Desiring-Machines

Desiring-machines are binary machines, obeying a binary law or set of rules governing associations: one machine is always coupled with another. The productive synthesis, the production of production, is inherently connective in nature: “and . . .” “and then . . .” This is because there is always a flow-producing machine, and another machine connected to it that interrupts or draws off part of this flow (the breast-the mouth).

Strategies & Tactics

I call a “strategy” the calculus of force-relationships which becomes possible when a subject of will and power (a proprietor, an enterprise, a city, a scientific institution) can be isolated from an “environment.” A strategy assumes a place that can be circumscribed as proper (propre) and thus serve as the basis for generating relations with an exterior distinct from it (competitors, adversaries, “clienteles,” “targets,” or “objects” of research). I call a “tactic,” on the other hand, a calculus which cannot count on a “proper” (a spatial or institutional localization), nor thus on a borderline distinguishing the other as a visible totality. The place of the tactic belongs to the “other.”

Forgetting about space

The functionalist organization [of modern urban life], by privileging progress (i.e., time), causes the condition of its own possibility–space itself–to be forgotten; space thus becomes the blind spot in a scientific and political technology.

Problems with spatial mapping

The nation, or the nation-state, has been the privileged unit of modernity, but has never ruled out entirely other units of mapping cultures – from the “tribal” units of anthropology to the civilizational units of high cultures. These mappings establish boundaries that are thought to express something about what they contain – more often than not a political unit that derives its identity from particular social and cultural practices, the one not clearly distinguished from the other.

The paradox of self-renewal

Luhmann maintains that all communication is paradoxical because a communication system is self-generated; it’s a causa sui. As far as the system is concerned, it has no beginning and no end; it has always existed and will always exist. It cannot conceive of its own ending because each operation presupposes a subsequent operation. Nor can it conceive of its own beginning because every operation presupposes a previous operation. This is what self-referential means.

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