No matter how carefully science insists in tracing the limits of its own understanding, barricading itself behind walls of axioms and boundary conditions, it inevitably becomes an oracle, a spiritual medium, opening a laceration onto a radical Outside and summoning an invasion of voices of long lost demons into our world, not unlike a cursed Cassandra who refuses to surrender to her own prophetic utterances. In this sense, conspiracy theorists and cybernetic oracles of the coming apocalypse draw from scientific knowledge not as a source of reliable predictions of reality, but rather “as a poetics of the sacred”, and transform astronomy into an astrology of Armageddon.
For Jünger, souls are judged according to their readiness to see an invisible war. Invisible war conjoins the immediacy of the front experience (Fronterlebnis) to a higher order of determination. Immolating fire is a communiqué that travels from an absolute remoteness to an essentialised closeness: causality is vertical, hierarchical and unilateral. An act on the front is the mirror of a determination within the invisible war. The station of a higher soul can be achieved through the intensification of this perception, which separates a reflective surface from a secret face.
You’re basically one of the leading thinkers of what we might call the school of thought that’s known as accelerationism. Accelerationism is something like the view that contemporary history is changing at an exponential rate, technologically and economically, and that this rate of change confounds nearly all of our traditional concepts for thinking about society and economics and politics. If someone on the street walked up to you and asked you “What is this whole accelerationism thing?” is there a kind of key essence or upshot that you would add to what I just said?
This briefing has been called to alert everyone here to an escalation in the urgency of the conflict in which you are all involved. Many of you have just been pulled from deep chronological camouflage and it’s likely that you’ll have no recollection of what you’re about to hear. This is normal, your real memories will return slowly. The only thing for it is to start in the middle and [unintelligible … maybe ‘neither’?].
There is a blurry edge in all detective work that, as Borges too competently demonstrates, skirts a zig-zag threshold between apophenia and the truly canny connection of events that only appear, superficially, to be disconnected. In the name of a method that is closer to invocation than criticism, a reckless detective might refrain from determining exactly where an act of decryption lies on the ugly terrain of legitimacy and, proffering sanity as the stake, live up to the problem as it stands.
“I am not I; I am but a hollow tube to bring down Fire from Heaven.”
Investigating temporal anomaly demands that the couplings of past and present be examined, and tested till dissolution. The task is demanded so that one can begin to glimpse a way out of the tight grip of the pincers that structure revealed history. Names and faces then finally appear as masks, hiding the true — anonymous and orphan — thing. There’s scarcely any more to philosophy than this understanding of time-in-itself.
Where to begin? It’s not mere cliché to say at the end. What the future can say about the past through the present marks the path of history. Destiny is slowly revealed, through endlessly deturned unidirectional movement. Prophecy is obvious in retrospect, so it remains to those picking the remains to ask: what happened?
There is a short story by Jorge Luis Borges which details an elaborate game of geometrical entrapment. The game is at once a temporal and spatio-cartographic one. It is played over a period of four months, on the fourth of each month, across a series of cardinal coordinates: a hotel in the North, a paint factory in the West, a tavern in the East, and an abandoned villa in the water-logged southern outskirts of the story’s unidentified city.
From the transcendent perspective of history, the city of Hong Kong appears as an abomination. Since the island’s annexation to the British Empire and the foundation of the City of Victoria in the 1840s, it has remained an anomaly, provoking, in varying degrees, contempt, impatience, and outrage among all those bureaucrats charged with its ultimate imperial oversight. From Charles Elliot, Hong Kong’s first, unmourned administrator — whose recompense for securing the isle was a letter from Lord Palmerston informing him that in taking this “barren Island with hardly a House upon it” he had “disobeyed and neglected [his] Instructions”, and would promptly be relieved of his post — to CY Leung, whose handling of the present swelling vortex of cultural conflict lost him the Party Centre’s confidence and his office shortly thereafter, few of Hong Kong’s administrators have escaped some measure of opprobrium from their overseers across the sea, whichever sea that may be.
When a new fragment of an original amanuensis manuscript for John Milton’s Paradise Lost was discovered last year in a storage facility in South London, the philology community found itself confronted with an unintelligible anachronism that, despite the confirmed authenticity of the document in question, has yet to find a legitimate place in Milton scholarship. Two articles published in the November 2016 issue of Modern Philology and the February 2017 issue of MVU’s contentious Plutonics journal, testify to the bewilderment of those few scholars who have taken the recent findings seriously enough to warrant academic appraisal.