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Bruno Latour writes in “An attempt at writing a “Compositionist Manifesto”* Submitted to New Literary History, Bruno Latour, Sciences Po

In trying to pry open the mysterious planet Pandora in search of a mineral —known as unobtanium, no less!—, the Earthlings, just like in the classical myth, let loose all the ills of humanity: not only do they ravage the planet, destroy the great tree of life, kill the quasi Amazonian Indians who had lived in edenic harmony with her, they also become infected by their own macho ideology.

Outward destruction breeds inward destruction.

And again, like in the classical myth, hope is left at the bottom of Pandora’s box —I mean planet—because it lies deep in the forest, thoroughly hidden in the complex web of connections that the Navis nurture with their own Gaia, a biological and cultural network which only a small team of naturalists and anthropologists begin to explore.3

It is left to Jack, an outcast, a  marine with neither legs nor academic credentials to finally “get it”, yet at a price: the betrayal of his fellow mercenaries, a rather conventional love affair with a native and a magnificent transmigration of his original crippled body into his avatar thereby inverting the relationship between the original and the copy and giving a whole new dimension to what it means to “go native”…).

I take this film is to be the first script that doesn’t take ultimate catastrophe and destruction for granted —as so many have before— but opts for a much more interesting outcome: a new search for hope on condition that what it means to have a body, a mind, and a world is completely redefined. The lesson of the film, in my reading of it, is that modernized and modernizing humans are not physically, psychologically, scientifically and emotionally equipped to survive on their Planet.

Folks, we’re on to something here. But what? There never was Eden, and the noble savage is a myth. Was it a modern myth originating from a semi-conscious insight of the unsustainability of modernity? I can follow Latour’s argument that modernised man is poorly equipped to survive on this planet. However, turning the planet against us is the result of a pea brain ideology that is far older than modernity. Check the Bible.

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The Ecstasy of Communication

Is the internet altering my mind ?

I hope so.

The Guardian: “a new book claims the amount of time we spend on the internet is changing the very structure of our brains – damaging our ability to think and to learn.”

Before slamming our beloved Internet with “The Shallows”, a 250-page book by American writer Nicholas Carr, it says

“obviously, this (using a computer connected to the internet) had no end of benefits, mostly pertaining to the relative ease of my research and the simplicity of contacting the people whose thoughts and opinions you are about to read.  Modern communications technology is now so familiar as to seem utterly banal, but set against my clear memories of a time before it arrived, there is still something magical about, say, optimistically sending an email to a scientist in southern California, and then talking to him within an hour.”

However, when “Carr looks back on such human inventions as the map, the clock and the typewriter, and how much they influenced our essential modes of thought (among the people whose writing was changed by the latter were Friedrich Nietzsche and TS Eliot) … he argues that the internet’s “cacophony of stimuli” and “crazy quilt” of information have given rise to “cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning” – in contrast to the age of the book, when intelligent humans were encouraged to be contemplative and imaginative.

True,  I’ve lost my contemplative streak,  I’m frantically frenzied by the seductive impulse to click,  clicking neurons in my neural landscape,  still larger than the internet (with my cerebral cortex containing roughly 15–33 billion neurons,  linked (hopefully) with up to 10,000 synaptic connections each.)

Ah, yes, I remember the time when this wasn’t possible, when I lived trapped in my own mental cubicle, a conglomerate of prejudices, ignorance and outright boredom instilled by prejudiced, ignorant and outright boring teachers and even more ignorant, prejudiced and outright boring TV propaganda.  Just the way Eddy Bernays would have liked it.

I wanted nothing more but the Internet to happen and then it did happen. A Vortex of Latournian Litanies, hyperlinked at your fingertips.  Finally we could find out in seconds how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, we just had to look it up.

Has the internet been messing with my mind? It sure has.  It’s been an ongoing ecstasy of gobbling up and linking things that I have never been able to  link before.  And it was great fun as well. Creativity at its best.  My messed up brain still is jumping and jumping and jumping … from angels to comments from an Ex-Wall Street insider and the Global financial mafia to the shady machinations of failing empires to the Cult of less, an endless Vortex of linked data.

The Internet of Things reflects a new understanding of objects and how they are linked together and a new kind of philosophy is emerging, Object-oriented Philosophy, which makes perfectly sense. So give me more.  Lights in dark corners can be so illuminating.

Some Bibles anyone ?

NAZI book burningYeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh  ….Let’s go back in time …and fight some religious wars …. http://tinyurl.com/2536npa

Honestly, have you ever thought you live in the 21st Century? Double mistake. You believed in PROGRESS! There isn’t any. History is more or less circular, or if you like meandering and often going backwards. The coming years are not very nice, i assure you. Eh… well unless you are part of the book burning team.. you know.. we had that before ..

But honestly ..Lets have a burning Books Festival, let’s burn the Bible, the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita, and Buddhism the sutras and live (or die) happily ever after in a world that is marching straight into Doomsday because some idiots can’t get their heads around thinking something useful. Welcome to 2012.

I wouldn’t expect anything else from this kind of scum …

Being and Time anyone?

Do we in our time have an answer to the question of what we really mean by the word ‘being’? Not at all.  So it is fitting that we should raise anew the question of the meaning of Being. But are we nowadays even perplexed at our inability to understand the expression ‘Being’? Not at all.  So first of all we must reawaken an understanding for the meaning of this question. (Heidegger, Being and Time)

Thanks to Graham Harman’s blog I am reminded about Heidegger’s momentous work, Being and Time, or ‘Sein und Zeit’ as I read it for the first time about 15 years ago in the original German, and became acquainted with the question he raised, the question of being.  No doubt the book is no easy reading, but whoever sticks with it and possibly reads it twice or more will get a feeling of Ali Baba’s “Open Sesame”, a treasure cave filled with an entirely different way of thinking.  Why is there anything at all and not just nothing?  This question has intrigued many.

Physicists have an interesting take on it:

In a recent paper with the title “Cosmological Models with No Big Bang” written by Wun-Yi Shu (許文郁). Institute of Statistics National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan, E-mail: shu@stat.nthu.edu.tw,  we find in the abstract:

In the late 1990s, observations of Type Ia supernovae led to the astounding discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The explanation of this anomalous acceleration has been one of the great problems in physics since that discovery. In this article we propose cosmological models that can explain the cosmic acceleration without introducing a cosmological constant into the standard Einstein field equation, negating the necessity for the existence of dark energy. There are four distinguishing features of these models:

1) the speed of light and the gravitational “constant” are not constant, but vary with the evolution of the universe,

2) time has no beginning and no end,

3) the spatial section of the universe is a 3-sphere, and 4) the universe experiences phases of both acceleration and deceleration.

One of these models is selected and tested against current cosmological observations of Type Ia supernovae, and is found to fit the redshift-luminosity distance data quite well.

How would Heidegger have interpreted that?

He continued on the first page of being and Time saying:

Our aim in the following treatise is to work out the question of the meaning of Being and to do so concretely. Our provisional aim is the Interpretation3 of time as the possible horizon for any understanding whatsoever of Being.

Has Time no beginning and no end?  Does that mean that there is no limiting horizon? Mind-boggling!

Create a new Community!

Harman said:

Surprisingly enough, the easiest way to undermine our opponent’s network of allies often lies in attacking our opponent’s
strengths, not weaknesses. If Odysseus stabs the foot or hand of the Cyclops, he merely causes rage. But go straight for the head, for the single ominous eye, and the Cyclops has been neutralized (Harman, Prince of Networks

So let’s go straight for the head of survival. These are desperate times …[]

Objects and Networks

Bruno Latour in a tiny nutshell:

On actor_network theory: A few clarifications – Bruno Latour

I quote:

Put too simply ANT is a change of methaphors to describe essences: instead of surfaces one gets filaments (or rhyzomes in Deleuze’s parlance (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980).

More precisely it is a change of topology. Instead of thinking in terms of surfaces -two dimension- or spheres -three dimension- one is asked to think in terms of nodes that have as many dimensions as they have connections.

As a first approximation, the ANT claims that modern societies cannot be described without recognizing them as having a fibrous, thread-like, wiry, stringy, ropy, capillary character that is never captured by the notions of levels, layers, territories, spheres, categories, structure, systems.

A network is not a thing but the recorded movement of a thing. The questions ANT addresses have now changed. It is not longer whether a net is representation or a thing, a part of society or  a part of discourse or a part of nature, but what moves and how this movement is recorded. We cannot say that what moves inside networks are informations, genes, cars, bytes, salutations, words,  forces, opinions, claims, bodies, energy, etc. since ANT also wants to reconstruct nets before there is any distinction between what circulates inside and what keep them on track, so to speak,

This is all very cool and very useful and so is this:

To remain at this very intuitive level, ANT is a simple material resistance argument.

Strength does not come from concentration, purity and unity, but from dissemination, heterogeneity and the careful plaiting of weak ties.
This feeling that resistance, obduracy and sturdiness is more easily achieved through netting, lacing, weaving, twisting, of ties that are weak by themselves, and that each tie, no matter how strong, is itself woven out of still weaker threads, permeates for instance Foucault’s analysis of micro-powers as well as recent sociology of technology.

But when I read in his paper:  Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern

Now we have the benefit of what can be called instant revisionism. The smoke of the event has not yet finished settling before dozens of conspiracy theories begin revising the official account, adding even more ruins to the ruins, adding even more smoke to the smoke. What has become of critique when my neighbor in the little Bourbonnais village where I live looks down on me as someone hopelessly naı¨ve because I believe that the United States had been attacked by terrorists? Remember the good old days when university professors could look down on unsophisticated folks because those hillbillies naı¨vely believed in church, motherhood, and apple pie? Things have changed a lot, at least in my village. I am now the one who naı¨vely believes in some facts because I am educated, while the other guys are too unsophisticated to be gullible: “Where have you been? Don’t you know that the Mossad and the CIA did it?”

I’m asking myself on what planet does he live on. False flag operations shouldn’t be unknown to him.  He will be able to read details in 50 years time, when MI5, CIA and Mossad files will be made available to the public. Has he ever heard of  Gladio or the Gulf of  Tonkin incident, or of course about Bush’s WMD? I wonder what he would think about Wikileaks?

So either he is naive, which he isn’t (sic!)  or he is camouflaging something on purpose, which wouldn’t surprise me considering his background.  It is frustrating to see how some of the most brilliant minds of our days purport these ideological blindspots. Reading through the evidence clearly indicates that 9/11 was not what it was officially declared to be.