Transfer Idiom as Infra-program
I’m going to work here on further approximating writing to programming. We have our three co-constitutive categories: ritual (ensuring it will have been the same); the juridical; and the disciplinary. We can identify a threshold for each category so that derivatives can be drawn from it: for ritual it is the reversal of entropic tendencies toward furtherest future options; for the juridical, it is the conversion of the vendetta into cases and claims; for the disciplinary it’s the reduction of the imperative gap so that the problem of “tyranny” and the differend is abolished. We should, then, be able to program the targeting of the threshold of each category so as to ensure performance above the threshold in the other categories. We can, further, code each of the categories in natural semantic primes, so as to bring us closer to actual programming. In this case, ritual is when and before and after are the same; the juridical is when this part of the all is the same; and the disciplinary is when doing and happening are the same. What we are programming for is intelligent scenic design intelligence: converting furnishing into scenes and scenes into furnishing so as to maximize pedagogical platforms in the infrastructure. And the form programming takes is finding and founding as many likenesses across scenes and events as possible while punctuating the spread of likenesses with same/other cuts or discretizations. Probability takes command; hence the “smartness mandate”; but the ostensive can never be eliminated, and any attempt to do so triggers collapse of institutions below the thresholds. We can go full bore into planetary scale computation because programming for singularized succession in perpetuity creates data exchange with the central intelligence rather than data seizure. The screen is always showing you what someone like you would like, while you can multiply to infinity the possible someones like you in order to apply data to selecting, enabling and constraining the successor you against all the not-successor yous.
Moreover, the three categories are already (“always already”) cybernetically tethered to each other such that changes in one can be made dependent on changes is the others. The tightening on options for succession will help maintain the juridical over the threshold of the vendetta (including the rights-based hyper-vendetta) while helping the disciplinary to study imperatives free of the tyranny/differend oscillation—and vice-versa. The purpose of programming is to be able to pitch the adjustments needed within one category to proximity to crisis in the other categories. If succession proceeds in an orderly manner, judgments are rarely indefensible enough to arouse resentments, and inquiries are restricted to how imperatives from the center can be ramified through the infrastructure, then that means all the people are in place needed to see to the orderly order and nothing more than the occasional tweak is required. Needless to say, not only could this never be completely counted on, but we are very far from it now—hence the need for programming. There must be some way, better than any other way, for anyone, situated specifically, to, say acquire standing in some court case so as improve the standards of justice and, collaterally, provide better data for unresentful inquiries and encouragement to some in power to see more effectively to matters of succession. We want as close as possible to a series of if… then sequences that would identify at different scales as many similarities as possible while being able to make the cut at any point as say “this is the case to take,” “this is the candidate to fund,” “this is the question to research,” etc.
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So, lets work on “before and after are the same,” “this part of the all is the same” and “doing and happening are the same” as the elements of a programming language that can be embedded in “natural language” so as to regulate a machine language learning process. These elements must be legible in any signifying sample (I think “signifying sample” is redundant). “Doing and happening are the same” refers to the furthest extremes by which any event can be described: agency can be maximized, and the event represented as the result of legible intentions by every actor conceivably associated with the event; or, agency can be minimized and “conditions” or “circumstances” maximized such that extra-human or meta-human imperatives saturate the event—and, of course, we now have a continuum, where any representation of an event can be located. Doing and happening are the same because the various representations along the spectrum are “like” each other, with any particular representation, with an ostensive grounding, articulating two points along the spectrum in a paradoxical form. The best method of inquiry would be represent every possible articulation of all pairs of points until one is selected. Selected, that is, as the closest approximation to some actual sample of language, with language understood in the broadest possible sense including all human products. (Ultimately, the hardest of science and technology must be included here.)
Such inquiries are always initiated so as to ascertain how before and after will have been the same. Everyone’s sign must be the same as itself at different points in time—different points along the extension of the imperative—in the midst of all the ways the sign is merely like itself and like innumerable other things besides. Names of individuals and titles of offices give us the most readily available examples here—is the President of the United States the President of the United States—even at the two mentions of the office in this very sentence? A particular articulation of doing and happening will make this the case while simultaneously creating a field of likenesses within which the case is made. This might produce the most unexpected inquiries and the most bizarre continuities in the succession of one occupant of the American center after another. Many inquiries, often overlapping but also mutually exclusive—ensuring, authenticating that before will have been the same as after is the work of the human. One might focus on the history of executive orders, of State of the Union addresses, on some metric in the ongoing interactions of the presidents with successive congresses, with memoirs of appointees in successive administrations and periodically attempt to converge these narratives. In any case one is situating actors on scenes somewhere on the spectrum of doing and happening, trying out narratives of the president as driving force in history alongside narratives of the president as mere puppet of larger historical “forces” (which themselves can be broken down into agencies and the sedimented results of their actions).
It is only through the ritual and then the juridical that we can identify “doers.” No one does anything or exists as an agent other than as some designee of, for starters, a ritual performance, and then subsequently as a member of a family, a citizen of a country, a member of a profession, a participant in some activity sanctioned, directly or implicitly, by some central power—even (especially) the occupant of the center is burdened, hemmed in and lifted up by titles such as “president,” “commander,” and so on. The ritual extends into the juridical while the juridical retrieves the ritual for increasingly distanced relations to the center: the part of the all is the same indicates the allocation or nomos at the origin of any order, and any reference to “justice” has to refer back to allocation, which is to say make it so the part allocated to an actor coming or brought before the representative of the center (the ritualized institution of decisions and judgments) is the same as the part of the all that actor has after his encounter with the institution. Even someone transformed from a close associate of the occupant of the center to one stripped of everything might have the same part of the all afterward insofar as he has exchanged the allocation given or inherited by him for the power, glory or momentary satisfaction aimed at by some transgression against the center; and if we are speaking of a case of “injustice,” that only means that we need to reconfigure the scene and bring in a metaperson as judge and devotees of that metaperson as commemorators so as to make the part of the all the same—justice is done in the succession of empires as God’s intervention in history.
The juridical is the peg on which we hang the reciprocal conversions of furnishing into scenes in scenic design practices, because reconfiguring the juridical requires constant innovation and disruptions in the juridical mark the results of ongoing innovations—in other words, finding a place for the juridical, the doing in the midst of the happening, requires the most acrobatic thinking. This may seem an odd way to think of innovation, but when the “theory” people used to speak about things being organized so as to produce certain kinds of subjects, I think they were right, and that can only mean juridical subjects. Producing juridical subjects is what extends the ritual order beyond itself, as that order, having become imperial, has arrived at the necessity to delegate authority, and this authority is required to adjudicate disputes within the also post-ritual order of exchange through money. Juridical subjects, then, are on a scene or, rather, an articulation of scenes, held together at two ends, we could say, by the central banks on one side and the intelligence agencies on the other. A longer discussion of the increasing centrality of the intelligence agencies over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries is needed, but for now it’s enough to say that liberal democracy simply needs more and more things done “off the books”—in more rigorous terms, the intelligence agencies maintain the tension between the increasingly centralization of power with the increasing rapidity of turnover in its occupancy. This is why it’s good to expose but pointless to complain about intelligence, which strictly speaking should be the research arm of the occupied center, and hence the disciplinary annexed to the ritual but instead is mostly dedicated to keeping ritualized activities from the extension into juridical spaces that would undermine the operations of all spheres. In other words, so much of what must be done to maintain rotation at the metastasizing center could not withstand juridical scrutiny while producing effects that constantly spill over into juridical operations. This reinforces the centrality of juridical, because all the distortions and refractions caused by intelligence creep show up there eventually, even if in the form of “odd” decisions by investigators and prosecutors.
Transfer idiom programming, then, generates platforms, whether as actual cases, thought experiments, artistic happenings, simulations or otherwise, that identifies complaints, actual, possible, justified, preposterous, whatever, as raising the question, is the part of the all the same? The answer implicit in the complaint is “no”; we would want to program for a “yes” answer. To do so the programmer must posit an initial nomos, or distribution, or allocation of positions within the centered ordinality (which is fractalized throughout the human order): that is the part of the all that is to be the same, one iterating the founding allotment. The initializing centered ordinality takes place through an imperative, so in programming we are studying the terms of fulfilling that imperative. What that initializing imperative is will never be self-evident, but there must be some way to it through the existing juridical categories, and questions about how to locate the initializing imperative will be accessible through anomalies in the juridical order; and anomalies there will always be, with the specter of the differend lurking in each case; and these anomalies will leave their marks in texts. Resolving an anomaly might involve extending the terms of the allotment; it might involve retracting them. Either way will involve introducing discrete intervals along the line of the standing imperative, marking places where a case stands out as requiring an imperative issued within the imperative gap; i.e., an imperative that does not automatically follow from the initializing imperative. A platform is created when within one interval another is represented, and hence the continuity of the initializing imperative enacted; this makes the platform pedagogical, because some kind of gesture, a showing how, is required to create this meta-interval.
Nothing is off-limits here, as the juridical can be planted within and between other institutions—I’m not just talking about working through the existing court system. The juridical can be private, established within the institution or team; between teams, through contracts and covenants and agreed upon arbiters; it can be introduced in the middle of some practice to defer some spiraling violence. Anywhere resentment is made visible within the allotment, there the juridical might be. Not all expressions of resentment are to be taken at face value—part of the purpose of the juridical is to sort that out, including the determination of resentments that surreptitiously try to break the initializing imperative. But all expressions of resentment do invoke the juridical, including, say, a preposterous lawsuit that ends with the plaintiff being bankrupted by having to pay the legal fees of the defendant. The programming problem is to identify an innovation in the infrastructure that would make the part of the all the same, and this will often involve highly hypothetical restructuring of the legal system (in a way, the “social credit” systems which everyone is so terrified of is such a restructuring, as all it really purports to do is introduce a layer of automation into the credit scores, arrest records, employment history, certifications, academic performances, etc., that already enter into—and must enter into—decisions made by the institutions we are allowed or prohibited access to). We can bring this into focus: what, for example, would be required to address resentments over police violence, or violations of election law, and then what would be required to meet that requirement, and then what would be required…? We end up with a sequence of “if.. then formulations that could be probabilized in accord with differently algorithmized data searches; and such formulations would inform the data searches and lead to new modes of data identification, collection and analysis. The programming must involve transformations in the disciplinary along with transformations in the ritual (modes of commemoration, the renewing of the initializing imperative—but, really, succession), and these transformations must be cybernetically linked, so that transformations in one entail transformation in the other. The programming tries to make these interlinkages as tight as possible, increasingly predictable and calculable but also increasingly sensitive to the limits of predictability and calculability implicit in the question of succession—a new succession, activating a new initializing imperative, might be needed to intervene in anomalous interactions across the ritual, juridical and disciplinary.
Contemporary technoscience seems to me to be particularly in accord with the programing model I’m proposing. 19th century through mid-20th century technology seems to me to have been engaged in enlarging and expanding scenes, allowing for governance across wide distances and the mass mobilization of populations—factories, cars, planes, harnessing energy, etc. Contemporary technology is more about firmly embedding us in scenes, which is why the earlier forms of technology seem more liberating (they opened up expanses, for governing, yes, but also for subjects) while the current ones seem more confining and controlling. I suppose if I had my choice, I might also prefer a scenic arrangement in which I could buy a cheap old Ford and just drive across the country with some cash, not have anyone care too much about what I’m up to, be able to disappear in some small town and take a job in a gas station without too much identification needed, etc., like in an old noir film (maybe I would prefer this because I like old noir films). But destroying what has been built since, assuming it were possible, wouldn’t bring us back to that anyway. Any innovation today will be built out of the sensorial, recording, data analyzing infrastructure we presently have. Figuring out new ways to search the databases—to detect, sort out potentially relevant connections between what you’ve detected, constructing hypothetical patterns and then testing them—will be, I think, the source of innovation, even of the kind more in conformity with the high modernist imaginary, like space travel. Constructing machines in order to generate a new field of ostensives, so that we all become students of the scene and not “victims” of it. Since these new technologies do position us as subjects far more directly than, say, cars, it also becomes easier to see how starting with resentful anomalies in the juridical can turn into a programming for scenic innovation.
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