What’s at issue in any enunciation is not whether it’s received but whether it can become contagious. I call insinuation — the illapsus, according to medieval philosophy — a strategy consisting in following the twists and turns of thought, the wandering words that win me over while at the same time constituting the vague terrain where their reception will establish itself. By playing on the relationship of the sign to what it refers to, by using clichés against themselves, like in caricatures, by letting the reader come closer, insinuation makes possible an encounter, an intimate presence, between the subject of the pronouncement and those who relate to the pronouncement itself. “There are passwords hidden under slogans,” write Deleuze and Guattari, “words that are pronounced as if in passing, components of a passage; whereas slogans mark points of stoppage, stratified and organized compositions.” Insinuation is the haze of theory and suits a discourse whose objective is to permit struggles against the worship of transparency, attached at its very roots to the cybernetic hypothesis.


Attacking the cybernetic hypothesis — it must be repeated — doesn’t mean just critiquing it, and counterposing a concurrent vision of the social world; it means experimenting alongside it, actuating other protocols, redesigning them from scratch and enjoying them.

— The Cybernetic Hypothesis, VII