One of the truly surprising things, and something has a been one of the few pleasures of moving to Omaha, is the sizable Mexican community and all that comes of their culture that embraces life for better and worse. I can only hope that they change the community here more than it changes them.
Toadvine’s always worth a read even if ultimately to reject
Ted Toadvine has a draft up of his new Research in Phenomenology paper, “The Elemental Past” (44: 262-219), a full-throated defense of Merleau-Ponty’s later phenomenology against the charges of correlationism, especially as regards the notion of time. (I happened to be on academia.edu looking for something else when it nicely popped up as recommended [I’ve never used academia.edu really, though now I see its dangers].) Nicely written, though I do wonder about the uses of the “eternal” in several places as prior and posterior to human life, given the thinking of finitude involved. In any case I happened to open the first chapter of my book on the new realisms and new materialisms with the nebula quotation in M-P that Toadvine discusses. (I was actually looking for work on Schelling and time and came across some bad renditions of Derrida using the notion of the eternal to link…
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find the details and Q&A @ http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2014/10/frederic-worms-towards-a-critical-vitalism/
“It is perhaps in transformative alliance that works from and through difference, and which insists that subjects and groups might change, that meaningful “disruption” occurs. The common sense notion of disruption equates it with the act or effect of disabling something, in this case material circulation. In this conception, to disrupt is to stop the normal workings of things for some period of time or in some space. No doubt this is an important way of conceiving disruption, and acts of this kind can produce the kinds of effects detailed above. Yet there are other ways of conceptualizing disruption that have more productive connotations. Disruption can also signal a creative destruction that brings new possibilities into the world, as old or normative ways are brought to a halt. This is, in fact, a dictionary definition of the term. Indeed, as Toscano insists, “it is also possible, and indeed necessary, to think of logistics not just as the site of interruption, but as the stake of enduring and articulated struggles.”40 A vision of today’s many headed hydra as coalition on these terms responds directly to Tsing’s arguments about supply chain capitalism as a structure assembled through difference.
If logistics is essentially about networks that provision and sustain both human life and the non-human animals, machines, and infrastructures that constitute our ecologies, then it is in fact not a practice, industry, or assemblage that could ever be ceded to the corporate and military worlds that today work and fight under its banner. Provisioning and sustaining are also the labors of social reproduction that gendered and racialized peoples and social movements have always done. Alongside its military and corporate forms – in fact, provoked directly by these – we can see explicit take-up of logistics by disruptive movements in an alternative register. Now a critical element of social movements from social forums to the Occupy movement, logistics is also a field that activists are actively exploring investing in further for the future.41 Logistics is not only the calculative technologies and material infrastructures that order the global social factory. Today, logistics also renders a complex network of coalitions through which disrupted futures of distribution are assembled.”
Yeah so as you might expect I’m not a believer in “transformative” alliances but would gladly be wrong about such co-operative efforts, any examples of these sorts of things happening out there in the world in ways worth copying?
this may be the last word on Latour for my curating here as I think he has unfortunately become a real dead-end in terms of my interests.
If we accept Lyotard’s idea that the breaking up of any Grand Narrative is the anti-platonic lesson of our post-modern world then we are left with the problem that the proliferation of singularities and multiplicities, of fluxes and events, which was first conceived and experienced as a liberation, became fairly rapidly the depressingly banal state of affairs in the neo-liberal way of life. The democratisation and quantification of intensity led to the lowering of intensity. The underlying ontology is flat, and has flattened our everyday lives.
Resisting this depressive nihilistic state, diagnosed by Mehdi Belhaj Kacem in his book L’ALGÈBRE DE LA TRAGÉDIE, implies a process of intensification that is both faithful to the heritage of the philosophies of difference in some form of ontology of singularities and that combines it with an ethical seriousness. In Bruno Latour’s work we see such a flat ontology of singularities resulting in a…
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