Deleuze and Guattari, in trying to show the existence of the "different kind of science" than the form of interiority, state science, that we're used to, explains the characteristics of this Other science as such:

"1. First of all, it uses a hydraulic model, rather than being a theory of solids treating fluids as a special case; ancient atomism is inseparable from flows, and flux is reality itself, or consistency.

2. The model in question is one of becoming and heterogeneity, as opposed to the stable, the eternal, the identical, the constant. It is a "paradox" to make becoming itself a model, and no longer a secondary characteristic, a copy; in the Timaeus, Plato raises this possibility, but only in order to exclude it and conjure it away in the name of royal science...

3. One no longer goes from the straight line to its parallels, in a lamellar or laminar flow, but from a curvilinear declination to the formation of spirals and vortices on an inclined plane: the greatest slope for the smallest angle. From turba to turbo: in other words, from bands or packs of atoms to the great vortical organizations. The model is a vortical one; it operates in an open space throughout which things-flows are distributed, rather than plotting out a closed space for linear and solid things. It is the difference between a smooth (vectorial, projective, or topological) space and a striated (metric) space: in the first case "space is occupied without being counted,"and in the second case "space is counted in order to be occupied."

4. Finally, the model is problematic, rather than theorematic: figures are considered only from the viewpoint of the affections that befall them: sections, ablations, adjunctions, projections. One does not go by specific differences from a genus to its species, or by deduction from a stable essence to the properties deriving from it, but rather from a problem to the accidents that condition and resolve it. This involves all kinds of deformations, transmutations, passages to the limit, operations in which each figure designates an "event" much more than an essence... Whereas the theorem belongs to the rational order, the problem is affective and is inseparable from the metamorphoses, generations, and creations within science itself. Despite what Gabriel Marcel may say, the problem is not an "obstacle"; it is the surpassing of the obstacle, a projection, in other words, a war machine."

· · Web · 1 · 4 · 8

1 and 3 have always been the most difficult for me to understand, on every rereading. the difference between smooth space and striated space makes enough sense to me but i've never felt like i *really* understood what was meant by a science of a "hydraulic model" of "vortical flows"

@exiliaex He does have a tendency to write in a fairly cryptic and inaccessible way which is a shame.

I think he's trying to draw on that different ways of imagining particle motion (e.g. billiard balls moving from forces) vs fluid motion (a movement of fluid through a potential field).

A few good jumping off points. I think turbulence especially is a good window.

@CedarTea i asked a few of my other philosophically inclined friends and peers and one of them happened to have some engineering knowledge and gave me lots of information on the function of a turbocharger and how that relates to this deleuze section.

that, along with what you shared here with fluid dynamics really helped me actively visualize the terminology use and what deleuze means by it. i understand much more than i did prior. thank you!

@exiliaex Glad I could help! I love philosophy and I've got a reasonably strong fluids background (I'm an engineer), so if you've still got any questions I'm more than happy to nerd out and talk about it.

Mind if I ask what the connection to the turbocharger was?

@CedarTea here are a couple quick screenshots of what they said. mostly revolving around a bit i left out (for character limit reasons) of #2 in which they say "From turba to turbo" and then tying that together with #3's "the model is a vortical one; it operates in an open space throughout which thing-flows are distributed" and describing the turbocharger on these terms.

@exiliaex Interesting! That's a different angle than the one I had in my head, partly because of the specific mention of "open space" which seemed to imply free flow rather than constrained such as in turbomachinery.

Pics always help with fluid flow, and the following explanation helps a bit to visualize vortical flow in free space, including its relationship to turbulent (not laminar) flow. Emergent order (vortex, turbo) mirroring inherent chaos (turbulence, turba).

@exiliaex i don't understand at all so you're a few steps ahead of me on this one lmao

@exiliaex Read that exact passage last week and the first thing that came into mind is this thing
Which I learned about from James Bridle's Ways of Being (which btw is a real banger). It's quite literally hydraulic and it's very much a cybernetic model of the economy where the main function isn't representation of value but analogue flow, it is by standard in motion. It regulates itself via feedback loops.
While crude vaguely deterministic representations of a capitalist market might not be the ideal of hydraulic science, I think this can serve as an impulse to the necessary aspects. The reality of what is studied is not a solidified representation but necessarily in motion, the flow is the core consideration instead of being the exceptional state through which the solid changes.
Now, science mostly isn't representable as a cybernetic water computer, but I think the aspects can be carried over. The Wasp and the Orchid aren't to be studied as independent solids that then interact in the exceptional event of a flow occurring, instead the Wasp-Orchid as a flow should take ontological primacy over the objects of the Wasp and the Orchid.
Sign in to participate in the conversation

A small congregation of exiles.