More on the Derrida virus

Nikos Salingaros has made some fascinating material available that gives the background to an essay he wrote on “The Derrida Virus” that I mentioned a month or so ago. (The essay is no longer available on the web but it appears it will be published in Telos.) The material provides a perspective on how nihilistic ideas propagate based on what seem to be rather close medical and computer science analogies. Sample quote:

Studying deconstructivist writings gave me the impression that except for Derrida, who is very cleverly and deliberately obfuscating, their authors were suffering from some sort of brain damage. (I’m being serious, and not trying to score points). The normal, evolved mechanisms that enable human analytical thought had apparently been scrambled, so that those authors seemed mentally incapable of expressing a direct, logical statement. Their writings almost make sense; but not quite. They avoid closure as part of the method, but this eventually becomes a habit as neural circuits rewire themselves. This syndrome mimics the effects of a biological virus that has destroyed part (but not all) of the brain, preserving intelligence and memory while damaging the ability to synthesize thoughts. Since synthesis depends on connectivity, which deconstruction erases, this adds supporting evidence for some new type of mental virus with observable and possibly permanent effects.

4 thoughts on “More on the Derrida virus”

  1. What do structures with the
    What do structures with the Derrida virus look like, and what do those without it look like? That is, are there any examples that we all might have seen? Because Dr. Salingaros says the virus has taken over since the 1920’s, maybe the former World Trade Centers were an example of the infection while the Empire State Building was not infected.

  2. I went to see the world’s
    I went to see the world’s tallest building this past weekend, the Taipei 101, in Taiwan. It’s taller than the WTC towers and the Petrona Towers. It’s all glass. A funny shape really, as it’s based on a bamboo pole. And there’s not much nearby; there’s empty lots all around, so it didn’t have the bustling feel to it.

  3. I found these comments on
    I found these comments on the web, and wanted to answer some questions. Yes, there are several distinct architectural viruses out there, and the WTC was an example of one—though entirely independent of the Derrida Virus. I have treated that in my essay “Geometrical Fundamentalism” with Michael Mehaffy.

    The Derrida virus creates broken metallic forms, much like the new WTC proposal.

    As to skyscrapers, anyone interested in my views ought to read my interview on, where I talk about the tree aspect of a skyscraper: what you see on top hides something as large and expensive below the ground. The support for transport, parking, utilities, etc. is astounding, yet is usually hidden. That’s the reason why the new skyscraper in Taiwan is surrounded by a wasteland—it’s part of the typology.

    Best wishes to all
    Nikos Salingaros


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