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Extinction is nowhere and everywhere at the same time, as it becomes a part of our doomcore era.

Extinction is real, even if it needs to make itself happen. Some cognitive infrastructures don’t have the capacity to price extinction in their models, while others empty its meaning by making it yet another political concept.

Extinction has its own “temporal in-between, the smallest memory buffers and signal delays”.[1] Similarly to the eternal drift between capitalism and its models, it has the capacity for both self-affirmation and self-transformation.

Extinction is virtual and not actual, i.e. something that has to remain in the state of an open secret. Its potentiality is a thing of disputation, a paraconsistent fact oscillating between truth and falsity.

Extinction is an elusive concept. It has the kind of generality and all-encompassiveness that doesn’t really help us understand (or confront) it. For some, extinction has already happened, as time has ended in the heat death of the universe.

Extinction is a plural and not a singular phenomenon, so there will never be one true (or complete) extinction. Rather, extinction becomes a criterion for what we are prepared to let go extinct or what kind of extinction we are preparing for; what kind of path-dependency we are making a reality of.

Extinction leads to further materialisation of thought and our conceptual scaffoldings. It’s the new king of the outside that showcases why the distinction between a map and the territory is a thing of the past. Extinction is the meta-narrative we are after, but it never tells us what to make of it or what to do next.

Extinction and its adversaries strive for implementation by engaging in an unending battle between mind and matter, energy and information—a game of encoding and its repeated randomisation (i.e. dissipation). Fighting extinction is a process where pattern has to become matter or “where pattern and matter [finally] meet”.[2]

Extinction is itself a form of computation that takes place as humanity is computing and embedding itself in a perpetual rush. It laughs in the face of universal limitations, at the fact that Turing machines are not primarily mathematical (or computational) but physical limits,[3] and/or at such attempts at an exodus from definite end(s).

Extinction is a form of a race to the end, an arms race that cannot find its Nash’s equilibrium. Prolonging extinction means producing an artificial world where time has not ended; where computation hasn’t halted yet. A cut in time by making our thoughts compute a time to come.

Extinction is, simply, time immanentisation at the precise moment when humanity learns to become a chronopoietic machine. Extinction is an end of transcendent time, since time now literally counts. “Can what is playing you make it to Level 2?”[4]

Extinction and its models are a form of time manipulation where the future is destined to come and bite us from behind. Since extinction is a future phenomenon, our models can only be (and come) from the future, thus leaving us in a state of nervous reality testing (with world simulations of varying quality).

Extinction amounts to the primacy of the future upon the present and the past, and is thus not simply a physical fact (or a limit), but a speculative chance for a new reality to happen. Extinction is nothing more than experimentation with time, a new kind of reality cone destined to happen (or go under the radar for aeons to come).

Extinction makes it possible to think about (possible) futures as objects for further reflection and operationalisation. It reverses the primacy of explicit reasoning and what these models are saying in favour of implicit (meta-logical) considerations;[5]

what actually counts, then, is the toolbox of our models. Extinction is, fundamentally, a problem to be solved and that has to be solved at different levels, not least in the deep time of our posthuman horizons.

Maks Valenčič

Maks Valenčič is finishing his master's thesis on universal computationalism and (radical) media archaeology. In the future, he would like to further his understanding of german accelerationism and generativity of technological civilization. He tweets @MaksValencic.