Archive for September 13th, 2013

Gnon and OOon

Twitter gets people counting characters, and thus numerizing language. In only a very few cases does this microcultural activity tilt over into the wilder extravagances of exotic qabbalism, but it nudges intelligence in that direction. Even when the only question is strictly Boolean — will this message squeeze into a tweet, or not? — words acquire a supplementary significance from their numerical properties alone. A phrase is momentarily numbered, in the crudest of ways, which the tweet box registers as a countdown towards zero, and then into the negative accumulation of over-spill. Twitter thus promotes a rigidly convention-bound semiotic practice, which it simultaneously hides, technologically instantiating a precise analog of hermetic ritual.

Qabbalism is the science of spookiness, which makes it a natural companion on any expedition into horror. There is, in addition, an intrinsic reactionary slant to its ultra-traditionalism and attachment to the principle of hierarchical revelation. Its concrete history provides an unsurpassable example of spontaneous auto-catalysis (from discrepant conventions of arithmetical notation). This post, however, is restricted to a very preliminary discussion of its most basic intellectual presupposition, as if it had been developed out of an implicit philosophy (which it was not). It will be coaxed into making sense, against the grain of its essential inclination.

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September 13, 2013admin 17 Comments »