Ex Nihilo

"In order to further explain and/or defend our description, we in turn develop a story about what we believe is true. There is nothing wrong with storytelling. In fact, it is a very effective way of transferring ideas. If you stop and think, the way we communicate with each other is basically through a series of stories. Stories are open-ended and metaphorical rather than determinate." Ludwig Wittgenstein (Tractatus) “Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, / Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams / And our desires.” Wallace Stevens (Sunday Morning) "European civilization is approaching the term of its existence..." Erich Auerbach (postscript to Mimesis) "There is no … [Read more...]

Xmas 2022; or the Artificial Oath

"Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death.” Ludwig Wittgenstein (Tractatus) "The mind that knows must of necessity have a past." Gaston Bachelard (The New Scientific Spirit) “ It is said that astronauts returning from space carry with them a changed perspective on the world, the “overview effect,” in which, having seen the Earth from above, they can fully perceive how fragile our little oasis is and how unified we ought to be as a species, as perhaps the only thinking beings in the cosmos.” Katie Mack (The End of Everything) There is a famous and often quoted remark of Einstein's that goes like this: *the distinction between past, present and future is … [Read more...]

The Shadow of the Golem

"The topic of religious, socioeconomic, and psychoanalytical fetishism concerns the concept of objects that stand in the place of a god, things that stand in the place of men, parts that stand in the place of the whole: that is to say, objects whose origin and sense of substitution have been lost or concealed." Alfonso Maurizio Iacono (The History and Theory of Fetishism) "Without wishing to detract from the grandeur of Pasteur's tenets, we can say without hesitation that the germ theory of contagious disease has certainly owed much of its success to the fact that it embodies an ontological represen­tation of sickness." Georges Canguilhem (The Normal and the Pathological) "The … [Read more...]

The Devil’s Theatre

"The idea that there is a gene for adventurousness, heart disease, obesity, religiosity, homosexuality, shyness, stupidity, or any other aspect of mind or body has no place on the platform of genetic discourse." Eva Jablonka & Marion J. Lamb (Evolution in Four Dimensions) “...progress’s first step is the enraged destruction of the discourse of progress.” Max Pensky (Contributions Toward a Theory of Storms) "Like all propagandists, the apostles of tolerance, truth to tell, are very often the most intolerant of men." Rene Guenon (East & West) "The Devil’s theaters are also centers for the mystics." Michel de Certeau (The Possession at Loudun) There is increasingly a quality of … [Read more...]

Empty Time

"The repeated attempts that have been made to improve humanity, and in particular to make it more peaceable, have failed, because nobody has understood the full depth and vigour of the instincts of aggression innate in each individual. Such efforts do not seek to do more than encourage the positive, well wishing impulses of the person while denying or suppressing his aggressive ones." Melanie Klein (The Early Development of Conscience in the Child) "Finally... there results the generally acclaimed 'popularization'...in science. This is the notorious tailoring of science's coat for the figure of a 'mixed public,' to use a tailor-like activity for a tailor-like German (sic!)." Friedrich … [Read more...]

The Essential is Missing

“I wish I could count up to one without first cutting off nine of my fingers” Bill Knott (Stumped, from Collected Poems) "...his { Freud's} creation, psychoanalysis, made an incontrovertible contribution to the radical avant-garde that was transforming almost every realm of European culture. Indeed, 'The Interpretation of Dreams' and 'Ulysses' are cut from the same cloth." Joel Whitebook (The Marriage of Marx and Freud: Psychoanalysis and the Frankfurt School) "It is our occidental idea of art that has caused us to lose culture...To our inert and disinterested idea of art an authentic culture opposes a violently egoistic and magical, i.e., interested idea.'' Antonin Artaud … [Read more...]

Selfie Death Trip

"In every one of the great scenes of Genesis and Exodus there exists a theme or a quasi-theme of the founding murder of expulsion. Obviously, this is most striking in the expulsion from the Garden of Eden; there, God takes the violence upon himself and founds humanity by driving Adam and Eve far away from him." Rene Girard (Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World) "The table may have disappeared, but the séance continues regardless.” Malcolm Bull (The Concept of the Social Scepticism: Idleness and Utopia) "Among students of culture, the body is an immensely fashionable topic, but it is usually the erotic body, not the famished one." Terry Eagleton (After Theory) "There … [Read more...]


“It is by avoiding the rapid decay into the inert state of ‘equilibrium’ that an organism appears so enigmatic.” Erwin Schrodinger (What is Life?) "This rationale holds that the conditions of social life will, in fact, be far less encumbered by atavistic allegiances, xenophobic nationalism, racism and sexism. in direct proportion to the preponderance of market rationality as the basis for allocating social goods. The market alone can achieve the kind of smooth equilibrium that always must elude the irrationality of state, management, coordination, and control." Samir Gandesha (Identifying with the Aggressor) “You don’t need to worry, you will not die until you have finished … [Read more...]