Houses of Eternity

"Art is the exposure to the tensions and problems of a false world such that man may endure exposing himself to the problems and tensions of the real world." Morse Peckham (Man's Rage Against Chaos) "The study of Homer and Picasso are once again a class prerequisite, a luxury for the wealthy." Curtis White (Bad Science of Something Else? Orion Magazine) “...the thinkers, the artists and the heroes { } ...They are lonely, self-centred, not by choice but by necessity. Genius has no place for team-work. Poets and prophets do not go into committees." Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (An Idealist View of Life) “Our critique of science, technology and the industrial system is a critique of … [Read more...]

The Child in the Tree

"Unless the Almighty Maker them ordain/ His dark materials to create more worlds,--/ Into this wild Abyss the wary Fiend/ Stood on the brink of Hell and looked a while,/ Pondering his voyage; for no narrow frith/ He had to cross." John Milton (Paradise Lost) "We don’t just talk anymore, we run programs. Whom do they serve?" Jonathan Beller (Digitality and the Media of Dispossession) "Bad philosophers are like slum lords." Ludwig Wittgenstein ( Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics) "Our supposedly algorithmic culture is not a material phenomenon so much as a devotional one, a supplication made to the computers people have allowed to replace gods in their minds, even as they … [Read more...]

Stone Age Brain

"...the artist who has the habit of art has a hand that trembles." Dante ( Paradiso 13.77–78) "Newspeak is the new lingua franca. All Ur-Fascist literature, including scholastic texts, revel in the use of an impoverished vocabulary and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments of complex and critical reasoning. A related objective is also to undermine culture and the cultivated taste for quality, because quality, in the fascist’s book, is retrograde." Anjan Basu (Fascism Come in All Shapes and Sizes But the 'Family Resemblances' Can No Longer Be Denied, The Wire, July 2021) "Here we have the principle of commodity fetishism, the domination of society by things whose … [Read more...]

The Comfort of the Metropole

"...artificial intelligence is a registry of power.” Kate Crawford (The Atlas of AI) “Cornell’s art assumes a romantic universe in which inexplicable events can and must occur. Minimal art, notwithstanding the cartesian disclaimers of some of the artists, draws its being from this charged, romantic atmosphere, which permits an anonymous slab or cube to force us to believe in it as something inevitable.” John Ashbery (Reported Sightings) "Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; and in the lowest deep a lower deep..." John Milton (Paradise Lost, IV) "It is not true that the human mind has undergone no development since the earliest times and that, in contrast to the advances in … [Read more...]

To Catch the Exception

“...if shame shows itself at all, then it does so precisely through self-concealment." Gunther Anders (Promethean Shame) "Few understand the extent to which Silicon Valley is the alter-ego of Pentagon-land, even fewer realise the impact this has had on the social sphere." The Cogent (How the West Was Won: Counterinsurgency, PSYOPS and the Military Origins of the Internet march 4th 2022) "The scientific verification of experience which is enacted in the experiment- permitting sensory impressions to be deduced with the exactitude of quantitative determinations and, therefore, the prediction of future impressions - responds to this loss of certainty by displacing experience as far as … [Read more...]

What Experience Was

“Closeup jostled shots of thousands of people outside a stadium after a Goebbels speech, people surging, massing, bursting through traffic. Halls hung with swastika banners, with mortuary wreaths and deaths-head insignia. Ranks of thousands of flagbearers arrayed before columns of frozen light, a hundred and thirty aircraft searchlights aimed straight up—a scene that resembled a geometric longing, the formal notation of some powerful mass desire." Don DeLillo (White Noise) "Service and sacrifice in a higher cause had been part of the definition of the manly ideal almost from the beginning, but now such a demand was couched in the rhetoric of the First World War. That war made the … [Read more...]

The Movie that Never Ends

"...the reduction of leisure time as the marginal utility of money income rose, and the real location of labor from goods and services for direct consumption to marketed goods that is, a new strategy for the maximization of household utility. We see it among peasant households concentrating their labor in marketed food production, in cottar households directing underemployed labor to proto-industrial production, in the more extensive market-oriented labor of women and children, and finally, in the pace or intensity of work." Jan DeVries (The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution,” The Journal of Economic History 54,#2) "Leveling in the context of necessities and personal … [Read more...]

Docking the Ferry

"Infinity renders impossible any solution to the problem of meaning." E.M. Cioran (The Heights of Despair) “I argue that the AI industry demonstrates the increasing autonomy of capital from labour and not the other way around.” James Steinhoff (Automation and Autonomy) "The correct recognition that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding on an infinite time, but by removing the longing for immortality." Epicurus (Letter to Menoeceus) “People want to conform to a much higher degree than they are forced to conform, at least in the Western democracies.” Erich Fromm (The Sane Society) "In the eyes of a dialectical critic, fractures in form … [Read more...]