pseudoscience

19: Beacon & Vessel

“Allow me the pleasure of your destruction.” — Agapios Stojanov, Bonds

The world inhabited by Nasrul was one in which the rationales of quantification and categorisation were dominant throughout all forms of human action and interaction. His life was experienced by its readers both within and outside this novel, but less via his character than his status as transmitter of the novel’s primary superstitions, yet his absence as a coherent character and his mysterious presence as an anomalous cipher meant that the novel had no conceptual form. Rather than possessing a core integral message as a communicating vessel, whatever was communicated was unknown / anomalous.

One accurate impression that was conveyed was of N as the last man standing. The one who best portrayed N was YOU, but YOU could not realistically expect to fulfil all the requirements of the main character by recourse to facts.

(more…)

18: The Great Homunculus

“I see its eyes as they move in its head and on to me. I feel it looking at me. I feel that it apprehends the very nature of my being and at the same time transmits its own. I move, but I cannot move from its sight. Happily, I am transfixed.” — Jodi Stroman, Gimmicks

The new era had unleashed a new evil: the birth of the Great Homunculus. As the buzzword left the mouth of the Reality TV presenter it was quickly absorbed into the brains of the watchers. Some concern was shown for a rabbit hole. It lead to the tomb of established law and order. But later in the day, the buzzword was rediscovered on the floor of the interrogation room, scrawled on a Post-It note folded up inside the pages of an ancient scripture on repeat prescription.

The cybernetic fantasy had become the template for a new kind of irreality. Pseudoscience had brought the human population into unerring compliance with the social body. All those under the rule of the economy were forgotten. Society’s gods were factual data that were fabricated, re-constructed and replicated by the available machines. Automation provided freedom of expression under the rule of the economy. There would be no need to compete for survival because the thing called society would be ruled over by the majority and finally reach TOTAL DEMOCRACY.

(more…)

12: The Removal of the Logos

_logos

“Preconceived ideas and buzzwords are represented by hypnotic devices for the cognition of purpose which coerces and fixes the senses of things and the connotations of actions within the narrow limits of closed and absolute systems of rationalization.” — Julianne Fortuin, Cognitive Markets

As the subjective world impressed itself Nas found himself unimpressed. It was as though he had been afforded the privilege of that special allotment known as “inner space” as a sanctuary or consolation away from the intimations of power. But it was all so unconvincing. The more he contemplated the nature of subjectivity it showed itself up time and time again as fictitious, as did power.

While floating in the algorithmic floatation sphere it became apparent that no-one could ever hope to achieve much with algorithms, except maybe in non-fiction stories calculated to ground the self-narrativising subject into the ground, which might have been of some use or other, but it was either a quarter past six in the evening or the morning and already the cloudless sky was as still and clear as day. (more…)

11: Fiction is Stranger than Truth

_fiction

“We live in Utopia amongst the shells of the un-dead, / Unseen behind the veils of empire’s walls. / The emperors kill for pleasure and spoils of war bring them bread, / But we have made the laws that bring their fall.” — Gordon Pearce-Lonsdale, Collected Poems, 1924-1977

Technocrats in smart rooms were asleep and dreaming in barcodes and serial numbers, arguing that the end of history and the end of society had brought more effective securitization and a more sustainable repackaging of the consumerist catastrophe with their branding schemes: FreeDomination, Leaphonine, Equipole, etc.

Those kinds of intellectual gymnastics recalled the triteness of that well-known 1960s Pop Art collage by Feigenbaum of the revisionist Joseph Stalin in 1942 as a Buddha with armalite rifles sprouting from his handlebar moustache.

Branding was what used to be done to slaves and livestock but now there were prized consumers to think about, more worthy jobs, enhanced revenue streams and much improved documentation. Also, convenient social media apps that would eradicate needless barriers to communication. (more…)

8: Enter the Great Unknown

_unknown

“By dint of its literal form, a symbol is a representation of a symbol and other than what it is said to indicate.” — Fadia Bulus, Untold Signs

The chequered floor of the Freemasons gleamed with triple action Flash in the evening around 9 o’clock after a maid scoured the room.

“This way lies paranoia. This way you either know too much or too little. I want someone to haunt me.”

The narrativising subject surveilled its reading materials: “The more I read, the more I know.” (more…)

7: How to Break Algorithms

_algorithm

“Under the rule of the algorithm, all modes of cognition and communication are manipulated, categorised and quantified to promote the dominant ideology of financialization. There is currently no parallel or alternative system to undermine or replace it.” — Yakim Janović, Dystopia Ltd

Art was pregnant with artificial intelligence. But intelligence had always been artificial anyway, despite its humanity.

The seven sensors raised their ugly heads. They’d been trans-mutated by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria, but the rationalist purveyors of ideology served education. (more…)

5: Paradise is Where I Am

_paradise

“The accretion of delusions engendered by the myths of capital and labor imposes a diabolical doctrine of competition and respectability which amplifies commodification to no end.” — Eugénie Villiers, The Meta-Psyche of Capital and Labor

On a bright cold day in April, in a land where everybody forgot technology equalled control, machine personae deepfaked the human category. It was not self-evident.

Their realness going forward pixel by pixel, bystanders began to take on the appearance of houses. Little fortresses were shielded against the elements. In the shelter of wayward appetites, structures of organic / machinic toil — produce — were couched in fabric, offset against buildings observing each other in the environment in queues and lanes and clusters. Plots of land divided into units each attached to different pairs of hands.

“Is identity the same as character?” wondered N.

(more…)