OOO’S NEW WAVE OF MARKETING vs DIALOGUE: make books not blogs

One of my constant aims has been getting the discussion of OOO/SR texts outside the incestuous ghetto, making the discussion wider than the usual partisan publicity. Too long have OOO partisans tended to “withdraw” from discussion. Their attemps to enstate OOO/SR as a Kuhnian paradigm, as an unquestioned background for normal theoretical activity, is entering a new phase with its recent “make books not blogs” marketing strategy. Yet dialogue, while now more difficult, still seems most worthwhile.

OOO/SR is obsessed with recounting its own history and with enumerating its members, but has no respect for its critics, grouping them together indiscriminately under the rubric
of “most frequent objections”. An obsessive feaure is the constant reference to the original Goldsmiths event which seems to have been based on a total misunderstanding. In fact the “movement” seems to have the most boring history possible, and its members recount it so that our eyes glaze over and we absorb the rest uncritically.

This history is a mere ritual invocation taking the place of any real effort at historical contextualisation. Its presence legitimates a crass neglect and ignorance of alternative ideas, as they do not fit into the self-congratulatory historical narrative that its authors purvey.

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15 Responses to OOO’S NEW WAVE OF MARKETING vs DIALOGUE: make books not blogs

  1. landzek says:

    Yes. I have noticed this – of myself! But I do invite discussion (my Form page asks for this), and I do have a few people that seem to want to engage. I view the ‘withdraw’ though as a neccessary feature of the point of the type of philosophy presented, as it has to do with what us ‘truely true’. And therefore I see at least mine as an initial stage in developing a historical commentary, which by the way, I am getting close to finishing a book that brings the ‘present’ philosophy to bare on historical items, that I wish to publish soon.


  2. landzek says:

    …and, one reason I see philosophy as maybe justified in avoiding present discussion, is that at least since Sartre, a present philosophical proposal ends up either merely describing a present state of reality, and then becomming more a cultural anthropology. I see these as not do philosophical as they are critical social theory. And, philosophy should , by stating a present situation , then use it to thereby address historical conventions. Present conventions are more social justice issues.


  3. terenceblake says:

    You are right that philosophy when trying to address a present situation often forgets itself as philosophy and becomes de-concepted essayism. My concern is with the reverse situation when a conceptually weak philosophy presents its rivals and predecessors, i.e. relevant alternative views, in dumbed down caricatures to prop up a false claim to conceptual invention and decisive intervention.


  4. landzek says:

    … As I reread your post here, though, I am wondering just what you are saying, because it has deemed to me you enjoy OOO ?? You have indeed enlightened me to OOO, and it is thus strange to me that it came about even as I wrote, though I would not call myself an OOO, and I believe I (will) have plenty by which to engage as to its limitations- as my next posting blog will (maybe) evidence (part 4 of ‘significant event ).


  5. terenceblake says:

    I “enjoy” OOO in the sense that it is trying to engage with important problems and interesting concepts, but I disenjoy it in that it fails for very pusillanimous reasons. Pretending to surpass a past when it is in regression, old simplifications presented as innovative sophistications, contempt with real dialogue – a promising élan has been spoiled and an interested audience has been betrayed.


  6. landzek says:

    I understand. I can account for this feature. Can you point me to good Harman essay ; it seems he has no books, just a bunch of essays and a video. Where should I start? Cuz it does appear that the OOO are caught in a type of precocious. As I have anticipated, you seem to verify, but I’d like to see for myself .


  7. terenceblake says:

    Harman has published several books. I recommend THE THIRD TABLE because it is short and inexpensive, and very clear. THE QUADRUPLE OBJECT provides a more extensive overview of his system. GUERILLA METAPHYSICS is longer and more complete, but it is also older, and perhaps partially dated.


  8. landzek says:

    Thank you. You know, I am not so clear on your option here (upon reading this again lol) if you are saying that their publishing of books is their yet another way of avoiding discussion or the opposite.
    I for one thought that blogging was a step forward for discussion, as from the forums ( like philosophy now) where many just want to state their opinions and insult dissension. Likewise blogging seems limited, so I figured publishing a book might bring in more discussion ( and that my book is too long for the blogging sphere).


  9. prsmith5 says:

    Does Harmon cite Stewart Home in Guerrilla Metaphysics? I think Home used the term Guerrilla Ontology, but he was probably a bit more honest about his appropriation of the occult nature of any and every avant-garde. It’s a bit off topic of course, but Home and his Neoist collaborators flirt with a kind of historicism (tied to the manifesto as it appears in 20th century art) that foreshadows your description of OOO’s ritual invocations.


  10. terenceblake says:

    Harman does not cite Stewart Home. I have the book on my kindle, so it was easy to check. Thanks for the reference.


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