Accelerationism, Boredom and the Trauma of Futurity

“Boredom is always counter-revolutionary. Always.”
      – Guy Debord, The Incomplete Works of the Situationist International, The Bad Old Days Will End (Nov. 1963)

“Something has happened to me, I can’t doubt it any more. It came as an illness does, not like an ordinary certainty, not like anything evident. It came cunningly, little by little; I felt a little strange, a little put out, that’s all. Once established it never moved, it stayed quiet, and I was able to persuade myself that nothing was the matter with me, that it was a false alarm. And now, it’s blossoming.”
     – Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

Arran James in a recent post was struck by a recent talk by Mark Fisher in which the latter would in a t so much that boredom has disappeared, as that today we can say that everything is boring but no one is bored.”1  I almost wanted to interject that line from Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary “But her life was as cold as an attic facing north; and boredom, like a silent spider, was weaving its web in the shadows, in every corner of her heart.”  Peter Toohey in his excellent book Boredom: A Lively History would have diagnosed Madame Bovary’s boredom as existential as compared to simple boredom. Simple boredom is about the little repetitions in our life – the temporal movements going nowhere; those repetitive circular motions and actions at work, home and play:  moments when we become aware of repeating the same steps over and over and over again till we feel confined to a broken time womb like robots in a 24/7 factory pressing the same buttons over and over again. As Toohey describes it “This sort of boredom is characterized by lengthy duration, by its predictability, by its inescapability – by its confinement. And, when you feel like this, time seems to slow, to the point that you feel as though you stand outside of these experiences.”2 A process of derealization sets in and we begin to feel unreal, depersonalized, emptied out; as if invisible to others and ourselves.  The second type is what Madame Bovary herself was experiencing, which is a more complex type of boredom, a form of what Toohey describes as a “philosophical sickness” (KL 122). Kierkegaard would call this the “sickness unto death”. For Toohey this form of boredom is no easy thing to characterize. Its complexity can take in many well-known conditions. These often go under such evocative names as melancholia, depression, ennui, mal de vivre, world-weariness, tristesse, taedium vitae, the Christian ‘demon of noontide’ or spiritual despair (named acedia or accidie), the French ‘existentialist’ nausea and despair, and many other comparable terms and conditions. (Toohey, KL 136-139)

Alberto Moravia in his novel Boredom would liken its effects to a “sense of the absurdity of a reality which is insufficient, or anyhow unable, to convince me of its own effective existence”.3 He would explicate it in this way:

“Reality, when I am bored, has always had the same disconcerting effect upon me as (to use a metaphor) a too-short blanket has upon a sleeping man on a winter night: he pulls it down over his feet and his chest gets cold, then he pulls it up on to his chest and his feet get cold, and so he never succeeds in falling properly asleep. Or again (to make use of a different comparison) my boredom resembles a repeated and mysterious interruption of the electric current inside a house: at one moment everything is clear and obvious— here are armchairs, over there are sofas, beyond are cupboards, side tables, pictures , curtains, carpets, windows, doors; a moment later there is nothing but darkness and an empty void. Yet again (a third comparison) my boredom might be described as a malady affecting external objects and consisting of a withering process; an almost instantaneous loss of vitality —just as though one saw a flower change in a few seconds from a bud to decay and dust.” (ibid.)

This sense of shifting between realism and irrealism is existential boredom. A sort of temporal disorder that dislocates us from our normal time patterns and brings us into those zones of horror where reality becomes unreal and the sense of speed and slowness mesh as if from the outside in. This fragmentation and time-dilation as if a flower were to emerge and evolve from birth to death in a few micro-seconds like a small universe held in one’s hand evolving from bang to bust, abyss to abyss: this is the apprehension of acceleration, of speed as movement out of control, beyond our human kin, taking its own path within us – but to its own ends which are not ours. It’s as if the objects around us were alien beings with a life of their own, moving at once slowly or speeding up and accelerating at paces our mind’s cannot register or make sense of which leads to that deathly sickness of which nausea is the habitation. A connection that is at once a disconnection, a severing between two times, a loss of the object as it floats beyond our time into its own futurity. One never knows whether it is the object or us that is withdrawing, receding toward the past or future: this is the moment of nausea…

Jean-Paul Sartre in his famous Nausea would describe its onset this way:

“I got up and went out. Once at the gate, I turned back. Then the garden smiled at me. I leaned against the gate and watched for a long time. The smile of the trees, of the laurel, meant something; that was the real secret of existence. I remembered one Sunday, not more than three weeks ago, I had already detected everywhere a sort of conspiratorial air. Was it in my intention? I felt with boredom that I had no way of understanding. No way. Yet it was there, waiting, looking at one. It was there on the trunk of the chestnut tree . . . it was the chestnut tree. Things —you might have called them thoughts— which stopped halfway, which were forgotten, which forgot what they wanted to think and which stayed like that, hanging about with an odd little sense which was beyond them. That little sense annoyed me: I could not understand it, even if I could have stayed leaning against the gate for a century; I had learned all I could know about existence. I left, I went back to the hotel and I wrote.”4

This sense that things and thoughts are becoming disconnected as if the idealist codes of Parmenides and Plato were finally unraveling around us, as if reality which was this fusion of ideas and things was finally dissolving the pact or covenant of meaning that had existed between language and things for over two thousand years and, as it were, finally departing, wandering estranged within a ghost zone between things and thoughts, lost in a haze of temporal dissonance. Things were set adrift upon a sea without meaning or purpose, dissolved of their human relations, caught in the field of a ferocity of unthought and disaffective relations that left all participants bored and lost amid the ruins of time. Sartre would be more explicit later, saying:

“The Nausea has given me a short breathing spell. But I know it will come back again: it is my normal state. Only today my body is too exhausted to stand it. Invalids also have happy moments of weakness which take away the consciousness of their illness for a few hours. I am bored, that’s all. From time to time I yawn so widely that tears roll down my cheek. It is a profound boredom, profound, the profound heart of existence, the very matter I am made of. …  Above my head; above my head; and this instant which I cannot leave, which locks me in and limits me on every side, this instant I am made of will be no more than a confused dream.”(ibid.)

This feeling of stasis, of the claustrophobia of the moment, the imprisonment in time, locked away in an irreal zone of confusion and despair, cut off from the real world of action: love, life, people, events; this was at the heart of nausea and the philosophical “sickness unto death” (Kierkegaard). Soren Kierkegaard would of course attribute this sense of existential despair or nausea in human beings as the disaffiliation of the “synthesis” of spiritual and physical elements, and despair as that misrelation between these elements. The solution to despair for Kierkegaard  is to for the humans to reestablish a relationship with the “power that established it” (in other words, with God). For Sartre there could be no reconciliation. No exit from despair. Nausea trumped all. One would just have to live with it. As Sartre under the auspicious Antoine Roquentin would confess:

“Lucid, forlorn, consciousness is walled-up; it perpetuates itself. Nobody lives there any more. A little while ago someone said “me,” said my consciousness. Who? Outside there were streets, alive with known smells and colours. Now nothing is left but anonymous walls, anonymous consciousness. That is what there is: walls, and between the walls, a small transparency , alive and impersonal. Consciousness exists as a tree, as a blade of grass. It slumbers, it grows bored. Small fugitive presences populate it like birds in the branches. Populate it and disappear. Consciousness forgotten, forsaken between these walls, under this grey sky. And here is the sense of its existence : it is conscious of being superfluous. It dilutes, scatters itself, tries to lose itself on the brown wall, along the lamp post or down there in the evening mist. But it never forgets itself. That is its lot.”(ibid.)

Consciousness sticks to us like a bad taste in the mouth, like a bitter fruit that lingers on our tongue, like the memory of a lover who has emptied our home leaving only the silences of remembrances hiding between the furniture: the curves of a couch, the frayed edges of a book, the hollows of a pillow that remains unfluffed. We wander among these memories of desire like destitute witnesses to a murder that never happened but is always happening if only because it is our own. Despair becomes the truth of that secret moment when we awaken to the truth of reality, the folds of its broken crevices, the gaps between its creases where time suddenly stops and we begin to see things in their own light rather than with the light of our own eyes. The savagery of those moments when reality reveals its self is the moment of nausea that infiltrates us from the future like some forlorn thought of happiness. A happiness we will never enjoy.

But what about the future? J.G. Ballard in an interview would tells us:

“People believe in nothing. There is nothing to believe in now … There’s this vacuum … what people have most longed for, which is the consumer society, has come to pass. Like all dreams that come to pass, there is a nagging sense of emptiness. So they look for anything, they believe in any extreme. Any extremist nonsense is better than nothing … Well, I think we’re on the track to all kinds of craziness. I think there is no end to what sort of nonsense will come out of the woodwork, and a lot of very dangerous nonsense. I could sum up the future in one word, and that word is boring. The future is going to be boring.”13

Isn’t there behind the concept of the future a nagging sense that we may never transcend the present moment? Isn’t the future all about transcendence? Can we ever get out of this deadly circle and truly discover an unknown future, or are we condemned to repeat ourselves infinitely. The future as boring is like a character waiting for a Godot who will never appear, it’s the plunge of a vehicle toward a cliff in which one is handcuffed. With anxiety and trepidation one knows what is coming but one knows as well that one is without redress toward its consequences. All one can do is suffer the future; no more, no less. Is this not the predicament of the Left at the moment. Is this not what Debord railed against as counter-revolutionary? A nostalgia for possibilities rather than the knowledge that one must construct the future rather that wait for it passively like some bored aesthete of time.

Even that last of the modernists Samuel Beckett would define boredom:

“The boring is ugly, or rather: Ugliness to the point of the dead, empty, tautological awakens a feeling of boredom in us. The beautiful allows us to forget time, because, as something eternal and self-sufficient, it also transports us to eternity and thus fills us with bliss. But if the emptiness of a view becomes so great that we begin to pay attention to time as time, we notice the lack of content of pure time – and this feeling is boredom. Boredom is not comic in itself, but a turn-around towards the comic occurs when the tautological and boring are produced as self-parody and irony.”14

Boredom is the thantropic effect of time caught in its own gaze. It’s this that is the beginning of anxiety… and, out of this anxiety fear is born, the fear that becomes an accelerating panic …

Anxiety, Panic and the Traumatized Future

Boredom is a life without happiness. Happiness is not pleasure, it is of another order of time. But what of anxiety? What is the connection with a boredom that is not bored? Where “everything is boring but no one is bored” in Fisher’s phrase. Well we could start with the etymology of the word panic itself provides a fine example of the embeddedness of anxiety in a cognitive schema-specifically that of the ancient Greeks. Early uses of the term panic in English lead back to its origins in classical mythology. The word first appeared in the seventeenth century as an adjective, combined with the word fear: “panic [that is, Pan-ic] fear” or “panic terror,” fear inspired by the god or earth spirit Pan (Skeat 1893:418; see also OED Online 2007). Part man and part goat, Pan was the son of Hermes and the nymph Penelope, who, according to Homeric Hymn 19, “sprang up and left the child” out of disgust at his animalistic appearance. Once abandoned, Pan inhabited mountainsides and forests, particularly in Arcadia, a region looked down upon by Athenians and other “cultivated” Greeks as less civilized. A swift runner and agile rock-climber, Pan became the embodiment of the mysterious noises that frighten travelers in remote and lonely places outside village boundaries. Shepherds and hunters, the denizens of these areas, paid homage to the god and were thus protected by him. However, for settled villagers, rough, rustic areas provoked the fear associated with Pan’s name. In addition, as one of Dionysus’s retinue, Pan was constantly on the prowl sexually, most famously after nymphs. Often unsuccessful in these pursuits because of the intervention of other nymphs or gods, Pan, like the satyrs, embodied uncontrolled, aggressive male sexuality. For ancient Greeks, then, panic was semantically associated with abandonment; uncivilized, remote mountains and forests; and unchecked male sexuality-surely a rich set of cognitions that might, under certain circumstances, precipitate a full-blown panic attack.’5

As the authors of Culture and Panic Disorder will relate it “panic syndromes are often linked to memories of trauma and violence, and that panic symptoms are a conspicuous part of the psychological experience of persons who have suffered war, dislocation, and other major social catastrophes” (KL 157). But what if the cognitive panic is not of a memory of the past, but one of the future, what then?

What if the invasion of some alien space from the future is invading our era, its own infestation of catastrophism infesting us with a technovirus that rewires and re-onotlogizes us toward ends not our own as Nick Land describes it:

“Machinic desire can seem a little inhuman, as it rips up political cultures, deletes traditions, dissolves subjectivities, and hacks through security apparatuses, tracking a soulless tropism to zero control. This is because what appears to humanity as the history of capitalism is an invasion from the future by an artificial intelligent space that must assemble itself entirely from its enemy’s resources. Digitocommodification is the index of a cyberpositively escalating technovirus, of the planetary technocapital singularity: a self-organizing insidious traumatism, virtually guiding the entire biological desiring-complex towards post-carbon replicator usurpation.”6

Now let’s take a look at what he is really saying beyond the cyberpunk rhetoric that stylizes it. Machinic desire is of course a term from Deleuze and Guattari’s famous of infamous work on schizophrenia Anti-Oedipus which at heart proposed a thesis in which their book was designed to function as a kind of desiring-machine, to program or produce, as well as to model or comprehend, desire in schizophrenic form.7 Yet, desire itself in their work was seen as trapped within the confines of representational structures of the mind and needed to be freed up and released from those very structures and into the becoming processes of life. They would praise Freud as the first to understand the true nature of desire saying that “his greatness lies in having determined the essence or nature of desire, no longer in relation to objects, aims or even sources…but as an abstract, subjective essence – libido or sexuality” (Holland, 17). But then he would trap that very conception of desire within the family romance of the Oedipus mythos of Father, Mother, Child and their eternal war. Schizoanalysis was a way of producing concepts or ‘desiring-machines’ that would transform and alter our desires and produce new forms of social relations beyond the capitalist modes.

Deleuze and Guattari would describe what Land is doing as a form of detterritorialization rather than critique, a method of dismantling which moves beyond the representationalism of critique: it consists rather of prolonging, of accelerating an entire movement that already traverses the social field: it operates in a virtual realm, already real without being actual (the diabolic powers of the future which, for the moment, are only knocking at the door).8  This notion of an invasion from the future of an “artificial intelligent space that must assemble itself entirely from its enemy’s resources” would of course at first appear as cyberpunk easyspeak, but one would be wrong to interpret it as something that simple. This would be a way to dismiss it, to explain it away, as Land himself had fallen for the rhetoric of dissipation and the escape velocity torsions of the era of speed that gave birth to the internet ICT technological monstrosities that encompass us today. No Land is a little more adept than this so to dismiss him with a slight flick of the magic sawdust as if he’s just a “mad deleuzian” is beside the point. Land is discovering an accord or even an affordance with the linguistic power in an era of diminishing returns, and allowing it to be productive of life that intensifies rather than expresses or represents the truths immanent to its machinic desires.

Too many people dismiss even Deleuze and Guattari for some kind of permissive acceptance of the capitalist mythos as if in there seeking to uncover its barbarous core that they themselves had fallen prey to its energy and become trapped in its accelerating algorthms like deadly angels of some black metal fascism. As they told us schizoanalyis is violent and brutal: “We have seen how the negative task of schizoanalysis must be violent, brutal: defamiliarizing, de-oedipalizing,  decastrating; undoing theatre, dream, and fantasy; decoding, deterritorializing – a terrible curettage, a malevolent activity. (381)”9 When I began thinking of Land’s invasion from the future by an artificial intelligence “space” I had to ponder what exactly would this entail? He used the term space not entity, robot, etc. but the total environment itself invading our world and remapping and reassembling itself out of the very material and immaterial planetary resources. Thinking on it I ran across Ada – an intelligent environment that was part of the Swiss expo in 2002.  Henri Lefebvre would tell us that our world stripped of human thought and intervention “appears as a unity of cycles, self-regulating, stable systems: waters, winds, air, light, soils, and sediments. If we consider the modern world, the whole of the devices [ l’ensemble des dispositifs – ensemble of dispositions] assembled by humans begins to cover the earth. These devices and their arrangement [ Ces dispositifs et leur ensemble] , all constituted on systems of (physical, chemical, economic, etc.) self-regulation, unwittingly imitate these fundamental stabilities by making use of them. This is how a “human world” constructs itself.10 It’s in the difference between the unwittingly imitate and the invasion of the future that allows a machinic intelligence that is also an environment to intervene consciously rather than unwittingly replicating itself out of the as Land says “enemy’s resources” which marks out a difference that makes a difference. Sheer madness? Or rather a slant on the actual processes that are happening around us through a schizoanalytic lens that most of us would rather not be aware of much less deal with and use.

A notion of a super technovirus may seem farfetched, with its sense of total invasive action: “a self-organizing insidious traumatism, virtually guiding the entire biological desiring-complex towards post-carbon replicator usurpation”, but what else would explain the billions of dollars being spent by governments and private enterprise in the NBIC technologies? Would we pretend this is just a capitalist trick, a molar vision of a far right-wing Christian immorality complex and militarization of the psyche gone rogue? What’s better: the conspiracy theories of a rogue nation developing technologies to support life-extension for its elites and government officials at the expense of its populace, a profiteering oligarchy tribalizing the proletariat into science fiction and leaving them stranded in dreams of grandeur and comic book fantasies. Is Land truly just a comic book fantasist, or is there something else going on in this rhetoric of cyberdelia? Instead of some self-organizing system he chooses the term, carefully – “traumatism”. Why? Why not a self-organizing entity or actual thing? What is a trauma that it can be self-organizing? And how could it be the engine that is driving this insidious biological complex of desiring machines toward an alien post-human future without us?

Felix Guattari in Molecular Revolutions in Brazil would observe that “the plane of consistency indicates that the machinic phylum is a continuum. The unity of any process, the unity of history, resides not in the fact of a shared time encompassing and traversing everything, but in the fact of that continuum of the machinic phylum, which itself results from the conjunction of the totality of de-territorialization processes. It is this unity, this ‘continuum of the machinic phylum’ that is the “artificial intelligent space” of which Land tells us is invasively re-ontologizing the ‘biological desiring-complex towards post-carbon replicator usurpation’. As Guattari would explain it whenever a “muitiplicity unfolds, the plane of consistency is  brought into operation. The machinic phylum is in time and space. Plane, here, has the sense of the phylum, the continuous. Nothing is small enough to escape the net of machinic propositions and intensities. The strata of subjectivity are set against the plane of the agency of collective utterance, the subject against the agent. The plane of machinic consistency provides the answer to Russell’s paradox. There really is a totality of all the totalities. But it is not a logical totality; it is a machinic one. The problem of the continuous is resolved at the level of the machinic phylum before being stated in mathematical terms” (Guattari, 120).

Of course for Guattari Nature as existing prior to the machine no longer exists. The machine produces a different nature, and in order to do so it defines and manipulates it with symbols (the diagrammatic process) (Guattari, 125). What Land is describing comes closest to what Guattari describes as the annihilation of intentionality by the omnipotence of a complex of de-territorialization process potentially capable of creating a multiplicity  out of whatever it touches (Guattari, 128). So that this post-intentional process of the technovirus at the heart of the capitalist complex is feeding the ongoing accelerating processes of the biological complex into the machinic phylum which will ultimately rise from the ruins of capital. As Guattari himself would say: “Capitalism tries to interiorize the unbounded boundaries of the plane of consistency. It arranges organs, self-contained objects, relationships, individual subjectivity. What prevented the organless body of the primitive State from abolishing the plane of consistency into infinite fragments was the setting in motion of the machinic phylum. Whereas the military proto-machine destroyed whole towns, destroying even its own soldiers, the machinic phylum survives” (Guattari, 128).

This is the future toward which we are already the traumatized victims of a transmigration into machinic existence unknowing of our own complicity in its fabrication. Yet, we should always remember: what we make we can understand. This this monstrous panic attack from the future that as Land tells us “rips up political cultures, deletes traditions, dissolves subjectivities, and hacks through security apparatuses, tracking a soulless tropism to zero control”, which becomes the very technovirus that drives us ownward blindly in collective panic on a global scale of acceleration without breaks. As Jackie Orr in her Panic Diaries: A Genealogy of Panic Disorder will tell us the problem of collective panic tearing through the social group, a problem at the fore of government anxieties and state-sponsored research in the atomic age, is reconfigured through the technoscientific and profoundly social language of cybernetics. Today, a history of the present seems impossible to tell without reference to cybernetic discourse, and a large and growing scholarship exists on the cultural, military, imaginary, political, and economic transformations that cybernetics entails.”12

Orr will go on to describe “cyber-psychiatry” as beginning to replace the psychoanalytic notion of the unconscious constituted by libidinal energy with a cybernetic model of the brain as a communication system, constituted by the exchange of information. Mental disorders can be conceived, and treated, as disorders in communication. Psychopharmacology can be modeled as the message, or communications media, that corrects information disorders in the cybernetic brain. Individual panic disorder can be theorized as the effect of “deranged circuitry,” reengineered for proper functioning by a tiny white pill.(Orr, KL 460) As she will ask under what sign from the traumatized future that seems to be imploding around us will we find a cure:

“And have we grasped fully today the scandalous nature of the technoscientific cure? Have you ever swallowed a psychopharmacological story that could slow your pounding heart, cut your memory into simpler pieces, and deliver new dreams during your slightly technoscientific sleep? In what place that is no place at all but a pattern of informatic signals, electrochemical circuits, in what place that is no place at all do panic and the pill called Xanax meet? What kind of theater of the social could effectively silence a flickering, floating terror of death with a tale of improved traffic in technoscientific messages?” (Orr, KL 468)

That the technovirus has been injected into the global genome should be obvious by now. As Land will wryly comment: “Capital propagates virally in so far as money communicates addiction, replicating itself through host organisms whose boundaries it breaches, and whose desires it reprograms. It incrementally virtualizes production; demetallizing money in the direction of credit finance, and disactualizing productive force along the scale of machinic intelligence quotient. The dehumanizing convergence of these tendencies zeroes upon an integrated and automatized cyberpositive techno-economic intelligence at war with the macropod. (Land, KL 4559)”. Yes, a language adequate to the times, not some peripheral cyberpunk wannabee but the integrated awareness of a inforg that has attuned his alien mind to the deleterious circuits of late capitalism, wandered the lightlanes of futurity and brought back out of those shamanic nights of electronic wastes a glimpse into that strange deterrtorializations from the other end of tim: a place just this side of the trauma zones, where capital like some monstrous space gathers its progeny into the artificial nexus of a tributary thought-space. Traumatized we fall forward into the abyss. Only a schizoanalysis might offer us solace:

“Reaching an escape velocity of self-reinforcing machinic intelligence propagation, the forces of production are going for the revolution on their own. It is in this sense that schizoanalysis is a revolutionary program guided by the tropism to a catastrophe threshold of change, but it is not shackled to the realization of a new society, any more than it is constricted by deference to an existing one. The socius is its enemy, and now that the long senile spectre of the greatest imaginable reterritorialization of planetary process has faded from the horizon, cyberrevolutionary impetus is cutting away from its last shackles to the past.” (Land, KL 4576)

The question to be asked is whether schizophrenics are the living machines of a dead labor, which are then contrasted to the dead machines of living labor as organized in capitalism. Or whether instead desiring, technical, and social machines join together in a process of schizophrenic production that thereafter has no more schizophrenics to produce” (Anti-Oedipus, 381).

——————–

I must admit that after completing this post I read my friend Edmund Berger on Detteritorial Investigation Unit who wrote another response to Arran James original post no boredom on Mark Fisher, too: Boredom/Anxiety/Time/Scales.

Edmund proposes two different registers of time to correspond with Fisher’s two registers of speed:

The first of these is machinic time; quite literally the time in which the mechanosphere operates, it is an inhuman time scale, composed of the high speed trading machines and computer processors, satellite relays, unimaginable feedback loops cutting through everything from an individual’s purchases to the fluctuations of large-scale social structures. Machinic time exists within the dense trappings of our networked world; it is a time that swarms over the face of the globe its operations as a smoothing force. Machinic time is the time of information itself, and its concern is not necessarily the physical. It exists within and is the ether.

The second register of time is a striating force – contained time. This is the division and regulation of a body’s time, particularly in the context of disciplinary spaces that seek to make the bodies docile for the maximization of production. It brings to mind the classic tripartite division of the day’s 24 hours: 8 hours of work/8 hours of leisure/8 hours of sleep. Of course this division was only an idealized plan, the orientation of the individual’s rhythm to the megamachine that it finds itself subsumed in. Particularly today we find the blurring breakdown of these divisions into a perpetual flowspace of time, 24/7 capitalism. Yet we still find that time itself is an entity to be regulated and managed in a way that is internalized by the self – a steady rhythm to ensure and maintain the proper functioning of the machine.

This notion of an artificial time (machinic) and its natural variant (contained) in a dialectical or diacritical interplay as part of the ongoing process of our current views of boredom and anxiety are excellent notions. I’ve been collecting works on time for a while now as well as the history of the use of the Sun/Day and Night/Moon as social construction and control systems. Books like Roger Ekirch’s At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past, Paul Bogard’s The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light, Christopher Dewdney’s Acquainted with the Night, Johnathan Crary’s 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep and many others all dealing with aspects of light and time and its influence on the productions of sociality in history. The notion of how the dark and light, the sun and the moon have played a sort of abiding and almost transparent part in the making of human history as an environmental pressure against which our technological society has begun to wage ultimate warfare on one side: the side of the sun/male/dominance/hierarchy etc. is of interest as we think on the rise of the machinic and the artificial 24/7 zones of our cities that are becoming more and more apparent with each day.


 

1. Arran James: See no boredom
2. Toohey, Peter (2011-05-24). Boredom: A Lively History (Kindle Locations 122-123). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.
3. Moravia, Alberto (2011-07-20). Boredom (New York Review Books Classics) (Kindle Locations 113-114). New York Review Books. Kindle Edition.
4. Sartre, Jean-Paul (2013-03-25). Nausea (New Directions Paperbook) (Kindle Locations 2864-2871). New Directions. Kindle Edition.
5. Devon Hinton;Byron Good. Culture and Panic Disorder (Kindle Locations 141-150). Kindle Edition.
6. Land, Nick (2013-07-01). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007 (Kindle Locations 4541-4546). Urbanomic/Sequence Press. Kindle Edition.
7. Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 3). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
8. Bogue, Ronald (2008-03-07). Deleuze and Guattari (Critics of the Twentieth Century) (Kindle Locations 2129-2132). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
9. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus Schizophrenia and Capitalism (Penguin, 2009)
10. Henri Lefebvre. State, Space, World: Selected Essays (Kindle Locations 3338-3341). Kindle Edition.
11. Felix Guattari. Molecular Revolution. (Pergrine, 1998)
12. Orr, Jackie (2006-02-08). Panic Diaries: A Genealogy of Panic Disorder (Kindle Locations 445-448). Duke University Press. Kindle Edition.
13. Lukas Barr, ‘Don’t Crash: The J. G. Ballard Interview’, KGB, 7 (1995).
14. Karl Rosenkranz, Ästhetik des Häßlichen (Leipzig, 1990), pp. 240– 41.

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Accelerationism, Boredom and the Trauma of Futurity

  1. That is quite interesting g essay. But I have to ask if it is speaking of only some people or is it supposed to be concerning all people. Because though I understand (I think) your picture, I somehow feel left out if it, like you forgot someone in your considerations. Can you explain?

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    • You ask me to explain what is in fact the inexplicable state of your own mind: how do you expect me or anyone to do that? As in all things if the post spoke to you and penetrated or affected you to a point beyond obscurantism then I would say it was meant for you; but, seeing that you are perplexed by it, I’ll assume that the message or intent was not specific to you: so, this would lead us to assume the message was not a universal message. So, no, you were not left out: but neither were you included. Like a tale by Jorge Luis Borges: there are infinite labyrinths with and infinite amount of pathways to preamble toward its increasingly obscure center that never seems to come any closer until one day you inexplicably wake up to find you’ve been in the center all along. The moment of that recognition scene would be the moment of your death. Till then you can wander freely in the prison of prisons.

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      • What I see is a description of the present existence, or maybe better, the operation of reality for humanity. If the ‘schitziohrenic’ is a ‘lost’ entity, so to speak , not allowed any more, then it was because it was that human state which allowed for it as such for that real situation. The indication of a ‘bad’ state is entirely real, but is only based (it’s badness) in the present state projecting its own anxiety upon the future, as real humans might be projected out to their future. But what actually occurred for the future is only natural for that future state, and will likewise project itself toward its own anxieties likewise.
        The schizophrenic is a state designated title for the deviant, but it deviates only from reality, not from truth. For the truth is the state in denial of its own anxiety, as it uses such anxiousness to procure a reason to defend its analysis toward its solution to reality: the great progress for the enlightened future.

        Hence, this acceleration I do not see myself involved with; so my question, I suppose was more: are you subject to the acceleration, or do you merely ‘view’ reality in that way?

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      • You’ll need to take time to read the posts previous to this… I’m actually looking at a specific work the #Acceleration reader which has essays on acceleration reaching from Marx to now through many differing periods… this is not my own personal view… this is a response to others on boredom, panic, accelerationism, etc.

        My notion of schizoanalysis and schizophrenia are nothing to do with America Psychology or State based psychology… but rather with the philosophical concepts of such thinkers as Gilles Deleuze and Fritz Guattari, Nick Land, and others…

        Not sure if you’ve grasped the background information for that or not? I can understand that this post might be a little perplexing as a stand alone post… it is connected to outside posts from Edmund’s and Arran’s site as well as to previous posts on the work above mentioned.

        There are many ways to understand acceleration but for me to explain them would take a post in itself… if you go to my home page on the bar to the right you will find links under the heading of Accelerationism that can lead you to many various sites that also deal with this subject.

        So as I say the schizophrenic I’m using is not the one of modern state base psychiatry but of the French philosophical use of that term by practicing schizoanalytical psycholgists such as Fritz Guattari was in his practice, but mainly as a concept in philosophical literature rather than to be mixed with actual case histories etc.

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      • Yes. Deleuze. Marx. Lyotard. I see. I am not sure if there is anything ‘accelerating’ though. I’m sure the term must mean something similar to ‘going faster’ I’m sure; it would be silly to use a term that means something inconsistent with its ‘pedestrian’ meaning. And your essay seems quite coherent regardless of the background informing the reading of it . Quite a conventionally real take it seems to me; I was attempting to gauge your position. But I shall investigate. Thanx

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      • This particulary essay was not truly specific to just accelerationis, but entailed boredom, anxiety/panic… as the central motifs along with accelerationism as a trauma from the future as portrayed both in Nick Land and the Manifesto by Williams and Srnicek…

        Yes, you will need a larger background than just this essay to make sense of the full issues surrounding this term.

        In fact just hit this link and read through them: http://darkecologies.com/?s=accelerationism

        I’ve already written at great length so don’t feel like repeating what I’ve already said… 🙂

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      • I would also say that such ‘infinite labyrinths’ is likewise a real designation of the state. It conserves the real individual ‘divided into itself’ for the purpose of perpetuating the state of denial.

        It appears you are almost saying as much, but I am attempting to get through the terms to see if what seems is true.

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