January 07, 2005

Hyperstitional Method I.

As anyone who has been following our fragmented discussion of hyperstitional method is already aware, Tachi has been raising a wide range of questions about the structure and organization of hyperstition as a research and production programme and about the potential arrangement of this site. These suggestions in some cases dovetail with requests from other contributors – especially as regards easily accessed introductory material – and in others conflict with arguments others have made, particularly in relation to emerging controversies about inherent problems of methodological meta-discussion and exclusion of ‘irrelevant’ interventions.

This post is primarily designed to open up a discussion thread. Rather than giving a detailed appraisal of Tachi’s elaborate suggestions and organizational model (divided into no less than 7 sections) - no doubt to be discussed within a more extended time-frame - it will instead offer a drastically simplified thematic ‘map’ of the activity taking place so far, in the hope of eliciting feedback and counter-proposals. The following remarks are guided by Tachi’s questions/suggestions.

One reason to favour a crudely simplified scheme at this stage is that ‘organizational models’ inevitably crystallize agendas. Since hyperstition is already in motion, and experimentalism seems to be its least contested feature, the imposition of doctrinal regularity should be treated with extreme caution. Anything that can be eliminated from the stock of core presuppositions should be. It could be argued that this site’s greatest ‘progress’ has been eliminative: abstracting the hyperstitonal enterprise from contestible agendas – however ‘obvious’ these may seem to particular participants – thus inducing an emergent minimalism.
Consider two examples.
1) Political ideology. Hyperstition is methodically inextricable from a ‘polytics’ or promotion of multiplicity. The consequences of this commitment, however, remain profoundly uncertain. Attempts to build recognizable ideological agendas into the core principles of hyperstition – ‘hyperstition is pro/contra capitalism’ being the most obvious case – simply degenerate into pointless slagging matches far better suited to an alternative venue. This is not to suggest that hyperstitional practitioners lack - often passionate – politico-economic agendas. It is simply to note that when such agendas attempt to establish themselves in the hyperstitional ‘command core’ of basic principles or procedures they immediately take on a futile dialectical character. The nature of the capitalism/hyperstition relationship remains essentially undecided and attempts to force a conclusion have been blatantly unsuccessful.
2) Antihumanism. Since hyperstition is a pragmatics of depersonalization and artificialization it might seem natural to identify it with polemical antihumanism. This identification, too, has proven to be superfluous and self-destructively controversial. Anyone willing to experimentally participate in hyperstitional puppetry is able to comply with all necessary procedural requirements, irrespective of any broader agenda in regards to the future of human subjectivity, machinic insurgency, Cthulhu cultivation or the love of Jesus.

One response to such a ‘polyminimalist’ position – favoured in this post – is to promote the greatest possible loosening of a key hyperstitional concept: that of carriers. At one extreme, carriers are well-articulated fictions able to convey a plausible sense of integrity and thus mimic a range of ‘hoax-type' effects. At the other extreme, proposed as a norm here, they are units of systematic relativization that function as sinks for ‘eccentric agendas.’ The term ‘eccentric agenda’ is being coined technically here, to cover an immense terrain, namely: every hypothesis, belief, emotion or commitment that can be evacuated from the principles of hyperstitional activity. The elementary function of carriers is to eliminate extraneous norms from hyperstitional practice. Carriers are the tools of hyperstitional autodisindoctrinization.

To consolidate this trajectory, hyperstition has to radically desophisticate carrier production. A ‘carrier function’ is satisfied by elementary propositions of such types as:
‘There are those who might say …’
‘Imagine an X holding that …’
‘A conceivable position on this question might be …’
‘What if someone felt that …’
‘There could be a being wanting …’
‘It might be thought …’
With the pragmatic tagging of such carrier-positions in no way necessitating elaborate fictionalizations, let alone quasi-credible hoaxing.

All this being said, a minimalistic schema of hyperstitional activity might have three basic divisions:
1) Hyperstitional Doctine. The assumed impetus here is eliminative. Can anything that has been treated as axiomatic be deducted from the set of ‘essential’ hyperstitional tools/principles? A series of ‘methodological appendices’ collects potentially functional but inessential procedural assets. Lemurian Hyperstition, based on the pre-eminence of the Numogram and decanomic decoding – and associated qabbalistic techniques - belongs here, but in a continuously self-problematizing position. Defining questions: What is Hyperstition? How does it work? What are its essential procedures?
2) Hyperstitional Analysis. This has been a relatively neglected dimension of the Hyperstition blog to date, but there is no obvious theoretical basis for this. Phenomena such as Apocalyptic Monotheism, Magick, Capitalism, Science Fiction … [‘random’ examples at this stage] and many others intrinsically involve the operationalization of virtualities, or ‘fictions that make themselves real.’ Even if programmatic hyperstition had no ‘engineering’ ambitions whatsoever, the existence of hyperstition as an analytical apparatus would still be legitimated by this ‘efficacy of potentials.’
3) Hyperstitional Production. The puppet theatre of carrier construction. Using hyperstitional procedures systematized in (1) above to investigate phenomena of all kinds within a polytical pragmatic framework. This dealt with at a methodological level in the series of ‘Hyperstitional Carriers’ posts, and practically exemplified elsewehere.

OK, enough for now … discuss. [Apologies to Tachi for everything not yet touched upon]

Posted by nick at January 7, 2005 02:46 PM




I always end up with that pompous tone when i'm trashed out of my head

Posted by: nick at January 7, 2005 03:02 PM



Just dropping some notes/concepts that could be relevant...

> One reason to favour a crudely simplified scheme
> at this stage is that ‘organizational models’
> inevitably crystallize agendas

It could be worth considering organizational models in terms of cybernetic entities, abstract machines. The organization is a totality comprising collective relationships of production. Capitalist/scientific/20th century organizations tend to be based on regulated channels of communication. For any transmitter in this system, its capacity of regulation cannot exceed its capacity as a channel of communication. This is known as the Law of Requisite Variety. Outcomes can be treated as units. One the one hand, many models make the mistake of seeing the organization as a closed system, and mis-understanding the resulting entropy of the system. On the other hand, the heirachical/regulated tree structure imposes a massive restriction on the potentiality and variety of production/relationships.

But if channels of communication were deployed based on the unique properties of carriers, rather than trying to push all carriers through a single regulation mechanism, then a different sort of organization might be possible.

Also note that certain strands of computational science are moving away from 'classical' models of binary logic, towards membrane systems ('in'/'out') comprising multiple levels of nesting / passthrough operations (one membrane consumes/wraps itself around another)... A computation in this model is an interaction which changes the nesting order/interconnection of in/out relationships of membranes inside membranes.

Posted by: maetl at January 8, 2005 02:03 AM



maetl - thanks for massively interesting comment. In the context of your wider remarks, this is extraordinarily helpful: "if channels of communication were deployed based on the unique properties of carriers, rather than trying to push all carriers through a single regulation mechanism, then a different sort of organization might be possible"
Those who've been through the D&G mill tend to react to 'organization' with immediate suspicion, but i'd certainly be very open to the more 'positive' (decentralized and adaptive) model you sketch here.

Posted by: nick at January 8, 2005 02:32 AM



[Tachi having a few technical problems - the forbidden word again (I recommend going to more hard '-ize' endings), so he asked me to post this on his behalf (I'm asuming as a comment here):]

Nick, excellent and timely post. Thanks for reference to my questions on the matter of
method, etc, though I think this is an issue, or set of issues, that would have arisen at
some point anyway.

I like the way you have focused on Hyperstitional activity, rather than site arrangement,
even though they are inevitably linked as long as the site is the locus of activity. The site
should be driven rather than driving, as much as possible.

Eliminative Hyperstition - This is very important IMHO, since there is the risk of pointless
conflict at the axiomatic level if we are misled into thinking that we need to clarify and
establish axioms - fundamental premises - to Hyperstition before we can start.

However, I sympathise with those that seek a clarification of what the 'core' axioms are,
since, at least in a deductive sense, I guess they could be identified from what is going
on. My take, probably similar to yours, is that what you have described as a set of useful
but inessential ‘methodological appendices’ - Numogram, etc - will guide 2. (analysis)
and 3. (production).

In any case, analysis and production will develop themselves without needing to refer
back to an axiomatic bedrock, perhaps, in fact, feeding back into procedural
consistencies and methodological tools.

I think the general division between doctrine, analysis and production works well, but
nitpicking over the name of 'doctrine, I would rather see something like 'principles' or
'procedures'. The wording isn't the really important thing, but what is important is that
this first section is clearly related to the concept of Hyperstition, and that this concept
involves a set of procedures or principles and should not be conflated, though related
to, axiomatic positions such as anti-humanism.

Like a section dedicated to analysis of 'real' hyperstitional activity - ie. that taking place
independent of our efforts to artifi[...]e its production ourselves. Think that analysis
and production may, hoever, at some point bleed into each other, but that is not a
problem from MPOV. Think that we can learn a lot from this kind of hyperstitional
activity for our own project (3.).

Enough from me for now. Thanks for raising these crucial issues. Think as someone else
quite rightly put it, we don't want to appear like an exclusive bunch of intellectual

[Just say for now is that I think I'm in agreement with all the points Tachi makes here, certainly 'doctrine' is a disposable term (chosen just to foster the eliminative spirit) and the agenda for more helpful 'guide' type material - easily accessed from the sidebar - seems obviously right - hope we can thrash some of this out concretely over the next few weeks]

Posted by: nick at January 8, 2005 05:40 AM



And then there was silence ...

Posted by: pin drop at January 9, 2005 12:21 PM



pin drop - been a spookily quiet weekend, that's for sure ...

Posted by: nick at January 9, 2005 12:45 PM



Nick, do you think we've scared everyone away by drawing attention to method? Even the trolls are eerily absent. Perhaps people are busy pondering on the intricacies of Hyperstitional method and its ethos? ('Methos' works well here I think) ...

Posted by: Tachi at January 9, 2005 01:34 PM



Tachi - patience!

Posted by: nick at January 9, 2005 03:47 PM



No, no, no...I'm quite intrigued. In fact, you've all got me intriged reza, northanger, undercurrent et al. I've just got a shitload of reading to do. I sat and read the Hyperstitional Carriers pieces last night, I now have permanent retinal line imprints from doing so. Though it does get a bit wearisome reading through troll passages. Going back over older CCRU stuff too in an attempt to refresh my memory.


Posted by: -vecyklonik at January 10, 2005 04:16 AM



>>> permanent retinal line imprints

-vecyklonik, i have eyedrops for that - it's one of the hyperstitional hazards they don't tell you about around here.

Posted by: northanger at January 10, 2005 04:35 AM



pin drop - OK, I'm almost persuaded ...

Posted by: nick at January 11, 2005 04:52 AM




Posted by: u/c at January 11, 2005 01:41 PM



u/c - this 'restraint' thing is obviously catching ... kind of imagined northanger would be immune, but what do i know?

Posted by: nick at January 11, 2005 02:21 PM



We need a carrier for Hyperstitional *method* ...

Posted by: Tachi at January 11, 2005 03:49 PM



Tachi - yes, been thinking along the same lines myself - actually, probably need several.
Worth noting that carriers scale up to artificial cultures / species (/universes?) so they don't need to be anthropomorphic (although, of course, there's no reason why they shouldn't be if that makes them easier to use).

Posted by: nick at January 12, 2005 12:08 AM



>>> kind of imagined northanger would be immune, but what do i know?

what now, nicholas?

Posted by: northanger at January 12, 2005 12:11 AM



Nick - interesting point there re. anthropomorphization of carriers - just not sure how any carrier could propagate the collective elaboration of a methodology, or at the least the dynamic development of one ..

Posted by: Tachi at January 12, 2005 12:34 AM





Posted by: northanger at January 12, 2005 12:43 AM



Tachi - they're best at making suggestions, often through elaboration of obscurely motivated pattern systems ...

northanger - cheer up, it could easily have been 'disanthropomorphization'

Posted by: nick at January 12, 2005 01:16 AM



hey nick, where's the ccru?

Posted by: northanger at January 12, 2005 01:23 AM



"northanger - cheer up, it could easily have been 'disanthropomorphization'"

that was exactly my question as i sent the post.


Posted by: Tachi at January 12, 2005 04:42 AM



reza-bumped into this:

Classification of Hadith or Khabar

The Muhaddithin divide Hadith or Khabar into two main classes:

1. Khabar-i-Tawatur (multiple evidence Hadith)
2. Khabar-i-Wahid (single evidence Hadith)

KHABAR-I-TAWATUR - Khatib Baghdadi, the author of "al-Kifayah fi`ilm al-Riwayah"2 defines Khabar-i-Tawatur as follows:

It is that Khabar which is quoted by such a large number of persons that in normal circumstances it is impossible that on a manifest subject so many people would, at one and the same time, agree on a false matter, when there is no evidence of any pressure on them too.

...to me, Khabar-i-Tawatur sounds like (don't know how to say) something factual? accepted as true? if yes, then, how does this relate to hyperstition?

Posted by: northanger at January 12, 2005 07:30 AM



northanger - "where's the ccru?" - Lurking in the deep jungles of the virtual

Posted by: nick at January 12, 2005 11:47 AM



> u/c - this 'restraint' thing is obviously catching .

I know you're trying to provoke me.
I'm tending undercurrent's patch of ascii-flux for a moment.

Posted by: u/c at January 12, 2005 12:01 PM



u/c - you're on fire over at your place! really drawing a lot of inspiration from what you're up to there at the moment ...

Posted by: nick at January 12, 2005 04:02 PM



I was searching for something on nash qabbala to add to the last one - did you manage to find anything? The film is irritatingly vague when it comes to method (perhaps for public health reasons)

Posted by: u/c at January 12, 2005 04:10 PM



u/c - there was an article in a magazine that gave all the necessary info, but it was a while ago ... (racking brains)
Pretty sure I remember the principle though - essentially D26 but using standard place-value arithmetic and cashed out into HA numerals (so words represented relatively large numerical values) - think position worked according to Oecumenic conventions too (or i'd have noted/remembered deviance), descending D26 powers from left-right. Numbers were then processed arithmetically, especially factorized to extract primes - subsequent analytical procedures left undiscussed ... Nash qabbala seems to have definitely been a mathematical genius' own private schizo hobbyhorse, rather than part of a recognizable qabbalistic tradition

Posted by: nick at January 13, 2005 02:12 AM



is that supposed to make it more or less interesting?!
It'd be interesting to know exactly what he thought he was finding, anyhow.

Posted by: u/c at January 13, 2005 01:05 PM



u/c - interesting for sure (IMHO), not clear what the reference point is.
There's a delirium of sheer pattern (which you're fully aware of) where the discovery of a vault of systematizable but unanalysed data overwhelms critical reflexes - when the AIs arrive (with comparatively unlimited processing power, especially viz pre-digitized (alphanumeric) material that scarcely registers in multimedia space) they're going to have a lot of fun ...

Posted by: nick at January 21, 2005 04:29 PM



IMHO, there is a way to structure mind & stop it from "seizing" when dealing with overwhelming pattern by allowing limited pattern recognition until the "seize ratio" decreases; therefore, allowing processing range to increase and (ironically) stabilize the mind's ability to function at a higher level.

Posted by: northanger at January 23, 2005 08:51 PM



northanger - guess that's what natural selection did to us ...

Posted by: nick at January 24, 2005 10:28 AM



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