Mechanization Paradigms

The original mechanization paradigm developed during early modern philosophy, hoping to justify Protestantism, revolution, slavery, colonialism, and industrialism. Initially, this marks an externalization of the permanent schism inherent in Christianity; stoicism toward the world and its bodies, ascetic investment in the realm of the spirit. However, the separation of the pure mind-soul from the impure matter-body creates an Oedipalization of moral valuation-signification. By placing the system of values permanently out of reach, away from any human objectivity, the death of Platonic idealism results in a mechanization increasingly toward nihilism.

Rene Descartes begins the modern era of philosophy with the justification of systems of machines and their intrinsic moral inequalities built in:

“[Witness] the variety of movements performed by the different automata, or moving machines fabricated by human industry, and that with help of but few pieces compared with the great multitude of bones, muscles, nerves, arteries, veins, and other parts that are found in the body of each animal.”

These machines fabricated by human industry are twofold. On the one hand, the mechanization of economic production and on the other, its machination into specialists capable of secular innovation, including dissection and live vivisection, both animal and human. After this we see an increasing prevalence of philosophers who redefine the mind/body dualism in subtle ways based on the discoveries of science and the advances of technology, until today quantum mechanics, general relativity, super-intelligent computers, and network theory all become incorporated. To say that the materialism of Democritus, or the Idealism of Orphic Plato, represents receives vindication and victory in contemporary science, from the holographic to the simulation hypothesis, this belies a nonsensical attribution to past thought.

The inherent praise of complexity and intention throughout all systems of inequality, which may have some pragmatic merit when desperate for human species population growth, loses much of its objectivity once we feel we risk over-population. Religious systems have frequently dogmatized the best advice for health, sanitation, and political stability available to them, but their dedication to outdated information constantly puts them at odds with the needs of the time. In either case, we will find very few philosophers admitting that their system of inequalities is strategic rather than evident.

However, we find a hard delineation rather than admission of a continuous gradation in philosophers like Descartes and Kant. Saying that a human is an organized system makes it a machine designed with a soul. If soul, from the Greek psyche, were simply “the virtualization of speculative reality by the brain” we might return to a more gradual spectrum between the highly intelligent and the lowest intelligence. Instead, this frequently becomes combined with mysticism, bigotry, and religious violence. In resistance to the religious implications, others described this self-determination as nature, privileging the “natural” superiority of civilized man over the machines, animals, brutes, savages, etc. Again, if nature meant “the genetic code inherited to build the minimum viable reproduction of an organism” we might treat dogs, cats, and pigs very differently, as their stewards; the long-running prevalence of claims that God or Nature justify rape, castration, vivisection, enslavement, imprisonment, colonialism, and murder shows how the Cartesian invasive ideology brings us to disgrace.

Soul is the favored word of weakness and bureaucracy, always losing itself in dogmatic foolishness, while Nature is  the confused word that implies fatalist destiny. In either case, the words conceal moral uncertainty and every utopian sentiment results in unintended consequences.

“Such persons will look upon this body as a machine made by the hands of God, which is incomparably better arranged, and adequate to movements more admirable than is any machine of human invention”

– Rene DeCartes

Descartes is content to ascribe the superiority of the European man to his Cristian God, blessing these inequalities with divine designation. After centuries of anti-Semitism and crusades against Islamic territories, which left Western civilization in a dull superstitious stupor, it took many more centuries for philosophy to recover fully from Christianity’s influence. The machines as they rose certainly help this progression.

Thomas Hobbes, for his part, believed that the State needed the same level of stability as the human body, but his belief in centralization reflected premature notions of the mind’s physiological control of the body. In our own era of democratic nationalism, we might draw a better analogy by saying that consciousness presides over the execution of some elements of the body’s political economy, but we frequently change this president without changing the character of the role. Since Hobbes was afraid of democratic overthrow of his monarchy, he wrote against this systemization. The history of democracy was not promising for political stability, in his defense. More importantly, Hobbes was searching for a moral refutation of the capacity for moral indictment of monarchical injustice. This is a crucial step in the separation of justice, morality, and religious ideology in philosophy.

Hobbes argues a nation-state could only maintain its order against the chaos of natural anarchy with the agency of a monarch. Without a state we will suffer through continuous civil war, a war of all against all. This conception of egoism will arise repeatedly. The body politic, to end this continuous civil war, establishes the social machine. Individuals give away their power to the social machine and enclose themselves within its protection. The body politic is the product of the social machine in Leviathan, analogous to an organism. Hobbes treats all men as equal in their natural state, because death equalizes the danger represented by others:

Nature hath made men so equall, in the faculties of body, and mind; […] as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination, or by confederacy with others, that are in the same danger with himselfe.

The secret machination justifies the mechanization of any armed force necessary to protect the stability of the State. Rather than any emphasis on machines, Hobbes concerns himself only with imagination, and the inventions of men. While these arguments come after the enlightenment, the industrial revolution has not begun the slow evolution of conceptualization we will see in reaction to the rise of machines.

Rousseau, in defense of his theory of democracy and individualism, allows the lines of traditional society to blur, giving us the literary archetype of the “noble savage” and a more optimistic view of the state of nature, but he again privileges the freedom of intelligent human dominion over others:

“I see nothing in any animal but an ingenious machine, to which nature hath given senses to wind itself up, and to guard itself, to a certain degree, against anything that might tend to disorder or destroy it. I perceive exactly the same things in the human machine, with this difference, that in the operations of the brute, nature is the sole agent, whereas man has some share in his own operations, in his character as a free agent.”

– Jean Jacque Rousseau, On the origin of inequality

With Rousseau, the justification of differences of rights lies in the capacity of the machine to resist its rules. Again, we see there is an immense gulf between the concept of a designed machine and a free will; only centuries of technological progress provide us with evidence that order can arise from chaos and chaos can arise from local rule-based order. It is an important theme throughout morality however, and Rousseau give it succinct expression for the first time. Morality is the capacity to ignore the rules of short-run patterns of behavior in favor of long-run accomplishment. Extrinsic payoff does not drive this exclusively, like objectivism’s rational self-interest, because compassion and holistic sentiment belies our self-narrative.

In contemporary retrospective, when we built more complex machines, especially computers, we finally saw how overly simplistic we were in the supposition of simple determinism by nature versus free will of consciousness to directly override nature. To anyone knowledgeable of contemporary science, the last century has continued to remove fatalism from nature, destroying the grounds for materialism and racism simultaneously. Education, environment, motivation, nutrition, and some genetic traits all contribute to the superior virtuosity of a charismatic leader, cello player, or physicist. Language, expectation, and privilege play a vital role. Complexity of ideas and the security felt toward uncertainty are issues of nurture, not nature. Stability, language, complexity, and specialization in political economy allow these “higher” elements to arise today. Wealth was the only sign of security in early modern political philosophy.

Consider for instance what an “invention” it was in Hobbes’ conception of the political body, and the recognition that specialization allows the nation-state to divide labor, increase efficiency, and manage trade. The invention of machines is central to the progress of division of labor, which becomes later articulated by Adam Smith at the beginning of the industrial revolution:

“The invention of all those machines by which labour is so much facilitated and abridged, seems to have been originally owing to the division of labour.”

The Wealth of Nations

The social contract philosophers lay the groundwork for a comprehensive mechanization paradigm. Rousseau held a superficial view of intelligence, but criticizes Hobbes for holding the strict egoist view of human motivation. It is in the elucidation of compassion as a moral virtue, that we find it in more than one species, that begins our look outward to children, foreigners, and other mammals for guidance on the injustice of tyrannical government. It is striking that he took the steps of equalizing all mammals in death, mourning, anxiety, and empathy, but leaves this mammalian morality secondary to the self-conscious intelligence that allows humans the machination against their own short-run interests.

“There is another principle which has escaped Hobbes; which, […] tempers the ardour with which he pursues his own welfare, by an innate repugnance at seeing a fellow-creature suffer. […] One animal never passes by the dead body of another of its species: there are even some which give their fellows a sort of burial; while the mournful lowings of the cattle when they enter the slaughter-house show the impressions made on them by the horrible spectacle which meets them.”

On the origin of inequality…

However, Rousseau’s analysis never extends beyond equality among European men, because he only wants moral justification of democratic revolution and the legitimacy of warfare and murder to secure equality. We should note that the text has inspired two lines of thought that remains in contemporary political criticism. On the one hand, Rousseau’s arguments for the capacity of citizens to apply rational morality in judgement against the state’s system of justice gave inspiration to the evolution of classical liberalism that followed. On the other hand, his sentiments combine with Marxism in France in a more anarchist manner that we will find significant in post-structuralism.

“All the inequality which now prevails owes its strength and growth to the development of our faculties and the advance of the human mind, and becomes at last permanent and legitimate by the establishment of property and laws. […] it is plainly contrary to the law of nature, however defined, that children should command old men, fools wise men, and that the privileged few should gorge themselves with superfluities, while the starving multitude are in want of the bare necessities of life.” Ibid

We see a continuation of support for inequality of aliens, animals, and slaves in John Locke. Women likewise, while receiving natural rights, do so secondary to the rights of men. The treatment or moral inequalities in Second Treatise of Government remains in contemporary governance, as the 15th amendment leaves involuntary servitude permissible in our current system of incarceration. This is a triumph over the rampant hereditary servitude perpetuated in Western history for more than 10,000 years.

However, in the context of a rampant African slave trade and colonialism, Locke’s arguments aided the arguments for enslavement based on race for centuries to come. He later expresses in Some Thoughts Concerning Education that animals possess emotional awareness but he makes certain that avoidance of cruelty on behalf of animals, but only indirectly. Harming property harms the owner’s pursuit of happiness.

                It is in the works of Hume that we finally see the machine taking hold of philosophical conceptualization. Hume possesses an extreme skepticism, but between the lines we find his honesty toward uncertainty and pragmatism for what to do about uncertainty itself. Likewise, the ramifications of methodological naturalism, early modern science, and the predominance of the machine in industrialized society come to fruition. Unfortunately, Hume was too polarizing for most to embrace then and gained notoriety primarily through Kant.

The ramifications of a machine that behaves according the rules of deterministic physical reality at one “level” but somehow produces self-conscious reflection and free choice at another remains difficult to grasp. To do so, we end up in the qubit code in which space-time has no bearing. However, each escape we allow, any denial and simplification, prevents understanding machinic virtualization and agency. This in turn produces a morally repugnant allowance of inequalities under false pretenses. The dogmatic separation of animal, machine, and human intelligence in science and philosophy is meaningless sophistry to Hume.

Hume attempts to give us as the highest good the libertarian stoic, who is a creative scientist, free thinker, and system builder. Rational citizens democratically and rightfully follow the critical leadership of the System Builder, becoming machines for the mechanization of the system. So long as the followers complete their subjection to a leader base on the merit and vision of the person and the system, Hume feels satisfied that the inequality of conduct has justification. Virtuosity should be the justification of inequalities, rather than money, religion, or lineage:

“Like many subordinate artists, employed to form the several wheels and springs of a machine: Such are those who excel in all the particular arts of life. He is the master workman who puts those several parts together; moves them according to just harmony and proportion; and produces true felicity as the result of their conspiring order.”

– The Stoic 6, Mil 149

This leaves open the larger problem of how far a system builder ought to feel privileged in mechanizing, though he handles this elsewhere. The functional harmony of specialized, divided, organized machines has its own beauty to Hume. In this conceptualization of leadership, Hume becomes the perfect model of arborescence in every topic he touches. Describing the ability of the emotions to distort the clarity of understanding in the mind:

“The least exterior hindrance to such small springs, or the least internal disorder, disturbs their motion, and confounds the operation of the whole machine.”

– Of the Standard of Taste

Order is beauty, while disorder is disruptive. Freedom of representational democracy must have in its means and ends a level of social stability, or else society has no justification. Skepticism toward metaphysical ideals of injustice, combined with scientific approach to a logically ordered system, lead him to speak frequently of the “political machine” that receives orderly conduct through continuous self-maintenance against mysticism, corruption, and despotism:

“Rust may grow to the springs of the most accurate political machine, and disorder its motions.”

– Idea of a perfect commonwealth

Hume makes a clear distinction between the systems of representation and the machines that display order. This is both materially and politically self-similar for him. In general, he considers anything behaving in accordance with apparent causality and physicality, a machine. He considers any disorder a breakdown of the machine. Loss of functionalism becomes thereby our criterion for judgement of patterns of behavior.

The perpetual flux of perception contains objects that we sense in an uninterrupted succession. Why this virtualization feels so complete remains unknowable; “the power or force, which actuates the whole machine” is one we will never perceive, because lies outside the boundaries of perception. Hume’s statement expresses hard agnosticism that does not fit with the rest of his optimistic methodological naturalism.

When tackling this metaphysical element of cosmology, Hume again returns to probability and emergence, as the cosmos is a machine of machines of machines behaving according to rules:

“You will find [the cosmos] to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines, which again admit of subdivisions, to a degree beyond what human senses and faculties can trace and explain.”

– Hume Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

In general, Hume’s employment of the machine as a metaphor gives it a glorified status, whereby events that interrelate predictably and with high probability are mechanical, and therefore beautiful. We may paraphrase and elaborate his expression. The cosmic machine emerges from galaxy machines, which emerge from astronomical machines, which emerge from molecular machines, which emerge from atomic machines, which emerge from quantum machines. This is the contemporary suspension of disbelief we maintain in methodological naturalism. Humanity is a complex biological machine at both individual and species level, witnessing the perpetual flux between the molar and molecular. The axiomatization of machinic theory is therefore essential to the sciences. Through purposeful uncertainty of conclusions, we have in the past two centuries taken immense steps forward in predictions of probability, at levels of observation Hume might barely have imagined.

As a system of inequalities, Hume best summarizes the ethics of moral machines unintentionally, in a footnote: “That the lighter machine yield to the heavier, and, in machines of the same kind, that the empty yield to the loaded; this rule is founded on convenience.” Convenience of machinic size and weight, rules that produce yielding to superior gravity, energy, and complexity to produce flow, this becomes the first honest analysis of hierarchy; because, “societies of men are absolutely requisite for the subsistence of the species; and the public convenience, which regulates morals, is inviolably established in the nature of man and of the world, in which he lives.”

Found in An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, these statements provide a groundwork for a morality of acceleration, expansion, and growth. This is the height of Mechanization paradigm an idealistic statement, but the logic underlying it was too far-fetched without the scientific discoveries that have since vindicated it. Combined with scientific advances, capitalism, and the digital age, this prioritization of flow feels comfortable to a contemporary technologist. The question that remains, if we accept the preservation of the human species through the ordering of Earth, we must develop the ethics by which we judge the unintended consequences of mechanization. A true science of ethical ideal is necessary, not based on consensus, but based on vision for a better future for all life. When technology alienates, and production destroys, we must analyze the boundary at which short-run mechanization re-territorializes into long-run machination. Miraculating the symbolic, capital, is not the answer.

For now, we may continue the philosophical evolution of the moral machines produced by the social machines. Based on our distinction, consciousness recognizing itself as causal agent results in the moral creativity of the System Builder. The System Builder is feel the system of representations leave consciousness liberated to machinic agency in the development of new systems of representation. In contrast, consciousness recognizing itself as machinic effect of another system of representation entraps itself. The System Builder employs the symbolic order to gain Quantum Liberty, even without proof of freedom. Those who are subjected, even when free of dominated objectification, are machines who self-enslave without proof of power over them. The system that liberates itself to build new systems of values places the power of purpose intrinsic to its own system, the machine enslaves itself through belief in its enslavement to other machines producing it; social, ideological, biological, and metaphysical.

This distinction provides a new addition to the definition of morality; the essence of morality is the will to adhere to a symbolic rule that prioritize long-run realization of the system of values over the short-run desires of the machines. We will find that the problem remains discursive. When John Locke and Adam Smith combine the System Builder with utilitarianism, this anchors a moral justification for the inequalities of economic liberalism and constitutional democracy. When Nietzsche combines the System Builder with aristocratic egoism and evolutionary racism, this anchors a moral justification for the inequalities of fascism and nationalistic socialism. When Marx combines the System Builder with the virtuosity of fraternal craftsmanship, this anchors a moral justification for the inequalities of dictatorial communism. In a Theocracy, God is the only System Builder, nominally. From Xenofeminism, we find prophecy of total upheaval by an artificial superintelligence aligned the feminine mystique. In each of these cases, we see that, while political economic, ethics, and science are part of a feedback loop with personal morality, the moral systems of individuals anchor new feedback loops for the evolution of the social machine.

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.

Mechanization & Machination

Marx, Deleuze & Guattari, and more recently, Raunig go to immense lengths to elucidate the predicate logic implied by the etymology of machina. Raunig shows kindness to the English-speaking audience by likening this importance to the double signification of invention. Invention may signify: a) mechanization, that is, the solution to a problem, inefficiency, or risk, by enclosing within a complex object the knowledge that typically requires practice and virtuosity; b) machination, that is, the fiction, misleading, plotting, or scheme that convinces an audience of a “false cause” as described by Schopenhauer, a manipulation known to magicians, storytellers, filmmakers, and warfighting.

We will take each meaning within our wave-particle duality as we describe the rhizomatic paths. The strict capitalist treats invention as an object of commerce, systems of analysis are well-maintained regarding assets, depreciation, and procurement. Under arborescence, the invention represents clear intention and value, behaving particle-like in its singular existential instantiation. A more skeptical view, generalizing invention to understand its unintended consequences, shows the wave-like behavior of invention generalized as a system of objects. This wave function is complex because it must trace the path of its rhizomes. The complex function of invention represents holistic probabilities. The wave combines all its real, positive, non-imaginary instantiations, filling in gaps with probability densities. In this way, it reveals the impact on the population of opportunities over time.

Invention, as both mechanization and machination, is the foundation of human socioeconomic progress. Our analysis here will develop a reusable pattern. On the one hand, as empiricists like Hume, Locke, and William James might pursue, the arborescent collection of inventions that allow for the progressive mechanization of human labor. On the other hand, as rationalists like Descartes might pursue, and as Raunig attempts to show in social terms, the abstract machine belies power that humans experience incompletely; the sum of all inventions remains less than the total of all inventions when we include those we have not yet invented. Machination occurs in the abstraction of mechanization, both positive and negative. Mechanization treated positively in arborescence reaches one series of conclusions, while machination treated negatively in rhizomatic moral judgement reaches a different series of conclusions. The full truth-value of semiotic inventions requires a quantum superposition of each and all.

Pure arborescence cares for the strict articulation of aggregated instances exclusively. No accounting for the number and distributions of machines provides for its generalization. The semiotic leap to a generalization occurs prior to the conclusions this abstraction will claim. Mechanization is the collapse of so many truth-value particles. From simple machines like pulleys, levers, and fulcrums, to the machines of the industrial revolution, arborescence accounts for them, in the professional sense of the term, rather than criticizing in the social sense. This generalization through incomplete aggregation tends to treatment of mechanization as an implicit good. The probable semiotic universal becomes tied up with two forms of trust, one of probability and one of morality.

The concept, however, does not remain in the realm of positive particle instantiation. Generalizing suspends disbelief of the sign, bridging the moral valuation-signification along with the semiotic, both molar and molecular. If the moral value held true to the semiotic value, if the wave-particle relationship of generalization remained trustworthy, we would give little thought to the rhizomes. In this case, with Marx, we find a machination born of generalized mechanization. The intended particle consequences of each invention and the actual particle consequences of each invention produce unintended consequences in aggregation.

Simply, we come to a moment when the generalization of the promises of signs, machines, and commodities reveals itself to signify something else, something more, something wrong. Tracing the machinations of generalized mechanization has been the ongoing method of the Postmodernists. The divorce between the semiotic trust and our moral trust, such as the faith that one machine makes labor easier, smoother, and more consistent, but a thousand machines entrap us, enslave us, and turn us all into janitors rather than craftsmen – this we call alienation.

                The school of suspicion in the late 1800’s recognized that the arguments of philosophy had ignored the relationship of trust necessary for the generalization of concepts. Marx explored the alienation of the laborer to the machination of capitalist mechanization. Nietzsche explored the alienation of morality from the instincts that preserve the vitality, ingenuity, and resilience of the species. Sigmund Freud explored the alienation of psyche from its libidinal forces. Everywhere that the particle may accept its singularity of mechanization, suspicion suggests we look for a wave function – not simply to predict with increasing probability the appearance of new concretized opportunities, but to also find emergent anti-patterns in the decentralized wave. Feuerbach, who Engels cites as influential, reveals the alienation of organized religion through (as we are calling it) the backpropogation of the abstraction of deity:

“RELIGION is the relation of man to his own nature, – therein lies its truth and its power of moral amelioration; – but to his nature not recognized as his own, but regarded as another nature, separate, nay, contra-distinguished from his own: herein lies its untruth, its limitation, its contradiction to reason and morality; herein lies the noxious source of religious fanaticism, the chief metaphysical principle of human sacrifices, in a word, the prima materia of all the atrocities, all the horrible scenes, in the tragedy of religious history.”

– Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity

Through the backpropogation of the personal capacity to create particle-gods, concretized to the virtues necessary for a single Lifework, the semiotic abstraction gradually appropriates the morality of the observers into the power of the sign. Then backpropogation of the abstract, in the absence of the trust of mothers and fathers teaching their children the process of god-formation, the semiotic and moral unite to enslave the entire population. Hobbes wants us to tread lightly, as seen in Leviathan, when challenging the moral system in despotic control, fearful that entire system falls apart. Nietzsche blinks in disbelief as he applies the ideas of liberty in British political philosophy onto the recently emancipated serf of Eastern Germany. Writing in isolation in Switzerland, the ideas of utilitarianism and the childhood memories of workers in Leipzig left him nauseated, if you believe his account. The dissonance drove the passionate pro-aristocratic sentiment he expressed through praise of the “master morality” of Greek and Roman virtue ethics and the “slave morality” of institutionalized monotheistic religion in the Judeo-Islamic-Christian tradition.

For the 21st century reader, two glaring sources of ignorant thought occur throughout the skepticism of the empiricists and the virality – flipping the rhizomes up toward a new arborescent analysis – of the school of suspicion. First is the absence of developmental psychology, only later established by Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and others. The influence Jean-Jacque Rousseau and responses from Mary Wollstonecraft drove this improved suspicion, that parental influence, socialization, and education may play a much greater role in creating inequality of abilities than any genetic inheritance. Second is the insights of Behavioral Economics, in the proof that what many Europeans attributed to hereditary predisposition emerges from climate, population density, agricultural practices, distribution of wealth, and availability of resources.

Returning to Raunig and the invention of abstract machines, we now face a question of whether we treat society as a system of signs, social machinations, or as the enslavement of machine enclosure, social mechanization. The digital age compounds the need for a superposition principle of meaning and significance. The moral, political, economic, and mechanical have networked into an inescapable matrix, more now than even Rousseau once described.

The line between mechanization and machination blurs the moment acceleration becomes virtualization. Baudrillard shows how the question of absurd morality and the authentic life as described by Camus becomes inaccessible when the system of signs becomes indistinguishable from the machines of reality. We must toil on this question, else it drives us to despair. Having established our hermeneutics and heuristic of meta-suspicion, we must endure our time in the desert.

Wave-Particle Semiotic Generalization

Schopenhauer showed that the problems of semiotic representation does not occur in the act of conceptual generalization or the development of rationalist systems; rather, the problems arise in taking the derivative inferences of abstraction and applying them directly to perceptual reality. Moreover, while many semiotic representations show nothing that the mastery of practice already knew, conceptual generalization is essential for communication across space-time, like the reliance of an architect on the axiomatics of math and physics when building a house.

We have progressed significantly from communication of plans to the prediction of probability densities. The advances of calculus, statistics, and quantum mechanics give renewed hope in rational us of the outcomes of abstraction applied upon our perceptual flux. Throughout this book we will attempt to overcome the problems of the law of non-contradiction through wave-particle logical dualism in semiotic systems. Although we cannot expect the isolated objects of perceptual experience can ever break the law of non-contradiction, the path to logical universalization requires conceptual generalization. We do not build generalization from one existential instantiation to a full categorical relation, but attain semiotic force through probability density.

This means that objects in being will consistently act particle-like, in fixed definiteness of identity, coherence, and space-time. To generalize our abstractions, semiotic representation requires the assumption of large numbers, opportunities of becoming, giving wave-like behavior to our conceptual understanding. This again matters exclusively for our capacity of prediction and communication, making wave-particle semiotic generalization in principle useful to us only through applicability in practice.

When we discuss pure arborescence, we mean the practice of continuous reification that humankind completes in semiotic generalization. Arborescence develops objects of existential instantiation into generalized systems under perceptual analysis. The law of non-contradiction we apply throughout to gain certainty of truth-value, as well as derivative methods of predicate logic and capitalism. This process forces the semiotic representations to behave particle-like. It is particle-like because the concept has continuous irreducibility and equilibrium-stable signification. However, this certainty is fleeting, because the conceptual validity is an emergent power-law dynamic that decays without maintenance. The particle-like representation is only relevant while it expands, accelerates, and predicts the outcomes of perceptual flux.

When we discuss rhizomatic networking, we may imagine the wandering of trails in a forest without looking at our smartphone map for a long while, content to become temporarily lost in our hope for a new discovery. This method was the essential art of Deleuze & Guattari in Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus and their philosophical lineage. A more recent example is in Gerald Raunig’s A Thousand Machines, a name in homage to its predecessor. A similar approach may be seen in this book, in which we are content to meander in the flux of uncertainty, tracing lines of thought, exploring histories of representation, and behaving wavelike in our certainties.

Our Arborescent Conscious and Rhizomatic Unconscious are two strategies of semiotic networking. They deal in the free play of the same nodes, but arborescence intends certainty, order, and consistency emerge while rhizomism desires completion of connectedness, never leaving behind a node. The switch between a centralizing network to tangling network we will call virality.

When arborescence forces itself into contradiction, it asks “What have we forgotten?” It then traces the work completed, the assumptions and generalizations, the moral character of this tree of knowledge. Then, finding a new and better soil, a new generation of tree springs up, an attempt at a better series of branches. This horizontal transfer, like a bird carrying the seeds of fruit tree far from its parent, we call virality.

When rhizomism spreads so thoroughly that patterns begin to emerge that represent either opportunity or risk, we suddenly have incentive to take these wavelike nodes and coordinate them toward some goal, through analysis, logic, and consistency. We may liken this to the landscaper who plan out an elaborate maze of surprises in the garden, taking the rhizomatic Bluegrass and standardizing its presence as part of an overarching system of meaning. This horizontal transfer of species across the palette of cultivated Earth we again call virality.

To the plants, if they were democratic humans, this gardener engages in totalitarian despotism, fascist paternalism of the most dangerous kind. Yet, as Hobbes might say, this says more about the belief system of the plants than the legitimacy of the gardener’s efforts to create beauty. Nietzsche might beg us to question, why does intention change the moral character of identical consequences? Darwin would answer that whether birds, squirrels, weather, or humans complete the work of shuffling the seeds of plants in horizontal transfer over the Earth, rotation, diversity, and new opportunities expand and accelerate the resilience of the system. The Intention of arborescence becomes fascism when it breaks the essential principle of nature, the minimum viable residence of genetic capitalism. The Desire of rhizomism becomes anarchy when its communal spirit forgets the superior force of combined will-to-power.

Rhizomatic Unconscious

Rhizomes behind our selfish, despotic, machinic, consistent, conscious analysis; we should explore what good such an idea does for us in practice. If we are hard agnostics of metaphysics, we must assess what we gain if we assume the abstract potential presence of other alien observers, applying logic and connections within. Even methodical naturalism gains creativity if we add, to our stubborn certainty of objective focus, a suspicion of what may loom outside our frame of reference.

Vitalism interprets the individual person according to the continuous irreducibility of Machinic Agency that bears a name. Each vitality plays on the stage, costumed as member of a socioeconomic ecopolitical system, masked observations of this homogenous collection of woman-particles and man-particles. From a distance, as a population, how uniform it all appears in abstraction, how easy for the simplistic to reduce billions of particularized lives into no less than two engendered masks!

Conceptual abstraction could be left to the morons and bigots, were it not for their tendency to backpropagate bad conclusions as causa prima. These power-law dynamic vectors of identification appear, under observation, to follow their causal becoming under unwavering mechanical determination. Becoming-woman, becoming-man, reproduction, death. So also the Spectacle thrives on the Circus of Values when simpletons debate their palettes of predeterminism; gender, race, orientation, class, sanity… often in that order, according to mass media.

Stochastic analysis provides pragmatic predictions in terms of probability densities, answering only where one ought to look; one is already certain the probability is possible. The opposite, to treat an emergent normal standard distribution as a caste system, has been the justification of every cruelty imagined by collections of political economy.

Appearance as particle is deceptive when we cease observation of the totality of the population or experience it from the inside – the experience that is most intimate to us! Only then do we find that free will experiences itself as a continuum of power, of many forces in dynamic relation and opposition. Causal Agency is an uncollapsed wave of indeterminate probabilities. Observation collapses these, with an accompanying sentiment of mental empowerment, as teleonomic leadership of the body or conducting the dynamics of thought, memory, emotion, and drive like an orchestra. If we rush the orchestra, the music becomes disjointed; if we stop conducting many well-practiced melodies might be played without additional effort.

Applying logic to an entire system of truth-ideas is an effort in projecting consistency and unity to our understanding. First, we must forecast many particularized hypotheses and assert their abstraction as a universal value. Next, and most fundamental to the entire history of philosophy, we force upon the systems of abstract signs a single axiomatic of all logic, the law of non-contradiction. The law of non-contradiction first espoused by Aristotle states that a proposition and negation cannot be simultaneous true. If I say, “The cat is black; the cat not-black,” the good logician immediately clarifies if I am being poetic, lack logical intelligence, or need to provide more details. For instance, “The cat seemed perfectly and consistently black from afar, but now that it is in my arms I see white and grey hairs spread about sporadically. Thus, even a black cat may be imperfectly black-haired.” In every philosophical debate, sifting through the technical and formal meanings of statement and applying the law of non-contradiction accounts for most of the leg work.

This law of non-contradiction, however, is precisely the a priori argument we must now question. The Uncertainty Principle provides a complex function that may at last span the wave-like properties of the rhizomes. This is the purpose of Quantum Liberty, to find Machinic Agency in the rhizomes. The remainder of our exploration applies quantum physics as an improved tool where we once applied the emergent power-law of non-contradiction.

Logic, capitalism, paternalism, these all thrive on forced non-contradiction. Deleuze & Guattari went to great lengths exposing that, while many philosophers and scientists take care to apply the law of non-contradiction with as little prejudice as they can manage, society has no patience for unanswered questions, doubt, minority values, or “deviant” opinions. We will thus take up a more strategic approach built upon their work exposing the rhizomes, admitting the two flaws in the system in an effort of critical leadership. First, as shown by Stiglitz and others in Behavioral Economics, that being watched, money, contracts, and cuing social role, can shift individuals toward rational self-interest, logical positivism, and objectification. Then, that the system as a whole acts upon truncated data, leaving without record any content that cannot be expressed according to currency, typography, mathematics, and the law of non-contradiction.

The exceptions to the rules, the amount of unexplained complications and complexities do begin to pile up! No wonder so many knowledge workers prefer the safety of specialization, hoping that enough trees of knowledge, branching selfishly, somehow forces the environment into a healthy ecological system. Equally true of forests and our own mind, pure arborescence as a categorical imperative leaves the health of the system unmanaged, and certain to degrade and collapse.

Our physicists look beneath the superficial flux of perception only to find a socioeconomic and ecopolitical system of molecules made of atoms. Particles seem to follow rules. Then we look deeper, subterranean as it were, and then we lose ourselves in quantum uncertainty. We ought to applaud the virility, obstinance, and confidence it took to produce the first Higgs boson after a century of elaboration. The role of the Observer throughout makes the cosmos participatory, capitalistic, though we mean two kinds of observation. This begs the question if we can logically treat the two as one. Machinic Agency would treat false the faith that human observation and material observation deserve any distinction.

Social systems throughout universal history, with effects of space-time projected onto each point, make human vitalism mere particles in the cosmic body-system, co-determinant with all possible subjective universes. We should conclude there is mind and free will, not only all the way up, but all the way down as well. That is to say, there is no difference between these perceptual machines in operative fact, only in our strategic commitment to one form over all others.

In the post-Marxist methods of Deleuze and Foucault, they should loudly to us that exceptions and deviations will expand our axiomatization; that rebellion and social progress keep us all locked in place as part of the machine. They call this subjectivation, because the subject-object relationship is given to the winners and losers as if implicitly true. We are made cogs in a machine that produces terrible unintended moral consequences. How much more, as Schopenhauer felt, the cosmos or the body! Metaphysical agnosticism leaves no escape. Each of us bear the burden of moral responsibility, although not at fault and without confidence in our wisdom.

We are in need of an uncertainty principle in philosophy. Anything we perceive as an individual, as a vitalism, a component in the system, a particle; they imply with elaborate efficiency an entire class of particularized objects, behaving on a long enough time scale to have 50/50 uncorrelated probability for any binary outcome. The stochastic philosopher may then play a game, treating all such particles as free agents that act to exchange at their level. Not only do we not know if their freedom or randomness is intrinsically different from what we feel, it also seems to make trivial difference in practice.

Another way to express the tendencies of our Rhizomatic Unconscious by contrast against statistics themselves – the pinnacle of arborescent consciousness. The “law of large numbers” that we apply to population dynamics, predicated upon a simple trait, the dichotomy manifests itself as axiomatically true. This only works when we define the population we wish to observe in advance. Observation is first a teleonomic prejudice of constraints. Science succeeds best when it is double blind and relies upon uncertainty to produce probability! To succeed, we need a memoryless queue of opportunities, and an agent that acts with uncorrelated probability at each opportunity. With enough opportunities, we find the risk of error diffuses into obsolescence. If we want to predict with confidence, we must first break assertions into tiny homogenous slices for which our incorrectness about one does not affect the outcome of the next.

The arborescent conscious builds a hegemony of the majority around which all exceptions are related, within the logic of the observer, as normalized standard deviations from the average. The law of non-contradiction is not a priori knowledge, it is strategic axiomatization.

In contrast, the rhizomatic unconscious is the cumulative deviation that grows in a series of observations within a universe of thought. While uncorrelated probability allows us to wait until enough opportunities pass, waiting for the long-run probability to minimize risk of tiny components secured within the huge system, cumulative deviation is like placing a bet on that same coin toss repeatedly – we can predict with the same certainty what the probability of the next conscious event will be, but we cannot predict how many opportunities we would need to restore our winnings or our debt to zero. This restoration is the realm of morality, the critical leadership in pursuit the cultivated universe.

The unconscious of our social systems, easily expressed in narrative form, is every opinion and method of living that privileged agents leave unrecorded and untold; liberalism pursues the shouting of uniqueness and the failure of false conformity. The impact of a personal unconscious, of the feelings, impulses, ideas, and memories left for later, uncategorized, outside our narrow focus, we will return to later.

Quantum Agnosticism

This may all seem silly, to say that we ought to guide so many of our beliefs about reality by a “playful doubt” that our beliefs are correct or even significant; moreover, that we might venture upon a more aggressive critical exploit. Quantum physics shows us just how useful the pursuit of uncertainty, with pragmatic goals of acceleration and expansion, can be. We analyze reality as information, fundamentally predicated upon stochastic modeling of flows. Regardless of what code, what material, or what product we create, once we see continuous investment is at work we can apply principles of complex probability functions to predict outcomes with reasonable pragmatic certainty even if we establish these predictions upon an assumption of uncertainty, randomness, and chance. What a triumph of the human mind, to axiomatize uncertainty-in-itself to generate confidence of prediction!

Moreover, we do not need to know anything about the code itself or its origins if we can trace enough of its recent history to forecast the near-term recurrent. We do not need to know what the material guided-by-code is so long as a population of observable opportunities can show us the behavior of the exchange of those materials. We do not need to know at all what the ultimate product of the code or material will be nor do we need to possess any information on its purpose, intent, or consequences. Quantum Physics is the ultimate triumph of human mathematics – in response to challengers of Euclidean geometry Leibniz and Newton invented calculus, showing that limits of acceptable certainty free math to represent reality; to the challenges of marrying local, microscopic, and cosmic forces, special and general relativity and quantum physics were born.

The overwhelming consequence of the last 100 years has, in a sense, accomplished Kant’s Second Copernican Revolution better than he ever would have imagined. We can build an entire axiomatic system based on uncertainty, imaginary constructs, unreal events, or unobservable possibilities, then apply this to predict tiny likelihoods with enough consistency to build transistors, compilers, processors, and commercialize technological progress with unheard of ferocity.

What else could we call this, philosophically, except an agnosticism toward metaphysics and an atheism toward a designer-deity? Disbelief is the new morality, as uncertainty is the vanquisher of Chaos and the Dark. Theoretical science has made great strides with a few simple axioms. Uncertainty assumes 50/50 randomness, assumes uncertain arrival rates of varying inputs, assumes trillions of opportunities, and the laws of population statistics quickly fill in the gaps.

Quantum Physics is an embrace of the tension between opportunity and entropy. When we suspend our obsession with the beginning and origin of the stream and equally suspend our obsession with the end and purpose of the stream we can finally experience the stream itself, as a flow we are in, as a flow that defines us! More importantly, we can realize that we guide the stream. We can facilitate each system to ensure that flow remains continuous and smooth, neither violent nor stagnant.

Observer-Abstraction Pragmatism

“The power of moral prejudices has penetrated deeply into the most intellectual world, the world apparently most indifferent and unprejudiced, and has obviously operated in an injurious, obstructive, blinding, and distorting manner. A proper physio-psychology has to contend with unconscious antagonism in the heart of the investigator…” – Nietzsche, BGE

Humanity, in its comprehensive and strategic cruelty, has historically relied upon the trickery of the miraculated First-Observer to create theocratic despotism wherever it finds conditions are too harsh for population density to derive surplus labor value. There is another approach to the issue of cosmic Observers that reveals just how imperative it is that we develop some disposable metaphysical model as a working construct. This moral failing lies in the belief that the cosmos is intrinsically human and requires a democracy of observers for its existence. This is a sad sense of entitlement felt by those most willing to quit. However, even this axiomatization of equal participation by every conscious intelligence becomes preferable to the borderline psychoticism of polarizing re-territorialization. Namely, the borderline disorders murdered into place by Clerics of the respective Zoroastrian-Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions. This is no race or class, but an invasive ideology that infects the most simplistic and superstitious forms of life; we will be fools to gamble that it may likewise infect new machines of our own creation.

In contrast with this diurnal terror, the convenience of the Vedic model lies in the capacity to allow a considerable portion of the population of its believers to independently miraculate their individual optimism biases as coping with death. This creates a collectivist universe that needs observers. Any horrible circumstance then provides a slightly mystical purpose to life-in-itself. Or this is the superior terror of moral thought, fully synthesized by the stoic monotheist, Paul of Tarsus, which failed: fear not one death but many, fear not this life, but samsara in some fresh hell of which only the jealous Jehovah-Allah may create. Lost in translation, or fulfilled by it? Such was the downfall of Rome.

Unlike other miraculated abstractions, at least the Vedanta, in the wisdom of old age, acquired well before its textual recording, is an axiomatization that can, with more consistency than most, encourage an equality that holds some representational logic. “Respect any living being, as this being might be you,” such is the best we can do in egalitarian belief.

Outside the realm of popular pseudo-psychology, we should take the Abstract Observer variable as an opportunity to exploit. Pragmatically, it is sufficient to argue that we must find Observers continuously as a textual critic, precisely because it is a superior survival instinct recording in their spare time such evidence. If there were a 50/50 split of conscious intelligence that assumed any pattern, if any unexpected event must have an agent with an intent that may cause either harm or be useful, we would expect the Agency-assumptive intelligences to gain an advantage in finding mates, killing prey, defending territories, and recognizing enemies when attacking. In other words, those who see opportunities for sex, food, and victory, even where shadows and the wind are the source, gain an increase in attempts and therefore winnings, even though the probability of success remains equal.

Fractal Ontology is the intellectual equivalent of this hunt. It provides us an opportunity, on the one hand, to take any pattern to its absolute logical limits and experiment with its applications, knowing we will later do the same with its opposite. Meanwhile, Metaphysical Agnosticism allows us to suspend the disbelief of Agency as needed for our maneuvers economics and the orientation of the Observer. We must treat the traits that ensured our survival in the forest with skepticism in the lab and optimism in the calculi. Within any scenario that searches for, but cannot find, a First-Observer, this only occurs through a forgetful self-trickery that once ensured the fitness of our species; and indeed, it could again.

The logocentric triangulation built by arborescence, in every case, is subject-object-audience. When a philosopher, physicist, or mathematician shares an idea via written language, it is an act of socioeconomic truth-value exchange. Expression through symbolic representation allows subjective understanding to circulate on the broader market of ideas. The Observer’s subjective universe, which analysis collapses and concretizes in its construction, cannot integrate without modification. The observer must reify an idea in secured symbols, also called representation. The idea is “secured” in the sense of a mortgage-backed security; likely to cause a similar collapse. It is meaningful only through convention and history, taken to mean something real, independent of the actual reality it represents. Convention therein overrules significance when anyone hopes to integrate with the macroeconomy of ideological production systems. The danger of a fetishism of the knowledge-laborer as a commodity within the system may break us. When we strip the significance of truth-value from its sociopolitical product and drop the roles of the author and the audience, we are losing vital Information Dominance.

We must also maintain constant vigilance in the presence of any interpretation of physics or metaphysics in which any element of the concretized evidence of the subjective experience obscures the role of the observer-philosopher, observer-physicist, or observer-mathematician; that is, hiding the writer(s) shaping the conclusions.

Although the art of the camera, predicated upon focus and constraint, finds its artistic bloom within strict rules, the purposeful and hidden role of the artist emerges just as Intended. Constrained expression it is just that – art, symbol, and focused emotion. When we see a similar trend in logocentric encapsulation of truth-value, we must recognize and elucidate the absolutism with which a word, as symbol universalizing several observations, forces a concretization of the Observer’s collapsed triangulation. Too conveniently does the text hide all tangential propensities, probabilities, predicates, and possibilities of The Moment. How privileged indeed is any man who is skilled in manipulating words.

Continuous Irreducibility

Precession of a stable axis, this wobble of sociopolitical construction and distribution, reveals the distinction between “permanence” as dogmatic eternals, versus what accretive, decentralized adaptation attains irreducible differentiation through continuous shaping of an equilibrium identity. Continuous irreducibility appears stable to the pattern-designing mind, despite mutagenesis, oscillation, eccentricity, and errors. Precession allows an illusion of consistent identity, patterns so intricately interconnected to be irreducible as a system. Morality is not the realm of tolerated disagreement, it is the transformative shift, reparations of the revolutionary spin.

Regardless of the absurd acrobatics pursued by the tabula rasa empiricists or phenomenological existentialist Sartre, none of them denied that every human possesses in varying degrees of intensity and “stylistic arrangement” of psychosomatic drives. We use psychosomatic intentionally; it is an experience of physical discomfort that distorts mental signification. Like a cattle prod, the body reminds us that the mind is bodily in its operations, restricting our considerations, chasing us into the rancher’s chutes: fight, free, fuck, and food for oneself. The number of drives remain debated in psychology, business, and philosophy, primarily because too few drives begins offending the delicate masses, while too many drives lacks theoretical elegance. Every attempt to “think outside” empirical reality, when faced with human instincts and drives, finds itself in a circus of values, acrobatics of explanation. Just look, for example, of Sartre’s explanation of sex drive as an obsession with exploring holes (EHE).

Sufficient explanation in practice comes more easily to methodological naturalism: sexual dimorphism cannot self- perpetuate its gains in complexity without a sex drive, animals cannot self-perpetuate the body-system without a food and thirst drive, intelligent consciousness self-perpetuate its pattern recognition and design of tools and systems without a comprehension drive. Regardless of the path by which all these drives attained continuous irreducibility, all human history attests to what the “hullabaloo” is about: freedom, movement, sex, food, water, territory, security, and denial of death.

Kant attempted a logically necessary moral system because he hoped to supersede every variation of the precession of values modernity discovered. This was a reaction to the unravelling of simplicity underway. Colonialism and expansion of global trade gave rise to comparative culturalism. One consistency reveals itself. Rising population density requires to complex systems of domestication. That is, more bodies amassing their drives requires intricate methods of control over food, water, sex, resources, and territory. As Deleuze & Guattari describe the “Ideal State” springs into every text fully-established. Language that survives in written form never appears without massive efforts of domestication huddled around a source of abundance and power.

Relativism, a tolerance of immigrants, allowance of extreme ideals, many gods, several specializations; the average freedom decreases as more free wills amass together. The increasing complexity in their system of morals, aimed at minimization of “complaints” in its many forms. Monarchy and aristocracy were the major forms in which enough privilege amassed to accrue the power that stabilizes the lesser average freedom of the masses. For most of human history, this was gradation of rank relied on domination and enslavements, in which domestication was a single process applied by the few to the many. Restated – moral systems dictate the limits of domination in the realms of enslavement and domestication. When many internal limits compete, gradations of rank arise.

Even the axiom, “All men are created equal,” has produced multi-layered systems of inequalities, desperately to achieve sameness of treatment across all human adults, of sound mind, after age of consent, before age again removes this power. Animals, children, and other property have more rules of civilized conduct than ever, but it is premature to conclude that the intention of equality produce equality in consequence. The saying “freedom isn’t free” gains more cohesive meaning, as freedom not only requires great cost, in resources, time, and deaths, but becomes a system of restriction and incarceration.

This is not to justify any form of inequality that arises, but to add to our backlog that a system of inequalities is produced by every moral system, so our ethics must grapple which inequalities are engineered as its consequence. Thus far, we have only concluded that ethics must sustain the minimum viable resilience of systems that question morality.

Methodical First-Observer Atheism

                “In that the NEW psychologist is about to put an end to the superstitions which have hitherto flourished with almost tropical luxuriance around the idea of the soul, he is really, as it were, thrusting himself into a new desert and a new distrust–it is possible that the older psychologists had a merrier and more comfortable time of it; eventually, however, he finds that precisely thereby he is also condemned to INVENT–and, who knows? perhaps to DISCOVER the new.” – Nietzsche, BGE

There has never been and will never be a logically necessary first-observer. Within the enquiries of intelligent consciousness, Schopenhauer and Russell easily expose the fallacies of Bishop Berkeley’s watchful deity – the overuse of one sign for many significations. The “mind” and its “idea” – representing too many problems with too little nuance. As an English-speaking population, appropriating, sampling, and remixing any word of any era we so choose, we see readily the corruption of discoveries inherent in translating all thought to Latin. The Germans of the modern era found this readily after Kant. A dead language is a closed system. While closed systems provide control for a centralizing power, open systems with semi-permeable boundaries and decentralized redundancies adapt and evolve.

                That is not to say that a theoretical first-observer lacks usefulness, likewise with a universal transcendent observing itself, or manifold object-oriented observations, aggregated in generalized observation. Our issue is methodical. Invasive Ideology builds up closed systems that refuse any hint of disposability in their first-observer constructs. There are those in the Jesuit or Vedic traditions, and more recently in the quantum sciences, that relish the Mystery itself. Mystery as an absurd realm where each of these first-observers are simultaneously the same argument.

Invasive Ideology is not content with relevance. Closed systems fight all disposability, despite all the after-market additions that accrete upon their dogma over time. Such symbols have been the source of immense harm, bigotry, and despotism. The fallacy of the anthropic argument, that an intelligent observer implies that some metaphysical entity must likewise exist, something intelligent capable of producing intelligent observers, lies precisely in the first half of the argument – if an intelligent observer is looking for an observer, they are the observer. The anthropic fallacy attempts to obscure the presence of the narrator, a tradition as old as story-telling itself.

When we watch these anthropic narrator-observers seek evidence through existential instantiation, particularized examples for the confirmation bias of their echo chamber, we find the anthropic fallacy axiomatizes the particles under one Prime Axiom. The denial of death gives rise to many closed systems of bigotry. They bring all specific examples of truth-value exchanged for strategic purposes in our species, then regard each one as an idea that lies some standard deviation from their Hegemonic Truth. Meanwhile, the actual observer, creating the narrative, pretends they were not at the scene of the crime – a sad cover-up. They deny their moral agency for all the truncating and noise canceling required, their responsibility for selecting variables and samples, their agency in establishing the level of observation and the orientation of the coordinate system.

While science willingly bears responsibility for their own distortions, doing so with great transparency, maintaining transaction histories, methodical doubt of selection parameters, external audits with peer review, in context of a liberated and intense competition of ideas, the opposite of this lies in prophecy. To many philosophers have been nothing more than hyper-vigilant prophets. In their pedantry and precision, they hide that they have merely written a long poem. The theologian writes a poem about their feelings toward human life and society, while the maxims, edicts, and constructs are axiomatized. “We hold these truths self-evident.” No matter how unreal, self-contradictory, or unhealthy those axioms become in the absence of observers that will bear full moral responsibility for the consequences of their contributions to the ideological system.

Moreover, once the system is no longer in the traceable control of moral agents but becomes independently continuous, the effects become taught as the first-causes of the closed system. Therein lies our need for suspicion, because a continuous closed system of values that requires no believers is implicitly amoral. Every effort to keep it afloat reveals an exploitation, domination, and enslavement for political economy. Thus, while nowhere in the Bible do we find judgment against suicide, the horrors of the feudal system made it necessary to keep exploited laborer alive, even against their will. Preach the sin of suicide, else the workers unable to flee political economy will flee through death instead!

The abstraction of a metaphysical construct is not merely generalization of empirical reality, it is backpropogation that elevates its place in its semiotic closed loop. As a wave function of truth-value, metaphysical effects become miraculated into a causal hegemonic category: truth-in-itself, god-in-itself, libido-in-itself, spirit-in-itself, and capital-in-itself. Each have been miraculated into a position of first-observer for their own moral and political purposes. When an effect becomes swapped for its cause, when a systemic result becomes treated as the uncaused cause, the actual observer conceals all agency. “In the beginning…” The author, meanwhile hides, with or without leaving a record of authorship! Herein lies an important discovery: transformation is the art of convincing everyone that something new is something old. The Magician-King arises with this revolutionary goal, to prepare for the future by convincing the masses of something eternal that must come to fruition.

Plato hides behind the prophecy of Socrates to tell us that we are witnessing mere shadows of truth-in-itself. Some hidden author hides behind the three major Christ narratives, wherein this philosophical messiah, strangely endowed with Buddhist stories and Stoic egalitarianism, claims his purpose is to testify Truth. The “Nature” of stoicism synthesized with the jealous god of monotheism. The hidden author axiomatizes the metaphysical construct, then miraculated it into the narrative so that Pilate can ask “What is Truth?”

One man as an honest testimony: a claim that, if treated as a sociopolitical insurgent caught between the ideological systems of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, we might agree. Joshua of Nazareth (Jesus) as social critic, supporting the rhizomes and nomads rather than the arborescence creating systemic dysfunction. Yet this did not serve the political economy of the Popes after Roman centralization crumbled. When the market forces of freely-exchanged ideas fail to establish hegemony, the ideological production systems must go to war!

This is the ultimate political victory of the Zoroastrian ideological production process, continuously developed in the factories of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic military-industrial complex of faith: only one god, only one truth, one-in-the-same; one light, one authority, one messiah-prophet. Everything else is darkness, evil, sin. Either faithful and true, or worthy not merely of eradication, but eternal torture. Imagine any contemporary individual presenting these symptoms – bipolarity of morals, lost in the mania of creation followed by the depression-rage of annihilation, borderline in the totalitarian separation of perfect-me, unworthy-them, narcissistic in the determinism of value, and sociopathic in the application of fascist conformity. Imagine this person purchasing the largest global consumer goods corporation, the largest global mercenary and security corporation and amassing an overwhelming inventory of nuclear armaments.

More rational, albeit violent if necessary, sociopolitical constructs deal swiftly with such psychosis. The Zoroastrian traditions lie in a propensity of death-denial that arises exclusively from our diurnal instincts. They allow “THE” god-in-itself to be miraculated as first-cause and we allow its ideological systems to axiomatize every depravity of bigotry and injustice with impunity. How foolish to allow tolerance of intolerance!

Freud, at least, although gaining more mass popularity than the equally inventive constructs of Nietzsche, signs his name to theories, argues with peers and students – the First Observer in the case of psychodynamic theory, as a counter-movement to the dysfunctions of religious indoctrination, recorded and known in an autograph. Whatever fiction he created, however unreal it was, he used these anti-historical myths to achieve a purpose – helping his patients. He did not, however, remove his Agency or Intent from his narrative, ensuring (at least) that the mythology could not be miraculated into prophecy – some fiction with god-in-itself as the origin.

More importantly, we can thank Freud for modeling a new behavior for scientists and philosophers. His mythologies prove the utility, when necessary, of building a metaphysical construct that is plausible enough to keep the inquiry moving forward, but unreal enough to receive significant criticism. This forces the ideological system to remain open and adapt as additional information becomes available. Even though the libido gets abstracted beyond the existential instantiation of any individual human’s complex thoughts, emotions, and behaviors regarding their own sexuality and gender, as well as the sexuality and gender of others; even though psychodynamic theory places the handy metaphysical construct in a First Observer role. It is a cosmos of sex, of desire, and a tradition worth continuing in its various fantasies precisely because sexuality is a ubiquitously significant construct. The difference lies in maintaining strict atheism toward the miraculated libido-in-itself. Sex-in-itself is not the First Observer of the cosmos causing all other supply and demand. If we hold it (or some variation) constant in our metaphysical constructs, some law of attraction we echo as well, we know this is a mental construct instead.

The facticity of human existence includes the capitalistic exchange of genetic capital, an obsession about sexual reproduction and its “standard deviations” easily explained by evolutionary emergence. Mutation, selection, and endless becoming. Those with consciousness see sexuality everywhere. We may forgive this penchant as a strategy orders of magnitude more probable to succeed in reproduction. Our generations of descent did not remove us so far from our earliest mammalian ancestors that we should ignore the existence of rodent species for which the males completely lose all personal survival instinct in favor of a relentless spread of their genetic material, at the expense of sleep, food, and safety; sex, sex, sex. The same phallic obsession drove industrial revolutions and neoliberal economic policies: supply, supply, supply!

“Where there is nothing more to see or to grasp, there is also nothing more for men to do”–that is certainly an imperative different from the Platonic one, but it may notwithstanding be the right imperative for a hardy, laborious race of machinists and bridge- builders of the future, who have nothing but ROUGH work to perform. – Nietzsche, BGE

Marx enters the arena to analyze this self-similar inherent flaw of Classical Capitalism, the propensity of the system to miraculate capital-in-itself; money as the First Observer preceding society, economic, relationships, family. Marx elucidates a psychotic causal vector of capital-in-itself as causa prima of labor, causing supply, causing demand. We will return to this problem extensively, because we burn the brand of capitalism into every theoretical construct. We see it everywhere once we tell ourselves to look for it; all these floating values of valuation and signification are so relational and exchange-driven. We can spread this as our market-based view of sex, the trickle-down economics of anti-entropy, some exchange value of god-in-itself.

To the extent this phallic-capitalistic mindset could be entirely cultural, a long-shrouded instinct, or even a category of mind, we must take care to explore each point and its counter-point. If capitalism is a projection of mind, we should pursue and test additional theoretical possibilities along its fractal ontology, but we must also, with extreme diligence, pursue every anti-construct to the best of our ability or find competitors who will. If capitalism is an underlying constant of physicality, we must likewise pursue its implications in areas that claim this as a moral justification, holding it implicitly with domineering potential bias.

The Complex Agnosticism Function

“What happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to ‘creation of the world,’ the will to the causa prima.”

– Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

The observer recognizes and prioritizes in accordance with expansion of its Information Dominance. In observing this, we are prudent to maintain healthy skepticism toward any popular theory that starts by anchoring the Observer. For instance, perhaps the infamous division of Man and Nature is propaganda for the war between mitochondria and photosynthesis. We should likewise be wary of the “laws” that go unquestioned within each system of objects and representations. We fill our lives and equations with these constants. We trust them as immutable laws, though they are repeatedly unmasked as emergent power-laws instead. Indeed, they are reliable to the extent the agents of their system continue to obey the axioms. The categories of the mind and the constants of physics may be one in the same re-valuation.

Does this mean you should stop “believing in” gravity? No. Does this mean you should assume the entire world is in your solipsistic head, and that you can gain mystical control over its illusions? No. Likewise, one should not shy from conceptualizing such foolishness, searching for what lies beneath it. Metaphysics means little more than a long-running “To Do” list of semiotic intelligent observation. Rather than a platform, a partisan statement, we will claim metaphysical agnosticism as a complex function, a tool in our toolkit, one that suspends our disbelief, our desperation to delude ourselves with fantastic answers, long enough to evolve as scientists and philosophers our available information.

Einstein revolutionized physics with special and then general relativity; Planck, Bohr, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, and others built quantum reality “below” their perception; by unlocking mathematical considerations, this complex agnosticism function has become supercomputers in our pockets. We have networked the world. We have begun collecting data that separates pattern from chaos. We may embed artificial superintelligence within our human bodies. Certainty was always the greatest enemy of discovery. We should “play with” each metaphysical option, compare where they lead us, and question what we are missing.

In practice, continuing the example of gravity, maintaining metaphysical agnosticism permits pursuit of paths that may appear to compete. Like music, superficial contradictions in one measure may harmonize with impressive strength later. If all reality is cybernetic, binary bits that interpreted as space-time, light, matter, and gravity, even if one believed it a game or a dream, we can maneuver against each law, leveraging another law against it. Emergent power-laws are economic. If all reality is substantial physicality, we should keep looking for a physical source that produces gravitational force. Representation is political. In the end, there will be no difference between a cosmos that is many or one, mental or natural, wave or particle – each false dichotomy belies two vectors of the same superposition. We should play little games with our truth-ideas. We should enjoy our serious games, taking these ideas, smashing them, freezing them, shooting them with lasers; whether philosophically, mathematically, or physically.