Where is the knowledge that is lost in information? Where is the wisdom that is lost in knowledge?*

Ideas Concerning the Intellectual Matrix from


. . . 'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'

I think we are in rats' alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.
'What it that noise?'
The wind under the door.
'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?'
Nothing again nothing. 'Do 'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember 'Nothing?'

I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?'
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag -
It's so elegant
So intelligent
'What shall I do now? What shall I do?'
'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
'With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
'What shall we ever do?'
The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.


All images begin in mirrors and end inside our subconsious. All conscious mirrors crack and cut; Seep blood and stain our dearest outfits.

The expression that there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express, together with the obligation to express.

Simulacra and Simulation

"[the image] is the reflection of a profound reality;
it masks and denatures a profound reality;
it masks the ABSENCE of a profound reality;
it has no relation to any reality whatsoever; it is its own pure simulacrum.

Everywhere one seeks to produce meaning, to make the world signify, to render it visible. We are not, however, in danger of lacking meaning; quite the contrary, we are gorged with meaning and it is killing us.

We are becoming like cats, slyly parasitic, enjoying an indifferent domesticity. Nice and snug in the social, our historic passions have withdrawn into the glow of an artificial coziness, and our half-closed eyes now seek little other than the peaceful parade of television pictures.

The Republic

Human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?
True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.
That is certain.

And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, - what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, -- will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

Remaking Social Practices

The routines of daily life, and the banality of the world represented to us by the media, surround us with a reassuring atmosphere in which nothing is any longer of real consequence. We cover our eyes; we forbid ourselves to think about the turbulent passage of our times, which swiftly thrusts far behind us our familiar past, which effaces ways of being and living that are still fresh in our minds, and which slaps our future onto an opaque horizon, heavy with thick clouds and miasmas.

Negative Dialectics

It is not up to philosophy to exaust things accroding to scientific sage, to reduce the phenomena to a minimum of propositions ... Instead in philosophy we literally seek to immerse ourselves in things that are heterogeneous ... without placing those things in prefabricated categories.


"To live without living, as to die without death: to write returns us to these enigmatic propositions", a primal scene; "the aletheia, such that one thinks it without thinking it" (L'·criture du désastre). Without plays like a strange resilience, neither an energy nor a functioning. X without X no longer appears to function. But if it does, it is not as one thinks. Without doubt this no longer functions, this no longer walks, this means nothing and rejoins a o degree of the thesis, of the discourse and the sense. This means o and yet there is not o.


These would be the successive phases of the image:

it is the reflection of a profound reality.
it masks and denatures a profound reality.
it masks the absence of a profound reality.
it has no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum.

In the first case, the image is a good appearance—representation is of the sacramental order [i.e. not a simulacrum]. In the second, it is an evil appearance—it is of the order of maleficence. In the third, it plays at being an appearance—it is of the order of sorcery. In the fourth, it is no longer in the order of appearances, but of simulation.

Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origins or reality: a hyperreal.**