his unconscious thoughts and memories, and to practise similar explanatory arts: for these the patient himself will always provide the text. Transference is the one thing the presence of which has to be detected almost without assistance and with only the slightest clues to go upon, while at the same time the risk of making arbitrary inferences has to be avoided. Nevertheless, transference cannot be evaded, since use is made of it in setting up all the obstacles that make the material inaccessible to treatment, and since it is only after the transference has been resolved that a patient arrives at a sense of conviction of the validity of the connections which have been constructed during the analysis.
Sigmund Freud 1901 Postscript to Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
Lacan’s interpretation of Merleau Ponty is instructive because of its emphasis on what a split or fracture within being itself between semblant and reality, rather than in pursuing the old philosophical problem of representation and the opposition between appearance and reality. The former opposition, the semblantreality split, has a clinical basis but is also detectable, Lacan believes, even in the purely natural world. Alongside the account of Merleau Ponty we therefore find Lacan discussing Roger Caillois’ work on the three functions of mimicry in the natural world, disguise, camouflage and intimidation. Caillois’ thesis is that the phenomenon of mimicry displays something inexplicable in merely functional or instrumental terms and gives the lie to the view that everything in nature can be explained in terms of an instinct for survival; rather, mimicry supports the conclusion of autonomous forces which he rather boldly calls “aesthetic.”
Caillois presents an ingenious argument to substantiate this claim. He first points out that humans find astonishing and bewitching beauty in surprising places in nature. The perfect geometrical proportions of a Nautilus shell, the incredibly delicate and regular ribbing found in Radiolaria, or even the shell of a humble seaurchin – all seem to indicate a spontaneous geometrical beauty arising from out of the forces of nature itself. However, he continues, the beauty is purely accidental since the regular, and pleasing, geometrical shapes are a result of the governing principle of maximum strength from a minimum of material. This principle is utilitarian and, it seems a reasonable assumption to think that it has strong survival value. In marveling at the beauty of nature in this way we are therefore anthropomorphising a principle of economy and seeing in it a drive to create a beautiful form.
Caillois further claims, however, that this cannot be extended to everything in the natural world without exception. Consider butterfly wings. Marshalling evidence of various kinds, Caillois reasons that the beauty of the shapes and colors on butterfly wings cannot be explained entirely on instrumental grounds, and this leads him to conclude that there must exist an autonomous aesthetic force in nature. It is a very interesting thesis and well argued; though, based as it is a single example from the natural world, the conclusion seems too hasty and the argument requires more support.
why not use delta = Δ for a semblant, like phallus is phi = Φ
The Difference Engine can in reality (as has been already partly explained) do nothing but add; and any other processes, not excepting those of simple subtraction, multiplication and division, can be performed by it only just to that extent in which it is possible, by judicious mathematical arrangement and artifices, to reduce them to a series of additions. The method of differences is, in fact, a method of additions; and as it includes within its means a larger number of results attainable by addition simply, than any other mathematical principle, it was very appropriately selected as the basis on which to construct an Adding Machine, so as to give to the powers of such a machine the widest possible range. The Analytical Engine, on the contrary, can either add, subtract, multiply or divide with equal facility; and performs each of these four operations in a direct manner, without the aid of any of the other three. This one fact implies everything; and it is scarcely necessary to point out, for instance, that while the Difference Engine can merely tabulate, and is incapable of developing, the Analytical Engine can either tabulate or develope.
Ada Lovelace 1842 The Sketch of The Analytical Engine, Notes by the Translator, Note A