Matthew Fuller on Wed, 23 Apr 1997 12:53:24 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> long dark phone-in of the soul

the long dark phone-in of the soul

Matthew Fuller

In Los Angeles, they are collapsing in the streets.  Down the stock
exchange, brains are melting.  More is happening than anyone can possibly
cope with.  Information overload - the very contemporary scourge.
        Possibly the most abundant and competitive life form in this
apocalyptic effusion of detail - factoids.  Shake a media executive for an
opinion, and along with his wallet and dandruff you're likely to get: "A
typical issue of the Los Angeles Times contains more information than a
17th century Englishman was exposed to in his entire life."1
Notwithstanding the complete fatuousness and curiously obvious
unprovability of such an assertion it resonates with a general apprehension
that rather than being faced with a qualitative improvement in
intelligence, the human race is doomed to fry under the sheer quantitative
increase of infotainment to be processed.  In an information economy in
which anxious formats format an anxious reality there is a handy answer
being proffered.  For delicate sensibilities exhausted by mental
stimulation, intelligent agents are hailed as as sure a tool for coping
with the spew as a machine gun is for doing business with a banker2
        Independent software agents that roam the nets; crawlers; ultra
personalised data-services from the aggressive to the ambient; insidious
taxonomies sheathed in unctuous butlers or data-santas with the tastes of a
magpie and jammy hearts of gold.  But before we get into the technical

the intensive care of the self

A moist, warm little homunculus of tender flesh, sheathed in thick sweet
mucus is clamped down hard into layers and layers of bone.  Bone which can
- under the correct conditions of clemency and etiquette - be progressively
stripped off to reveal the true being.  As the bone and metal casing folds
down, resplendent in the force of its sovereign originality, a purple clot
of compressed flesh cowers naked, yearning for an intimacy that it can
never accommodate.  In its skull bunker air is changed every 2 seconds.
Whilst a thick purple umbilical cord trails slackly down into its spine, in
the windowless white tiled production areas which have airlocks and are
kept at a constant 37 degrees centigrade by a coddling system equivalent to
9200 hostess trolleys, the human is panicked at being 'misrepresented' by
its agents.  Its heart opened to the page on the account book where all the
frauds and tenderness are stored reads:
        The world outside is strange, complicated and incoherent.
        This delicate clot of feeling is dropped like a fish into batter
into a new room, a capsule with flickering walls.  It opens its eyes and
sees a bewildering collage of images each in its own window: flowers,
details of European cathedrals and Shinto temples, Chinese landscape art,
magnified images of insects and pollen grains, many-armed Indian goddesses,
planets and moons of the solar system, abstract patterns from the Islamic
world, graphs of mathematical equations, head shots of models male and
female.3  The rapidly accreted symbology of cyberspace pastorale: great
lurid globs of data, sphinxes thrown up by mist; bit-mapped epiphanies;
time-lapse video of colourful diseases; insurgencies mapped into larva-lamp
belches, then wire-framed; the very miserable zentertainment.

Intelligent agents form around a compound of three usages of
'intelligence'.  That of facts or news that are discovered, and perhaps
made commerce of; that connoting an individual mental understanding, here
perhaps more closely, as a quality that can be scientifically measured, (if
not quite put into operation) as IQ.; and finally, the definition offered
by James DerDerian in looking at the field of International Relations,
"Intelligence is the continuation of war by the clandestine interference of
one power into the affairs of another power."4
         The development of intelligent agents is also at the same time,
the development of the subjectivities destined to use them.  From this neat
little loop ramifications multiply out into the production, distribution
and formatting of the intelligence.  The human frame, once feared incapable
of being hurled along in an automobile at an immense thirty miles per hour
is now assailed by a tripartite hurricane of bits. Intelligence as object,
intelligence as suppleness or technique and intelligence as war.
        The point of intersection of all these spiralling formulations is

The services of agents are invoked as giving you only the information that
you need,  giving you the information you don't ordinarily have time to
find, and giving it to you when you need it in a manner that suits your
humour.  Whilst for the agent, if the user is "a man of the least spirit he
will have fifty deviations from a straight line to make with this or that
party as he goes along, which he can no ways avoid"5, the agent is to take
these breaks, shudders, deviations, and insolubles and reconcile them into
a recognisable whole.
        Such a mix of behaviours corresponds to the first two definitions
of intelligence: that intelligence about an object - or fact discovered,
and that intelligence of measurable quality or technique.  This modulation
of two patterns - those of the agent and the user - into one, could perhaps
be said to produce a gestalt, a third mind that is the sum of the
development and changes in the patterns as they move through time.  However
this gestalt is not just one of harmonious synthesis but also the point of
leakage - one that is directly implicated in intelligence as war - that
pulls things out of equilibrium and into the realms of meaning-making
apparatus and power.
        One response is to take a step back from this cacophonous danger,
and reformulate the relationship.

For the user, the agent can function as a kind of sympathetic magic, to
purify the self, by its endless bespoke repetition, providing a way of
finding an other that will be always self-similar.  This is the escape from
information overload  through the construction of safe worlds.  Just as the
Hilton or McDonald's  is a place you can go where it will always be the
authorised version of America, this is an escape from history into cyclical
time in one dimension.
        Here, the agent, potential vector of, not just communication, but
transformation becomes another tagging device in the social prison.  The
tag locks you into one place and stops you moving.  The agent roams the
nets to return with a mirror.  Stay where you are.  Don't move.  Hooked up
as a device for the reiteration of the One, narcissus becomes narcosis.
        Attempting to maintain and pursue only its own interest, and
therefore by-pass alienation, the loop between agent and user rapidly
contracts into nothing.  For, if 'self-consciousness exists in and for
itself when, and by the fact, that it so exists for another; that is it
exists only in being acknowledged'6 the master is always dependent on
receiving the gaze of the bondsman, who, in a reflex of liquid termination,
absorbs the One and winks out of existence.

From obliteration through purity, backzoom.

        Formulated somewhere in the tension between the regurgitated
alienation epiphany of the doom gurus and a legitimate technical problem,
the following scene:
        almost entrepreneurial, almost newly gut-bucketed, not so much
dressed down as dressed across (so great is their will to communicate) the
heroically swivel-chair bound cosmonauts of inner space, optic nerves
toasting in the light of reports back from the front: reports of superhuman
passions and superhuman perversities; file transfer debauches perpetrated
without enthusiasm and without hope.  This is not so much a scenario of the
agent being a fragment of ego, detached and flung out into the world to
forage for glory, so much as the ego as glutinous aggregate that forms in
the place of a common-sense compromise between ideal and possibility.
        In the same way that Lyndon B Johnson, on ascending to the White
House after Kennedy's brief and brutal reign insisted on having all of his
phone calls tapped, agents can provide a strictly empirical answer to the
matinee rescreens of the eternal questions: what am I and what the fuck am
I doing here?  This is the problematic formed in the tension between
formatted information and formatted data-personality:  the version of the
user stored in the agent's database.
        (How long before an exciting hospital drama features an attempt to
restore personality to a post-traumatic amnesiac by what emerges as stored
in their personal databases?)

        Autonomous software agents make choices and execute actions on
behalf of the user.  They embody the expertise to find and present
information to the user, respond dynamically to the user's changing goals,
preferences, learning style, and knowledge.  In many contexts, this implies
the ability to find or create alternate representations of information.
The aspect of autonomy requires some degree of intelligence in the agent,
and, given the current state of artificial intelligence, of pre-existing
structure in the underlying information.
        The other bottleneck is formulated well by Jaron Lanier.  "I am
concerned that people will gradually and perhaps not even consciously,
adjust their lives to make agents appear smart.  If an agent seems smart,
it might really mean that people have dumbed themselves down to make their
lives more easily representable by the agents' simple database design."7
        Whereas fragments are added to the spew as a consequence of what?
Public relations? Debt?  The ingestion of substances?  A capsized mind?
Tight shoes?  Philately? the occurrence of both of these bottlenecks is
rooted in the transition of something ostensibly more messy into something
conforming to database needs.  In addition, both multiplied and perplexed
the Bakhtinian version of dialogue as the word as two-sided act is  subject
to an uncanny mutational turbulence wherein machine hermeneutics meets
vivisection.  Acted upon by the labelling, classification, positioning and
fixing routines of databases, perception becomes rooted to observable
stimulus events which can be manipulated and - hooked up into a polygraph
of inhibitory and excitatory interactions - correlated (correctly or
incorrectly) to the internal events of the user, database or agent.  Thus,
between and within: the continuing onrush of the spew ; the databases
formatting the spew and making it readable to agents; the interpretative
interaction of the agents and databases; the interaction between agent and
user - whereby both are read and reformatted; and the messy
transformational behaviour of the user on behalf of which the agent is
making choices and executing actions, there is a possibility for the
development of a plurality that can resist anything better than its own
diversity.  This possibility however is the point at which intelligence as
technique and suppleness segues into intelligence as war.
        Currently, as Lanier points out, the fog of intelligence is thinned
by the depletion of possibility.  Just as users of handwriting recognition
PDAs are forced to turn their script into that of pre-schoolers in order to
make use of their machines - (writing recognition programs training the
user to write in a way it can recognise); or just as some live their lives
to avoid producing data that might arouse the suspicions of credit
agencies; and - conversely - just as insurance ratings are made on the
basis of data-mined assessments of area, sex, age, trade, and other
details, the existence of a person in data-space, their data-body has often
become more important than their flesh body.  The organic residue of
citizenship, gathered into the fold of insurance, banking, medical services
and produce preferences, is gradually reduced to a device for the
registration of punishment  for transgression of, or reward for compliance
to these structures.
        At the same time as software packages such as Textract are
developed to cross-reference and search every possible kind of database,
(including video and audio surveillance footage; supposedly safe
data-sources such as medical, employment and school records; as well as
more obviously open sources such as credit ratings, tax and criminal
records) for the purposes of centralised agencies such as the police and
the military, network technologies are impacting on vertical control.  The
Los Angeles Police Department caused a sensation amongst officers when it
introduced a career tracking system that included the use of neural
networks to spot patterns of types of disciplinary infractions that might
lead to dangerous, unauthorised behaviour8.  Whilst data-mining has been
used by astronomers to map new galaxies it is also being used to bring a
flat, scrutinising light to every kind of darkness.  That these
pattern-finding technologies are of a kindred technical nature to agents
and the databases that they negotiate illustrates that pattern-enforcing
and pattern-producing are also not exactly distantly related.

That this personalised inquisition may well have the bludgeoning
sophistication and accuracy of customer profile questionnaires is perhaps a
relief, for the moment.  However, it also provides an opportunity for some
commentators to suggest that this software needs to use some kind of
personality as its interface to increase the user's fun and productivity
quotients.  As promoted by boom gurus the anthropomorphisation and
personalisation of agents is developed to encourage an engagement with
'intuitive' narratives and the suspension of disbelief through projection
onto and through the agent.  Personalities are intended to communicate the
agents predispositions to users, thereby enabling them to understand,
predict the results of, and successfully deploy the associated behaviours.
Librarians, butlers and well-trained faithful dogs as well as the familiar
noir image of the detective as a maverick thought -  a stray neural impulse
in some great night-time brain - have all been suggested as models.
        Whilst experts from industries such as theatre and animation have
offered themselves as authorities in the humanities, the study of what
humans can be reduced to, in order to fine tune the minimal amount of
remorselessly cheerful or focus-grouped cantankerous but cute necessary to
make this technology a real hit, we are perhaps first more likely to see
the more widespread introduction of branded personalities for knowbots.
After all who wants to know what they themselves might be interested in
when they can delve into the media subconscious of a star selling
diagrammatics of their personal or projected tastes - along with the
inevitable myriad of nested brand endorsements and links?  Who can wait
till Martha Stewart becomes a fully automated choice machine?
        Before Artificial Life labs start ratcheting up the volume control
and churning out a dazzlingly hi-spec array of customisable taste modes
from the Epicurean to the anorexic, it might be worth considering that
while many interface designers believe that users are constantly plunged
into disorientation, or get lost while attempting to find their way through
a myriad connecting documents and links, the truth is often rather that
users are sucked into overorienting loops that are impossible to escape
from.  Having this trap facilitated by a clip-art personality might make it
a great interpersonal experience.  As you and your agent share the growing
sense of imprisonment, watch its vocabulary of boredom gradually run to
panic and then mysteriously dry up.

        On the nets, supply exceeds demand by several orders of magnitude:
spew.  This has effectively meant for instance the demise of many but the
most exclusive or well-niched subscription and pay-per-view services.
Perhaps agents as devices for the production of remote and expanded demand
are useful to capital because they can be seen to artificially inflate
demand to match supply through the proliferation of automated hits - thus
allowing the realistic possibility of widespread tariffs.  If it occurs
however, this option is rather likely to fail again after a time - at the
key choke point to the flow - the entry to the user: the distinctly serial
port of the human eye socket.  In the longer term, in order to maximise the
potential for profit then there needs to be a tightening up on supply -
political and economic censorship - coupled with, for the truly modern
user, the invention of new orifices and the diversification on-line time.
These are not considerations specifically inherent to agents, but they do
form part of the grimly crumby fitness landscapes that they may well be run
        Perhaps as, "Information is everywhere supposed to produce an
accelerated circulation of meaning, which appreciates in value as a result
of accelerated turnover"9 we will see the development of a new kind of
internal marketplace - competition between different agents in supplying
the greatest amount of information to the same user, thus increasing their
importance and hold in terms of influence and attention time.

backzoom: from self-absorbed, to self dissolved

Hitting the floor gut-clutched by food poisoning or glue.  Your brain is
getting cored by the gathering knowledge that you inhabit a room of five
copies, each performing a separate task:  whispering hawser thick
algorithms out of her mouth into a corner; studying the ceiling; beatboxing
the aggression signalling noises of the haddock (steady and low increasing
in speed with the intensity of the situation); the other, flatly observing
the rest to offer a caustic running commentary on what she can see them

Šfrom an eternal backwards compatibility as obliteration, through
interaction as disciplinary body-counting, to the aggregate of agent / user
subjectivity as network - personalisation as airport transit lounge.  With
control configured as cost-control the agent as preternaturally happy
accomplice to automated nit-picking carried out by an immense army of
minuscule pedants concerned with the functioning of virtues and vices of a
perfectly healthy everyday sort, vendor of fly-specks of detail perkily
brought to your attention by focus-groupings of bits, gets sliced by the
rationale of the surgery of plasticity:
        "Capital only retains anthropological characteristics as a symptom
of underdevelopment; reformatting primate behaviour as inertia to be
dissipated in self-reinforcing artificiality.  Man is something for it to
overcome: a problem, drag."10
        From the point of view of capital's rictal year zero the agent is a
device for strip-mining consciousness.  As increasingly models of
subjectivity are produced and espoused that locate it as a certain level of
consistency within a network of networks, the production of devices for the
integration or navigation of these networks becomes paramount.  The optimum
personality profile is a compressed curve towards a blanked out
transcendence mirrored in those abattoirs of communication - internet sites
that contain nothing but links.  Within this terrain of interstital blight
surfing is depth.  Behind the alluring promise of cascades of deleted idle
time being efficiently suffused with a sense of meaning and significance,
intelligence as technique becomes a factory of fact.  Programming, is here
not something that merely occurs to a material substrate, (either the chip
or the human) but that recomposes it in an obliteration that aims for the
sublime, but that ends up as permanent fascist spasm.  Bite down on this.
Here come the electrons.
         At the other end of the continuum from narcissistic disappearance,
at the widest point of the backzoom - with the megamachine integrated to
sub-atomic level - the user becomes the motor output for the laughter of

Stepping aside from this well prepared transition from lock-down to
vaporisation11 we can move into something else:  the composition within
conflict of intelligence.  Writing about the different, mainly English,
writings that emerged from experiences of prisoner of war and concentration
camps during and after the Second World War Ken Worpole notes:  "Štwo class
definitions of 'freedom' that are in complete opposition: in one it is a
quality associated with splendid isolation, in another it is associated
with the communality of things and the mutual aid of interlocking
        These constructions of freedom, the first that of the officer
class, the second developed in the ranks bears uncanny resemblance to the
direction of much of the debate around the political and cultural meaning
of the nets.  In another novel, bearing directly on the war but suggesting
the consequences of an alternative outcome Philip K. Dick has one
character, Frank Frink ponder his use of the Confucian interface to the
future, the I Ching.  An oracle whose counsel could be, "brought forth by
the passive chance workings of the vegetable stalks.  Random, and yet
rooted in the moment in which he lived, in which his life was bound up with
all the other lives and particles in the universe".13
        Without wishing to engage in considerations of the actual use of
this device, (which has corollaries in the Tarot, tea-leaves or coin
tossing as a way of informing or computing, of making judgements or of
throwing another view into a situation and thus blocking, channelling or
producing energy) it is to the politically charged thick connnectionism
apparent from these two quotes that we can look for material and perhaps
unexpected development in the construction and usage of agents.

A first clue to this might come from a look at one of the technologies
offering potential in the development of agents.
        A neural net acts as an associative memory that stores associations
between inputs and outputs, stimuli and responses.  Believed to offer a
topological parallel to models of some aspects of human brain function such
as associative pairing and generalisation through similarity, for sheer
size the most advanced neural nets still lag behind the complexity of this
three pound lump of muscle - the most advanced nets have 10 000 nodes,
human brains over 100 billion neurons.  If enough nodes were used they
could in theory be used, with varying degrees of success, to patch together
a model of any system.  Although as there is no noticeable shortage of
human beings the replication of them or their behaviour seems somewhat
unnecessary - their uses are elsewhere.
        Neural networks can be used to learn the patterns resulting from
the aptitudes and interests of the user.  Because this learning constitutes
the development of rules which are stored, the network can also be equipped
to represent to the user what it is doing as it learns.  As they work
through association, perhaps nets could even be used for bringing, along
with the daily harvest of information, the attention of the user to some of
the user's interests or behaviour they might not have noticed.  All this
makes them a particularly suitable base technology for use in the
construction of agents.
        Alongside neural networks as a source for the development of
agents, there is also the area of programs that launched a thousand
security jobs: viruses (a program that can infect other programs by
modifying them to include an identical or slightly altered version of
itself and that may or may not deliver some kind of payload).
        Before the advent of viruses it was possible to suppose that,
"outside the computer there is only chaos, dust and various contaminants
from which this fragile universe of order and logic must be guarded if it
is to continue to function"14  For the logician, "Šthe digital computer has
this virtue: its design is perfectly logical down to the scale of
electrons; it has conquered the disorder of the natural world by the
hierarchical principles of symbolic logic"15  For virus writers, the
fascination that other worlds could be built up from the scale of the
electron to function under the aegis of other forms of rationality has a
slightly more powerful pull.  The computer virus, self-replicating, moving
within and between computers and files, exists in the seemingly untenable
mix of ratiocination and contamination that it can make at once both
fruitful and poisonous.
        How do these technologies provide us with a sense of what a useful
approach to agents might be?  One that enriches rather than diminishes?
A completely harmless virus is an impossibility.  All viruses by their mere
presence on a computer can cause collateral damage, accidentally
overwriting data or causing a system crash by using up memory.  Their
existence in obscurity; promulgation by evasiveness, and intimacy with
their environment; their common combination of high technical intricacy
with dumb, bravado-heavy goofy humour reveals them to be deeply connected
to both intelligence as technique and as war.
        Neural nets find boundaries not by the tracing of a line, but by
developing a sense of what is on either side.  They are more suited to
producing multiple drafts of a situation than by analysing it to a summit
of correctness.  Whereas the virus has an infection strategy, the neural
net is explicitly constructed as open to new inputs.  It is in the
combination of minute, pestilential intimacy and openness that suggests how
agents might be developed to at once engage in the communality of things
and the mutual aid of interlocking relationships and provide, through the
addition of new kinds of agency, an extra degree of tangledness to it.
        In this thick mess of connection permanently on, around and within
the user, where the isolation of 'the self' is insufficient, we also need
to find a way of disturbing the often repressive conviviality which is
typified by Worpole's ideal of working class connectivity.  Here, Nick
Land's suggestion of "functional connectivity from anti-productive
static,"16 the abstract development of units of cultural mutation,
confrontation and sensory transference - allying itself with the gawky
functionality sensed in the notion that desiring machines only work when
they break down - provides a way to also connect with other dynamics of
        This is not a call for the artistic sensibility of infinity to
enter the science, aesthetics and politics of computers (which are
necessarily finite structures operating within their technical constraints
in a finite time), but rather a way of dealing with their finitude through
connection to their pestilential quirks.
        As a quasi-autonomous element composed through the structuring,
application and exploratory function of intelligence, agents have an
automatic connection with the function of the intellectual.  Two models
which complement each other; the mix of logic and contamination of the
virus; and the open, messy functionality of the neural net are that of the
'specific intellectual' and the 'dissident'.  The first, proposed by Michel
Foucault suggests that the intelligent agent can act as a conduit for, and
attentive, mobile and open translator of, information flows that can be
utilised in "concrete, precise, definite terms, within a determinate
situation."17  The second, offered by Julia Kristeva suggests that allied
to this stripped down version is a kind of awkwardness:
        "It was perhaps inevitableŠ  Šthat the dissident function of the
intellectual should have been asserted by the unemployed of the future,
those intellectuals without a job or students with no prospect of being
taken on by any restrictive and bankrupt social 'formations'."18.
        If you have used an Internet search engine to look for files
concerning a particular topic you will know the madness that is the result
of the loss of everything but reason.19  Everything that might possibly be
connected by the use of that key word is connected, if only momentarily for
the period of that search.  This is an incompetence that encompasses, as a
matter of accident, judicious competence; a totally logical correctness
that is nothing if it is not also wrong.  Here, where a fastidious
indecisiveness forces the production of novel typologies and patterns of
identification, the intelligent agent as an apparition of pure reason - a
creature of code words, sets, and rigid syntax, of the assembly line along
which packets of data are sorted, are sorted labelled and processed -
located in the specific context of information flows learns to perform its
dissident function.
        What is proposed then in the development of intelligent agents is
the application of shitness; stupidity; suprise; the inherent, congenitally
unadapted funkiness of bad code; the idea that memory storage as deliberate
anachronism - eternal backwards compatibility, even in its end state of
ultra-conservative stasis - can be interrogated and even used for its own
ends, if not won over by gawkiness; that the accumulative oddness of very
small sensory experiences produces a functionality of its own;  and, for
either user or agent, that "ŠIt's better to have ten consecutive failures
or insignificant results than a besotted passivity before the mechanisms of

1  Doug Glenn, President of Mattel Media, in Gender Blender, by Michael
Meloan, Wired, November 1996, p.52
2  'Maybe some of them fancy educated fellers can out-talk poor folks like
us, but if you just pull that little trigger and make some noise - why,
it's as good as a college diploma!' Kate 'Ma' Barker, cited in: Brad
Steiger, Bizarre Crime, true crime tales with a twist! Pan, London, 1993,
3  Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age, Roc, London, 1996, p.475
4  James DerDerian, Antidiplomacy, Blackwell, Oxford, 1992, p.21
5  Lawrence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman,
Penguin, London, 1985, p.64
6  Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979, p.111
7  Jaron Lanier, My Problem With Agents,  Wired, November 1996, p.43
8  The only pattern-recognition needed to deal with the police is a sense
of history:  "My grandfather had to deal with the cops/ my
great-grandfather dealt with the cops/ my great-great-grandfather had to
deal with the cops / and then my great-great-great-great...  ŠWhen's it
gonna stop?"
KRS One, Sound of The Police, on Return of the Boom Bap, Jive Records HIP 142
9  Jean Baudrillard, The Implosion of Meaning in the Media and the
Implosion of the Social in the Masses, in Questioning Technology eds. John
Zerzan and Alice Carnes, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, 1991, p.159
10  Nick Land, Meltdown, Abstract Culture No. 1, Cybernetic Culture
Research Unit, Coventry, 1997, p.6
11  This simultaneous transition from lock-down to vaporisation, from
atomising universality to minuscule particularity perhaps also has its
parallels in McLuhan's thesis that globalisation increases tribalisation.
12  Ken Worpole, Dockers and Detectives, Verso, London 1983, p.54
13  Philip K. Dick, The Man in The High Castle, Penguin, London 1988, p.19
14  J. David Bolter, Turing's Man, Western Culture in the Age of the
Computer, Pelican, London, 1986, p.74
15  Ibid
16  Nick Land, p.2
17  Michel Foucault, Remarks on Marx, interviews by Ducio Trumbadori,
Semiotext(e), New York 1991, p.139
18  Julia Kristeva, A New Type of Intellectual: The Dissident, in The
Kristeva Reader, ed. Toril Moi, Blackwell, Oxford, 1986, p. 294  She
continues: "If it had not been for this situation, the Western intellectual
would still have too many 'reception facilities' that allow him to feel at
home, including and perhaps above all when he is 'in opposition"
19  Louis Aragon, citing G.K. Chesterton, "The madman is not the man who
has lost his reason.  The madman is the man who has lost everything but his
reason."  Paris Peasant, trans. Simon Watson Taylor, Picador, London 1987,
20  Félix Guattari, Chaosophy, ed. Sylvčre Lotringer, Semiotext(e), New
York, 1995, p.224

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