High Weirdness

30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
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    • I reviewed it here and declared that it was "Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach for acidheads.": review
      • But where Hofstadter՚s metacircular loops tend to be orderly quasi-mathematical formal patterns, the loops of High Weirdness are subtler, stranger, and harder to pin down. They are viral and agent-like; they are darker, more personal, more like narratives than beautiful patterns. They begin as texts and but then leap off the page to enfold their authors. They take on aspects of a Landian hyperstition, a myth that has independent agency and can somehow act to call itself into being. They pose a challenge to mainstream metaphysics in a way that Hofstadter՚s more purely cognitive loops do not.
      • If High Weirdness is a viral construct that has a tendency to infect authors and readers, and can transmit itself by way of texts, then High Weirdness itself is a carrier. Davis is quite explicit about this, at one point comparing his text to bubble gum on the shoe, something sticky that just won՚t go away and is passed on from one carrier to the next (of course making this review another potential carrier of the infection – sorry about that! But you can blame the weirdly irresistible agency of the idea).
    • From High Weirdness p215: Discordianism absolutely destroys the distinction between 'being serious' and 'not being serious' " These are both examples of the coincidentia oppositorum , the coincidence of opposites that forms a central leitmotif in much traditional mystical discourse. For the fifteenth century mystic Nicolas of Cusa, who first named the principal, God lies beyond opposites and contradictions and therefore can be discovered, as it were, on the side of their coincidence, or mutal occasion.
    • p244 This critical gnosis is another version of the high-wire act, of course..it resembles the classic skepticism of Pyrrho, whose relativistic epistemology was designed to deliver as state of ataraxia, or tranquility.
    • p245 The paradox with Wilson's atheist-anarchist subject is that its anti-authoritarianism sometimes turns against the primitive authority of the self as well. Wilson was happy to accept the psychoanalytic portrait of the self as internally divided, its apparent independence paradoxically dependent on a wrangling society of partial subjects.
      • goes on to say how Wilson sometimes gave The Skeptic veto power.
    • As Hagbard Celine explains in Illuminatus!!, “When you’re dealing with these forces or powers in a philosophic and scientific way, contemplating them from an armchair, [the] rationalistic approach is useful. It is quite profitable then to regard the gods and goddesses and demons as projections of the human mind or as unconscious aspects of ourselves. But every truth is a truth only for one place and one time, and that’s a truth, as I said, for the armchair. When you’re actually dealing with these figures, the only safe, pragmatic, and operational approach is to treat them as having a being, a will, and a purpose entirely apart from the humans who evoke them. If the Sorcerer’s Apprentice had understood that, he wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble.”