Why we do what we do
“Because I think we’re trapped in a game theory nightmare, because I think that we–whatever we are–are doomed even if the technological optimists are right, I see myself as a ‘post-posterity writer,’ as part of the first generation of writers who cannot pretend that subsequent generations will redeem the esotericism of their works. The only literature I’m interested in, indeed the only literature I think has positive social value, is literature that reaches beyond the narrow circle of the educated classes, and so reaches those who do not already share the bulk of a writer’s values and attitudes. Literature that actually argues, actually provokes, rather than doing so virtually in the imaginations of the like-minded. Living literature.”
-Scott Bakker [that said, I’ve never read him]
There’s a tenaciousness to much of the theory I encounter these days – days, mind you, in which theory has been declared ‘dead’ and most of its radical implications are rehashed from 20 or so years prior. Those very conditions may explain the tenaciousness; a cornered animal is a fighter. But, to give philosophy wank its due, there’s also a legitmate rising pitch that echoes the increasing sense of lethargy and increased number of shuffled feet we encounter. As most of our world holds steady, listening to indie rock and waiting to do its tour in Iraq or find a new job, those who have had their ears to the ground for the past few decades hear dark rumbles.
There’s a good reason the Continentals are now fascinated with Lovecraft.
Just what those rumbles are, I can’t specifically say – sure, the collapse of modern society may be part of it, but I’d pin more of the fear on an uncertainty and unpreparedness than a specific apocalyptic event. We’re realizing how little we know – and how little we are capable of – and we fight these conclusions tooth and nail, book and blog.
Thomas Ligotti reframes Buddhism’s no-self as a horrific, paralyzing realization. Buddha is still smiling: you missed the punch line
You can imagine a dire end-of-days, 2012-bit here in which humanity is wrenched into wakefulness and a vast group just can’t deal with it. Huge casualties; they died, fingers wrapped around their own brains as if hanging on for dear life.
You have to let go sometime.
[It just hit me: theory’s basic problem: you cannot solve a problem by overcomplicating it to death.]