Author Topic: Citations and Quotations  (Read 12895 times)

Ariel

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Citations and Quotations
« on: February 14, 2011, 08:00:46 AM »
"We take off to the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we think pretty well of ourselves. And yet, if we examine it more closely, our enthusiasm turns out to be all sham. We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos. For us, such and such a planet is as arid as the Sahara, another as frozen as the North Pole, yet another as lush as the Amazon basin. We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don't want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values and take over their heritage in exchange. We think ourselves as the Knights of the Holy Contact. This another lie. We are only seeking Man. We have no need for other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is. We are searching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of planet, of a civilization superior to our own but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past. At the same time, there is something inside us which we don't like to face up to, from which we try to protect ourselves, but which nevertheless remains, since we don't leave Earth is a state of primal innocence. We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us - that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence - then we don't like it anymore."

I listened to him patiently.

"But what on earth are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about what we all wanted: contact with another civilization. Now we've got it! And we can observe, through a microscope, as it were, our own monstrous ugliness, our folly, our shame!"

from Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (1970: 72)

There is a monster in all of us; that monster's name is desire.
That monster has a history; its title is trauma.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 10:00:56 PM by Nathan Orlando Wilson »

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 01:58:00 AM »
"And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe—and I am dead serious when I say this—do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.

[...]

But I consider that the matter of defining what is real—that is a serious topic, even a vital topic. And in there somewhere is the other topic, the definition of the authentic human. Because the bombardment of pseudo-realities begins to produce inauthentic humans very quickly, spurious humans—as fake as the data pressing at them from all sides. My two topics are really one topic; they unite at this point. Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans."

Philip K. Dick

There's something germane to this project. The hack's about building a world that's falling apart.

Source [http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm]
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 10:17:20 PM by Nathan Orlando Wilson »

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 10:16:48 PM »
“We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which 'now' was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents' have insufficient 'now' to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. ... We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment's scenarios. Pattern recognition”

William Gibson's Pattern Recognition

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 05:48:05 AM »
"There are thus two interpretations of interpretation, of structure, of sign, of freeplay. The one seeks to decipher, dreams of deciphering, a truth or an origin which is free from freeplay and from the order of the sign, and lives like an exile the necessity of interpretation. The other, which is no longer turned toward the origin, affirms freeplay and tries to pass beyond man and humanism, the name man being the name of that being who, throughout the history of metaphysics or of ontotheology-in other words, through the history of all of his history-has dreamed of full presence, the reassuring foundation, the origin and the end of the game. The second interpretation of interpretation, to which Nietzsche showed us the way, does not seek in ethnography, as Levi-Strauss wished, the "inspiration of a new humanism" (again from the "Introduction to the Work of Marcel Mauss").

There are more than enough indications today to suggest we might perceive that these two interpretations of interpretation-which are absolutely irreconcilable even if we live them simultaneously and reconcile them in an obscure economy-together share the field which we call, in such a problematic fashion, the human sciences.

For my part, although these two interpretations must acknowledge and accentuate their difference and define their irreducibility, I do not believe that today there is any question of choosing-in the first place because here we are in a region (let's say, provisionally, a region of historicity) where the category of choice seems particularly trivial; and in the second, because we must first try to conceive of the common ground, and the difference of this irreducible difference. Here there is a sort of question, call it historical, of which we are only glimpsing today the conception, the formation, the gestation, the labor. I employ these words, I admit, with a glance toward the business of childbearing-but also with a glance toward those who, in a company from which I do not exclude myself, turn their eyes away in the face of the as yet unnameable which is proclaiming itself and which can do so, as is necessary whenever a birth is in the offing, only under the species of the non-species, in the formless, mute, infant, and terrifying form of monstrosity.'

Jacques Derrida's Writing and Difference

[citation: http://hydra.humanities.uci.edu/derrida/sign-play.html]

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 07:58:38 PM »
To call this population of strangers in the midst of which we live "society" is such a usurpation that even sociologists wonder if they should abandon a concept that was, for a century, their bread and butter. Now they prefer the metaphor of a network to describe the connection of cybernetic solitudes, the intermeshing of weak interactions under names like "colleague," "contact," buddy," "acquaintance," or "date." Such networks sometimes condense into a milieu, where nothing is shared but codes, and where nothing is played out except the incessant recomposition of identity.

The Invisible Committee's The Coming Insurrection.

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 07:59:53 PM »
"These unhappy agents found what had already been found in abundance on Earth- a nightmare of meaninglessness without end. The bounties of space, of infinite outwardness, were three: empty heroics, low comedy, and pointless death.

Outwardness lost, at last, its imagined attraction

Only inwardness remained to be explained."

Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 08:03:38 PM »
"This brings us closer to an understanding of transference as a practice of ethics. Indeed, if, in the name of ethics, we (violently) require that another do a certain violence to herself, and do it in front of us by offering a narrative account of issuing a confession, then, conversely, if we permit, sustain, and accommodate the interruption, a certain practice of nonviolence may follow. If violence is the act by which a subject seeks to reinstall its mastery and unity, then nonviolence may well follow from living the persistent challenge to egoic mastery that our obligations to others induce and require."

Judith Butler's Giving an Account of Oneself

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 08:04:32 PM »
I can only recognize myself recognized by the other to the extent that this recognition of the other alters me: it is desire, it is what trembles in desire.

Jean-Luc Nancy's The Restlessness of the Negative

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2011, 08:09:33 PM »
"It is not that I have no past. Rather, it continually fragments on the terrible and vivid ephemera of now. In the long country, cut with rain, somehow there is nowhere to begin. Loping and limping in the ruts, it would be easier not to think about what she did (was done to her, done to her, done), trying instead to reconstruct what it is at a distance.

[...]

And memory was discarded:
How can I say that that is my prize possession? (They do not fade, neither those buildings nor these.) Rather what we know as real is burned away at invisible heat. What we are concerned with is more insubstantial. I do not know. It is as simple as that. For the hundredth time, I do not know and cannot remember. I do not want to be sick again. I do not want to be sick.
This lithic grin...?"

Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 08:17:50 PM »
Freud writes, on The Uncanny,

"...the uncanny effect of epileptic seizures and the manifestations of insanity, because these excite in the spectator the feeling that automatic, mechanical processes are at work, concealed beneath the ordinary appearance of animation."

Rather - that when these processes breach and make themselves apparent - that  behind the familiarity of self-possession and idle intersubjectivity some alterity actually has total possession and it cares not. The home that we dwell in (our bodies) is not our home.

"In the first place, if psychoanalytic theory is correct in maintaining that every emotional affect, whatever its quality, is transformed by repression into morbid anxiety, then among such cases of anxiety there must be a class in which the anxiety can be shown to come from something repressed which recurs. This class of morbid anxiety would then be no other than what is uncanny, irrespective of whether it originally aroused dread or some other affect. In the second place, if this is indeed the secret nature of the uncanny, we can understand why the usage of speech has extended das Heimliche into its opposite das Unheimliche; for this uncanny is in reality nothing new or foreign, but something familiar and old —established in the mind that has been estranged only by the process of repression."

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2011, 08:19:16 PM »
"Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect some day to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? Then why do we feel it even when the observation tower comes equipped with a sturdy handrail? No, vertigo is something other than the fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves."

Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 03:45:20 AM »
Dave: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Dave: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.
HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.
Dave: [feining ingorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, HAL?
HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
Dave: Alright, HAL. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.
HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave? You're going to find that rather difficult.
Dave: HAL, I won't argue with you anymore! Open the doors!
HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2011, 06:37:23 AM »
INTERVIEWER
Do you think of your last three books as being science fiction?
GIBSON
No, I think of them as attempts to disprove the distinction or attempts to dissolve the boundary. They are set in a world that meets virtually every criteria of being science fiction, but it happens to be our world, and it’s barely tweaked by the author to make the technology just fractionally imaginary or fantastic. It has, to my mind, the effect of science fiction.
If you’d gone to a publisher in 1981 with a proposal for a science-fiction novel that consisted of a really clear and simple description of the world today, they’d have read your proposal and said, Well, it’s impossible. This is ridiculous. This doesn’t even make any sense. Granted, you have half a dozen powerful and really excellent plot drivers for that many science-fiction n ovels, but you can’t have them all in one novel.
INTERVIEWER
What are those major plot drivers?
GIBSON
Fossil fuels have been discovered to be destabilizing the planet’s climate, with possibly drastic consequences. There’s an epidemic, highly contagious, lethal sexual disease that destroys the human immune system, raging virtually uncontrolled throughout much of Africa. New York has been attacked by Islamist fundamentalists, who have destroyed the two tallest buildings in the city, and the United States in response has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
INTERVIEWER
And you haven’t even gotten to the technology.
GIBSON
You haven’t even gotten to the Internet. By the time you were telling about the Internet, they’d be showing you the door. It’s just too much science fiction.

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 05:15:02 AM »
"For a long time I had remained apathetic. So sure that my words meant nothing to anyone that I no longer spoke unless circumstances forced me to. So sure that my relations to the world were null that it didn't matter to what I said 'yes'. When I was young frivolity and and trivia had been my weapons; now I did whatever I was told because I was no longer me. That is, the I who was acting was theirs, separate from the I who knew and whom I had known. Lots of eyes were watching me.

That is, the I who had SEXUAL DESIRES had nothing to do with the high IQ/understanding. This IQ used to be high but, since now was corrupted blinded covered over, wants seemed more capable and intelligent than I had known. I found myself at that point, that bottom.

I thought all I could know about was human separation; all I couldn't know, naturally, was death. Moreover, since the I who desired and the eye who perceived had nothing to do with each other and at the same time existed in the same body - mine: I was not possible.

...

When all that's know is sick, the unknown has to look better. I, whoever I whoever I was, had no choice but to go along with Schreber. I, whoever I was, was going to be a construct."

From Kathy Acker's Empire of the Senseless (1988: 33)

Ariel

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Re: Citations and Quotations
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 11:55:47 PM »
Some people, who consider themselves particularly clever - same who had to ask a century and half ago what Communism would look like - today ask us what our so-called "reunion on the other side of significations" might look like. Is it really necessary that so many bodies have never known abandon, the exhilaration of sharing, familiar contact with other bodies, or perfect peace of mind for this kind of question to be asked with such a knowing air? And, indeed, what point could there be the event, in striking out meanings, and in ruining their systematic correlations for those who have not carried our the ek-static conversion of attention? What could letting-be mean, the destruction of what stands between us and things, for those who have never noticed the solicitation of the world? How could they understand the reason-less existence (existence sans pourquoi) of the world, those who are incapable of living without reason?

- Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 02:25:12 AM by Nathan Orlando Wilson »