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Delivery options see all Delivery options. Show only see all Show only. However, the notion of time-travel is not that of living through each next moment to arrive quite naturally at some future date as we might specify it starting out, i. What time-travel into the future requires is that what is now is what will be! We are supposed to go from what is now to what will be but for what will be to be now, but the way of getting to what will be is without living through the intervening period that makes sense of what will be being able to be the now of some future.
What will be has not happened and so cannot exist now. What has not happened does not exist. The fiction that it does by-passes critical intelligence by means of a willing suspension of disbelief.
To hasty cognoscenti these objections will incur derision believing as they will that the sophistication of concepts given ordinary language names like time-warp etc. Perhaps these concepts are much more sophisticated than rudimentary skirmishes can allow certainly the concept of time is contentious between science and philosophy but the trouble is that rarely do such discussions begin.
The wand is waved and everyone is acquiescent. But it is my intention to inflict much more damage than scratches in due course. The loathing then is for a world in which meritocratic power and a veneer of cleverness conceals shallow, hasty thinking, if not ignorance, and yet expects deference.
There are so many factors that are a part of this. The cultural divide between science and the humanities plays its part.
Typically it is said that scientists do not write well, but what truth there is in this is not a trivial truth about a formal, stylistic difference, rather it is a difference of substance, a difference in understanding how things are, a difference in being able to grasp our variable chaos of things; that our reality is mutable although mathematics supposes it accounts for this in the abstractions of chaos theory but on examination I will argue this is just a case in point, and as far removed from the real as similar cases like games theory and flumes theory; subjects to be returned to.
Turing may not have possessed this, as Wittgenstein may have had to point out to him in their talk of bridges collapsing. I am not prejudging how any of these particular issues are to be argued out they will be returned to in detail. I am merely expressing at this stage how appalling I think it is that so much complex theory which gets taken seriously is generated by a lack of initial attention to or understanding of basic concepts, and how as a result the whole world may be distorted both theoretically and practically, just as medieval religion, despite the seemingly logical intricacy of its theodicy, warped the medieval mind and its social reality as a whole.
The possible problems in science are compounded by the undoubted success of science in changing the world, so that its pronouncements carry undoubted, meritocratic authority. It is my intention to challenge this presumption, and to challenge it to prevent our real lives being stolen from us. What should be realised about science despite all it has contributed to the unrealised possibilities of an easier life and in the end this is the net value of science is that scientists themselves for the most part do not disassociate themselves from the existing economic order, and, instead, make positive contributions to its progress and protection.
The systems of labour employed by our economic order are highly dependent on scientific theory leading to an attempted reification of social life. If the drift of science in the consciousness debate is to bring the centre of life into a reified system then a radicalised movement is required to build a realist discourse in opposition before it is too late, allowing us confidently and so without apology to live as centres of anarchic or uncontrollable freedom.
Scientists often pose as radical wizards. Their knowledge is proffered as a sort of magical enlightenment for ordinary understanding which paradoxically science characterises as gripped by something resembling witchcraft from the Dark Ages Richard Dawkins!
The spell is the maths and a grossly insensitive version of scientific method, the wizardry is a metaphysical invasion of terrestrial commonplaces, backed by a presupposition that everything reduces to quantifiable, measureable matter.
So that, for example the solidity of the real world, the world we experience dematerializes into an underlying reality of particles and charges, measurements of energy and a preponderance of empty space, seemingly not at all the world as ordinary understanding experiences it.
The enticing smile of the wizard like Brian Cox on the telly is there before us beckoning us to, like Alice, abandon the mundane for the rabbit-hole and Wonderland, and, of course Dodgson too was a mathematician and logician. But it is a misunderstanding to suppose that the translation from one mode of discourse to another is swapping a superior for an inferior language.
Reality is as both these languages describe it, and if you lack the language of solidity and materiality your grip on reality is that of a Bowie avatar, weightless and abandoned in space.
Scientists are careerists, conformists, upholders of the status quo as well as the existing system of class differentiation. In their tactile dealings with reality scientists are indistinguishable from everyone else but their institutional claim to knowledge establishes a deference towards their subject and so to towards all the systems it supports.
But we need to say that reality is metaphorically as much a slab of solid concrete as it is a worm-infested plank of wood and that one is the other and one not realer than the other. So these are some of the grounds of loathing on which this path to correction lies. And what is at issue is much more than disputed theory. The reification of consciousness is not simply a theoretical claim and if true an irresistible reality, but an assault on life itself, a social mechanisation, a pacification, a social practice and part of something much larger.
The dominance of work, the dominance of time and motion is the landscape as a whole. It is an ethic, it is social movement, life is for it not it for life, it drives the time and space in which we exist, nationals and migrants alike, it is the form of every slogan in political exhortation, it is the medium in which consciousness struggles not to suffocate.
Instead they struggle to make ends meet, they take on debilitating debts that take lifetimes to repay; a life of anxiety and exhaustion, incarcerated in work wage labour. This is the negative-side of work, its positive-side is accumulated capital, itself precarious. In the early stages of capitalist development the system lacked the professionalisms to dragoon its potential labouring classes, as a result this system was threatened by dissoluteness, laziness, depredation, so called, at the time, moral weaknesses of the poor , which professional application transformed into criminality Foucault.
The reification of society had begun and on a scientific basis, driven by the reflexes of capital. The point will be to extract from it what it contains about consciousness, putting to one side its main concern, namely the negation of determinism, although its positive account of autonomy is very much integral to the account of consciousness I want to give.
The extracted content will be amplified to yield a fully articulated theory of consciousness as an irreducible, physical property , the nature of which does not exceed ordinary language and ordinary understanding.
To this extent consciousness is not a mystery, and the efforts to make out that it is amounting to theoretical obfuscation: Alongside the idea of consciousness as an irreducible physical property and fundamental to understanding this idea two other concepts, as I conceive the enterprise, will need detailing. One is the concept of direct perception and the other the concept of non-representational thought.
Two concepts challenging to the axioms of science. Much more of this later. This then will constitute the exposition. I add to the exposition a bundle of notes, unsystematic reflections, commentaries , on a number of texts they demonstrate the application of ideas from the exposition in engaging with other texts. Reading these texts has accompanied the formation of my approach to consciousness and the notes I have made have helped in clarifying my position to myself, as well as suggesting to me a range of topics that must be dealt with before the topic as a whole can be concluded.
As will become obvious there has been much reading beyond these texts but only these have compelled commentary. I include these notes because in their own right they are an impression of how being conscious of something can unfold, in this case the being conscious of consciousness as a subject. My intention though is never academic, never scholarly.
I have neither the time, given my age, the resources, nor the inclination to produce a definitive textbook for students or a work competing for professional advancement those days have gone. However, it is my intention to produce a work of rigorous argument and grounded vision challenging the professional treatments of the subject of consciousness both in philosophy and science.
I do this in solidarity with what I call the vanishing and unnoticed masses! Quite seriously I intend this as a substantial addition to human thought, a motivation, ambition or possibly a grand delusion always present in my own being conscious. Before concluding these preliminaries there is something else. For good or ill, for enlightenment or otherwise, I have spent much of my life in philosophy.
As a result I have known a number of philosophers, all, and how could they be anything else, conscious beings. Their being conscious beings a precondition of whatever identity or particularity they possessed, this precondition not being exclusive to philosophers but applying to almost all human beings, and the reason why not applying to some requiring no more than a little philosophical imagination to determine.
Of the philosophers known I have known not only their works but also them as conscious beings: However, many of those I have known, and this claim would be contested, no longer exist as conscious beings; they have died. In my life I think of these as lights that no longer shine, lights whose illuminations I attended to for whatever my reasons, and those reasons were many.
But what my exposition and demonstrations are about is that being dead is the death of consciousness: So in my account dualism has no future whatsoever. And the reasons why these deaths entail each other is because of the physicality of consciousness. Death and consciousness are absolute limits like being and nothingness. Consciousness is physical and irreducible. There is nothing underlying which it is, nothing it can be reduced to, it is as we understand it, prima facie, it does not require translation into a more fundamental language.
To appreciate what it is we have to enlarge, upgrade and so free-up notions of the physical, which for too long have been the prisoner of professional science. Science will not admit this though because it cannot entertain that it is so, and as a result everything has to be squeezed reduced into its confinements. So, for these reasons, this work is about being conscious and being dead but without ever approaching what might be called a philosophy of death.
This work is materialist and autonomist. Understanding it will be a difficult struggle but so will be writing it.
Often we co-author but with this new book am I right in thinking you have gone it alone? Well, you are right to have phrased the question that way. You might think you would know whether or not you were involved, but the matter is not so simple. When you have an alter-ego, or, to refer to your case, when you have an avatar, it is not always clear which of you is speaking.
What has to be said about my new book is that nowhere does it acknowledge you. However, the book contains two narrative voices, one the narrator, never referred to as such, and the other Scaramouche. The relationship between the two, mirrors in many ways our relationship, not that I am able to define precisely any of these ways.
So there is a character, Scaramouche, and Scaramouche is Rumpledsilkskin? To begin with, my new book does not contain characters in the authorial sense.
There are names and persons, real, historical, as well as fictional, but they are more points of view than characters, although an attempt is made to draw a certain person from historical obscurity back into the circle of life. Scaramouche, on the other hand, is a personal, narrative voice but with a fantastical history within the events of the book.
These things are not true of the other narrative voice, which is more deus ex machina and more abstract. This mirrors our relationship without either of us being in the book, but where I have inputted content you have inputted nothing, although if we were not related in the way we are then this book would not have the structure it does have. Very Roger Taylor, if I may say so. But we should move on. So what is it about? Can I ask you that? So who are the unnoticed?
Let me give you an example. The Magna Carta is pure ideology. It has nothing to do with democracy. It is anti-Semitic and sexist. It concerns the class of what was called freemen , conveniently and wrongly equated with everyman in contemporary misinformation.
Magna Carta details their property rights as against the king, detailing the taxes the rich should not have to pay. The rest of the population were villeins , the serfs or peasants.
They were noticed, but only in the way deer and salmon were noticed. They were not celebrated in history or society, in this sense they were unnoticed, apart, that is, from religion, where the unnoticed were given the status of the chosen ones as long as they remained quiet and unnoticed, thus leaving the world to the self-chosen; freemen. The fairly recent emergence of social history tries to redress the balance but given the subject is the unnoticed the data is necessarily scant and its interpretation prone to wishful-thinking.
If this is so how is it you have a subject to write about? My book is fantasy, but like social history it plays with the available data. Its subject is not the medieval serf but a French woman, largely unnoticed, alive in the C18th, and a woman who, according to my book, was midwife to the French Revolution and its Terror. I bring her into the light from obscurity but when you blink she is gone again, as, in my book, Jean Seberg discovers.
My thinking about her is wishful yet coincides with fact. This is the woman who lived with Jean Jacques Rousseau as his servant. A reputed dullard and, well, shrew? She was scolding ditch-water in the eyes of the intelligentsia and so they were blind to a tributary leading back to the sea of Tiamat.
And Tiamat is a Babylonian sea-dragon and goddess? Life without purpose, anonymous existence, a refusal to nominate essence, a life of multiple orgasm. Life in the warm waters of the primeval sea before the urge to leave these waters and be human. Life before culture and civilisation, life as ecstatic dream. She is there at the birth of divine being. Well an avatar can live with that. She is also present at the death of divine being.
Am I understanding you correctly? These things I have her do. Could you explain this? There is an event in Sardis in BC when a baker girl is sawn in two. This is a re-enactment, echoing dividing Tiamat from being whole. It is an attempt to conceal an orgasmic existence and to make life conform to rule, purpose and, wait for it, hard-work. The dialectic between these two becomes concentrated in an effigy of the girl, in two halves.
History is then a struggle between keeping her apart or bringing her together. The struggle between the rule of law and chaos, the forces of order and Assassins, holy women and harlots.
Through the centuries this links Lydia, Delphi, Constantinople, Venice and in culmination the Rousseau family in Geneva: Of course there is no pre-existing essence but neither is freedom exercised in choosing essence. There is no essence, only existence, constant making and re-making, the flow of Eros and Thanatos.
The division of woman is a fear of the dialectic. I have read the book and found it deeply moving. It is also very funny. Perhaps it is the only book needed. I would say read it a million times.
For Rumpledsilkskin these books represent three of four steps towards a better theory of consciousness. The fourth step will be made available in It is a difficult, ,word text. Its individual cells have the conceit of being prison sentences during which the prisoner battles with concepts of confinement and escape. A sense of the clamour of these battles is all Rumpledsilkskin feels able to offer as introduction to the whole.
The inevitabilities of the poor are the factum, the starting point. What does Bear the surfboard-maker in Big Wednesday say as the surf heroes ride the unprecedented? These are the stratagems for creating illusions of change. So it is argued, the rich are going to have to overcome hell of a hump to get into heaven, whereas queuing garbage men are the last made first.
For this illusory privilege they are exhorted to love those who trespass against them. My work is firmly set in the notion of irreconcilable enemies. Being poor is to confront reality as problematic, something to defend oneself against, something to be escaped from. Socially developed and controlled forms of virtuality are generally commodified, but commodified entertainment is bootlegged like booze and has its non-commodified forms like poteen and alpine eau de vie.
And, of course the objects of art can be appropriated for any purpose whatsoever, just as art has appropriated the objects of not art as objects of art. This philosophical journey begun a long time ago, whichever moment it was when it began, is now to be completed in these cells. There was no way for me to have envisaged this precise ending at the outset, despite a determination to arrive where I am.
In fact at the beginning I did not even possess my present virtual existence. The destination is virtuality and class and underclass and escape. The possibilities of virtuality have multiplied since I started my kind of life. Those possibilities are part and parcel of the aspirations of self-consciousness and autonomy, and all these particles including the aspirations were all interwoven, even if unrecognised, in the embryonic vision.
And so, my kind of life, my sentence, starts by revisiting and reflecting on various stopping points on the journey, as well as striking out across a vast territory still uncrossed. Following will not be easy, it will not be an instant thing, and the subject matter is irreducibly difficult.
There is a collectiveness to vanishing, a shared conspiracy. This is a global, empirical scepticism. The alternative worlds that are turned to and created take both individual and collective forms. There is nothing solipsistic about mass disappearance. Moreover, vanishing is always double-edged. Spasmodically the masses reappear. Suddenly they are in the streets pointing. The excesses of the existing order do not go unnoticed.
Or they reappear as heroes to fulfil their own fantasies. But the masses will never again sacrifice a generation or two for a future that never comes. The masses are playing the long game now. The masses are playing games. Fundamentalists of all persuasions desperately struggle to bring them back. For fundamentalists the life of the masses is not for playing games, it is instead austerity, struggle and suffering, but this is a megalomaniacal game fundamentalist can play only at the expense of the masses and the masses have found ways not to pay the price.
The Norwegian would not be a problem if he kept the world he inhabits to himself, just as his private fantasy. His actual behaviour is unintelligible if thought embedded in wholesome Scandinavian society. Instead though, there, like everywhere, is as tight as an asthmatic seizure.
Pus-filled globules are expelled from the congested mass as the social body struggles for its breath. Murdering someone is thought clearly wrong but imagining murdering someone is less clear-cut.
We might then say the Norwegian could imagine whatever he liked. But nothing is clear-cut. Today militant Islam is just as eager to repress deviant daydreams. How though do you police these prescriptions?
Not by means of any regard for the truth. Instead truth gives way to suspicion and policing suspicion requires a reign of terror, in which case imagining is left intangible, the threat to it accidental. The Australian Outback is a harsh place, and how did the aborigine cope there?
By means of great material ingenuity but also by means of dreamtime. Walkabout is inhabiting a fantasy landscape formed out of stories about the old woman and the old fella.
There is an element of religious belief about this but it is more comic than zealous, more fall-about than solemn. Dreamtime is for having a good time. Communism is the utilitarian solution to perennial exploitation of the masses. ICVM will demonstrate the rationality of communism and will expose the repression of this truth.
Maybe this is where everything is stuck for a virtual eternity. If you think that working hard, rolling up your sleeves and doing the right thing is sick, if you think that all of morality and all of politics is sick, if you think all religion is sick, if you think the pursuit of knowledge and progress and economic growth is sick, if you think all of these are diseases of private property, and if you think virtual existence for its own sake is freedom or escape, then you must be criminal and insane.
This is not the prerogative of a starry few, as Nietzsche thought, but the mass nebulae of the celestial herd.
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