C1. A Giga-Annum of Genealogy


[…] This twisted path, again and again, turns out to be precisely that line from ‘crown’ to ‘toe’: the vertical axis of the body and its bony ledger, the spinal column. This is because, for a nature with a history, an anatomy is just a memory: and we have had spines for as long as we’ve had brains. Can it be a coincidence that so many thinkers have been drawn to a certain heady admixture of these notions—a theoretical superlation that has only lately been christened ‘Spinal Catastrophism’?

The chief contemporary exponent of this hypergenealogical heresy is the notorious Professor Daniel Charles Barker. Yet, as we shall see, in incorporating Spinal Catastrophism into his ‘Geocosmic Theory of Trauma’, Barker drew upon a rich history. Before we explore its wealth of delirious superlations, however, it will pay to establish the philosophical stakes involved in the questions Barker and others drew upon. What exactly is involved in the relation between person and planet?…