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Editorial

A meta-move is the diagonalization of the existing move set. A play outside the existing frame of action that has run its course by solving problems so efficiently that it hasn’t realised these problems don’t exist anymore. A move that manages to break the “path dependency”[1] haunting all cultures (or software adaptations). Rather than blindly optimising the current systemic trajectories and entrusting our hopes to the supposedly alien feedback dynamics outside the Human, it is possible to find a “meta-game of every other game”[2] and unlock a new abstract space from within: from inside the game that simply has to be played in a better way (and is searching for new meta-players).

If this doesn’t resonate with the deadlock of Modernity (as a historical event and not periodisation before post-modernity), nothing will. Even if we’ve slowly come to realise that we live in a process reality, we haven’t been able to update this fact into a coherent set of parameters, into a systemic framework that will push us towards a new attractor. That will enable us to find a new plethora and save us from within. Figures like Benjamin Bratton are right to point out that our time calls for a “radically different sort of philosophy”[3] that will once and for all break with the fetishes of post-modernity and/or the confusions surrounding the Human. That will see itself in the same way the crow sees the sparrow.

Our moment doesn’t call for the philosophy of the end, since we’re in the time of “being the past of a post-future”,[4] but rather a new philosophical framework of process reality. A new metaphysics that will reflect the thus far fragmentary qualitative shifts in operational chains—“problem-solution distance”[5]—and bring forth new sorts of subjectivities and conceptual tools for the Human of “Technological Civilization”[6] and not Modernity. Similarly to how Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra speaks of “an ear as big as a man”,[7] we’re in the process of developing new organs, new deformations of the current state of things; we’re only beginning to inhabit better abstractions that have yet to form a “ratchet-effect”[8] and actualise a new search space for possible actions. We are, curiously, at the brink of redefining what living within limits means—of unlocking its productive nature.

Meta-futures are diagonalizations of existing futures. Just like Antileft Marxism, they’re chimeras for breaking the established frameworks, working by exit and flight from the current trajectories. They are more in line with the German than the British version of accelerationism, all about finding actual historical patterns and succumbing to the method of “deep futurology”[9]—to the new logic of the future that operates on the aforementioned meta-level. To truly challenge the current state of affairs, it is therefore necessary to address the challenge of a new “phase of integration”, a new leap into a “fractal-genetic time” of “cultural capacity” 2.0.[10] To set ourselves in a position of a “future-anterior”,[11] situate ourselves in time as if it’s the start of something that hasn’t happened yet. To go beyond speculation and to talk about the Outside as a positive rather than negative force of integration.

  • 1

    LÖFFLER, Davor, “Distributing Potentiality. Post-Capitalist Economies and the Generative Time Regime”, in: Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 15, 1–2, 2018, pp. 8–44.

  • 2

    WOLFENDALE, Peter, “Castalian Games (Incomplete Extended Draft)”, in: DEONTOLOGISTICS, 2016, https://deontologistics.co/essays/.

  • 3

    BRATTON, Benjamin, “Planetary Sapience”, in: Noema, 2021, https://www.noemamag.com/planetary-sapience/.

  • 4

    CAMPAGNA, Federico, “The End of the World(s)”, Youtube, 06/2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxORkFUNpE8&t=686s.

  • 5

    LÖFFLER, Davor, “The Meaning of Life. A Journey to the Origins of Worlds”, YouTube, 06/2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s16ScBXRl1s.

  • 6

    LÖFFLER, “Distributing Potentiality”, pp. 40–44.

  • 7

    NIETZSCHE, Friedrich, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for None and All, Penguin Books, 1986, p. 138.

  • 8

    TENNIE, Claudio, CALL, Josep and TOMASELLO, Michael, “Ratcheting Up the Ratchet: On the Evolution of Cumulative Culture”, in: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 364, 1528, 2009, pp. 2405–2415.

  • 9

    LÖFFLER, “The Meaning of Life”.

  • 10

    LÖFFLER, “Distributing Potentiality”, pp. 40–44.

  • 11

    BENJAMIN, Josua Jesse, “The Spark of a Future Anterior: An Archaeology of Entoptic Media”, in: ŠUM: Xenoslavia: Covert Chronologies, 2021, pp: 2172–2184.

Maks Valenčič

Maks Valenčič is an independent researcher and writer. He tweets at @MaksValencic.