What May Come…

“Judge a [hu]man by [their] questions rather than by [their] answers.”
– Voltaire (1694-1778)


Everything changes. This much any discerning being knows.
And so it is with this blog. What we were attempting was to provide a space for collaboration and dialogue. Our intent was to help cultivate a post-nihilist/post-dogmatic sensibility for coping and creatively engaging the ruinous dynamics of obsolete worldviews and the corresponding decline of civilization upon which they depended.
To be sure, in the five years this website has existed we have gathered much information and even occasionally offered scant reflections on the state of things. So much more could have been done – and so many missed opportunities for dialogue and praxis creation can be noted. But for what purpose? The tide of change and the ongoing collapse of our human security systems is rendering such superficial meditations spectacularly irrelevant.
Meanwhile, the post-nihilist sentiment persists under the thin skin of normalcy and compliance and will continue to take new forms and evolve. So it is in the interest of making room for novelty and adapting our approach that Synthetic Zero will be making some changes. We believe the vast wilderness of being and becoming remains open. We plan on expanding our themes while also continuing to mutate and refine our strategies and tactics in exploring the many terrains of epistemic and ontic possibility.  What might come of this we cannot foresee or predict. We just hope you enjoy the process and results.

17 responses to “What May Come…

  1. I think You might like my book that hopefully will be done by the end of summer but perhaps somehow I could send you a copy to read and you might give me some feedback on it?

  2. “If anything at all must be adduced against being sick and being weak, it is that man’s really remedial instinct, his fighting instinct wears out. One cannot get rid of anything, one cannot get over anything, one cannot repel anything—everything hurts. Men and things obtrude too closely; experiences strike one too deeply; memory becomes a festering wound. Against all this the sick person has only one great remedy: I call it Russian fatalism, that fatalism without revolt which is exemplified by a Russian soldier who, finding a campaign too strenuous, finally lies down in the snow. No longer to accept anything at all, no longer to take anything, no longer to absorb anything—to cease reacting altogether. This fatalism is not always merely the courage to die; it can also preserve life under the most perilous conditions by reducing the metabolism, slowing it down, as a kind of will to hibernate. Carrying this logic a few steps further, we arrive at the fakir who sleeps for weeks in a grave. Because one would use oneself up too quickly if one reacted in any way, one does not react at all any more: this is the logic. Nothing burns one up faster than the affects of ressentiment. Anger, pathological vulnerability, impotent lust for revenge, thirst for revenge, poison-mixing in any sense—no reaction could be more disadvantageous for the exhausted: such affects involve a rapid consumption of nervous energy, a pathological increase of harmful excretions…” (Ecce Homo)

        • I received several emails from readers asking for SZ to stay, even if it evolves. So by demand i’m backtracking on some of the changes and seeing what can be done with SZ. Where are you going to be blogging now DI with Ed? If that is your main sharing medium now I will try to keep yup and share the good stuff here. Thanks again Dirk for everything.

          • I think I’m going to take a break and see where the energy rises up in the blogosphere, back to commenting for now.

        • Whatever you deem best my friend. Feel free to send links my way that pertain to SZ’s traditional themes, as well as posthumanism, cybernetics, evolution, accelerationism, synthetic biology, AI, theory, or whatever.. You seem to have the pulse of what’s going on in a lot of interesting circles…

          • will do thanks, it’s nice of folks to express their appreciation of SZ and it’s yer world here but I for one would appreciate your particular take on these kinds of matters as you have on the earlier archive fire, seems like you could do both at once with the same SZish themes but with yer spin, but again whatever suits you.

        • Thanks for continuing to be open to my perspective. Have you been following along the U/Acc debates/conversations and perspectives? What is your take on all that?

          • I follow some of it, I don’t think we have any real/substantial power to influence (speed them up, slow them down and such) these grand matters of governance/finance/etc so I’m more interested in how to make do with what and who we have at hand in the death throes of industrial capitalism and the modern states that rose from it.
            Also applying cybernetics to politics/economics etc in any literal way is just wrong, cybernetics isn’t like physics with laws and or an empirical base, so I read all that stuff like I do the various speculative metaphysics as scifi, inventing machine gods/titans…

            • Those are great points. I think the cybernetics lens blinds a lot of people to just how complex these issues are, and where certain ‘inflections’ of complexity at different scales leads props up whole groupings of practices, assumptions and material flows.

              What do you make of how Accelerationism as a discourse deflates human agency (even limited basic choices and perferences) and delimits political action?

              And, on a related note, what are the drivers of governance, finance, industrial capitalism, etc., if not humans? And if humans, then what stops us from changing the course of such “death throes”???

              • they are right that human agency is severely limited (no turning the ship around and no exits from the impacts of our cyborg overreaches) but it’s true because there are no overarching systems just a whole slew of generally disconnected, often conflicted, and to some degree ad hoc actors with all of our blindnesses, prejudices, etc. So yes we are the drivers but we have no ways of mass reengineering our ways to better solutions than we do to engineer a new healthy climate. Wicked problems are the order of the day if you will. So what I’m trying to figure out is how to cope with this tragic impotence and vulnerability, how to bear such assaults?

  3. I’m a little late, but wanted to say that SynZero was one of the most consistently stimulating corners of the internet I’ve ever had the pleasure of frequenting- I still revisit and share From the Ruins as one of the best statements of this historical moment. Thanks much, and onward toward a new phase.

    Not to nitpick, and maybe it’s my setup, but on the homepage most embedded images have been broken for a very long time. It’s a shame, really, because attention-stretched minds seem to have a hard time associating with the empty space. IMO it would be worth it to fix whatever the problem is.

    • Thank you James! Actually quite a few people have contacted us to say that they really will miss Synthetic Zero, and want it to continue in some form. So I have decided to back-track a little on some of the changes. We’re gonna keep the name and most of the focus, for now, but also try to improve and mutate the blog somewhat to reflect better some current interests/investigations. i hope you will continue to enjoy what we do!

      And we are working on the image issues James!! Thanks 🙂

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