We live in times so strange that to say “we live in strange times” has moved beyond the facile, through irony, and deep into boring. We live in times so strange that to state otherwise would be strange. This has the faint air of paradox about it, a nagging intuition that whatever models we come up with the explain the world, reality is constantly slipping out from under them, like we’re trying to pick up mercury. And like trying to catch mercury, the process carries the distinct possibility of at least driving us mad, if not killing us outright.
Philosophy feels, to someone like me who’s more of a hobbyist than a professional in the field, like it’s reached some kind of dead-end. Derrida has written himself under erasure, Deleuze and Guattari have built incredible landscapes which we are still exposing, but as fascinating as they are, it feels like navigating within the frame, rather than pushing the boundaries of the possible. Philosophy doesn’t feel like an exploration anymore, it feels like a tunneling under the boundaries of reality, to try to escape some weird jail sentence. The rhizome tries to undermine the walls of the black iron prison, but we spend most of out time mapping ever more convoluted tunnels, and every time we come up for air, they’ve built a new wing.
her: that’s fucking bleak
me: it’s ok if it’s bleak, it’s only the second paragraph
me: hope arrives later in the form of OOO
me: IN A WORLD… WHERE ONTOLOGY HAS FAILED
me: alternatively, WHERE WE’RE GOING, WE DON’T NEED ONTOLOGY!
I try to spend my time on the outer borders of philosophical awareness. It’s a prerequisite for being a Sci-Fi writer, you go out into the Zone and bring back radioactive trinkets for the village. This happens on a number of levels, but one of them is recognizing that the only difference between the Fringe and the Now is whether the growth gets pruned back or becomes the new center. So I’m always on the lookout for philosophical inquiries that promise a genuine new direction. Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects is the most promising of these I’ve seen in years.