FIBONACCI AND THE ECSTATIC DIGITAL CLUB SCENE: Musings on the April 18/11 MoMday Night Colloquia with Dave Newfeld--by Scott Taylor
The club scene (/social media); the anti-cave cave; the cave in; not the place to unwind DNA but the place to wind up as in re-connecting all the damaged disconnected audile-tactility of the general environment; the “ecstasy” (MDMA; serotonin over-activation/depletion; reduction of present forms of anxiety through the creation of new forms of anxiety; creates long-term brain-damage) of self- and group-liquidation (buzz, whaa-whaa, anamorphic distorted eye and ear and mouth environments inside and out; self- and group-loquacity as smart drink, smart drug, with more immediate neurological connection but in a dumbing-down environment for hyper-numbing procedures, i.e., in a minimalist, chill environment engineered for pseudo-social networking -- so socializing without society, identity-making without identity and so on).
The total decontextualizing of the digital has created the totally detribalized tribe, i.e. the virtual dithyrambic; virtual rhapsody of the social autist is a form of neo-capitalistic, neo-fundamentalist crowd control; ecstasy as pseudo-pan-trance, pseudo-empathy. The club scene is a panoptical-panholorgic counter-classroom penitentiary for maximizing hedonic calculus (the greatest pleasure of the now at the expense of the past and the future).
McLuhan thought that the resonant intervals created by the new electronic, electrical anti-environment environment -- the mosaic world of intervals -- would generate a violent reconditioning, but such is “deconditioning” too in that it wipes out previous neurological connectivity and behaviour at the same time it standardizes and destandardizes the present (ecstasy) and obliterates future connection. The use of ecstasy depletes psycho-physiology of the ability to forge new communicated structures. So as techno-culture invents (privileges) new drugs (trends) and telecommunications, there is a kind of homeostatic equilibrium dynamic whereby a drug like ecstasy depletes communication (and information) at the same time telecommunications provide extra communication (and information).
What we see in Africa re: the social networking and Googling of the political environment is the emergence of the population (the Syrian rave; the Libyan rave and so on) into a new supposedly democratic “identity,” when in fact the “identity” provided by Facebook, et al., is absolutely ersatz and the farthest thing from anything democratic in the least. Human rights have been obsolesced. The illusion of human rights is the order of the day. People simply do not realize that they have been reorganized into – among other digital, electronic structures – cloud computing orders of neo-capitalist-economic-fundamentalist-anarchist-democratic-fascist-socialist-non-ideological-anti-ideological-stats-systemics.
The drive to contextualize the decontextual, to resocialize the desocialized generates the “club scene” and “social media.” Both expressions are double oxymorons -- there is no longer a social scene in the traditional sense – it isn’t a hierarchical hegemonic club or church or cult; networking is dead (remember McLuhan’s axiom that abundance is the moment of obsolescence); it is all accident ; people are simply being conditioned/deconditioned flesh bags and mouth pieces for social drugs and plugs that don’t mean anything anymore – mass numbness; collective numbness. All times and all spaces digitally spliced together . . . people digitally slaughtered and sutured together; ritual without content; the decortextualized right-brain; nor is there coherent integrated integrating systemic media process or progress or procedure, just the universal injunction to “stop making sense” – from the aesthetic mandate of the ‘60s “against interpretation” (Sontag et al.) to the ‘80s “stop making sense” (David Byrne) and so on – ecstasy as in body-to get out of body through synaesthetic sensory smear -- multimedia now provides a digital sampling-scrambling of old cognitive contexts, a shredded happening hot-glued into a monstrating but de-synchronized now, the mind-brain-body as static electronic confetti in a anti-analogical cross-referenced chemical flurry / hence the simultaneous is no longer the simultaneous it used to be.
We no longer think analogically so much as in double double doubling oxymorons / mixed metaphors or inappropriate metaphors, allusions and catachresis. Contradition and paradox have become obsolete as categories of thought simply because there are too many of them to pattern into anything resembling logical/illogical thought. The epyllionstructure of Yeats’s “emotion of multitude” has been imploded/exploded. So both contemporary “analogizing” and traditional cognitive analogia are no longer possible for co-ordination and orchestration of the mind-brain-body in terms of techno-culture. Hence the idea that there are cultural or techno-cultural “memes” is erroneous. Such would have been based upon natural (environmental) and civilized (language educed, deduced and induced) analogia, but the natural and the civilized are for the most part gone as ministrations and administrations. It is, therefore, both impossible to be either “conscious” or “unconscious” anymore.
We have destroyed the divine approach of our “golden mean” for the sake of a “digital mean.” We have destroyed our common sense for the sake of a “digital commons.” Oddly enough there is no fractal universe in a digital universe or a digital environment, although a digital environment gives us the illusion of an infinite fractal “representation.”
All this leads to general loss of coordination and orchestration: hence an electromagnetic spectrum of social autism, social aphasia, social dyslexic, social aphasia, social Alzheimer’s et cetera. When looking for new forms of pathology defined by language phenomenology it is important to remember a number of things: 1) there are no real, so-called “learning disorders” since different environments, contexts and cultures require different learning processes and “select” for different learning advantages (i.e., all Inuit have dyslexia because to orient in a totally snow-bound environmental condition a complete mind-brain-body circumspection is necessary for survival); 2) all supposed “ament” conditions develop neurological compensations which can be often more astute and perceptive than neurological comprehension in a natural condition (i.e., the labiality of the mind-brain-body is much more flexible than previously understood with incredible abilities for neuroplasticity which reveal astonishing potentials for re-defining and re-describing homo sapiens sapiens); 3) the entire mind-brain-body generates language production and comprehension and so it is inappropriate to single out any specific neurological locality in order to clinically diagnose the language change of any particular culture. So a global holistic perspective has to be adopted and all such diagnosis becomes increasingly perceptual.
Comments by Bob Dobbs sent to Scott:
What you describe, Scott, is the anamorphosis in the ANDROID Meme among its constituents. The AM is not actually talking TO us.
That is the "global holistic perspective to be adopted" and which is "increasingly (a)perceptual."
I'm thinking today, Scotus, that your concern about "Analogia"/tactile proportionality being fragmented by digitality is actually a prayer for "matching" (visual bias) while kneeling on a cautious nod to the Buddhist manuscript-generated "void".
The above statement reminds me of McLuhan's later discovery that Lewis' stated eye-bias was actually a confused plea for the TACTILE eye - only I'm noticing you're doing the reverse (Scotus' stated tactile-"bias" is a plea for collective matching, or community).
Scott Taylor's response to Dobbs' comments (April 24):
As for my general thought, I am trying as hard as I can to think "beyond" the Android Meme as a defensive, creative action. McLuhan's thought leads us directly to definitions and descriptions of the Android Meme -- with or without determinist gestalts -- and while his guidance has been mandatory I feel that it also gets in the way of the woods and trees, partially because it is a language net or web itself with so many associations that it can become impossible or difficult to navigate by twos or threes. He knew this himself of course and talks about the problems of infinite rhetorical exegesis. I find his characterizations of the sensory modes too figurative to map the full psycho-physiology of the human condition. In other words, his basic insight into the nature of communication is deeper than his argument regarding it. So his thought regarding the similarities and differences between and among perceptions and conceptions -- and then apperceptions (as in Hebart's idea of the process whereby a manifold of presentations and presentiments become systemically and systematically incorporated) -- becomes the analogical transformation of epiphenomenon into one epiphany after another, each of which in turn are discarded after living example. Now, don't get me wrong: I love this about him (and his Joyce), but do not find it a practical and, yes, pragmatic example to follow along social lines, i.e., his educational manifestos are somewhat idiotic (new generations are already doing what he suggested and so the problem is not how to educate new generations but how to deal with generation gap in the context of experimental techno-culture gone mad).
McLuhan's notion of "consciousness" is problematic partially in my view because we are only conscious of what is out of balance, and so "consciousness-raising" after McLuhan's educational principles would only generate greater imbalance. I say so because it is human nature to think always in terms of what Cicero called "apparent advantage" (in THE NATURE OF THE GODS) and therefore to become damned. Barbara Tuchman, the historian, has also discussed this in terms of "decision-making against self-interest." It is simply thinking of short-term gain without regard for nature to make its way, that is the problem of consciousness, as, ha ha, William Burroughs certainly maintained.
To my way of thinking while dreams may be the royal road to the "unconscious," language is the royal road to the "conscious," and "consciousness" is the process whereby we attempt to control our attention (as a vortex). I think of attention as rooted in the unique, spiritual biochemistry of the fusion of egg and sperm in terms of all subsequent morphological development. I think of the development of personal, monadic autistic, private language as the organic development which attempts to control attention. Then social forms of language become the intersubjective consensual hallucination whereby we manipulate a lexicon or index of trance states or internal processes (personal) for the benefit of external processes (social) and vice-versa.
What has happened is that through inappropriate anthropomorphics born of distortions in our analogical refinements (the extension of human organic qualities to non-human inorganic quantities) and through the loss of logocentricity (as suggested by Ludwig Klages the tendency of the human being to centre communication in the Greek logos) (the inappropriate recentring of the spiritual reason in electrical-electronic positivism), and then the dissolution of scale and value as presented by the quantum, is that we can no longer claim appropriate environmental orientation. William James (after Ribot and Charcot, Freud's teacher) and Gertrude Stein (after James) both held that the diseases and problems of the future would be diseases of attention. It is remarkable to think that the first percepts and concepts regarding diseases of attention, specifically in terms of what we now call ADHD and ADD, were in 1798 (see Alexander Crichton), and it is an irony that the Enlightenment provides the empiricist means to diseased ends where the development of telecommunications and attention and consciousness is involved.
So, yes, the so-called Android Meme is involved in the senso-cide and gender-cide and human genocide that involves the (a)perceptual (the non- or im- perceptual or destruction of perception) instant real-time global demise. McLuhan's term "liquidation" is appropriate here given the idea of all form and structure becoming "liquid" (as in "liquid architecture" or digital architecture for the internet) for the sake of technological political-economic imperatives -- not, of course, that we can talk about political-economic imperatives or any appropriate analogy, liquid or otherwise. (I think, too, of "liquid" in terms of a phase transition.)
Yes, my whole life is a prayer.
Analogia is both making and matching. A major analogy for this in universal-multiversal terms is the electromagnetic spectrum in a grandiloquent flux.
My sense of the "void" is in terms of quantum-classical zero point energy field and the Buddhist idea that all human perception and conception is illusory, and that the "source" of such illusion is the "void." [The Buddhist "void" is the universal-multiversal mind where the illusory is created so that All-Real Reality (a Kabbalistic notion) is protected, as in the Holy of Holies (a transdisciplinary spiritual notion).] I apply both to the common idea of the internet as an artificial digital black hole void. This complex of associations is related to my meditation on human spirituality. My idea of the spiritual is all revelatory insight regarding the manifestation of the transformative unique on a universal-multiversal tonoscopic scale. One idea of the apocalypse is to "go to the centre" or a "going to the centre." Black Hole/White Hole Physics and metaphysics is a "going to the centre" and "coming out of such universal-multiversal centring" in terms of the God whose transformational centre is everywhere through all scale, state and dimension. I refer to the tonoscope in the same way that I think McLuhan might, in that a universal-multiversal tonoscope would reveal the cymatics of a universal-multiversal language that was trans-substantial, trans-valuative and becoming infinitely more and more original even as we speak.
As for my own optimism, I attempt to enact the opposite of a de Sadean (mechanical, deconstructive, enlightenment) imagination, and proffer the annihilation of the notion of a mechanical de Sadean universe where all is permitted. Such a de Sadean notion is an illusion and if adopted as it has been by a selfish mechanical materialism like that of Dawkins can produce delusion and the medical criminality (anti-society) of such. Illusion is permitted so that the creation will know illusion and not follow its example. (Empathy is not mimesis; it is the on-going flowing reality of psychic extension and intention; it is not making or matching; it is being as in following through in harmony or concert with -- or not.) Simply the "unreal imagination" allows creation this knowledge in order to gainsay experience of All-Real Reality, that is the All-Real Reality trans-void (through, above and beyond the void).
My comments re: nostalgia for the visual are partially addressed in my meditation on the virtual (as attached here and elsewhere). As Yeats said, all things can tempt me, and I want the best of the Apollonian and the best of the Dionysian. I want the best of the Greeks and the best of the Hebrew. I want the aesthetics that William Blake described as Hebrew in Egyptian art (the bounding line). I want renaissance, restoration, neo-classicism, realism, naturalism, magic realism, surrealism and liquid architecture. Flaubert was wrong when he said "Madame Bovary, c'est moi!" I am Madame Bovary. If I was to commit suicide, I would want to commit suicide by a spiritual hedonism something like St. Teresa. I don't want magical thinking like primitive animism and false analogy, I want the pan-sensory trans-sensory spiritual analogia that McLuhan talked about during his last days. I will never forget the day he walked brightly, briskly into the common room at The Centre, circa. 1978, and said something to the effect: "Scott! Great discoveries! Everyday! Great news! Great discoveries! Today we [Eric and I] discovered that analogies are TRUE!" So then back to the idea that any single analogy (magical thinking) is false, but the set of all analogies is TRUE (All-Real Reality). To live such an idea is for me (and McLuhan) to be at play in the fields of our lord.
The trick then is to outwit the Trickster God (Hermes, Mercury, Hamlet) and distinguish the real analogies from the false. That is my mode of inquiry. That is my master's voice. Ha ha.