Take the Place of an Image

‘An object is never so wedded to its name that another cannot work just as well….Sometimes the name of an object can take the place of an image.…Everything tends to make one think that there is little rapport between an object and its representation.’

— Rene Magritte

 

j j j

Consider Three Hypotheses

 

Either information produces meaning (a negentropic factor), but cannot make up for the brutal loss of signification in every domain. Despite efforts to reinject message and content, meaning is lost and devoured faster than it can be reinjected. In this case, one must appeal to a base productivity to replace failing media. This is the whole ideology of free speech, of media broken down into innumerable individual cells of transmission, that is, into “antimedia” (pirate radio, etc.).

Or information has nothing to do with signification. It is something else, an operational model of another order, outside meaning and of the circulation of meaning strictly speaking. This is Shannon’s hypothesis: a sphere of information that is purely functional, a technical medium that does not imply any finality of meaning, and thus should also not be implicated in a value judgment. A kind of code, like the genetic code: it is what it is, it functions as it does, meaning is something else that in a sense comes after the fact, as it does for Monod in Chance and Necessity. In this case, there would simply be no significant relation between the inflation of information and the deflation of meaning.

Or, very much on the contrary, there is a rigorous and necessary correlation between the two, to the extent that information is directly destructive of meaning and signification, or that it neutralizes them. The loss of meaning is directly linked to the dissolving, dissuasive action of information, the media, and the mass media. The third hypothesis is the most interesting but flies in the face of every commonly held opinion. Everywhere socialization is measured by the exposure to media messages. Whoever is underexposed to the media is desocialized or virtually asocial. Everywhere information is thought to produce an accelerated circulation of meaning, a plus value of meaning homologous to the economic one that results from the accelerated rotation of capital. Information is thought to create communication, and even if the waste is enormous, a general consensus would have it that nevertheless, as a whole, there be an excess of meaning, which is redistributed in all the interstices of the social – just as consensus would have it that material production, despite its dysfunctions and irrationalities, opens onto an excess of wealth and social purpose. We are all complicitous in this myth. It is the alpha and omega of our modernity, without which the  credibility of our social organization would collapse. Well, the fact is that it is collapsing, and for this very reason: because where we think that information produces meaning, the opposite occurs. Information devours its own content. It devours communication and the social.

 

 

— Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra

j j j

What It Might Take For Humans To Continue To Exist

Deadliest shooting of FBI agents in 35 years: 2 killed, 3 wounded serving warrant. Two FBI agents were killed and three others wounded while serving a warrant in a child pornography case in Sunrise, Florida. Manuel Bojorquez reports on the investigation and how the shooter ambushed the agents.

A Doc Was Mad That People Die From Preventable Diseases. So He Wrote A Book About It Harvard professor Dr. Eugene Richardson explores colonialism’s impact on global health in Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health.

The New Alliance Shaping the Middle East Is Against a Tiny Bug.

Israeli sensors on the Persian Gulf, across the water from Iran, are part of an epic battle in the Middle East. Just not the one we’re used to.

Polish blackout protest in private media over tax plan.

Private TV channels, radio stations, websites and papers joined the action against the government.

Phoebe Bridgers wants you to know women can smash guitars too At the end of her performance of her single “I Know The End” on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, Phoebe Bridgers attempted to smash her guitar.

Britney Spears breaks silence after documentary release. Britney Spears has appeared to address a documentary about her life, saying she is “taking the time to learn and be a normal person”.

Qatari State Petroleum Giant to Construct World’s Largest LNG Project

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – State-owned oil and gas company Qatar Petroleum (QP) is set to develop the world’s largest liquefied natural gas LNG project — the North Field East Project (NFE), which is expected to boost Qatar’s LNG production volume to 110 million tonnes per year, the company said.

Man pleads guilty in 1996 murder case that led to wrongful conviction: Brian Dripps pleaded guilty to the 1996 rape and murder of Angie Dodge, a crime for which another man served 20 years in prison.

‘Under A White Sky’ Examines What It Might Take For Humans To Continue To Exist

Elizabeth Kolbert makes clear how far we already are from a world of undisturbed, balanced nature — and how far we must go to find a new balance for the planet’s future, one that still includes us.

Pizza Party!

Do yourself a favor and take the time to prepare some pizza dough for a future dinner. Fake Covid videos ‘will cost lives’

Sima Kotecha follows the origins of a “dangerous” viral video about a false Covid-19 treatment.

Second drug kingpin arrested in Thailand tightening dragnet on huge syndicate

A second senior leader of a vast drug syndicate has been arrested, a Thai narcotics official said, as a transnational dragnet tightens on the Sam Gor group, which police say dominates the

$70 billion annual Asia Pacific drug trade.

Trump impeachment trial approved by US Senate: Former president Donald Trump will face a second impeachment trial, after the US Senate rejected Republican arguments that it would be unconstitutional.

European Commission President Issues Public Apology for Article 16 ‘Mistake’: Last month, the European Union courted controversy, even among its own member states, after triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol and effectively introducing a vaccine border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

— from Spam

j j j

Shuddering of Temporality

 

“[…] Humans are not totally in charge of assigning significance and value to events that can be statistically measured. The worry is not wether the world will end, as in the old model of the dis-astron, but wether the end of the world is already happening, or wether it might already have taken place. A deep shuddering of temporality occurs. Furthermore, hyperobjects  seem to continue what Siegmund Freud considered the great humiliation of the human following Copernicus and Darwin, Jacques Derrida rightly adds Freud to the list of humiliators – after all, he displaces the human from the very center of psychic activity. But we might also add Marx, who displaces human social life with economic organization. And we could add Heidegger and Derrida himself who in related but subtly different ways  displace the human from the center of meaning-making. We might further expand the list by bringing in Nietzsche and his lineage, which now runs through Deleuze and Guattari  to Brassier: “Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?” (Nietzsche) And in a different vein, we might add that OOO radically displaces the human by insisting that my being is not everything it’s cracked up to be – or rather that the being of a paper cup is as profound as mine.

 

— Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects, p.16

j j j

Du mußt sterben!

Das ist die Welt;
Sie steigt und fällt
Und rollt beständig;
Sie klingt wie Glas;
Wie bald bricht das!
Ist hohl inwendig.
Hier glänzt sie sehr,
Und hier noch mehr,
Ich bin lebendig!
Mein lieber Sohn,
Halt dich davon!
Du mußt sterben!
Sie ist von Ton,
Es gibt Scherben.

— JW Goethe, Faust I, Hexenküche

j j j

I Have Placed A Curse on The Ground

I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. All your life you will sweat to produce food until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust and to the dust you will return.

— Genesis, 3:17-19

j j j

And we ask: Where do we fit in?

And we ask, where do we fit in? And if the answer was “no where”, where does this leave us? Right here in this backyard-house, the windows dark and swollen with night; the curtains remain closed even at day, the bed with its torn away sheets, the pale stripes of the mattress. We once had a picnic on the floor in the hall, right underneath the attire and a few feet away from the door; a sliver of light crept underneath the door, we had a candle stuck to a tin of tomatoes and spilled on the bedsheets we had draped on the floor lay:

• a broken bread.

• a hunk of cheese still wrapped in its plastic.

• a can of sardines, torn open

• the pillows we brought here from the upper bedroom (“Let me have that: An upper and a lower bedroom. This is the kind of luxury I always longed for. A lower tract for the servants. A reading room, a room designated to ironing, a botanicum full of orchids, humid, shady, thick with odors.” And he let her have that, they rejected two perfectly good houses that would have lasted their money for two month longer and favored this slightly broken down and overpriced venue.)

• A book. Although he had not yet decided which one: He used to bring three books, as he could never really decide what to read and usually ended up glancing at the headlines of a newspaper he had found in the subway and never touching any of the books he brought and staring out of the window, contemplating the futileness of knowledge. He said: All we ever know is the obvious. And he would not elaborate on that. He said: There is not more to say on that matter. Once you expand you universe by including previously uncharted territory, it instantly shrinks again to the boring old places where you have been over and over. And he then battled this by forgetting: Places that had been in reach, he just would have to extend his arm for it, became wild, broken down and rejected places with no paths leading there.

• sheets of paper, torn and pasted together with tape and glue, piled up in a corner of the bedsheets. He occasionally flipped through these, digesting the world in broken headlines and beginnings of articles. Jump right in. The world is more interesting when fragmented.

j j j