Working Papers

Science Fiction and Hyperchaos: Digital Humanities as Extro-Criticism (2018) [code]
This paper compares Hugo and Nebula award-winning short stories using text mining and logistic regression. Science fiction is known for its radical singularity: each text is an ‘event’ in the philosophical sense, creating a universe unto itself. In this light, unlike traditional criticism, quantitative methods generalize in the absence of unifying conventions or topoi. Parallel to Meillassoux’s concept of extro-science fiction, digital humanities acts as ‘extro-criticism’ within fields of radical contingency (‘hyperchaos’). This asemic forensics not only traces 114 stories’ lexical detritus to each award’s institutional schemata, but presages xenographic re-mappings for conventional literary notions of ‘code’, ‘genre’, and ‘text’.

‘Patatime (2017)
Modeled after pataphor, ‘patatime concerns a hinge between incompatible ontologies—a metatime relation on one side, time on the other. In this formalism, the grandfather paradox arises from metatime without time, the bootstrap paradox as a Möbius strip between time and metatime. Templexity is shown to be a variant of ‘patatime, and various quasi-paradoxes and paradoxes of self-reference shown to be pataphorical.

Algorithmic Psychoanalysis: Lacan’s Logic of Suspicion (2017)
This paper uses discrete mathematics to recast the puzzle in Lacan’s essay “The Number Thirteen and the Logical Form of Suspicion”. Starting from Lacan’s examples, I give a general algorithm in mathematical notation, then show how Lacan’s logic of suspicion bears upon his concept of objet petit a. I conclude by speculating on the possibility of an algorithmic psychoanalysis.

Pataphor in Mechanism Design (2017)
Through numerous examples and a notation inspired by commutative diagrams in category theory, this paper clearly defines the notion of pataphor, underscoring common misinterpretations. I then use this definition to frame the field of mechanism design as ‘economic pataphorology’. The definition of pataphor is then further generalized to patonymy (cf. metonymy) and chained pataphors. To conclude, I conjecture various rich possibilities for a formal science of ‘pataphysics.

Chinese Logic: An Introduction (2017) [中文]
This paper surveys formal approaches to the history of logic in China. The first section identifies group-theoretic structures in the I Ching, and how they may provide hints of its deeper meaning. The second section identifies how Chinese grammar influenced Mohist logic, uses set theory to analyze Gongsun Long’s sophism “A white horse is not a horse”, identifies categories as a way to make sense of types (类) in Mohist logic, and outlines a formalization of Mohist debate logic via game semantics. The third section shows how paraconsistent logic can make sense of the Buddhist catuṣkoṭi, and how the Chinese reception of Buddhism led to multi-valued logics inspired by the I Ching.

Combinatorial Game Theory: Surreal Numbers and the Void (2016)
This paper shows how every combinatorial game can be written as a surreal number, and so as a tuple of Ø. I discuss Nim, nimbers, the Sprague-Grundy theorem, then partizan games and pseudo-numbers, building up to a critique of Badiou on surreal numbers: if all games are combinations of Ø, this supports the thesis that numbers don’t strictly ‘exist’ (mathematical fictionalism). The essay concludes by highlighting applications and deflating the notion that “all the world’s a game.”

Avant-garde Philosophy of Economics (2015)
  • Khan uses literary theory to argue that economic models are (meta-)allegorical in structure.
  • Dupuy uses Lacanian psychoanalysis to make sense of ‘common knowledge’ in game theory.
  • Hoover wants to see what econometrics has to say about philosophical concepts like causality.
  • Epstein argues that agent-based models involve a different logic than normal economics.
  • Velupillai insists that the math behind economic theory can’t be translated into algorithms, and so we should replace the foundations of economics with kinds of math that can be.
  • Markose uses Gödel’s incompleteness theorem to identify self-referential economic scenarios where the traditional logic of economics doesn’t hold.
  • Parikh’s project of social software looks at societies by means of algorithmic & semantic tools.
  • Tohmé treats the cultural and behavioural elements of society as patching up the holes in what computers otherwise can’t calculate.
  • Winschel uses category theory (“the mathematics of mathematics”) to integrate different areas of economic theory and to make sense of reflexive economic structures.

The Political Economy of Ghostwriting (2015)
This essay addresses ghostwriting in all its apparitions, from celebrity ‘autobiographies’ to its increased presence in music and online dating. I trace out its phantasms in ancient and contemporary philosophy, from Aristotle to hauntology, underscoring its implications for theory and anti-theory. Lastly, I argue that ‘spectrification’ of society (and the emergent spectra and spectralities arising in its wake) places deeply into question the method of ‘textual analysis’ of capitalism.

“There is no economic world.” (2014)
This paper presents a unified theory of economics and philosophy. I argue that economics, defined as the science of non-conceptual social relations, is structurally incommensurate with discursive models, and that many of the alleged problems of economics come from trying to translate the former into the latter. These can be avoided only by speaking of economics in a rigorously non-philosophical manner, according to the theses: 1) economics does not refer to a phenomenological ‘world’, 2) economics is not a priori, but a generic unwriting (or: writing degree zero); 3) economics is radically non-Bayesian, framing events in their contingency rather than in possibility. These imply that in matters of political economy, language can be used only as in poetry.

Piero Sraffa’s Non-Economics: An Introduction (2012)
This paper introduces the economic methodology developed by Piero Sraffa, which does not require the concepts of supply, demand, equilibrium, or capital. The initial sections provide a biographical overview of Sraffa’s interactions with Gramsci, Hayek, and Wittgenstein, as well as his reading of Ricardo. From there, the essay describes Sraffa’s Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, its critique of economic theory, and the Cambridge Capital Controversy that ensued from it. The essay concludes by framing Sraffa’s ‘non-economics’ as analogous to non-Euclidean geometry.


Heideggerian Economics (2017)
Élie Ayache’s The Medium of Contingency - A Review (2016)


于尔·阿拉米切克 - 《光荣的死亡》 [Uel Aramchek]
奥斯卡·王尔德 - 《水仙》 [Oscar Wilde]