8 February 2020

Pierre Guyotat 1940—2020

Pierre Guyotat announced the arrival of the Age of Ktt'skr, when the world would be consumed by blood & fire. His superior subtlety & resistance spurned French literature's panic.

Here, the rite of KATAK's Eternal Revolution orders Eden, Eden, Eden. Summoned years ago, Katak comes.

By Amy Ireland & Lendl Barcelos
in Serial Killing: A Philosophical Anthology (Ed. Edia Connor & Gary J. Shipley)

10 April 2019

Alien Rhythms

There was only one thing that I didn't like. In the very back of the garage, near the canisters, I could see something silvery. That hadn't been there before. Well, all right, so there was something silvery, we couldn't go back now just because of that! I mean it didn't shine in any special way, just a little bit and in a calm, even a gentle way. I got up, brushed myself off, and looked around. There were the trucks on the lot, just like new. Even newer than they had been the last time I was here. And the gasoline truck, the poor bastard was rusted through and ready to fall apart. I didn't like the looks of that tire. Its shadow wasn't right. The sun was at our backs, yet its shadow was stretching towards us. Well, all right, it was far enough away from us. It seemed OK, we could get on with our work. But what was the silvery thing shining back there? Was it just my imagination? Now, the thing to do would be to light up, sit down quietly and think it through—what’s the silver stuff above the canisters … why is the tire’s shadow like that? The Vulture Burbridge told me something about the shadows, that they were weird but harmless. Something happens here with the shadows. But what about that silver stuff? It looks just like a cobweb. What sort of spider could have left it behind? I had never seen any bugs in the Zone.  
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic 

What is the schema of the spider? The schema of the spider is its web, and its web is the way it occupies space and time. … [T]ake the concept of a spider; the concept of a spider will include all of its anatomical parts and even the physiological functions of the spider. Thus one will encounter that funny sort of organ with which the spider makes its web. But can you deduce from it what we can now call the spatio-temporal being, and the correspondence of the web with the concept of a spider, which is to say with the spider as organism. It’s very curious because it varies enormously according to the species of spider. There are cases of very extraordinary spiders that, when you mutilate one of their legs, which is nevertheless not used for fabrication, make abnormal webs in relation to their own species, they make a pathological web. What happened? As if a disturbance in space and time corresponded to the mutilation. 
 Gilles Deleuze, ‘The Schema and Synthesis’, Lectures on Kant

Alienness — and the alienation that results from a confrontation with alienness — is the genesis of novelty and change. Wherever one encounters the alien, a mutation or a transformation isn’t far behind. And yet, because alienness involves an aspect of unknowability and unpredictability — an erasure of the familiar and the homely — it is also one of the things in the world which makes us most afraid. We fear the different and the strange, yet we require these things in order to evolve. This makes for a paradoxical affective relationship with the notions of otherness and difference that alienness encompasses — a bizarre and complex orientation unifying dread and desire. Already there is a kind of geometrical confusion in this: desire drives you forwards, while dread forces you back. As Mark Fisher writes in The Weird and The Eerie, it’s not a simple case of ‘enjoy[ing] what scares us’. Rather, ‘it has … to do with a fascination for the outside, for that which lies beyond standard perception, cognition and experience’, an affect that involves terror and distress, but isn’t wholly described by them.[0] Fisher’s invocation of ‘the outside’ immediately brings into play the prefix ‘xeno-’, a denotation nominating what follows it as foreign or alien — an ‘outsider’, someone or something that arrives from the outside.

4 September 2018

Scrap Metal and Fabric: Weaving as Temporal Technology

The city is the force of striation that re-imparts smooth space, puts it back into operation everywhere, on earth and in the other elements, outside but also inside itself. The smooth spaces arising from the city are not only those of worldwide organisation, but also of a counterattack combining the smooth and the holey and turning back against the town: sprawling, temporary, shifting shantytowns of nomads and cave dwellers, scrap metal and fabric, patchwork, to which the striations of money, work, or housing are no longer even relevant.
—Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

Since this is only going to be a short fifteen-minute talk, I'm going to present my argument very simply, and in form of a philosophical conspiracy theory.

It begins, like all good conspiracy theories, with a mysterious prophecy.


In the enigmatic closing line
of Zeros + Ones, Sadie Plant refers to Ada Lovelace's quiet development of the world's first working, fully-implementable, computer program — which Lovelace related to the invention of the Jacquard loom insofar as both realised a form of weaving — as 'a code for the numbers to come'. On the surface, the import of this sentence is simple enough. But it is more than just a superficial reference to the history of computation, time and the complex entanglements of both with women.

Ada Lovelace, who has only moments prior, called herself a prophet, cannot recognise the mark of either a woman or a man in her own writing. She has also just evoked in her assessment of her work's relationship to history, a temporality that any reader of Nietzsche would immediately (and not unironically) recognise as the 'untimely'. The 'numbers to come' is a deliberate echo of the Deleuzean 'people to come' which is an intentional remixing of two passages from Nietzsche, the second of which is the most intriguing for us (from Zarathustra):

Wake and listen, you lonely ones! From the future come winds with secretive wingbeats; good tidings are issued to delicate ears. You lonely of today, you withdrawing ones, one day you shall be a people: from you who have chosen yourselves a chosen people shall grow — and from them the overhuman.[0]

The 'code for the numbers to come’ is an enciphered premonition of the overhuman, one coincident with the intrusion of the untimely into linear history behind the mask of Lovelace's algorithm.

9 October 2016


The inverted Angel of History is a demon. (It has a name but not a face.)

25 September 2016

The Temporality of Ascryption

< Part One: 'Initiation'
Alice was just beginning to say 'There's a mistake somewhere—,' when the Queen began screaming, so loud that she had to leave the sentence unfinished. 'Oh, oh, oh!' shouted the Queen, shaking her hand about as if she wanted to shake it off. 'My finger's bleeding! Oh, oh, oh, oh!'
'What is the matter?' Alice said, 'Have you pricked your finger?'
'I haven't pricked it yet,' the Queen said, 'but I soon shall—oh, oh, oh!'

— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
With all such words it is of the utmost importance that they should never be spoken until the supreme moment, and even then they should burst from the Magician almost despite himself—so great should be his reluctance to utter them. In fact, they should be the utterance of the God in him at the first onset of the divine possession. So uttered, they cannot fail of effect, for they have become the effect. — Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA

With Karno absent, and no way to reach her (what would I have said in any case?), I had no choice but to continue my exploration of her practice unaccompanied. The inverted nature of the enterprise continued to mystify me. One night, uselessly intoxicated and unable to push my earlier success at recreating her method any further, I had scrawled 'ASCRYPTION IS REVERSE ASCRIPTION' on a post-it note in some now unrecognisable fluid and stuck it to the wall above my desk. The evocation of the literary act via the attribution of a name had proven successfultoo successful if the complete occultation of every surface comprising my admittedly cramped living quarters by loose stacks of unevenly daubed, sometimes completely indecipherable, sheets of paper was to be counted as a reliable measurement of efficacy. I felt I had lost control. Ascryption was, indeed, a matter of utter submission to the will of some outside force. As a writer I had been schooled in the importance of control. This was variously denominated in terms of metre, rhythm, tone, cleverly constructed metaphorics, believable characters, narrative consistency ... and yet I was producing these effects without any recourse to my own personal catalogue of literary tricks and turns of phrase, or even what I had once arrogantly considered my 'unique poetic voice'. Some utterly alien enunciator had infiltrated my output. Or better, enunciators, for they were certainly multiple. Adept across an unbelievable span of deranged aesthetic proclivity. Where the hell was this all coming from? 

I reread Karno's essay again and again, searching for a decipherable answer among her numerous appeals to 'the crypt', 'the rift' and, most curious of all, 'the future'. It was while staring at the post-it note, utterly lost, half-conscious from the criminal quantity of bootleg mezcal I had drunk in anticipation of yet another night's futile probing, that it came to me. Unlike ascription, which one has no choice but to understand as a cause-effect relationship, ascryptionthe production of cause from effectencodes, by virtue of this deranged causal logic, time in reverse. A text attributed to a writer; a writer attributed to a text. What was at stake was more than the automated procurement of a poem, but a theory of time. Karno was madder than even I (who wasdemonstrablyprepared to accept a lot) had suspected. And yet it explained so much. The enigmatic subtitle, 'Practices for Writing on Reality' suddenly took on a terrible significance. She meant it literally. What had I gotten myself involved in? Was I evoking something more significant than a roomful of poetry? I took in the chaotic state of my apartment, unsure I recognised the person to whom it had once belonged. The unfinished bottle of mezcal sat in the middle of the floor, staking out Zone 7 in the remnants of the diagram that continued to leer through its pelt of paper refuse. A bloated agave worm, suspended in the few centimetres of liquid that remained at the base of the bottle turned listlessly in response to some imperceptible tremor from far, far below. 

It reminded me of something I'd overheard at the bara verminous word: 'Plutonic'.

13 September 2016


'To call up a demon you must learn its name.' — Gibson, Neuromancer 

'There is no return for one that has started on this path.' — Crowley, Liber CCCXXXIII, §23.

'The beginning is the end.' — Heraklitus, Fragments, §70

It is Friday evening in the Deadlines bar, informal lair of a certain slice of Pacific Rim society, driven into loose conspiracy by nothing stronger than a vague sense of exodus from other, more legitimate loci of macrocultural conviviality. Only a few tables boast occupants. Improbable combinations for the most part: professional con artists, arms-dealers, off-the-clock sex workers sheathed in glittering but deadly nano, a few ragged pseudo-intellectuals wired on the newest blackmarket nootropics, stim addicts, at least one well-connected yet morally dubious politician ... and the usual handful of literary dissolutes, momentarily dissolving their special brand of self-directed despair in the bar's unusual cocktail menu, a master-catalogue of neurological sabotage that seems to have been decanted directly from the Book of Lies. The bartender appears to have a cybernetic arm, althoughas with all the latest Shenzen somatechit can be hard to tell. The inorganic provenance of the red glint in its eyes nevertheless remains overtly readable, for ostentatious effect. Screens blink lethargically in various neon hues from the depths of the bar. The lighting is uneven, fluctuating unsettlingly as regions of dense smoke from the archaic analogue cigarettes certain patrons refuse to abandon migrate across the ceiling. The cumulative effect is that of a blinking cursor, calmly awaiting input. 

It's only my second time here. I find the place intensely troubling, yet somehow irresistible. I was handed the address almost entirely by chance after cementing an online exchange with a dyslexic tech dealer who, fatefully, mis-transcribed the sixes in the pick-up address as nines. After realising the mistake, I nonetheless resolved to remain and observe the clientele. Some kind of literary meeting was underway at the time and the participants were reading samples of their work to one another. It seemed opportune, as I considered myself somewhat of a failed poet and was on the point of abandoning my practice for more, let's say, respectable pursuits. So I settled in at the bar, savouring the temporary anonymity afforded by the situation, ordered one of the abominable cocktails on offer and began, as discretely as possible, to listen in. It wasn't long before the discussion converged on something I would come to find peculiarly relevant to my current predicament. The problem of beginnings.

The conversation went roughly like this:

“‘Beginning is the most difficult thing.’” 
“That’s it?”
“Yes, those words, exactly.”
“Double embedded?”
“Surely, yes … That’s all it takes. Then it’s happening.” 

The catalyst for this exchange seemed to be the work of an absent, little known horror-porn writer, referred to by one of the conversants (who appeared to me, despite the seediness of the environment counselling against the propriety of such a conclusion, to be a high-ranking Party member) as 'Mary Karno'. Karno had an unusual practice, something that had been inadvertantly divulged to the latter via an explicit video recording, obtained, without Karno's knowledge, via some kind of Party-sanctioned spook rig. Karno was, obviously, an intense writer, so much so that the simple utterance of her name seemed to usher a strange energy into the room, something I wasn't entirely ready to attribute to the hallincinatory effects of the cocktails I'd been demolishing with increasing diligence. She seemed to hover over the space, electrifying it, as if her very absence functioned as a kind of presence in itself. The suspected Party member continued his disquisition.

"It was all there, on the video. I actually watched her start a new story – two actually – open an immaculate notebook, with a giant question mark, jot down a few scrappy thoughts, cross-legged, meditating or some shit, then cross some kind of threshold – you could see it, as if something had cut through her body, switched her – and then she seriously set to work, patiently, full of – what the fuck do you call it? – intention, rolling back the rug, chalking a huge diagram on the floor, all swirls and numbers and ancient evocations, then building what I can only describe as a voodoo shrine, pasted together out of candles, clippings from poetry books, kitchenware, pictures, drug paraphernalia, bits of dead animals, and electronic trash. She’d get up, wander around the number maze in loops, muttering some cryptic stuff, in a whisper – the audio was too crap to pick it up – then back to the shrine, shifting pieces about, nudging it towards convergence. It was mad as fuck, obviously, but the horrible thing was that I began to pick up on the purpose, I could see it coming together, like a wave out of hyper-space, the necessity of it, I just couldn’t stop watching, seeing it arrive. I mean, holy fuck. And then a jolt went through her, harsh and electric. She snapped out, crossed over to her laptop, and typed in the name.”

By now I had taken out my tablet and begun, as surreptitiously as I could manage, to make notes. A decision, mind you, I would only perceive the utter fateful recklessness of long after it was too late to take any of it back. The key components of Karno's method seemed to be a diagram and the extraction of a name. Beyond this, the act of writing appeared to unfold automatically. From what I could gather, Karno had recorded, cryptically, the details of this process in an essay entitled Ascryptions: Practices for Writing on Reality. The effect of this information was akin to learning of the existence of a newly synthesised drug. I wanted to try it ... and I left the bar that evening full of naive ambition, swearing that I would do anything I could to get hold of Karno's essay and experience the thing myself. 

I will spare you the details, save to say that it took a lot longer to obtain the text than I had initially hoped, and I'm not one who usually has trouble procuring contraband items. The essay opened me up to an experience of ... well, to an experience I had not thought strictly possible. That sounds trite, but let me assure you, it is trueto the utmost extremity of unfathomable ruinand if I could undo the damage it has since wrought, I might just reconsider. Might. For Karno's method works. The question is how long one can continue to survive it and returnintactto write. Maybe that stops mattering after a while.

A beginning is also an initiation. Necessarily decoupled from the tyranny of linear time, that iswhen cybernetically understood'beginning' indexes something like 'an initial kick'. Similarly, an initiation, properly carried out, cannot be undone. Both processes are collapsible into a simple diagram, one that I have come to use more and more in my own experiments: that of a spiral. In the essay, Karno writes, somewhat unintelligibly, of a 'communion with the Outside'. Perhaps, most curiously, her references to 'the Outside' are always couched in positive terms, construing the effective difference (between the writer and that which they struggle to capture, the self and the Other, the identical and the nonidentical, phenomena and noumena, inside and outhowever one wishes to characterise it) in an entirely alien way to the one I had been forced to study as part of an initiation of an altogether more banal kindalways defined in terms of the negative – and pedalled by a certain variety of religious zealot, the ridiculous canon of which had detained me for far too long in my attempt to understand the various dynamics of creative and social processes alike. No, Karno's Outside was truly different ... it was difference in itself. Its positivity blazed like a dark beacon in a world of increasingly insufferable illumination. For her, the modality of this communion was to be understood as one of affirmation. One that folds the outside into the insidesomewhat erotically, it must be saidvia an act of ultimate, emancipatory, submission. (SUBMISSION, I would later learnas my adeptness in certain magical practices grewis embedded numerically in the word ASCRYPTION.) This is, necessarily, an involuted process. One cannot simply covet communion with the Outside and expect that, by desiring it in its difference, it can be easily subsumed. That would be to understand it negatively ... not to mention being far too straightforward and not nearly horrific enough for Karno's tastes. The real mechanism is more akin to apprehending the fact that it has been part of you all alonghidingjust beyond the lip of the fragile equilibrium that constitutes whatever it was you took to be yourself, perpetually poised to tear that superficial construction to pieces. It suffices to disturb the balance just a little to ignite it, or more clearly, grasp that itin factis what ignited 'you' in the first place. The truly horrifying insight being that its emergence, when it does appear, is nothing other than a return. I was beginning to understand why critics called her work 'fundamentally unbalanced'. 

This, however, didn't answer the question of the diagram. 

31 August 2016

Demon Est Deus Inversus

Vallée: 'There are, in fact, numerous stories in folklore of humans who have gone to fairlyland of their own will, either taking a message, or bringing one back, or performing some service for the supernatural beings who live there. But — and this is my third point we also have numerous accounts of abductions by the fairies. They take men and women, especially pregnant women or young mothers, and they are very active in stealing young children. Sometimes, they substitute a false child for the real one, leaving in place of the real child a broom with rugs wrapped around it or one of their children, a changeling. [...]
Of course, the UFO myth has not yet reached such romantic proportions, but we are perhaps not quite far from it, at least in certain rural areas, where strange flying objects have become a source of terror to people travelling at night, and where the rumour that "invaders" might be around has gained interest, if not support. A recent television series has capitalised on this aspect of UFO lore. In the show, the human race has been infiltrated by extraterrestrials who differ from humans in small details only. This is not a new idea, as the belief in changelings shows. And there is a well known passage in Martin Luther's Table Talk, in which he tells the Prince of Anhalt that he should throw into the Moldau a certain man who is, in his opinion, such a changeling — or killcrop, as they were called in Germany.'

Paranoia is both a modality of control and a means to its evasion. Vallée, with utmost methodological scrupulousness, draws a continuum between folklore, myth and the UFO phenomenon that not only charts its universal cultural persistence, but allows a smooth connection to be made between the replicants, clones and anthropathogenic parasites of modern science fiction, and the legends of changelings and killcrops that haunted medieval Europe. This fear of the alien insider has been with humanity for far, far longer than we might have at first assumed, and its specific brand of horror is connected to an intense doubt concerning the stability of our own imputed 'humanness'. How do we know what we are when other beings can fool us so profoundly? A security function is inevitably triggered, and endorsed by 'us' ... the faithful adherents of those religious institutions that have traditionally made it their job to purge villages of their interlopers, and will—so we persistently imagine—relieve our future cities of their inhuman intruders. 

The guiding affect is distrust, and distrust reaches its peak when it is no longer simply directed at the other—the alien, the immigrant, the machine—but turns upon itself. We are so paranoid because we know there is nothing to hang an enduring notion of the 'human' on that cannot also be perfectly simulated. 

Western monotheism, following a similar impulse, absolutises and anthropomorphises its god. Once this move has been made, all evil can be understood as essentially separate—inhuman, when held against the humanised image of god—and therefore, available for exorcism. 'Changelings and killcrops are laid in the place of legitimate children by Satan in order to plague mankind,' states Luther, 'such a changeling child is only a piece of flesh, a massa carnis, because it has no soul.' (The remedy hardly needs reiterating: 'That is not your child! It is the devil! Throw him into the brook!') H. P. Blavatsky, to whom the title of this post is owed, explains it in the following way: 'Satan never assumed an anthropomorphic, individualised shape, until the creation by man, of a "one living personal god" had been accomplished; and then merely as a matter of prime necessity. A screen was needed; a scape-goat to explain the cruelty, blunders, and all but too-evident injustice, perpetrated by him for whom absolute perfection, mercy, and goodness were claimed.' Rigidly enforced identity automatically generates an illusory negative, fooling its bearer into believing that circumscribing an antagonist supplies the power to eliminate it. It is exactly this fervour for purification that conceals the fact that the alien is already inside, and has always been there. Hygiene is its camouflage.

Taqiyya, perhaps, is our most terrifying contemporary reminder of this fear. Glossing Hamid Parsani's Peace in the Wake of Double-Betrayal ('a straight socio-anthropological analog to John Carpenter's movie The Thing') Reza Negarestani writes, 

'In order to infiltrate Jihadi forces, the state must first inquire into the very concept of citizenship, and strictly regulate what an ordinary citizen is and is not, so that the civilian is both the first and last target for the state and the Jihadi. It is in the wake of the doctrine of Taqiyya and Jihad that the civilian becomes an obscure allythat is, worse than the enemy.
"Today, Taqiyya, or adherence to the logic of the Thing, connects the survival of a believer who conceals his practice and belief to a catastrophic consequence for the enemies' community. Survival of individuals or collectives, particularly the very existence of native and indigenous entities, must become an object of police curiosity or even liquidation, because the hostile entities who exploit Taqiyya practice and revere everything but their own systems; they populate every niche and land but their own." (Hamid Parsani, Peace in the Wake of Double-Betrayal)
The proximity of this scenario to that of The Thing, according to Parsani, comes from the fact that it is not the Thing (the extremist under Taqiyya) which is targeted as the object of eradication and assault, but its potential hosts, or the positions (niches) which it might occupy.'

This is the logic of the labyrinth: upwards is downwards, resistance is openness. Everything is always covertly its opposite. These arch-injectors—the duplicitous fairy, the alien insider, the Thing, whatever name one gives it (it wants nothing more than for you to name it)—exploits the human desire for identity and its necessary definition. On this shoddy platform—the inability to rid ourselves of our desire for the same—a construction roughly equating 'intrinsic humanity' could, perhaps, be thrown up. But it only identifies a weakness and is entirely without hope. To be Human is to Desire Oneself—etched across the falling blade of a guillotine.

4 April 2016

Control 0: Alien Psy-Ops

'UFOs not only lack real existence, they demonstrate that everything lacks real existence.' — Sarkon

Jacques Vallée on Control:

'When I speak of a control system for planet earth, I do not want my words to be misunderstood: I do not mean that some higher order of beings has locked us inside the constraints of a space-bound jail, closely monitored by psychic entities we might call angels or demons. I do not propose to redefine God. What I do mean is that mythology rules at a level of our social reality over which normal political and intellectual action has no power.'

Social Technology

For Vallée, the UFO phenomenon - a uniquely 20th century interpretation of an enduring occurrence that unites, not insignificantly, archaic with futuristic imaginaries - consists of three levels: the material, the perceptual, and the social-semiotic.

'First, there is a physical object. That may be a flying saucer or it may be a projection or it may be something entirely different. All we know about it is that it represents a tremendous quantity of electromagnetic energy in a small volume. I say that based upon the evidence gathered from traces, from electromagnetic and radar detection and from perturbations of the electromagnetic fields such as Dr. Claude Poher, the French space scientist, has recorded. 
Second, there's the phenomenon the witnesses perceive. What they tell us is that they've seen a flying saucer. Now they may have seen that or they may have seen an image of a flying saucer or they may have hallucinated it under the influence of microwave radiation, or any of a number of things may have happened. The fact is that the witnesses were exposed to an event and as a result they experienced a highly complex alteration of perception which caused them to describe the object or objects that figure in their testimony. 
And then there is a third level, the social level, and the impact on our belief systems. At that level - and this is something that's very difficult to convey to the believers in UFOs - that at that level, it really doesn't matter whether UFOs are real or not. If enough people believe that something is real then, it is real, in its effects - in terms of its social reality, in terms of the ways people act according to their beliefs. 
That opens a question of - really, at two levels - could the UFO phenomenon be manipulating us? Could it be a teaching system of some sort? Perhaps something that we are creating ourselves - perhaps a series of images that we are projecting. I think Carl Jung came very close to expressing that idea in one of his books. Or could it be manipulated purposefully by people who have the technology to simulate UFO sightings? People say "Of course not! Who would do a thing like that?". Now I would remind you that during the Watergate investigation it was discovered that there was a plan which originated in the Whitehouse to surface a submarine off the coast of Cuba and project the second coming of Christ over the island of Cuba using holograms - which is well within our technological capabilities today. The idea was that since there is a large Catholic population in Cuba they would be so upset by this vision that they would saturate the communication channels - the telephone system - long enough for an invasion to take place. It's a classic in psychological warfare that that kind of manipulation is well understood, and I have personally investigated several apparently genuine UFO cases where the the main conclusion - the conclusion of the scientists working with me - was that there was in fact a manipulation taking place and that it was not a hoax on the part of the witnesses but a hoax on the part of somebody much better organised than them.'

24 January 2016


'To shake off the maddening and wearying limitations of time and space and natural law — to be linked with the vast outside — to come close to the nighted and abysmal secrets of the infinite and the ultimate — surely such a thing was worth the risk of one's life, soul and sanity!'
Whisperer in the Darkness, HPL

11 June 2015

First Retroaction

Everything lately has been rush and weft, writing an impossibility. Nevertheless, I thought I’d drop by what I can muster; a few quick notes to report on the current [and still nascent] research finally underway here at the Institute for Contaminative Method [CM]. There has been much to occupy me following my recent forced relocation, a violent expansion of possible investigations, only exacerbated by the interventions of satellite investigators. Welcome though they are. In general, the tendency has been towards what one such agent has recently named mode délire: the conviction that the farther one extends beyond the bounds of ‘sense’, the more pressing the need for rigour in extending these vectors. The aim cannot only be the production of nonsense. Beyond the embrace of delirium as method, I am interested in something altogether steelier: method as delirium. Perhaps this is something around which all of us here at 0AZ can constellate.

However, method requires material. In this respect, a vital inducement has been the recent discovery of some scattered work signed ‘Yeter Çaba’ in the University of Canberra archives, an event already hinted at by Fi. Although some others at the Institute have remained sceptical of these fragments, me and |end| have been pursuing their consequences with mounting excitement. The Çaba papers, from what we have been able to discern thus far, are concerned with the development of some mongrel logic for retroaction [henceforth abbreviated to LoR, although see [note 1]. Its utility is certainly suspect, its coherence even more so. Despite [or perhaps because of] this, the notation has a certain appeal to it. At the very least, its apparent purpose - a minimal formalization of potential organisations of non-linear causality - is an urgent one. Excavation seems merited. Whilst questions remain as to the providence of the documents, we have largely bracketed these in favour of extending Çaba’s initial systematisations to their terminus.

Such an extension is however complicated by ambiguities of intent. At least in the documents we have examined, Çaba’s elaboration operates on the level of pure syntax. It develops a closed systems of arrows, each supposedly relating to a different temporal determination. However, semantic interpretations of the arrows remain contentious. We know a little of how they relate, but are less certain of what they ‘mean’ [or if such a question is valid]. This has led, for the sake of comprehension, to apply the basic heuristic of reading the notation through the lens of first-order logic. Vigilance is key here, for certain results already suggest that this might be an overcoding of LoR’s syntactic autonomy. Despite this risk, such a frame has the benefit of giving an initial sense to the formalism. We can take the standard material conditional [if ---> then] and invert it, tracing a retroactive conditional of the form:

then ---< if

This notational innovation is the core of Çaba’s logic, from which all other proliferations issue. We can then read the plethora of additional determinations in Çaba’s scribblings as following this pattern of implication. For example, the first-order biconditional, A <---> B, ‘if and only if’ [iff], the familiar mark of necessity, has an immediate retroactive correlate:

A >---< B , ‘then and only then’ [thenn]

Other logical combinations of arrowheads can then be introduced at will, such as >--->, a relation we have dubbed the ‘Robin Hood’ or ‘Looper’. Further mutations then occur with Çaba’s introduction of a function of ambiguity, ---), and its correlate, ---(. It is as yet unclear whether these new signs [ ) , ( ] notate concrete undecidability/indeterminacy or some decomposable register of potentiality [an interpretational dilemma that has significant implications when introducing negation into the system]. In either case, what is clear is that these parenthetical marks are an index of possible becomings, such that:

) = > , ) , .

( = < , ( , .

This can be read as an [exclusive] list of ‘options’ open to a given parenthetical arrow. The introduction of the dot [ . ] here highlights one of the unique features of LoR: the lack of a mark constitutes a determination. Put otherwise, the empty space ‘around’ the arrows marks a failure of [conditional] relation. In its most extreme form, this function of the system introduces the potential to mark the relation of ‘there is no possible relation’, syntactically notated and semantically interpreted at follows:

A --- B , ‘nilponens’

Perversely then, one can say that the condition of nilponency is simultaneously the most and the least determinate of all temporal relations. Çaba’s final act of proliferation is then to introduce the notion that the arrowheads ‘stack’ at the point, a situation that we are currently taking to mark causal overdetermination or contradiction [whether these two interpretations in fact coincide is a stake that has yet to be adequately explicated]. In any case, the simplest form of this stacking yields the basic relation of contradictory cause, ---><, or the 'dialethal’.