In this first post, I can but note a general feeling or mood, a kind of "orientation" that the text gives me. In the "Smooth and Striated," D&G offer multiple "models," distinguished by their topic: Smooth and striated spaces cut across many different areas of study: physics, mathematics, music, "maritime," etc. D&G, perhaps the thinkers of "mulitiplicites" write and mark multiple distinctions that, they claim, are necessary to "define" in order to then think about their intertwining, their connection to one another. So, "smooth" space is compared to the space of felt rather than weaving (a distinction that is interesting given my own focus on texts, texere -- to weave). They are careful to point out, however, that "smooth" does not imply homogeneous, on the contrary: "it is an amorphous, non formal space" (477). Smooth space is the space of intensities, of affect, of haptic perception rather than optic. Smooth space is a space of becoming, a space of deterritorialization.
It is clear that smooth space is D&G's name for a kind of space of potential; although they purport that they are not making value judgments and that, indeed, the "minor science" they associated with smooth space must be "translated" into major and that "major science" yields new insights for the minor. Indeed, for every moment of becoming or deterritorialization, there is a risk of re-territorialization. Smooth space, for instance, can be associated, its seems, with a certain de-localized capitalism, but the potential that capitalism may open up is always swallowed up in further re-territorializations. Thinking in terms of the metaphor of the "machine" the "war machine" does not necessarily have as its object "war," -- that is, war machines contain an ambiguous potential for becoming, but when it is adopted by the "State apparatus," it becomes used for war.
"Of course, smooth spaces are not in themselves liberatory. But the struggle is changed or deplaced in them, and life reconstitutes its stakes, confronts new obstacles, invents new paces, switches adversaries. Never believe that a smooth space will suffice to save us" (500).
One of the most potent metaphorical formulations I found in these last chapters has to do with a characterization of nomad existence in terms of voyage: "Voyage in place: that is the name of all intensities, even if they also develop in extension. To think is to voyage [. . .] Voyaging smoothly is a becoming, and a difficult, uncertain becoming at that" (482).
What can it mean to voyage in place? Furthermore, why characterize nomad existence as a voyaging in place -- is not an empirical fact that nomadic implies wandering, moving from place-to-place?
To voyage in place is like a line of flight as a line of force, a pushing a drawing out towards. It is, to use Heideggerian language, an "on the way" to thinking. But D&G seem to distance themselves from this Heideggerian language of destination and sending because, indeed, that does imply movement. But intensity is not a movement as a journey -- it is a voyage in place. Is it a holding together of heterogeneous elements on a plane of consistency?