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kore wrote (edited )

Despite programming-thinking being generally un-anarchic at fundamental levels

what do you mean by this? and what is a "differential" in this case?

regarding knowledge production, one very interesting website is its very much oriented towards computers and the way people use them but there is some self reflection that is interesting

a really cool experiment that i think is quite anarchic in its approach


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote (edited )

Despite programming-thinking being generally un-anarchic at fundamental levels

what do you mean by this?

What are the relevant anarchic fundamentals I’m talking about?

There’s a kind of anarchic philosophy that some of us here play with, general called philosophy of difference, that begins with one major different assumption/approach to the far more common kind of philosophy (especially Western philosophy), philosophy of sameness.

This will sound weird and very obscure to most people (so good luck I guess), but what it is is a philosophy that metaphysically considers difference primary and sameness secondary. Instead of the other way around.

Philosophy of sameness: When you break the handle off of this mug, it is still the same mug, minus the handle. [They are the same, and the difference is understood as a subtraction/negation.]
Philosophy of difference: the coming into being of two separate pieces, which we as secondary process of differentiation we identify in relation to itself as ‘broken mug’. [everything is difference differing in relation to itself in an endless relational process of becoming, the thing that we have apprehended as a mug mugging is now two pieces continuing their journey of becoming. Difference is not a subtraction/negation but an addition/positive]

Doing so, it also frames things in terms of becoming rather than being, making it inherently relational, inherently a thinking-in-movement.

It turns out that this minor change in approach completely upends our whole system of thought: Philosophy of sameness is a kind of state-thinking, and philosophy of difference is the grounds for the creation of a truly unprescribed world.

How does this relate to programming?

Programming is generally a perfect example of philosophy of sameness. Variables are produced with distinct values and manipulated by very straightforward and clear processes. A value might be ’12’ or ‘one thousand’ or ‘apple’, but the value is what it is, it is not becoming.

I haven’t gotten to this part yet, but philosophy of difference makes room for creation to enter the world. Programming does not. There are inputs, processes, and outputs, determined by the pipeline-like logic of the code. The values (here understood in the general sense and also in and ethical sense) are fundamentally limited by the structure of the program. It is in this sense literally (and politically) conservative - nothing can come from outside to disrupt the system and produce something that the system does not allow. As radicals though we want to create something unprecedented and unprescribed by this world, and in this sense, a simple input-process-output system will not do it.

Hope that makes some sense.

and what is a "differential" in this case?

Like I said, I don’t fully know what this means in this context, but here we go. I’m gonna guess you have a basic sense of what differentials are in math.
Unlike variables with set values, pre-differentiated differentials can be understood in terms of becoming. They require different sets of information to be in relation to, in order to differentiate and become a stable self-same entity. But if those sets of information required are themselves differentials, we can have a system of differentials all differing in relation to each other, a system of pure difference differing.

Hope that was alright!


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote (edited )

Here’s a clearer political example than using a mug.

Philosophy of sameness grounds ideas like what it means to be a full person, but people are usually wrong about that and use their ideas of personhood to make dehumanising arguments.

In philosophy of sameness assumptions are hidden in the idea of personhood that circularly reinforce the current order.

Hidden assumptions about personhood usually imply the global north white male cishetero able-bodied subject, and people without those elements to be less than human. Here you see that sameness with a subtraction happening.

So that kind of thinking becomes the ground for colonisers and state-thinkers to understand ‘others’ as lacking in full personhood, which they use as a justification for their colonising processes.

Hopefully that’s an additional explainer to help out, u/kore.

If anybody is interested, I recently wrote up a short comment what personhood might look like from a philosophy of difference perspective, thinking of all relation in relation to everything else always.


ukuleleclass wrote

this was really interesting to read thanks for sharing ! i always cringe at the very common “idea” that we live in, or can simulate reality but am not always good at describing why. i think your way of talking about difference as primary and sameness as secondary is a very real or “natural” process. i just read an essay called Darwin and Feminism that kind of outlines a more radical interpretation of evolutionary theory that is based on difference and repetition rather than a fixed or teleological entity.

i would be curious to know what things you’ve read that’s similar to what you’re writing about with philosophies of difference. i’m working my way to Deleuze’s Dofference and Repition but would love to read lots of different interpretations of difference ;)


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

You are welcome.
So mainly the interesting anarchists doing this kind of play where I am are using Deleuze even in some cases they aren’t referencing him in order to develop their own anticolonial theories as separate from the white canon. Working through Deleuze is definitely a good start point, though Difference and Repetition (my favourite book of his in many ways) is probably also the toughest.

Feminist theorists like Saidiya Hartman and Sara Ahmed and anticolonial theorists Glissant and Mbembe are seamlessly bringing Deleuzian thinking into their work. In my own spaces you might find texts like this one which will speak directly to what I am thinking with.


ukuleleclass wrote

oooo ty ! i actually printed out and bound a physical copy of that text you linked ! i’m very adhd so always get distracted with different things to read haha thanks for all the suggestions <3


Majrelende wrote

I have never heard of sameness and difference before, but now I know a good word for the kind of thinking that infuriates me to no end!-- and is a simple way of describing it.

Fukuoka wrote of "relativity" which I suppose might be something like sameness-- that is, treating things relatively, often relatively to human desire and modern culture-- that they believe in strong and weak, harmful and beneficial, life and death, past and future-- so on. But the absolute way of seeing, is to see each thing as perfect, and that we might fix the damage inflicted that brings things away from nature, so that they can all begin to find their proper (and entirely unknowable) ways. It is a different approach though.


kore wrote

thank you for such a thoughtful response

I've actually never heard of the terms philosophy of sameness or philosophy of difference but i think I am familiar with the concept from studying buddhism and daoism.

I see what you're getting at with the argument about programming. But I think it doesn't take into account the defining aspect of computers: they are reprogrammable, and they also operate in the dimension of time. One can change the inputs, processes, and outputs, and programs which change the inputs, processes, and outputs of other programs can also be constructed. In this sense, long running, very flexible programs are always in a process of becoming. Smalltalk systems are perhaps a good real world example of this.

You also may be interested in something like amorphous computing, a quote from the homepage:

How do we obtain coherent behavior from the cooperation of large numbers of unreliable parts that are interconnected in unknown, irregular, and time-varying ways?

notice especially the use of the word "coherent" rather than something like "fixed" or "repeatable"