Editor’s note: the lack of irony is a bullet fired in the cause of moral seriousness.
The source of the present confusion, why the Riefe quote appealed to me, is this growing awareness of mass movements in the “spectral parallel world’’ of the Internet the ultimate meaning, direction and force of which I can only guess at. I have my theories, though, the reason I am drawn to investigate and register these phenomena in the first place. Since my theories are kooky, relating to the far-flung future and deriving their conviction from a slapdash review of history, history of thought and systematics, I suffer from the recovering delusional’s greatest fear: of confirmation. To guard against false confirmation-rubber stamp of madness!-I try to watch what’s happening with an unprejudiced eye, but this requires persistence of inquiry, and it is this persistence that is encoding my mind with its growing obsessive fixations.
I try to comfort myself that I am merely developing an expert knowledge, but I know that the particular injunctions I have taken from my martyr’s study of philosophy make the attainment of mere expertise impossible. Learn to limit your horizon-yes, if only I could. Discontinuity is the new, infinitely harsh, infinitely hated teacher of wisdom-the student wants to run away to old teachers. How to make sense of it all?