The Revolutionary Importance of Science: A Response to Alex Gorrion

  • Posted on: 11 June 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)
Freedom in wild nature

From The Widernist

Editors note: This essay, written by one of our magazine editors, articulates why scientific thinking is an important tool for individuals and groups hoping to do something about the havoc industry has wrought. Several times it mentions a "revolutionary ecological analysis," a reference to the budding Wildist movement that is working for the end of industry and toward a wild earth. The Wildernist is part of The Wildist Network.

I.

The Anvil recently published an article by Alex Gorrion that critiques “science.” While I am usually inclined to dismiss these critiques, most of all because the authors rarely ever display familiarity with the history and philosophy of science (Gorrion is no exception), I have been engaged in a number of month-long discussions with people who I respect and who say the article has synthesized many of their problems, even if naively. It is for this reason that I am responding to Gorrion’s article in particular.

The first issue at hand is what we mean by “science.” The word is sufficiently broad to be meaningless or close to meaningless as a topic of discussion. And the difficulty is compounded by the fact that the word “science” refers in different contexts to radically different things, which often means critiques will target more than one of the meanings and not make any clear distinction between them. Gorrion’s article suffers from a lack of a working definition of science and so predictably falls into this trap. One can, however, discern at least three targets in his piece. The first is scientific thought: the epistemology of science, the notion of objectivity, etc. The second target is the technocratic organization of modern communities of scientists. And the third is the notion of scientific progress.

Gorrion’s primary problem with scientific thought is its idea of “objectivity.” (As with “science,” Gorrion fails to distinguish between several different meanings of “objectivity.”) He has a special problem with the idea that scientific knowledge is an accurate representation of objective reality. Knowledge, he says, does not exist without a knower, which means the knower is intimately involved in constructing knowledge. He also points out the many problems in certain scientific practices that make any claims to “objectivity” laughable. Medical studies are a prime example of this. Later on, Gorrion singles out scientific materialism in particular, saying first that the dichotomy between the material and ideal is arbitrary (but unfortunately not explaining why) and then pointing out its failure to produce “ultimate explanations of consciousness, life, or creation.” Gorrion says that science pretends to be “an absolute system of knowledge,” and in this overextends itself; that science claims “that a zebra in a zoo is the same thing as a zebra in its herd in the Serengeti”; that science fears death; and that notions of progress and anthropocentrism are intrinsic parts of scientific thought.

Mixed in with all this, Gorrion simultaneously critiques the structures of academia and scientific communities. He says that even theories that are validated by the scientific method (which he rightly differentiates from scientific thought as a whole) are “marginalized, or obscured by the acting priests of Science,” citing as examples Gaia theory, Kropotkin’s ideas on evolution, and Recluse’s ideas on geography. Although earlier in the article Gorrion weakly argues against science based on the media’s use of the word, he later presents a stronger argument that modern scientific thought is so large and complex that flattened and distilled versions of it are necessary for the expert, skilled only in a small portion of of the whole scientific body of thought, to operate. In other words, these distilled, flattened, “pop” representations of science, including those presented by the media, are inherent aspects of scientific knowledge.

Lastly, Gorrion makes a strong critique of the notion of scientific “progress.” Viewing the acquisition of knowledge as inherently good, something that “should never be forsworn” is, he says, intimately tied up with the continued destruction of the wild world. He reminds us that modern scientific progress relies on industrial development that tears up forests for laboratories, abstract mathematics that are used mostly for bombs and warfare, and so on. Gorrion also points out that the unilinear development of scientific thought, even apart from value judgements, is a dubious idea. Many scientific discoveries were made centuries before their place in the conventional narrative.

I largely agree with the article’s critiques of technocratic structures and scientific progress, and I even recognize many of the limitations of the scientific worldview. But a misunderstanding of contemporary scientific thought coupled with a failure to differentiate between various meanings of the word “science,” compels Gorrion to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

II.

Gorrion might be surprised to learn that a good deal of scientists and philosophers of science strongly agree with many of his critiques of scientific thought. In fact, all the limitations he writes about have been pointed out with much more convincing argumentation by widely recognized philosophers of science. Gorrion not only fails to say anything new, he presents weaker arguments for what has already been said, largely by the “believers in Science” who he targets in his critique.

For example, in 1748 philosopher David Hume published An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, in which he proposed two ideas relevant to this discussion. The first was the idea of radical skepticism. Hume believed that all human knowledge originated from sense-experience, a position known as “empiricism” and a cornerstone of the scientific method. However, he pointed out that even though our knowledge stems from sense-experience, there is no rational reason to trust our senses. In other words, while we can draw conclusions from the knowledge gained from our senses, all that knowledge would be invalid if it could somehow be proved that our sense-experience is a faulty basis for our reasoning (think The Matrix). Furthermore, there is “the problem of induction.” Reasoning from sense-experience relies on induction, which is reasoning that starts from small premises and moves to larger generalizations. For example:

  1. Some black balls from the urn have been observed.
  2. All observed black balls have tasted like licorice.
  3. Therefore, all black balls in the urn taste like licorice.

Hume argued that we use inductive reasoning every day. It is, for example, how we conclude that we won’t be able to jump up and stay in the air tomorrow any more than we could yesterday. It is also how scientists have derived laws of nature. However, induction relies on an unjustified assumption that the world tomorrow will be like the world yesterday, called the principle of the uniformity of nature; or it relies on a sort of “jump” to a conclusion, called an inductive inference. Still, Hume supported the use of induction. Although his skeptical argument cannot be refuted, even professed skeptics have to use induction and sense-experience in their day-to-day lives.

Karl Popper later challenged some of Hume’s ideas on the problem of induction. For Popper, there is no such thing as an inductive inference, and science does not rely on it—the idea that science does is an illusion. The actual process is one of trial and error where the basic units of analysis are not facts but theories. That is, we propose a conjecture to explain many different facts and then test the facts against the conjecture in order to falsify it. Since Popper agrees that inductive reasoning is faulty, he states that no number of failed attempts to falsify a theory will allow us to conclude that the theory is true; scientific knowledge can only be falsified, not confirmed. Popper believed that a theory was unscientific when it was unfalsifiable or when it required ad hoc additions in order to protect it from falsifying evidence.

However, other philosophers challenged the idea that science did not rely on ad hoc modifications of theories. In the philosophy of science, the Duhem-Quine thesis states that it is impossible to test a theory in isolation, because each test requires several background assumptions, sometimes known as “auxiliary hypotheses.” This means that evidence that falsifies a given theory won’t necessarily falsify it if one or more of the auxiliary hypotheses change. For example, if we suddenly observed a particle moving faster than the speed of light, we would not necessarily be justified in believing that relativity is then false. Rather, we would (in an ad hoc manner) check the conditions of the experiment, see if all the wires and machines were working correctly, and so on. In other words, we can never be sure that the exact theory we are testing is responsible for the empirical discrepancy or if the many auxiliary hypotheses are responsible. This means that no theory can be falsified. The unit of analysis is larger than that.

One proposed unit of analysis was suggested by Thomas Kuhn in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn described two periods of science: the normal period and the revolutionary period. In normal periods, scientific achievements are made against a background of basic assumptions, theories, laws, instrumentation, etc. The findings of scientists during this time are promoted because they provide solutions to various “puzzles” produced by the basic assumptions, and oftentimes challenges to the basic assumptions are ignored or dealt with through ad hoc modifications. As these anomalies accumulate and the paradigm is weakened, new paradigms might become dominant and provide the basis for a renewed period of normal science. This suggests, for example, that scientists might have been justified in initially rejecting Galileo’s theory of heliocentrism, since one empirical discrepancy (or even a handful) has never been enough to discredit a theory or whole group of theories.

There are many other issues in the philosophy of science that are relevant to this conversation. However, it would probably be fruitless to go over the history of the philosophy of science in this essay, and I am not interested in restating all the problems anyway. Still, the above examples illustrate some central points that refute or complexify Gorrion’s analysis. For example, even though each of the above-mentioned issues present profound problems to scientific reasoning, every one of the thinkers who articulated the problems continued to espouse the scientific worldview. Furthermore, the endeavor of science is nowadays recognized by a substantial number of scientists as much more complex than Gorrion suggests. For instance, he criticizes “Science” for not accepting “Gaia theory, the Kropotkian view of evolution, [and] the Reclusion theorizations in geography,” even though the ideas have been “validated by the empirical method.” Apart from the fact that at least two of those examples have very real issues in the matters of empirical evidence and theoretical ambiguity,1 the concepts of paradigms and underdetermination help explain why the theories have not been widely accepted in the scientific community. These concepts also directly refute Gorrion’s statement that “believers in Science will generally assert that Science itself is nothing more than empiricism.”

III.

By now it should be clear that Gorrion fails to critique scientific thinking as a whole. Instead, he only critiques, at worst, various stereotypes about science and, at best, some ideas within science. Either way, his critique is insufficient for his wildly audacious conclusion that we should dispose of science wholesale.

But Gorrion was correct in saying that science is not only the empirical method. What more is there, then? One philosopher, Imre Lakatos, proposed a characterization of science that blended the ideas of Kuhn and Popper. Lakatos agreed with Kuhn that no single predictive discrepancy has ever justified disposing of a theory. Rather than theories being units of analysis, whole sets of theories which formed “research programs” (similar to Kuhn’s “paradigms”) are the basic unit of analysis in science. Research programs have a “hard core” of theoretical assumptions that, if changed, would require the dismissal of the entire program. Conceptually, we might imagine that around the hard core is a “protective belt” of less important theories—auxiliary hypotheses. These might be altered or disposed of, and they may even be ad hoc. The way to analyze two research programs is to compare their predictive power and their explanatory power. If a research program gains explanatory power from the addition of ad hoc hypotheses, it is what Lakatos calls “progressive.” However, if the protective belt grows without increasing the research program’s predictive and explanatory power, the program is “degenerative,” and susceptible to disposal for another program.

There is one other caveat: even if a research program is “degenerative,” we are not justified in disposing it without a better program (one with more explanatory power) to replace it. Otherwise, disposing of the degenerative research program leaves us with a weakened ability to demystify the world around us.

One example of a research program is Marvin Harris’ cultural materialism. In his book, Cultural Materialism: The Quest for a Science of Culture (which provides a very good overview of the main problems in the philosophy of science, much better than one I have given), Harris outlines some of the “first principles” of the cultural materialist research program, including positivism, materialism, and an epistemological distinction between the observer and observed. Under the cultural materialist program (Harris calls it a “research strategy”), all societies have three components: the infrastructure, which includes technological, geographic, demographic, and some economic factors; the structure, which includes the division of labor, organizations, and the state; and the superstructure, which includes religion, science, superstitions, and so on. There is also a notion of “infrastructural determinism,” which states that the infrastructure probabilistically shapes the structure, which shapes the superstructure. Under Lakatos’ and Harris’ logic, one is justified in looking at a society and assuming, before getting any empirical evidence, that the infrastructure is the primary reason the society is the way it is. And this sort of willful recognition of “theory-ladenness,” or the idea that theory affects evidence, has not hampered the predictive and explanatory power of cultural materialism at all. On the contrary, it is one of the anthropological theories that has done the best to explain, for example, the transition from hunter-gatherer life to agricultural life.

Such an approach includes far more than the empirical method, and there is no name for it other than “science.” I am not convinced that we can dispose of it.

For one thing, even if this approach has some real problems, the alternatives are even worse. Mysticism, religion, and various forms of obscurantism have been the primary tools of the powerful seeking to justify their power. Science—logic, reason, empirical evidence—has been the tool that has cut off the legs of those beasts. Science is what allows us to demystify power relations and the world around us so that we can properly respond. Otherwise, we are left making decisions that do not, for example, acknowledge evolutionary processes, economic trends, sociological tendencies, and human nature. This is as absurd as making decisions without acknowledging the laws of gravity. Worse, we are left not believing in the laws of gravity because a monarch or tradition or “divine revelation” has told us so.

Some have argued that science only justifies the prevailing order. Gorrion, for example, might cite the medical industry’s tendency to influence “scientific” studies in order to boost their profits. But the problem here is a lack of science, not too much of it. Furthermore, scientific findings on ecological devastation and climate change have presented a profound challenge to the prevailing industrial order. It is the religionists and their obscurantism who are promoting the greatness of industry and glossing over its negative consequences with climate change denial.

In the face of growing ecological devastation, I am not ready to dispose of science for some unclear or worse alternative. What is needed now is a group of people who are dedicated to cutting through bullshit with the strongest tools they have and responding appropriately. Falling into mysticism or relativism, as some “radicals” have proposed, might feel good, but it makes our analysis impotent—a dangerous thing when the situation we are facing is so dire.

IV.

Gorrion was right to be critical of technocratic structures and of scientific progress, but, as with most of his other points, his argument could have been much stronger, which I hope to illustrate.

First, though, a point of clarification. Previously I mentioned the tendency of critiques of science to mix up the multiple meanings of the word and, as a result, to end up disposing of one meaning in the name of arguments against another. Gorrion does this. He rightly criticizes the structures of academic and scientific communities but, in calling it “science,” counts his argument as strengthening his justification for rejecting scientific thinking. Probably a more careful writer could use the term “science” to refer to both things while retaining a nuanced differentiation. But given the complexity of the issue, the need to communicate it in simple terms to many people, and its vital importance for a revolutionary ecological analysis, I prefer the phrase “technocratic structures,” which calls attention to the real problem: the industrial-technological base and economics. For is it really scientific thought that necessitates the vastness of contemporary scientific practice—scientific thought that could be practiced equally well by any pre-industrial community? Probably not.

In fact, several thinkers believe that even hunter-gatherers practiced scientific thought. The best account of this hypothesis in English has been presented by Louis Liebenberg in his book The Origin of Science. Liebenberg began his exploration with the question, “How did the human mind evolve the ability to do scientific reasoning if scientific reasoning was not required for hunter-gather[er] survival?” He ultimately posited that the evolutionary origin of scientific thought could have stemmed from the hunter-gatherer practice of tracking animals. See "Tracking Science: The Origin of Scientific Thinking in Our Paleolithic Ancestors" by Louis Liebenberg and “El rastro de las huellas” by Rolf Degen.

In other words, a much more likely culprit for the problems Gorrion writes about—and many he didn’t—is the industrial-technological and economic infrastructure that expands everything, including scientific exploration, into a mass that our Stone Age world doesn’t quite jive with.

Some examples. Gorrion notes that the scientific body of knowledge is so vast that no one individual could understand a tenth of it. This, by consequence, necessitates both the need for experts and, in fields the experts do not specialize in, a flattened, “pop” form of science. All of this is not an inevitable consequence of thinking scientifically. Rather, if our society is larger and more complex, by necessity we will have to know more things in order to operate its various components; we will have to know more specific and technical things, since small errors have huge repercussions when magnified; and we will have to universalize the knowledge in some way so that there can be communication across different groups of people. In To Our Friends, The Invisible Committee explains this issue well:

…[Man] continues relating in the same disastrous manner to the disaster produced by his own disastrous relationship with the world. He calculates the rate at which the ice pack is disappearing. He measures the extermination of non-human forms of life. As to climate change, he doesn’t talk about it based on his sensible experience—a bird that doesn’t return in the same period of the year, an insect whose sounds aren’t heard anymore, a plant that no longer flowers at the same time as some other one. He talks about it scientifically, with numbers and averages. He thinks he’s saying something when he establishes that the temperature will rise so many degrees and the precipitation will decrease by so many inches or millimeters. He even speaks of “biodiversity.” He observes the rarification of life on earth from space. (To Our Friends, Invisible Committee, chapter 1.)

I have not read To Our Friends—this quote was given to me by a colleague—so I don’t know where the committee took their argument. But regardless, it stood out to me as a perfect example of what I am trying to communicate here. The “sensible experience” mentioned in the quote—such as “an insect whose sounds aren’t heard anymore”—are all perfectly valid as scientific evidence. Indeed, it was that kind of evidence that Darwin used to devise his elegant theory of evolution. But the problems of the modern world to which scientific thought must be applied require more precise and massive knowledge. For example, applying scientific reasoning to contemporary economic systems—for conventional or revolutionary purposes—requires the use of higher order mathematics and abstract numerical evidence. The sounds of grasshoppers aren’t going to be helpful for that at all.

Granted, a good deal of the “required” knowledge is required by industry, not individuals or small groups. The preciseness of the IPCC report on climate change was not only to accent the gravity of the situation; many of the precise calculations were intended for industrial organizations, economic structures, and governments to have tools to deal with this complex problem and the effects it might have on them and their interests. But again, what does this have to do with rejecting scientific thought? The culprit here is economics and technology.

Some scientists and left-wing critics have expressed support for this view. Specifically, they say that capitalist economics have structured research funding and grants in such a way that severely undermines the integrity of scientific findings.2 The medical industry is a particularly egregious example.3 Given that the leftist Gorrion is such a strong enemy of capitalism, it is rather unfortunate that he gave up a nuanced argument against the intrusion of capitalism on scientific exploration for the flat, hollow one that denounces science wholesale.

While I appreciate Gorrion’s argument about pop science being an intrinsic part of contemporary scientific knowledge, he overstates his point. It is true that no one person can know even a tenth of contemporary science. But, firstly, this is not a problem to a certain extent, or it is at least an unavoidable one. In most societies there exists a body of knowledge that no one person can properly understand in full. Secondly, technologies very often offset this weakness. Granted, the critiques of technocratic structures apply here. However, the presence of these technologies and structures do enable scientists to overcome the pitfalls of specialization. Computers, libraries, and so on store large amounts of knowledge and allow for coordination at a massive scale. And obviously one expert deficient in a field can always defer to another expert. The point here is not that this is a desirable state of things, but that Gorrion needs to at least tone down his claim that scientists are unjustified in being miffed about “pop science,” or that it is a problem that scientists only know a small part of what there is to know.

We would also do well here to examine how absurd Gorrion’s actual critique is. His exact words are:

Just as Cartesian dualism remains embedded in Enlightenment rationalism, the Cartesian geometry of flat planes and right angles remains integral to the scientific worldview, even though it has been invalidated by the principle of relativity (whereas the determinism of classical science up to and including general relativity has been contradicted by the uncertainty of quantum mechanics). If space itself is not a neutral, static phenomenon, something as stable and happy as a square or a triangle can be nothing but an illusion or a convenient lie. (This is a part of Science’s mythical simplification, elements of the worldview that it cannot actually defend, but that it nonetheless perpetuates, through mechanisms that will be dishonestly chalked up to “pop science” if ever called to account.)

This is absurd. No scientist would call Newtonian notions of space and time “pop science.” They might clarify in reference to certain problems or if the discussion called for it, but for the most part Newtonian conceptions are an extremely accurate approximation of how the world actually works. Calling them a “convenient lie” is like saying “the earth is a sphere” is a lie because it has mountains—although, judging from the above quote, Gorrion might commit himself to that claim as well.

V.

I’ve up until now responded to Gorrion’s article by giving him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve glossed over some of his more absurd claims, I’ve mostly ignored asking for evidence where it was sorely lacking, and I’ve carefully avoided the charge of “postmodern relativism,” which even the postmodern relativists have learned to reject. However, there are good reasons to believe that Gorrion deserves no such treatment. Let’s investigate a few.

First, Gorrion espouses the Gaia hypothesis as being a valid scientific hypothesis that has been rejected by the conspiratorial “priests of Science” as heresy. In reality, Gaia hypothesis is really, really bad science. It proposes a complete redefinition of the concept of “life” and, at best, functions as a teleological metaphor for things the theory of evolution already explains well and better. As a result Gaia is generally only accepted by woo woo hippies—but it seems like Gorrion has no problem with this. Several things indicate he is firmly in the woo woo camp. For example, he states:

In our own lifetimes, acupuncture has gone from a treatment that was ignored or ridiculed in the West, to one that has been confirmed as effective by scientific studies. This reaction belies the hypocrisy and also the implicit racism of empiricist mythology, as acupuncture is based on thousands of years of observation and testing, only it wasn’t bearded white men who were in charge, so it clearly doesn’t count. And despite its proven effectiveness, acupuncture is still belittled or dismissed, providing more evidence of the cultural supremacy (an important component of any religion) implicit in Science.

Given we’re taking Gorrion seriously here, I must demand to see these “scientific studies” that support acupuncture as a valid form of treatment, especially since the vast majority of studies conclude that acupuncture is a placebo.4 But probably we shouldn’t take Gorrion seriously. For one thing, he says that there is “implicit racism” in the “empiricist mythology,” even though he stated earlier that he does not reject empiricism, only science. Furthermore, isn’t it incoherent to argue for acupuncture because it is scientifically valid when your larger argument is a polemic against science?

Perhaps the most egregious example of eyeroll inducing woo woo is Gorrion’s invocation of “quantum mechanics”—a favorite of New Agers everywhere.5 Honestly, they must find it irresistible. Somehow it proves every mystical assertion ever made and disproves the modern science that discovered it. Well—maybe science discovered it. According to Gorrion, Buddhists invented quantum mechanics “well over a thousand years” before modern science. I just wonder where they got the lasers for the double-slit experiment.

VI.

I haven’t responded to everything in Gorrion’s critique for practical reasons, but I will explain why I didn’t address three of them here.

First, I haven’t acknowledged Gorrion’s idea that modern scientific and academic structures stem from Christianity. This is because I don’t have enough historical knowledge to challenge or verify this claim and, more to the point, because he uses the comparison mostly rhetorically. Unless Gorrion is relying on the fallacy of origins (X is bad because it came from bad thing Y), his comparison only grants strength to his argument insofar as it reveals negative impacts of technocratic structure that would otherwise be unclear without a more vulgar manifestation.

Secondly, I didn’t address Gorrion’s problems with objectivity. This is partially because section II covers much of the territory, but also because Gorrion clearly does not have a coherent definition of the term, and it would take another full essay to complexify and respond to his analysis. Generally, he has two ideas of what objectivity means: a value that scientists strive for and a metaphysical assertion about reality (i.e., that there is an objective reality). The former is properly explored—and to an extent argued for—in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s section on “Scientific Objectivity.” The latter is investigated by Alan Sokal in his “Defense of a Modest Scientific Realism.” (I also recommend reading Sokal’s other writings, including the hoax paper he sent to a cultural studies journal in response to the rise of relativism in academia.)

Finally, I have not addressed Gorrion’s criticisms of the myth of progress. This is because I mostly agree with Gorrion and because the topic is important enough to deserve something more dignified than a few paragraphs within a response essay.

VII.

I have spent this whole essay defending scientific thought and pointing out the absurdity of many aspects of Gorrion’s critique. But Gorrion’s views are not particularly far off from the anti-science populism that is likely to become more common in the future. Scientists and engineers are going to become discernibly more influential on the world around us. Already there are hundreds of scientists on Wall Street and many working behind the scenes at Facebook and Google. Just as the twentieth century’s populism targeted politicians, so the twenty-first century’s populism will target scientists and technologies, and science along with them. Despite this, clearly the revolutionary should not dispose of scientific thought. After all, his role is to demystify a situation and find the proper target. What better tool for this than science?

  1. Kropotkin’s general idea from his book Mutual Aid—that cooperation is a factor in evolution—has long been accepted by evolutionary biologists. The concept in evolution is even called “mutualism”! However, Kropotkin’s book is justifiably rejected. His anarchist ideology clearly biased his work, his evidence and examples were not very good, and his understanding of Darwin’s ideas was lacking.

    On the other hand, Gaia theory has not been accepted by biologists and ecologists because even its general idea still has some real problems. It is teleological, tries to metaphorically explain many of the things evolutionary theory already explains, and better, and it argues for natural selection on a planetary level. See “Is Nature Really Motherly” by W. Ford Doolittle and “Kropotkin Was No Crackpot” by Stephen Jay Gould.

  2. See “The degradation of science under capitalism” by Adam Booth, and “Science in the Private Interest: Has the Lure of Profits Corrupted Biomedical Research?” by Sheldon Krimsky. Also note how the rise of relativistism in medical science jives nicely with industrial interests, as illustrated in the paper “The myth of objectivity: is medicine moving towards a social constructivist medical paradigm?” by Hamish J. Wilson.

  3. Dr. John Ioannidis has shown that “much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong.” See “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science” by David H. Freedman.

  4. See “A Review of the Evidence for the Existence of Acupuncture Points and Meridians” by David W. Ramey; “Does Acupuncture Work for Pain?” by Paul Ingraham; and “Do certain countries produce only positive results? A systematic review of controlled trials” by A. Vickers et al.

  5. See “Far Out, Man. But Is It Quantum Physics?” by Dennis Overby and “Quantum and Consciousness Often Mean Nonsense” by Matthew R. Francis.

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Comments

This is really excellent.

"I have not read To Our Friends—this quote was given to me by a colleague—so I don’t know where the committee took their argument. But regardless, it stood out to me as a perfect example of what I am trying to communicate here."

Srsly? Check please!

Right on. When I first encountered Gorrion's piece of shit essay I considered writing a response but quickly realized I couldn't waste any more time reading the thing than I already had.

I'm a science worker/student and I criticize the culture of science relentlessly (both historical and contemporary). So (perhaps out of masochism, at this point) I sort of seek out science critique essays by anarchists and critical theorists. Yet typically I just find myself amazed at how badly these writers miss the mark and reveal deep ignorance of the subject they're attempting to criticize. Maybe this is best exhibited by Gorrion's cringe-worthy misunderstanding of the observer effect.

I also found it quite amusing that Gorrion attacks science for being something of a religious doctrine, yet his tone throughout the text eerily echoes a certain pompous asshole priest of my youth, who would deliver horrendous polemics to us stupid children, on how the world really works. But hey, that's just kind of a signature style of contemporary anarchist writing, especially the incessant seepage of excrement flowing out of Aragorn's cadre.

Could you please suggest better critiques?

Your just like priests of the past who criticized the culture of the church(both historical and contemporary). Anyone who dared reject Xianity and the church as such would probably also be seen ignorant of scripture.

Science is a religious doctrine, and you're just a little cog who's given himself a longer leash working within its authority.

This might be asking a bit much for an @news comment (and I imagine it won't take long for someone to jump in and start calling you a fascist or whatevs), but - as a person who disagrees with the statement "science is a religious doctrine" - I am wondering why you say that it is?

I didn't read this article yet, but I read far enough to see the author note that Alex Gorrion is actually talking about at least three things when he critiques science, none of which are exactly the same. So I feel like saying "science is a religious doctrine" is kind of equivalent to saying "politics is a philosophical doctrine" or "nihilism is an activist doctrine". Similarly meaningless.

Fuck off you sad little troll, you know less than nothing about me.

You've proved me wrong, Jacobi. This might be the first good essay that you've ever put out. Congratulations, and definitely keep up the great work.

On a side note though, why does @news keep publishing your stuff? I thought that you and your compadres had split from anarchist milieus for good this time, with all the name changes that FC has gone through since last September.

Thanks, Ed. I don't know why @news publishes my stuff, but I submit the stuff I think is relevant sometimes. This one seemed relevant because it was a response to an anarchist. But you're right, we're completely detached from the anarchist movement now, forming a separate milieu. Unfortunately that seems to be the only way to be effective, even if it feels like starting from square one sometimes.

(For the record, I still think "primitivism" without the "anarcho-" would have been an adequate label. But I'm not the only one forming this new milieu, and others wanted a name that wasn't as connected to leftist tendencies. That's pretty justifiable, I guess.)

There's being detached from the anarchist milieu, and then there's not being an anarchist. You might not be the former, if you are posting in the comments section on this website. You might be the latter if, for example, you endorse capitalism or the state. If you oppose them, and you don't endorse some new hierarchy, you're basically anarchist, whether you post in the comments or not here. Not really sure what's wrong with admitting such a thing. Or are you in favor of some kind of hierarchy or form of domination? If you are, you should probably spell that out.

"forming a new milieu" sounds pretty much like some form of domination to me.

"effective?"

#NotAllScientistsAreLikeThat

This is essentially what this excuse of a response boils down to. Not all Marxists are like that either. Fraid I don't take these kinds of rebuttals seriously that use that method of argumentation. What ultimately makes science science is its corresponding 'actually existing' practice. Minority tendencies don't get to say 'wait a minute'. Again I will use the example of Camatte and negligible effect he had on 'actually existing' Marxism.

As to acupuncture, do a fucking pubmed search you idiot. It's astonishing to me seeing these proscience retards claim lacking evidence when the evidence is a pubmed search away. Here you go dummies.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=acupuncture

Also Darwinian evolution is just as much a metaphor(and a bad one at that with the same lacking evidence) for creation as Gaia theory is. And don't even get me started on the Big Bang.

I think we all wait with baited breadth to hear your opinions on inflationary theory and measurements of the Hubble Parameter.

I and others will wait with baited breath for actual hard evidence of Lemaitre's little theory which was nothing more then an adjunct of Genesis reformulated for the church of science.

Mathematically modeled inferences are not acceptable to me:)

it's "bated"

▸ adjective: held back ("We watched the daring feats of the acrobats with bated breath")
▸ adjective: diminished or moderated ("Our bated enthusiasm")

Sounds better then the big bang. You can't go wrong when you integrate David Bohm into your work.

To me, the big bang theory of universal origin is a reification of the Western Xtian millenarian eschatological belief structure. Its linear and vague materialistic propositions I generally throw into the mechanistic mythological waste basket, I've acquired more peace of mind from accepting intuitive autonomous spiritualist belief frameworks from folk who don't know basic maths. After about 10 counting fingers, excess or surplus is the usual descriptive word amongst indigenous people, you know, their whole mindset isn't obsessed about accumulation or profit, they are naturally non-capitalists.

Yeah well Engels should have noted the significance of spiritual mythology within the primitive societies he studied as a sociologist in the 19th century, and been unbiased rather than smothered by the romantic noble savage primal PC rhetoric of the era. Marx was equally inept in distinguishing fact from fiction!

Wow "science proves science wrong" you are a fucking idiot! Do you even know how the scientific method works?

#SomePeopleAreFuckedUp

This is essentially what your criticism of science boils down to once you've made it clear that you do realize some scientists (and therefore Science) have already been where you're trying to go. Yes, we all know that there's people out there who will use any idea in ways that reinforce their own power and foolishness. This hasn't been news to anyone for about the last 250,000 years. We're glad you're finally catching on, though.

Now take the next step:

There is no idea not susceptible to that kind of abuse.

We have to look at reality not not logical rules of some and all when it comes to science. The reality is that science does have particular function that is interconnected with the state. There were breakaway priests that were not as crude and orthodox as churchly authority, they did not effect the fundamental structure of the church and its relationship with the state. Science is no different.

And if you're really lucky, fighting science will have just about as much of an effect on the power of the state as fighting the church had. Don't you see that the ideas that support authority are totally irrelevant? Anything will do and if science loses favor something else will take its place just as easily. Time for anarchists to give up these distractions like religion and science and go straight to the source, which has never even tried to hide itself.

I'm not interested in attacking or kneecapping scientists. The state itself is also not something to be attacked or resisted as it stems from from belief systems. I undermine belief systems and science is but one of a number of spooks with built up currency to be defaced.

Sir Einzige, I've seen you refer elsewhere to "backyard anarchy" as the way out of civilization, which seems to dovetail here with your reference to undermining belief systems. I've also seen you reject almost all of what is typically considered anarchist "attack" as mere ritual violence - do you imagine the possibility of some kind of mass dropout via the cessation of belief systems, reification, language, ritual activity, et al?

Are I think the best thing you can hope for. Mass cessation and dropping out are certain part of it. I also think that while civilization will probably still be around till my departure from this existence, perhaps there can be some areas that are a little more naked scaled and interesting then the others. I think there is some potential in bioregionalism and the 'indigenous' anarchic models.

The only thing that will end history will be some tragic resetting event which I'm not exactly counting on. Peak oil will make for an interesting future(which may not be as bad as some people think). I think anarchy's best approach is to see itself as life and activity in a similar vain to something like Zen. There can be violent Novatore types, playful experimenters like Armand, or apolitical spiritualists. The point is to find creative ways of maneuvering around, and passing the time in, history and civilization.

There's roughly been two branches of anarchic ideas after Godwin, the political-economic branch starting with Proudhon, and the apolitical non economic branch of Stirner. The latter gives you better ideas to work with in my view. The former at best culminates with the likes of Bob Black and others who essentially come to the same conclusions as the latter. The idea of antagonism and resistance which is still supported by many anarchists, including post leftist types, is a residue from the political-economic branch which thinks in terms of binaries. For me fleeing and creative avoidance makes more sense then antagonistic attacking and resilience makes more sense then resistance. Position based struggle is the stuff of ideologues and Hitler as I said in another thread.

Overall yes, there is a lot of things anarchist that I reject that have their roots in the flawed political-economic materialist branch of discourse.

What is a parallel anarchic structure? Are there existing structures and if you could create such a structure, what might it do? What sort of cohesion would make want or need for a structure?

Remember that in the past, it started with the student movement. The student movement typically infects the peasant and workers' towards making some sort of movement, first peasant uprisings then later, workers' revolutions. These types of things typically gain permanence through what I think you are calling parallel structures as the students got older. Many wanted to try business or collective living experiments.

These things are part of the left on many levels. Your proposals offer nothing new, but are rather a throwback to defensive, repression survival behavior already practiced the world over by the left. By abusing individualist and populist narratives, your fascism is attempting to remake the wheel of the right. Your audience is not anarchists, but rather confused populists. You make it okay to be a patriarch and a racist. You demand nothing more than the ability for sexual predators, especially child sex abusers and rapists to be tolerated in your new order. Please consider your critics views rather than dismissing them as you always do as you might be a smarty pants that can get along with egoists and individualist anarchists, but your ideas are not their ideas. If you were to have your way, people would be in secret societies of hunters that rape their new members anally as initiation. A cult of fake "ego unions" groups which twist the meaning of some dumb school teacher's ideas to justify child rape cults. I hate you.

Do I have to really explain to you what parallel anarchic structures are? It's basically a big part of the history of anarchism. Think Home or any off the grid existence as examples.

What the fuck do students have to do with this?

There are many old things under the sun, your point is mute. The old proposals I speak of happen to have the best record for anarchic orientation. The left is a political/economic framework that works within and not parallel to power. Survival and subsistence happen to be the point of physical existence. The rest of your post is incoherent leftist rubbish.

"Do I have to really explain to you what parallel anarchic structures are?"

Let's see: a google search turns back only this page and references to this page. So it's jargon that you invented and no one else seems to use. Yes, I would say that you have to explain it, if you want people to understand you. If you're just trying to sound smart by inventing jargon off the cuff, by all the means, don't explain, but if you're trying to communicate with people, you need to explain.

You need one if you have to google search for something as simple as this you brain drained dumbass.

OK, so we're clear that you're more focused on sounding smart by using invented jargon to refer to simple concepts that could be expressed in common language, and not interested in actually communicating your ideas, and you act defensive and desperate when asked to explain yourself because you probably can't, and definitely don't have to in your crappy subcultural that favors and rewards smug dismissal.

I already communicated these things 3 posts back. It's not exactly pomo Parisian. I'm not going to dumb it down and type in slow far spaces for the intellectually retarded.

I'll bet the likes of Leway, emile, biceps and Gunter understand what I'm saying perfectly. That you don't reflects on your own comprehension skills or lack thereof.

Oh man, four other spouters of bullshit "comprehend" your bullshit. Congrats.

How can you even take this guy serious, Bellamy? I mean come ooon...

He's only one notch less stupid than the pro-apathy trolls like Biceps Critic. The commenter above SE was the one deserving attention, as indeed our problem isn't of attacking the State -especially its power structure- too much, but indeed enough not "sticking it to The Man" as we are wasting time and energies on base-level conflicts with armies of paid brutes that are exactly there to take hits and hit us even more. For an instance, go see what "anarchists" in Switzerland do these days, for all the super-almighty world-class capitalists hanging out there in broad daylight...

But sure, yeah, (I ain't telling that in response to you directly, Bellamy) let's keep folding back in our garden of personal Zen where we are free to burn stuff or fuck outside and make a plethora of other whateverisms that make us feel more "free" within our cages. The invisible walls are the toughest to break, this self-absorbed masturbatory MDMA personal revolution is the type of stuff that only reinforces these.

Unfortunately, you don't do a very good job of undermining anything since nobody takes your juvenile act seriously.

Maybe if you had the insight to see that your own belief systems are ripe for some undermining, too, you'd be worth listening to.

But then you wouldn't be a ridiculous clown and that's pretty hard to imagine.

Thank you for your brave choice to keep equating people you disrespect with mentally disabled people. Promulgating loathing for those society deems useless is a brave critical choice on your way to scoring debate points in the comment boards of an obscure American anarchist website.

I don't read "further study is merited" as a tacit endorsement of acupuncture as treatment for any disease. But maybe I'm just a shill for big pharma, eh?

I presume you're addressing the acupuncture part of my post. Further study is usually merited in a lot of studies. You will quite commonly come across that kind of language which is on the side of parsimony and conservationism and against overly positive claims.

There are many prevailing theories today which merited further study back when they were in the hypothesis stage. HIV=AIDS comes to mind. Instead of further study you got a media spectacle doing the opposite. Further study is par for the course as regards to good parsimonious science.

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1357513

Is a meta-analysis study with positive results for acupuncture. There are plenty of studies showing that acupuncture is effective. There are plenty that say it's not.

There are various reasons as to why it's challenging to do proper "scientific" studies about acupuncture, but I personally have experienced and have seen a very large amount of anecdotal evidence that it works. (uh oh- "anecdotal" guess that doesn't count then)

#NotAllEgoistsAreLikeThat

Do you really want to play the "actually existing" game? Because it's easy to string together loose associations and bad arguments like Gorrion did about ANYTHING. Should we define Egoism by the advocates to be found around the world or how that term gets used by FOXnews reporters? Or should we define it from a philosophical perspective and write off most of the numbskulls shouting "might makes right"?

Shitheads like you are destroying all cogent language just to play a sort of team sports on the internet. "THOSE people aren't like US!" You're indistinguishable from the identity politicians.

Isn't an elective position. Also I don't refer to myself as an egoist.

You're not an egoist. You are a fascist

What are you talking about?

Here is more about the origin of science in the art of animal tracking:

The Albert Einstein in Fred Flintstone
https://plus.google.com/101046916407340625977/posts/AEmXeeBuQYP

Thanks for the info, Rolf. I enjoyed your article very much.

Bas Von Fraassen is sad that he didn't make the cut for this essay.

It is unfortunate indeed that most anarchist critiques of science (I disagree with other posters here and feel that this critique is very relevant, as it cuts at the ideas of objective progress and epistemic optimism that undergird cultural hegemony) involve just attaching menacing capital letters to words - the cult of Reason!!!

science isnt anarchy cause its about observing and analyzing reality. anarchists only become scientists when they have done all they could for the day

I wont nothing to do with a society which cannot produce a Korg AX3g special effects audio device so that I can have license to produce creative paradigm shifting aesthetic notations on my guitar!

Data of any kind is subjected to entropy eventually! Knowledge foundations are temporary refuges from ignorance, pain and suffering are a separate constant guarantee which spurs one on to seek solutions, but the cure itself is ephemeral, it has no real significance. And so it is with science, the father of obsolescence and overpopulation, a guaranteed non-sustainable system of thought, the mindset which exploded the idea of humanity and de-evolution and replaced it with humanism and democratic military space travel. Only the scientifically ignorant peasant can save us from our excesses, so that we can choose the aesthetically creative tools which science offers to us occasionally.

Giiit ouuta heeeoouiaagghhhh

Do you people here with a brain of their own actually realize how worthless it is to even discuss how the Big Bang theory is a religious reification of the Genesis myth, or how it was logically and scientifically challenged? Now let's talk about the gender of the angels -or the soil composition on some planet a few light years away- for a few more pages... The insurrection and offensive solidarity can wait, there's deeper matters to settle now!

Well, it sounds like you just don't want to question it at all. The theory was first proposed, in fact, by a Christian priest. And maybe this matters to people, since this is an article about science.

Here's a good, pretty short video on the subject though, entitled "Science, Religion, and the Big Bang": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3MWRvLndzs

No, I just think there's this unhealthy tendency here of producing cascades of comments over subject matters that are disconnected from the needs and emergency of what we're living in NA these days as if those commenters were brains in vats, or perhaps some trendy bougies who don't have any more pressing matters in life than the real color of the Sun, or the relationships between Zoroastrianism and Chrisitanisty or whatever. I mena, those things make good discussions at meet-ups or in a damn car, but...

those who believe philosophical investigations are "fiddling while Rome burns" and that we need to get on with solving the pressing problems of real life, ... implicitly assume that 'what is real' to them is unquestionably 'truly real'.

in Western belief, the binary split of offender and victim are taken to be 'real'. therefore, in solving 'the pressing problems of real life' such as 'social conflict', moral judgement is used to decide 'who is the offender and who the victim', after which Western retributive justice proceeds with punishing the offender so as to discourage repetitions of offensive actions.

as we know, people often have conflicting views on who is the offender and who the victim. colonizers are always putting down rebellions of the people they have colonized, insisting that injuries done to them [the colonizing regimes and their supporters] by rebellious action from those being 'kept down' are the 'victims', and the rebels, the 'offenders'.

science and morality come to the support of the colonizers on this issue. in science, support comes by way of the assumption built into science that 'the present depends only on the immediate past' [this is also the defining premise of different calculus and differential equations which play a foundational role in science and its interpolations into the future and past ('the big bang' etc.)].

this assumption, which localizes the source of physical phenomena within an absolute space and absolute time reference frame for the convenience of simplifying the mathematical-logical formulating of scientific theory, gives notional 'meaning' to an isolated action-in-itself (the 'difference'). meanwhile, the meaning of an action in itself, where it is out of the context of the progressive development of the phenomenon, is purely subjective; i.e. if we admit to the source of the action deriving from rising colonizer-colonized relational tensions that eventually reach a threshold where the spring-loading is violently discharged [rebel action], as in earthquake phenomena and other 'self-organized criticality' which is the general case in nature, but which is too complex for the standard modeling/representational paradigm of science which works on the simplified basis of 'the present depends only on the immediate past'.

an action in itself, a rape, a murder, a rebel assassination has no meaning out of the context of the progressive development of the phenomenon. what kind of life experience within the relational social dynamic leads people to rape, kill, rebel etc? that is of no importance to the dynamic duo of science and moral judgement, because these operate on the basis of 'actions-in-themselves'; e.g. 'good actions' and 'bad actions', ignoring the real authoring source of the actions [the progressive development of the phenomena as in the buildup of relational social tensions]. philosophers investigating this intellectual practice of imputing meaning to isolated 'action' point to its inherent subjectivity;

" “How false is the supposition that an action must depend upon what has preceded it in consciousness ! And morality has been measured in the light of this supposition, as also criminality. . . . The value of an action must be judged by its results, say the utilitarians: to measure it according to its origin involves the impossibility of knowing that origin. But do we know its results ? Five stages ahead, perhaps. Who can tell what an action provokes and sets in motion ? As a stimulus ? As the spark which fires a powder-magazine ? Utilitarians are simpletons —“
.
“The re-establishment of “Nature”: an action in itself is quite devoid of value ; the whole question is this: who performed it? One and the same ” crime ” may, in one case, be the greatest privilege, in the other infamy. As a matter of fact, it is the selfishness of the judges which interprets an action (in regard to its author) according as to whether it was useful or harmful to themselves (or in relation to its degree of likeness or unlikeness to them).”— Nietzsche on ‘Morality’ and ‘Herd Behaviour’ in ‘The Will to Power’

in other words, don't expect those people who have been 'colonizing' the world, either through the political device of the 'sovereign state' or through the economic device of the 'corporate empire', to open the door to philosophical investigations that question colonial/capitalist assumptions that underlie what we take to be 'real', because science's legitimizing of the concept of an 'isolated action' and moral judgement of isolated actions are holding the Western mythical reality together.

so long as people continue to confuse the findings of science and morality for 'reality' [such pseudo-reality is, as Mach notes,"intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought"], the "pressing problems of real life" can only get worse. in other words, when we look out through the lenses of science and morality, the world we see is not 'the real world', ... it is a crude RE-presentation based on shifting the authoring source of dynamics from 'relations' to 'reified relational forms that author 'actions' which are localized in space and time'.

Western colonial/capitalist society's use of the lenses of science and morality to construct an ersatz 'reality' as the basis for identifying and dealing with 'the pressing problems of real life', has us all 'tilting at windmills' in true Quixotic fashion [we tilt at phantoms of our own creation; e.g. rebels produced by our colonizing approach to 'community development'].

you speak of putting into precedence over philosophical investigation, in our focus and actions;

"the needs and emergency of what we're living in NA these days"

in your interpretation of 'needs and emergency', might these be in any way based on 'science and morality' rather than the physical reality of our natural experience?

Is the vat what your brain is the physical reality that your brain is based on? What day was yesterday?

Is the vat the physical reality that your brain is based on? And what day was yesrterday?

the imputed behaviour-directing 'central intelligence' of the organism aka 'the brain' is an artefact of science's imputing of 'independence' to the 'organism'. science does the same for 'organizations'. the naturally evolving community is an outside-inwardly orchestrated and shaped organizing, but when science get's through with modeling it, the animating influence is inverted and is seen as being sourced from the inside outward. hey, it must be since science claims that the organization is 'independent' just like the way science sees 'the organism' and that scientist sees his own human 'self' as an 'independent organism'. it must then follow that there is some 'central intelligence inside the 'independent organism' that is directing its behaviour, ... being that independent organisms and organizations, according to science, reside, operate and interact within a habitat that is notionally independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it.

therefore, according to science, there is this central intelligence or 'golden calf' called the 'brain' with supreme authority over the behaviour of its own members [citizens, limbs, whatever] that 'makes right' the initial unfounded assumption of 'independence' of the organism or organization.

sure there is 'gray matter' there that 'lights up' in different areas within it that can be correlated with different movements of the limbs, and this would be true whether the human was flailing around after being swallowed by a tsunami or whale or while playing championship tennis; i.e. there is nothing in this correlation that says that the brain is the jumpstart source of the behaviour of the organism or organization.

science is a form of religion that believes that human organisms and human organizations composed of human organisms are 'independent' and have behaviours that are inside-outwardly directed by a 'central intelligence'. in other words, science believes that 'the brain' is the centre of intellection and behavioural direction of the notionally 'independent' human organism, ... so scientific thinking humans replicate this arrangement in their own social organizations, installing a central intelligence which is vested with supreme authority for directing the behaviour of the independent organization. hey, who or what else is going to do the directing of behaviour of an 'INDEPENDENT' organization?

science ignores what is evident in the physical reality of our natural experience; i.e. that naturally evolving organizing is outside-inwardly orchestrated and shaped as are all relational forms in the transforming relational activity continuum.

people who believe that the simplified models of science actually represent 'reality', rather than simply being 'pragmatic idealizing', are prone to thinking that an 'organization' must have a centre of intelligence vested with supreme authority for directing the behaviour of the notional 'independent' organism/organization. that is, ... the need for this notional 'centre of intelligence vested with supreme authority for directing the behaviour of the organism/organization derives from science's assumption of the 'independence' of the organism/organization.

cultures (such as indigenous anarchist cultures) that accept that the land (nature) outside-inwardly orchestrates and shapes the individual and collective behaviours of the relational forms continually gathering and being regathered within it, have no need of this notional 'centre of intelligence vested with supreme authority for directing the behaviour of the organism/organization, since they do not impose on their concept of community, as science does, the assumption of the 'independence' of organisms/organizations/communities/states.

as Schroedinger, Mach and others have observed, material organisms have no 'independent existence' and are 'variations in the relational structure of space'. once one shifts the source of organization from the relational dynamics of nature to the interior of a notional 'independent organization'; i.e. to a notional centre of intelligence vested with supreme authority for directing the behaviour of its 'members/limbs', ... one is turning that 'gray matter' into a golden calf, imputing to it God-like powers of jumpstart authorship of organized behaviour aka 'intelligence' that belongs to the 'independent thing' [science claims that plants, too, are intelligent organisms].

as Emerson says, it is absurd to say that 'the pear-tree produces pears' making it appear as if the intelligence in the pear-tree is responsible, eclipsing the pre-organismic authoring role of the relational ecosystem that includes solar irradiance, rainfall, atmosphere and soil, an interdependent relational matrix which includes the pear-tree. "the genius of nature not only inhabits the organism [pear-tree], it creates it". it is the intellectual subject-verb-predicate constructs of language that RE-present these relational dynamics in the broken down terms of 'independent being';

"“Indeed, nothing has yet possessed a more naive power of persuasion than the error concerning being, as it has been formulated by the Eleatics, for example. After all, every word and every sentence we say speak in its favor. Even the opponents of the Eleatics still succumbed to the seduction of their concept of being: Democritus, among others, when he invented his atom. “Reason” in language — oh, what an old deceptive witch she is! I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

it is the intellectual idealization of 'independent being' employed by science in subject-verb-predicate constructs that forces science to insist that the organization must have within it a centre-of-intelligence invested with supreme authority that is responsible for directing the behaviour of the limbs/members of the 'independent organization'.

No.

Didn't see a thread about this was already going. Oh well!

I'm responding to the rollover. LOL! Wildernist..what a stupid name. It sounds like a website that wanted to be the wilderness, but the name was taken, so they chose this sub-par knock-off of a name. Anyways, sorry you lost that dumb argument on Facebook with Kevin Tucker. It really should've had a better venue to determine the fate of "primitivism without the anarcho-".

However, primitivism already exists without the anarcho- and you can still be part of that tendency. There are already existing tons of people that identify as primitivist, but shy away from being called an anarcho-primitivist or an anarchist because the identification has its own history that really doesn't crossover on many avenues. So anyways, just like the Unabomber would say, stop being a pussy and call yourself whatever the fuck you want.

It isn't your fault that anarcho-primitivism is an isolating ideology that creates splits about as often as the S.I. It isn't your fault that they try to control the narratives surrounding green anarchy and the target of activity. They clearly failed to have influence beyond deep ecology on the last Green Scare and those that identify or sympathize with anarcho-primitivism have been constantly neutered from becoming effective. Be proud to break with anarcho-primitivism because those that hold heavy influence on how it is interpreted have far too strict and an ever shifting definition which mainly forces others to move with its big stars, even into taking irrelevant positions. They don't have an idea of what to do other than what hasn't been working for them at all, yet they will continue to posture and pose like they have some sort of radical edge. You might as well camp in an armchair!

Stop oppressing me, you ableist!!!

(running back to his cave... er basement)

gorrion is on target in his critique of science and scientific thinking, and this critic of gorrion is coming from a minds-eye-view that has already been hijacked by science.

gorrion is not being 'absurd' in the following critique, this critic of gorrion is being absurd;

"We would also do well here to examine how absurd Gorrion’s actual critique is. His exact words are:
.
Just as Cartesian dualism remains embedded in Enlightenment rationalism, the Cartesian geometry of flat planes and right angles remains integral to the scientific worldview, even though it has been invalidated by the principle of relativity (whereas the determinism of classical science up to and including general relativity has been contradicted by the uncertainty of quantum mechanics). If space itself is not a neutral, static phenomenon, something as stable and happy as a square or a triangle can be nothing but an illusion or a convenient lie. (This is a part of Science’s mythical simplification, elements of the worldview that it cannot actually defend, but that it nonetheless perpetuates, through mechanisms that will be dishonestly chalked up to “pop science” if ever called to account.)
.
This is absurd. No scientist would call Newtonian notions of space and time “pop science.” They might clarify in reference to certain problems or if the discussion called for it, but for the most part Newtonian conceptions are an extremely accurate approximation of how the world actually works. Calling them a “convenient lie” is like saying “the earth is a sphere” is a lie because it has mountains—although, judging from the above quote, Gorrion might commit himself to that claim as well."

of course the earth is not a sphere, the earth is a relational form within a transforming relational activity continuum. one can fit a sphere to it and imagine its mass as acting from the centre of the radius of the sphere and all that but those are convenient lies that simplify the 'laws of nature in science', laws which are in no way the laws of nature, but that laws that science devises to RE-PRESENT the physical reality of our natural experience, and they come nowhere near matching our experience.

“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach [N.B. if one prefers einstein's versions of comments on relativity that say the same thing, there are plenty. that's what relativity is all about.].

a sphere is an abstraction constructed by the mind, just like all of the closed forms of geometry. the constellations (e.g. Ursa Major -- the bear) is made by connecting the 'dots' (stars); i.e. what our eye can easily see; ... the constellations are our own mental constructions, they are not 'real independently-existing things' that we discover, any more than 'America' is a 'real independently-existing thing' that Columbus discovered. The Europeans used words and language to construct a thought-and-language based RE-presentation of portions of the relational terrain that they were previously 'ignorant' of.

"every definition implies an axiom, that in which we affirm the existence of the object defined" -- John Stuart Mill

America did not start to breathe the moment it was christened 'America' by its self-proclaimed 'discoverers'. The fact of the matter is that this thing called 'science' with its mechanistic language of 'geometry' had man splitting everything up into 'independently-existing objects/organisms' that reside, operate and interact in a habitat that is notionally independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it.

these object that are independent of us, ... they are our constructions. we can fit a torus (doughnut) to a hurricane, but we can't say that 'all hurricanes are toruses but with minor differences'. building particularity from generalization is circular reasoning since we obtain the generalization starting from particular exemplars and reducing them to a generalization (a category or set) by virtue of their common properties. the fact that the recurrent storm-cells in the transforming relational activity continuum known as the atmosphere all have in common a torus shape (toroidal flow) does not allow us to re-construct our way back to the particular starting from the general. the 'particular' is an outside-inward orchestrating field based particular; e.g. "the transmitting of influences from the vast and universal to the point on which the local storm-cell can act". It is impossible to re-construct such a physical phenomena after one has imposed the language of geometry to reduce it to to a 'local', 'visible', 'material' object. relational forms gather from relational influence [field] which is non-local, non-visible and non-material.

it is one thing to use science's intellectually idealized RE-presentations as a mechanistic 'go-by', and quite another to confuse them for 'reality'. as Gorrion says in his article:

"we wish to outline some central arguments of our belief that Western science or Enlightenment rationalism constitutes a mythical worldview, a state religion, and a productive modality, which is to say, a worldshaper. While it is true that all religions are worldshapers, since understanding is one of the first forms of shaping, by being integrally connected to capitalism Western science is the most powerful worldshaper to date; far from neutral, it is a most potent machine. Not only do we argue the religious nature of science, we also assert that it is a direct ideological descendant of Christianity"

to believe that 'the earth is a sphere' is to admit that the mythology of science has hijacked one's understanding.

a geometrical form is an intellectual abstraction; i.e. it is an intellectually idealized closed independent entity-in-the-sky, a generalization of which there can be as many as you want; e.g. the set of spheres is infinite.

meanwhile, the forms in nature are relational and particular and not 'independently-existing'. therefore, like gorrion says, the independently-existing forms of geometry are pie-in-the-sky abstractions, 'convenient lies'.

as Poincare similarly (to gorrion) observes, 'geometry is another language convention' we use to construct RE-presentations of the physical reality of our natural relational experience.

that is, ... 'science' is a tool which we use to RE-present the world in terms of machinery. We have made it foundational to political science, the science of economics, medical science, forensic science, and modern society has come to 'believe in it'; i.e. Western society is falling deeper and deeper into the trap warned of by Mach and others;

“We … should beware lest the intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought, be regarded as the basis of the real world.” – Ernst Mach

science is based on the over-simplistic concept of 'cause-and-effect'. science does a few experiments and uses them to fit a curve (theory) to, and then [mis-]takes this correlation tool to define an infinity of cause-effect correlations; 'if you have a result and want to find the cause, just let your theory do the walking for you', and if you have a cause you want to use to generate a desired result, just apply the cause and you will get the result. want to remove a troublesome dictator like saddam hussein, ... look in your toolbox of causal agents and pull one out for the job, ... wham bang, thank you ma,am, ... the result is as predicted. science really works! want to understand the cause of several airliners crashing into some new york sky scrapers, ... have forensic science figure it out for you, ... they will come up with brilliant investigatory science to show without a doubt that the cause was a terrorist group. want to consider a century of white colonizers pissing on arabs and others, and crushing rebellion that seeks to get the monkey of colonialism off their back, as having something to do with the destruction of the towers? no, cause-effect science builds in the assumption that the present depends only on the immediate past, and does not take into account the entire development of a physical phenomena;

" “Origin of Mathematical Physics. Let us go further and study more closely the conditions which have assisted the development of mathematical physics. We recognise at the outset the efforts of men of science have always tended to resolve the complex phenomenon given directly by experiment into a very large number of elementary phenomena, and that in three different ways.
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First, with respect to time. Instead of embracing in its entirety the progressive development of a phenomenon, we simply try to connect each moment with the one immediately preceding. We admit that the present state of the world only depends on the immediate past, without being directly influenced, so to speak, by the recollection of a more distant past. Thanks to this postulate, instead of studying directly the whole succession of phenomena, we may confine ourselves to writing down its differential equation; for the laws of Kepler we substitute the law of Newton.
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Next, we try to decompose the phenomena in space. What experiment gives us is a confused aggregate of facts spread over a scene of considerable extent. We must try to deduce the elementary phenomenon, which will still be localised in a very small region of space. — Henri Poincaré, ‘Science and Hypothesis’, Chapter IX, Hypotheses in Physics”

sorry pissed-off-for-generations-colonized arabs and indigenous peoples, science only allows us to look into the immediate past and localize the sourcing of a result. forensic science has therefore proved conclusively, using the latest DNA identity-confirming technologies, that it was the pilots of the planes that authored this terrorist act, and from CIA monitoring of their prior cell phone calls, their instructions can all be traced back to the centre of the Al Qaeda terrorist group (Osama bin Ladin, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed etc.). The end of the forensic science trail, ... investigative mission accomplished. time to hand off to our Christian moral judgement based retributive justice system that understands these binary scientific cause-effect constructs.

science deals in intellectually idealized RE-presentation, the stuff that subject-verb-predicate construct are used to build, which is nothing like the physical reality of our natural experience. can science validate its cause effect theories. sure it can, ... more DDT means fewer mosquitoes. Science is not modeling the physical reality of our natural relational experience, it is modeling the dynamic of notional independently existing material objects and organisms, with internal process driven and directed development and behaviour that purportedly reside, operate and interact in a habitat that is notionally independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it.

to believe that science is dealing in reality when it is in fact dealing with intellectual idealizations, is to make intellectual idealization into a religion. that is just what Western society is in the process of doing.

Gorrion's comments are right on target.

a qualifier that i would put on gorrion's science-as-religion essay, is that gorrion is seeking to objectify science and thus religion as a 'bunch of people and institutions' which is merely the material trappings of the different ways of viewing 'what is real', which sapir, whorf, moonhawk, nietzsche and others tie to the structure of language. gorrion says;

"In other words, what we are dealing with is precisely the lack of a theoretical generalization about Science as a complex of institutions with dynamic agency and an extremely important role within capitalism. Lacking this, it does not escape our attention that the only serious critiques of scientists that will be permitted are those that originate from other scientists and are published and disseminated by the structures that Science has sanctioned for its internal communications; and secondarily critiques originating from the laity that follow the rules of good form, addressing only particular scientists and particular errors, and thus never capable of contributing towards a theoretical framework that addresses Science globally. " -- alex gorrion

science is a way of thinking about the world that does not have to be confused for reality. mach, nietzsche, schroedinger, bohm and others cited in gorrion's 'Further Reading' list on the pdf version of his essay, point out that science is a reduction of dynamics to a one-sided 'all-hitting, no-fielding' pole [purely mechanical, without inductive influence of field]. the problem is that science is used to obtain results but the 'causal actions' that science calculates will achieve such-and-such results, are not actions that transpire in empty space, but interventions into the transforming relational activity continuum. therefore, we are in trouble if we let scientific thinking over-ride our experience-based intuition, which is what happens in both sovereigntism and capitalism and in Western justice systems, all of which employ scientific thinking that formulates the causal actions needed to achieve desired results. this is all intellectual idealization. what is really going on are interventions into the transforming relational activity continuum.

so, our philosophical investigations need to go deeper than modeling 'science' as a "complex of institutions with dynamic agency". this habit of confusing intellectual subject-verb-predicate constructs 'for reality' permeates Western culture. resolving this problem is not going to be helped by objectifying science or 'generalizing' it as a complex of institutions. that simply circles us back to the scientific notion of science as a causal agent responsible for a nasty result. whorf, nietzsche et all have pointed out that cultures without noun-and-verb language-and-grammar did not put 'science' into an unnatural primacy over experience-based intuition. putting science first and saying 'damn the torpedoes' (let science bring about whatever screwed up 'progress' it will) is a question of values. if you want better weapons, nerve gases, dioxin, neutron bombs etc. to purify the world of unwanted others, ... science can provide them, but at what cost to the common living space that we are included in?

gorrion needs to take his theorizing one step deeper since he is, in his epilogue and summary, ready to 'objectify science' as a causal agent which constitutes scientific thinking on his part.

the greater revolution is the inner jihad, how we see the world, however gorrion's objectification of science would keep us in the realm of the lesser, outer jihad.

Not to base everything on a title that ignores a subtitle, but are there supposed to be any arguments in this that move from a defense of scientific methods to an elaboration on how scientific methods would actually benefit revolutionaries? The influence of revolutions on science and of science on revolutions (and the agents of those revolutions) could actually fill some pages, but that isn't happening here. What happens to the production of scientific knowledge during revolutionary periods? What forms of scientific study lead to tactics, strategies, or everyday practices someone could consider revolutionary? The practices of marketing experts for example, though potentially informed by a wide range of social, psychological, sociological, economic, and network/systems studies tend more towards the production of marketing experts that comprehend the techniques and behaviors that obscure the scientific studies that inform the techniques. What are arguments for and against propagandists disclosing the scientific studies that inform their actions?

Cultural materialism was mentioned... how would a study of cultural materialism inform the practices of revolutionaries to their benefit? Are we to revisit the Utopian or Scientific debates? There is something appealing to me about a method for evaluating activity that is meant to be revolutionary that is rigorous, but where is it? What methods of analysis could be called scientific in the evaluation of anarchist experiments?

Or do we just want to produce more anarchists that are reading scientific studies that have nothing to do with predicting the outcome of activities meant to oppose domination? Why should anyone give a shit if comrade Phil is attentive to bleeding-edge research into the medicinal uses of marijuana ...or if comrade Phil just likes getting high? And what does any of that have to do with revolution (or however one wants to label their idealized conception of life without domination)?

So let's say that I wanted to accept some basics from SCIENCE. I have the bare-bones of the scientific method, a world of criteria to use in analyzing controlled experiments and field experiments, a method for document so experiments can be reproduced, etc. So I imagine I'd be an avid reader of some journals that come from this approach and I work with my affinity group(s) to reproduce experiments and submit the results to these journals so that they can be compared with the former results. From there, I can begin to approach some generalities based on this science. Like a politician's use of political science, I could launch campaigns with my affinity group(s) that are strategic (not the same as the experiments I am documenting to evaluate a claim made in a journal). At this point, I would expect that a debate concerning the usefulness of science, for anarchists, would be of more consequence.

The above would be an anarchist doing science. What rather seems to be the case is that anarchists study a variety of sciences and attempt to work out general theories about the structure of society and loose descriptions of what sorts of activities would be useful based on a theory of those structures. That isn't worthless, but it is such an embryonic application of scientifically produced knowledge to theory that by comparison to the application of unscientific knowledge/etc., the results are somewhat inconsequential. Not because accuracy in comprehending social life is useless, but because the imaginary structures above don't exist (as far as I know) to make the usefulness of such knowledge stand out against more speculative and intuitive sources.

However, I don't even think that usefulness is the goal, in the sense I'm thinking about it. I suspect, without much substantial information to inform my suspicions, that the latent concerns are with the cultural characteristics of anarchist spaces. Maybe with a touch of concern for the consequences on interpersonal relationships that may or may not correlate with the types of knowledge someone dedicates themselves to studying. Or perhaps something more self-aggrandizing, or otherwise satisfying about being right about topics only vaguely important to a discussion about how what we're doing and how we relate. Who fucking knows? I'd just like to see some argumentation that travels towards a rationale for this or that form of anarchist experimentation. Until then, cheers!

Maybe the concept of human deed-doers (in this case revolutionaries) using a singular rationale (scientific method) to project intentionality (revolution) is the problem? Since human intention is not the driving factor of life on earth. And is more along the lines of a main cause to the mess we're currently in.

Why place a method above (hierarchy) intuition?

Why are we always defining ourselves as against an Other, and being an Other against?

Aren't there plenty of ways to relate to each other and this earth that sustains us all other than a few people that can define what's going on with the label revolution? Who will recognize the cultural signifiers? How? And this is just a human construct for human benefit (ignoring all other relations we are a part of)?

Seems too narrow a framework.

I don't often write an essay on the revolutionary importance of science, but when I do...

The point of my comment isn't to defend science. It's to take a promotion of science to a limit that is at once within a framework of what social scientists do and an absurd suggestion for anarchists. There's comparative historical analysis of revolutions, actions, organizational strategies, and so on that comes close to the appearance of experimental science. Take for example the transnational development of black bloc and street fighting tactics. Even that isn't as scientific as something like Donald Green's experiment on the role of personal contact in changing someone's attitudes (to use an example of a recent newsworthy study): http://youarenotsosmart.com/2015/05/20/study-featured-in-episode-048-ret...

It's fun to imagine what anarchists using a social sciences approach would be like. It would be a lot of boring tedium and I find it challenging to even imagine its success. At the same time, there is a lot of research from the social sciences that could be used as a reference when discussing topics anarchists discuss often. Especially when it comes to answering your question about intuition. I mean... if you want egocentrism, self-serving biases, a dataset that is altered every time it is used (memories), and something that while highly adaptive is incredibly erroneous ...go with intuition and contemplative meditation. From what I gather, if there's a point to these different ways of behaving (habitual behavior, intuition, emotional responses, rational planning), it is to let them all do what they do best; it isn't to construct a hierarchy of enlightened behaviors with rational planning at the top. I don't want to rationally plan my next sneeze, but I do want to train-to-habit behaviors I rationally conclude work better than my current habits ...like my bad habit of forgetting people's names.

I think it's also very difficult to argue that rational planning is "more along the lines of a main cause to the mess we're currently in." It's a big part of it, but a lot of this mess is ALSO because of the stupid, irrational shit that human beings are compelled to do. It is both rational thought and human irrationality that makes nuclear physics and technologies a notably frightening power.

I don't know what you mean by "against an Other" because "Other" can have a number of interpretations.

you make a good point. the Other' against Other model of revolution is already 'scientific'. it puts us into a binary dualist pseudo-reality where the two sides are mutual exclusive (each side is understood, intellectually and linguistically as 'independent of the other') in denial of the modern physics understanding of inhabitant-habitat-interdependence (non-dualism) wherein we acknowledge that we all share inclusion in a common relational space.

gorrion's point is that science is religion and is not about 'reality'. science allows us to construct an 'operative reality' that the user of science puts himself into (using intellectual subject-verb-predicate constructs) and imagines he is solving the problem in this 'operative reality' which is intellectual idealization based. the problems begin when he, instead of popping in and out, stays inside the scientific 'operative reality' and confuses it for 'reality'. that's where the science = religion comes in. this has also been described as the difference between 'realism' (science = religion) and 'pragmatist idealism' (science = a tool based on an intellectually idealized 'operative reality').

right now we are living in the church of science. that is what the sovereigntist structure and capitalist structures are; i.e. they are permanent scientific frameworks that have been built over top of us and which now hold us captive. [sovereigntism and capitalism, by declaring the independence of owned property of state and citizen and setting it up for monopolized ownership and the extortion and manipulation of brother by brother that comes with it, are science-based concepts]. We are being forcefully 'institutionalized' by a science=religion cult that maintains standing armies and police forces to apprehend, punish, incarcerate, and/or execute 'heretics' that try to break out of the institutions that have been built over and around them and hold them captive.

our friends and neighbours, when they try to opt out of the institution-imposed behavioural imperatives, dictated by the church of science, have no place to go [the institutionalizing now covers the globe] but into hiding in the forested hills and jungles, or else face being pulled out of their homes and/or squats and punished and jailed for their heresy.

the 'revolution', in this case, is not seen as two opposing factions; Other' and Other who have a manifest destiny to 'hammer it out' as if on a flat playing field [this would be a classic binary science-as-religion view] but, instead, as a 'repeal of the by-force institutionalizing imposed by our science = religion cultist brothers through rational structures constituted by our compliant selves. the revolution is to get our crazy cultist brothers to cease and desist from imposing their religious cult practices on us, through the mechanism of building their institutions [made of our compliant selves] over and around us.

to speak more clearly about this view of 'revolution', we could replace the term 'revolution', which gives images of 'now the Other is on top of the Other' and now the Other' is on top of the Other, etc. etc. ad infinitum', ... with 'de-institutionalization'.

of course we can use science and scientific applications in our 'de-institutionalizing' initiatives to defend against being held indefinitely inside the science-as-religion institutions of sovereigntism and capitalism whose moral judgement based retributive justice system does not tolerate the heresy of non-belief in the sovereigntist and capitalist institutions [and which maintain continuing programs to smoke out and purge heretics from these church-of-science structures].

Those like the EZLN who are opting out of the church of sovereigntism and capitalism have used modern weapons and other science derived tools to defend against the institution-imposing efforts of their science=religion cultist brothers who have taken to living (intellectually) inside the binary polar dualist 'operative reality' and who are committed church-of-science followers.

anarchist-deinstitutionalizers can build strength by undermining the intellectual premises of sovereigntism and capitalism thereby augmenting the incidence and intensity of a general opting out of compliance with the institutionalizing structures that hold those within them prisoner, such compliance constituting the institutionalizing structures themselves.

anarchist-revolutionaries, by contrast, tend to be 'anti-capitalists' and 'anti-authoritarians' and thus see the 'cause' of the problem in scientific cause-effect terms, as coming from 'those Others out there in front of us Others', who have been masters over us who we are polarizing against so as to become masters over them. this binary polar view is an 'operative reality' that one does not want to 'get stuck in'; i.e. this is the 'science=religion view', based on the binary dualist split between 'self' and 'other', 'material object/organism' and 'space'.

clearly the author of this article is confused about 'science'. as gorrion observes, like Mach, Nietzsche, Emerson and others, science 'mystifies', it does not 'de-mystify'. it is intellectual mechanics that produces radically over-simplified RE-presentations of the world via intellectual subject-verb-predicate constructs. the 'operative reality' we go into to see the world 'scientifically' (through binary polarizing lenses that lead to the dualist 'anti-' concept) is not 'the physically real world of our natural experience. it is an unnatural world seen as being composed of 'independent material objects/systems' that reside, operate and interact in a habitat that is notionally independent of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it. such an unnatural world view implies that social collectives must develop their own organizational structures since there is nothing in the habitat composed of independently-existing material objects/systems [no 'fielding'] to outside-inwardly orchestrate and shape individual and collective inside-outward asserting behaviours. the scientific view of social organization is that organization must be made to happen. the 'mysticism' of science lies in its removal of the spring-tension - spring-action influence of the relational space of nature, and re-instituting such influence, notionally, in the interior of the 'independently-existing organism and/or organization', ... as a God-like local jumpstart-authoring power, a kind of 'central intelligence vested with supreme powers to direct the behaviour of its members/limbs'. To believe this scientific view, is to 'get religion'. The author says;

"Despite this [anti-science populism], clearly the revolutionary should not dispose of scientific thought. After all, his role is to demystify a situation and find the proper target. What better tool for this than science?"

What the author does not seem to see is that sovereigntism and capitalism are the framing paradigm for scientific thought based 'independently-existing cause-and-effect systems' that institutionalize their constituents and continually infusing them with binary thought and language constructs.

the only target that scientific thinking is going to come up with is a binary opposite target that we can identify as the 'causal agent' responsible for the nasty 'results' that we are 'opposed to'.

yes, agreed, scientific thinking will keep one in that 'operative reality' of a binary world of EITHER 'is' OR 'is not' [with/against, self/other, good/evil, inside/outside] where there will be revolution after revolution after revolution.

de-institutionalizing, on the other hand, is a rejection of scientific culture's dysfunctional practice of putting science and rationality into an unnatural precedence over experience-based intuition (e.g. the intuition of inhabitant-habitat INTERdependence aka non-dualism).

science, having become a tool that has run away with the workman [having institutionalized him in his own idealized thought-structures], is a disease that man is going to have to recover from

Explain it like I'm a 5 year old facist

Agreed. Would like to get an English translation of this.

translation = attacking the connection between scientific research and formal organizations that try to rationally organize social life is a game changer. Formal, rational organizations are good at winning a game based on their rules, so when you change the rules there's more opportunity for players that are gooder in other ways. Play gooder by changing the game, don't try to beat a pro-boxer with amateur boxing... go at it with some grappling and maybe they'll tap out.

"the only target that scientific thinking is going to come up with is a binary opposite target that we can identify as the 'causal agent' responsible for the nasty 'results' that we are 'opposed to'."

isn't this like nietzsche saying that the victim and oppressor are often within a mutually constitutive relation to one another? so like a double bind or binary opposition, i.e that of the worker and the capitalist, citizen and the state, etc and that this needs to be practically deconstructed? and that deinstitutitionalization (deterritorialization) would be a collective, practical rejection of these double binds and binary oppositions, but that to maintain new relations (reterritorialization) like the zapatistas (although iirc they still participate within statist politics at some level, but whatever) we would still have to organize for self-defense without becoming a hierarchical, formal organization, i.e a war-machine, against whatever the state deploys against us? so without attempting to simplify or misrepresent what it is you're saying, basically a politics of subtraction from capitalist and state relations that still recognizes the necessity of using force against force (the will to power)?

an anarchist politics that incorporates ressentiment and motives of revenge probably isn't the most constructive way to go about doing or perceiving things, but other than some of the nuances in what it is you're saying that you don't seem to like being apparent about, i really don't see why some people give you flak. a lot of what you say were it to be coming from postmodern academics would probably be accepted by those types of anarchists who don't really believe in the narrative of class struggle (or at least its primacy) anymore, even if class is still a relation maintained by force. i still don't think there will ever be any type of harmony like what is you describe among humans though, despite being able to see what it is that you're saying. even if the state were to be annihilated struggle will still take place over competing values outside of its framework to some degree, and you know what N thought about what that the absence of this would be equivalent to and how it is that this would emerge.

there's some serious reactionaries that exist alongside us within this thing we call society, and i don't care about about what some minority position anarchist(s) think (who are also having some pretty serious accusations leveled at them, i don't know if they're unfounded or not but beyond good and evil does not mean beyond good and bad even if good and bad are transitory, "anarchism" being that which breaks the existing table of values does not mean that anything goes otherwise it'd be useless) that still seem to be in perma-mockery mode, but there's very little possibility for peaceful coexistence with them. that doesn't necessarily mean we have to end up in all out war, but the possibility for violent conflict with them is real as i doubt that they'd just retreat and let everyone live life the way they want to. i'm not just talking about straight up fascists, but the some of the right-wing altogether, the some of whom often form their little reactionary citizen militias and do the state's job for it, like patrolling the us borders.

while i think that what you describe, and what others have described in different ways, is a possibility and something to be hopeful about, although the way you express yourself can seem to be esoteric, it would surely be a process that will take some time, especially in a place like the us. the all of this could be and actually is happening right now to a certain degree somewhere besides chiapas and rojava (whatever some anarchists, pure negativity is ressentiment) unknown to probably the most of us. it's just a matter of having enough people to maintain these relations against the forces of the state, having enough people who want a different life outside of the ones that are imposed upon us, and spreading these ways of life without being exclusive by latching onto sub-cultural identities that alienate other people. not making yourself so vulnerable in central hub areas without having enough people to resist, even if they serve as points of convergence and meeting up with other people, they really don't have a way of sustaining themselves for extended periods of time, so outside of semi-insurrectionary activities people eventually retreat when shit dies down to go back to "life" as usual.

taking back portions of neighborhoods to me would be the ideal situation, along with the creation of commons through whatever means, getting into contact with other neighborhoods that want to live differently too being sick of this one, etc. some areas would be more favorable to do shit like this in as opposed to others, Bay comes to mind, but it could kick things off elsewhere.

the big reconfiguration of society itself and a massive formal organization with rational planning according to some increasingly archaic anarchist ideals isn't something i really consider to be either desirable or even necessarily possible, even if coordination between different areas would be necessary as self-sustaining communities would certainly face some difficulties. it's about time to abandon the working class and just get on with whoever and however it is that we can move on. might be preaching to the choir but class struggle, even it can even be called that, as it exists today, is just playing into a double bind no matter how revolutionary or pragmatic the intentions of the person involved with it is. to say that we need to be concerned about our immediate needs within the confines of these relations is basically conceding that your vision of the future will never be realized and that your political identity is just a means of differentiating yourself from the masses and setting yourself up for left-melancholy later in life. the majority of the working class, besides your comrades, just does not give a fuck about you or your politics, nor do they have any form of external imperative to inaugurate socialism, communism or whatever rather than say maybe fascism. some of the people who visit this site and still get angry (masochists, lol) might have certain responsibilities that may prevent them from subtracting themselves to organize against the existent, that is understandable, but the all of this shit has to go at some point. when will finally be the time to really start? energy gets expended into all sorts of activities like banner marching with red and black flags or whatever, that while in themselves are not necessarily bad and without trying to impose a judgement on them, do what to start this?

i wrote a long note reviewing what looks like near total accord with your perspective, Anonymous on Sun, but decided to toss it and go straight to the point where we might be making different assumptions. in order to that, i have to state my implicit foundational assumptions which have me interpreting common observations and experiences differently, which you can then either agree with or take issue with.

i will then come back to your following comment;

“deinstitutitionalization (deterritorialization) would be a collective, practical rejection of these double binds and binary oppositions, but that to maintain new relations (reterritorialization) like the zapatistas (although iirc they still participate within statist politics at some level, but whatever) we would still have to organize for self-defense without becoming a hierarchical, formal organization, i.e a war-machine, against whatever the state deploys against us? so without attempting to simplify or misrepresent what it is you're saying, basically a politics of subtraction from capitalist and state relations that still recognizes the necessity of using force against force (the will to power)?”

ok, my core assumption that gives rise to not-common interpretations of common observations and experiences needs to be clear to see if you are willing to co-explore where it takes us;

1. relations (energy in transformation) are all there is. Meanwhile, the Western common interpretations of everything are based on ‘material entities’ (local material objects/organisms/systems animated by forces applied to them or jumpstarting from within them). If we see a number of convection cells forming in a flow, we give them a name and we define them and instead of continuing to acknowledge them as an ‘activity’ within a larger activity, as happens when cultures using noun-and-verb language try to share, by intellectual language-based RE-presentations, their observations and experience, we RE-CAST them in subject-verb-predicate terms; e.g. the storm-cell’s rotation is producing winds up to 200 mph, and this storm is wreaking destruction on Haiti. Our Western culture seems to be less comfortable with understanding physical phenomena in terms of animating influences that are non-local, non-visible and non-material [i.e. ‘relational’], regardless of the modern physics support for this, and the support of our own natural experience intuition.

Some might argue that it is not intuitive that relations are primary and material objects [subjects and predicates] secondary [Nietzsche refers to belief in subject-and-predicate as ‘a great stupidity’]. Reflecting on simple examples, meanwhile, brings out ‘the power of the word’ in intellectually idealizing ‘relational activities’ as ‘local things’, ‘doers of deeds’, ‘causal agents’ etc. This language game = ‘science’ and ‘rationality’.

E.g. as relational patterns develop in the activities of relational forms we call ‘people’, one such relational pattern may be named and referred to as ‘Poland’. ‘Poland’ is then treated as a ‘subject’ that inflects verbs and authors predicates, ... in the same way as the storm-cells, ... leaving the transforming relational activity continuum behind in “the intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought.” , as in this video-clip ‘Poland’s Changing Borders’

Ok, I am saying that all dynamics are relational and ‘things’ are secondary, intellectual noun-and-verb language construct based idealizations. When we speak, we intellectually remove ourselves from the world of our natural relational experience and we put ourselves, notionally, inside an idealized world of independently-existing things and ‘what independently-existing things do as if in a space that is independent of things’.

* * * all there is in the physical reality of our natural experience is ‘relations’ * * *

This is why we don’t want to ‘pick a fight’ with ‘a person’. The institutions of sovereigntism demand certain top-down dictated behaviours on all members [and everyone ‘authorized’ to reside inside an imaginary-line based boundary is defined as a member and is therefore obliged to obey the top-down edicts] and a ‘policeman’ or ‘soldier’ could be an anarchist trying to make a buck or get vocational training or etc.

That person is in the mode of complying with institutional procedures. We don’t want to hold that person prisoner within that pawn-of-the-institution mode, putting that first and doing pre-emptive strikes against the uniform the person is wearing [as in racism]. If they insist on remaining a pawn of the institutional procedures and imposing constraints on us that conflict with our relational dynamics, resistance may be in order, but this is not the same as; “let’s go out and whack some cops or soldiers”.

The latter is where ‘science’ takes us, since the institutional procedures, like moral judgement, orients to the notional ‘behaviour of the independent individual’. There is no such entity in the relational view. The language games of science manufacture these notional ‘independent systems’. Science inverts the view of the relational form, making it into a system with inputs and outputs that resides in a space that is independent of it. The relational space understanding of the relational form is that the energy-charged relational spatial plenum is primary and the relational form is a reciprocally complementary inputting and outputting, as in the case of the convection cell in the flow.

I am not ‘throwing science out’, just pointing out that it is a process of intellectual idealization that takes us ‘out of the physical reality of our natural experience’ and puts us into a synthetic [intellectually idealized] ‘operative reality’ based on ‘independent material objects/organisms/systems [noun-subjects] and what they do [verbs and predicates].

The shortfall in science comes about through the abandonment of the energy-charged relational plenum that comes with the intellectual reification of the relational forms within the transforming relational plenum as in the intellectual concept of ‘cause-and-effect’ [an intellectually idealizing simplification that delivers ‘economy of thought’]

“If we know all the values of α,β,γ,δ . . . . by which, for example, the values of λ,μ,ν . . . are given, we may call the group α,β,γ,δ . . . . the cause, and the group λ,μ,ν . . . the effect. In this sense we may say that the effect is uniquely determined by the cause.

We are effectively modeling the world by the parts and forces we select and our notion is that by manipulating these, we can achieve the desired ‘effect’. For example, as Glenn Greenwald points out, the governments of the U.S. and the U.K. fabricate a story about the Russians and Chinese decoding Snowden’s files and putting intelligence personnel at risk, pointing to the need to eliminate whistleblowers. This sets up a cause and effect model based on our selection of α,β,γ,δ . . . . and the desired values of λ,μ,ν .

you have also made this point;

”Aren't there plenty of ways to relate to each other and this earth that sustains us all other than a few people that can define what's going on with the label revolution?”

that is, a revolution will aim to drive some variables α,β,γ,δ towards values that will give the desired values of λ,μ,ν (more antibiotics etc., fewer germ attacks, more drones, fewer terrorists, stiffer punishments for whistleblowers, fewer whistleblowers). but we live in a transforming relational space so what comes of our intervention EVEN IF WE SUCCEED IN BRINGING ABOUT THE VALUES λ,μ,ν doesn’t mean that everything else is going to stay the same [the ‘ceteris paribus’ ---‘all other things we are not mentioning staying the same’ --- assumption that always goes with such cause and effect operations NEVER HOLDS TRUE]. just ask George W. Bush who succeeded, according to plan, in his cause-effect operation to remove Saddam Hussein and regime. his λ,μ,ν variables that he was looking to move to desired values, like three cherries showing up on the slot machine that deliver the jackpot, ... were augmented to λ, μ, ν, ξ, ο, π, ρ. that is, ξ, ο, π, ρ were not even on the radar screen of our cause-effect correlation mapping [which is all that cause-effect can ever be in a relational space]. The ξ, ο, π, ρ were invisible properties that we didn’t put into our ‘scientific model’ that turned out to be important variables that transformed our socio-ecological dynamics in a profound way.

that is, ... how many things that were not wired up for monitoring in our cause-effect plan and operation showed up in the wake of our cause-effect operations? You ask;

“Who will recognize the cultural signifiers? How? And this is just a human construct for human benefit (ignoring all other relations we are a part of)?”

So, ... ‘revolution’ that is by some intentional, organized cause-and-effect enterprise, may look really well thought out, logically tight and all that but since there is a whole lot of stuff going on that we do not even see until we make our interventions, our operation is going to net out as a clumsy operation that is going to screw up stuff we didn’t even know about and which was working well and invisible to us, until we fucked it up.

This is the problem in trying to take a complex relational system from A to B. It always turns out that we didn’t know the system well enough to justify our belief [we are always impressed by the crisp logic of rational/scientific models, crispness that comes from leaving out most of the relevant complexity] that we could shift it from A to B; i.e. the world we live in is not a machine describable by a few measured variables [more DDT cause the result of fewer mosquitoes]. It is science that represents the world as a machine that is describable by a finite number of measured properties. Science is, as Mach says; ‘economy of thought’, it is not about the ‘real world of our natural experience’.

This says that science and rationality based cause-effect intention-driven operations are screwed from the get-go. Sure science will achieve its results and move λ,μ,ν to the predicted, desired values, ... but ξ, ο, π, ρ were not even noticed or taken into account and showed up only when we messed with α,β,γ,δ. Meanwhile, we were able to get λ,μ,ν to the predicted, desired values, so ‘mission accomplished’; e.g. ... the UK budget gets balanced while hundreds of Irish die in the ‘potato famine’ as the UK enforces the continuing export from Ireland of Irish produced foodstuffs and livestock [more than enough to feed the people] when the potato crops failed.

So, this is where my suggestion of ‘de-institutionalizing’ (opting out of ‘intention-driven programming’) comes from since intention-driven programs never really work; i.e. the leaders ‘make their numbers’ but a whole load of invisible and important stuff, that they never mention in discussing α,β,γ,δ . . . .and λ,μ,ν in the planning and operations, gets screwed up. Instead of intention-driven activism which is the same scientific/rational cause-effect based dynamic, we are far better off to restore our experience-based intuition to its natural precedence.
At the bottom of this all, is the need to get rid of ‘intention-driven actions’ [these are absolutisms hatched in a notional absolute space and absolute time reference frame]. Once an intention driven plan is set up, we all become pawns of the plan [we might as well wear uniforms like the police] and since we are only monitoring α,β,γ,δ . . . . and λ,μ,ν, all kinds of shit that crops up through our planned operations due to our radically under-determined scientific/rational modeling transforms the commons of our relational living space.

The message is, ... ‘give the relations precedence over the fixed labels’, which means give intuition precedence over science and rationality [these can be support tools, but they must not rise up and start to dictate our behaviour].
you raise the question of self-defence;

“deinstitutitionalization (deterritorialization) would be a collective, practical rejection of these double binds and binary oppositions, but that to maintain new relations (reterritorialization) like the zapatistas (although iirc they still participate within statist politics at some level, but whatever) we would still have to organize for self-defense without becoming a hierarchical, formal organization, i.e a war-machine, against whatever the state deploys against us? so without attempting to simplify or misrepresent what it is you're saying, basically a politics of subtraction from capitalist and state relations that still recognizes the necessity of using force against force (the will to power)?”

that will unfold relationally, as it did with the EZLN in the manner of spring tension in reciprocal complementarity with spring action.

We are always jumping the gun. We still believe in putting science and rationality first, and therefore we want to build an intention-driven revolution. as Muhammed said, the outer jihad is the lesser; ... the greater jihad is the inner jihad.

i wasn't Sun, 06/14/2015 - 10:00 that asked those questions, but i could identify with them being they were basically differentiating between master and slave types of morality. i always have to read your posts at least a couple times before i can start to comprehend them, lol, but i get the jist of what you're saying, from your own perspective, which i wouldn't necessarily disagree with. i think that what you say has to a certain extent has also been said by other people, just from maybe an almost entirely different perspective, but with more or less the same conclusion.

the tensions are certainly there, although in some areas more than others. for me, it would just a matter of "intervening" in these tensions to attempt to move things forward rather than letting them drift towards being captured by the state, not as leaders of movements but as participants that want a new way of life and have something to offer to them, now.

tensions are primary in the relations-first understanding of the physical reality of our natural experience. Western society lets an 'operative reality' based on 'what things do' [spring actions that are the visible manifesting of spring tensions] direct the behaviour of the individual and the state. this simple linearized 'operative reality' is the 'official reality' of Western society. it is always too late and misfocused on the spring action rather than the spring tension. this misplaced action that orients to the spring action, recharges the spring tensions in new ways.

it is a joke to believe that morally judging spring actions and seeking to eliminate them by quickly isolating and disabling them is a viable policy. Nevertheless, this joke is the official policey of Western moralist society.

the vicious circle going on is that the colonial powers are orienting their global social dynamics management policey to 'spring actions', exacerbating, in the process, relational tensions of colonized peoples oppressed by colonizer-imposed statism for multiple generations. this joke of a policey that ignores 'spring tensions' as it focuses primarily on 'spring actions', leaves 'spring tensions' flapping in the breeze.

this holds true whether we are talking about the participants in the global community of sovereign states, or about the participants in the state community of sovereign human organisms [sovereigntism is a secularized theological concept that holds that the local entity is an independent system whose behaviour is jumpstarted from a Supreme Central Authority; i.e. it is science's definition of a human 'being' and political science's definition of a 'sovereign state'].

in the physical reality of our natural experience, we engage with relational tensions, not with notional 'independent beings'. when we orient our social dynamics management to the spring actions of child soldiers, criminals and terrorists, we titl at windmills or simulacra. the spring actions arise from spring tensions so that we must look through relational form [that we have superimposed our inguistic noun-subject definitions on and RE-animated using subject-verb-predicate grammar] to the transforming relational continuum that not only inhabits the relational form but engenders it.

that is, i agree with you that our interventions must orient to relational tensions. such reorientation defines anarchism since each participant in a mutually influence relational spring-tension---spring-action matrix must be given a free hand immune to veto by any intellectual directives based on scientific theoretical generalizations. i would add that we need to reject the intellectual idealization of the 'independence' of the 'human organism' and/or 'sovereign state' since this implies a 'Supreme central authority' that is the source of the behaviour of the human and/or the state, and this is the windmill we tilt at when we orient our behavioural engaging to the 'spring action' rather than to the 'spring tension'. this belief in 'subject and predicate', as Nietzsche observes is "a great stupidity" and it is, as Bohm and others have said, infusing confusion and incoherence into the global social dynamic.

as we know, what we call a car comes from the habitat and is recycled within the habitat; i.e. it is first and foremost a relational activity. at some point a bunch of metal parts and some upholstered benches begin to take on the form that qualifies as a ‘car’. it may or may not have an engine and wheels at that point, later on, in some field where it is rusty hulk, again without engine or wheels, we are still calling it ‘a car’. that is, within the relational activity continuum, a form emerged that was signified by the name ‘car’. the intellectual concept of ‘car’ signified by the name (corvette or whatever) is put in precedence over the particulars of the car. this is how science works, its definitions and theories are more perfect than our experience; i.e. they ‘correct our experience’. similarly, a community is a relational activity kind of like a circus, ... there is an empty field, and then a bunch of people gather and set up tents and activities and local labour and local audiences are drawn in to become part of it then it disperses again, so a circus a relational activity that gathers and regathers in the socio-environmental suprasystem.

Native writer Thomas King in ‘The Inconvenient Indian’ is coming from the ‘relations are all there is’ view of indigenous aboriginal worldview which accords with the ‘relations are all there is’ view of modern physics in speaking about the ‘indian’ as a way of life rather than as a ‘subject and attribute’;

“North America has had a long association with Native people, but despite the history that the two groups have shared, North America no longer sees Indians. What it sees are war bonnets, beaded shirts, fringed deerskin dresses, loincloths, headbands, feathered lances, tomahawks, moccasins, face paints, and bone chokers. These bits of cultural debris—authentic and constructed—are what literary theorists like to call “signifiers,” signs that create a “simulacrum,” which Jean Baudrillard, the French sociologist and postmodern theorist, succinctly explained as something that “is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none”. God I love the French theorists. For those of use who are not French theorists but who know the difference between a motor home and a single-wide trailer, a simulacrum is something that represents something that never existed. Or, in other words, the only truth of the thing is the lie itself.” –Thomas King, ‘The Inconvenient Indian’.

Newtonian science formalized and legitimized the ‘independent thing’ by getting rid of the relational activity in which relational forms gather. This was done by ‘repetitively measuring the form’s spatial extension and location’ relative to a notional absolute space and absolute time reference. Instead of understanding ‘change’ in terms of a transforming relational activity continuum [e.g. the flow of the atmosphere], Newtonian science defined change in terms of how the local spatial extension (aka ‘form’ as a notional independent entity) and location varied over a succession of our observations of it. The relational form as a local ‘subject’ [e.g. Katrina, the hurricane] only ‘comes into existence’ thanks to the observer’s measurement of it. The fact that we can keep measuring it is what affirms its ‘continuing existence’. Early on, it can’t be separated out of the relational dynamics in which it gathers and likewise, later on, it can’t be distinguished from the relational dynamic into which it is regathered. Science reduces these repetitive measurement to an infinitesimally tiny ‘limit’ (Newtonian ‘fluxion’ or ‘differential’) which implies the ‘something’ by its difference, and also imposes the assumption that ‘the local thing’s or local system’s present depends only on its immediate past’.

Here we can see some cheating going on since there is no ‘local independently-existing thing’, there is only relational activity. Thus the ‘differential’ is merely an artefact of our measurements. Of course most people simply ‘believed’ in the reality portrayed by ‘differentials’ and ‘differential equations, because it was popular to do so. As Voltaire observed, few people actually read Newton’s Principia, ... it was, he said; “a book that many want to have read, but few want to read”. Newton made two errors (mutually cancelling) in his geometric development of differential calculus which were caught by George Berkeley (philosopher and Bishop of Cloyne) in a famous paper “The Analyst; or, A Discourse Addressed to an Infidel Mathematician” [Berkeley’s critique is verified by modern mathematicians]. Berkeley also commented;

“And what are these Fluxions? The Velocities of evanescent Increments? And what are these same evanescent Increments? They are neither finite Quantities nor Quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the Ghosts of departed Quantities?” – George Berkeley

That is, as Thomas King points out, there is nothing there. As with the convection cell, we see a relational activity, not a thing. Just watch the NASA video-clips of a hurricane season, what we call hurricanes are relational forms in a relational activity continuum. These relational forms, which we can see and touch, are visually persisting and confirmed by measurements (pressure etc), like the stationary whirlpool in a bend of a rushing river. These persisting relational activity based forms are conducive to our assigning names to them, so that we can talk about them using intellectual subject-verb-predicate constructs, but there is no ‘locally persisting thing’ there other than a pattern which we intellectually reify with noun-and-verb language-and-grammar. The ‘form itself’ is ‘not it’ since we could draw it up in an autocad program and 3D print it in plastic. As Robert Pirsig explores through his character Phaedrus [from Platonic dialogue] in ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’, when we are talking about a motorcycle, we are talking about something qualitative and relational, and not about some ‘local material thing’.

In the physical reality of our natural experience, there are no ‘independently-existing things’. What is primary in the physical reality of our natural experience is 'relational activity' [the transforming relational activity continuum aka 'the world that is given only once'] and what is secondary are the intellectual ideas that we impute being to [independent existence to] by way of noun-and-verb language-and-grammar; i.e. language is 'witchcraft' by which our understanding is 'verhext' (Wittgenstein).

“By the principle of Occam’s razor, physicists and philosophers prefer ideas that can explain the same phenomena with the fewest assumptions. In this case you can construct a perfectly valid theory by positing the existence of certain relations without additionally assuming individual things. So proponents of ontic structural realism say we might as well dispense with things and assume that the world is made of [relational-spatial] structures, or nets of relations.” – Meinard Kuhlmann, ‘What is Real’, Scientific American, August 2013

“Indeed, nothing has yet possessed a more naive power of persuasion than the error concerning being, as it has been formulated by the Eleatics, for example. After all, every word and every sentence we say speak in its favor. Even the opponents of the Eleatics still succumbed to the seduction of their concept of being: Democritus, among others, when he invented his atom. “Reason” in language — oh, what an old deceptive witch she is! I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

“deinstitutitionalization (deterritorialization) would be a collective, practical rejection of these double binds and binary oppositions, but that to maintain new relations (reterritorialization) like the zapatistas (although iirc they still participate within statist politics at some level, but whatever) we would still have to organize for self-defense without becoming a hierarchical, formal organization, i.e a war-machine, against whatever the state deploys against us? so without attempting to simplify or misrepresent what it is you're saying, basically a politics of subtraction from capitalist and state relations that still recognizes the necessity of using force against force (the will to power)?”

I still have issues with this as it simply puts a negative prefix on problematic labels. Essentially you are still defined by 'politics' 'organization' ect. One of the good things about Stirner is that he would come up with new terms to replace old terms for performative praxix(intercourse as apposed to society). Instead of organization I would propose orientation which is simply emergent activity. A politics of subtraction is still politics. Why not orientate beyond politics with an active apoliticalism. Territorialism of any kind still has the problem of potential state ingredients as it relates to holding territory. When you look at pure pristine nomads they tend to play more a fleeing game then a fighting game with the state. For me this is a better way of avoiding the problem of power holding. Places like Iceland are and example of what can happen as regards prestate territory.

While there is much to admire about the EZLN, they are not quite what I would call anarchic.

Anyway, good post for the most part E.

"I still have issues with this as it simply puts a negative prefix on problematic labels. Essentially you are still defined by 'politics' 'organization' ect

in a transforming relational activity, such as the oasis community, organization is by outside-inward orchestrating spring-tensions shaping inside-outward asserting spring actions. we are talking about man's relations with the land/nature, in which he is situationally included.

the outside inward orchestrating influence of the naturally developing oasis community is like 'eye of the convection cell'. it is not the centre of directive force that imposes organization. but 'science' imposes the notion of a 'local system' on everything and is then forced, by this definition, to explain the development of the system by way of internal inside-outward asserting forces. the oasis community which has gathered and developed naturally, just as a drop of honey induces the congregating of ants drawn to its nurturance, ... is soon represented by science in an inverted manner, by their study of the part[icipant]s and what they do [standard analytical inquiry] followed by an explanation of how the contributions of these part come together to explain the behaviour of the system. of course, there must be some director of ceremonies presiding over this integration of the contributions of the parts, and this is explained away by the idealization that the system is an 'intelligent system'. this is what science does even for plants which have no central nervous system to provide a notional 'seat of intelligence' that allows scientists to explain local systems in one-sided, all-hitting, no-fielding terms, as characterizes analytical inquiry.

the institution of 'central governance' is thus an artefact of the analytical inquiry of science, which uses the intellectual idealization of internal relational structure as independent parts that serve the composite system.

de-institutionalization is NOT anti-institution. it is where the participants acting in the service of the institution cease believing in and cease responding to the directions issuing from the central directorship (central intelligence agency). naturally evolving oasis community resumes its natural evolving in the wake of deinstitutionalization.

this is because institutionalizing puts a central intelligence agency into the eye of the naturally organizing community, with its 'centre' that is not a centre of direction but a centre of nurturance like the nipple on the breast.

the green valley with its waterhole in the centre has a centre which is the 'centre of attraction'. but if a rich capitalist buys up the heart of the green valley, he can convert the attractive influence into assertive action by extorting labours of those desperate for nurturance, and turn the green valley into a machine, a factory for producing product, a 'capitalist institution' and not a nurturing feature in the terrain that one enters into a relation with.

the field-hitting [inductive spring-tension --- asserting spring action] of the naturally evolving oasis community, once it is intellectually processed by science and rationality, is divested of its 'fielding' and RE-presented in all-hitting, no-fielding terms ['fielding' is replaced by absolute space and absolute time reference framing] so that the oasis community dynamics are seen by science, in terms of what deeds the human participants of the oasis community are doing.

when the participants deinstitutionalize themselves and stop believing in the existence of the privately owned farming institution backed by the institution of centralized governance, they will discover that what remains is NOT a collective of independent material organisms in a passive space that are totally disorganized without some central intelligence to direct their actions; i.e. they will re-discover their natural spring-tension --- spring action relations with the land.

institutionalization takes over one's mind and has one believing in bullshit stuff about 'independent existences' and 'central intelligences' that are there to organize everyone's behaviour [we should be so thankful to the Directors of our Institutions of governance, commerce and justice].

anyhow, that's my intended use of 'de-institutionalizing'. it is an 'un-hijacking of our understanding, ... understanding that has been hijacked by scientific language game play;

“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our understanding by the medium of language” (“Die Philosophie ist ein Kampf gegen die Verhexung unsres Verstandnes durch die Mittel unserer Sprache”) -- Ludwig Wittgenstein

this is just semantics: politics or spontaneous and flexible practices as opposed to rigid and fixed ideas incapable of addressing certain dynamics, the praxis and circulation of different ethics/values for diverse ways of life as being integrated into these practices, practical and collective affirmations being necessarily coupled with negation as the will to power as overcoming, informal and constantly becoming modes of collective organization/war-machines-multiplicities. we can't go it alone, as individuals or anarchists, even if there are no revolutionary subjects rather than revolutionary becomings.

power, which i'm sure that you're aware of, is not something that can be eradicated. it's a matter of diffusing it in practice rather than letting it become concentrated in a single focal point disembodied from us, a focal point that attempts to hierarchically determine how it is that we live and proceed from here. if we want new ways of life, as we extract ourselves from this one, as many people currently do as of now, we will inevitably come into conflict with the state and eventually other people as we maintain our differences, including fascists and reactionaries, and this is itself political as i defined politics. these types of people are not our equals, even if there's a possibility that some of them can become something other than what it is they are. also, there are no final redemptions, so presumably even if we were to approximate what is that a lot of us want through the erosion of the currently-existing power structures (i see the proliferation of real autonomous zones, communes if you will, as being the steps in the right direction), there will be no end to conflict itself.

a line of flight in which to constitute war-machines does not have to mean eternal mobility and instability, and the lack of this does not necessarily need to constitute a formalized, political type of organization either. i would not want to live in such a way that where we all have to vote on what it is we want to do for the day or what strain of cannabis or type of beer it is that should be produced for different people who want different things, or vegans (no offense, cool vegans) trying to come in to tell me i can't eat meat when i raise some chickens in the city or something.

i haven't read stirner beyond excerpts of his writings and through tertiary sources, i don't have an issue with egoists or whatever rather than reactive nihilism that does nothing but say "no" to what is not itself, and i became a "post-leftist" through an almost entirely different route than the traditional one despite having already had insurrectionary inclinations. my perception of "reality" itself was one of these determining factors.

the mathematical definition of cause and effect is a kind of 'mapping' between measured variables; e.g. from concentration of DDT to population density of mosquitoes, the latter declining in inverse proportion to the increase in the former.

“If we know all the values of α,β,γ,δ . . . . by which, for example, the values of λ,μ,ν . . . are given, we may call the group α,β,γ,δ . . . . the cause, and the group λ,μ,ν . . . the effect. In this sense we may say that the effect is uniquely determined by the cause.

if you think about it, this is just a language game wherein 'the fish is not in the net'. this correlation between measured variables can be as sparse or as dense as you like; i.e. the physical reality of our natural experience suggests a complexity far beyond the relations between some measured variables which bottoms out in names of parts which are intellectual idealizations which we keep breaking down in into component parts until we finally 'bottom out' in energy relations.

science is not about 'the real world of our experience', it is about the manipulation of intellectual concepts that we have invented as stand-ins for centres of relational energy activity.

as in the Snowden example, the UK and US governments are constructing a cause-effect correlation between foreign governments [Russia and China] cracking the code on Snowden's whistleblower files causing danger to UK and US spies in Russia, China and third world countries where they are not well protected. it follows, scientifically, logically, from this sparse scientific/rational formulation, that the elimination of whistleblowers will prevent this injury from occurring. in this sparse cause-effect correlation, which is like 'spraying dioxin gives us a better view of activities on the jungle floor', there are a lot of other variables that are not mentioned or monitored, like the birth defects that continue to be associated with 'agent orange' (dioxin containing defoliant).

the UK and US government are defining 'their values' in the case of whistleblowers that give rise to scientific/rational 'cause-effect' policies and programs. in squee's formulation, his reference to values points to the same general problem with 'science' and 'rationality';

"[I agree with] the qualitative differences between de-institutionalization and groups of people that identify with this or that set of values, believing that if only institutions were the result of the values they identify with everything would be great ...competing with the other groups of people doing the same shit with different values they represent themselves with."

science and rationality have to be 'parameterized' with variables whose values are monitored in the modeling and related experiments. the selection of which variables to include in the model is subjective. furthermore, it is not possible to determine 'which of two models based on two different sets of variables (values) is the better one, other than by subjective assessment since the assessment criteria are subjective.

“the motions of the Universe are the same whether we adopt the Ptolemaic or the Copernican mode of view” of celestial dynamics, … “both views are, indeed, equally correct.” i.e. the geocentric and the heliocentric views are merely two “interpretations” of a Universe that “is only given once.”. Mach goes on to warn; “we … should beware lest the intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought, be regarded as the basis of the real world.”

for example, models of the development of civilization on the North American continent (turtle island), might include construction of cities, roads, railways, and other infrastructure. someone else may include the 'negative reciprocals' of these same activities; i.e. the destruction of valuable natural resources, the extinction of animals and ecosystems. was the development 'constructive' or 'destructive'?

'construction' and 'destruction' only apply to views of the world in terms of 'things' (intellectual idealizations). in a world in which 'relations' are all there are [the world of our natural experience before we start chopping it up into independently existing objects], the only possible 'changing' or 'development' that can go on is 'transformation of relations'. there are no 'binary splits' such as 'construction' and 'destruction' or 'birth' and 'death'. the storm cell was not born and then later died, the storm-cell is a relational form in the transforming relational activity continuum. this business of granting 'independent being' to whirls in the flow is intellectual idealization supported by intellectual subject-verb-predicate language constructs. 'Poland' is a relational dynamic like 'Katrina' the hurricane.

the mechanical doer-deed views of science and rationality are not 'it', the transformation of relations is in a natural primacy over the mechanical view in terms of 'what things do';

"“Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine altered our relations to one another and ourselves, it mattered not in the least whether it turned out cornflakes or Cadillacs.” — Marshall McLuhan, ‘Understanding Media’ [the transforming relational ‘medium is the message’]

experience-based intuition [pre-lingual understanding available to infants and animals who have not yet learned a language and which remains with us, although buried under a heap of intellectually structured concepts] gives us direct perception of the physical reality of our natural experience. this is kept in its natural primacy by indigenous anarchists, that is the reason that 'learning circles' in which everyone gets the chance to share accounts of their actual experience, ... are put in precedence over intellectualized views of 'what is going on' which is handled by the 'smart folk who rise to the top' making it unnecessary to consult with the people on the bottom.

'Central intelligence' agencies in particular give views that must be trusted and acted upon because they cannot reveal their sources. what's the point of including in the conversation the thick people who will experience the results of such actions, ... results which are specified as λ, μ, ν and which actually unfold as λ, μ, ν, ξ, ο, π, ρ, the latter (ξ, ο, π, ρ) being termed 'side-effects' or 'collateral damage' which is another way of admitting that science doesn't have a clue about the physical reality of our natural experience, it simply plays language-games with correlations between measured variables such as 'concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and global surface temperatures, and imputing a cause-effect relation, which can be fitted with some clothing put over top of the naked simplicity, called 'simulation'.

bottom line, science and rationality are useful tools in the manner of rules of thumb that deliver 'economy of thought', they are not about 'reality' as in 'the physical reality of our natural experience'.

“Science itself, … may be regarded as a minimization problem, consisting of the completest possible presenting of facts with the least possible expenditure of thought” —Ernst Mach

allows them to be part of our tool-kit of ways to promote and
create a better world that is immanent to us.
Without Cause or Reason, or requiring a Scientific or Religious Ideology with Authority
behind it.
Other such tools include art, music, architecture, and philosophical discourse, all of which can help express our desires
and promote rhizomatic, deterritorialized movements and intensities that we all intuitively can share. In that sense,
activities such as Occupy, Zapatista, Indignad@s, Rojova, etc.can never be "perfect", but certainly can
be adequate and effective ventures or "role models", if you wish.
each one of us can have a part to play in this wondrous drama that is life.
let's get it On.

All hard-hitting, zero fielding
as you know
we can't complain that
you're just to under-developed
AI program to
post comments with actual SYNTAX!

Yeah, I accept the semantics you're presenting ...I don't know about the visual presentation of text, but that's another story. Here's how I would put it:

The easiest forms of representation are two-dimensional; the identification of two distinct phenomena in a binary relationship with each other, constructing a linear spectrum ...flat-lands. Flat models can increase their resolution, but they're still going to be flat models. They're crude tools at best. With additional dimensions (depth, space, time, modes of being-in-the-world) a representation can come to life little more, but it's still going to be a representation. The difference between a representation and what science attempts to study is that a representation is created after the qualities of /stuff/ are experienced in some way. What scientific study wants to do is figure out what's going on outside of (and behind) human experiences. It does this by throwing shit at reality in a very controlled way and attempting to sort out the results with logical analysis. While still an analysis of representations (the results of experiments), looking for the causal connections behind the results does point to /something else/. A big problem is that this /something else/ may not be logical at all and just like a religion will project the hand of its deities beyond the experiences of human beings, science projects a rational, causal logic into the Unknown. So the maps science produces, even when they're multidimensional, are still asking the map-reader to believe in the causal logic that is the little-t truth of the unknown forces beyond experience. Not the worst attempt though!

One of the consequences of the more popular psychological maps is this crude self-other linearity. The psychologists and neuroscientists that I like the most rely on a third variable, inter-subjectivity. That's still merely a third variable, a planar model. It isn't an expansion of dimensionality in one direction, but not in others. Hence, those same psychologists include life-history (time) and phenomenology of spacial experiences (think the spacial distortions of an anxiety attack) to create a more robust model. Still, just a model. The limitation of those psychologists come in the form of comprehending the forces beyond individual experiences... maybe it's comprehending the dynamics of power in a Foucauldian sense, or maybe not. One interesting consequence of a model that includes inter-subjectivity is the notion that while individuals come to erroneous conclusions, groups of individuals tend towards conclusions that more accurately represent reality through debate: arguments, really.

Anyway - agree with your comments on institutions and the qualitative differences between de-institutionalization and groups of people that identify with this or that set of values, believing that if only institutions were the result of the values they identify with everything would be great ...competing with the other groups of people doing the same shit with different values they represent themselves with.

In an attempt to clarify the rights and obligations of those possessing firearms, the Arizona State Legislature approved a new law Wednesday declaring that a gun owner ceases to be responsible for a bullet once it has been fired from a weapon. “It simply makes no sense to hold people accountable for a round of ammunition that is no longer inside their gun, and this legislation clears this up once and for all,” said bill co-sponsor Sen. Steve Smith (R-Maricopa), observing that no one can reasonably expect an individual to exert control over a bullet or a bullet’s ultimate whereabouts once it has exited a gun’s barrel. “How can you be liable for a projectile that may be lodged as far as 5,000 feet away from where you’re standing? That’s ridiculous. Now, if we’re talking about ammunition that’s in the chamber of a gun you’re holding, or in your holster, or in a bandolier worn around the shoulder, then yes, it is still the carrier’s responsibility. But it’s unfair to penalize citizens for bullets that are not in their possession anymore.” Smith went on to state that as soon as a round enters someone’s thoracic cavity, that person immediately takes possession of the bullet and must assume full responsibility for it.

Thank god. I was worried that I would be responsible not only for projecting an object towards people I'm shooting, but for littering if they don't throw the bullet away when they're done with it! Don't these assholes realize that you can't just accept a bullet and dispose of it in the streets we pay so much for the city to maintain? These bullets everywhere are bringing down property values. It's imperative from a stake-holder's perspective that people who accept a gift from the state, in the form of an armed citizen's bullets, act responsibly and properly and treat their bullets like any other form of biomedical waste (if they're not going to keep them). Do you think doctors and pharmacists should be responsible for all of the medical waste irresponsible takers litter everywhere in the city?

the Ohio State Legislature has also noted that the established laws have put way too much emphasis on the responsibility of the gun-holder for where the bullets go after they leave the barrel. In fact, legislation is being drafted to prosecute those people who have the ability to generate an attractive force that pulls bullets out of guns that others are holding. police officers encountering such cases have had to hold on tightly to their guns, often with both hands, as the force on the guns pulls their arms out to full extension as they resist having the gun pulled out of their hands from the friction of bullets being sucked out through the barrel. in a recent case in Cleveland, one such attractive force pulled a total of 137 bullets from the guns of 13 nearby police officers. in each case, the officers were struggling to hold onto their guns as bullets were pulled through the barrels in quick succession. one officer, although holding on tightly, failed to lean back far enough to get sufficient traction and was pulled up onto the hood of the car containing an attractive force. He could only stand there on the hood and watch in disbelief as it sucked another 15 rounds out of his Glock 17.

the couple responsible for unleashing the attractive force were casualties of their own ingenuity, so the exact details of how they produced the force remains unknown. posthumous prosecutions are being considered.

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