Quotable (#161)

Horror escalates:

… the immediacy of V.R. has a dark side, too. Several months ago, Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger, researchers from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, in Germany, published a series of recommendations on the ethical design and implementation of virtual reality. Their appraisal of the medium’s psychological force is both studious and foreboding. “The power of V.R. to induce particular kinds of emotions could be used deliberately to cause suffering,” they write. “Conceivably, the suffering could be so extreme as to be considered torture.” In filmmaking, the director must perform a kind of seduction of dread, leading viewers through an escalating series of psychological states. In the immersive world of V.R., no such dance is required. …

Quotable (#159)

The conclusion to a little tangled esoteric amusement:

… And so, in the book itself, like one of the horror protagonists he discusses, Sandifer continually, compulsively – and less and less convincingly – says no, asserts that nothing is wrong, that he’s in control, that he’s not unhealthi[l]y interested in his subjects, that he knows they’re wrong and evil (did you know he thinks they’re wrong and evil? let’s say it again to make sure), that he may be gazing into the abyss but – rest easy – it’s not gazing into him, that nothing is off here, dear reader, oh no, that the trio is just as dismissible as you thought when you began reading, let me just reiterate that once again for clarity, no there is not anything going on over there in the shadows –

He’s of the Devil’s party, but he doesn’t know it.

(If you’ve no idea at all what’s going on here, that’s almost certainly for the best.)

Fiction As Method

@ Goldsmiths. (Clearly an event whose time has come.)

The event Twitter account.

(Suggestive aside: Eugene Thacker is quoted at Zero Hedge. The author of the post, from Artemis Capital Management, writes insightfully: “Volatility is about fear… but extreme tail risk is about horror. The Black Swan, as a negative philosophical construct, is when fear ends and horror begins.”)