An Introduction to the Cybernetic Science Non-Fiction of Contemporary Geopolitics \ Mohammad Salemy

Mohammad Salemy:
This text is an experiment with a speculative form which is neither as “objective” as science, nor as subjective as science-fiction. ‘Science non-fiction’ is not just a neologism. Even though it involves world-making, its logic is closer to design, for which models of non-existent or unknown entities are constructed and judged based on their function, and not on their ability to produce knowledge or contribute to a plot. However, unlike design, for which the challenge of invention is material and physical, science non-fiction’s construction of new machines is a conceptual project charged with a sobering historical neutrality; by blending the logic of science and science-fiction, science non-fiction holds the positive and the negative, its own nightmares as well as its dreams.
Science non-fiction is similar to what Nick Land calls “Hyperstition”.1 However, unlike Hyperstition, or at least its normative understanding, science non-fiction has little to do with the axiomatic processes described by the political economists Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler through which power accumulates as capital.2 For them hype is a constitutive mechanism in the process they call capitalization, an element of what they call ‘creorder’ – create and order – for the purpose of managing risks. For them hype is the cultural and ideological mechanism through which capital transfers the possible risks involved in the differential accumulation of power to those on the losing side of the equation. This is why there has to be a distinction between Nitzan’s and Bichler’s secular notion of hype and the more philosophical notion of hyperstition which was originally proposed by Land and was later rearticulated by Reza Negarestani. Science non-fiction is my attempt to delineate the philosophical hyperstition from its common sense understanding as hype-rstition. This is not to suggest that the former does not overlap with the latter but that their conflation not only runs the risk of legitimizing certain unethical technologies of capital as emancipatory necessities, but that this confusion also returns us to the cynical reading of Foucault’s ideas about power and knowledge. Therefore, hype-rstition is the ultimate triumph of the poststructuralist false assumptions about the purely discursive essence of truth.
The practitioners of hype-rstition might want to consider how the future emerges only out of the contingent encounter between our desires and discourses, on the one hand, and the material basis of the future, on the other. The blurry and soft object of the future must already be present in the past outside of the realm of imagination for it to come to life through our interaction. But to understand the presence of the future’s materiality in the fabric of the past, we ought to think about philosophies of history and how they might help us with a new understanding of the category of evolution.

One response to “An Introduction to the Cybernetic Science Non-Fiction of Contemporary Geopolitics \ Mohammad Salemy

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