Blog Archive


Wednesday, February 9, 1994

I Fought Foucault and Foucault Won

Of Foucault,   says George Steiner, when we say Death of the Author, Death of Man, he               said, These are "footnotes to Heidegger" ie Foucault's footnotes (completion project?) on the after-Heidegger period from 1940's onwards. I don't write, therefore, because of any of this (although Poems and Language do appear to spontaneously arrive).
             And so I wonder, if in GH can be found (at last) a clearer explanation for MH's NS turn; if as GH writes, "The progress of Being and Time from the hammer-analysis onward is not an expansion: it is an implosion, a devouring of all possible specific problems by the unique question of the system of tools and its breakdown into recognizable parts" (emphases mine) p. 28 TSR. 
                This stems from MH's attempt to escape a Universal dualism: "ecstatic temporality is nothing other than the ever-present duel between the occult receding action of the tool and the radiant profile that emerges into view according to the position in reality of the observer" (p.28-29 TSR).

It's heavy going. Although the sun has broken through several times today, my actual  day consists of juggling four balls and sweating; drinking smooth juice (blended in a working blender) and listening. I cannot estimate the kilo-calories consumed, nor what is happening in my brain physiology. i do not hear any dogs, but I do hear GH's assertion that MH is offering only an endless repetition: "In sum, there is nothing in the celebrated Heideggarian theory of time except yet another version of the strife between tool and broken tool or execution and surface: between the thing in its being and the so-called "temporal" projection that deploys that thing somewhere in our awareness" (p.29 TSR)

I think this is why TM\s cascade against what remains in Romanticism as a problem (the de Quincyean quest to "access" the always outside-there-Nature) is so important; taken together with the implication that it is the "now-as-instant-" as the ultimate illusion, being where so many ecologists, drug-taking poets, and others (all of us!) have been going wrong...and given.that bloody Now, (which doesn't exist at all), is still being utilised to evoke, garner, evangelise and extrapolate people-to-causes (be those causes charity/political or temporary autonomous actions, or sleight of hand market sharing of the new product), makes me think that Gh and Tm are (along with those others who have also thought this through) really onto something.

I feel as if an owner has pulled my chain and yanked my neck up, stopping me short in my previous life (perhaps that is why I do not hear the dog); no doubt some of that feeling is their celebrated rhetoric, (re-designed as it is to assist thinking) and necessary too, I'll agree, to pull us up clearer in these times. Dog I may be, but I suspect something rather wonderful is within my being-pulled-up--if only for me---and my own good.

Monday, February 7, 1994

ARISTOTLE (part 2) what are the real features of an object?

OBJECTS can have different attributes at different times

something not exhausted by its relations

a relationship = Another Object

objects can have different relations......"at some point you gotta have reality" (gh).......speaking of girls....and women 

Saturday, February 5, 1994

PRiior to Becoming Involved in Relations

how Heidegger speaks and as Being in COLOUR is important to our memory and re-envisioning of that THING that is now no longer tenably called the past...(how it is irritating that the you tube video cannot be embedded) the COLOR visit to Greece 1962 can be found here

Friday, February 4, 1994

There are Forces Emerging From the Plasma

..... "but plasma doesn't seem to have any articulation" (gh)

My own thoughts on this are that I can agree, networks are not as substantial and slick as it first appears, and that beneath inside over there is this p word. What I think is that implosion has to happen; I believe, along with a few ex IBM style physics folks that the entropy that results from CREATION needs to be redistributed' and or distributed; that there is in fact a build up of entropy FROM the creation-chaos period. I think this is where the networks can implode (tho it's hard to agree that the fall of the Wall happened overnight, as a metaphor it's good enough). Which iis the metaphor? The p-word, or the N-word here? I wonder, although right now it doesn't really matter what I think, if that plasma isn't indeed the undertow of entropy that may well be brewing even as we speak? (from this rareified position of knee deep in construction, only days before the Olympics....). So if Implosion has to happen, it's not surprising that it shows up everywhere A(according to managers and other type A folks), generating this idea of a "liquid" background. Hence Plasma.

...the other question, is the plasma articulating, seems equally interesting tho I wonder if Latour probably thinks as I do that it is entropic and so can't speak? (ie, it is, as in Complexity Theory, even though Latour 94 doesn't rate Complexity as as Empr'Or;Or empirical as Assemblage)/ be that as it may. For Now complexity theory posits entropy as a result of Creation, of creating Order from Chaos (art from the "mess"). And here Implosion Group Theory seems useful, not only to Artists who have to navigate the good redistribution of entropt (or they end of offing themselves etc or variations thereof) but also to philosophers and physics and indeed probably all. I'm sure this is why Stengler and Prigogine are still powerfully pertinent, but I sense between gh and the LAtour of 94 that a better than new hyper-order of Hybridized Chaos has emerged. That must be the Centaur bit in the metaphor.....

Monday, January 24, 1994

Further Investigations into London Underground Reveal

a strange METAPHOR. PLASMA. As this bloke points out : "The main discussion of plasma comes at the end of the book. As Latour puts it, ‘no understanding of the social can be provided if you don’t turn your attention to another range of unformatted phenomena […]. I call this background plasma, namely that which is not yet formatted, not yet measured, not yet socialized, not yet engaged in metrological chains, and not yet covered, surveyed, mobilized, or subjectified’ (RS, pp. 243-4). He even estimates the size of this background plasma, just as astronomers indirectly size up the amount of dark matter: Latour says that if the social world of networks were the size of the London Underground, plasma would fill the remaining space of London. A truly vast space of unsocialized material! The plasma is ‘in between and not made of social stuff. It is not hidden, simply unknown [… like] a vast hinterland […, like] the countryside for an urban dweller […, like] the missing masses for a cosmologist trying to balance out the weight of the universe’ (RS, p. 244).

In these startling pages, Latour amplifies the realism of Irreductions with a beautiful image: ‘Hermeneutics is not a privilege of humans but, so to speak, a property of the world itself. The world is not a solid continent of facts sprinkled by a few lakes of uncertainties, but a vast ocean of uncertainties speckled by a few islands of calibrated and stabilized forms’ (RS, p. 245). Latour’s plasma is not a mere annoying remainder of academic bookkeeping, but is held responsible for all the change and movement we know. Above all, there is a stunning passage that one would never find in Heidegger:

Why do fierce armies disappear in a week? Why do whole empires like the Soviet one vanish in a few months? Why do companies who cover the whole world go bankrupt after their next quarterly report? Why do the same companies, in less than two semesters, jump from being deep in the red to showing a massive profit? Why is it that quiet citizens turn into revolutionary crowds or that grim mass rallies break down into a joyous crowd of free citizens? Why is it that some dull individual is suddenly moved into action by an obscure piece of news? Why is it that such a stale academic musician is suddenly seized by the most daring rhythms? Generals, editorialists, managers, observers, moralists often say that those sudden changes have a soft, impalpable liquid quality about them. That’s exactly the etymology of plasma (RS, p. 245).

These things happen because the articulated social world of relations leaves so much unarticulated: monsters and angels seep from the plasma, like rats and pigeons into the Underground. In his concluding summary of plasma, Latour even uses a term once banned from his personal lexicon: ‘To every action I have described so far, you have to add an immense repertoire of missing masses [… And there] exists a reserve, a reserve army, an immense territory […] for every formatted, localized, continuous, accountable action to be carried out in’ (RS, p. 245, emphasis modified). Here Latour seems to understand that there is a problem with explaining how completely formatted actors could ever change their format. As his new thoughts indicate, the only possible solution is that actors are not fully formatted by alliances after all. Some reserve or reservoir must explain the sudden changes mentioned, and more gradual changes as well. To escape relationism means to establish a metaphysics of the plasma or missing mass to which Latour refers. Only one note of cauti

Thursday, January 20, 1994


aTHERE'S A SET OF  lectures, he says. Bordering on animal Life translated as "INSIGHT INTO WHAT IS" coming out in 2010, maybe. TOOLS. Readiness to Hand (hey Cup). Hey. hi. How's you? Oh I'm fine. Wet from rain? YEah yeah. Mortals arn't we? Death from death, the angst reveals the WORLD AS  A WHOL:E... unlike SKY, where its particulars of things (tho Gh says He don't believe in no TOTAL wholrd as a Whole). What? She looked queasily up at the sky. Where's Zeus when you need him? "Apparently coming into square with Saturn," she replies and pauses. "If my reading of astrology is correct, that is."

Tuesday, January 18, 1994

FOR ONE THINK TO LINK TO ANOTHER.... a third actor required

Seems obvious to me, NOW (after 1994, when I did first meet Latour--the famous Latour '94 had me riding cybernetic bicycles) but now it's said "Latour's gonna get us out of this jam" says Harman (this occasionalist Jam that Heidegger left us in) about which then (in the House of Lancaster) there was much argument. "

A thing has potential that isn't actualized" instead of ignoring the acrorn. A crowd of allies is needed. Latour "condemns" potentiality (even in Euclid's Geometry, you can't predict it. THE FOOD IS NOT IN THE RECIPE, or potentially present). However, GH says there's a problem here, something about seeing it in Relations).

A builder who is not building right now. If there is nothing behind it, creating tension, why one moment of time lead to another moment of time. (yes. these are paraphrased words from the 2008 talk by Gh in LSE). Where GH says: We need to get through Heidegger to get to this, through this. I pause at this word time because of what Julian Jaynes has noticed about time: that it is a spatialization-in-itself; and this spatialization is a "feature" of consciousness (so there are some problems here, but not insurmountable).

Fourfold Structures in the History of Philosophy.: Bacon's Square Pig; Eighteen dichotomies; and the second principle of division (hopelessly embarrassing). Where does the veiled underground withdrawing hiding world come from? Wheres the phenomenal world of visibility? Where's the appearance IN CONSCIOUSNESS (Husseurl is not a REALIST) (says Gh).

Shall I circle this desk? Am I seeing a profile. A difference betweena  THING and its QUALITIES....

substance isn't added on....
like tea into jam and bread....
or tea and the toilet (at the level of language)

Invisible Things/ Real TOOLS.....

Sunday, January 16, 1994

Graham Harman's LSE (?) talk....on "translating" Latour and Heidegger Into Each Other Pretty sure I was at that Prince of Networks meeting, sloughed up on a real trip to a real Museum round the corner, I showed up piss drunk and in need of a copacunchino Latte; that would lead the way. Real pisser my compadre hasn't read it. And what was I doing in 2008 that I missed all this? Ah Lacanuna. I can imagine.... the university setting.... the gathered. But whoae! What a bomb....a better way to read Heidegger.... ten more reasons to go out and read Heidegger.... and what a book. Great. "Tool analysis"  "Substance theory"..... human beings...... dasein always at the center of things... trapped in the Kantian tradition (1781).....

Plastic CUPS. ARTIFACTS.  Latour....