This is the second to my last my deep dive into Identities Journal. My computer has started working again and my next deep dive will be into flux. When I wrote this a few days ago I wrote “I am writing a lot today, because I cannot surf the web. I think a truer statement has never be written and now I understand my main issues in life and the source of my procrastination.” Upon reflection I see how true this is, because now that my internet is back on I am just
But let’s proceed – with Levi Bryant’s a world is ending. So Bryant begins with a meditation on Kant, that in order to think coherently there has to be unity of apperception. Unfortunately Bryant cannot experience this coherence – he is fragmented so he will write fragments.
Let’s just start there. A year or so ago I went to my shrink and was talking about how I yearned for coherence. Why is this a value? Good question. I always had it as a value, but I never really adhered to it or lived according to it. Perhaps i should get rid of it.
Likewise, perhaps the Kantian unity of apperception was useful for a particular world. The world of the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution and modernity. But perhaps now we can throw off the shackles of internal coherence and embrace multiplicity.
Bryant says he can only write in fragments because his thinking is fragmented. But he is not the first thinker to think in fragments, the first person that comes to mind is Nietzsche – the post modern philosopher. This is perhaps who my shrink was thinking of when he prompted me to interrogate my values and engage in a transvaluation of values (we actually talk like this).
So what is going on in these fragments? They are meditations and reflections on the past, on past memories, on past interpretations of philosophers, on ideas that Bryant is trying to graft on to his understanding of this world.
Ok so I keep saying world worlding, this is a new world. Bryant obviously has read the same people I have read and have come to the same conclusions a world has ended a new world has begun. I dont know if worlds have ends. I think worlds are eternal but perhaps their portals close to us, or to some of us, perhaps we need to create new conceptual apparati to enter those worlds.
But for sure, a new world has been created. Perhaps this world has always been here, the world of the pandemic. But I would venture to guess that the world of the black plague was not this world, with our statistical models, epidemology, viral theory, zoom conferences, fake news, internet, etc. So I would say yes Levi -this is indeed a new world. But we cannot really get here yet. We are like stuck in a space suit, or like in those domes constructed on Mars in the Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Like in the Mars Trilogy, we are not quite sure what this world is going to be yet, there are a bunch of little communities starting with their own ideas and practices. This is what Bryant’s fragments are, they are outcroppings on the surface of Mars. But what we need to do in order to inhabit this new world is to terraform it.
What are in these outcroppings or musings? There is a discussion of Here-ness of Open-ness, of Badiou, of essential workers, shopping, wildness. It is hard for me to follow, these categories do not provide any conceptual framework for me either.
Let me digress for a moment, in these blog posts which are all digressions really, but skepticism -and the belief that the sun will rise tomorrow,… Lets remove prediction from the realm of science. Science originally was meant to be explanatory not predictive. If it science does not predict correctly then it is possible that the explanation is not correct but to consider science as a mode of prediction is to say that science is augury.
We are all upset. We thought all these things/ technology we had in the modern world would prevent bad things from happening. That we would be able to control the future. This is magical thinking. Maybe magic exists and maybe we can control the future. Obviously nothing we have done so far has let us to believe this. Maybe this is the time for fragments.