1) NOETIC SHOCK. The Corona Virus as agent of noetic shock: « A rupture in one’s identity is the only entrance requirement. He who wants to be admitted has to have left his old self-identity behind and has to enter with or as a new identity » (Wolfgang Giegerich).
2) MULTIPLE SELVES. « Not: I am not allowed in, whereas others are, but: my ordinary self in my street clothes is not allowed in, while some other part (hitherto probably unknown to me) of my personality is allowed to enter ». (Giegerich, 1999, The Soul’s Logical Life, p.17)
3) BECOMING-PHILOSOPHER Giegerich is talking about the entrance into psychology, but the lesson can be applied more generally. As we discover, or encounter more intensely, the multiple parts of our personality and of our relations we have a chance to become more « philosophical » in many senses.
4) EPOCHE. Bernard Stiegler argues that his five years of confinement in prison were a form of phenomenological suspension of the ordinary world, an epoché that activated his philosophical becoming. Now millions of people are undergoing confinement where the stakes have intensified.
5) LIFE/DEATH. The issue is no longer just freedom, how much and of what sort, although this remains very important. It has become also life/death as an intrusion of the real disrupting our schemas of enjoyment and re-orienting us towards more truth and more thought.
6) ACCELERATING IDEOLOGY. The habitual mechanisms of official ideology must go into overdrive to accommodate to a real that is now visibly going faster than them. The need to change the official story and measures every day, or even several times a day, has made the wheels of these mechanisms far more visible and to far more people.
7) SELF-IMITATION. We are in a situation we have trouble thinking about. We need new concepts from all directions. So far we have seen thinkers just re-serving what they have already thought, blind to rivals, successors, and alternatives. Giorgio Agamben illustrates this very clearly. Politicians are self-imitating, and even doctors are self-imitating.
8) SPEED. The virus is outpacing us, and we are lagging behind. Yet we are approaching a situation of slowing down, that many have called for. Deleuze and Guattari called on us to trust in the infinite speeds of the concept based on just such an epoché and slowing down.
9) CORONA/MORONA. Agamben reacted too fast, not creating new concepts, not looking for insights in Stiegler, Zizek, Latour, Serres, Badiou and others. His system deployed in this manner has become ideology, thus it illustrates the stupidity of our responses to this event.
10) CONCEPTUAL COMMONS. I myself am in a stupor. I do not know what to think nor how to think. This new bio-deconstruction is also a noo-deconstruction. The old systems and the attitude of philosophical sufficiency cannot help us, we need a wider and more nuanced vocabulary than any one system can provide.
Benjamin Bratton on twitter:
Preempting the replies: It is a mistake to reflexively interpret all forms of sensing and modeling as « surveillance » and active governance as « social control. » We need a different and more nuanced vocabulary than the one habituated from tendentious readings of Foucault.