Re: [-empyre-] more "Writing and Pattern Flows"

Marcus Bastos wrote:

> The potential is to push the boundaries, creating new writing
> methodologies through code and technological/spatial modalities,
> transcend current practice --- thus the control limit is a projected
> illusion that can be transcended --- its course altered.
> Meaning production, the social, cultural, and digital potentials are
> all arising simultaneously informing each other...

>From the POV of math, though - which is the POV of the coder who implements the programs that the "digital writers" use to write with -, it doesn't seem wise to equal socio-cultural with digital potentials. The processes induced by socio-cultural potentials can result in real numbers, whereas those induced by digital potentials can only result in computable numbers, which are equivalent to natural numbers. If a digital computer shows you the value "0.37285" after calculation - a real number -, that value was arrived at via a process that, at its core, only accepts the values "0" and "1" - natural numbers - as units of calculation. A computer can simulate (= approximate) the calculation of a real, but when it shows the result "0.37285", that is only some approximation of the value that a human with a slide rule doing the same calculation as an /analog/ process calculates. The difference between the approximation and "the real thing" may be very small for any individual calculation, but because of the combinatorial amplification that are at work in complex digital programs, small errors can grow exponentially, and if that happens, the values suddenly loose all the meaning they "have".

Digital "meaning" is *not* the same as analog (= socio-cultural) "meaning". It's important for digital writers - particulary those who don't write their own interpreter programs - to recognize that any analogy goes through a semantic ADDA conversion, which was done by at least one program written by at least one programmer who /has/ to use a hierachy at the core of any program, just to make it work on a digital machine. A programmer's use for heterarchies of any kind (including heterarchies of meaning) is very limited, and making good programmatical use of heterarchies - e.g. in parallel computing - is considered to be in the realm of High Art among programmers.

So as a warning to unsuspecting digital writers, any proposal using a direct equation of socio-cultural with digital potentials should be very closely examined. However small it might be, there /must/ be some *destructive* change during the digitization and re-analogization of meaning that the average digital writer relies on. What makes matters even more problematic is that this change is ultimately caused by the technical limitations of digital machines, but can be arbitrarily amplifyied by bad programming. Be careful.

All the best,



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