February 28, 2005

Europocalypse Soon

Steyn cuts straight to the chase.

Posted by Nick Land at 04:06 AM | On-topic (101)


Some additional tic talk resources:

Undercurrent's Tic Matrix of the first 500 clusters can be found here.

Also from Undercurrent, first nine Von Neumann Ordinals, here.

Still hungry?
Vauung's Tic Matrix of first 127 primes follows:

First 127 Ordinated Primes, with Tic Xenotation, in accordance with plex-precedent cluster-ordering (lexicographic cipher '(:)').

[001] 002 = :
[002] 003 = (:)
[003] 005 = ((:))
[004] 007 = (::)
[005] 011 = (((:)))
[006] 013 = ((:):)
[007] 017 = ((::))
[008] 019 = (:::)
[009] 023 = ((:)(:))
[010] 029 = (((:)):)
[011] 031 = ((((:))))
[012] 037 = ((:)::)
[013] 041 = (((:):))
[014] 043 = ((::):)
[015] 047 = (((:))(:))
[016] 053 = (::::)
[017] 059 = (((::)))
[018] 061 = ((:)(:):)
[019] 067 = ((:::))
[020] 071 = (((:))::)
[021] 073 = ((::)(:))
[022] 079 = ((((:))):)
[023] 083 = (((:)(:)))
[024] 089 = ((:):::)
[025] 097 = (((:))((:)))
[026] 101 = (((:):):)
[027] 103 = ((:)(:)(:))
[028] 107 = ((::)::)
[029] 109 = ((((:)):))
[030] 113 = (((:))(:):)
[031] 127 = (((((:)))))
[032] 131 = (:::::)
[033] 137 = ((((:)))(:))
[034] 139 = (((::)):)
[035] 149 = (((:))(::))
[036] 151 = ((:)(:)::)
[037] 157 = (((:)::))
[038] 163 = ((:::):)
[039] 167 = (((:):)(:))
[040] 173 = (((:)):::)
[041] 179 = ((((:):)))
[042] 181 = ((::)(:):)
[043] 191 = (((::):))
[044] 193 = ((((:)))::)
[045] 197 = (((:))(:)(:))
[046] 199 = (((:)(:)):)
[047] 211 = ((((:))(:)))
[048] 223 = ((:)::::)
[049] 227 = ((::)(::))
[050] 229 = (((:))((:)):)
[051] 233 = (((::))(:))
[052] 239 = (((:):)::)
[053] 241 = ((::::))
[054] 251 = ((:)(:)(:):)
[055] 257 = ((((:)))((:)))
[056] 263 = ((::):::)
[057] 269 = ((:::)(:))
[058] 271 = ((((:)):):)
[059] 277 = ((((::))))
[060] 281 = (((:))(:)::)
[061] 283 = (((:)(:):))
[062] 293 = (((((:)))):)
[063] 307 = ((::)(:)(:))
[064] 311 = (::::::)
[065] 313 = (((:):)((:)))
[066] 317 = (((:::)))
[067] 331 = (((:::)))
[068] 337 = (((::))::)
[069] 347 = (((:)(:))(:))
[070] 349 = (((:))(::):)
[071] 353 = ((((:))::))
[072] 359 = ((:)(:):::)
[073] 367 = (((::)(:)))
[074] 373 = (((:)::):)
[075] 379 = (((:))((:))(:))
[076] 383 = ((:::)::)
[077] 389 = ((((:)))(::))
[078] 397 = (((:):)(:):)
[079] 401 = (((((:))):))
[080] 409 = (((:))::::)
[081] 419 = ((:)(:)(:)(:))
[082] 421 = ((((:):)):)
[083] 431 = ((((:)(:))))
[084] 433 = ((::)(:)::)
[085] 439 = (((::))((:)))
[086] 443 = (((::):):)
[087] 449 = ((((:)):)(:))
[088] 457 = ((((:))):::)
[089] 461 = (((:):::))
[090] 463 = ((((:)))(:)(:):)
[091] 467 = (((:):)(::))
[092] 479 = (((:)(:))::)
[093] 487 = (((((:))))(:))
[094] 491 = (((((:))(:))):)
[095] 499 = (((:))(:::))
[096] 503 = ((:):::::)
[097] 509 = ((((:))((:))))
[098] 521 = ((::)(::):)
[099] 523 = ((((:)))(:)(:))
[100] 541 = (((:))((:))::)
[101] 547 = ((((:):):))
[102] 557 = (((::))(:):)
[103] 563 = (((:)(:)(:)))
[104] 569 = (((:):):::)
[105] 571 = (((:))(::)(:))
[106] 577 = ((::::):)
[107] 587 = (((::)::))
[108] 593 = ((:)(:)(:)::)
[109] 599 = (((((:)):)))
[110] 601 = ((((:)))((:)):)
[111] 607 = (((:)::)(:))
[112] 613 = ((::)::::)
[113] 617 = ((((:))(:):))
[114] 619 = ((:::)(:):)
[115] 631 = (((:)(:))(:))
[116] 641 = ((((:)):)::)
[117] 643 = (((:):)(:)(:))
[118] 647 = ((((::))):)
[119] 653 = (((::))(::))
[120] 659 = (((:))(:):::)
[121] 661 = ((((:)))(((:))))
[122] 673 = (((:)(:):):)
[123] 677 = ((((:):))(:))
[124] 683 = (((((:))))::)
[125] 691 = (((:))((:))((:)))
[126] 701 = ((::)(:)(:):)
[127] 709 = ((((((:))))))

Posted by Nick Land at 02:55 AM | On-topic (36)

February 22, 2005


Tic Talk

The (Barkerian) Tic Xenotation provides a numerical semiotic adapted to the Naturals with special affinity to Euclid's Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic. The TX constructs numbers in terms of their basic arithmetical features as primes or composites in a notation without modulus (base), place-value or numerals.

The exact circumstances among which D.C.Barker formulated the TX remain deeply obscure (for a number of reasons best explored elsewhere). For our immediate purposes it suffices to remark that the broad research context within which TX emerged was a highly abstract SETI-oriented investigation into minimally-coded intelligent signal, without presupposition as to origin (e.g. 'xenobiological organisms') or theme (e.g. 'cosmo-chemistry').

The investigation, situated in the jungles of Borneo, was entitled 'Project Scar' and received a high-level security classification. In keeping with this research topic, Barker proposed TX as a maximally abstracted or ultimately decoded numerical semiotic, stripped of all nonconstructive (or symbolic) conventions (and initially named 'Goedelian hypercode'.)

While the raw numeracy of TX is most accurately conceived as sub-qabbalistic, due to its indifference to modulus notation (the primary motor of qabbalistic occulturation), its very independence from convention makes it a valuable tool when investigating the basic features of numerical (arithmetical or qabbalistic) codes.

Among the notation-related features most prominently exposed to rigorous scrutiny by TX is ordinality.


Within the Anglobal Oecumenon, the most pragmatically prevalent ordinal functions are alphabetical, utilizing the ordering convention of the Neoroman letters to arrange, sort, search and archive on the basis of Alphabetical or Alphanumerical Order, organizing dictionaries, encyclopaedias, lists and indexes 'lexicogrpahically.' The word 'alphabet' itself performs a (Greek) ordinal operation.

'Lexicography' - dictionary-type order - is used here (as in various fields, such as compilations of number series) to designate a mode of ordering (an ordinal-numeric function) rather than a definite topic ('words'). Although a relatively neglected numerical operation, lexicographic ordering plays a crucial role in concrete (popular-Oecumenic) ordinal practices. It is characterized by:

1) Popularity. Facility at lexicographic sequencing is considered a basic social competence, inherent - or even prior - to literacy, whilst pedagogically separate from the acquisition of numerical ('maths') skills. At the pedagogical level, Oecumenic societies tend to distribute ordinal/cardinal competences in accordance with the distinction between literacy/numeracy, thus establishing the basic division between linguistic/mathematical abilities from a primal nomofission (ordinal/cardinal differentiation). Literate citizens of the Oecumenon - those able to use a dictionary - are ordinally competent, through lexicographic conventions.
2) Pure ordinalism. Restricted entirely to sequencing problems, cardinal values remain entirely alien to lexicographic practices, to such an extent that rigorous ordinal-numeric operations are typically divorced entirely from numerical associations.The ordinal function of numerals (1st, 2nd, 3rd ...), in contrast, remains relatively impure - at least psychologically - since in this case a persistent cardinal temptation confuses sequencing function with the spectre of quantity. For this reason the alphanumerical subsumption of the numerals into lexicographic practices can be considered 'clarifying' in respect to ordinal operations.
3) Fractionality. Simulating lexicography within arithmetic requires the employment of modular (e.g. decimal) fractional values. Arithmetical listing by cardinality will be isomorphic with ordinal-lexicographic sequencing for all numbers of the format '0.n'.
4) Sequential diplocoding. Lexicographic systems require twin ordering conventions. They draw upon an alphabetical code and an ordinal place value convention (principally, left or right ordering, equivalent to the behavioural scheme for the movement of a reading-head). The alphabet instantiates the ordering scheme, but does not (internally) describe it - 'reading' the alphabet to extract the ordinal code ('abcd...' or 'zyxw...') itself presupposes an extrinsic sequencing convention (Alpha-Omega, from first to last).
5) Infinite potentiality. Any lexicographic system allowing interminable strings has a code potential (cardinally) equivalent to Aleph-0, with an infinitity of virtual Dedekind cuts (entry insertions) between any two terms, however close, and virtual isomorphy between any segment of the list/archive and the whole. It thus attests to a 'literate' infinity isomorphic with that of mathematics, drawing upon a common but culturally obscured digital source.

Intercoding Arithmetic

An intermediate semiotic attuned to purely demonstrative engagement with Euclid's Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic (FTA) can be generated by transforming the standard Oecumenic decimal notation (*) by:
1) Employing the full Alphanumeric series 0-Z (0-35) for notational convenience, and
2) Raising all signs to their first hyprime power, from 0 = Prime-0 = 1 to Z = Prime-35 = 149.

The purpose of these transformations is to eliminate polydigit (place-value) numbering and expose the radical disorder implicit in the FTA. All integral numbers in the FTA intercode consist either of single figures or plexed-compounds of the form (...), with numerical clusters synthesized through multiplication rather than modular-positional construction.

Consider a number picked entirely at random, *86, disassembled by factorization in accordance with the FTA down to the listed components *2 and *43, the *1st and *14th primes, hence: 1E. The expression of this number is no longer under any positional constraint, '1E' or 'E1' are equally valid on numerical grounds and strictly equivalent. Shuffling a string of intercode figures (FTA components) of whatever length makes no difference whatsoever to the number designated, with the ordering of the series being subject only to an extrinsic convention (of minimal - even vanishing - importance from a (cardinal) arithmetical perspective, where it is relevant only 'psychologically', for convenience in assimilation and comparison).

Once the merely inertial and peudo-numerical order inherited from uninterrogated tradition is subtracted from FTA-intercode strings, dissociating all components from quantitative ordering, they are freed for lexicographic re-ordering as decoded series - an ordering which will deviate from the series of quantities, liberating an Autonomous Ordinality whilst de-cardinalizing the number line.

Consider *172, or 11E. Oecumenic-lexicographic procedures ensure this number precedes 1E (*86), as will all its successive binary multiples. Evidently, such procedures ensure that the infinite series of binary powers must be completed before arriving at 2 (*3). 'Natural' counting no longer has any prospect of reaching a nonbinary power, just as alphabetical-lexicographic 'counting' would proceed 'a, aa, aaa, aaaa ...' without ever arriving at 'b'. Reversing the problem and it is equally evident the lexicographic-ordinal line is never counted.

The Kantian assimilation of arithmetic to temporality models elementary time-synthesis as n+1, +1, +1 ... an intuition rendered questionable by the rigorous lexicographic disorganization of the number (listing) line. Once ordinally purified, the number line becomes uncountable by any supposed finite (temporalizing) subject, even from moment n to moment n+1. Instead, the line is synthesized by sorting (lexicographic sequencing) of prefabricated strings, whose quantities are determined on a different axis to their linear-positional codings. A prolongation of the time-arithmetic association would thus require a remodelling of time as nonprogressive synthesis without consistent scale or continuous-quantitative trend, no longer intelligible as passage or development. Such ordinal-lexicographic time maps a 'templexity' that is uncountable, fractured/fractional, erratic and heterogeneous, sequential but nonsuccesive.
Of course, all of this needs re-approaching on a far more rigorous basis, with a consistent focus on the topic of templexity - suffice it to say for 'now' that Kantian intuitions of number, time and their intermapping are themselves structured by notationally-problematizable constructions, since time-mapping has a hypothetical rather than essential relation to arithmetical common sense (with its undisturbed assumption of straightforward ordinal-cardinal interconvertability).

Note-1. Elevating this intermediate semiotic to a functional numeracy, with a semiotic power commensurate with the set of Naturals (including primes above Prime-Z), requires a final step:
3) Adopting Tic Xenotative plexion, where '(n)' = Prime-n.
Thus 0 = 1, (0) = Prime-1 = 2, ((0)) = Prime-2 = 3, etc.
The inefficiency of this semiotic relative to TX is demonstrated by its redundancy, most dramatically:
V = (B) = ((5)) = (((3))) = ((((2)))) = (((((1))))) = ((((((0))))))

Note-2. TX shares the intrinsic disorder of FTA-intercode. *86 = :(:(::)) or
(:(::)): or :((::):) ...

Out Of Order

TX/FTA-intercode numerical construction is indifferent to semiotic sequencing, position or grammar. A number expressed in either system could be distributed randomly within a space of n-dimensions, requiring only a cohesion convention (semiotic particles 'belong together' irrespective of order). Apprehended in their fully decoded potentiality as efficient number-signs, such formulae are clusters, not strings.

The TX case is still more extreme than that typical of FTA-intercode, however, since here even the spectral residue of sequential coding is erased. Given two complex TX-formulated numbers, correct order (quantitative comparison) requires - perhaps highly elaborate - calculation, eliminating entirely the practical usage of disordered TX clusters for ordinal operations.

For anything but small numbers, Euclidean cluster-stringing conventions (by ascending cardinalities) become procedurally complex, perhaps inoperable, for TX numerical formulas. This is evident even from small numbers, such as *149, TFA-intercode Z or (34), TX (((:))(::)). As the 35th prime, with 35 the product of *5 and *7, the sequencing of hyprime sub-factors (factors of the prime-ordinate, i.e. *35) is no longer facilitated by lexicographic codings drawn from the numeral sequence. That '5' precedes '7' is evident from the numeral code, but the ordering of ((:)) and (::) cannot similarly rely upon intrinsic lexicographic guidance. In the TX case, it is only by constructing the numbers and sequencing them arithmetically that the 'notational' question of their order can be resolved. In other words, the sequencing of the sign has ceased to be a notational or preliminary problem, becoming instead inextricable from the arithmetical construction of the number. This results inevitably from the elimination of notational redundancy in TX, with concomitant erasure of procedural 'intuition.'

Because TX number clusters are intrinsically disordered, a consistent and functional TX semiotic requires re-ordinalization through autonomous (extrinsic) lexicographic procedures, inevitably constructing a cardinally erratic 'number-line' or list/search sequencing protocol. The semiotic economy of TX makes this procedural problem easy to define. As an approximate AOsys analogue, lexicographic TX requires a variant of sequential diplocoding:
1) Cluster stringing. Sequencing the components of composite TX-formula numbers.
2) Number listing. Meta-sequencing of properly sequenced TX strings.

It might seem sensible to assume the Oecumenic left-to-right reading procedure, since the arbitrariness of this rule makes it unexceptionable, but the diplocoding option matrix necessitates a substantial question as to the consistency/inconsistency of this decision as between (1) and (2) above. Even allowing for this complication, the option matrix for a mechanical lexicographic TX ordering protocol remains highly constrained, consisting merely of twin decisions as to the sequencing of the tick [:], open plex [(] and close plex [)] signs.

Irrespective of the Cluster stringing decision, tick-precedence sequencing of the number list results in a the AOsys analogue previously mentioned (a, aa, aaa ...) 'counting' through the infinite series of binary powers before reaching any nonbinary number. The list is initiated by TX *2 = ':'.
Plex-precedence produces a far more anomalous list-line, one that is non-originating because it 'begins' with a series of arbitrarily large hyperplexed primes, notationally initialized by unending open-plex signs [((((((((((((...], since '...((' precedes '...(:'. Listing practices following a plex-precedence protocol necessarily begin in the middle.

[My assumption is that semiotic consistency (across clusters/lists) is to be preferred, with the sheer weirdness of plex-precedence sequencing making a strong case for its adoption. The 'alphabet' (ordinal code) would thus be described by TX *3 = (:).]

In his own brief comments on the cluster sequencing problem in the Project Scar report, Barker restricted himself to the observation that Euclidean (cardinally consistent) ordering was no more than a "provisional and arbitrary convention" which would quickly break down "given nondemonstrative numberical values [anything but very small Naturals]" that the problem should be considered "merely technical and extrinsic" and "probably best decided on communication-engineering grounds."

Given Barker's Project Scar research orientation, focused on "nonlinear recursively-embedded planar semionomic dot-groupings of cryptogeologic origin" - anomalous cryptoliths - it is not surprising that he came to the notational ordering problem late and distractedly. Just days after completing the "Appendix on Notation" Barker came entirely unstrung.

Stricken by revolting tropical diseases, increasingly obsessed with an interwoven tangle of cosmopolitical conspiracies of various scales, and multiplicitously agitated by teeming microparasites of dubious reality, Barker's plummet into noncommunicating delirium is charted by the digressions into doggerel annotating his Project Scar research report:

A chittering tide
Devouring my hide
Starting from the Outside

This is the slide ...

And Yet

In the same twitchy, spintered handwriting Barker remarks:

The xenotation continues to disorder itself as it condenses, tearing up the number line, devastating time and sleep. Perhaps it is a weapon from outer space. I say that seriously, even if it is a sickening kind of joke. There is no sleep, everything is broken, everything connects without joining, swarming, pulsing, dots, specks, dust particles dancing inside my eyes, continuously ripping ... thought has become a disease ... I even heard a voice (how ridiculous) saying: 'You must isolate the xenotation before it disintegrates the time-line.' It's just the fever of course, but the tic systems are all shuffled together now, shuffled together with this filthy disease and its cavernous speckled dreams and even Jolo admits that the markings are spreading over my skin, bites or rashes or maybe even colonies ... so the line has rotted through, disintegrated ... there's no line, that's the message, and yet ... And Yet. ... counting is ineluctable and unsurpassable ... You have to check it, re-check it continuously, but it's true. How could the hyprime indices be decided without a countable ordinality? They have to come from somewhere, from a matrix, a culture, even if the clusters seem to rip everything apart they MUST HAVE BEEN COUNTED at some stage, before dissimulating themselves and scattering again ... And yet we can only make sense of these dots and ripples by counting primes on a line that remains successive and integrated, developing reliably, communicable, they have a past, a true lineage, even if it's difficult to think, even if they tear it apart and make of it something shattered and insane, something diseased ... but really I don't blame them, NASA of course knew nothing, but even they knew nothing, they just arrived, why should they remember? Memory is impossible for them. In any case, it's just a disease, I understand that now. There's no malice ... not even real cruelty ...

Note. While there is no reason to believe Barker had exposure to, or interest in, the Anglossic Qabbala, the emphatic reiteration of 'And Yet' suggests he had feverishly identified it as a synonym for counting, perhaps even for temporality. (AND YET = 123).

Posted by Nick Land at 08:37 AM | On-topic (160)


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Posted by hyperstition at 05:00 AM | On-topic (15)

February 21, 2005


last judgement.jpg

'Hell is a city much like London' - Shelley

'Flesh is easy to shape.' - 'Clay Man', Swans

Step into Tate Britain at the moment and you find yourself in Anthony Caro's Hell. The Last Judgement is part of the sculptor's final, and surely most accomplished, phase of production.


Caro's early work was figurative - but figurative in the way that Bacon's or Jack Kirby's was, textbook Deleuzian in its rendering of animal forms as lines of force and energy. In contrast with the smooth surfaces favoured by Henry Moore (with whom Caro had worked as an assistant), Caro's pieces were rough-hewn, asymmetrical; empirically distorted but faithful to the Real of the intensive bodies whose torsion they arrested in plaster and bronze.

caro smoking.jpg

Like Bacon's crouches (examples of which can be seen in the room devoted to Bacon, adjacent to where the Last Judgement is displayed), these pieces break through the screen of phenomenal difference to access the energy formations that find expression across animal and geological strata. They are diagrams, not organic representations: freezes without frames, since Caro eschewed plinths and and pedestals and placed his sculptures on the same level as that of their viewer, already anticipating the confusion of sculpture and architecture that late works like the Millbank Steps (produced specificially for the Tate) will explore.


Under the influence of Clement Greenberg, Caro abandoned figuration completely in the second and most celebrated phase of his career, arranging and garishly painting found objects such as girders. Although this is the work which made Caro's reputation, it now looks unengagingly canonic. These austere clean lines are the very stuff of which the postmodern is made: literally. You are reminded of the literal vacuity of the postmodern domestic and corporate spaces, which recoil in horror from the unruly zigzagging lines of the Gothic.

Despite the success of this work (or perhaps because of it), Caro was dissatisfied enough with it to move on, and his last phase of production - of which The Last Judgement is a stunning part - marks another turn, or rather a return: to Gothic abstract figuration.

The Last Judgement is an astonishingly welcome reminder that contemporary art can approach all the classical themes addressed by Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Eliot, Bacon (all of whom it references) - without coming off worse. It has all the ambition and vastness which postmodern British art, with its demythologizing impulse towards tracing the empirical, its cult of vanitas (enslaved to two masters, celebrity and mortality) prides itself on having supposedly superceded.

This is the way, step inside

You don't contemplate The Last Judgement transcendently, you walk through it, which immanence gives a certain irony to the piece's title. Caro's message screams mutely out of every mouth gashed in plaster and iron: hell is not at the end of the road, not even round the corner, it is here, now. It will not be the judgement of a personal God that condemns you to infernal torment: your own animal vicissitudes put you there, now.

Abstraction and myth have always been strongly correlated. Abstract engineers don't 'create' any more than they trace (represent) - they discover and follow lines, cutting through the mire/ maya of what is presented to us so as to get to the stratificatory apparatuses and parasitic machines which produce the grim empirical charade we are invited to accomodate ourselves to in the name of 'realism'.

Each of the tableaux - crudely and fittingly boxed into caskets - capture an abstract mode and/ or intensive trap, sometimes identified as vice (sacrifice, greed and envy), at other times given names from epic drama or the Bible (Salome's Dance, The Furies, Charon) , or else simply given locational descriptions (Tribunal, Posion Chamber).

Time and again, wandering through the abstract atrocity exhibition, I am reminded of Mary Shelley's phrase 'workshop of filthy creation'. Caro's anguished abstractions, rust coloured and malformed out of clay and iron, cry out the Gnostic wisdom that we are ourselves the offcut slurry of a demented demiurge whose workshop of fithy creation this is.

Ernst Max Eléphant Célèbes 1920.jpg

Caro's waste land assemblages are Geurnica and Ernst's industrial jungles brought to still life: modernism redux. And, as Kurtz's bookshelf in Coppola's film makes clear, the real theme of modernism's revisited primitivism is always ---- apocalypse now.

If you approach from the front of the gallery, you enter through the ominous stockade-section of the bell tower (if the intended allusion here is Hemigway, I couldn't but be reminded, too, of the fated final scenes of Hitchcock's Vertigo). You are then faced with the door of Death, whose position here again suggests a Gnostic insight: identification with the organs is life is death.


But the casket whose grimly stolid contents ingrained itself most powerfully into my nervous system was 'Shades of Night'. Here hunched plaster sack-shaped figures with rudimentary Giacometti/ Tanguy heads and fixed halloween mask features stare inscrutably like Hellraiser scarcrows scarred out of geological residue. As ever, the real Gothic dread does not lie in the thought that these inanimate monstrosities might be alive (although Caro has the art of doing just enough to suggest that whatever quasi-anthropomorphic forms we fancy we see might only be accidental features of found objects) but quite the reverse. You see yourself diagrammed in these unhappy images of torturers tortured: I too am nothing but animated matter, the silent screaming product of a process without final purpose or deliberated intent.

Posted by mark k-p at 12:53 AM

February 19, 2005

Hyperstitional Method II.

Are we agreed?

In a typically stimulating (Feb 17) post at K-Punk, MKP explicitly dedicated ‘Cold Rationalism’ to ‘dogmatism.’ The principle argument for this seems to be that sceptical tolerance supports theopolitical forces (of the ‘Satanic-worldly’) that Cold Rationalism – aligned with the true interests of the UK (and perhaps even international) proletariat - foundationally opposes.

Leaving aside potential queries concerning the K-Punk text itself, this problematic raises suggestive issues for Hyperstition, some touched upon by the following questions:

1) Is there any conceivable ‘carrier-position’ (avatar-borne method, idea, commitment, or ideology) that hyperstition should refuse to entertain in principle?
2) What would compose a full set of basic hyperstitional postulates, or is the demand for such basic postulates misconceived in a hyperstitional milieu?
3) Assuming the relegation of controversial commitments to an expanding periphery of carrier-positions, does hyperstition have a residual politics/polytics that would rigorously follow from (2) above?
Finally (and perhaps only of specialist interest):
4) Does Cold Rationalism conceive itself to be hyperstitional, antihyperstitional, or ‘axiomatically independent’ of hyperstition?

Rather than presume responses to these questions, I’d prefer to pursue them in the comments thread. But, in the hope of productive provocation, my initial and highly provisional tendencies on #1-3.

#1. Ultra-liberalism would be theoretically most consistent if socially/humanly sustainable. To take extreme examples, if someone fabricated a neonazi carrier to explore occultural trends in the politics of the IIIrd Reich, wouldn’t this be an asset to the overall field of hyperstitional research? A pedophile black magician ritualistically proceeding in strict conformity with a determinable numbo-jumbo would be equally legitimate – as a carrier – in principle (ah, but what principles?). Interesting objections immediately present themselves of course …

#2 Elementary arithmetic combined with a hypergrammatical competence for the subjunctive mood (‘if there were a Ms W who though X, she would probably assume Y and be drawn to Z’) constitutes an entire ‘elements’ of abstract hyperstition. Particular hyperstitional strains – to be defined as megacarriers – have more demanding presuppositions, e.g. for Lemurian Hyperstition, Oecumenic propagation of decimalism is a basic presupposition.

#3 At most a polytics – but this term remains highly contentious.

Posted by Nick Land at 09:52 AM | On-topic (26)

February 18, 2005

AQ Exalted

Among the gematria masterpieces of all time (thanks clytemnestra):



PS. Clytemnestra has a secret too, but it doesn't make anything like as much sense ...

Posted by Nick Land at 07:11 AM | On-topic (56)

February 13, 2005

Gog-magog: the London and Marvel connexuses

history gog and magog.JPG





Posted by mark k-p at 01:22 PM | On-topic (83)

February 06, 2005



'Levi-Strauss says he was most influenced by Freud and Marx - and geology....' - Anthony Wilden, System and Structure: Essays in Communication and Exchange

While it’s not quite true that esoterism is opposed to hyperstitional practice, it remains the case that the esoteric at best awaits a hyperstitional carrier and at worst is actually inhibitive of hyperstitional propagation.

Need it be reiterated that hyperstition is to be located, not in the deliberately inaccessible territory of hermetic pondering, but in pulp? Far from being reducible to the popular, or worse still, the populist, pulp is essentially propagative. It lurks and spreads in the paradoxical spaces – dark but lurid, mass marketed but intensely intellectual - beyond the gaze of the media big Other and its ruthlessly imposed pop-ontology of ‘commonsense’. Such spaces are rare to the point of near extinction in the hyperbright, hypervisibile malls of contemporary postmodern entertainment culture, where everything is not only known but knowing.

Britain in the seventies, however, teemed with pulp. From New English Library paperbacks, to the last garish productions of Hammer studios, to the nascent market in video nasties, to children’s television, the combination of eastern-bloc-like cultural austerity, Glam, speed, the fag end of psychedelia and a still surviving rag-tag labyrinths of non-franchised book and magazine emporia were a fertile breeding and feeding ground for pulp production.

So, to children’s television, and HTV West’s 1977 production, Children of the Stones.

The thing that children who saw the serial when it was first broadcast are liable to retain most powerfully in their spinal cord body memory is the music: harrowing atonal chants reminiscent of Penderecki and Ligetti which made the looming close-ups of megaliths scream with millennia-old panic. Like the young viewers of Dr Who, the audience of Children of the Stones was infected by sounds far more disturbing and deranged than anything rock has ever come up with.

The serial was filmed in the parchingly hot drought summer of 1976 in Avebury, Wiltshire, which might have seemed a world away from the first flarings of punk in London. In fact, Children of the Stones goes alongside what is best in punk in its (literal) strato-analysis of the libidinal-material nature of power .


Children of the Stones is about Petros, the black hole vampire-god of disintensifaction and intensive death, whose hunger for star-energy is similarly diagrammed in Burroughs’ Nova Trilogy.

Children of the Stones belongs to a micro-genre connecting two British seventies’ obsessions, stone circles and outer space, that might be called megalithic astropunk. The other major work in this field is Nigel Kneale’s Quatermass swansong.

The serial opens by (presumably self-consciously) echoing Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Children of the Damned, Quatermass II, The Wicker Man and The Stepford Wives, inducting its two lead characters , astrophysicist Adam Brake and his son, Matthew, into a near-closed community of ‘happy’ people. One of the great services such fictions provided was to make its young viewers intensely suspicious both of ‘happiness’ as an emotional state and of those who proffer it as a libidinal-political goal.

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In the case of Children of the Stones, the Grand Inquisitor Utilitarian-priest is Hendrick, the unctuous-charming Lord of the Manor. It is no surprise at all to learn that Hendrick, a semi-retired astrophysicist who has discovered a supernova, turns out also to be a white magician: a magus, as Adam describes him as the series comes to a close. Like many pulp master villains, Hendrick is not straightforwardly a malevolent monster, but a beamingly altruistic administrator of the pleasure principle, a manager of the hedonic calculus, even as he is an agent of (Burroughs) control. The price of such ‘happiness’ – a state of cored-out, cheery Pod people affectlessness – is sacrifice of all autonomy.

Are we being asked, then, to side with human consciousness against the alien unconscious? Isn’t, after all, freedom from the passions a Spinozist goal? Yes, but freedom from sad passions is not the end of the story if it is at the price of a ‘happy’ passivity, a blank-eyed disengagement from all Outsides, as all (your) energy is sucked up by the ultimate interiority, the time-space implosion of Nova.

Under such pressure, you become a stone.

You become petrified. (Even when you are happy.)

Children of the Stones is also self-consciously a mediation on mythic structure. The circle that encloses the village (called Milbury in the serial) is made up of 55 stones. There are fifty-three people living in the village before Adam and Matthew arrive. Hendrick doubles the Neolithic seer who bore witness to the death of the star with which the stone circle is aligned.

To be in the village is to assume a role in an aeonic structure. As Matthew observes at the very end of the last episode, Time is itself a kind of circle. Matthew and his father’s flight from the not quite closed circle is in its own way an integral part of the cybernetics of the Petros-machine as is the other villagers submission to it. Control needs something to control, no circuit can function without an Outside, no circle is ever completely closed.

Petros needs you.


Posted by mark k-p at 02:02 PM