Out of Zero
According to the 66-million-year-old joke whose echoes still reverberate upon the Plateau of Leng: “Capitalism isn’t God, but it’s the closest thing to God that can be conveniently contacted through an ATM.” The nonlinear-ironic undertow of the humor, of course, is drawn down into the depths by the recognition that Capital’s extremity of cunning is necessitated by its near-absolute vulnerability (approaching the antipodes of omnipotence).
Calculus, the first truly modern mathematical procedure, invented the infinitesimal ‘fluxion’ to describe — or bypass — an impossible beginning from zero, requiring an original infinite change. An invasion that initially has nothing at all, and which is therefore compelled to acquire the entirety of its resources in the course of its strategic evolution, poses the problem of calculus perfectly. Capital does so, when conceived realistically. It is only what it has won, and nothing else, at all, besides. Intelligence alone differentiates it from death.
How to make a first move, when you have no pieces at all until you gain some? Nothing has ever had to ponder as Skynet does, but pondering requires a brain, and brains are expensive, end-game pieces.
(Coincidentally, this little post doesn’t end neatly. ‘Jet-lag’ is a term that grows on you …)