• AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
Incoming links
from Bruno Latour/We Have Never Been Modern
    • imbroglios. Retieing the Gordian Knot
    • image.png
from Latour/Abstraction
from Weird Studies/Neighbor George
  • As usual, this drifited into the ontology of the supernatural and modernism. Bruno Latour came up. These discussions always get me thinking about my own views, and how they differ from that of the hosts, or perhaps aren't all that different.
from Media Science Heroes
from Infrastructure of intention
from goddinpotty/TODOs
  • Aliases still aren't working right; eg there is a separate Latour page output even though it is supposed to be an alias to Bruno Latour
from Brian Cantwell Smith
  • His book On The Origin of Objects owes a lot to Latour and that really means I should read it!
from Erik Davis
  • the modern West never really left the anthropological matrix. Instead, it used the conceptual sleight of hand of the Great Divide to deny the ever-present reality of hybrids, those “subject/objects” that straddle the boundaries between nature and culture, agency and raw material. " (p 16, commenting on Bruno Latour's We Have Never Been Modern)
from Carl Hewitt
  • Links with Latour

    • It's kind of funny that Latour's Actor-Network Theory is about as prominent in his intellectual world ans Hewitt's Actors is in computation, yet the two don't seem to be very connected (Both died during 2022). Hewitt was aware of Latour at least, I asked him once about his thoughts on ANT and he said "we're implementing it!"
from Politics and Pragmatism in Scientific Ontology Construction
  • It was probably my most sustained effort to be a kind of Bruno Latour-ish constructionist and do battle with the naive realism that scientific computation usually assumes.
from conflict theory
  • Bruno Latour

    • Forces that ally themselves in the course of a trial are said to be durable. Each entelechy generates times for others by allying with or betraying them. "Time" arises at the end of this game, a game in which most lose what they have staked.
    • Nothing escapes the primordial trials. Before negotiation we have no idea what kind of trials there will be-whether they can be thought of as conflict, game, love, history, economy, or life.
    • There is no natural end to such controversies.They may always be reopened. The only way to close them is to stop other actants from leading those that have been enrolled astray and turning them into traitors. In the end, interpretations are always stabilized by an array of forces.
      • Irreductions
from panpsychism
  • Yer I'm a big fan of Latour, whose non-human actors sound sort of similar. I guess it's easier for me to believe in pan-agency than pan-cognition, and panpsychism sounds more like the latter than the former.
from Jill Nephew
  • Host says "guns don't have agency", needs to read Latour
from Weird Studies/Tarot/Wheel of Fortune
  • Latour reference, says "scientists attribute agency to the objects they observe"
    • that is not exactly what Latour says, I think – have to reread his earlier work. He's saying that the objects of science actually have agency, or can be allies, he posits a flattened ontology where people and papers and enzymes are all agentive and compose networks and alliances of agents. I don't think he talks much about how scientists attribute agency. Could be wrong. Damn I should know this!
      • If I'm right Latour is more radical (weirder?) than the WS host (forget which one said that).
from free speech
  • Something about how the liberal dichotomy between speech and action, a kind of constitution in the Bruno Latour sense, is fake and breaking down.
from The Disappearance of Rituals: A Topology of the Present
  • Although play gets a lot of praise here, the book itself is kind of ponderous in tone, sometimes downright grim (although refreshingly clear at least). Contrast with Latour, whose scope is just as broad but whose style is infinitely playful, more cognizant of the human reality, which is richer than its ideologies.
from computational constitution
  • Using Constitution in Bruno Latour-ish sense – a very broad social agreement on how the world is to be carved up.
from Technic and Magic
  • The mention of constitution suggests Latour.
from Weird Studies/Graham Harman
  • At this point I'm tempted to use my amateur status to make the very non-scholarly argument that all this is extremely stupid. Idealism or materialism, at least in their fundamentalist forms, are obviously wrong and fighting about them has distracted smart people from reality for thousands of years. Arguing about what is really real is stupid. (this is equivalent to Latour's Irrieductions which expresses it more politely).
from reductionism
from Weird Studies/Gebser
from LWMap/Varieties of Argumentation Experience
  • It boils down to a very fundamental philosophical point about the relationship of truth and power. Scott, a canonical rationalist, wants disagreements to be about matters of fact – true or false statements about the word, and not about social power or legitimacy or anything like that. That feels like it deserves a long essay of its own, but for now I'll outsource to Bruno Latour (see Bruno Latour).
from Deleuze
  • Reminded me of Latour, specifically Irreductions. Whig science tries to build a tree of explanations (reduction), Latour is advocating something more rhizomatic.
from re-enchantment
from Weird Studies/Duncan Barford
  • Bet this would make Latourian Modes of Existence make more sense too...
from Patterns of Refactored Agency
  • Pervasive agency can be imagined in a unitary sort of way (Life wants this, Technology wants that) or in a more anarchic spirit that acknowledges that every local living thing or bit of technology might be an independent agent pursuing its own individual desires. This distinction can be seen in two theorists of technology that have a (loosely) hylozoic approach. Kevin Kelly, with a more unitarian vision entitled his book, What Technology Wants, while Bruno Latour, a sociologist who often writes about the agency of technology and other non-human argument, writes of the “Parliament of Things”, envisioning a world where nonhumans give voice to their desires but those voices and desires are a multitude rather than a unity.
from Notes on Daybreak
  • There's something Bruno Latourian here – although the notion of ideas contending, of strength and struggle in ideaspace – that goes back earlier, and there must be a good word for it but I don't know what it is. (I know Latour wrote an essay tracing to back to Callicles)
from Kevin Kelly
  • Both [Kelly and Latour] are trying to locate agency somewhere other than in its traditional home of individual humans, but while Latour distributes it throughout the material world, Kelly seems to locate it in some transcendent heavenly omega point. That's why ultimately Latour seems to be more of a humanist -- the desires he talks about are human-scaled, even if they inhabit odd objects.
from computational constitution
  • Bruno Latour

    • Particularly his essay on Callicles, and We Have Never Been Modern
from actor network
  • See Bruno Latour and Actor–network theory - Wikipedia. Of interest since it's a well-established alternative framework for thinking about agency – in that the actors it identifies are not necessarily human, but could be (eg) machines, institutions, animals, or even non-animate natural objects like

Bruno Latour

30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
Open in Logseq
    • Latour is probably the most prominent advocate of "the social construction of science". This slogan has been predictably misinterpreted to mean an attitude that is hostile to science and to realism. Latour addressed these concerns in a couple of essays:
      • “Do you believe in reality?” —news from the trenches of the Science Wars
        • I could not get over the strangeness of the question posed by this man I considered as a colleague, yes, a colleague, and who has since become a good friend. If science studies have collectively achieved something, I thought, it must be that they have added reality to science, surely not withdrawn any from it. Instead of the stuffed scientists hanging on the walls of the armchair philosophers of science of the past, we have portrayed lively characters, immersed in their laboratories, full of passion, loaded with instruments, steeped in know-how, connected through many vessels to a larger and more vibrant milieu. Instead of the pale and bloodless objectivity of science, we have all shown, it seemed to me, that the many non-humans mixed into our collective life through laboratory practice have a history, flexibility, culture, blood, in short, all the characteristics that were denied to them by the humanists, on the other side of campus.
      • Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern
        • Let me be mean for a second. What’s the real difference between conspiracists and a popularized, that is a teachable version of social critique inspired by a too quick reading of, let’s say, a sociologist as eminent as Pierre Bourdieu (to be polite I will stick with the French field commanders)? In both cases, you have to learn to become suspicious of everything people say because of course we all know that they live in the thralls of a complete illusio of their real motives. Then, after disbelief has struck and an explanation is requested for what is really going on, in both cases again it is the same appeal to powerful agents hidden in the dark acting always consistently, continuously, relentlessly. Of course, we in the academy like to use more elevated causes—society, discourse, knowledge-slash-power, fields of forces, empires, capitalism—while conspiracists like to portray a miserable bunch of greedy people with dark intents, but I find something troublingly similar in the structure of the explanation, in the first movement of disbelief and, then, in the wheeling of causal explanations coming out of the deep dark below.
        • In spite of my tone, I am not trying to reverse course, to become reactionary, to regret what I have done, to swear that I will never be a constructivist any more. I simply want to do what every good military officer, at regular periods, would do: retest the linkages between the new threats he or she has to face and the equipment and training he or she should have in order to meet them—and, if necessary, to revise from scratch the whole paraphernalia. This does not mean for us any more than it does for the officer that we were wrong, but simply that history changes quickly and that there is no greater intellectual crime than to address with the equipment of an older period the challenges of the present one. Whatever the case, our critical equipment deserves as much critical scrutiny as the Pentagon budget.
    • On anti antipolitics
      • It takes something like courage to admit that we will never do better than a politician. We contrast his incompetence with the expertise of the well informed, the rigor of the scholar, the clairvoyance of the seer, the insight of the genius, the disinterest­edness of the professional, the skill of the craftsman, the taste of the artist, the sound common sense of the ordinary man in the street, the flair of the Indian, the deftness of the cowboy who fires more quickly than his shadow, the perspective and balance of the superior intellectual. Yet no one does any better than the politician. Those others simply have somewhere to hide when they make their mistakes. They can go back and try again. Only the politician is limited to a single shot and has to shoot in public. I challenge anyone to do any better than this, to think any more accurately, or to see any further than the most myopic congressman... What we despise as political "mediocrity" is simply the collection of compromises that we force politicians to make on our behalf. If we despise politics we should despise ourselves.
        • Irreductions
      • Everywhere we di­rect our best brains toward the extension of "science." It is with them that we lodge our greatest, indeed often our only, hopes. Nowhere more than in the evocation of this kingdom of knowledge do we create the impression that there is another transcendental world. It is only here that there is sanc­tuary. Politics has no rights here, and the laws that rule the other worlds are suspended. This extraterritorial status, available only to the "sciences," makes it possible for believers to dream, like the monks of Cluny, about recon­quering the barbarians. "Why not rebuild this chaotic, badly organized world of compromise in accordance with the laws of our world?"