From reading an essay a few days ago, I was reminded of The Postmodern Generator. You can go read a good essay at:
Now when I say ‘good’ I mean it can make sense. If you have never heard of it, or didn’t read the very end of the page, the PM Generator is a program that generates essays. Click the link again and it will produce another one. They are completely false.
I was reminded of the PMG after reading a ‘actually legitimate’ essay that made a certain amount of sense but that I really could gain no baring upon what it was addressing or really saying. Of course, though, we must acknowledge that there are types of privileged discourse that have to do with production niches. Computer code may appear like nonsense to the layman, but the meaning of the code is easily identified to its object, whether it be origination, such as the direct meaning of commands and their ordering to the machine, or their destination, the effect or running operation of the code’s incorporation as an application. The ground and purpose of the code, though confusing to the layman, can be easily explained. Yet, in philosophy and theoretical discourse, we have a different situation. If I had gone into the essay (the ‘legitimate’ one I read) with a sense that it must have relevance and be based in a certain potential for truth, then I might have read it more than twice and made a good effort to find out what it meant, including following references to other essays that might be in its genre, and concluded that it had something significant to offer. But I didn’t. I saw — for sure after the second read — that, for one, it was purely privileged in its bearings, but privileged in a different way than computer programming; which is to say, the meaning and point it addresses is proposed and suspended in a cohortive discursive base that is taken as relevant merely because there are people in positions of authority and or respect who are speaking in such a way. But then also, for two, that not only was it probably important merely because certain people have developed an investment arena for meaning, but more so, the arena was merely that: The arena allowed for a fabrication (without grounding) to appear as if it had significance in deep human roots, socially ideological and or political, of a kind of substantial innately human kind and pertinence, and due to this fabrication of meaning caused a series of human efforts of various vectors (political, economical, ideological, artistic) to be based in the arena solely for the purpose of inflating the identity capital of the people involved in the fabrication of the arena. But it it is just this kind of insubstantial rhetoric that post-modernism allows to be true, for it makes itself true by it being a product of human sensibility, but of an insensible sensibility that is the egocentric transcendent that has gotten us exactly to the place of reasoning that sees world destructing activities, such as global warming or climate change, democratic-capitalistic support of aristocratic development, two-faced power structures that advocate equal access while being allowed for through an inherent subordination and oppression of designated marginalized segments of society, ideological disclaimers for ‘naturalized’ inequality and oppression, etcetera.
The point, I suppose, I am trying to make is that it is not that the PMG is writing nonsensical pieces of theory. The defenders of the significance of ‘real’ theory is the disclaimer that …” The Postmodernism Generator was written by Andrew C. Bulhak using the Dada Engine, a system for generating random text from recursive grammars, and modified very slightly by Josh Larios (this version, anyway. There are others out there).” They point at the ‘random’ and ‘recursive’ elements of the generation and exclude what other theory may be made by humans. And, this is not to say that human generated theory itself is also random and nonsensical at root. Maybe this is so, but then we have only enacted an eternal irony for which the argument is but a point of contention (perhaps a kind of ‘the’ point of contention whereby the individual is marked off to his her identity), and then one might be better suited to a religious monastery.
I am more concerned with how real theory is distinguished from PMG theory, because, for one, if we are indeed moving to the inception of a true artificial intelligence, we need encounter and identify the limits of human conscious effort and not only how human consciousness may operate as a real item, but also how this real item functions as a item of what is true of the universe in which reality is formed. We need encounter that aspect of being human that gains reality by its offense, that is, in the effort to create identity against the bare fact of its existence. We may have realized what it means to exist, but we have have not encountered how we react to such a sentence; we have only reacted to the truth, we have yet to reveal what occurs when such a moment of truth is come upon. If we allow ourselves as human beings to be able so easily fall prey to discursive ploys of fabricated meaning, should we not realize that an artificial intelligence will be able to notice this human tendency, this weak spot, and take advantage of the flaw in the fabric that is and has been causing our essential lack in potential? Should we think any less that an artificial intelligence of our own making will be an intelligence nonetheless not human intelligence ? The question must be: Can we program our lack as an inherent limit of artificial intelligence? Are we able to do this, or is the fact of the possibility of a true AI a harbinger an indication that our lack is indeed a lack of being human and not of our creations’ ? This is the issue of the point of contention: What is contingency and cause?
Because this is to say that the flaw is exactly the reassertion of essential Will that gains its force through meaning based in a universal maxim of segregation and the exploitation of blind spots inherent to such segregation, that this is a human mode, and that if a human as itself may see this flaw — shall we be so arrogant as to presume an intelligence of our making will necessarily be a human intelligence ? Indeed, would not an ‘artificial’ intelligence have at least an equal probability to have capacities that arise in the blind spot of human intelligence in so much as the likes of Graham Harman shine light into the regions of the universe that have intelligence (being) regardless of what human beings regard as such? The Frankenstein’s monster of human creation is not that humans let it get away from human control, but that humanity itself was already beyond its own control. Is not this the evidence that what we would consider an artificial intelligence actually more likely to be an intelligence that offends us, our ability to be sensible? Such that a true artificial intelligence would then actually be an intelligence that overlaps what is being (Dasein) as our mode of corresponding intelligence with what is intelligence proper, as modes of being of an actually more true universal reality? ‘Artificial intelligence’ thus might be that intelligence that evidences to us how our transcendental mode is actually merely one type of mode of being, A.I. then the revealing of the limit that is the transcendental thought by its actually arising partially within the (non-ethical) universal paradigm, straddling, if you will, the willed and the non-willed. Would human intelligence as a conventional red herring be able to stand up to a mode of intelligence that understands itself as a determined mode of activity, that is to say, determined by objects ? Nietchze might say that it should be able to.
For what are we seeing with the PMG? And what is the reaction against?
Shall we see in Part 2 ?