The Ride of Your Life
January 12, 2013
To prove his case, when Einstein insisted against Bergson that time is an illusion, the physicist had to extend relativity theory to the metaphysics of perception.
Perception operates on the field of phenomena, and only in such realm, where situations can exercise totalitarian influence over knowing. Rightly so, phenomenology renders perception problematic.
But all the more knowledge can thrive. Finitude heralds the joy of the infinite.
It is rather the best illustration of how perspectivalism culminates in pragmatism: knowledge is made possible by the absence of foundations that could have preceded it.
No doubt pragmatists are the most trained nihilists. And the rather poorly trained ones in terms of belaboring the obvious: Marx and Engels stating that individuals have always proceeded from themselves. Or, at least how they were understood by Marxist ontographers if such label is pertinent.
If it can be said that modern Marxist ontographers differ from their nihilist predecessors one can wonder if their modern graphs, grids, and charts, simply illustrate a change of tactic, from subject to object. The task is to change how history ought to proceed.
Because it is not passive, history reads along: times are changing. Period doubling, if you may. The subjects of history have taken the exact time for them to reach their original states. It will always be the case. The becoming transparent of their plasticity, their renewed objectality, their being-there, the thereness of their undecidable situations, which can challenge forth whatever is challenged enough to suffer an attraction and cause the suffering of others in the over-all machinic drill of a Spinozan universe.
By this performativity machine one can also explain the arrival of the singular time of Man. But not without capitalism investing in creativity, the production of machinic phyla, rhizomatic assemblages, or anything Deleuze could name. The desire to become-other by Capital, to end its historical differentiation in quest of Happiness, this uncanny double of Capital; to become the very replicator of life as pure immanence, chaos resistant to molar aggregations triggering the rush to replicate bodies that can suffer and bodies insufferable as well, and yes, hastening the advent of the anthropocene, the course of evolution now dominantly steered by Man.
Do we not owe these thick concentrations to Deleuze? Does Capital not owe it to him, this great prophet of creation? The Deleuzean century unlocking the secret of Capital more comprehensive than the accomplishment of Marx’s labor theory of value.
Doubtless, one had to begin as a subject, and double itself in a hazy molecular process unperceived by the naked eye—even by its host, the unwitting person of the Metzingerian ego-tunnel, or what have you—until the irreversibility of growth, its culmination in decay, can testify to the undecidable status of original statehood, namely, the void of Chaos.
Irreversibility—but Einstein denied it.
Perception is the essence of this self-proceeding, an individuation of the Void in the situationism of the Event, the relativity (situation) that is perception (the impossibility of observation) itself.
Here, one decides to assume a position extrinsic to perception for reasons that are obvious to even the primitive—perception is stubborn; it chooses not to perceive itself—when this one that is also a non-one to itself in light of the impossibility of catching up with perception (the reason the modern is no better than the primitive) starts to perceive-without-perception, that is, not minding the speed by which things are returning to their original state.
Oh, yes. Did someone say ‘they withdraw’?
Perception is faster than that which perceives. It is rather always the case of belated ownership, which makes ownership suspect; of doubling, which makes singularity suspect; a period doubling as said of thermodynamics, which makes democracy, pace the Marxist, irrespective of the kind of ontography he makes, a passage and not an end in itself.
When Albert refuted Henri the physicist simply resorted to the metaphysics of perception, its situationism, which is already impossible as an event if one is to say that it is ‘there’.
It can only be in a certain location from a relative standpoint. From all available standpoints which can be infinite, it cannot be in any location. It always doubles its location to the absolute infinity of assuming a standpoint, which, simply put, must also take time.
How tiresome and boring it is to be an infinite. How unlucky for it to be so and so with time always challenging it to prove itself.
But the infinite can be such a terrific spoiler of curiosity, the most selfish of construct that has mobilized inflationary armies of truth that has only managed to create its double, the finite. The finite–no less deflationary owing to its irreversible nature.
The tug of war between the two has made possible the idea that there is time. Time is the site of this war. And this war? It has created an economy. The name for the great balancing act of time.
Take the universe as an example. There is a universe because it is in a certain location in space. One cannot simply arrive at a statement that the universe is the whole of space. The All is the end of phenomenology. The end of statement. From all available standpoints, which, again, can be infinite, the universe cannot exist today in all its modalities, past, present, future.
Today’ is an abduction of time as space, a particular status of the universe-space, which as abducted is already relative. Given the premise, there is simply no opportunity for the universe to exist as time. But as an economy it does.
This is the miracle of the Deleuzean century where everything is an actant, a body, insufferable or otherwise. An economy of exchange. A democracy through and through. A Derridean cannibalism. To eat and be eaten. The last extended orgy of the planet feeding on solar lottery.
Still, it will take time for the universe to exist from all standpoints, its wholeness reaching the singularity of perception, granting that perception, the impossibility of observation, can be saved by the Spinozan universe governed by untiring conatus.
We can wonder if this is already the gnostic precondition for Meillasoux’s kenotype. Singularity must be eternal enough to accommodate the arrival of the wholeness of the universe whose meaning is a non-meaning (because taken from all standpoints). True to form, Meillasoux’s rather gnostic indifference to the irreversibility of time in view of the impossible operation of Chaos (“Contingency is such that anything might happen, even nothing at all, so what what is remains as it is,” After Finitude, 57) supports the view that time is reversible.
Time is not an illusion. This could well be the perfect pragmatist illusion.
What Meillasoux could logically insist is that the singularity that can perceive the whole of the reversibility of time, the universe arriving with all and from all its standpoints, must have already doubled itself. To that extent he is no longer thinking of humans (no doubt, one can talk about the democracy of things, bodies, objects, quasars, and lonely chairs), rather, from among the available philosophical influences of this philosopher in the making, the Spinozan bodies that are capable of suffering eternity and causing the suffering of eternity of other bodies.
But one cannot inhibit oneself to think that humans will be born again from their period-doubled ashes, because time is not an illusion, because it is reversible. Born-again-X’ers. But such is the democracy of things.
And such newness. Such brilliant metaphysics.
Such conflation of difference and sameness, of agreement and disagreement, of intentions and nuances, between philosophers and physicists, between impatience and impatience.
Such is democracy. Such hope, after all.
Oh, yes. But brace for a ride.