northanger (northanger) wrote,

The Affect of Nanoterror

currently reading The Affect of Nanoterror from the Culture Machine. found a great link about Ergot of Rye (speculation this is what the young girls consumed during Salem Witch Trials).

reading about Aum Shinrikyo thought RIKYO sounded familiar — asteroid RURIKO part of Cycle #15 new seed. i selected several asteroids based on whether their designated number had a 5:4 pattern & #4455-RURIKO is part of this group. discovered 02-Dec-1988 by S. Ueda & H. Kaneda in Kushiro, Hokkaido (probably at the Hosooka Observatory?). can't determine naming circumstances, but it's probably named after Japanese actress Ruriko Asaoka extremely popular during the sixties; others sharing this name: Ruriko Vaughn (Star Trek character assimilated by the Borg) & Ruriko Ikusawa (from a Japanese anime series involving gate keepers).

Nanoterror is badly formatted where you can't tell where Walter Cannon's quotes begin & end (read Voodoo Death).

interesting interview with Brian Massumi. i never could really understand affect & affective — i like Massumi's description:

From my own point of view, the way that a concept like hope can be made useful is when it is not connected to an expected success — when it starts to be something different from optimism — because when you start trying to think ahead into the future from the present point, rationally there really isn’t much room for hope. Globally it’s a very pessimistic affair, with economic inequalities increasing year by year, with health and sanitation levels steadily decreasing in many regions, with the global effects of environmental deterioration already being felt, with conflicts among nations and peoples apparently only getting more intractable, leading to mass displacements of workers and refugees ... It seems such a mess that I think it can be paralysing. If hope is the opposite of pessimism, then there’s precious little to be had. On the other hand, if hope is separated from concepts of optimism and pessimism, from a wishful projection of success or even some kind of a rational calculation of outcomes, then I think it starts to be interesting — because it places it in the present.
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In my own work I use the concept of ‘affect’ as a way of talking about that margin of manoeuvrability, the ‘where we might be able to go and what we might be able to do’ in every present situation. I guess ‘affect’ is the word I use for ‘hope’. One of the reasons it’s such an important concept for me is because it explains why focusing on the next experimental step rather than the big utopian picture isn’t really settling for less. It’s not exactly going for more, either. It’s more like being right where you are — more intensely.

To get from affect to intensity you have to understand affect as something other than simply a personal feeling. By ‘affect’ I don’t mean ‘emotion’ in the everyday sense. The way I use it comes primarily from Spinoza. He talks of the body in terms of its capacity for affecting or being affected. These are not two different capacities — they always go together. When you affect something, you are at the same time opening yourself up to being affected in turn, and in a slightly different way than you might have been the moment before. You have made a transition, however slight. You have stepped over a threshold. Affect is this passing of a threshold, seen from the point of view of the change in capacity. It’s crucial to remember that Spinoza uses this to talk about the body. What a body is, he says, is what it can do as it goes along. This is a totally pragmatic definition. A body is defined by what capacities it carries from step to step. What these are exactly is changing constantly. A body’s ability to affect or be affected — its charge of affect — isn’t something fixed.

So depending on the circumstances, it goes up and down gently like a tide, or maybe storms and crests like a wave, or at times simply bottoms out. It’s because this is all attached to the movements of the body that it can’t be reduced to emotion. It’s not just subjective, which is not to say that there is nothing subjective in it. Spinoza says that every transition is accompanied by a feeling of the change in capacity. The affect and the feeling of the transition are not two different things. They’re two sides of the same coin, just like affecting and being affected. That’s the first sense in which affect is about intensity — every affect is a doubling. The experience of a change, an affecting-being affected, is redoubled by an experience of the experience. This gives the body’s movements a kind of depth that stays with it across all its transitions — accumulating in memory, in habit, in reflex, in desire, in tendency. Emotion is the way the depth of that ongoing experience registers personally at a given moment.


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