The concept of hypostition is simple to bring about, one simply has to ask the question ‘what is the opposite of a hypersition?’. I am aware there are a couple of takes on this term available on line. These notes concern my interpretation -or grab for the vector.
Hyperstitions are incursions from fiction into reality. A hyperstitional entity may be deliberately created to blur the lines, e.g. the CCRU’s now famous D.C. Barker. Upon coming across this name, the unknowing will start trying to track down who on earth Barker was -to little or no avail. In a world rife with paranoia and conspiracy, the various hints of possible reality that one can come across regarding Barker only exacerbate the confusion -which is of course the point. Even when you do sort of know the actual nature of it, you can still end up wondering if there is some grain of actuality to these kinds of phenomena. As I have pointed out elsewhere, receding time plays a powerful role in increasing hyperstitional potential. Something, created at one point in time very clearly intended as a playful fictional device, can later look even more like it might have actually been real and passed off as a fictional device to hide the ‘terrible truth’.
For a hyperstition to qualify as one, it must blur the reality/fiction lines sufficiently such that it is capable of exerting force in reality (I’m using this term rather loosely in a rather non-philosophical sense of our everyday solidity). Classic examples are ‘Great Cthulhu’ and the activities of economic traders. Cthulhu is now sufficiently real that various occultists can and do try to invoke it, contact it, and who knows maybe even sacrifice to it. The economic example is more banal but no less powerful (indeed more so in a sense). It is simply the ability of a trader to create fictional economic information in order to manipulate the market. Rumors about the status of company’s health, erroneous hints at shadowy takeovers imminent etc. can all have a profound effect on the actual economic situation.
The term ‘fiction into fact’ is clearly too strong for a precise description of a hyperstition, but it gives an idea of the direction in which it acts. It moves from something that would be generally accepted as not true, towards a level of actually obtaining. This direction gives us the way in which we may attempt to unfold its opposite: the hypostition. A hypostition necessarily moves from fact towards fiction (or untruth). This seems kind of intuitively correct momentarily e.g. as a concept to think about post-truth activities. However the picture is far muddier than this simplicity suggests, for in order to consider a hypostition we must consider what counts as something that is actually true in the first place.
I’m not going to be able to unravel the problem of truth here or at any other time for that matter. But like any philosopher I can make my suggestion to this issue in hand. I consider that the stuff of all kinds (what we call mental or physical) can be broken into post hoc vectors (where by vector I mean a region that has become a carrier for a concept). We must consider them as post hoc or transcendental vectors as they are discoverable as the condition for the applicability of the concept. A given vectors can take different concepts but cannot (unless maybe God) take all concepts. So a tree stump vector can take the concept tree stump and seat but it cannot take the concept mouse. In this way all vectors have differing abilities to house different concepts. I believe we can use the same notion in a non-physical realm also, different vector regions exist in the physical feeling, emotional and cognitive realms that we give concepts to. These maybe more inflexible at housing multiples, though of course the regions can be broken down in different ways across different cultures -colour being a classic example.
So if we can use a concept to describe a vector we can communicate it, if it doesn’t fit the vector in any meaningful way then communication will not be possible e.g. if every time I ask for the spanner you pass me a mouse, the garage will not function, despite your desire to use spanner concept on the vector usually called mouse no meaningful result will be possible -except possibly for a pet mouse called spanner. So this means If we try to use a concept that does not fit the vector it always will not work, right? Wrong. This is an unclear issue for two reasons. One is the problem of magick, which as an embedded possibility in our consciousness is not removable and magick is precisely the possibility that we can apply a concept to a vector that would not ordinarily take it and it will still exert some effect upon the vector. Two is that there are of course many phenomena where we do not have a concept that can be applied to a vector region with any kind of agreement. The human relation to climate change is a particularly relevant example. Even if consensus is growing on there being a relation, people are still quite capable of perceiving the climate change as not related to fossil fuels etc. There is no everyday acceptance of this as something unequivocally certain.
Wherever there is even slight ambiguity potential in the vector field, some humans will be agents for the cracks. Flat earth is a good example of this; the everyday reasonableness of the earth’s spherical nature can be challenged with recourse the first person ‘obvious’ data and some extensive paranoia about the scientific world. The ground of truth is itself already a battleground of hypostitional emergence. Science as a field involved in falsification is awash with agents attempting to hypostitionalise various established positions. To speak in such way suggests we must split the hypostition into at least two forms: i) the practice of showing to be untrue previously held claims in a scientific context ii) the active practice outside of science of something reasonably accepted being deliberately rendered as fictional or untrue.
We need to include (i) just because to exclude seems mistaken as it does in a sense fit the description/direction -we would need to untangle fiction and untrue in order to be able to refine the distinction. However the sense of hypostition that rings as most appropriate is of course (ii). (ii) means that an accepted claim that is perfectly embedded in (many people’s) everyday reality is deliberately and knowingly replaced by a version that has few criteria for its truth (the vector does not obviously fit the new concept) and yet can use the overlapping wriggle room of receding time/not yet occurred time, slight ambiguities/possible doubts and non-first person presence to state the plausibility of the alternative. Holocaust denial seems a good hypostition. The fading into history of the event coupled with what seem like outrageous claims (to sane people) about WW2 footage enable the hypostition. I italicised the word ‘possible’ in an almost Cartesian doubt type level. Hypostitions of this kind are genuinely asking for you to doubt historical footage and of course as we enter an age of increasingly capable computer graphics, such doubts can be made more cogent to believers of the hypostition.
Two further notes. Firstly just to increase the paranoic levels involved here, we also need to recognise that it is possible there are strictly no hypostitions, as the hypostition definition (ii) presupposed the vector invasion was knowingly untrue -the hypostitional agents sought to deliberately alter something they new to be true. It is possible that all perceived hypostitional incursions are in fact simply ‘honest’ attempts to reterritorialze ontological territory as these agents perceive it as true. In this sense then -whilst unlikely- it is possible that hypostition is only ever the paranoid projection of re-writing truth projected upon an enemy agent, when from the enemy agents point of view it is simply truth establishing. I find this last note unconvincing and yet it seems a necessary phenomenological footnote.
Secondly we can note that the difference between hypostition and hyperstition is possibly questionable. We must knowingly create an untruth and seek to apply it over a supposed truth, yet in doing so we have created a fictional entity and unleashed it -a hyperstition. By this logic the trading economical example could in fact be said to be hypostitional. The difference could be posed: 1) Hyperstition: The creation of fictional entities whose physical vectors do not exist, yet are treated as if the vectors did obtain. As opposed to 2) Hypostition: The creation of fictional/untrue concepts for the purpose of replacing a set of concepts that currently occupy a vector or series of vectors.