possible smoke fog 3: the dead

Posted on December 6, 2017 in Uncategorized


“It is now becoming clear that EVERYTHING we once thought dead and buried, everything we thought left behind for ever by the ineluctable march of universal progress, is not dead at all, but on the contrary likely to return–not as some archaic or nostalgic vestige (all our indefatigable museumification notwithstanding), but with a vehemence and a virulence that are modern in every sense–and to reach the very heart of our ultra-sophisticated but ultra-vulnerable systems, which it will easily convulse from within without mounting a frontal attack. Such is the destiny of radical otherness–a destiny that no homily of reconciliation and no apologia for difference is going to alter.” Jean Baudrillard, “The Melodrama of Difference”, from The Transparency of Evil

But this is the rationalization of systemization, the route from the local to global (or the finding of the general within the particular, the moment of the theoretical–a balancing point in the hermeneutic circle by which we entered this fog) via the cut of particularization or the ‘digital’. This perhaps only bears a passing resemblance between the living/dead switch, but it does bear the mark of the inextricable/ineradicable economy of heat-transfer and entropy: still the land of the dead (and the unliving–which is not precisely the same as the dead. Life is just a subset of the dead, Nietzsche) One can think of the optimum condition for circuitry (as cold as possible for maximum electron flow) and then consider the fog flowing out of the mouth of the priests in The Exorcist, or any number of other films where the pneuma (geist) of the body becomes momentarily visible as a kind of ectoplasmic stand-in for the human essence, made visible as the indicator, the stroke, as the limit point between two realms. The dead have no memory, only trails; the un-living do have at least temporally based data storage of the sort: center/periphery, a functional equivalent of subject/object, particular/general but here the trauma of consciousness cannot make the cut into memory, for any cut only fractalizes, furthering the processing horizontally, spatially but not temporally:

 “Machines work more quickly because they are unlinked to any otherness. Networks connect them up to one another like an immense umbilical cord joining one intelligence and its twin. Homeostasis between one and the same: all otherness has been confiscated by the machine.”
“These delicate arms, cilia quivering in turbulence, are born of the low white fog, these here, an infinite number, fade away, they break up, though they return aperiodically, others rise higher only, once again, to disappear, those there gel into an edifice, steeples.” Michel Serres