Technoshamanism and Wasted Ontologies 

Fundamentally, we find ourselves in a state of constant war, a fierce dispute between different visions of the future, between social and political ontologies and between nature and technology. In this sense, technoshamanism manifests itself as yet another contemporary network which tries to analyze, position itself with respect to and intervene in this context. It is configured as a utopian network because it harbors visionary germs of liberty, autonomy, equality of gender, ethnicity, class and people and of balance between the environment and society that have hitherto characterized revolutionary movements. It is dystopian because at the same time it includes a nihilistic and depressive vision which sees no way out of capitalism, is disillusioned by neoliberalism and feels itself trapped by the project of total, global control launched by the world’s owners. It sees a nebulous future without freedom, with all of nature destroyed, more competition and poverty, privation and social oppression. And it is entropic because it inhabits this paradoxical set of forces and maintains an improbable noise – its perpetual noisecracy, its state of disorganization and insecurity is continuous and is constantly recombining itself. Its improbability is its dynamism. It is within this regime of utopia, dystopia and entropy that it promotes its ideas and practices, which are sometimes convergent and sometimes divergent.

In practice, this manifests itself in individual and collective projects, be they virtual or face-to-face and in the tendencies that are generated from these. Nobody is a network, people are in it from time to time according to necessities, desires, possibilities, etc.

Source: Technoshamanism and Wasted Ontologies | agger’s Free Software blog

Contemplative Cognition

Mindfulness, whether distinguished as a state, trait, or training, is central to a growing wave of interest in meditation. Theoretical development has been called for in order to clarify confusion about mindfulness from a scientific perspective. Ideally, such development will allow ingress for more traditional perspectives and guide inclusive research on the wider range of meditation practices. To address this call, we outline a new approach for understanding mindfulness and related meditative experience that accommodates diverse perspectives. In accord with other integrative approaches, we employ foundational psychological constructs (namely, attention, intention, and awareness) to understand mindfulness. In contrast to other theoretical perspectives, however, we utilize this foundation to derive novel psychological constructs needed to better explain mindfulness and important features of meditative experience more widely. The contemplative cognition framework integrates three attention-related processes entailed by a variety of contemplative practices: intended attention, attention to intention, and awareness of transient information. After delineating this set of three processes, we explain how they can cooperate to promote a contemplative range of metacognition about attention, intention, and awareness, as well as enhanced regulation of cognition, emotion, and behavior. The contemplative cognition framework (a) overcomes discrepancies in mindfulness research; (b) accounts for contextual and motivational aspects of training; (c) supports investigation from phenomenological, information processing, neurophysiological, and clinical perspectives; and (d) enables investigations on various contemplative states, traits, and practices to inform one another. This new approach has potential for advancing a more inclusive, productive, and theory-driven science of mindfulness and meditation.

Source: Contemplative Cognition: A More Integrative Framework for Advancing Mindfulness and Meditation Research | SpringerLink

Reading this treatise by Deleuze and Guattari makes me realize that it is an enactment of the very rhizomatic negotiations that their thought has taken from the beginning. The negotiations among concepts and differentiations between nomadic and agricultural (sedentary) civilization, the marshalling of the difference between Chess and Go, the movement of weapons systems and work systems, etc. At times one reads through the treatise as if it were sociology, at other times as if it were some strange and deviant treatise on the inner life of war itself; yet, one comes to grasp that it is neither, that theirs is this continuous work of modeling, uncovering the fluidic hydraulic models as compared to the static models that negotiate the boundaries between nomadic and sedentary thought images. This is about the politics of thought itself: the image of thought as nomadic war-machine, fluid and operative in the smooth spaces situated outside the command and control systems of the striated territories of the State.

Source: A Few Notes on Nomadology: The War Machine | Techno Occulture

Disruptive Change

Look at the public school system from the eyes of the exiled outsider. Countless efforts for changing it are everywhere — with huge money at stake. All ignore the simple, yet confronting truth that public schools — as a design — were not created to awaken the intelligence of the young. Instead, our public school system was designed to create mediocrity, to subdue the inner life, devalue the body and ensure a sure supply of easily manageable workers.

This is not hyperbole. Look at it — go the origin. Look at your children stuffed into a perfect box for 8 hours a day sitting inside on a chair with thousands of other kids. Preparing them expertly to spend their adult life stuffed into a larger box for 8 hours a day with thousands of other responsible adults.

Examine our heroes on the cover of INC or Time magazine. Super rich folks turned to changing the world. Making billions on the one side selling cheap burgers or devices, paying low wages, extracting labor and precious resources from Africa and China — then turning around and saving the needy and downtrodden around the world. The first round of American titans did it too, and we worshipped them just the same.

What we are talking about here is the plantation. Plantation economics. There are masters, slaves that work in the field and slaves that work out of the harsh heat and in the big house. America was built upon plantation economics and this design continues to this day. Here and everywhere.

Today, the plantation is as much a state of mind as it is an institutional reality. It finds its expression in everything we have looked at so far. We worship the masters and bring aid and charity to the slaves working in the fields under the fierce sun.

Source: So, You Want Disruptive Change – MIND BOXING – Medium

Thanks for this question: this gets to the heart of my project in the book. I realised, looking back on my work, from the time I was an undergraduate, my interest has been in the question of ethics, although it is something I haven’t written about much. Most theories of ethics in the history of Western philosophy assume that one wants to be an ethical being, that one is seeking a way to understand and thus to undertake the good. They find it difficult, if not impossible, to argue for an ethical existence for those for whom this holds no appeal, for those who don’t care about good or bad. For most theorists, ethics as a code of action, behaviour or belief that directs action (and will) to the good (defined in various ways), is separate from and even unrelated to what kinds of beings we are. There has been a concerted effort to separate the ‘is’ from the ‘ought’. But with an immanent ethics, of the kind developed by both the Presocratics and Spinoza, and remarkably articulated in a number of Deleuze’s writings, ethics is not separated from being or becoming: it is the modality or the manner of becoming, how and in what directions becomings occur. I became interested in the concept of the incorporeal through the Stoics, for whom it referred to the immaterial conditions of all material things, including living beings. These immaterial conditions – space, time, the void, and especially sense, or expression, are the directions or orientations to which things tend, their future movements. The Stoics created a beautiful conception of ethics as a kind of culmination of existence rather than a set of rules or principles by which to regulate life from outside. Ethics, for them, is the capacity to live up to one’s impersonal fate, to bear it, to live it. In this sense, it is immanent in life itself, not just human life, but in all forms of life. Some people, perhaps a majority, have considered this the realm of religious thought; but for the Stoics and Spinoza, this is not an order separate from the world for it is inherent to it. I wanted to create a perhaps paradoxical non-normative ethics, an ethics unrelated to (Kantian) judgement, one related to the ways in which one directs one’s life. The incorporeal is thus a name for the direction immanent in our actions, the direction to the future in which we may overcome ourselves, become more than ourselves. I am happy to call this ‘the divine’ as long as we understand that this is not an order of judgement, nor an order separate from the world and its tendencies.

Source: An Interview with Elizabeth Grosz – Theory, Culture & Society