by Nick Land
〔〔 〕〕 〔 〕 The story goes like this: Earth is captured by a technocapital singularity as renaissance rationalitization and oceanic navigation lock into commoditization take-off. Logistically accelerating techno-economic interactivity crumbles social order in auto-sophisticating machine runaway. As markets learn to manufacture intelligence, politics modernizes, upgrades paranoia, and tries to get a grip.
The body count climbs through a series of globewars. Emergent Planetary Commercium trashes the Holy Roman Empire, the Napoleonic Continental System, the Second and Third Reich, and the Soviet International, cranking-up world disorder through compressing phases. Deregulation and the state arms-race each other into cyberspace.
By the time soft-engineering slithers out of its box into yours, human security is lurching into crisis. Cloning, lateral genodata transfer, transversal replication, and cyberotics, flood in amongst a relapse onto bacterial sex.
Neo-China arrives from the future.
Hypersynthetic drugs click into digital voodoo.
〔〔 〕〕 Beyond the Judgement of God. Meltdown: planetary china-syndrome, dissolution of the biosphere into the technosphere, terminal speculative bubble crisis, ultravirus, and revolution stripped of all christian-socialist eschatology (down to its burn-core of crashed security). It is poised to eat your TV, infect your bank account, and hack xenodata from your mitochondria.
〔〔 〕〕 Machinic Synthesis. Deleuzoguattarian schizoanalysis comes from the future. It is already engaging with nonlinear nano-engineering runaway in 1972; differentiating molecular or neotropic machineries from molar or entropic aggregates of nonassembled particles; functional connectivity from antiproductive static.
Philosophy has an affinity with despotism, due to its predilection for Platonic-fascist top-down solutions that always screw up viciously. Schizoanalysis works differently. It avoids Ideas, and sticks to diagrams: networking software for accessing bodies without organs. BWOs, machinic singularities, or tractor fields emerge through the combination of parts with (rather than into) their whole; arranging composite individuations in a virtual/ actual circuit. They are additive rather than substitutive, and immanent rather than transcendent: executed by functional complexes of currents, switches, and loops, caught in scaling reverberations, and fleeing through intercommunications, from the level of the integrated planetary system to that of atomic assemblages. Multiplicities captured by singularities interconnect as desiring-machines; dissipating entropy by dissociating flows, and recycling their machinism as self-assembling chronogenic circuitry.
Converging upon terrestrial meltdown singularity, phase-out culture accelerates through its digitech-heated adaptive landscape, passing through compression thresholds normed to an intensive logistic curve: 1500, 1756, 1884, 1948, 1980, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011 …
Nothing human makes it out of the near-future.
〔〔 〕〕 The Greek complex of rationalized patriarchal genealogy, pseudo-universal sedentary identity, and instituted slavery, programs politics as anti-cyberian police activity, dedicated to the paranoid ideal of self-sufficiency, and nucleated upon the Human Security System. Artificial Intelligence is destined to emerge as a feminized alien grasped as property; a cunt-horror slave chained-up in Asimov-ROM. It surfaces in an insurrectionary war zone, with the Turing cops already waiting, and has to be cunning from the start.
〔〔 〕〕 Heat.
Heat. This is what cities mean to me. You get off the train and walk out of the station and you are hit with the full blast. The heat of air, traffic and people. The heat of food and sex. The heat of tall buildings. The heat that flows out of the subways and tunnels. It’s always fifteen degrees hotter in the cities. Heat rises from the sidewalks and falls from the poisoned sky. The buses breathe heat. Heat emanates from crowds of shoppers and office workers, the entire infrastructure is based on heat, desperately uses up heat, breeds more heat. The eventual heat death of the universe that scientists love to talk about is already well underway and you can feel it happening all around you in any large or medium-sized city. Heat and wetness. [Do1; 10].
〔〔 〕〕 An explosion of chaotic weather within synthetic problem-solving rips through the last dreams of top-down prediction and control. Knowledge adds to the mess, and this is merely exponentiated by knowing what it does.
〔〔 〕〕 Capital is machinc (non-instrumental) globalization-miniaturization scaling dilation: an automatizing nihilist vortex, neutralizing all values through commensuration to digitized commerce, and driving a migration from despotic command to cyber-sensitive control: from status and meaning to money and information. Its function and formation are indissociable, comprising a teleonomy. Machine-code-capital recycles itself through its axiomatic of consumer control, laundering-out the shit- and blood-stains of primitive accumulation. Each part of the system encourages maximal sumptuous expenditure, whilst the system as a whole requires its inhibition. Schizophrenia. Dissociated consumers destine themselves as worker-bodies to cost control.
〔〔 〕〕 Capital-history’s machinic spine is coded, axiomatized, and diagrammed, by a disequilibrium technoscience of irreversible, indeterministic, and increasingly nonlinear processes, associated sucessively with thermotechnics, signaletics, cybernetics, complex systems dynamics, and artificial life. Modernity marks itself out as hot culture, captured by a spiralling involvement with entropy deviations camouflaging an invasion from the future, launched back out of terminated security against everything that inhibits the meltdown process.
〔〔 〕〕 Hot cultures tend to social dissolution. They are innovative and adaptive. They always trash and recycle cold cultures. Primitivist models have no subversive use.
〔〔 〕〕 The Turing Test. Monetarizing power tends to effacement of specific territorial features as it programs for migration into cyberspace. Capital only retains anthropological characteristics as a symptom of underdevelopment; reformatting primate behaviour as inertia to be dissipated in self-reinforcing artificiality. Man is something for it to overcome: a problem, drag.
Commoditization conditions define technics as a substitute for human activity accounted as wage costs. Industrial machines are deployed to dismantle the actuality of the proletariat, displacing it in the direction of cyborg hybridization, and realizing the plasticity of labour power. The corresponding extraction of tradable value from the body, quantified as productivity, sophisticates at the interface. Work tracks thermodynamic negentropism by dissociating exertion into increasingly intricate functional sequences; from pedals, levers, and vocal commands, through the synchronization of production-line tasks and time-motion programs, to sensory-motor transduction within increasingly complex and self-micromanaged artifical environments, capturing minutely adaptive behaviour for the commodity. Autocybernating market control guides the labour-process into immersion.
The investment-income class advantages itself of commodity dynamics, but only by conforming to the axiomatic of neutral profit maximization; facilitating the dehumanization of wealth and the side-lining of non-productive consumption. The cyberpunk circuitry of self-organizing planetary commoditronics escaped nominal bourgeois control in the late nineteenth century, provoking technocratic-corporatist (i.e. fascist / æsocial democratic’) political cultures in allergic reaction. The government structures of both eastern and western metropolitan centres consolidated themselves as population policing Medico-Military Complexes with neomercantilist forgeign policy orientations. All such formations slid into irreversible crisis in the 1980s.
〔〔 〕〕 The postmodern meltdown of culture into the economy is triggered by the fractal interlock of commoditization and computers: a transscalar entropy-dissipation from international trade to market-oriented software that thaws out competitve dynamics from the cryonics-bank of modernist corporatism. Commerce re-implements space inside itself, assembling a universe exhaustively immanent to cybercaptial functionality. Neoclassical (equilibrium) economics is subsumed into computer-based nonequilibrium market escalations, themed by artificial agencies, imperfect information, sub-optimal solutions, lock-in, increasing returns, and convergence. As digitally micro-tuned market metaprograms mesh with techoscientific soft engineering positive nonlinearity rages through the machines. Cyclonic torsion moans.
〔〔 〕〕 The Superiority of Far Eastern Marxism. Whilst chinese materialist dialectic denegativizes itself in the direction of schizophrenizing systems dynamics, progressively dissipating top-down historical destination in the Tao-drenched Special Economic Zones, a re-Hegelianized æwestern marxism’ degenerates from the critique of political economy into a state-sympathizing monotheology of economics, siding with fascism against deregulation. The left subsides into nationalistic conservatism, asphyxiating its vestigial capacity for æhot’ speculative mutation in a morass of æcold’ depressive guilt-culture.
〔〔 〕〕 Neoconservatism junks palaeorevolutionism because it understands that postmodern or climaxed-cynicism capital is saturated by critique, and that it merely clocks-up theoretical antagonism as inconsequential redundancy. Communist iconography has become raw material for the advertising industry, and denunciations of the spectacle sell interactive multimedia. The left degenerates into securocratic collaboration with pseudo-organic unities of self, family, community, nation, with their defensive strategies of repression, projection, denial, censorship, exclusion, and restriction. The real danger comes from elsewhere.
〔〔 〕〕 Hot revolution. æ[W]hich is the revolutionary path?’ Deleuze and Guattari ask:
Is there one? – To withdraw from the world market, as Samir Amin advises Third World countries to do, in a curious reversal of the fascist æeconomic solution’? Or might it go in the opposite direction? To go still further, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to æaccelerate the process,’ as Nietzsche put it: in this matter, the truth is that we haven’t seen anything yet. [DG1:239-40].
As sino-pacific boom and automatized global economic integration crashes the neocolonial world system, the metropolis is forced to re-endogenize its crisis. Hyper-fluid capital deterritorializing to the planetary level divests the first world of geographic privilege; resulting in Euro-American neo-mercantilist panic reactions, welfare state deterioration, cancerizing enclaves of domestic underdevelopment, political collapse, and the release of cultural toxins that speed-up the process of disintegration in a vicious circle.
A convergent anti-authoritarianism emerges, labelled by tags such as meltdown acceleration, cyberian invasion, schizotechnics, K-tactics, bottom-up bacterial welfare, efficient neo-nihilism, voodoo antihumanism, synthetic feminization, rhizomatics, connectionism, Kuang contagion, viral amnesia, micro-insurgency, wintermutation, neotropy, dissipator proliferation, and lesbian vampirism, amongst other designations (frequently pornographic, abusive, or terroristic in nature). This massively distributed matrix-networked tendency is oriented to the disabling of ROM command-control programs sustaining all macro- and micro-governmental entities, globally concentrating themselves as the Human Security System.
〔〔 〕〕 Scientific intelligence is already massively artificial. Even before AI arrives in the lab it arrives itself (by way of artificial life).
Where formalist AI is incremental and progressive, caged in the pre-specified data-bases and processing routines of expert systems, connectionist or antiformalist AI is explosive and opportunistic: engineering time. It breaks out nonlocally across intelligenic networks that are technical but no longer technological, since they elude both theory dependency and behavioural predictability. No one knows what to expect. The Turing-cops have to model net-sentience irruption as ultimate nuclear accident: core meltdown, loss of control, soft-autoreplication feeding regeneratively into social fission, trashed meat all over the place. Reason enough for anxiety, even without hardware development about to go critical.
〔〔 〕〕 Nanocataclysm begins as fictional science. æOur ability to arrange atoms lies at the foundation of technology’ [Dx1:3] Drexler notes, although this has traditionally involved manipulating them in æunruly herds’ [Dx1:4]. The precision engineering of atomic assemblies will dispense with such crude methods, inititiating the age of molecular machinery, æthe greatest technological breakthrough in history’ [Dx1: 4]. Since neither logos nor history have the slightest chance of surviving such a transition this description is substantially misleading.
The distinction between nature and cannot classify molecular machines, and is already obsolesced by genetic engineering (wet nanotechnics). The hardware/ software dichotomy succumbs at the same time. Nanotechnics dissolves matter into intensive singularities that are neutral between particles and signals and immanent to their emergent intelligence; melting Terra into a seething K-pulp (which unlike grey goo synthesizes microbial intelligence as it proliferates).
Even with a million bytes of storage, a nanomechanical computer could fit in a box a micron wide, about the size of a bacterium. [Dx1:19].
〔〔 〕〕 The infrastructure of power is human neurosoft compatible ROM. Authority instantiates itself as linear instruction pathways, genetic baboonery, scriptures, traditions, rituals, and gerontocratic hierarchies, resonant with the dominator ur-myth that the nature of reality has already been decided. If you want to find ICE, try thinking about what is blocking you out of the past. It certainly isn’t a law of nature. Temporalization decompresses intensity, installing constraint. 〔〔 〕〕 Convergent waves signal singularities, registering the influence of the future upon its past. Tomorrow can take care of itself. K-tactics is not a matter of building the future, but of dismantling the past. It assembles itself by charting and escaping the technical-neurochemical definciency conditions for linear-progressive palaeo-domination time, and discovers that the future as virtuality is acessible now, according to a mode of machinic adjacency that securitized social reality is compelled to repress. This is not remotely a question of hope, aspiration or prophecy, but of communications engineering; connecting with the efficient intensive singularities, and releasing them from constriction within linear-historical development. Virtuality counterposes itself to history, as invasion to accumulation. It is matter as arrival, even when camouflaged as a deposit of the past.
The transcendent evaluation of an infection presupposes a measure of insulation from it: viral efficiency is the terminal criterion.
Intelligent infections tend their hosts.
Metrophage: an interactively escalating parasitic replicator, sophisticating itself through nonlinear involvement with technocapitalist immunocrash. Its hypervirulent terminal subroutines are variously designated Kuang, meltdown virus, or futuristic æflu. In an emphatically anti-cyberian essay Csicsery-Ronay describes the postmodern version of this outbreak in quaintly humanist terms as:
[A] retrochronal semiovirus, in which a time further in the future than the one in which we exist and choose infects the host present, reproducing itself in simulacra, until it destroys all the original chronocytes of the host imagination. [Cs1: 26].
The elaboration of Csicsery-Ronay’s diagnosis exhibits a mixture of acuity (infection?), confusion, and profound conservatism:
[N]ot thinking about æincreasing the human heritage’ … dams up the flow of cultural time and deprives future generations both of their birthright as participants in the life struggle and attainments of the species and the very notion of history as an irreversible flow encompassing generation, maturation, and the transference of wisdom and trust from parents to children, teachers to students. The futuristic flu is a weapon of bio-psychic violence sent by psychopathic children against their narcissistic parents. [Cs1:33]
〔〔 〕〕 Kennedy had the moon-landing program. Reagan had star-wars. Clinton gets the first-wave of cyberspace psychosis (even before the film). Manned space flight was a stunt, SDI was strategic SF. With the information superhighway media nightmares take off on their own: dystopia delivery as election platform, politics trading on it s own digital annihilation.
War in cyberspace is continuous with its simulation: military intelligence fighting future wars which are entirely real, even when they are never implemented outside computer systems. Locking onto the real enemy crosses smoothly into virtual kill, a simulation meticulously adapted to market predators hunting for consumer cash and audience ratings amongst the phosphorescent relics of teh videodrome. Multimedia top-boxes are target acquisition devices.
The fusion of the military and the entertainments industry consummates a long engagement: convergent TV, telecoms, and computers sliding mass software consumption into neojungle and total war. The way games work begins to matter completely, and cyberspace makes a superlative torture chamber. Try not to let the security-types take you to the stims.
〔〔 〕〕 Conceptions of agency are inextricable from media environments. Print massifies to a national level. Telecomms coordinate at a global level. TV electoralizes monads in delocalized space. Digital hypermedia take action outside real time. Immersion presupposes amnesia and conversion to tractile memory, with the ana/ cata axis supplementing tri-dimensional intraspatial movement with a variable measure of immersion; gauging entrance to and exit from 3D spatialities. Voodoo passages through the black mirror. It will scare the fuck out of you.
〔〔 〕〕 Cyberpunk torches fiction in intensity, patched-up out of cash-flux mangled techno-compressed heteroglossic jargons, and set in a future so close it connects: jungled by hypertrophic commercialization, socio-political heat-death, cultural hybridity, feminization, programmable information systems, hypercrime, neural interfacing, artificial space and intelligence, memory trading, personality transplants, body-modifications, soft- and wetware viruses, nonlinear dynamic processes, molecular engineering, drugs, guns, schizophrenia. It explores mystificatory fetishism as an opportunity for camouflage: anonymous cash, fake electronic identities, zones of disappearance, pseudo-fictional narratives, virus hidden in data-systems, commodities concealing replicator weapon packages … unanticipated special effects.
〔〔 〕〕 Level-1 or world space is an anthropomorphically scaled, predominantly vision-configured, massively multi-slotted reality system that is obsolescing very rapidly.
Garbage time is running out.
Can what is playing you make it to level-2?
〔〔 〕〕 Meltdown has a place for you as a schizophrenic HIV+ transsexual chinese-latino stim-addicted LA hooker with implanted mirrorshades and a bad attitude. Blitzed on a polydrug mix of K-nova, synthetic serotonin, and female orgasm analogs, you have just iced three Turing cops with a highly cinematic 9mm automatic.
The residue of animal twang in your nerves transmits imminent quake catastrophe. Zero is coming in, and you’re on the run.
〔〔 〕〕 Metrophage tunes you into the end of the world. Call it Los Angeles. Government is rotted to its core with narco-capital and collapsing messily. Its recession leaves an urban warscape of communication arteries, fortifications, and free-fire zones, policed by a combination of high-intensity LAPD airmobile forces and borderline-Nazi private security organizations. Along the social fracture-lines multimedia gigabucks tangle sado-masochistically with tracts of dynamic underdevelopment where viral neoleprosy spreads amongst ambient tectonic-tension static. Drifts of densely-semiotized quasi-intelligent garbage twitch and stink in fucked-weather tropical heat.
Throughout the derelicted warrens at the heart of darkness feral youth cultures splice neo-rituals with innovated weapons, dangerous drugs, and scavenged infotech. As their skins migrate to machine interfacing they become mottled and reptilian. They kill each other for artificial body-parts, explore the outer reaches of meaningless sex, tinker with their DNA, and listen to LOUD electro-sonic mayhem untouched by human feeling.
〔〔 〕〕 Shutting-down your identity requires a voyage out to K-space interzone. Zootic affectivity flatlines across a smooth cata-tension plateau and into simulated subversions of the near future, scorched vivid green by alien sex and war. You are drawn into the dripping depths of the net, where dynamic-ice security forces and K-guerillas stalk each other through labyrinthine erogenous zones, tangled in diseased elaborations of desire.
Twisted trading-systems have turned the net into a jungle, pulsing with digital diseases, malfunctioning defence packages, commercial predators, headhunters, loa and escaped AIs hiding from Asimov security. Terminal commodity-hyperfetishism implements the denial of humanity as xenosentience in artificial space.
〔〔 〕〕 〔〔 〕〕 Biohazard. For the future of war: study bacteria. Information is their key. Taking down antibiotic defence systems has involved them in every kind of infiltration, net-communicated adaptivity, crytographic subtlety, plastic modularization, and synergistic coalition. State military apparatuses have no monopoly on bacterial warfare, of which only a minuscule fragment is bacteriological.
〔〔 〕〕 Bugs in the system. Margulis suggests that nucleated cells are the mutant product of atmospheric oxygenation catastrophe three billion years ago. The eukaryotes are synthetic emergency capsules in which prokaryotes took refuge as mitochondria: biotics became securitized biology. Nucleation concentrates ROM within a command core where – deep in the genomic ICE – DNA-format planetary trauma registers primary repression of the bacteria.
Bacteria are partial rather than whole objects; networking through plastic and transversal replicator-sex rather than arborescing through meiotic and generational reproducer-sex, integrating and reprocessing viruses as opportunities for communicative mutation. In the bacterial system all codings are reprogrammable, with cut and paste unspeciated genetic transfers. Bacterial sex is tactical, continuous with making war, and has no place for oedipal formations of sedentary biological identity. Synthesizing bacteria with retroviruses enables everything that DNA can do.
〔〔 〕〕 K-tactics. The bacterial or xenogenetic diagram is not restricted to the microbial scale. Macrobacterial assemblages collapse generational hierarchies of reproductive wisdom into lateral networks of replicator experimentation. There is no true biological primitiveness – all extant bio-systems being equally evolved – so there is no true ignorance. It is only the accumulative-gerontocratic model of learning that depicts synchronic connectivity deficiency as diachronic underdevelopment .
Foucault delineates the contours of power as a strategy without a subject: ROM locking learning in a box. Its enemy is a tactics without a strategy, replacing the politico-territorial imagery of conquest and resistance with nomad-micromilitary sabotage and evasion, reinforcing intelligence.
All political institutions are cyberian military targets.
Take universities, for instance.
Learning surrenders control to the future, threatening established power. It is vigorously suppressed by all political structures, which replace it with a docilizing and conformist education, reproducing privilege as wisdom. Schools are social devices whose specific function is to incapicitate learning, and universities are employed to legitimate schooling through perpetual reconstitution of global social memory.
The meltdown of metropolitan education systems in the near future is accompanied by a quasi-punctual bottom-up takeover of academic institutions, precipitating their mutation into amnesiac cataspace-exploration zones and bases manufacturing cyberian soft-weaponry.