if you want a picture of the future, imagine humans having to face watching reboots – for ever.
WARREN ELLIS LTD Articles.
Biosemiotics is the idea that all life is involved in meaning making. It has been defined as ‘the study of distinctions that make organisms, what they recognize, what they intend, and what they know’. This happens at the level of single-celled organisms, which can collect information and make decisions. The plasmodium of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum, for example, is an amoeba-like cell with some surprising abilities. When presented with a maze in the lab, it can find the shortest route through it in a way that would be impossible were it only to be responding to basic environmental signals with behavioural reflexes. You could say that the plasmodium has its own perception of the world, composed of a wide array of information collected from the environment, which it evaluates and uses to make decisions for future behaviour.
We have to think into the experiences of other organisms dramatically different from ourselves, however rudimentary or complex they might be. So different in fact that their experiences might be generated without any of the familiar animal thinking machinery. No brains, neurones or synapses. I began to think about the sapience of plants. We are so entrenched in the dogma of neuronal intelligence, brain-centric consciousness, that we find it difficult to imagine alternative kinds of internal experience.
(The speculative realism crowd will have a field day with this, if they’ve pried themselves away from “ferreting out the specific psychic reality” of rocks.)
The work authored by Sir Wilford Stanley Gilmore was truly substantial, running to more than two thousand pages, and the publisher in the brief foreword, rather unconventionally, did not concede to mandatory expressions of politeness praising those persons whose support had made the present volume possible; nor did he adhere to the custom of wishing to recommend, to a general audience, this lesser-known scholar to his readers’ distinguished attention, no, not at all; instead, employing a fairly harsh tone, the writer of the introduction objected to his readers’ potential accusations, according to which the whole thing would have been more comfortable, more easily navigable, as well as daintier, if it had been published in two volumes, and with this invective, thoroughly unjustified, presented with no explanation—not to mention the startling openness of its formulation or rather its unconstrained tone (almost continually employing such expressions as “go fuck yourselves,” “shit,” and “your mother’s cunt”)—the impression was created that the writer of this introduction was not any kind of separate personage but none other than the author himself…
Subversion, breakdown, and crisis in meaning are leitmotifs of the age. Woolf identified its prevailing sound as “breaking and falling, crashing and destruction.” Grammar was violated, syntax disintegrated; and Joyce’s Ulysses was the “calculated indecency of a desperate man who feels that in order to breathe he must break the windows.”
The Modernist Novel: A Critical Introduction, Stephen Kern
Robbe-Grillet claims that, whereas the novels of Balzac or Dickens do not require readers, since they perform all the latter’s work themselves, his own writing calls for active readers who will piece it all together.
Tom McCarthy, from his introduction to Alain Robbe-Grillet’s JEALOUSY
See also Fuck The Average Reader.
Catasterization signals an end to the era of metamorphosis. When someone can no longer be transformed, but has to be saved, he is cast into a star. In the world of Zeus, these are the cases where there is no other way out. So it could be said that life on earth was constellated with stories suspended, attached to the vault of the sky. For the Vedic people, what took place in space among Sirius, Orion, Aldebaran, and the Pleiades was the scene that preceded every other scene and coincided with the manifestation of that which appears. Between Rudra, Prajāpati, Uṣas, and the Devas, astonished spectators, was the space where all that was essential to know took place.
THE CELESTIAL HUNTER, Roberto Calasso