Retinal pessimism

“…Retinal pessimism is not simply the failure of the phenomena of perception, the physiology of the retina, or the science of optics. Nor is it the conviction that whatever one is seeing is the worst of all possible things that could be seen. Both are intriguing options. But, retinal pessimism is something else, and it is encapsulated in the strange status of black: at once present and absent, at once a fullness and an emptiness, at once the absorption of all light and the total absence of light. Black is at once the foundation of all colour and, in its absence or emptiness, it is also what undermines the substantiality of all colour. If one is willing to go down this path, a retinal pessimism is not just about the non-colour that is black, but it is about the perception of colour itself. It is, ultimately, the suspicion that all colours are black, that all retinal activity is retinal inactivity. Retinal pessimism: there is nothing to see (and you’re seeing it)…”

“Black on Black”, Eugene Thacker, The Public Domain Review.

The frequency of opiates is a special oscillation of ultra sound

“Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways…what is missed in withdrawal is a certain frequency


The frequency of opiates turned out to be a special oscillation of ultra sound. The frequency was quite as habit-forming as morphine but could be gradually shut off over a period of several months resulting in a painless cure […] The discovery that the effects of morphine can be produced by a sound frequency led to realization that the effects of any drug can be so produced and frequency therapy came to supplant drug therapy.”

The Job: Interviews with William S. Burroughs, Daniel Odier.