I thought I would use today’s post to address the fact that my blog seems to be quite schizophrenic at times. I jump between kung fu cows, tv shows, and political analysis. The reason is I want to use this blog in order to explore ideas that I find interesting. As its subtitle says it is an experiment in thinking online. That is why I called it Arab Rhizome. Let me explain.

The rhizome is a concept developed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (D&G) in their book ‘A Thousand Plateaus‘. I wont go into the details of it, because it requires a whole book chapter to even scratch the surface when it comes to this incredibly complex concept. I will only explain how it related to my blog, or at least how I hubrisly like to think of my own naval gazing that is this blog.

So the rhizome is basically an alternative image of thought to what they call the tree model. We are all quite familiar with the tree model which is basically that every point, be it an idea or a concept or something else, leads to two or more points which themselves in turn lead to two or three more points. The genealogical tree is a good example of the tree model. What D&G argue is that this model has been the dominating model of thought. We have all been trained to think in this way.

They propose the rhizome as an alternative form of thought. The rhizome is a sort of subversive model that breaks the old image of thought. It is based on the vegetal rhizome and does not function in the same way as the tree does. A rhizome is a multiplicity of forms that functions by connecting points with each other that are not necessarily connected. They say that while the tree model functions through a logic of ‘either… or… or’, while the rhizome model functions through a logic of ‘and… and… and…’. It is an inclusive model that attempts to complicate and add connections rather than limit and separate ideas.

A rhizomatic way of thinking is a constant connection making form of thought. Now, this might sound unworkable, but that is only because we are locked within the dominant way of thinking. The rhizome, of course, does not mean that anything is possible. You cannot just do anything and claim that it is connected to something else. The rhizome doesn’t function outside the rules of rationality. It only refuses to limit these rules to the tree model.

This blog for me is thus my way of trying to think rhizomatically. I am trying to let my mind make connections that it wouldn’t make if I wasn’t writing this. In fact, because of this blog I’ve already thought of many future academic projects, as well as thought of many things that can be turned into routines for when I try out stand up. The schizophrenic tendency of this blog is a direct result of the fact that I am trying to think in a rhizomatic fashion. I hope this made it a bit clear. I also hope you all realise that even though it sounds like I’m taking it a bit too seriously, I really am not. The moment this blog stops being fun to write I will stop.


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