“The Sniper is the person who is always on to some new book or author six months before everyone else. They use this author to fire apparently devastating salvos against everyone else, while hinting at some ominous coming paradigm shift triggered by this author that will call everything we ever believed into question.”

Graham Harman finally comes up with a nickname for himself.

Here is Graham “The Sniper” Harman in action:

The French philosopher and novelist Tristan Garcia was born in Toulouse in 1981. This makes him rather young to have written such an imaginative work of systematic philosophy as Forme et objet, the latest entry in the MétaphysiqueS series at Presses universitaires de France. But this reference to Garcia’s youthfulness is not a form of condescension: by publishing a complete system of philosophy in the grand style, he has already done what none of us in the older generation of speculative realists has done so far. His book is sophisticated, erudite, rigorous, imaginatively rich, and abundant in worldly wisdom– despite the author’s conclusion that wisdom does not exist.

Always on to some new untranslated work that will forever change philosophy and so on. Reading new books that no one read yet and praising them to heavens. Beautiful.

“Should you find the cutesy anthropomorphism of such passages banal and conceptually vacuous, you’re just taking yourself too seriously.”

H/t Shahar Ozeri

Nice takedown of all thing Mortonic by Nathan Brown:

The book is more like a series of riffs. And it’s true, Realist Magic doubles down on a rhetorical strategy frequently adopted by Harman: the deployment of a style so effusive, so strenuously goofy and flippant, that anyone who engages the work closely enough to criticize it will (hopefully) appear stuffy and obtuse: such pedantic critics will seem to have missed out on all the anxiously projected fun. “One object plays another one,” Morton writes. “This empty orange juice bottle is playing the table in this airport, waggling back and forth as the table sways due to a wonky leg” (RM 71). Should you find the cutesy anthropomorphism of such passages banal and conceptually vacuous, you’re
just taking yourself too seriously.

The Secret of Object-Oriented Living

For years you have been waiting for a post that can translate the power of object-oriented ontology into immediate, practical, and concrete results. You are now reading this post. Here you will learn a simple yet startlingly effective process which will change your life forever. The best part is that anyone can do it …without special training. Give it a try – you will be surprised at how quickly this process will work for you.*

There are only a few basic principles that you need to learn and practice, so sit back and absorb the wisdom of object-oriented living that thousands already discovered.

1) Reinvent the wheel, rediscover the old.

Objects are all around us and yet we do not see them. Well, we do see them and so does everyone else but they do not know it. Well, they do know it and so do we but we need to rediscover them as new. Well, there is not much to discover in them as they are what they are, but we have to start somewhere, so let us start with mundane objects that are all around us. Look at your toaster, all shiny and full of bread crumbs – there in front of you lies a potent source of future happiness and equanimity. While others search for meaning in relationships and intellectual challenges, you already discovered the source of all that is truly important in life – toasters… I mean objects! There is so much to discover in the old familiar circumstances of life – just look around yourself, stare at the world in disbelief, probe it with your curious mind (avoid probing other people, could be really weird, stick with objects).

Homework: Spend a couple of days slowly moving around your place of habitation and discover some new unfamiliar objects (avoid hammers and door nobs – Heidegger already discovered all there is to discover about those).

2) Be conceptually promiscuous.

Today it is called objects, tomorrow – machines, on Wednesdays it is usually units, then it is relations, and back to objects on the weekends. Why stick to one conceptually consistent system of notions when you can have it all? Read an interesting but philosophically ambiguous essay from The New Scientist while on the toilet? Incorporate its folk-scientific pseudo-notions into your daily philosophical existence! Play with your vocabulary. After all, it is not attached to any actually existing entities. See what combinations work best for your shallow meaningless existence – it’s all there is. As long as your conceptual adventures do not give you the intellectual equivalent of syphilis, you are ok.

Homework: Take the work of someone who is so against everything you stand for (which is really nothing, so this could be tricky) and incorporate his/her conceptual apparatus into your philosophical thinking. It’s hard at first – your intellectual integrity will stand in the way. But it’s only a matter of time. Do it every day for 10-15 minutes and you’ll get there in no time.

3) Don’t hate the message, hate the messenger.

Object-oriented living is thoroughly and knee-crushingly positive and open-minded. Object-oriented thinkers are some of the most welcoming, warm and friendly people you will ever meet in your life. Why? Because they fought for their philosophical lifestyle and won. Who did they fight? A veritable army of mean-spirited trolls and professional failures. How did they win? They ignored the message and went for the jugular of the messenger. There is peace only after a prolonged and ruthless blood bath. As soon as someone raises a voice against object-oriented living, crush them with everything you have. Kill them.

Homework: Browse the blogs for object-oriented discussions, look up everyone who is talking against object-oriented living, make a kill-list, share it with everyone you know, hire a detective and find out who they are, where they live, what they do and start drafting a plan of their intellectual assassination.
If you implement these three basic rules of object-oriented living, your life will change forever. For more specific advice, hire your object-oriented living adviser by following this post to this object-oriented living hub. For only $29.99 a month you can change your life forever.
* This opening sequence is blatantly plagiarized from a self-help book – don’t sue me.

Morton’s book out: forgets to mention one important OOO figure and misspells the name of someone he is acknowledging…

Tim Morton’s new book is out – surely it will be as awesomely nonsensical as his blog writings = here. First thing to draw my troll attention? Lack of Levi Bryant, one of the other founders of OOO, in the Acknowledgement section – scandalous!


First and foremost, Graham Harman [check] brought this book into being in almost every sense. He compelled me to become an object-oriented ontologist, through the ingenious device of brilliant, seductive prose. And as series editor he has been a most helpful, generous partner in putting this book together.

Ian Bogost [check], one of the founders of object-oriented ontology (OOO), gave me the title at a highly spiced brainstorming session in Los Angeles in December 2010, and since then has shared his thinking in the most generous ways possible.

There many people whose more than inspiring ideas and kind words have helped me on this project, including but not limited to: Jamie Allen, Jane Bennett, Bill Benzon, Paul Boshears, Rick Elmore, Paul Ennis, Rita Felski, Dirk Felleman, Nathan Gale, Bobby George, Thomas Gokey, Joseph Goodson, Peter Gratton, Liam Heneghan, Eileen Joy, Julia Reinhard Lupton, Douglas Kahn, Ken Reinhard, Tom Sparrow, MacKenzie Wark, Cary Wolfe, and Ben Woodard.

This book is dedicated to my son Simon. Anyone who has trouble imagining causality as magical and uncanny need only consider the existence of children.

Sure, there are parenthetical references to the great onticologist here and there in the book, but nothing really interesting. I propose to move the periodization of the fake philosophical history of OOO to the next stage: “…and then it split into two sub-movements: pro-Harman (Morton and Bogost) and pro-Bryant (Bryant).”

Note to sympathetic commenters – sure, this is a waste of my time, but it’s hilarious and I mention it because I like to poke holes at self-important morons. Give me this one thing, please. No egos were hurt in the preparation and publication of this blog post.

Suitcase’s graham harman gets stranded in Cairo

All around object-oriented philosopher Graham Harman exhibits suspiciously human-oriented interpretation of his lost bag tragedy. For those not following this epic human ordeal (start now), the very human philosopher lost his bag in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is now publicly chiding American Airlines for refusing to send his lost bag to him in Cairo.

However, he is looking at it all wrong: the real tragedy is not that a human person in Cairo is now without its bag, it is that a bag is now in Cedar Rapids without its human person!

What about the bag? Who will think about how the bag must feel now? Perhaps it got tired of its human person and simply used this opportunity to escape?

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On Sheer Madness of Tim Morton

No commentary is required here, just quotes:

The very people who most fervently endorse Hegel are quite tone deaf when it comes to issues of “subject position” (in Althusserian) or “style” (in phenomenologese). They are deaf to their guy’s big discovery. I find this irony not accidental. If you are not a Hegelian, this is how they sound, sometimes. It is as if someone has hidden a little ball under one of three cups, and is asking you to guess which one. They already know where the ball is:  “Is it under here? Noooo….Is it under here? Noooo…aha! Here it is!” Tin ear, you see? Because he (the policeman, emphasis on man) has admitted that it is a game with a pre-programmed outcome. A journey with a known destination: like a Romantic piano sonata, in two ways. Equal temperament is the way to tune piano strings (and hence, in piano-centric modernity, all other instruments), slightly fudging the harmonic ratios between them to enable maximum journey possibilities. A=A is the nadir of “not getting it,” of “falling at the first hurdle”—or of not even trying to jump over the hurdle. This is the quintessence of the OOO move. To return to A=A, to occupy that position, as it were, is to have exposed Hegelianism for what it is: a pre-programmed ruse that knows in advance that A=A must be disavowed/sublated, and the exact procedures of that disavowal/sublation. It goes without saying that this is caught up in a certain resistance to anarchism, which is why I use the term occupy.

A night in which all cows are black still has cows.

Sure, I put these all together and out of context, but trust me this is much better than the original.

Why can’t guns control themselves?

Tim Morton’s right on the money with this one:

A gun, not a person, killed a 7-year-old boy outside a gun store yesterday near to Pittsburgh. The father’s gun.

“Guns don’t kill people,” right?

I’m not just making a point. OOO has political implications. Nonhumans are already on the inside of social space.

So these nonhumans that are already on the inside of social space, why can’t they just control themselves and stop shooting children?

Strangely enough, Morton’s most recent post is not addressed to nonhumans like guns, but to humans (politicians) who control them – that is way too anthropocentric!

Repeat after me – gun control means guns control themselves! Down with humans! More nonhuman agency please!

Thank you for your charitable donation during this festive season!

This month began with a series of long and slightly irritating posts in which generous and charitable readers of others like Levi Bryant were forever whining about how they are mistreated by others. This month is ending with a beautiful display of what was really at stake: “be generous to me, love and appreciate me, because if you do not, I will spend my every waking hour attacking you and everything you stand for!”

Too many exhibits to link to, but just look at this one. I am sure that if anyone pointed out how stupid and unfair that representation of the opponent’s argument is, Bryant would have his response ready: But he started it!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Basic Principles of Object-Oriented Philosophy: The Irreversibility of Implication Principle

Bored with my previous series (that only went to two posts on Hegel and Spinoza), I am returning to my blogosphere roots – making fun of OOO and its “arguments” online. But first, some fundamental principles.

One principle that is easily discernible in any interactions with objectologists is The Irreversibility of Implication Principle. Stated simply, the principle is easy to understand (and to follow): Whatever conclusion an objectologist makes about an opponent’s implicit motivations for her position cannot be reversed and directed back at the said objectologist.

Let’s take a simple example from the freshly pressed text: Bryant’s “fighting words” of this morning. The overall conclusion of this semi-nonsensical post is clear: “Your thought is a reaction formation to the narcissistic wound of the fact that your existence is contingent and that you are only the third of the three great apes.” Here “your” stands for all the failed “Continental philosophers” who, unlike the cool kids, still cling to their outdated non-naturalist and non-materialist approaches. They do so because of some fundamental psychological and professional insecurity. Their thought is the direct consequence of their threatened status and their unwillingness to dispense with their privileges.

Makes perfect sense, you say. It does. There is nothing new about making such generalized implications. However, the freedom to do so is limited by the “irreversibility principle” – accusations directed at others cannot be reserved and redirected at the accusers. So if I said, for example, that Bryant’s entire project is motivated by his sense of profound insecurity and mediocrity, that everything he says and writes is aimed at proving to everyone (but mostly his father) that he is in fact a somebody, then objectologists would cry foul and would be absolutely correct. My statement would be a direct violation of the “irreversibility principle”: remember, kids, hot coffee in the blue mug warms cold air, cold air does not warm hot coffee…

Another example: every critic of object-oriented ontology/philosophy is a jealous loser, unable to reach a desired position of academic power and thus taking his/her angry frustration on poor naive original-to-the-bone philosophers of the future. Well, all of these things are certainly true in my case, but were I to try a reversal – perhaps the motivation behind all of this mindless speculation is some psychological need for praise and approval, some grotesque ambition to find glory and universal approval for originality – and I would be dead wrong.

I hear you grumble something about the “doctor heal thyself” principle and hypocrisy. Here is why you are all wrong:

1) To your witty “Doctor heal thyself” quote I give you my wittier “Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi” quote – what do you say to that? Mine is in Latin. You lose.

2) Hypocrisy argument, like critique, is the weapon of the weak and the powerless. They always want to hold great men accountable to their worthless little moralities. Let me ask you this question: How many books did you publish? You are only allowed to talk back if it is the amount equal to that of the most productive objectologist. The rest of you rest your objections and start getting some books published. This game is for big boys with long lists.

3) Can’t we all just move past the accusations and engage in some love and compassion? I am tired of all the fights and all the controversy that inevitably follows all the posts on OOO. All of your witty and thought-provoking comments exhaust me. Sure, maybe it is not a perfect system of philosophy, but it is trying its best, so let it be.