Xenogothic on Patchwork Subjectivities

I couldn’t be more stoked about Arran’s spectacular return to blogging on this website. His contributions, already, are catalyzing several important lines of thought and will only improve and intensify the process-work we are doing here on ‘learning to die’ in the Anthropocene.
Below is a response by Xenogothic to Arran’s first PTF post:

A new post from Arran Crawford over at Synthetic Zero: …if fractal polarization (or reality forking) proves anything it’s that the world no longer exists. The shattering of the assumptive world presages the shattering of the geoclimatic planetary normal. When we read about assumptive world we need to read this in its full Lovecraftian dimensions as […]

via A Quick Note on Patchwork Subjectivities — xenogothic


11 responses to “Xenogothic on Patchwork Subjectivities

  1. I think what astounds me most, is similar to Laruelle: that it seems that you guys have to use this complex jargon going to express something that’s really really simple.

    But then also the fact that I might express that it’s really a simple idea is then rejected in favor of the complex jargon.

    My question is just always what are you really saying aside from all that lexicon of complex and invested definition?

    The same question goes toward Laruelle: (as I have put it very early on in my blogs): is the complex jargon necessary to communicate the idea that it proposes, or is the idea actually quite simple and that the jargon is not necessary?

    And if the jargon is not necessary then why are you using it?

    Which is to say if someone can account for what is implicated by the jargon and yet use a simple manner of speaking…

    But then that goes to the point that the people that are using the jargon see their jargon as the only way of talking about the situation, and will defend it to the end. It’s like a self for filling prophecy; I’m one hand saying that were actually trying to be involved in a progressive discourse of benefit, but then shutting down all discussion in favor of the jargon that they put forth to speak.

    It seems to me counterproductive to the intent that you propose to be involved with.

    And the usual claim is that obviously the people that are challenging the notion are not understanding the notion, you’re not understanding the discourse of jargon that we are putting forth.

    It seems to have given rise to a whole segment of philosophy that wants to assert their self righteousness under the name of philosophy without ever actually considering what the larger world has to say about the very topic that they are proposing to address.

    Anyone care to respond to that?

    • DO you honestly think jargon is useless, or that complex realities do not require complex conceptual appraiser in which to understand and work through various problematic? Your anti-jargon stance comes off more like anti-intellectualism and naivety than anything else. Crafting new ways to talk about these issues and generating new associations for thinking is itself a practical endeavor if the purpose is achieving new imaginary to address shifting problemscapes.

      • No, don’t think they are useless; indeed some work does get done.but it is nonetheless, jargon. And

        it seems when people start to believe that their new terms are describing something unique or essentially attached to them (the new term) that no other term can describe, often, it seems to me often, people are unable to think outside of that scheme of jargon.

        It’s not that I dislike jargon or I think it’s not working or it’s not telling us something about something. But I think that we should be able to call a duck a duck at times.

        It’s that people get caught up in the jargon, so that when people ask into the substance of that jargon they are unable to speak about it in any other way and us are not able to address valid philosophical critique.

        I mean take the non-philosopher congregants of Laruelle. If you try to talk to these people about what the substance of nine philosophy is they will routinely and inevitably refer back to terms and their definitions. And, as to the claim of anti-intellectualism, They will say that if you don’t understand their definitions then you are ignorant or naïve or stupid or have nothing to say about non-philosophy.

        I think that’s ridiculous. And actually ironically that’s why people associate Laruelle with a kind of religious view.

        • No one can think outside language. Reflexive critical theory just accepts this and embraces the plastic and poetic nature of concepts to generate fresh perspective and conversation, NOT to mistake map for territory at all.

          • Sure. I am not denying that. But there are some further theoretical problems in that ideal. And I have issues with how Deleuze is often read, which leads to their/these conclusions.

            But I can never get to discussing these bases because the assumption is (of these theory adherents) because I assault the bases of the theory, that I am ignorant of their subsequent conclusions. Perhaps I am, but that is because I see their worth is only as good as the soundness of their bases, which i am never allowed to address.

            And then I see that such philosophies even function to argue that there is no theoretical basis which to address; and that makes it kind of a closed system, because anything that I would say to address the basis of a theory is automatically understood in the context of not being a basis of the theory itself, but merely another form of “non-territorial” ideas. (Hence: Deleuze is misread: I do not argue that he is incorrect, I argue that people miss read what he saying — but again, this mistake is incorporated into the philosophy itself to shield self from outside critique).

            I see this could be because people associate their identities, their essential world being, with these ‘subsequent’ conclusions; so they respond to challenges of the bases as an attack in their person.

            I think that shows a fundamental mistake in their reckoning of things.

            I do not doubt that theoretical conclusions can function and imagine a way to spawn new ways of thinking, but my issue concerns often enough, the basis from which the conclusions arise.

            This is highly philosophical and goes to what many philosophers have talked about, but it seems that some people who want to assert their righteous philosophies do not ever really want to consider the problems inherent in their positions.

          • …oh. But I would not say “no one can think outside of language”. I would say that “discourse is all there is”. Which is saying something slightly different. I would argue that indeed people think outside of language all the time.

            • The content of complex thinking (as differentiated by perceiving) can only ever be linguistic. Without some sort of language we only have rudimentary gestural references and awareness. When you say “discourse is all there is” I want to ask you about supernovae. Isn’t it the case that there are things happening that aren’t discursive?

              • I guess I make a distinction between language and discourse because to me language is something that involves my mouth and air and larynx and lungs and diaphragm and my body and my eyes and basically the whole physicality of myself, where is discourse is not reduced to that sort of manifestation.

                And so far supernova I would ask you to communicate to me about something that is not discursive without using discourse. The idea that somehow there is something outside of discourse is always in ultimately discursive, I would say, and the very idea that there is something outside of discourse is based in a denial of the fact that we are using discourse in order to come up with something that is outside of it The idea that somehow there is something outside of discourse is always in ultimately discursive, I would say, and the very idea that there is something outside of discourse is based in a denial of the fact that we are using discourse in order to come up with something that is outside of it

                but I am not saying this as a sort of something is wrong with that. I merely saying that as a matter of fact. I’m not pointing to say that field of grass and then by virtue of the fact that I’m saying that field of grass over there does not exist or somehow wrong — I am not using that kind of designation.

                Somehow when I say discourse is all there is, people see that as sort of saying that something is wrong something is incorrect. I’m not saying anything about the truth or false about the condition of things where everything is discursive. I merely stating it as a fact as if my dog right here is taking a shit;I’m not saying my dog is wrong or incorrect, I merely stating a fact with no judgment about it.

                Somehow when we preface using discourse with “philosophy “all the sudden I making value judgments upon everything I say as to its truth or falsity.

                But perhaps that’s why I make a distinction between language and discourse: in language, sure we can talk about all sorts of things we don’t know about like super nova’s or the interaction of subatomic particles that are involved in the very activity of me voice dictating into my phone. But none of it, at no time at all whatsoever does anything exist outside of discourse. And if I might be so bold, again, this fact is so substantial inherent and involved with our state of being, that the only way to deny it is to deny it, which is to say to make some sort of argument how it is not the case, or just simply ignore it, or beat someone down argumentatively because they suggest.

                I like to use the analogy of addiction or alcoholism in my sense of denial. Because, I don’t know if you’ve ever known anyone who has an alcohol problem before it gets bad; but you can obviously see it, but when you talk to them about it they will at first give you all sorts of logical and rational reasons and examples of why they don’t have a problem ..As a problem worsens and you attempt to approach them about it they will usually and most often react to your concern with anger and discussed and a fence and they will all the more stronger try to tell you how you are incorrect by threatening your friendship or things like that

                So I’m walking my dog and I have a lot of time to voice dictate reply so please excuse me that it gets kind of long.😄

                I am saying that adds to the actuality of the human being in the world, to say that there is something outside of the correlational truth is exactly this kind of denial, is analogous exactly to addiction: Because the person is totally on able to see their situation as it actually is and indeed behaves in such a manner when this actuality comes upon them or is presented onto them, through the same reactions that people and act when they are addicted to a substance.

                You will see this everywhere. In philosophy.

                And actual Lee that’s why I know Cavanagh is hiding something. Lol. And why I believe Ford is being genuinely honest. 😜

        • But, if you have noticed, I reposted a recent patchwork post, and, I would say that I tend to like it. But then I always ask myself where does it lack. And so it seems when I ask the people that are supporters of this discourse, and challenge it, they get all offended and call me stupid.

          I have not once called any of these people stupid, but routinely from such acceleration a list of people and such land in congregants I get accusations that I’m dumb or that I’m ignorant or I don’t know what I’m talking about I have not once called any of these people stupid, but we routinely from such acceleration list people and such land congregant personal insults . and that’s just their ignorance shining forth.

          But I appreciate your willingness to interact without personal insults. I love being challenged.

  2. What’s most curious to me about patchwork theory is that it can be straightforwardly translated into economics. Sorry if I’m a bit off, since I haven’t gone over all these posts in detail, but I hope this helps give a new perspective.

    Sometimes, the higher a firm’s level of output, the more it can produce per unit of labor (e.g. if it can re-use some input). This is called increasing returns to scale (or economies of scale), and industries with increasing returns tend to become monopolized. There is also decreasing returns to scale (diseconomies of scale), where firms tend to become less efficient at higher levels of output, so the industry will tend to be made up of small firms.

    Whether an industry has increasing or decreasing returns (or even constant returns) is an empirical question, and varies with the nature of the industry. In agriculture, for instance, crops with increasing returns tend to be grown in large plantations, while crops with decreasing returns will be grown on small, individually-owned farms.

    Now, institutional economics following Ronald Coase emphasizes how institutions such as firms and governments arise as a way to lower transaction costs. ‘Transaction costs’ is very broad here, and can also be thought of as any costs that arise due to institutions.

    However, while institutions are meant to reduce transaction costs, they can introduce new costs of their own, such as having to spend hours every day memorizing political slogans during China’s Cultural Revolution. We might also consider externalities that arise due to lack of regulation, e.g. environmental costs.

    What patchwork theory claims is that transaction costs and externalities associated with large political institutions outweigh the total welfare benefits of increasing returns to scale.

    We can perhaps read Left Accelerationism à la Srnicek/Williams as responding to the same problematic, but instead advocating vast increases in scale via centralization, so as to overcome these costs. In this view, L/Acc seems to hinge on the assumption of increasing returns, while patchwork theory doesn’t.

    In principle, patchwork theory can be modelled mathematically, is testable empirically (via some creative institutional framework à la Acemoglu), and is falsifiable. Impressive stuff, you guys!

    • You write: “What patchwork theory claims is that transaction costs and externalities associated with large political institutions outweigh the total welfare benefits of increasing returns to scale.” I think that’s correct enough.

      The juice is no longer worth the squeeze when it comes to large scale political systems. States have been co-opted by corporate interests, coerced by banking institutions, and bankrupted by incompetent bureaucrats. They only exist now as thug machines for the maintenance of the status quo in the service of extraction and profit. It’s time for new models and prototypes of community life.

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