Whoa there, "Time Cube/Zizek"?! Paragons usually seperate things that are at least remotely similar. Zizek does serious academic work in the field of Lacanian pyschoanalysis and dabbles in mixing it with Marxian analysis of politics and economic structures. Gene Ray wrote the hate filled time cube website, published a few affiliate website, and called it good. Other than the fact that they are both tubby, kinda strange looking guys, I'm not sure why anyone would consider them equal.
I'll stop arguing with you about the importance of credentials when it comes to philosophical reflection on sociopolitcal conditions. We obviously disagree. I suppose in your high-level debates, they matter. I have never had credentials questioned in such a way as you are describing. Given that the author aims not to make market fluxuation predictions or any other predictions for that matter, I suggest that the qualification aren't of supreme importance.
For consideration, an excerpt from the intro which may help exemplify the type of work the author does throughout the book:
There is, however, a deeper connection between energy and religion. Energy is not just a commodity to be measured, stockpiled, sold, consumed, wasted. And religion is not just a method of resisting a relentless movement of production-consumption, nor is it merely a means of providing a stable alternative (God) that can ground society in the absence of (or against) the delusive subjectivity of the “age of the world picture.” Energy may in fact be a profoundly religious issue—energy in its vastness, its violence, its defiance, its elusiveness, its expenditure. And religion may be an event not of the establishment of God, or of his patronage of humankind, but of his death, his void at the peak of values and purposes. God’s death, in effect, may very well be inseparable from the movement of the violent expenditure of energy, all types of energy.
The French writer Georges Bataille (1897—1962) put forward a social model that sees religion and human existence as inextricable, and the religious experience — sacrifice — as entailing the profligate wastage of energy But therein lie the central questions: Which religion? And which energy?
This book is about Bataille’s take on these issues and my version of what Bataille’s take would be if it were extrapolated to the twenty-first century Bataille died a long time ago, ages ago it seems, but one can perhaps rewrite him, all the while recognizing certain limitations of his approach, in an attempt to understand the possibilities of the future in a post—fossil fuel era. That’s what I try to do in this book. Bataille is hardly the last word on anything, but he is rare—in fact, unique—among twentieth- century thinkers in that he put energy at the forefront of his thinking of society: we are energy, our very being consists of the expenditure of quantities of energy. In this Bataille anticipates scientists like Howard Odum, who in a very precise way calculate the amounts of energy that go into a given product, a given lifestyle, and so on (and calculate as well how we can work to make the processes of production and consumption more efficient, given the scarcity of recoverable fuels). But Bataille is about more than simply quantifying energy; indeed, his approach both sees energy at the basis of all human activity, of the human, and puts into question the dominion of quantifiable, usable energy. That is precisely where religion comes in, since God, or religious “experience,” entails not purposive activity—the kind that would involve energy supplies quantified and then used with a goal in mind—but rather activity of the instant that leads nowhere, has no use, and is unconditioned by the demands of anyone or anything else: sovereign, in Bataille’s sense. Such sovereign activity involves an energy resistant to easy use—the unleashing of an energy that is characterized (if that is the word) by its insubordination to human purposes, its defiance of the very human tendency to refine its easy use.
My consideration of Bataille, then, will necessarily involve a critique of the notions of energy and religion that characterize our epoch—an epoch in for some interesting times as cheaply available energy from fossil fuels grows scarcer and scarcer. It will attempt to imagine how other notions of energy and religion will provide an alternative means of living in an era in which the truth of fossil fuel, and revealed religion, comes into question. Another model of spending, based on what Bataille called an “economy on the scale of the universe,” seems appropriate at a time when a certain human profligacy has revealed itself to be an ecological and cultural dead end. Bataille’s importance, however, stems from the fact that he puts forward a model of society that does not renounce profligate spending, but affirms it. What is affirmed, however, is a different spending—a different energy, a different religion—and that difference perhaps means the difference between the simple meltdown of a civilization and its possible continuation, but on a very different “scale.”
On the other hand, an ever more counterproductive orientation will assert itself in the years ahead. Such an orientation sees energy as an adjunct of, at best, a certain humanism: we spend to establish and maintain our independent, purpose-driven selves, our freedom as consumers, spenders of certain (rather lavish, given available reserves) quantities of refined energy, This model is doubly humanistic in that not only is the beneficiary the “free” self of Man; the human spirit itself is incessantly invoked to get us out of the jam. We are told over and over again that the human mind alone produces energy: when reserves are short, there is always a genius who comes along and devises some technology that turns things around, makes even more energy available, and so on.6 Technology transcends energy, in other words, and reflects the human mind’s infinite ability to derive energy from virtually nothing. We always find more efficient ways to derive energy from available fuels, and in doing so, we always are able to produce more fuel to produce more and higher quality energy. James Watt’s steam engine was first used to drain coal mines, producing more coal, which in turn could be used by more (and more efficient) steam engines to produce transportation (steam trains), electricity; and so on. And petroleum, an even more productive and efficient source of energy, replaced coal, and it will no doubt soon be replaced by something else, yet to be discovered. At this point we move from a historical account to a kind of uncritical faith in the capacity of human genius.
Fossil fuels, then, entail a double humanism: they are burned to serve, to magnify, to glorify the human or (what amounts to the same thing) the human in the automobile (“freedom,” “happiness,” etc.) as transcendental referent, and they are produced solely through the free exercise of the mind and will.
One can argue that the religion that confronts the fossil fuel—driven civilization of Man is equally grounded in the demands of a human subjectivity. People demand salvation, an ultimate purpose for which they are consuming so much fuel: I spend, or waste, so that I will ultimately be saved. Conversely, energy inputs are available because God has blessed me with them; the faithful are rewarded with a healthy, fertile, and energy- rich environment. God is the ultimate meaning of all that I think and do. There is no distinction between my personal belief and belief sanctioned by society, derived from a literal reading of a holy Book , this version of religious belief even more authority, law is grounded not in man but in God himself; literalism serves as a satisfying alternative to humanism.
[stoekl, , “bataille’s peak: energy, waste, and postsustainability”, p. xii-xiv]