A Tardigrade-Powered Rhizomatic Nomad Engine

I’m liking Star Trek: Discovery at the moment and I really enjoyed this bit of exposition explaining the finer details of their newly discovered “spore engine”.

Lt. Stamets:

“All right, let’s start with our mushroom, prototaxites stellaviatori, a species made up of exotic matieral found not only in normal space, but in a discreet subspace domain known as the mycelial network. Its fungal roots, a.k.a. mycelium, spread across the universe, fanning out into infinity to create a matrix that serves as our intergalactic freeway system.”

Burnham:

“Enter the tardigrade whose genetic makeup allows it to navigate through the network because of its symbiotic relationship with the mycelium’s spores. Like its microscopic cousins on Earth, the Tardigrade is able to incorporate foreign DNA into its own genome via horizontal gene transfer. When Ripper [the Discovery‘s Tardigrade] borrows DNA from the mycelium, he’s granted an all-access travel pass.”

Tardigrades are already cool – I can’t help but associate them with UIQ: remember that ZULI Fact Mix art? – but using them as the basis for an experimental propulsion system that is effectively rhizomatic nomadism in a box that is being put to use for the sake of the war effort?

I like it. I wonder if it will be used to its full Deleuzo-Guattarian potential…

richard-giblett-mycelium-rhizome

Coming soon: T/ACC – Tardigrade Accelerationism

Glossary #001: Disenvowel

Disenvowel /ˌdɪsɪmˈvaʊəl,ˌdɪsɛmˈvaʊəl/
(AQ = 218)

Verb. A process of xenophonetics: to render a word phonetically guttural.

The voice is as much a marker for the subject as the face, but it is far more open to interference from the Outside.

Processes of disenvoweling are varied, relating to the effect of the Outside on both the voice and written language. The implications are significant – for the Outside to open the written word is for it to smuggle itself into the very base of human culture; to open the voice is for it to smuggle itself into politics.

As Nick Land writes in The Dark Enlightenment:

‘Voice’ is democracy itself, in its historically dominant, Rousseauistic strain. It models the state as a representation of popular will, and making oneself heard means more politics.

So much of modern politics consists of repeated disavowals. Neoliberal responsibility slips all too readily. To disenvowel has the potential to counteract such a policy. To lose your voice is a horrifying experience. It is just as violent than the other act which it is phonetically similar to. To disembowel concerns the body but to disenvowel concerns the soul. Invoke it at your peril.

13 18 28 14 23 31 24 32 14 21
218 [13+18+28+14+23+31+24+32+14+21]
11 [2+1+8]
2 [1+1]

AQ Equivalences: “After the law”; “Anonymous”; “Neoreaction”; “Ueber-Troll”

The Library

The silence is punctuated by coughs and the jabbing of keyboards. Georges Bataille discovers a treasure trove of horrors on the library computers of his lost future.

Bataille currently holds a position as the librarian of a small inner-city library. Having ascended to the heights of Paris’s National Library during his lifetime, to climb down was the only option once this natural life had passed. With many elderly members of the local community volunteering their time in the underused space, Bataille found himself passing through without a second look, even in his state of undeath.

The range of books in the library’s possession is more modest than he is used to. However, the extended services offered allow for interactions that are nevertheless of interest to him. Recently a man was reportedly disturbed whilst masturbating by the library’s computers. Having fled the scene before he could be apprehended, images of the man’s shadowy outline were sourced from an outdated CCTV system and distributed amongst local police and library staff. This was a mere formality, of course – this strange constellation of pixels was never be seen again.

The name of the site the man was perusing was later discovered during a search of the abused computer’s internet history and it was subsequently primed for blacklisting on the library’s internal web server. Its name was nonetheless muttered in quiet corners with the tentative care, over-emphasis and incredulity typical of a word suddenly found in the mouth of the uninitiated.

4chan.

Continue reading “The Library”

#WorldMentalHealthDay

Writing about one’s own depression is difficult. Depression is partly constituted by a sneering ‘inner’ voice which accuses you of self-indulgence – you aren’t depressed, you’re just feeling sorry for yourself, pull yourself together – and this voice is liable to be triggered by going public about the condition. Of course, this voice isn’t an ‘inner’ voice at all – it is the internalised expression of actual social forces, some of which have a vested interest in denying any connection between depression and politics. [via]

The problem I have with #WorldMentalHealthDay as a hashtag is that I feel like it has become a part of the denial. The one designated day a year when public honesty on social media is sanctioned. No more performing wellness and presenting your best life. It’s the one day a year that vulnerability is okay. For me, it goes without saying every day is World Mental Health Day. Twitter is usually where I do my over-sharing but I can’t help but notice how those who use Facebook to maintain their constant support network usually let today slide by without comment.

I was applying for a teaching job recently with a charity that seeks to boost disadvantaged kids in mainstream education. To check I was qualified I had to give an account of my entire education history. It’s kinda weird to be graduating from a Master’s degree and then have to account for my GCSEs for which I had at least one of every grade available, followed by fairly average A Levels. At the time I was told it was because I listened to too much Radiohead and Sonic Youth… To then jump to top grades at graduate and postgraduate level looks weird on my CV but I generally don’t try to account for it.

I know now that my depression is hardwired. I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. It defines even my primary school education. It’s only now that I acknowledge that I’m in it for the long haul.

So, this time, I did something I hadn’t done before with a job application. I made my history of depression the defining aspect of my application. Rather than bury it, I decided to highlight it as a positive for the role. I’m empathetic. I’m resilient. I’m sensitive to the needs of myself and others. I know how it feels to have all the odds stacked against you and that a GCSE or A Level exam feels like the most pointless thing in the world.

I also know what it is to put more than you have to give into an essay assignment because your mark won’t just affect your prospects but your entire self-worth. I’ve done both sides so put me in a modern classroom and I can support it.

This year has intensified my desire to teach more than anything because the right atmosphere really helps but so much of our education system remains a part of the problem. School made my mental health worse. Social media can’t make up for that. I want to change things at the source. This morning I got a call back for interview to secure a place on a training programme to take place next summer.

The moral here for me is that, yes, I have my own reasons for my own experiences, and my previously lame and contradictory coping strategies have shaped me as much as events beyond my control, but what I know more than anything is that none of it really matters. To share those stories today in an act of sanctioned honesty doesn’t do anything. To simply say “We need to talk more” on social media doesn’t do anything either.

Every other day of the year, social media is one of the most detrimental things to our collective mental health. It isolates as much as it connects. What I know now more than anything is that everyone is broken, whether they talk about it on social media or not. Literally everyone. Because we all live under these same conditions and they chip away at all of us.

A New Face

At present, this blog is a testing ground. A testing ground for what? I’m not sure yet… It’s a barren landscape that I plan to recklessly irradiate. Nothing could grow, or mutants might soon populate these pages. Time will tell.

For now I will only say this:

This blog is for writing without a face, for trying on new faces, for navigating a void between human and inhuman thought. This is where I will show my working towards new positions and new subjectivities, and I will not be alone.

Welcome. Please locate your nearest exit.