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Hyperstition is a neologism and portmanteau combining the words hyper and superstition. Hyper is from the Greek word that is used as a prefix in English meaning "above", or used in scientific terminology to indicate something having greater than three spatial dimensions. Superstition is from the Latin word superstes (standing over) and is defined by The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition as "an irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome." Hyperstition has come to encompass the quality of actively altering one's reality in such a way as to bring about demonstrable change.


Example of theory

On 17 October, 2004, Ron Suskind wrote in an article published in the New York Times titled "Without a Doubt":

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend—but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Hyperstition and theory

According to the theorists of hyperstition, hyperstition (loosely defined as fictional quantities that make themselves real) can be followed and practiced on three broad pathways:

  1. Numogram: The methodical excavation of the occult abstract cartography intrinsic to decimal numeracy (and thus globally 'oecumenic') constitutes the first great task of hyperstition.
  2. Mythos: Comprehensive attribution of all signal (discoveries, theories, problems, and approaches) to artificial agencies, allegiances, cultures and continentities. The proliferation of 'carriers' ("Who says this?") - multiplying perspectives and narrative fragments - produces a coherent but inherently disintegrated hyperstitional mythos while effecting a positive destruction of identity, authority, and credibility.
  3. Unbelief: Pragmatic skepticism or constructive escape from integrated thinking and all its forms of imposed unity (religious dogma, political ideology, scientific law, common sense …).

Each vortical sub-cycle of hyperstitional production announces itself through a communion with 'The Thing' coinciding with a " mystical consummation of uncertainty" or "attainment of positive unbelief."

"Hyperstition aims to flatten the transcendence of superstition. Nowhere is this immanence more obvious than in the role hype plays in the market. Here hype acts concretely as an 'element of effective culture that makes itself real', where reality is precisely measured in $.

This connects hyperstition directly to the plane of unbelief. There is no need to believe in cyberhype, Chinahype, etc... to make a fortune. All that is required is the ability (or luck) to cash in and out at the right point of the hype cycle. As 'trade guru' Jack Schwarz says, 'it is no longer a matter of what is believed, but of what can be treated as real.'

This seems to be entirely different from superstition which also has the potential 'to make itself real'. Yet, as Walter Cannon shows, the potential of superstition rests entirely on degrees of belief (Voodoo death)."

Hyperstition as magick

Given the nature of active creation and change inherent to hyperstition, some practitioners and students of magick are embracing hyperstitial concepts as a new way of thinking about, examining, and changing reality.

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