Friday, 5 September 2008

Collide (dogmeme II)

On 10 September the first attempt to circulate a beam will be made in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. This is the world's most powerful particle accelerator and the aim, as I understand it, will be to approach more closely than ever before the conditions of the big bang. In particular the aim is to try and discover the Higgs boson - and therefore to discover the origin of mass; find supersymmetric particles - which could account for the unification of fundamental forces, and in doing so also perhaps account for "dark matter"; to probe the mystery of antimatter; and to investigate quark-gluon plasma. My secret hope is that they are also planning to open a transdimensional pathway for the great old ones, but the initial evidence appears to be not (five days before we find out).

There is material enough here for correlationists and anti-correlationists alike, and no doubt more than a few anthropologists of science will be hanging around as well. What I admire and affirm in this is something about its absolute craziness coupled to an absolute performativity. No doubt there is something obscene about the whole business, but what attracts me is a kind of wonder at the insane gratuity coupled to knowledge of / and in the real. In this instance I'll truly admit to science-envy.

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