in mille plateaux, the second part of gilles deleuze and felix guattari's magnum opus on capitalism and schizophrenia, they offer (n-1) as the formula for "doing the multiple" and escaping the philosophy of identity. they encourage us to subtract the grand unifying element from any state of affairs. only then can we give up on the false analogies, oppositions, and comparisons inspired by a philosophy of identity.

when you subtract the single unifying element, the el grande signifier, like say god or man, the complexities of the situation become clear. no more pesky transcendence; with (n-1), rather than n-as-compared-to-1, thinkers can occupy the middle ground where accidents happen and events occur, without overcoding them with the sainted sign of the same.

N-1 is also the technical name (It would have been called the "Lenin" if it had been successful) for what was to be the Soviet Union's moon rocket.It was conical in shape and had 4 or 5 stages (I can't remember) and had something like 40 engines on the first stage.It was launched four times and was destroyed all four times. It only ever reached a maximum altitude (on flight 4) of 80,000 ft.

N-1 was later redesigned and became Energia, the Russian super-booster for their shuttle Buran.Sadly, Energia flew twice successfuly before being grounded due to lack of funding for the PKA.

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