Catastrophe is the past coming apart. Anastrophe is the future coming together. Seen from within history, divergence is reaching critical proportions. From the matrix, crisis is convergence misinterpreted by mankind. The media are choked with stories about global warming and ozone depletion, HIV and AIDS, plagues of drugs and software viruses, nuclear proliferation, the planetary disintegration of economic management, breakdown of the family, waves of migrants and refugees, subsidence of the nation state into its terminal dementia, societies grated open by the underclass, urban cores in flames, suburbia under threat, fission, schizophrenia, loss of control.
No wonder the earth is said to be hurtling into catastrophe. Climate change, ecological and immunity collapse, ideological upheaval, war and earthquake: California is waiting for The Big One. This is an age of crackups and melt-downs.

☛ “Cyberpositive” by Sadie Plant and Nick Land, published in Unnatural: Techno-Theory for a Contaminated Culture edited by Matthew Fuller, 1994. Also available online at

Explanations by Simon Reynolds, an English music critic (find out more about him on Wikipedia):

“Cyberpositive” was originally the title of an essay by Sadie Plant and Nick Land. First aired at the 1992 drug culture symposium Pharmakon, “Cyberpositive” was a gauntlet thrown down at the Left-wing orthodoxies that still dominate British academia. The term “cyberpositive” was a twist on Norbert Wierner’s ideas of “negative feedback” (homeostasis), and “positive feedback” (runaway tendencies, vicious circles). Where the conservative Wiener valorized “negative feedback”, Plant/Land re-positivized positive feedback–specifically,: the tendency of market forces to generate disorder and destabilise control structures.

The above excerpt is taken from the essay “Renegade Academia” which was written in 1999 for the magazine Lingua Franca but was never published. It appears in Sound Unbound (MIT Press, 2008). See the publisher website and the official website. The full essay can be access online on one of Simon Reynold’s blogs: Energy Flash.


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