Connective disintegration

In the third seminar of New Centre’s ‘Outer Edges’ course, Nick Land outlines two commonly held models of geopolitical organisation: high integration, high connectivity (globalisation, multiculturalism, unions) and low integration, low connectivity (tribalism, xenophobia, separation); and then suggests “the positive critical diagonal” — linked to Patri Friedman’s Dynamic Geography — a low integration, high connectivity option. This terminology is simple, neutral, and outstandingly vivid, lurching right into core issues of sprawling diversity, complex networks, strategies, etc.

‘Connective distintegration’ immediately makes me think of Cyberspace, with countless amounts of users and programs, delocalised from their immediate geographical standings, and functioning on a vast informational network, interconnected, yet disintegrated, operating in niches with filtered content, but capable of instantaneously moving on a trajectory linking many newer, foreign nodes. The power, productivity, and scale of this monster is unprecedented, and neither will its disintegrating Entfremdung (alienation, estrangement, depersonalisation, reification) of people. High-I./C. and Low. I./C. could both be viewed as attempts of creating and maintaining identities (the latter for obvious reasons, while the former in the fashionably ‘progressive’, cultural-assimilation sense), but Connective disintegration dismantles them, creating potentials of joining and separating from a variety of groups, appealing right down to a philosophy and aesthetics of the nomad, the wanderer, precisely in the Deleuze & Guattari sense, entangled in the rhizome, where “every point is connected to every other”, but immense diversity, local stable substructures, and complexity is maintained.

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Games, bias-for-life, & pure renunciation

Mental retardation is infuriating. Whether it’s an intellectual, aesthetico-literary, productivity- or benevolence-oriented drive, the reflexive realisation of not living up to active creative or practical potential is quite sufficient to lead to rancour.

Conceived as metaphorical modules and cravings of the mind, those drives do stand fellow to seemingly more basic desires for sustenance, sex, sleep, and other fundamental needs. Any system valorising activity and behaviour exerts an influence on its players, bending them to function inside the game. The units of account can be ‘fitness’, ‘money’, ‘status’, goals for ones team, dopamine rushes, frequency of adherence to some morality, etc. Hierarchisation, competition, and selection by “points”, “points” that may be hard tangible commodity, virtually registered, entirely notional / inter-individual, or simply by that which is, tautologically taken to have survived, replicated, etc. Many games obviously overlap and clash. It’s complicated and intrinsically difficult.

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