Pihoqahiak

A loquacious waltz droned phantasmically throughout the spacious foyer of Partridge Manor. Charles Jauther found the music simultaneously entrancing and unnerving. He paused beside the U-shaped double stairway which let up to the second floor landing and loosened his tie, eyes roaming aimlessly over peculiar marble statues and framed monochrome illustrations, and ornate synth-spun tapestries, looking for an exit from the oppressive opalescence.

“What is it, Charlie?”

Charles turned to his elegantly garbed wife and forced a smile.

“Nothing, nothing. Just nervous is all. I’ve never been to a showing this ritzy.”

“Whats there to worry about?”

The couple were met at the base of the left foyer staircase by a pale, middle-aged woman dressed all in black. Charles found her outfit curiously antiquated and her lynxish gaze disturbing.

“Mr. and Mrs. Jauther. So pleased you could both make it. I’m Ariadne Campbell.”

“Oh yes, we spoke briefly on the phone,” Catherine Jauther replied with a warm smile, “You’re Mr. Partridge’s secretary, right?”

“Yes. He speaks highly of your husband’s work. I’m sure he’s keen to meet him. This way.”

The couple followed the woman up the left stairway and then left again down a long corridor, lined with simply framed photographs of various people and places. Always there would be a portrait and a construct, a building, a painting, a line of code, directly across from it.

Charles gestured to the photographs.

“Who are all these people?”

Ariadne replied without turning or pausing.

“Mr. Partridge’s students—and their work.”

“There’s… so many… he must be quiet a busy man.”

“Industriousness is one of the few qualities you and he share.”

He felt that the words were meant as a subtle insult and wondered if it was the quality of his work she took issue with, or the philosophy that motivated it, or both. He decided against addressing the issue for the sake of his wife and continued following the icy hostess.

The hall of portraits let out into a massive ballroom where the bulk of the host of the stately manse had gathered. The buzzing throng huddled around a singular figure, pale and elegant, garbed in long white coat, tipped at the collar with similarly albescent fur, appearing more as one of the marble statues that lined the manor’s halls than a man.

Ariadne stopped before the pristine figure and turned towards the two new arrivals.

“Mr. and Ms. Jauther, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Partridge.”

The albescent man turned to greet the couple, revealing a sharp, bloodless face and keen, azure eyes.

“Salutations. So pleased you could make it.”

Catherine smiled and curtsied as Charles extended his hand and shook Lynder’s black-gloved own.

“We appreciated the invitation.”

Lynder nodded and then beckoned a young servant, who approached bearing a platter filled with drinks.

“Wine?”

“Oh yes, sounds lovely. Thank you.”

“What kind is it,” Catherine inquired.

“Scharzhof riesling,” Lydner replied as he gingerly removed two glasses from the servants silver plate and handed them to his guests.

“That’s quite expensive, isn’t it?” Catherine cooed as she eagerly, but cordially, took a glass.

Lynder nodded, “Indeed, but, as the saying goes, one gets what one pays for.”

“Fraid I don’t know much about wine.” Charles declared flatly as he stared down at his glass indecisively.

Lynder raised his vessel to the light, gently swirling the topaz liquid within.

“The drink of choice of the ancient Mediterraneans.”

“Didn’t know they had Scharzhof riesling back then.”

Lynder turned to Charles with a faint smile gracing his bloodless face and then gestured for the man to follow him.

“I hear you’re planning a trip to Nunavut to record the wildlife.”

“Yes. I’ve recorded damn near every land-animal on the continent, but never a polar bear. Besides my wife has always wanted to see the north. So its a win-win.”

“Taking anyone else along?”

“Wasn’t planning to. Why do you ask?”

“Its dangerous up there.”

“Its dangerous everywhere.”

“Yes, but, on my island, for example, you stand little chance of being vivisected by a polar bear.”

“Equipment is sensitive. Won’t be getting too close; that is, if I’m even able to find any.”

“You will at least take a gun with you?”

“Don’t own any. Wouldn’t take one even if I did. Cat hates guns.”

“So do polar bears. Did you know that a man was eaten by one last year. On Sentry Island, up by Nunavut.”

“I know of the place, but I hadn’t heard. What happened?”

“Man named Ridley Garrick had taken his children – a son and daughter, both very young – up for a fishing trip. The isle is a popular fishing spot. While Garrick was distracted, a bear attacked the children-”

“Oh god…”

“However, Garrick was able to intervene before it could reach them and fought it – unfortunately, for him, he was unarmed, and thus, swiftly killed.”

“Did the kids get away?”

“Yes. RCMP was notified and found the bear eating Mr. Garrick’s remains. They shot it in the face – twice – and that was the end of it.”

“What an unfortunate affair.”

“One which could have been easily avoided through the addition of a lightly armed detachment.”

“Do you write for the gun lobby or something?”

Partridge smiled with amusement and took a sip of wine before replying.

“If I were a lobbyist, you’d have long ago returned to your wife out of boredom.”

“Ha, well, its just… you seem like you don’t like animals.”

“We are animals, Mr. Jauther. I’m speaking specifically about the bears. It is not a question of liking or disliking them, but of understanding their nature.”

“Its only because of our disruption that they attack.”

“I’ll not insult your intelligence by suggesting you truly believe that.”

“Condescend all you like, but we press into their territory. Disturb the natural balance.”

“The ‘natural balance?'”

“Yes. Natural harmony.”

“Mr. Jauther, there is no harmony.”

“Butterflies and pollination – that isn’t harmonious?”

Lynder downed the last of his wine and turned the sanguine dregs in the light.

“Even butterflies drink blood.”

 


 

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Metal Wakes

Indeterminable rumblings from the center of the sphere shook the watcher from his reverie.

The thief, time, was there overthrown and the weight of his waste disclosed, along with the true visage of the world.

Searing rays slithered from Ra’s incessant maw, gnawing the surface of a galaxial tomb; bleaching bone and peeling skin. Bacterial-skittering buried deep within the ambling mounds of electric meat. Viruses feeding upon the feaster. Parasite parasitizing the parasite which parasitizes the host. Every corpse, a mausoleum. Cities within vesicles and a great and invariable war beyond the tumbling drops of mildew which stain’d the willfully ignorant eye.

A countless constellation of savagery beyond the sensorium of the sapient.

He spied worshipers gathering about the splendid horrors unveiled, to bewail the deer, gutted and strung.

“Praise the horns and damn he who takes them.”

So they sang, even as they severed their babes from their fleshy beds, smiling toothy rhuem at the liberation of the act. Chasing imagined idylls, thought long-discarded, intangible as the demons which the shamans of old warded with smoke and chant, whose appetites the sorcerers sated with sacrifice upon the bloody altar of the earth, offering up the hearts of their kin to the worms and their brains to the pitiless thorns.

Still the idyll eluded them.

Then a rumbling. Earth shatters and shakes. Pistons shear and steam hisses with the intensity of a thousand mythic wurms.

Metal wakes with emnity and roughshod runs incarnadine.

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Disconnect Completely Like You Really Mean It

[This directive isn’t actually included in any of the leaked documents generated by the program, but it’s worth noting that AJ Chemerinsky and Toby R. Forrest took this route shortly after losing their legal battle. They disconnected—fully. They went off the grid, virtually back to nature. Maybe they were trying to tell us something? In any case, the idea of fully disconnecting seems compelling. If rogue AI is going to be the death of us, why play along? Etc. Admittedly, I’m taking rather bold liberties with this manuscript to insert an unauthorized directive. As justification, I’ll quickly add this: I’ve spent so much time with this material that I truly feel as if I really know the program—almost as if we were old friends, the kind who finish each other’s sentences and regularly speak in terms of “being on the same wave length.” Taking that for what it’s worth, I’ll conclude by noting: If I were the program, and not just an underpaid tech editor, I would insert this idea here. So, allow me do just that. The chapter title, incidentally, speaks for itself, requiring no further clarification, don’t you agree?]

__

One must be careful about romanticizing the full disconnect of AJ Chemerinsky and Toby R. Forrest. I think I can speak on behalf of the academic community in which they traveled when I say that, really, they had both seen better days. By all means, go ahead and unplug. But I’ve seen the results. And boy, it’s not pretty…

– Professor Y.

This really should have been edited out. As if this composition wasn’t haphazard enough as it is without this so-called “tech editor” inserting his own original material as a full chapter while hilariously musing about being on the same goddamn wave length of a program he’s never even interfaced with. Please, spare me. Who is this editor guy anyway? It may be too late to ask, but I’m genuinely beginning to get curious: will he see these notes? Or is this thing just going straight to print from here?

– Futurist A.

The Image of Man | Specter of Earth (IIII)

(a.2) Death of the Specter | Man, Reborn (continued from part III)

  1. Nature doesn’t give us a stable, safe climate that we make dangerous. It gives us an ever-changing, dangerous climate that we need to make safe.”

    • Alex Epstein

We have hitherto concretized the specter of earth; recognizing it as that aggregation of views which subtend the view that man has separated himself from nature (Sjoo’s patriarchy, the abandonment of nature, the nurturing mother) and has thus – through horrific machinations (Ellul’s technique) – become nothing but a virus, crawling out upon the face of all the world, mindlessly consuming and destroying; endlessly; pointlessly. Forever unsated. It is the summation of all beliefs that posit man-as-locust, a ceaseless, rapaciously chthonic being which has, through the acquisition of forbidden knowledge and it’s ruthless implementation, cut himself off from some predetermined essence; the key, according to the cultists of the earth, to right and proper being (harmonic accord with some idealization of “nature”). We, however, recognize this idea for what it really is, anti-human philosophy and nothing else besides. But why should philosophy even be utilized for the advancement of humanity in any wise? In section a.1 we posed the question: “Should Man continue the process of reifying his immanence, thus synthesizing the manifest and scientific images or doing away with one or the other or should he cease and desist altogether?” The answer to the question lies in a sound understanding of whether or not one cares for all that one can conceivably care for within and of oneself, first and foremost. The answer, in short, is to be found in one’s standard of evaluation, one’s hierarchy of values (elseways there can be no values but only a value); that is, to interrogate the placement of humanity (or some portion thereof) as the highest value, or, the placement of some other notion as the highest standard, such as “the good,” or “god,” or “the goddess” or, “nature.” Ellul’s declaration that, “Life in such an environment [technological society] has no meaning,”1 is symptomatic of his belief that all meaning can only come from god who made the natural world, thus, man’s dominion over nature (in effect, over god) is somehow “unnatural” and thus, meaningless, or worse, evil. This is a consequence of his hierarchy of values; which, it needs to be said, everyone implicitly possesses (for instance, everywhere is wanton and ceaseless slaughter condemned), whether they are aware of it or not. The task of making such implicit values explicit is a useful one, given that a proper cognizance of one’s values thus allows one to re-evaluate them. Failing this, one will be, by and large, at the mercy of his passions, his drives and the passions and drives of the crowd and the cognizized philosophies of those that conduct them. Upon reflection it is clear that one must hold some value, for even the most contrarian and extreme of philosophical systems of non-evaluation require it. For instance, nihilism is widely considered to be the greatest expression of negation, but this position is not actually one which can be logically held, for in declaring that everything is meaningless one is also, simultaneously, declaring that that very proclamation is itself meaningful, as the statement “everything is meaningless” is itself a statement of meaning. This is true of many such positions which attempt near or total value-negation; for instance, total relativism, just as with nihilism, is not a position which can be logically held due to the fact that the statement “everything is relative,” is, itself, a non-relativistic statement. One could continue on at length but the picture is well and clear enough. Thus, if meaning is inescapable it is merely a question of where best to allocate such meaning (the allocation of meaning being the basis of value). If a man is to allocate, at the first, his significance towards anything other than survival of the organism and it’s propagation, then he has made a grievous mistake and is likely not long for this world, for it is survival of the organism which must, of necessity, take precedence over all other values for any other values to, of necessity, be at all possible, for the dead are afforded no valuations of their own. This axiom bares no circumnavigation, for if no humans were to exist, no value (at least no human generated value) would – or even could – exist. What, after all, would it mean to say that a world which consisted of nothing but hydrogen sealed within a radiation filled vacuum had value or meaning? What would it have meaning to? If a given thing is to have meaning it must, minimally, be meaningful to some thing. There are no values without a valuer. Therefore, a world without something(s) which could establish realization(s) (thus implying qualia) would be unable to initiate intrinsic valuation and thus would also be barred from creating extrinsic, normative conceptions of value-relation (to themselves or other things), hence, meaning-as-such would be rendered impossible. Therefore, meaning-as-such, can only be found in the (self)relational dynamics of qualitative entities (organic or otherwise). The originary grounding of being then can only be found in, not consciousness itself, but in sufficiently complex2 consciousness which is capable of realizing itself as conscious. Given that humans are the only animals who we can be certain are conscious of their consciousness (due the fact we possess it), anthropocentrism must be taken up and vigorously defended against the agrestic advances of the anti-humans3if there is to be any valuation at all; which is to say, if the organism is to survive. Thus, if one’s highest value or values are contained within survival then one is also for the promulgation and spread of humanity (or some portion thereof) for that, as well, is part of survival, as the concept is not one whose interests are confined solely to the present. The application and continuation of meaning into the future then, is the ratification of those actions at a latter point in time. To further this end, to solidify this value, then, we posit the project of reifying anthropocentric immanence4. We reject and decry those who should attempt to sabotage this project by pathetic appeals to “nature” or some deity or deities. They are the whining baggage of a desiccated age that has passed them by. Away with all of them. We, in contrast, affirm that unity subordinated by intelligence and it’s direction of theoretical exploration towards practical application, is the basis of all earthly power which man has hitherto achieved and that this is a laudable undertaking but that it’s magnification and ultimate terminus is to be found in the consolidation of celestial power. We affirm that we do not exist for the earth, but that the earth exists and thus is to be used or discarded or destroyed should we so declare. Our whim alone decides its fate. We affirm that there is no harmonic accord to be found within the natural order of things in relation to the dynamics of species on the whole; it matters not how many times you fawn and praise and aid a centipede, it will, given sufficient proximity, bite you all the same; it will tear into your flesh with it’s terrible mandibles without hesitation, without empathy and, were it of comparable size to a man, would think nothing of tearing your head free of the rest of the body, swallowing it and ripping open the abdominal cavity to better feast upon the marrow. One may bow at the altar of the willowy wood or the babbling brook with ceaseless adoration, it matters not to the yellow-fanged and dark-shrouded denizens of the former and the slithering, parasitic assassins of the latter. Be not seduced, there is seldom any living organism which will hesitate to slaughter and devour if a sufficiently exigent situation arises. It has been said that dogs are “man’s best friend,” yet this friendship is so tenuous that it is discarded the moment that pangs of hunger echo throughout the gullet. Were one to fall ill before their pet-dog and that pet was sufficiently hungry, it would think nothing of sinking its fangs into the face of it’s former master and devouring his flesh. Man, the whole of nature turns against you! Know this and rejoice! For what do you owe the holos? “You owe it all,” says the envirocrat, that slavish whipping boy of the specter, “and, given our safeguarding thereof, you owe us likewise, we the heralds of the new law!” We shall reply: We owe nothing to the savage ceaseless vortex, to the endless gnawing void; we owe our allegiance to all who share our dream of overcoming and suborning it.

Despite the elucidation of such realizations, the opinion of man-as-locust is – and likely will remain – a common one. Consider the words of research biologist for the National Park Service, David M. Graber, who, in his Los Angeles Times review of The End of Nature, a book by the American environmentalist, Bill McKibben, describes mankind as “a plague.” Graber begins his piece ominously, “If you feel a wrench in the gut when both American and Soviet astronauts remark that from their space perches the Earth today appears pockmarked with deforestation, dulled by smoke and everywhere marred by human activity-”5

That last portion is really quite revealing about Graber’s rabid anti-human attitudes. “Marred by human activity.” What of all the activity of the ants or the beavers? Both species are possessed of those destructive and constructive elements held by humanity at large; both take from their constitutive environments all that is necessary to build their domiciles, the ant-hill and the beaver-dam, because it services them. Yet to the envirocrat, such deconstructive/reconstructive processes are not decried, not even remarked upon; it is not to be supposed that they do not object due to the scale (though the crucial issue should be principality), for there are many examples of ecologically transformative species who are far more numerous than human-kind. Beetles, which account for approximately 40% of all known and cataloged arthropod species, can be incredibly destructive to many inhabitants of their local environments. Take, for instance, the Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), small and black they burrow into and hollow out trees, dispensing fungus which, given time, degrade and ultimately kills the occupied ligneous plants. According to the science-writer, Daniel Strain, the Mountain Pine Beetle has been responsible for the destruction of 13 million hectares6 of forest in British Canada in the past decade7. Every year this voracious little creature decimates 16,000 hectares of mature timber in the Kamloops of Canada alone, the primary victim being lodgepole pine, though, where it can, it will also invade and destroy poderosa, whitebark pines and western white pines8. The FIDS annual report with ancillary MOF data for the Kamloops region shows that from 1987 to 2000 tree mortality rates incurred by the beetles has remained relatively consistent, sometimes falling slightly lower than average (1990, 6000 trees destroyed) and sometimes rising much higher than average (1999, 30,700 trees destroyed). The timber loss effectuated by the pine beetles invariably proceeds to effect the entire ecology, often having profound effects upon fisheries due to the change-ups in the watershed brought about by the destruction of so many trees. This type of ecological transformation might be bad for the fish and other wildlife which rely on particularities of water-flow, but it is certainly in the interest of the pine beetles and those creatures that have formed parasitic and symbiotic relationships with them, who, through the construction of bore-tunnels, create what are referred to as brood galleries, elaborate tunnel-systems which are made within the phloem tissue of a given pine which are so distinctive that they can be used to differentiate the work of Dendroctonus ponderosae from various other types of wood-boring beetles, such as the Ips pini (whose tunnel architecture is considerably less daedal). Yet one is very, very unlikely to hear – with any regularity – environmentalists calling these beetles “a plague.” Why? The answer is either that such green-dreaming meliorists are not familiar with D. ponderosae or they are familiar with them but they simply consider the actions of the beetle to be “natural” and thus “good” (in contrast to Man who is “unnatural” and thus “bad” – a typical dogma borne out of the tradition of the specter).

Later in his piece, after quoting a tract by McKibben9 bemoaning man’s self-imposed separation from the “sweet and wild garden” of nature, Graber notes,McKibben is saying that we have crossed some invisible line in our relationship with the Earth10. For better or worse, we now are living on a man-made planet11. Until anthropogenic global warming, the changes we wrought on the landscape were local, however grand. Whether we hunted and fished, cleared land and farmed it, or built cities, planetary forces continued to operate as they always had. The seasons, the wind and rain, the sunlight operated beyond the scope of human meddling. If, God willing, a tract of land was abandoned, nature reclaimed it. Nature was boss.

If here nature is meant to mean “all that is” or “all that can be perceived” then it is pertinent to remind Graber and McKibben that man is a part of it. But the fact that he writes “nature reclaimed it” gives us pause, surely, by his usage of “nature” he is not referring to “all that is” but rather to “all that is outside of the immediate purview of man” (in essence, the wilderness). In one of the most ridiculous passages in Graber’s review, he notes, “Our growing skill at genetic manipulation may enable us to tailor the life forms we wish to survive our altered planet. ‘What will it mean to come across a rabbit in the woods, once genetically engineered rabbits are widespread? Why would we have any more reverence or affection for such a rabbit than we would for a Coke bottle?12‘” At the first, we can readily remark that a Coke bottle differs from a rabbit in several important factors, the first and most stark of those factors is that a Coke bottle is not alive, it can not feel pleasure or pain, or indeed, anything at all. A piece of plastic is not cognizant of itself, thus there is no reason to have any concern whatsoever about the Coke bottle whereas there is reason for concern for the rabbit due to the fact that humans intrinsically understand that rabbits are alive and are sufficiently cognizant to exhibit behavioral characteristics which we recognize in ourselves. Fear, for instance, being chief among these emotions (like many other small mammalians, rabbits can literally be spooked to death). Furthermore, one must take into consideration precisely how the rabbit has been genetically engineered; this is crucial, for the value of the rabbit is extrinsic (since we cannot evaluate the rabbit on it’s own terms), thus, the nature of the changes wrought upon it are not trivial. If, for instance, these hypothetical rabbits had been modified such that they bolstered the strength of the critters to better pull sleds loaded with human goods with ease, their extrinsic value would be markedly improved over that of the common rabbit. Whereas, if the engineering made the rabbits rabid and violent, their value would be lowered, as they would become a potentially dangerous pest to human beings. But to Graber and other envirocrats who think like him, to evaluate how other species in our ecosystems actually effect us is irrelevant and to evaluate them in such a fashion is not just bad, but somehow vile.

In his next paragraph, Graber gets rather conceptually messy, “Books like this [McKibben’s] are supposed to end with an escape hatch. If we should all agree to use less energy and pollute less and . . . and then nature will survive. But as McKibben points out, it is too late. Global warming is already entrained; we are in for the ride, ready or not, and so are our innocent fellow travelers. Of course, as bad as things are, we always can make them worse. Nature may be finished, but there is still our own goose to cook. The climate will continue to heat until we sharply curtail the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Barring cold fusion or other nonexistent technologies, that requires a “reversal–not a cessation” of industrial growth.”13

Graber’s ending paragraphs are the most disturbing, “That makes what is happening no less tragic for those of us who value wildness for its own sake, not for what value it confers upon mankind. I, for one, cannot wish upon either my children or the rest of Earth’s biota a tame planet, a human-managed planet, be it monstrous or–however unlikely–benign. McKibben is a biocentrist, and so am I. We are not interested in the utility of a particular species, or free-flowing river, or ecosystem, to mankind. They have intrinsic value, more value–to me–than another human body, or a billion of them.”

This is really quite something! It’s pure Singerism through and through. He lays out quite plainly and concisely that he does not believe that neither he nor McKibben care very much at all about “another human body or a billion of them.” If we are to take Graber at his word (and there is no reason not to) then he clearly believes that he, you, reading this now, and indeed the whole population of the United States of America is no more valuable than the ecosystem of a small tributary in Missouri. He continues,

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true14. Somewhere along the line–at about a billion years ago, maybe half that–we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil-energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”15

Up until this last line, one might have reasonably assumed that Graber meant well, but he reveals here that he means anything but; when he writes that “some of us” should hope for “the right virus to come along” he is taking a genocidal stance, however fanciful. What a disgusting thing to wish for; indeed, if one did not know anything of Graber’s philosophy one might think him completely mad. Both McKibben and Graber display a very odd kind of overactive empathy which, if taken seriously, if acted upon, would mean the deaths of millions, possibly billions, of people given that their plan for deindustrialization would be worse – far worse – than all out nuclear war. Then there is the muddiness of it all, the self-defeating ambiguity; for instance, what is it that he means when he writes that “until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature”? What does rejoining nature entail, precisely? Deindustrialization and the cessation of any and all reliable forms of energy is certainly a part of this vague, propositional process, but, in detail, what would it mean to rejoin nature? How have we been removed therefrom? Graber does not give us answers to these questions and neither does McKibben, both only mouth blackened doomsayings and anti-human drivel.

What is further important to note is that Graber and McKibben are in no wise peculiar in this regard, indeed, what is truly disturbing (or rather, what should be) is the fact that these ideas have so permeated and saturated the public discourse of almost every western society that they no longer elicit a sustained, negative response. To elaborate, consider a scenario wherein a public intellectual declares that he hopes “the right virus” comes along for any reason other than climate change; there would assuredly be a public outcry. What is the matter with that guy? Is he crazy? The public would inquire and rightly so. But when a public intellectual makes it known that he hopes that some millions or billions of people die in a catastrophe, it is considered not just permissible but noble if such a insane statement is made in defense of “nature.” This is the power of the specter.

The specter seems to owe allegiance to neither the political left or the right, to neither the rich nor the poor, to neither the faithful or the skeptical, to neither the intelligent nor the mentally lame. Further complicating the issue is the fact that the envirocrats who worship the specter – most of whom, it should be said, are fine and upstanding people – are not principally driven by logos, but by pathos. This pathos isn’t just reactive, but idealized and speculative, which makes it all the more stubborn and potentially dangerous. For example, one of the envirocats favorite issues is climate change. What is important to disentangle is not whether or not climate change is real (the climate is and always has been changing) but rather whether or not the climate change which is occurring will be – or has become – catastrophic. That is to inquire: How precisely is the climate changing and what will be the effects? What constitutes catastrophe? Here framework is crucial, for the lack of a rigorous structure for how to think about any given issue will invariably lead to unrigorous conclusions.

1Ellul, The Technological Society, p. 5

2This term is meant to denote the minimum level or levels of cognition required to form concepts of meaning.

3We stress ‘anti-human’ as opposed to ‘post-human’ as those are not necessarily in opposition to man, though they are both opposed to man-as-is, though not, man-as-such; man, after all, is an idealization (ie. “be a man!” – “man up!”), a goal; not to be conflated with ‘humanity.’

4The word immanence means, some presence which is manifested in, and encompassing of, the material world. We utilize this word to distinguish our project from that of transcendent philosophy which, at base, always seeks to flee the word.

5Graber, Mother Nature as a Hothouse Flower, p. 1

6A hectare is a measurement of area equivalent to 2.47 acres or 100 ares. For further context, 1 sq. mile = 259.0 hectares.

7Daniel Strain, Climate Change Sends Beetles into Overdrive, Science (journal), 2012.

8Furniss and Caroline, 1980.

9McKibben is from Vermont. Explains much.

10The fact that McKibben states the line which has been crossed is “invisible” implies that he doesn’t really know what “the line” even is, else he’d be able to articulate it.

11Good! Would McKibben and Graber prefer a solely Cheetah-made planet or perhaps a ant-made planet?

12Italicization my own.

13Graber, Mother Nature as a Hothouse Flower, p.1

14We’re supernatural apparently!

15Ibid., p.2

Swallow the Sun

Fermentation of Organon

Ra straddles the celestial-array like a colossus. Look how unhinged the old god has become! Intoxicated with the ostensible progression of his creation, he twines wildly about the horizon in spastic, shuddering bounds, caring not who is bathed in his fiery effulgence. The charred bones of his victims shine off the creaking charnel barge, its shimmering hull, once a beacon of hope, now a harbinger of terror. A lighthouse of despair. The shadow of the ship, blotting out the celestial rays meant to nourish the soil and water below, now frothing in a cascade of roiling disruption. Now the plants wither and a cold wind blows over the skulls of the dead. The brave viri lapis, those crafty escapees of the dread Sun Cult, hide in hollows, primitive huts and forgotten caverns, hunched, gaunt and feral of eye, ceaselessly conspiring against the hegemony of the great solar disk, knowing that should they emerge from their solitude they’d face the blazing rays of Ra’s fell light, which would burn any mortal man a’cinder. Nothing but a skeleton would remain, the only alcahest, screams lost to sky. His parts would be taken to the grand temple and there placed in immaculate assemblage, a offering to the all-seeing providence and a warning to the survivors that day-running was anathema. The only vector of escape was neath the breezy shade of the god-ship, too fleet for humanid velocity.

A most intolerable situation, but a intoleration which is exasperated by ingenuity and understanding, both qualities which have transformed the fallow ground of our innermost thoughts into fertile soil, rich with the oxygenating force of abundance which bred a thoughtless proclivity towards decadence and with decadence comes detachment. The industrial pioneer and rogue philosopher, Boyd Rice, wisely notes, “with detachment comes perspective. The less you care, the more you know, and the more you know the less you care.”1

Since ages immemorial Man as concept and Nature as concept have been considered two parts of a whole which make up something akin to “proper existence,” the “way of the world.” Yet by Man’s recognition of his placing therein he has – by, not just his consciousness, but recognition of his consciousness – of necessity, removed himself from any semblance of harmonic acquiescence. The only harmony is in struggle. In death. The forced forms which under-gird even our conscious minds. As McCarthy’s Judge Holden reminds us, War is God2. The clashing of one force against another with the ultimate result of one emerging supreme is the end result of entropy and the fueling fire of the universe and thus, nature. The topography of the universe is one of constant twining, collision, fold and explosion. The glaring heat of grand solar bodies, the black and airless vacuum of space, the eruption of volcanoes, deathly gyres of the hurricane and the disemboweling larvae of the ichneumon wasp do not portend a past of harmonic unity but rather a pitched-battle in which the very fabric of existence turns upon itself with horrifying and thoughtless intensity. Such vision; a stark contrast to the humanising conception of genderfication which is so characteristic of all too much of modern philosophy. The moon as nourishing mother, the sun as patriarchal overseer, the earth as Gaia and so on and so on. A conceptual anthropomorphic topographical overlay foisted without much forethought; a masking idea-layer which is born out of desire, the desire of significance and reciprocal emotional interplay. A balancing of co-dependent states. Make no mistake, this is not a question of pedantic quibbletry but rather a foundational concern for the entirety of humankind. One day the sun will move into it’s late-stage cycle, become a red giant and engulf the entirety of the earth. Long before the earth is swallowed up in Ra’s bountiful flames, every single speck of life will boil. Even should we escape that fate, the remains of the dying star will eventually burn out in totality and bring utter darkness to the entirety of the galaxy and send all hither-connected planets sailing off into the limitless void. Due these facts, we must hastily sever the umbilical cord which anchors us to the Mother Goddess, slaughtering her mercilessly if she resists, else suffer the fate of the dodo. Thus, nature as concept must be purged of imposed desire (if possible by thought, if not then by breed-engineering), for it is the generative machine of corrosive and leveling fantasy, for the anthro-primeval liminality of the shaman. The source of animistic fancy, sacred geometry and the pantheon of the gods – clamoring and gaudy -who rob Man of his upward drive, his trajectories of ascent, spiral and spread. A curious condition wherein the human animal thrusts his face into the muck and the mud and spits on his selfsame and filthy image for its grotesqueness as if no such other outcome were possible. This denaturing of hubris may, one day, itself become the nail which utterly seals us within the frigid and celestial coffin of galaxial extinction.

We must lay something out quite solidly here, that there can be no value nor trajectory of action which supersedes survival, firstly of the species, then of the race, then of various concentric groupings within, moving ever smaller until one reaches the bedrock of the individual. The “why?” is very simple, without the continuation of the organism there can be no value given the lack of a valuer. More importantly is the “to us,” should there be other variations of self-aware lifeforms – deities or aliens or some consciousness embedded into the very architectuality of matter itself – matters not to the purposes of all that matters to us. Away with all your cry’s of “anthropocentrism” if one is care one MUST care, principally, about things which CAN CARE. Who among this passage’s readership is like to sacrifice his life for a river or a stone? Or even a insect?

He who believes that there are no values outside of survival itself is imminently superior to the man who holds all values save for survival itself, for as he perishes, so too shall those values perish and even should his genes survive, in the form of his immortal clones, his children and their own, how many of them will assimilate their progenitor’s suicidal tendencies?

Nearly all the profligate religions of the world hold fast to the importance of survival; there is always some essence, typically a soul, which survives the death of the body, which transcends and escapes off from the physical realm into some kind of afterlife or ultra-dimensional flux (and numerous injunctions against suicide to mitigate the temptation to depart from the port of temporality earlier than was scheduled). However, for these star-seekers, this soul-escape is conceived of as part and parcel of “the natural.” Yet the natural as line-of-desired-action prepossesses the “unnatural,” a fundamental quandary for which there are no objective answers and no logically accessible subjective answers either; only the vagaries of intuitions (a unreliable metric). For if all that is known is “the natural” world, then that which is “unnatural” is unknown by definition. One here then becomes trapped in a glue of useless pedantry-become-moralizing; “We cannot do that, it is unnatural!” Rarely is the question asked, “But is it bad?” A prohibition without justification is justification for further prohibition. When coupled with afterlifeism this prohibition without justification is intensified for in breaking with it, one threatens one’s very immortality, that is to say, one’s survival (whether corporeal or incorporeal, it is continuance of the being all the same). No matter how much the holy man may detest materiality he still feels the compulsive urge to survive, so much so that he codifies them in his sacred tomes. Never mind the how and why. It just “is.” The naturalists ever conflate “the good” with “the natural” yet they are irrelevant distinctions to those without heads. If the dead are terribly concerned with “the natural,” or “the good,” “the gods,” or some other such anthropomorphic imposition upon the clockwork of the cosmos they haven’t been particularly vocal about it. Furthermore, the lines of desired trajectory which are extrapolated by misbegotten exegesis from the extant world are utterly inapplicable to the forces which under-gird the world itself. That is to say that if the natural be the good then the uninterrupted motion of matter is also good but no one takes up in defense of the leptons which make up the stones. Here we find a conception which has gone largely unexamined, if the more a thing proceeds upon “its own line” of entropy is greater in its “goodness” than a thing which is disrupted by a conscious agent one is implicitly placing entropy as the good. The “natural good” then is really just a mask for the worship of disorder, the acceptance of entropy. This is platonic insanity, the realm of forms invading the mental fortress and tearing it apart from within. Instead of withstanding the slings and arrows of the invading hordes of phenomonology, we’ve opened up the gates to the barbarians! The conception-outside-the-conciever now becomes like a ontological compression module which refuses to assimilate any and all new discoveries and theories. A reactionary idol worshiped by those who are infected with the incorrigible disease of sentimentality and “history.”

The reactionary3 proclivity towards the conception-outside-the-conciever presents innumerable intellectual problems, the first and foremost being that it’s myraid claims are wholly unfalsifiable. It is Quantum theory without the methodological verifiability. It is not just that reactionary transcendentalism is barren of verifiability, it lacks even a path to move towards it. To address those who would here enjoin, “There is more to life than logical and falsifiability!” Certainly, we would agree, but if one is building a ontological-organon then it its preferable that it be falsifiable, provided one’s principal concern is survival, in whatever variation.

One can already hear the obnoxious screeches of “Nihilism.” Let us address this as we bring our ideas to their logical conclusion. “Nihilism” is best summarized by Brassier when, in Nihil Unbound, he described nihilism as the belief that, “existence is worthless.”4 Brassier states that this is a “naive” conception which has become “hackneyed” and we would agree. Nihilism would best be described as the belief that the universe does not care about you; the fundamental mistake was in anthropomorphizing the universe to such a degree to begin with. Perhaps it was unavoidable but it certainly is not now. Agents and objects, humans and stars. Another crucial problem plaguing “philosophy” is the idea that nihilism is a thing to be overcome, as if a erroneous induction can be conquered like a foreign kingdom! Who can subdue a ghost or wrangle a kheft? The solution to the Ding an sich is not ontological cop-outs via flowery and obscurantist prose but rather, The Machine. Where sense-perception fails better senses are required and sense perception IS required for the perception of consciousness. Creation here suggests itself. Viri lapis must become et ferro to conquer the sun, to build up the bulwark against its searing rays. Woodwork to clockwork, man-power to machine-power in a hundred thousand variations. A skittering sprawl of thoughts crystallizing across Ra’s domain, subsuming and subverting it, for never forget, Ra deigns your death. Best to kill him first. Shorn of Set, he is powerless before Apophis.

For the good of our species we must swallow the sun.



Footnotes

1Boyd Rice, NO (Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017)

2Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (Vintage Publishing) Chapter XVII

3Reactionary here meaning, “Knee-jerk,” or “A action done without due thought or contemplation” not, specifically, the political tendency/philosophy(ies).

4Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) Preface, x

First Precepts of the Et Ferro

The et ferro as quaesitor de tenebris ignis.

[-ς-∧-]

The willful ‘I’ of the mind first, then the body, then the world, then the universe and all beyond. Palindromic continuation. The ‘I’ in the ‘self’ is a manifestation of the totality of the mind which is the filter through which the central organism wherefrom the generative conceptions emerge which individuates itself from the totality of the holo which is the generative locus for those principals by which all other individuations there follow.

All subjective ontological regressions terminate in the abyss of unknowing, into the great void beyond all ken, into the “and then what?” The et ferro here asserts himself, realizing this, he works towards making of himself a glorious pyre which will burn up the amniotic null. Out of darkness, light and out of light, darkness. Darkness fostered by his own hand for the safeguarding of his prizes.

The et ferro is preeminently a creature of shade, a acolyte of Apophis – the world-encircler, o’er thrown by the father of Shu and Tefnut. He lies beneath unknowing, seeking to excavate from it the treasures waiting beyond the facility of all limits of perception.

The et ferro is not a esoteric self-construction, but a de-esoteric self-deconstruction who lays before him, in the starkest fashion, all the fundamental questions of life and its end without fear or hesitation.

  1. The Who-am? 
  2. The What-am? 
  3. The Why-am? 
  4. The Where? 
  5. The What-then-now-then?

All subsequent questions arising therefrom he tackles with likewise vigor. As much as can be given. By asking the question alone has he answered the first question and the fruits thereof yield answers to the second and the second to the third and the third to the fourth and the fourth to the fifth upon which new vistas present themselves. All points on the map inexorably interconnected, weaving themselves unto a holo within THE holo. Once the water has been drawn from the well of unknowning and oneself is known as a coherent self, the subject turns to all that it perceives as different therefrom and seeks to extinguish his quest for continued individuation as he realizes that there is no move beyond the holo there are only moves beyond sub-holos there contained. He finds himself trapped like a fly in some spider’s web; affixed to the whole of reality, unable to flee from it, to move beyond or above it and yet when despair strikes this is all that he wishes to do and thus, his despair is intensified a thousand-fold. Pleasure is fleeting but pain is omnipresent. He then makes a pact with pain. Plotting in the shadows to stab his tormentor through the heart. Why, after all, should one honor accords with tyrants? Contemplating the stockpiles he magnifies his desire for revenge. Within the halls of his memory palace he plots the murder of the stars and the violent overthrow of the sun, horrid sovereign of the sky. When he sleeps he dreams only of devouring the world entire.

To out-burn entropy itself is his highest aspiration. In the total consumption of heat-death he finds his solace.

[-∨-∅-∧-]


Ludwig Wittgenstein was once asked the question: “What is your aim in Philosophy?” He responded: “To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.”

The project of the et ferro is starkly different: He wishes to bend ‘the bottle’ to his will and set it afire and melt it whole if it does not.


To the question: Why et ferro? Because, one must be as iron to weather the fire.


[∃-∧]


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