The postmodern condition: Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble.

Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble”

Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble”


— Read on josephratliff.com/google-filter-bubble/

This blog, this video and the producer of the video, The fact of them now, bring up many issues, and more than whether or not Google search engine is biased and whether or not we’re being manipulated.

Let me see if I can address the issues that seem apparent to me just off the top of my head.

One. The thing that sticks out to me the most is that Jean-Francois Lyotard already told us this in his seminal essay the Postmodern Condition. And very short: the postmodern condition is where knowledge is determined by the experts. Of course he said a few things more than this but in very very very short term is this is really what he saying, significant to this post at least.

Let this sink in: for much of history humanity has thought it self as existing from some sort of open freedom, freedom, free thought, choice, free will, etc. And more recently, that we as intelligent creatures, intelligent human beings have a capacity to view things for what they are, and that we really just need to make a choice to investigate things to find out what bias is or what agenda might be inherent in any particular presentation. The postmodern condition is where that capacity or ability is commandeered, as part of a whole motion, such that this ability itself, the very idea of a sort of intelligent or free detachment from the object of our perception or conception, has already been determined by a certain set of people that we know, as an ideological disembodiment, as “the experts”. And his point in the essay is that this coincides with technology because human beings are, in our moments, a technological creature.

Now, when I hear anyone talk about postmodernism I think of Lyotard’s essay. I think of other authors to, postmodern original authors, but I do not really think about people who consider themselves “post modernist”, and when I hear other people critiquing postmodernism, most of the time from their critique I understand that they are talking about the subsequent category of authors that call themselves postmodernist. And so then I know right off the bat that the person who is staking their claim against postmodernism is really talking about something that I consider a somewhat superficial. Sure, what they have to say might be relevant in a kind of pop culture way of viewing academics and what academics do, so far as they have to be involved in making social commentary all the time, and indeed make money doing it.

So anyone who thinks they know what postmodernism through the authors Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari etc.. Really should read Lyotards essay, in my opinion, because really the essay gives everyone else teeth. I feel like the other authors talk about various aspects of this condition that Lactually defines. What he is saying in that essay basically encompasses the impetus for everyone else’s discussions. At least, as I say, that’s how I see it.

So once we understand what he saying is the postmodern condition then —

Two. What this video is saying is not new. In fact, we already knew that this is going on, and just because there is a computer program or the Internet that is making it more obvious to us does not mean that all the sudden we are being manipulated or being conned into thinking something. For the postmodern condition is that condition whereby what is considered knowledge is already determined for us through our humanity. And this is to say that what we think is free speech or freethinking, even to say intelligence, has already been determined by “the experts”.

Three. What does this mean? What does this mean that there is this person who is putting out this video to warn us about how biased Google search engine might be, as though this is something that’s coming up just in the past 10 years, say, or something that’s really becoming important just right now or in the past year because of technological capacity or ability. When we read the postmodern condition essay we should already understand technology as involved in this very human way of being to determine what knowledge is through expertise; because it’s manifesting in a particularly visible and tangible way actually shows of what the human being actually is as a universal object.

So again, what is the significance of the fact that this video has appeared right now, and really saying in the context of the post modern condition?

Just as a case in point for my post here:

Honestly, I have to ask myself while watching this video who is searching for that shit? Who is really caring whether or not googles or any search engine for that matter search engine is bias or not?

Of course, I think this is a little oblique of a question for most people, but it really goes to the fact that I don’t use Google very often to search for anything very important. And yet here is a blogger actually taking the time to produce this video to tell a bunch of people that what they think is an unbiased search engine is very biased and so people should be careful about being manipulated towards particular information.

So to my mind she is not talking about everyone, but she is only talking about a particular type of person.

And I have to go back to this question of knowledge being ordained by the experts.

The postmodern condition is something that is defined by Correlationalism, And you can Google that(lol) if you don’t know what it is or what it means because I’m voice dictating while I’m walking my dog so …

And this is to say that the condition is such that even “intelligence” is knowledge that is again defined by the experts, and if I haven’t been clear, what I’m saying is that this definition itself is biased. And involved of my point here is that the very idea of a free thought is already been determined through a biased created by expertise which is supposed to be unbiased but which really is not: The very idea of intelligence as some sort of grounding or ubiquitous aspect of being human in which freedom is likewise essentially grounded, is a manipulation.

Through this very simple analysis of the post modern condition with relevance to one of its products, the space apparent in between the truth of the matter and the real manifestation of the matter, points to a particular type of human being and not a whole category of universal species that we typically understand when we say or refer to “human being”.

Because again we have to ask what is the point of this video. I think there are two answers which really indicate again this ideological unity of the intelligent free human being:

The person who made this video obviously feels very concerned about people being manipulated against what would otherwise be free thought.

And, The point of the video is to elicit a reaction, to activate a legitimate fear, so to speak.

And I would say that these two things combine to form a certain concept of the human being that to such people that are alarmed or are supposed to be alarmed, create and antagonism with in humanity whereby if you are not alarmed then you are not ethical or not moral or are otherwise not intelligent.

And I don’t mean this in the sense of that we should not be worried about it, I mean this in the sense, in the same sense as climate change: we’ve known about this for a long time and in fact it is not something that creates a condition for us that we can make choices to not have occur. Indeed we should be concerned, but I would say in a manner that insights responsibility for what is actually occurring.

But the very fact of the video is an assumption that this kind of responsibility is not available to many if not most people. Apparently it’s not available to the person who made the video, but as well it’s not available to the people to whom the video is intended.

Now what does this mean in the context of a post modern world where everyone is supposed to have an equal and equitable voice?

In the words of Slavoj Zizek, It is a catastrophe.

So something to think about.

Philosophy, Guitar Pedals and the Postmodern Condition: An Essay Addressing how the Ideal of Local Control over Global Knowledge is the Problem Embedded into Modern Philosophy

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I play guitar. In case anyone does not know, there are these small devices, mostly for electric guitars, that go between the guitar and the amplifier that alter the sound of the plain guitar signal.  These devices are called guitar pedals. Guitar pedals are electronic devices that alter the incoming signal of a guitar or other instrument. There are all sorts of them, but the one type I am going to compare to philosophy are of the saturation/distortion kind, the phenomenon of there being so many pedals of this kind. Simply speaking, these pedals “overdrive” the signal; they are the sound you are listening to most of the time when you listen to any type of rock and roll. Early rock and roll and classic rock had less distorted tones, and Heavy Metal and Punk Rock have the heavily distorted sounds.

Bye the way; this is not the same kind of analysis as my earlier post, which was an analogy of sound and philosophical signal (digital and analogue). This post is about content.

First;

We still exist in the post-modern condition.

I would assert that any philosopher who does not recognize this doesn’t know their philosophy. And that’s fine. If they want to discuss this, I am surely open.

Link to the PDF of “The Post Modern Condition”.

The very short short version of that short essay by Jean Francois Lyotard is that knowledge, as a category that attempts to engage with the universe in its broadest sense, is limited by an operation of its own reason to give a proper universe which no longer is concerned with what actually may be given to knowledge by the universe itself. The main point here is that knowledge is no longer about finding truth, or to see what is really there; on the contrary, it is about control of knowledge. From his essay we can draw out a couple necessary subsequent results: A thinker qualified as a free thinker must arise within one of two fronts. And, this is because the control of knowledge is done by “the experts”, who are, in truth, convicted to the self-regulating ability of being human and its reason, which then require that all those who propose upon knowledge represent themselves as “experts”.

Ok. I wont go on with that here. More to show through a picture of things, a comparison how both the current boutique guitar pedal interest is similar to the current philosophical interest.

Boutique Guitar pedals and guitar sound.

The main thing that anyone should know about guitar sound is that you can manipulate it with pedals, and that there are different ways to achive saturation/distortion. Saturation and distortion, by the way, are two different ways to say the same thing; saturation is generally low-level distortion, and distortion is considered high level saturation. Without going into all the technical mumbo-jumbo, a signal becomes distorted when the incoming signal is too much for the processing amplifier. If the incoming signal is just barely too much, you get a slightly saturated signal, and we can turn up the incoming signal until it is so much that all you get is distorted noise with no actual tonal-musical guitar signal. For all you guitar smarties: Yes that is an oversimplification of what is occurring, but the description is correct. In between “barely” and “noise” you can get various types of pleasing, or not so pleasing tones (opinion varies). Also, depending upon the transistor, or signal processing device, different sounding of distortion occurs, but along the same continuum.

The point I will make is that there is only so many distortion sounds you can get, but there are 100’s, (Id bet there is at least 1000 different kinds) of saturation pedals. There are only so many ways to distort a signal, and there are only so many types of signal saturation processors. Now, to be honest, the variation of types of processors that can be made is probably quite infinite, but the key is whether or not we can hear the difference; in a way I guess we could compare it to phenotype an genotype, the former is the observed expression of a trait, and the latter is the invisible actual genetic organization. Its kind of like digital media; the early digital recordings sounded terrible because there was not enough processing power to accommodate the vast amount of information in a sound or visual signal, but they realized after not too long, that the human eye and ear cannot distinguish quality past a certain point; with sound it is probably less than 32 bits. For reference, MP3’s are 16 bit, and they sound pretty damn good. I think online platforms use 24 bit. But we are certainly able to process sound at higher bit rates, but if we just want to hear our music in high quality, the use of that is debatable. there may be hundreds of variations upon a circuit, but can we really hear the difference in practical use?

Go ahead and google “guitar pedal overdrive” and see how many pedals are out there.

My position is that for all the supposed different sounds you can get from each different pedal, after so many, I for one cannot tell the difference, and two, playing a live show and making recordings, no one can really tell the difference. You’ll get, say, 10 different blues bands, say, with guitar players each using a different amp and different pedals, and they pretty much all sound the same. Only the people who are invested in being able to hear the distinctions would be able to tell, and then I would say they could only generalize into “that’s a tube screamer, and that is…” whatever other category. I doubt, given a category of, say, hard rock/metal guitarists, any one listening could be able to tell what pedals 20 different guitarists are using.

I play guitar, and I have a pretty good (Id say modestly) handle on tone. And to me, punk sounds punk, metal sounds metal, dgent sound smetal, classic rock sound blusey, blues sounds blusey…etc…

Ill generalize and say that for 99% of people who like music, the minute, subtle differences in the hundreds of saturation pedals and amps out there, are lost and basically pointless for distinction. Only sitting on my room, comparing the pedals one by one can I, with a honed ear, tell the difference between pedals. The fashion is a phenomenon of pure marketing.

Now; do all those subtle variances mean that there is actually a significant difference in guitar tone? To those who are so anal retentive and audiophile yes. But I would ask, then, what is the point of playing music? Is it so I can sit at home and masturbate with my guitar and pedals? Sometimes yes; it is enjoyable. Yet one would have to admit that I am not playing music for myself; I actually want people to listen to it. I play music not for the musicians, really, but for the people who enjoy music. And very few of them can tell what pedal I am using, nor does the pedal I am using make a difference of whether people enjoy my music.

So. I would say that what is actually significant about the tone of my guitar is that people hear the same tone pretty much no matter what pedal I use because the variation in tone is so subtle (for a given style of music), that it makes no difference in the real world. One blues guy uses that pedal, another uses that one: Its all blues to me and the tone of their guitars all sound like Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn now, and may some like BB King.

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So now to the philosophy part.

If the philosopher (of ontology, which is usually the case: philosophers want to consider small things through first grounding them in large ontological truths) is speaking of big r “Reality” or big b “Being”, then why should not everyone be able to consider it? Why should the big t Truth, the truth of philosophy that no good philosopher would ever admit is a big t Truth, be something that you have to have a PhD to understand?

I mean this in a very normal manner: Philosophy is supposed to be about Everyone’s reality, THE world, THE Being, thought, mind, etc.. A medical doctor is not concerning these kinds of things, and so is justified in knowing stuff I should have to have a PHdD for. In fact, philosophy is the only discipline that supposes to be talking about a common Thing, Reality Being whatever, that speaks in such a way that requires anyone to whom it is supposed to concern must invest time in learning it. Physics doesn’t presume to be speaking of my reality; it speaks unapologetically of THE reality. Philospohy is the pnly one that supposed as part of its domain Every domain. Yet not Every domain is allowed to understand it.

If you ask a philosopher about what they mean by any point of contention, you will find that they will invariably not give you a straight answer. They simply cannot tell you what they mean, and I would say, because they themselves are caught in a meaning that they must avoid admitting. Philosophy, as a career but also as a self-righteousness, is the only discipline that must hold something back from the question to answer the question. I admit this because I am a philosopher; I know this to be true.

So I have to wonder what this is for, this philosophy.

What is the purpose of philosophy?  The question is not “what is philosophy”, we already know that, and it doesn’t really have to do with what individual philosophers tell us because they are not answering us directly. So I ask a direct question which short circuits the conventional philosopher’s method of never answering the question by continually putting the answer back onto the questioner:

Is it for mental masturbation or disciplinary group sex, or self-aggradizement?  Or is it for the purpose of involving everyone, of contributing?

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Below is a quote concerning a term by Giles Deleuze. I pick on Delueze because I feel his philosophy is often misused as it is misrepresented. But there is a whole industry of congregants who consider themselves philosophers, who, in my opinion, are somehow involved in a different kind of philosophy than I am. I can explain it, but who would listen. lol

I don’t mean to pick on this particular blogger philosopher, because he definitely contributes, so I won’t cite who it is (unless he reads it and wants me to):

“Deterritorialising does not efface our cognitive map but opens it up to permanent revision and self-revision, making its use heuristic rather than dogmatic. It subtracts vertical transcendence.”

My question is, are we even allowed to ask what this means?

For you philosophers reading this, can you tell me what this means? Can you do it without referring to another compendium of philosophical discourses?

I am even having trouble telling myself what it means. lol.

First is the Deluezian “deterritorialization”. I would bet 100 out of 100 people who knows what this idea is, if you ask them what is means, will spout out a bunch a things Deleuze said, and will often even preface it with “to Deluze, it means…”

My question is if Deleuze is saying something important, why must it be referred back into the essay that he wrote about it to understand what it means? If I say “cat” I don’t have to pull out a veterinarian encyclopedia to know what it is.

And the thing is, if I give a definition of what “deterritorialization” means, I will most probably get a number of people who will say that I am incorrect in whatever way because…Deleuze says this about it. This is why I ask if I am even allowed to understand what he is saying without referencing back to what he is saying. If what he is saying is important, should it not stand on its own? which is to say, without having to constantly refer back to what he says about it? should not it be evident what he is saying such that it applies to various things so that I can actually tell someone the meaning of the term without having to refer them to his whole essay?

Here’s mine: deterritorialization is that existence that defies the territory of identity. In fact, as an ongoing critique of Deleuze, I would offer that the very concept defies the meaning of it, as I say, it gives as it takes away.

But some philosophers are so entrenched in the identity of terms to their objects that they will argue with me over my definition, where as if you read Deleuze concerning this very idea, the meaning of it, inscribes itself by taking itself out of the definitional equation, contradicting itself through the definition of what it means. There is simply no other way to say it.

So, that statement up there is saying that this deterritorialization does not suggest that cognition should be thrown away or is an invalid manner to understand things.

Of course it isn’t. Why would we even have to say that? When the concept itself is included in the concept that removes itself. To the reflective philosopher: Here I am reading it; how could it even be possible to think that the idea I had should be thrown away, somehow, even before I read it.

“but opens itself up to permanent revision”  Is that not a giving and a taking away? a permanent impermanence. That clause right there make me have to ask what the point of saying it is?

“..To constant revision..” There is is again.

“…making it meaningful instead of dogmatic…”

so really the idea of deterritorialization is the process of making meaning (a territory) that is permanently impermanent and under constant revision (difficult if not entirely contrary to the idea of territory) rather than according to some rules (of territoriality). But isn’t that very statement an assertion of the rule of how deterritorialization is supposed to be understood?

“It subtracts veridical transcendence.” ( did he mean vertical or veridical?) a transcendence that is “from up to down” is now not true, and or , the truth of transcendence is not true. Is that again not a giving and a taking away? The rule that I just gave you about how deterritorialization is to be understood, should be thrown away.

What?

Sounds to me like everybody missed Wittgenstein so they could keep having something self important to talk about.

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So. My question really just what such a philosophy is about, one that appears to reform itself in different terms that are taken to, at once, say something new or explain it, and yet, get us no further that what the original statement meant?

Why are we still going on about it? if we cannot agree about what it is? Because it seems to me this kind of conventional philosophy does its best to avoid having to account for itself.

It seems to me there are 1000 different manners of constructing sentences that are all really saying the same thing about the same thing. Yeah each one of those people, each one of those thousand ways see themselves as saying something significantly different than all the rest. Are we allowed to even say or suggest that we should dispense with all their identity politics? At least in philosophy? Granted there will always be those who insist that each identity is important and saying something unique, but cannot we also give credence to the fact that they’re all saying the same thing about the same thing without negating their privilege of being able to be unique? Would not a more constructive approach to truth and the existence of things take into account that the multitudes and variation of appearances can be categorized into saying something very particular and specific? Might with then be able to move forward?

Reality, Naivety and Addiction; Part 2: Google and the failure of communication.

(Note: These posts refer to Slovoj Zizek’s talk he did in Spain a few months ago; this one:

 

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This ‘post-traumatic world’ that might exist in a utopian dream, if it were not for the naïve subject who is able to have a view where by hope can reside, does not occur within the Symbolic and Imaginary frames; or rather, such a utopia is possible as a political empiricality within such effective frames. Where the ‘post-carnival’ state is possible, there do we find what is ‘the carnival’ itself, the moment wherein things are not what they seem and indeed shift and change in the single view. This is what Zizek (Lacan) calls ‘the impossible’, or, the Real order. The manner by which we make sense of what is impossible is called, for Zizek, psychoanalysis. When we see that these states do not change through subjective agency acting upon some actual empirical object but rather are only changes in view, then we must ask: What is this state wherein Zizek must disclaim his lecture in order to be understood, at once, to be not contradicting his innate imperative for logical consistency, and then as well not offending the sensibility that is discovered through psychoanalysis? Or more precisely: What is occurring such that this state, that he would have to qualify his subjectivity as naïve, against which a Socialist Bureaucracy seems preferable, or, what might be best to deal with things ‘after the carnival’ , needs be stated? Does not a state reflect itself de facto, automatically and axiomatically in the presentation?

What is occurring in the naive state is an inability to be dismissed from the carnival; an inability to make the next move; hence, for Zizek to communicate at this level and be honest he must qualify his presentation: What is naive is that which understands itself as not subject to psychoanalysis. So, the trauma continues and the carnival goes on; this is reality, the effect of the various periodic failures of the Symbolic and Imaginary Orders, and the solution to these evental failures is usually and commonly to resource the Symbolic and Imaginary orders, the orders by which the political world gains veracity, or the semantic scaffold by which what is political may be known.

One does not simply decide to give up on their world and then the world goes away; the world must be destroyed without consent. This is a fact. If we must speak of effective ideologies, we can hear Zizek through his book “Living in the End Times” (paraphrase): It is only at the time we notice the impending failure of an ideology that we fight hardest for its truth. We do not simply give it up, even if we know the battle is lost; we still man our stations and fight for the state. We do not simply and easily relinquish our world because we have a conception that it is ending. Notice the general responses to global warming. The rhetoric is not a condemnation of our system, rather the reaction is either flat denial or a call to adjust how we approach our modern living.

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Likewise the recent Google diversity scandal. Notice that there is nothing terribly irrational or non sensible in the manifesto. In fact, his essay makes good sense from a open-platform ideal: Every voice should be heard, even the voice that has been marginalized in the popular political environment. He is not saying that Google should not address inequalities in the workplace; he is saying that the manner that they are being addressed may be based upon an incomplete consideration of the facts; a more complete rendition of the facts of inequality or structural misrepresentaion or skewed hiring and promoting practices being the logical and rational ideas that he presents, which are, actually, not too radical. He is not saying anything that I haven’t heard; whether or not I believe them or not, the various notions about gender he produces are indeed valid — but in a certain light.

Then look at the answer that is made by Danielle Brown, Googles new diversity manager.

…I found that it [the anti-diversity manifesto] advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.

Does anyone notice anything peculiar between the two discourses?

At risk of putting myself in either camp and looking as if I am defending the manifesto, the anonymous writer is merely putting forth his view under the ideal that everyone should be heard, he is saying that perhaps Google’s diversity policy should be put on hold until everyone is heard. There is nothing radical about this ideal; it is a very democratic and American ideal, liberal as well as conservative.

How about Ms. Brown? Her decision has already been made. The judgement of the diversity manager is that he is “promoting incorrect assumptions about gender”.  Is that really true? It kind of sounds to me that it is the diversity manager that is promoting assumptions that are not true, namely, that the dude is promoting incorrect assumptions. But as Lyotard noted,by what ground shall we legitimate either of these discourses?

Nevertheless, this (his, the Manifesto) incorrect assumption is one that Google does not endorse, and indeed is why he ended up fired.

I don’t think there is a better indication where this world of ours is headed: Nationalism is on its way out; Corperatism is in. Democratic ethics is no longer the standard but is indeed being commandeered by corporate policy, policy that will decide what is ethical for the future.

Just from a (fair) neutral position: I am curious what exactly his manifesto says that is an incorrect assumption about gender. Are we not allowed any more to suggest that men and women are different? I thought in the discussion about race, at least, we are supposed to embrace difference, acknowledge difference and not be blind to color of skin and cultural expression. Any considerate and intelligent person is left to wonder why difference in gender is not to be acknowledged and embraced? Don’t we do that when we fuck?

In the corporate world we do not fuck each other, we fuck other companies. Competition defines the space of ethics; a meta-narrative of ethics does not yet define an umbrella space of companies. Difference, it seems, is not to be abided in the consideration of the workers value: Only the overt potential involved in the equality and sameness of human beings in general is to be considered in the place of production. The ability to produce is the standard, and we, as corporate subjects, cannot afford the inefficiency that can arise in the a priori classification of workers ability: All workers are equal in the potential to produce. That is the (post-) modern ground of ethics.

What do we have? We have the very postmodern condition coming to fruition. The Manifesto Man speaks of a Google echo chamber. What could be a better description of his very condition: He is speaking about a kind of ethical space that we all know of, but because the our existential condition (for lack of a better term here), the ethical condition that is the liberal agenda of freedom and equality that has been with us for at least 200 years, he cannot be heard, indeed will not be heard. Knowledge no longer exists as some source  or conduit for access into an essential and ideal ground for ethics; knowledge now is determined along lines of which knowledge is valid, and so which knowledge is able to be heard. Lyotard puts it in terms of which knowledge is efficient. The Manifesto Man is speaking, and we all (but do we?) know what he is meaning, where he is drawing his knowledge from, but it is mute. Such knowledge is invalid: It is no longer a kid of knowledge that is included in what is valuable. The ‘experts’ have agreed and they have decided.

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What better description of this world: carnival. And as well: dialectical. So what happens after? The discussion by two or more people is shut down and the discussion continues as if in an echo chamber, which is to say, the movement merely occurs and everyone just rides along, regardless of what sound is made. The Dialectic continues but under a new semantic rubric that is understood to not be new. Indeed; there is an irony occurring. For, while the point I make in my recent essay about ‘the event of the past’  and Zizek being naive, I find that around the same time (well, relatively speaking I suppose, lol) I was writing that post, Zizek himself was in Spain speaking about how he was going to proceed as naive (listen to the youTube above).

In this sense, we find a certain psychoanalytical significance to what is occurring at Google, but in the context of addiction as well. The naive subject has a voice that is always heard in the context of the times as a political voice, able to bring change to the world, in various potentialities, at various moments. But what occurs is that voice is automatically referred to a context that is outside of the communicative potential of the subject: She speaks, but it is as if in an echo chamber. The dialectical subject of ethics speaks of justice, but her voice resonates only in its own space, the sound that is heard in reality is offensive and indeed (now) incorrect, and actually promoting assumptions that no longer reflect what is true, except in as much as this echoing voice affirms the present justice; the past has been changed. As Zizek describes in his book “Event” determined by the facticity of the past itself, the present act alters the very condition by which it has come about to reflect the actuality of the present moment.

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The addict in his cups is not privy to the change; she is determined by her past as she works to keep the past constituent to that ideal and dialectical moment. The addict sees the material as being unchangeable and essential, and ideal world or “musts” and “is’s”. Reality never breaks into the Imagined world to disrupt it and the addict stays in her echo chamber yelling for someone to hear her. But the world only hears a sound that no longer reflects the true of reality. The two exist within a dialectical moment that is denied for the purpose of asserting a justice that is already occurring, indeed has been occurring, albeit, to challenge the past which determined the criteria by which such justice has been ascertained.

Time behaves atemporally, as witnessed not only by Lyotard 40 some years ago, but in the movie “Fight Club” some 25 years ago:

This is no figure of speech, metaphor, or interesting artistic juxtaposition. It is the actual psychoanalytical situation that occurs.

(This clip is just so perfect ! lol)

Clean Shave, by CSP – and other postmodern avoidance.

clean shave CSP logo 2_Fotor

What is the relationship between art and philosophy?

That is the issue I treat.

In “The Postmodern Condition”, Jean-Francois Lyotard speaks of this dichotomy in terms of ‘narrative’ and ‘scientific’ discourses. Emmanuel Kant speaks of the difference between Practical and Pure reason. And others also divide essential Being into dichotomous factions and never seem to approach the ‘final frame’, as Slavoj Zizek might (maybe) call it. While they are all most commonly understood to be speaking of different aspects (all of them) of reality or whatever, the significant issue involved with all of them is that they are really using different terms to characterize and position the same thing, the same aspect of being itself (that which is being itself). This is the issue that Francois Laruelle attempts to show us, that philosophy, what we might call ‘conventional’ philosophy, understands these divisions, these decisions, as indicating essentially real and localizable essences, what we may now call ‘objects’, but also a condition that no human being can get out of (No Exit).

The conventional philosopher sees terms as identifying actual distinct and segregate idealized (there is not situation that escapes what is of an idea) situations as these situations are indeed thus due to the manner by which clausal arrangements are made: Discourse determines reality because that is what has been argued successfully, and this argument thus can no longer be questioned without determining reality in a manner whereby reality is thus determined. This is called idealism: The idea is transcribed into reality because the idea is that the idea is able to be transcribed into reality intact (is the idea itself real?) But again, conventional philosophy cannot admit this generalization, or will vehemently as casually set it aside (whatever works), and will then move to discount its idealist situation by defining further terms and clausal arrangements. They simply cannot stop seeing ‘more things’, or simultaneously ‘the comparison of things’ in their use of discourse as these lineages of meaning are understood to extend through an essential temporal substrate. 

See, though, that of course, this is not incorrect. It simply locates, evidences and positions a particular kind of thinking and the method that supports that thinking. The ability to find this philosophical situation thus, at once, understands that conventional philosophy views itself as a kind of essentialist science through its ability to situate itself above and around every assertion that is made upon it, to thereby deny that it is an idealism (religion); this type of maneuver once noticed cannot escape its scientific attitude, an attitude that ironically denies that it is any sort of science.

When we locate this situation, oddly enough, we have found an opening that places philosophy as an object; we are able to ‘see’ it as an object, and once an object can be located and defined for what it does (is something more than it does? IS more than AM? ), it becomes an object of science. This means that people are going to get nervous (isn’t this what we are already seeing?) . While philosophy will continue on in its conventional manner, there will be (is) another kind of philosophical manner that cannot help but supersede what has been traditionally the jurisdiction of philosophy as a whole kind of endeavor. This philosophy that moves beyond philosophy can therefore be called a kind of ‘science of philosophy’ and works to be able to define humanity in a manner that is better able to control and or first describe, then predict the outcomes of humanity even while humanity denies that it is being determined. The irony of this latter situation is that such control is not subject to the fears of totalitarianism or dictatorship (but neither democracy or communism) because such an understanding does not occur within the purview of real estimations; what falls into its purview will be checked by the regular political mechanisms which are around for any moment.

What in the past has been called ‘religious’, and then soon after ‘esoteric’, and then soon after ‘heretical’, now changes the stakes of the game. What has been the arena that these terms denoted has been dispelled (the term no longer ‘denotes’) in all effective ways save the enforcement of the meaning of the term itself: There is no ‘effective’ esoteric occasions but those which are defined within the general political arena as another political case, another political identity. What goes on behind closed doors is subject to the same rules as any other ‘closed door’ policy.

Due to this ideological upset that the concept of science brings about (along with its appropriate narrative support), the human situation is turned on its head and reality, by virtue of its ubiquity and omnipresence, becomes a religious institution. Once this happens, everything remotely ‘spiritual’ goes out the window into the the bin of science, yet even while it retains an effectivity within the meaning of the transcendental clause by which narratives afford, convey and maintain real worlds. What occurs then, is what otherwise would have been classified as ‘esoteric’ by modern analysts becomes the effective means to define parameters upon the human creature in such a fashion which moves beyond the ability for the real narrative to keep up with; power is enacted which does not fall into the modern ‘structural-Marxist-humanist’ designations for how power is supposed (proposed) to be used. As we have just said, what does fall into the lap of such analysts, regardless of what it means to such analysis, nevertheless functions to acquiesce data which is thus used to support the determinate scientific use of power upon reality. This is to say that what has been the problem of modern philosophy, that of what to make of essential difference and its interface, interaction or intersection, has been solved, albeit in a manner that leaves a particular mode of philosophical knowledge playing in the white wash despite its best efforts to paddle out into the monsters of Mavericks. Philosophy (conventional) becomes the means to make sense of what is already occurring, a manner to keep everyone calm and centered upon the practical business of living life, understood in the context of tradition though contingency, randomness, and the vicissitudes of free will. Religion is indeed the opiate of the masses, but to the extent that, as Giles Delueze might argue, knowledge of how this might be the case cannot and does not allow us to avoid its satiating glamour because within each attempt to overcome the oppressive and limiting aspects of our Leviathan, humanity functions to sedate itself through the very terms of its systemic freedom.

What is left is enacted by a contingent that, while recognizing the limits imposed and demanded, does not, as Zizek makes sense of the Buddhist philosophy of detachment, after all, totally comply with those limits, and indeed, lives a double life. Yet this one is not the conned apathetic agent of futility and happiness; on the contrary, it is the engaged and living aspect of the limitation itself.

There is a point, a moment, where Philosophy is split: one Philosophy continues in its traditionally real ontological approach and will see every discourse as a sign to be placed back into the correlational  (real) limit; the other Philosophy sees philosophical statements as the material of a science, as it begins to show what philosophical statements establish, what they do as objectival acts, as things in themselves, behaving in characteristic manners to establish typical situations, that can be identified and predicted along certain lines of purpose. 

This type of knowledge is deemed invalid in the narrative of reality despite every effort to validate it in narrative (the philosophical science is negated in the act of narrative) and so occupies a kind of knowledge that is usually categorized and classified as esoteric, but indeed is a science that is offensive to real agents of transcendence, which is to say, to practical reason. 

This situation always is the case (see my book “The Moment of Decisive Significance” for the description example) as history may be discerned along lines of the relationship of this polemical constant over the motions of ideological climate and of their reactionary politics.