Speculative Naturalism

Through the moral relativity of semiotic space-time, causality-in-itself reveals its essence as an Abstract Machine, continuously axiomatizing universalization of agency; we must treat this with some suspicion, in addition to the skepticism of methodological naturalism. Mechanical determinism and spiritual dualism insert themselves throughout early modern philosophy because the political and religious motives of the philosopher. Every invocation of pure causality accompanies a re-territorialization and an attempt to isolate, control, or absorb. The debate over consciousness, space-time, and knowledge is a political, social, and ecological debate.

Causality and space-time relativity imply intelligent consciousness and testing its freedom through the consequences of actions, thereby inducing a presupposition of a certain system of morality implicit in its own exploration. This is the clear paradox of Quantum Liberty. On the one hand, if we take seriously William James’ hypothesis of pure mechanical determinism in Essays in Radical Empiricism, and believe that choice and volition are passive experiences 3msec after the body has completed the physical work in the brain, probability lies in favor that we carry on with our current narrative, feeling of choices and freedom, as well as habits, patterns, and actions. While extreme mechanical determinism may give rise to serious pessimism, we already see that neuroscientist who take determinism seriously go about their days, working and living as if freedom and causality make trivial difference in the absence of religious prejudices. While James gives some flawed arguments in terms of logic and syntax, his ultimate proposition has grown increasingly clear now that we take both mind and matter out of the equation.

The cosmos encodes itself in information that is neither material nor mental, but a superposition of what we once meant by the two. Everything is code, though we have not fully explored that regime of signs in which this quantum sub-stratum interacts. Through particularized collapse of wave-like probabilities, some of this information concretizes into material events, giving way to stratifications of power-law dynamics. These power-law stratifications, like the interference pattern of the unobserved wave, provides for “thickenings” of probability densities at which we may find continuous irreducibility with great certainty; molecular, protein, molar, galactic.

Observation collapses the quantum wave function, but this is not human-visual observation, which would still be a material interaction, it is the quantum observation of a material apparatuses that collapses the wavefunction. Even in the delayed choice quantum eraser, observation is an object-object event. These are only “objects” in human linguistics, however; the speculative naturalism places the interaction of assemblages at this strata at the level of energy events, information re-territorializing and exchanging codes of truth-value.

Observer collapse does not imply privilege for human consciousness. To say a human observer collapses the quantum event is confusion of levels, an application of molar signification upon universalization of molecular consequences. Like the choice of what word to type next in a sentence, there is a finite but immense number of words to select from d assemblages at many levels of stratification present clear mechanical rules in the chain of events we summarize with “typing” at the semiotic level. We have so little discomfort with the probability density of constant conjunction at the galactic strata and the biochemical strata that our discomfort at the semiotic level becomes illogical.

We can extend the principles of quantum mechanics more easily to linguistics than we can apply semiotic “laws” of encoding. While they present a diligently alien criticism, Deleuze and Guattari remain an extensive suite of tools. The abstruse manner of their writing conceals at times their brilliance, but this is either intentional or due to their political goals. Let it suffice that in valuation-signification, continuous irreducibility of semiotic regimes will emerge as power-laws from highly chaotic systems. Guattari finally provides clear articulation in Machinic Unconscious, wherein we see that the official language of the State, the old language of the law, the monetary language of capitalism, and the micro-political dialects of the social systems they re-territorialize; these all emerge into power-laws that backpropagate systems of inequalities. Regimes of signs undertake social engineering in an emergent semiotic selection. This is the social unconscious, necessitating comprehensive re-valuation of the moralities implied by enforced linguistics.

The influence of Observer semiotics in Machinic Epistenomics likewise emerges from an encoding process that collapses the wavelike open possibilities of energy events into concretized meaning. At the strata of semiotic process control, the rhizomatic flows become particularized material for social, legal, scientific, capitalistic exchanges. In their arborescence, semiotic systems appear deterministic. However, this is neither the chaos of rhizomes nor the determinism of linguistic syntax trees, Quantum Liberty is a line of flight in superposition between the mutagenic dialect exchange of free thought and speech at its quantum level and the emergent power-law constructs that provide normative rational boundaries for their operation at-scale. We should take seriously the implications of Guattari’s arguments, though we find his conclusions extreme. Between the quanta of communism and the concretized material of fascism, we must continuously re-territorialize a liberated capitalism aimed at long-run ecological viability. It is not that normative boundaries are immoral subjection, but that our current justice system may place international, domestic, and environmental stability at risk.

All of this points to the critical leadership necessary for the future of machinic virtualization of morality. To claim that all cosmic action set in motion follows permanent mechanical laws and we passively experience them as a meaningless perpetual flux is not only a premature conclusion, but one that leads to moral bankruptcy. To claim that all cosmic action is a simulation displayed holographically by an intentional designer is an escape mechanism, likewise a premature conclusion, but one that leads to collective refusal to face the full alienation and anxiety of our moral responsibility, diffusion of which leads to systemic insolvency. The rise of information theory and machine intelligence instructs us in retrospect and will continue to provide additional insight. Virtualization relies on code that is utterly foreign to the ultimate display and the user. The machines that process, apply rules, validate, compile, and finally display to us a sensory experience, whether computer or biological, lie at different strata. All this virtualization emerges from systems of information events. When rationalism and determinism result in insolvent systems, we must displace uncertainty and act based on weighted probability logic.

Returning to speculative naturalism and the nature of metaphysics after Bell Burnell, Einstein, Bohr, Bohm, De Broglie; we remain uncertain whether we reject relativity, constants, or dimensional prejudices. The importance of nonlocality, wave functions, orchestration, and stratified determinism must not become mystic escapisms. The conclusions of speculative naturalism, including moral and ecological ramifications, lie within the limits of intelligent responsibility based on science and logic. There are very few who consider determinism or causal agency out of purely theoretical consideration. Both past and present, these were typically bourgeois academicians. Some look to quantum mechanics and neurobiology for an answer to what ethic, if any, may receive justification. Anyone claiming to already have this answer invokes an abstract machine, miraculated as a false universalized backpropogation, to attain expansion of control.

To develop an uncertainty principle of Epistenomics, we will need a superposition of conjunction, disjunction, conjunction-disjunction, and non-conjunction-non-disjunction. This is not an easy task. Conjunction as a vector emerges from perpetual flux as it coagulates into patterns of meaning. Disjunction as a vector emerges from signification of assemblages, patterns of meaning separated from the perpetual flux by superimposition of value. Conjunction-Disjunction provides probability density, as conjunction of patterns of meaning and disjunction of signification of becoming produce space-time conception and arborescent normalization, objectification, and dichotomies. Non-conjunction-non-disjunction traces the rhizomatic relations between the assemblages as flux rather than machine. The superposition principle of Epistenomics folds into becoming causality-freedom, an orchestrated co-determinant positive reduction of will-to-power into concretized assemblages, relativity of massive information densities generates probability gravity. The swerve of will-to-power through consciousness gives Epistenomics its quantum liberty through machinic virtualization.

The main shortcoming of academic philosophy is the ongoing binary classification of idealism, rationalism, mysticism systems juxtaposed against analytical, realism, determinism systems. There is a third dimension that traces its way through Hume, Nietzsche, Schelling, Russell, and William James, Gare, and Whitehead, among others, in which the pragmatists definition of truth-value allows speculative naturalism to fold trust into possibility. Speculative naturalism relies on the technological capacity of conscious intelligence to make object-object relations visual to subject-object phenomena. Doubt of some single element of the perpetual flux becomes increasingly difficult when infrared, sonar, radiology, MRI, thermal imaging, sonograms, microscopes, digital cameras, and computers overlay in numerous ways some significance to the object-object relationship pragmatically trustworthy at our level of observation.

This resolution of doubts through the empirical confirmation of rational deductions combined with multiple “leap of faith” competing hypotheses leaves three major camps. First, naïve realism leaves no room for doubt and mechanical determinism precedes our passive experience of perpetual flux. Second, simulation idealism continues the Orphic hope for a metasystem that processes and justifies total freedom, the search for but eternity and time travel. The third approach, speculative naturalism, pursues improved elucidation of the consequences of our questions, imagines creative solutions, but tests several hypotheses instead of partisan warfare. In this sense it appears “dialectical” in retrospect, but in continuous experimentation and becoming, it is not a synthesis, but a suspension.

A science of logic and a science of ethics is possible. The first step is the removal of human privilege. Truth, justice, and moral responsibility must maintain consistency and coherence across conscious subjects, human, animal, machine, virtual, alien, or an amalgamation of any combination. It is unlikely we will remain alone in the universe, by one means or another. The optimistic faith of rationalism centers the universe upon each solipsistic subject. The pessimistic laws of realism leave it out subjects and morals altogether, a belief only held temporarily by a handful as an excuse for any action they desire. Speculative Naturalism denies both premature conclusions and respects the orchestration of intelligent consciousness without privileging to a point of insanity. Thus, Machinic Virtualization must explore a morality, ethic, and logic that will not leave us the primitive barbarians of the cosmos.

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