• Courage of Truth: In Memory of Bernard Stiegler

    Posted on August 17, 2020 on uminnpress BY ALEXANDER WILSON I was nervous when I first met Bernard at his Beaubourg office, not only because he was a towering figure in philosophy and that I had been enthralled with his books for several years, but also because I was self-conscious about my mastery of French, even though […]

  • Only Hollow Idols Ring

    Catherine Malabou has highlighted that one’s openness to the future, the capacities that allow one to imagine new worlds and to take on political or moral stances, is bound up with habits. Potential for novelty is cultivated, learned, and paradoxically gained only through an entrenchment into our ways. The habits are what make the world […]

  • Real Non-Patterns and the Automation of Science

    Real Non-Patterns and the Automation of Science Alexander Wilson In a now famous Wired article from 2008—“The End of Theory”—Chris Anderson predicted that the algorithmic brute force analysis of increasingly large data sets would soon challenge the relevance of theory. By training machine learning models on raw physical data, we can, as Hong Qin recently put it, replace theory with a “black box that […]

  • Marcolli’s Case for Cybernetic Communism

    Matilde Marcolli’s recent paper “The Problem of Scale in Anarchism and the Case for Cybernetic Communism” (signed Aurora Apolita), is an important and timely contribution to anarchist and communist thought, weaving together rich knowledge of these histories with advancements in complexity theory and algorithmic information theory. I completely agree with her that we need to […]

  • The Virus and the Tree

    Alexander Wilson  2020-04-06 LOCKDOWN THEORY #19 How does the parasite usually take hold? It tries to become invisible. – Michel Serres, The Parasite 1. From a biological perspective, humans inhabit the outer branches of the so-called tree of life; or, perhaps more accurately, a minuscule and most fragile twig, a freshly sprouted thorn. 2. This putative tree […]

  • Why Process is Extrinsic to the Digital Domain

    Alexander Wilson, 2014 The term “process” usually connotes continuity. The canonical heraclitean river, different each time one enters it, presents the essential character of process: it flows. Digital processes, however, are characterized by cuts, breaks, and jumps. The digital is given as a series of discontinuities. We look at the river flowing: it seems continuous, […]

  • …of the trace

    …of the trace …of the trace is an installation that intervenes in public space. It makes use of a laser steering system similar to the one in The Fine Tuning, however instead of being fed pure signals from electronic oscillators, it traces salient features of some architectural element in public space. A video camera is […]

  • Asymmetry and Subjectivity

    The following is an exerpt from: Pharmacology of the Feedback Loop, Alexander Wilson, 2012 Even if the question of the symmetry of time is still a field of debate in the philosophy of science, it is undeniable that, if we agree with the probabilistic monism of contemporary science, and posit that the universe is time-symmetric […]