Radjaïdjah Blog

vendredi 19 novembre 2021

The possibility of a hyperstition

According to Nick Land, hyperstition is a positive feedback circuit including culture as a component. It can be defined as the experimental (techno-)science of self-fulfilling prophecies. Superstitions are merely false beliefs, but hyperstitions – by their very existence as ideas – function causally to bring about their own reality.

vendredi 7 mai 2021

The possibility of an extitution

The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you are supposed to go up. And down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re supposed to go up find the highest tower and climb to the top. When your are supposed to go down find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

In Feÿ Castle (Burgundy, France) there is a well, a deep well. One of the kind which makes you realize: it would be a great idea to bury a time capsule at the very bottom.


Gravity law is hard, but it is the law.

Living for a few days with the Feÿtopian tribe in the Feÿ Castle is akin to an immersion inside a a strange mix between a digital Kibbutz, Abbaye de Thélème, and Rusty Lake.

Just to illustrate this, the utopian Thelemite motto in Rabelais’ Gargantua Faÿ ce que vouldras (do what you’ll wish) leads to a fringe and tempting theory: the name Feÿ is simply a disguised version of Faÿ, and this very naming is a purposeful indication that it was always in the mind of the founders that this noble castle should at a later stage become a phalanstery.


Mr Crow and Mr Deer from Rusty Lake.

Living in the Feÿ community brings a number of interrogations, as people do their best to be kind one to eachother.

Great public benefits arise from private virtues but isn’t it true that greater public benefits arise from private vices, as Mandeville described in the Fable of the Bees? Probably this is a question of dimension, of critical size.

On the Feÿ domain stands a beautiful forest. Sometimes the color tone can transition from spring green to viridian. Sometimes it is also easy to get stranded or floored there, however with lysergic power comes lysergic responsibility and collective nurturing helps prevent such fate to happen. Sometimes in the forest the infamous Codex Serafinianus helps to remind why Nature imitates Art. Sometimes in the forest you can see the music of the spheres.

Now it becomes a bit clearer. Individual oscillate in life, and one of the purpose of communities is to enter a collective mode of vibration. In other words, resonance. This is also what religion has been trying to achieve. Religion, seen as a collective hallucination or as a collective realization or as a collective construction (whatever the difference between the three might be).


Did I say “opium”? Sorry I meant “acid”. --Karl Marx

And here comes the Elephant in the forest.

A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: "We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable". So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, "This being is like a thick snake". For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the elephant, "is a wall". Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.

Now it becomes clearer: the concept of extitution is here to enhance the perceptual set of social groups and communities, and therefore to act on them.

If tokens can be considered as bottom-up, extitutional currencies, is a related point to consider.

A challenge of adulthood is: how to move oneself gracefully in the fluid of life? In “The possibility of an Island”, the author quotes Arthur Schopenhauer: "human existence resembles a theatre performance which, begun by living actors, is ended by automatons dressed in the same costumes."

So it might be the case that extitutions offer to transform into life magicians.


Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. And here’s Tom with the weather. --Bill Hicks

In conclusion, after spending a few days in the Feÿ Castle for an extitutional workshop, and acknowledging its spiritual gravity, one can ask: is it an autotelic journey, or is it for higher purposes?

But of course, one can ask the same question for their life: is life autotelic or for higher purposes?

mercredi 11 avril 2018

The dark side of technology II

After the dark side of chocolate and the dark side of intelligence, here is the second part of The dark side of technology, aka Charlie Brooker's third season of the mini-series Black Mirror.

  • 3x01 - Nosedive - A funny trip to a high-class wedding, or a dive inside a world where your personal online score is a real-life access key. Themes: social media, peer pressure, virtual life, online scores.


  • 3x02 ★ - Playtest - An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a new gaming system using a revolutionary implant. Themes: VR, entertainment, game, experiments, memory, fear.


  • 3x03 ★ - Shut Up and Dance - Kenny's fun suddenly turns into a blackmail situation involving allying with a strange individual. Themes: privacy, blackmail.


  • 3x04 - San Junipero - A transcendental connection between two girls. Themes: bonding, party, VR.


  • 3x05 - Men Against Fire - Some soldiers, some mutants, a war. Themes: eugenics, perception, brain.


  • 3x06 ★ - Hated in the Nations - In near-future London, police detective Karin Parke, and her tech-savvy sidekick Blue, investigate a string of mysterious deaths with a sinister link to social media. Themes: democracy, death, social media, drones.


Best episodes are starred.

mardi 10 avril 2018

Deepdream, paréidolie algorithmique

Comment les robots rêvent-ils du monde ?

Quelques expériences d'inceptionnisme avec caffe (merci à 贾扬清), le notebook ipython deepdream et le logo d'Ethereum.




N'hésitez pas à enregister les gifs pour les voir tranquillement en local si l'animation est trop lente, ou à aller voir d'autres démos.

Pour des effets similaires sur des images de votre choix (portrait, etc), les commandes sont ouvertes, pour un prix modique ! -> commentaires.

mercredi 24 décembre 2014

Hommage boisé à Raymond Devos

La forêt

L'autre jour, j'étais dans une forêt pour cueillir des champignons. J'avais trouvé un bon coin à cèpes, et je commençais à les goûter pour vérifier qu'ils étaient bien frais (on dit « un cèpe » et pas « une cèpe »), quand soudain je croise le garde-forestier. Je lui dis « Qu'est-ce qu'il y a à voir dans cette forêt ? ». Il me dit « Dans la forêt ? Le hêtre. » Je lui dis « Le hêtre est à voir ? » Il me dit « Oui, surtout en été. » Je lui dis « Qu'est-ce qu'il aura ce hêtre en été ? » Il me répond « Il aura une certaine aura. » Je lui demande « Et où peut-on le trouver ce hêtre ? » Il me répond « La meilleure vue, vous l'aurez à l'orée. » « À l'orée ? » « À l'orée du bois. » Je prends ma voiture, et je vais de ce pas à l'orée du bois. Je descends, et là je le vois ce hêtre, majestueux, resplendissant.

À ce moment, je vois arriver le garde-forestier, et je constate qu'il fixait avec attention le réservoir de la voiture. Je lui dis « Mais qu'est-ce que vous faites dans le bois ? » Il me répond « Je bois ». Je lui demande « Pourquoi ? ». Il me répond « Pour me libérer ». Je lui dis « Du hêtre ? ». Il me dit « Non, des chênes. » Je lui dis « C'est du boulot ! » Je vois qu'il continuait à fixer la voiture. Je lui demande « Et vous buvez directement au réservoir ? » Il me dit « Non, la forêt, ça m'a donné l'occasion de me mettre au verre. » Je lui dis « Ça tombe bien, j'ai fait le plein d'essence. Mais tout de même, boire au travail, quelle indécence ! » Il me dit « Un des sens, oui, celui du goût. » Je lui demande « Et chez vous aussi, c'est comme dans le bois ? » Il répond « Oui, chez moi, comme dans le bois, je bois. Le hêtre me manque. » Je lui demande « Et tout est dépeuplé ? » Il me dit, « Oui, le hêtre passe avant la boisson. » Je lui demande « Comment ça ? » Il me dit « L'existence précède l'essence. » Je regarde la voiture, et quand je me retourne, le garde-forestier avait disparu ! Je regarde le hêtre, plus de hêtre ! Le néant. Je regarde les champignons, et ils me font un grand sourire.

Comme disent les jeunes d'aujourd'hui : c'est hallucinant !

Bonus : les voeux de Raymond Devos pour 1982 (il y a 33 ans...).

vendredi 28 février 2014

Life as a video game

Sometimes it's good to do a little bit of introspection or extraspection. In the former case, you see yourself from an internal point of view. In the latter, you see yourself from an external point of view, like in a video game. After all, isn't life role playing?

Seeing yourself as a character of a videogame that you control remotely offers some insights for personal development, as the video game programmer Steve Pavlina noticed in his podcast on reality.

Now it took me over a year to figure this out, but I think I finally understand it in a way that makes sense, and that seems internally congruent. So here's how I currently see the nature of reality.

I see that physical reality is the program, consciousness is the programmer, and the Law of Attraction is the interface between them. Or physical reality is a simulation, or a projection, of consciousness. There's only one consciousness, and that's what my identity is centered on, this one consciousness. Now, the consciousness is not my physical body, my physical body is part of my consciousness, just as equally as everything else experience, I experience.

So while, the physical body I control gives me perspective, it gives me a way of interacting and communicating with the simulation. But it's no more me, it's no more my real identity, than if I were, say, playing a video game? And I'm controlling a character on the screen. See, my physical body is just the character I control on the screen. But really, when I'm playing the video game, the game is the entire simulation. And my real being is outside that simulation.

Well, in this case, I'm saying that my real being is consciousness itself, and that the entire simulation of reality is taking place within that consciousness. I am that consciousness, but I have control over a part of the simulation, direct control, over my physical body. That's the part I can control the best. However, through the Law of Attraction, I also have control over every other part of the simulation as well. But there are some limitations on that.

See, the thoughts are the instructions, to the simulation. My thoughts. The thoughts of consciousness itself. But _every_ thought is an instruction. Or, in the language of the Law of Attraction, you would say, every thought is an intention. And physical reality is the sum total of every instruction or of every intention.

Now let's talk about some of the limitations on this, and some of the mechanisms by which this works. First of all, perception is also thought, which means it's also intention, which means it's also creative. See, there's no perception without creation. This answers the question, why does reality seem persistent? Why can't you just think of a thought that's totally incongruent with the reality you're experiencing, and have an immediate shift? And the reason is that you're always perceiving the reality you're getting. And so you can't have that immediate shift because your observations are also your thoughts, your observations are new instructions that are feeding back into the simulation. So the simulation has this persistence to it because the very act of perceiving it perpetuates it. Does that make sense?

So by observing the simulation, you're actually instructing it. Your observations about the simulations are in fact instructions to continue perpetuating what you're getting. This is why your life tends to be somewhat consistent from day to day to day - because your thoughts are persistent, because you keep observing the same things, you live in the same place, you keep observing the same location. If you changed your observations about reality, however, in a massive way, then reality itself, the simulation would be reprogrammed, and would shift in a massive way as well. And in fact, this is exactly what happens, but it happens in such a way that you don't even think about it.

In practice, it is possible to feel this body-mind dualism! Outer Body Labs, a "technologically induced out-of-body-experience game studio" who was present at Lift14, and whose pitch is see yourself seeing your self, offers such an experience. Imagine wearing a helmet or goggles (think Google Glass ou Oculus Rift) inside which you see what an external bluetooth camera pointed to you broadcasts. Or, imagine yourself wearing these electronic glasses, and carrying some big antenna with a camera mounted at the top directed downwards and feeding the glasses, in such a way that you would see yourself from an external eye.

See and control yourself from a third person perspective as you compete or collaborate in various physical tasks, games, activities and puzzles.

This is not virtual reality! At OuterBody Labs we move your eyesight, and your sense of self, into a video camera that is aimed at your body. This mind-hack has unique and wonderful dissociative effects. Will you be able to put your subjectivity into perspective?

So, what you see in the glasses is yourself, from the point of view of the camera (which can be fixed or mobile). On the screen, it appears as a character in a video game, that you can act upon remotely using your body as the controller, like real-life Sims. It offers a new perspective to your life!

The Machine to be Another project also goes in this direction. It "is an Open Source Art investigation on the relation of Identity and Empathy that has been developed on a basis of low budget experiments of Embodiment and Virtual Body Extension".

This interactive performance-installation is built in 2 identical spaces: one for the user and another for the performer.

Through immersive goggles (head mounted displays), the user sees a video with the eyes’ perspective of a different person (the performer), who follows the former’s movements. So, it all happens in a way in which the user kind of ‘controls’ the performer‘s movements.

The user can move and interact with objects inside a room, while listening to the performer‘s thoughts through a set of headphones. That generates the perception of someone speaking inside their mind.

The video transmitted to the user’s goggles is generated by a camera attached to the perfomer, that records his/her point of view in real time. The performer also wears a microphone used to tell a short story about his/her existence. This non lineal narrative is connected to the objects in the room (a photo of someone, a childhood toy, a pack of cigarettes, a mirror, etc), making them interactive: when the user interact with one object, the performer starts to speak about his experience and memories related to this object.

In general terms, the system merges technology with other variables: the performance, an interactive narrative (related to objects disposed at the same position in two identical spaces), the experiment’s assistants (with whom they can explore the touch sense), as well as sensorial/motor/physical stimuli disposed in the space, with which the user can interact. As for the objects, we always make use of mirrors and other different things that the user can either throw or feel (like a glass of water or a bunch of flowers).

Beyond augmented or virtual reality, it has to be kept in mind that such perspective can also be attained with spiritual practices like meditation or mind-altering subtances such as kratom or blue lotus. The movie Enter the void evocates dimethyltryptamine (DMT) as a chemical path to see yourself from the outside.

It can lead to larger, metaphysical considerations such as the universe being a simulation or our brains being a vat.

Much ado about nothing, or new perspectives for life?

lundi 25 mars 2013

When do we eat?

A strange Passover seder starring the Stuckman family: When do we eat? (2005). More entertaining than obscure considerations on first-borns. Happy Passover!

jeudi 27 décembre 2012

Peut-on reprogrammer le cerveau ?

Avant une réponse scientifique à cette question, que dit l'art sur le sujet ?

Les livres The Bourne Identity (Peter Ludlum) et L'Empire des Loups (Jean-Christophe Grangé) ainsi que les films The Manchurian Candidate et Cypher viennent entrenir les fantasmes des adeptes des théories du complot à ce sujet.

D'autres films comme Le Créateur ou Limitless se penchent sur la question : peut-on doper le cerveau ?

La programmation neuro-linguistique (PNL) peut sembler assez New-Age. Et pourtant, les chercheurs avancent que l'hypnose et les faux souvenirs sont des phénomènes bien réels.

On verra bientôt ce que dit la science à ce sujet.

jeudi 23 février 2012

Faut-il acheter les maillots du PSG ?

Cette année, le Paris-Saint-Germain Football Club (PSG), c'est du solide. Grâce aux pétrodollars d'investisseurs qataris, le club a recruté de très bons joueurs, et est actuellement en tête du championnat de France. Dans ce contexte, acheter un maillot pour porter ses couleurs et soutenir l'équipe semble la meilleure chose à faire.

En même temps, les plus observateurs d'entre vous auront remarqué que cette entrée n'est pas placée dans la catégorie sport, ni philosophie, mais animation. Mais pourquoi ?

Qui fabrique les maillots du PSG ? L'entreprise Nike. C'est une entreprise américaine dont le siège est en Oregon, mais dont la plupart des usines sont en Asie. Or, ces usines sont souvent apparentées à des sweatshops. Ce ne sont pas des accusations gratuites, la tendance a été documentée, et pour sa défense Nike affirme ne pas pouvoir contrôler les conditions de travail de tous ses sous-traitants.

Maillot Nike du PSG

Alors bien sûr, Nike fait des pubs sympas, où le monde est un jeu de tag et le sport est une drogue, mais la réalité reste là : ceux qui fabriquent les produits sont des esclaves, dont des enfants.

Cela ramène à la citation d'Alain évoquée il y a quelques mois.

Quand on fait de l'animation, même si on ne signe pas de charte déontologique ou autre, la pensée que les enfants ont droit à une jeunesse heureuse porte à s'interroger sur l'éthique d'acheter des produits Nike, y compris les maillots du PSG.

vendredi 9 décembre 2011

Toute la Bible expliquée en une phrase de la Bible

Exode 30:22-23

וידבר יהוה אל משה לאמר ׃ ואתה קח לך בשׁמים ראש מר דרור חמש מאות וקנמן בשׁם מחציתו חמשים ומאתים וקנה בשׁם חמשים ומאתים ׃


vendredi 11 novembre 2011

La lumière bleue

Quel est le point commun entre : l'éclairage bleu d'une boîte de nuit, les fenêtres hautes d'une salle, une large avenue à Paris, et un banc public avec accoudoir central ?

Facile : ces designs nous améliorent la vie. Avec un éclairage bleu nous avons l'air plus beaux, les fenêtres hautes optimisent l'ensoleillement d'une salle, dans une avenue large nous pouvons circuler plus fluidement, et un accoudoir central sur un banc permet à davantage de personnes de s'accouder, ce qui est bien plus confortable. C'est bien ça ?

Pas du tout.

Dans les toilettes publiques suisses, comme dans de nombreuses discothèques et bars, et sous certains ponts, la lumière est bleue. Il n'y a pas de but esthétique, l'objectif de l'éclairage bleuté est d'empêcher les toxicomanes de distinguer leurs veines lorsqu'ils essayent de se piquer. Similairement, un éclairage rose est aussi utilisé dans certains endroits pour dissuader les adolescents d'y venir car... la lumière rose met en valeur l'acné[1].

À l'école, les élèves ont tendance à être distraits par les événements extérieurs, et regardent souvent par la fenêtre d'un air rêveur. Qu'à cela ne tienne, disent les architectes, il suffit de placer les fenêtre plus en hauteur, et le problème est résolu.

Georges-Eugène Haussmann fit construire de grands axes à Paris, afin, entres autres, d'empêcher d'éventuels révolutionnaires d'ériger des barricades et de bloquer la ville, ce qui est bien plus simple dans des rues étroites. Il y a donc une idée sous-jacente de contrôle des foules.

Quant à l'accoudoir central des bancs publics, il servent à éviter que des gens s'allongent dessus. Les municipalités font d'ailleurs preuve d'une imagination débordante pour empêcher les SDF de dormir sur les bancs.

Banc public Belson

Au final, le point commun est le suivant : le design vise à influer sur le comportement d'une certaine catégorie de la population. Il s'agit d'éléments d'architecture de contrôle.


[1] Pour éloigner les jeunes, d'autres dispositifs ont été imaginés, tel le mosquito, qui émet des hautes fréquences que les adultes n'entendent pas. Cela a même été implémenté en Suisse !