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SalonCast003 ::: Transcendental Time Machines

We held a 0x Salon conversation under Chatham House Rule on the history, politics, philosophy and technology of timekeeping. This is an audio report based on that discussion.

Published onNov 07, 2021
SalonCast003 ::: Transcendental Time Machines
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We held a 0x Salon conversation under Chatham House Rule on the history, politics, philosophy and technology of timekeeping. This is an audio report based on that discussion.

Hosts: Wassim Alsindi, Martina Cavalot, Max Hampshire and Paul Seidler. Audio from CF303 Acid Futures Vol 2 by 0dan and Jodey Kendrick.

Stream (via Soundcloud) or download as mp3 // research archive

SalonCast003 - Transcendental Time Machines by 0x Salon


History & evolution of timekeeping

  • Sun / water clocks > Mechanical (macro-gravity) > Electronic > Atomic / Nucleonic

  • Miniaturisation / diversification -> batching, replaceable/machined parts, assembly line

  • Solar > calendar > clock > electronic > laser > orbital (GPS)

Temporal domains & regimes

  • Classical > quantum time

  • Newton, Kant, Deleuze, Einstein & Relativity, CCRU, Rovelli

  • Quantum conjugates -> stat mech -> loop gravity

  • Entropy & the arrow of time / von Neumann discorrelates

Different conceptions of time

  • Chronos & Kairos and the idea of the “epochal shift”

  • Geometric subsumptions of time: line, circle, spiral >> deja vu, reincarnation

    • Repetition of the same (cosmos) 

    • Non-repeatability (capital)

    • Repetition of the non-same (Ubermensch)

    • Bidirectionality 

    • Recursion & the feedback loop

  • Xenotemporalities 

    • Black Quantum Futurism and retro-causality

Time & Power

  • Temperance & virtue through the ages

  • Church / curfew / factory / curfew / trading restriction

  • Capital <> precision timing -> trading (regulation / asymmetry)

  • Imperial time, racist time, chauvinist time

    • Naval timekeeping (Harrison), GMT, timezone diplomacy,

    • Semiotics: master-slave, white-red-blue

    • Talking clocks (UK ‘Golden Voice’ Stephen Tallents & Ethel Cain)

Greenspan on cyberspace-time

  • cannot be considered humanistic

  • machines of simulation >> clockwork universe

  • transglobal or postglobal, as cyberspace is nonlocalisable

  • an immanent machinic culture in which time measures nothing outside

  • Calendar vs the clock -> abstract time / “empirical time”

  • UNIX time as a last vestige of the calendar in the domain of abstract time 

  • Putnam identity theory - nature of mental states (1967)

Notes On The Poverty of Blocktime 

  • Polychronicity: continuous (cyber-clock) <> discrete (block-clock)

  • Temporal slippages, arbitrage, discontinuities at this membrane

  • Proof-of-work - a lottery and a bingo game, burning energy to play

    • difficulty adjustment as probabilistic limbo to keep block-clock ticking regularly

    • PoW time<>capital<>energy -- PoS less energy/more capital

    • Centre of economic gravity as penalty for leaving earth

  • Forks, orphans - parallel chronologies & schisms

    • Time is out of joint (Hamlet, Shakespeare)

    • I am separated from myself by the form of time (Deleuze on Kant)

  • Nakamoto Consensus & 51% Lyfe

    • Pure formalisms of canonicity (longest / strongest chain) <> money as social bargain?

    • An arrow of time, that goes both ways if you pay enough (determinacy-as-a-service)

    • Selfish mining as attenuated case (deviation from ‘fair’ behaviour)

  • MTP - miners as unreliable chroniclers of time, no clock oracle inside the network

    • Time-warps - fake timestamps, game difficulty, game 51% condition 

  • Front-running & MEV - due to temporality mismatch, miners can ‘look into the future’ and choose the one they prefer

  • Computation <> storage arbitrage through time

    • Gastoken making a ‘futures’ market out of congestion? 

  • PoS - long-range attacks due to no penalty for re-historicising

  • Year 2038/2106/292277026596 bug - when computers run out of time

Recommended Materials:

Xenotemporality: Unnatural Time
Anna Engelhardt & Diann Bauer (video)

Deleuze’s Third Synthesis of Time
Daniela Voss (article)

Pandemic Time: A Distributed Doomsday Clock
Venkatesh Rao (article)

The Immortal
Jose Luis Borges (fiction)

Project Time Capsule
Black Quantum Futurism (article)

The Politics of Time Precis
Peter Osborne (article)

The Poenomenon: Form as Occult Technology
Amy Ireland (article)

Temporal Secessionism - Timezone #1 (video)

Public Arena Board:

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