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- The Martian Generals Daughter;
- Timothy Morton, Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence | CSCP / SCPC.
- Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War.
The agrilogistical engineer must strive to ignore the cats as best as he underline he can. Meanwhile he asserts instead that he could plant anything in this agrilogistical field and that underneath it remains the same field. A field is a substance underlying its accidents: cats happen, rodents happen, even wheat happens; the slate can always be wiped clean. Agrilogistical space is a war against the accidental.
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Weeds and pests are nasty accidents to minimise or eliminate. Agrilogistical existing means being there in a totally uncomplicated sense. No matter what the appearances might be, essence lives on. Ontologically as much as socially, agrilogistics is immiseration.
Appearance is of no consequence. What matters is knowing where your next meal is coming from no matter what the appearances are. Without paying too much attention to the cats, you have broken things down to pure simplicity and are ready for Axiom 3 :. Axiom 3 generates an Easy Think Ethics to match the Easy Think Substance, a default utilitarianism hardwired into agrilogistical space.
Compared with the injunction to flee from death and eventually even from the mention of death, everything else is just accidental. No matter whether I am hungrier or sicker or more oppressed, underlying these phenomena my brethren and I constantly regenerate, which is to say we refuse to allow for death.
Parfit was trying to think about what to do with pollution, radioactive materials and the human species. Imagine trillions of humans, spread throughout the galaxy. This will always be absurdly better than billions of humans living in a state of bliss. Because bliss is an accident, and existing is a substance. Easy Think Ethics. It only takes a few billion operating under agrilogistical algorithms at Earth magnitude. To avoid the consequences of the last global warming, humans devised a logistics that has resulted in global warming.
Nature is defined within agrilogistics as a harmonious periodic cycling. Conveniently for agrilogistics, Nature arose at the start of the geological period we call the Holocene, a period marked by stable Earth system fluctuations. Like Oedipus meeting his father on the crossroads, the cross between the Holocene and agrilogistics has been fatally unconscious.
Nature is best imagined as the feudal societies imagined it, a pleasingly harmonious periodic cycling embodied in the cycle of the seasons, enabling regular anxiety-free prediction of the future. The smooth predictability allowed us to sustain the illusion. Think of how when we think of nonhumans we reminisce nostalgically for a less deviant-seeming moment within agrilogistics, such as fantasies of a feudal worldview: cyclic seasons, regular rhythms, tradition.
This is just how agrilogistics feels—at first. Nature as such is a twelve-thousand-year-old human product, geological as well as discursive. The Anthropocene is Nature in its toxic nightmare form. Nature is the latent form of the Anthropocene waiting to emerge as catastrophe. Bruno Latour argues that we have never been modern.
But perhaps we have never been Neolithic. And in turn this means that the Palaeolithic, adore it or demonise it, is also a concept that represses the shimmering of the arche-lithic within the very agrilogistical structures that strive to block it completely. We Mesopotamians never left the hunter-gathering mind. We are going to have to rethink what a thing is.
DARK ECOLOGY: FOR A LOGIC OF FUTURE COEXISTENCE
We require a Difficult Think Thing. That I claim humans exist and made the Anthropocene by drilling into rock does indeed make me an essentialist. Which in turn implies that while beings are what they are essentialism they are not constantly present. Demonstrating this would constitute a weird essentialism in the lineage of Luce Irigaray, whose project has been to break the Law of Noncontradiction so as to liberate beings from patriarchy.
Compare the ridicule that greets the idea of creating social spaces that are not agrilogistical so not traditionally capitalist, communist or feudal. Such reactions are themselves agrilogistical. Both assume that to have a politics is to have a one-size-fits-all Easy Think concept. Anyone with prosthetic devices such as glasses is suspect. But imagine the Year Zero violence of actually trying to get rid of intellectuality, reflection, desire, whatever we think is a source of evil, so we can feel right and properly ecological.
Neanderthals lived in homes. Primates make beds of leaves. Dogs were fused with humans hundreds of thousands of years ago. The question of origins is complicated by the way in which that question is contaminated in advance by agrilogistics. We need to figure out how we fell for it, in order not to keep retweeting it. What seems to be the case is that a default paranoia about existing—an ontological uncertainty —was covered over as a survival mechanism, and the compelling, almost addictive qualities of that mechanism of covering-over has provided enough ontological comfort, until very recently, so as to go unexamined.
To think in this new-old way, we will need to restructure logic. With uncanny insight, Nietzsche himself seems to confirm this when he then asserts that logic as such is a symptom of caste hierarchies. Without doubt, these hierarchies oppress most humans. The human caste system, itself a product of agrilogistics, sits on top of a fundamental caste distinction between humans and nonhumans, a founding distinction wired into the implicit logic of agrilogistics.
Recall, furthermore, that some of the most common words for thinking and apprehension— gather, glean —derive from agriculture. A logic that is fully eco-logical. According to the rigid agrilogistical logic format, there is no single, independent, definable point at which a meadow for example stops being a meadow. So there are no meadows. They might as well be car parks waiting to happen.
Can you begin to see how the logical Law of Noncontradiction enables me to eliminate ecological beings both in thought and in actual physical reality? According to the Law of Noncontradiction, being true means not contradicting yourself.
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Yet this is what is required, unless you want meadows not to exist. Yet because anxiety is still readily available—because agrilogistics has far from eliminated it— the divergence is an unstable, impermanent construct. We glimpse the space of the arche-lithic , not some tragically lost Palaeolithic. The arche-lithic is a possibility space that flickers continually within, around, beneath and to the side of the periods we have artificially demarcated as Neolithic and Palaeolithic.
The arche-lithic is not the past. The arche-lithic mind is immersed in a non-totalisable host of patterns that cannot be bounded in advance: lifeforms, ghosts, phantasms, zombies, visions, tricksters, masks. The idea that we might be deceived is intrinsic to the agrilogistical virus. Skepticism and faith might not be enemies in every social configuration. In arche-lithic space they might be weirdly intertwined. There is an ontological reason why the play of magic involves epistemological panic giving rise to hermeneutical spirals of belief and disbelief.
What Is Dark Ecology?
The dance of concealing and revealing happens because reality as such just does have a magical, flickering aspect. It is as if there is an irreducible, story-like hermeneutical web that plays around and within all things. An irreducible uncertainty, not because things are unreal, but because they are real. What the Law of Noncontradiction polices most is the profound ambiguity and causal force of the aesthetic dimension. The aesthetic has been kept safe from something that looks too much like telepathic influence, though that is strictly what it is if telepathy is just passion at a distance.
Something not in your ontic vicinity is exerting causal pressure on you. This telepathic Force-like zone of nonhuman energy keeps nuzzling at the edge of modern thought and culture, as if with enough relaxed religious inhibitions and enough enjoyable products humans default to the arche-lithic. There is something profound and perhaps disturbing about the aesthetic—causal dimension.
The homology between cancer cells and embryo growth bears this out. The only difference is that an embryo becomes shapely through another death process, apoptosis: the dying-away of superfluous cells. There is no final resting spot: there is always something excessive about the pattern. And going down a level, this is because of the structure of how things are. Being and appearing are deeply, inextricably intertwined, yet different. This means that beings are themselves strange loops, the very loops that ecological awareness reminds us of.
Much philosophical and cultural muscle has been put into getting rid of these loops, which are often decried as narcissistic, because they are self-relating, self-referential. But what is required for caring for nonhumans is precisely an extension of what is called narcissism! We have to accept the disturbing excess of the aesthetic dimension as an intrinsic part of everything in the universe, and indeed as the part that has to do with causality itself.
We think that existence means solid, constant, present existence. It is based on the fantasy that all the parts of me are me: that if you scoop out a piece of me, it has Tim Morton inscribed all over it and within it, just as sticks of English Brighton rock contain a pink word all the way through their deliciously pepperminty tubes. This is not the case. All entities just are what they are, which means that they are never quite as they seem. They are rippling with nothingness. A non-orientable surface lacks an intrinsic back or front, up or down, inside or outside.
Not just a lump of whateverness, or a false abstraction from some goop of oneness. The moment when that happens cannot be detected. The twist is everywhere along the strip. So things are like the ouroboros, the self-swallowing snake. Agrilogistics has been a constant process of trying to un-loop the loop form of things. Finally to rid of the world of weirdness is impossible, as is devising a metalanguage that would slay self-reference forever. The violence of the threat is in proportion to the impossibility of actually ridding the world of contradiction. Beating and burning, something done to cattle and corn, witches and weeds, is not the same as thinking and arguing.
Still, in the margins of agrilogistical thought, we cannot but detect the disturbingly soft rustling of the arche-lithic and its serpentine beings. Beings inherently fragile , like logical systems that contain necessary flaws, like the hamartia of a tragic hero. The modern upgrade of the Cadmus myth is the idea of progress, for instance, the idea that we have transcended our material conditions. Say he is drowning: he can draw a boat. But if things are nonorientable surfaces, philosophy had better get out of the mastery business and into the allergy medicine business.
We need philosophical medicine so as not to have allergic reactions before we mow the allergens down and build a parking lot. To remain in indecision. The more philosophy attunes to ecognosis the more it makes contact with nonhuman beings, one of which is ecognosis itself. Ants and eagles cause philosophy to get off its high horse and smile, maybe even laugh. The name of this laughter is ecognosis. You begin to smile with your mouth closed. To close the mouth in Greek is muein , whence the term mystery , the exact opposite of mystification. We find this ecological smile within in the horror, disgust, shame and guilt of ecological awareness itself, because strangely, that joy is the possibility condition for all the other, more reified forms of ecological awareness.
It goes like this. We have guilt because we can have shame.
We have shame because we can have horror. We have horror because we can have depression. We have depression because we can have sadness. We have sadness because we can have longing. We have longing because we can have joy. Find the joy without pushing away the depression, for depression is accurate.
As Agrilogistical Axiom 3 states, the logistics of this time window imply that existing is better than any quality of existing. Because of this logic industrial machines were created.
One of the most awful things about depression is that your time window collapses to a diameter of a few minutes into the past and a few minutes into the future. Your intellect is literally killing little you by trying to survive. Like a violent allergic reaction, or spraying pesticides. We live in a world of objectified depression.
No wonder then that we find mass extinction depressing and uncanny. We need a politics that includes what appears least political—laughter, the playful, even the silly. We need a multiplicity of different political systems. We need to think of them as toy-like: playful and half-broken things that connect humans and nonhumans with one another. We can never get it perfect.
There is no one toy to rule them all. That binary is an agrilogistical artefact, which means that not everything about consumerism is bad, ecologically speaking. There are some ecological chemicals in consumerism, because consumerism provides an ethical pathway for relating to nonhuman beings for no particular reason that is, for aesthetic reasons.
The ecological future is going to be about more playful pleasure for no reason, not less. Think about it this way. For the first few days I felt efficient and virtuous and pure, until I realised that what was really the case now was that I could have a rave in every single room of my house and do no harm to Earth.
Efficiency and sustainability, which is how we talk to ourselves about ecological action, are just artefacts of our oil economy version of agrilogistics. Change the energy system, and all that changes. Lighten up: dark ecology does not mean heavy or bleak; it is strangely light. If you think of agrilogistical civilization as normative you have already decided that it is inevitable, and this means that you have decided that agrilogistical retreat is the only way to move across Earth.
The trouble is that consumerism is not nearly pleasurable enough. Consumerism has a secret side that Marxism is loath to perceive, as Marxism too is caught in the agrilogistical division between need and want. A thing is how I fantasise it. And yet I fantasise, not onto a blank screen, but onto an actually existing thing, and in any case my fantasy itself is an independent thing. This thing eludes my grasp even as it appears clearly. You are what you eat. That the reason-to-buy is also a relation to an inaccessible yet appearing entity, to wit, what you eat?
I imagine what I eat gives me luxury, or freedom, or knowledge. Yet there I am, eating an apple. I coexist. What a fantastic loop that is. Once we discover that what is called subjectivity is a cleaned, stripped, devastated version of something much vaguer and more spectral that includes the abjection that the idea of subject is meant to repress, then we are in the phenomenological space of ecological awareness.
It is at first horrifying to white patriarchy , because ecological awareness means noticing that you are profoundly covered in, surrounded by and permeated by all kinds of entities that are not you. That horror then becomes strangely ridiculous, like watching someone trying to escape the inevitable. This sense of the ridiculous is the first hint that at its deepest, ecological awareness has some kind of laughter in it. This not- knowing-why becomes beautiful and we sense the ungraspability of things.
This sense in turn leads to a kind of joy. The publication is available at www. Photo: A whale bone on top of the hill overlooking Nikel. The bone was left there when the nearby museum closed down. Photo by Rosa Menkman, Dark ecology starts off dark as in depressing. Then it becomes dark as in mysterious.
Then it ends dark as in sweet dark chocolate. In this lecture I'm going to provide an experiential map of dark Tatjana Gorbachewskaja is an architect who grew up in the Russian town Nikel, located in the far North near the Russian border with Norway. For Dark Ecology Project she researched the materials of He also argues how What Is Dark Ecology? Timothy Morton In this essay, which draws on his book Dark Ecology, For a Logic of Coexistence, Timothy Morton — who originally coined the term dark ecology — explains what dark ecology is.
II What is dark ecology? III The Anthropocene is the moment at which we humans begin to realise that the correct way to understand ourselves as a species is as a hyperobject. IV Global warming is a symptom of industrialisation and industrialisation is a symptom of massively accelerated agriculture. Actually we need to give it its properly anthropocentric form: 3 Human existing is always better than any quality of existing.
What is required to remember is that this is a weird essentialism. IX To think in this new-old way, we will need to restructure logic. Kate Marshall, University of Notre Dame Dark Ecology is a brave, brilliant interrogation of the presumptions that have driven our approach to the ecological and environmental challenges of our era.
Anyone who is willing to ride the rollercoaster of ideas on which Morton takes us will reach the end brimming with new conceptual and intellectual energies with which to face up to our present limits and failures and to shape an alive and joyful future. Imre Szeman, University of Alberta Morton is a master of philosophical enigma. In Dark Ecology he treats us to an obscure ecognosis, the essentially unsolvable riddle of ecological being. Prepare to be endarkened! Michael Marder, author of The Philosopher's Plant and Pyropolitics Morton commands readers' attention with his free-form style Publishers Weekly With touches of humor, bits of information drawn from literature ancient Latin and Greek , and plenty of philosophy, Morton takes readers on a strongly philosophical and semantic tour of 'the darkness and light' of human interrelatedness with the biosphere.
Choice A playful, poetic parsing of our era's environmental crisis. Rice Magazine A rewarding hike. Library Journal Timothy Morton's new work by turns fascinates, mystifies, stuns, confuses, and excites Readers who seek new vocabularies for thinking about the Anthropocene and the vexed relation between human society and biological life will find a lot to work with.
British Society for Literature and Science [A] radical vision of what ecological thought can be. Critical Inquiry Morton disrupts the customary assumption that industrialization is the root cause of ecological crisis, such crisis being already contained in the agrilogistic drawing of a sharp boundary between human and nonhuman worlds.