The Maladapted Species

“After the ruthless abstraction of all life the blank savagery of real time remains, for it is the reality of abstraction itself that is time: the desert, death, and desolator of all things.”
………….– Nick Land, The Thirst For Annihilation

What if we receive intelligent signals from alien species beyond our solar system all the time, but that it is our very dependency on Enlightenment Reason that gets in the way of our ability to understand these cryptic messages? What if we are just not adapted to receive other forms of unearthly transmissions or signals?

In his new book Discognition, Steven Shaviro makes an ironic statement to the effect that,

“Aesthetics is spam; spam is like a virus; and we are that virus. Our thoughts, our bodies, and our very lives are “needlessly recursive” and wasteful. Sensibility, awareness, and aesthetic enjoyment are costly luxuries in a Darwinian “war universe”. Consciousness, aesthetics, and unadaptiveness or dysfunctionality go hand in hand; and this, rather than any supposed achievements of sapience, would seem to be what distinguishes and defines Earthly life, including ours.”1

Or, maybe like Stanislaw Lem in His Master’s Voice

“… … Nothing was sent to us by ‘neutrino telegraph’ from another civilization; at the other ‘end’ there is No One, and no transmitter, nothing but the cosmic pulse from that ‘rupture.’ It is only an emission produced by processes that are purely physical, natural, and totally uninhabited, therefore devoid of any linguistic character, of content, of meaning…. This emission provides a permanent link between the successive worlds, the expiring and the newly created; it connects them energetically and informationally; thanks to it, a continuity is preserved, there are nonaccidental, regular repetitions; therefore one can say that this neutrino stream is the ‘seed’ of the next Universe…”2


  1.  Shaviro, Steven (2016-04-19). Discognition (Kindle Locations 2567-2570). Watkins Media. Kindle Edition.
  2. Lem, Stanislaw (1984-03-15). His Master’s Voice (Kindle Locations 2899-2903). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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