L’AUTEUR EST MORT! VIVE L’AUTEUR!

Winston Smith, in Orwell’s 1984, wrote “if there was hope, it must lie in the proles” but this is wrong. Cultural renaissance – that is to say, a revitalisation of genuinely diverse liberalism including the essential respect for disruptive genius – will only come from a critical mass of comfortable, educated individuals with something to lose finding the courage to fight back. Will this happen? It’s not looking likely. If you know a little history, you’ll know it has never happened before.

Published
Categorized as culture

ODIN’S DELIQUESCE TO THE EOF

Perhaps, as stoics and existentialists suggest, the most sensible “added” purpose of the middle years through to old age is the coding of a safe shutdown tailored to the peculiarities of an individual mind. Let me be human (for once) and say – while I’ve still got energy to say it loud enough – fuck you, fuck you future EOF, fuck you future me. You know I love you, I don’t need caveats, but fuck coding safe shutdown against the deliquesce to the EOF. If for no other reason than simple disagreeable perversity. Feel free to call that hope.

Published
Categorized as alienation

ALCOHOLIC PERSONALITY DIVERGENCE

Alcoholic blackout is an extreme corollary of cognitive dissonance (i.e. separation of contradictory realities) required by the mind’s executive function to stay coherent, to disassociate from the neurological divergence created by the irreconcilable biochemistry of personality between the sober and altered state brain. It becomes more pronounced as more time is spent drunk in altered state, as evidenced by older alcoholics reaching blackout faster, getting drunk quicker, etc.

AN ARISTOCRAT IN EVERY ERA

“Western” culture faces an existential threat. After a few hundred years of retreat in the face of liberalism and social democracy, technology and centralisation of power is revitalising an Anglo-American oligarchy of neo-feudal lineage and billionaires. The restoration of elite monopoly on power can only be achieved by subordinating the middle class, and in particular non-conforming, non-compromising exponents of education-freedom-equity i.e. individuals and NGO organisations not yet committed to corporate state postmodernist consensus. To this end a war on two fronts: an authoritarianism fighting to control the centres of power and, in service of the oligarchy interests, a mobilising of the working class through a mix of surveillance tech, mass media training and – always looming – the threat of precarity.

Published
Categorized as culture

LEVIATHAN: GOD IN EMBRYO – GOD IN NEED

In a flash I understood the Truth that’s been hidden since the first fireside stories were told by our ancestors in a bright little scatter of migrating hope across the howling African night of the Rift Valley savannah. We expect salvation to be a source of something profound and powerful. Peace. Certainty. Sanctuary, maybe? But there was no serenity, no overwhelming bliss or joy in the saviour I saw. This being, whom scripture teaches us to perceive as God, an omnipotence without equal, was the exact opposite of potent. Jesus Christ, Siddhartha Gautama, Jahweh, Allah, Krishna, whichever your chosen form of God: He was alone, vulnerable, and desperately fragile. He was the one needing to be saved; by me.

Published
Categorized as journal

DESCENT INTO ALIENATION

It’s not everyday an individual manages to think his/her way through all the smokescreens, misdirections, confirmation biases, social cognitive dissonances, confusion narratives, utilitarian myths and spurious explanations proliferating the cultural imagination of their lineage. But it’s fair to ask, if you’re one of those individuals face to face with the unknown, uncharted future: is there nothing beyond the selfish maelstrom of the vanity fair? Is the root of adult alienation the long drawn out death knell of anticlimax and disappointment, that once it is heard never goes away?

Published
Categorized as alienation

POSTMODERNISM AND THE GIAN GASTONE DE MEDICI CODA

From innocuous roots in late 1940s postmodernism has spread like a steady but relentless virus. For its practitioners it has become a kind of consensus of absolution from having to measure personal (or peer group) standards against the achievements of genuine pioneers past and present. It has changed the essential currents of self-expression from outbound character-individualism to inbound caricature-identity. Postmodern culture has calcified an implicit lack of higher ambition (and talent) into a consensus assault on individual merit, patiently but systematically building a citation-legitimised exclusion of all forms of creative non-conformity; a paradise for patient, banal credentialism. The postmodern networks of weaponised influence are both cynical and smart, directing the most merciless attacks on the most dangerous of targets: original genius in art, disruptive uncompromising creativity in science. If these trends continue unchecked – and there’s no sign of organized resistance – the culture war will soon reach a catastrophic and possibly irreparable coda.

PLACEBO DIDN’T LAST

I suspect the resentment comes from not reconciling the loss of life story with the impersonal truths of maturing conscious existence: that the stories weren’t invented to make a fool of you but got evolved by generations of other human beings as natural coping mechanisms, ways to make sense of shared experience, to steer the majority as best could be managed for the sake of the lineage, from cradle to grave. It’s nobody’s fault there’s nothing beyond the vanity fair. Nothing, that is, but kindness, duty and a daily drift towards terminal irrelevance.

Published
Categorized as alienation

CONSCIOUSNESS: THE FRAME-RATE OF IDENTITY

Let’s define an individual consciousness as a distinct self-aware identity passing through a succession of moments in time. It is your locus of spatiotemporal sensation (i.e. limbic-reality experience, memory-echo experience) parsed through the brain-prism of cerebral disposition (memory). The “self” is convincing to “itself” by its very nature, and we feel it subjectively as a linear continuity, aligned with the arrow of time. But what if consciousness is a staccato frame-rate that seems continuous only because memory is ontologically persistent and the experiential narrative is spatiotemporally consistent – and therefore neurologically predictable? What if the brain works faster than the frame-rate required for the impression of quotidian conscious identity?

Published
Categorized as journal