Anticipated Stranger,

the bruise will stop by later.
For now, the pain pauses in its round,
notes the time of day, the patient’s temperature,
leaves a memo for the surrogate: What the hell
did you think you were doing? I mean . . .
Oh well, less said the better, they all say.
I’ll post this at the desk.

God will find the pattern and break it. — John Ashbery


Ashbery has been dead for over a year and I’m just now reading from more than Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror .

In other news pt. ii of my interview with The Psychedelic Times is up (the more substantial half I think).

interview on psychedelic times


Psychedelic Science, Ontological Mystery, and Political Ideology: A Conversation with Emma Stamm


This is part I. Not sure what the editors will put in part II but I think it’ll include some anecdotes from my ill-fated romance with blockchain technology (2015-2017  R I P).

Some of the information isn’t 100% correct, like my dissertation is not so much about psychedelics and A.I. — those topics segue into the work on data and epistemology. Also, fwiw I didn’t put that filter on my photo.

goth still matters

My favorite essay from the k-punk book is online! (Exclamation point because it’s so good!)

A brief, dumb interpretation: goth exhibitionism denies interiority to the nth degree. Goth is interchangeable with signs and machines — it’s pure surface, sign value exchange and spectacle.

Goth is an aesthetics based on the rejection of false illumination. It’s most sincere when it points out that transparency as a cultural ideal is impossible and hypocritical. Which makes it a good foil for the transparency society, the neoliberal regime of the self.


😎😎Mark Fisher’s Goth

machine learning & the algorithmic cancellation of the future

I will be at the Western Political Science Association Conference in San Diego, 18-20 April 2019. Here’s the abstract for my talk:

Machine Learning and the Algorithmic Cancellation of the Future

In this paper I explore the impact of machine learning algorithms on the data they process. I make a two-part argument. First, that the inductive basis of machine learning functionality forecloses their capacity to produce outcomes with no ancestral relation to their training data. This has a protracted winnowing effect on content, which is a political concern due to the growing presence of machine learning algorithms in various facets of communal and individual life. I maintain that the a priori restrictions placed by algorithms on data constitute an emerging hegemonic order. Second, that an intervention in this scenario can be staged through an examination of non-digital, interpretative and self-reflexive methods in empirical science. The restrictions of machine learning, I offer, is drawn into high relief by exploring scientific studies in which it is deemed methodologically insufficient. This reading indicates predicates of intelligence which allegedly “intelligent” automation fails to self-generate.

I substantiate the first part of my argument with work from three philosophers of digital media. Antoinette Rouvroy writes on “algorithmic governance,” the automated retraction of possibility from probability in digital content. Matteo Pasquinelli argues that machine learning-based systems, including A.I., cannot be intelligent, as their inductive functionality does not compass the creativity which constitutes genuine intelligence. Adrian Mackenzie applies a Foucauldian reading to algorithmic determinacy. These thinkers provide me with materials for the second part, in which I use specific cases to theorize non-digital methodology in empirical science as a challenge to the algorithmic cancellation of the future.


In other news, my review of Andrew Feenberg’s Technosystem: The Social Life Of Reason has been published in the Humanities and Technology Review .

freedom from the known

Technology and science are valves for economic production. They can’t be the guiding themes of the content which is supposed to fuel our imagination for the future.

Some of my thoughts on this are a little woowoo. I really believe there exist imaginative realms which, on one hand, contain nothing resembling the known universe, but on the other are accessible, capable of being rendered in art, and which can guide our political imagination. It’s worth it to look further than the recognizable motifs of technoscience.

This is why contemplation and interiority are subversive. You might fall into an internal world — a place populated with expressive but non-representative forms — that you want to drag into the real one.

I can’t make this post without calling out sci-fi specifically. I’m sorry. I just don’t think it’s as politically powerful as everyone says it is.

Really want to re-record this. Lyrics from As You Like It:

I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder before you came,
for look here what I found on a palm tree;
I was never so berhymed since Pythagoras’ time,
that I was an Irish rat,
which I can hardly remember—