[-empyre-] Accidents (was for example)

Having slept a night on our discussion, I woke up saying that code is a
structuring and ordering device. This seems to tie in with your - Alan's -
response that code is a filter.

A common view on the net is that code is the 'unconscious' of computers,
that it is the hidden undercurrent of the interface, but I think we'll have
to reverse this view. Isn't it rather that code resembles the symbolic in
its function? It's restrictive, it structures and orders, just as the
symbolic harnesses the free mobility of the unconcious and structures it. In
other words, [my] unease with code may be one aspect of the Freudian
'discontents of civilization'.

Note however that I say resemble. I doubt we can claim that code is the
symbolic for two reasons:

a) code does not signify anything unless it be implemented as software, a
piece of art, a poem and so forth. The same might possibily be said about
the alphabet. Do letters mean anything unless they enter the complex chain
of signification and codification before returning as words, phrases,
syntagms etc.?

b) you can't read one structure by another, that is, you can't apply a model
of the psychic or sexual economy to understand the 'digital economy'.

Similarly, Jim, you can't apply a mathematical model to understand the
psychic economy (I use psychic economy instead of mind because mind situates
us at once in the mind-body dichotomy). Psychoanalysis has the advantage of
having developed out of observations and reflections on human behavious and
speech, but it's still just a theory. The truth of the human mind - if there
is one - no one knows. Your view of the mind as an algorithm reminds me of
Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus which I rejected on the grounds of
their mechanistic - it turned everything into a reduction to input/output of
data, if I remember correctly - and deterministic view. Nothing is left to
chance or to the 'accident' Tamara mentions.

Psychoanalysis is one way of approaching the accidental, which is why
psychoanalysis has been my approach of choice (the thetic phase in Kristeva
is one opening). In fact, I've spent most of my life trying to understand
the accidental - I don¹t know if I'm any wiser today - 'it' always slips out
of my hands, it goes beyond the beyond. Still, the accidental is crucial in
every aspect of life and creativity. That's where 'I' come from. It is, in
the words of Derrida, meschances/mes chances (accidents/bad luck/my luck/ my

And computers who behave in such eccentric ways! as if there's something
that goes beyond code, making and remaking me, guiding me off-path,
accidentally hitting me - edgewise. Meschances/mes chances.

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