[-empyre-] II (

Jonathan Marshall Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au
Wed Oct 10 11:27:21 EST 2012

Alan Writes:

>> Let's just assume that i don't know what the virtual is, anymore than i
>> know what the real is To me, they look like two (distorting?) views of
>> the same events.
>Just because momentum and position might be ill defined and entangling
>doesn't eliminate their usefulness and credence in QM.

No, but neither does it mean that every ill defined binary is useful everywhere...

What i would like is some bigger idea of what the 'virtual' means and what it does 
when compared with the real, and what its interaction with real does, in ways that 
opens, or could not be done without it.

For example what you write in the next paragraph, is stuff that i have absolutely no issue with at all
in terms of its importance, in terms of its general accuracy, or in terms of its relevance
for discussion of online life. But i don't see what the concept of the virtual necessarily 
contributes to it

>I want to emphasize two things here, the reason I've been writing on these
>issues in the first place - on one hand, pain and death are inextricably
>linked; both diminish the body, and on the other, severe pain, like death,
>can be so disassociating and immobilizing that the organism (this extends
>beyond the human) can't be 'reached.' I've seen people in this state and
>have known others. Even psychic pain and intense depression can make one
>unreachable until death intervenes. This is one issue for me.


>The other is the phenomenology of the virtual, which I do find useful; I
>think there is culture all the way down in terms of evolution, learning,
>retention, and culture is related to digital phenomena. I've written a lot
>on the digital as well, on its relation to a presumed eternity and  data-
>banking, on its relation to inscription and standardization/typification,
>on the potential wells necessary to immunize image storage against
>deterioration, on the abject's undercutting of the digital, on the
>digital's relation to the corporate, etc. etc. 

Now this is getting more complex, but again i don't see that i would want to diminish
this or deny this, or in anyway downplay the issues.

they are quite likely to be fundamental.

However, i'm not really sure if you are implying that the virtual is the digital?
Or that digital coding is the only kind of coding? or the only important coding?

If the first then, to me, that would not seem to be a defintion which is usual, however valid it is.
If the second then i would be hesitant, - thinking that pain might be discontinuously analogue

>On the other
>hand, your notion of 'online' as fundamental loses more and more meaning
>every day to me, since it's getting harder to define - is a prosthetic
>heart monitor or time that may report, like an rfid, online? Are you
>online if you're on mobile? 

But are you 'virtual' if you have a prosthetic heart monitor, or are on a mobile?

I prefer to be more specific about the situation that i am in or writing about.

Thus why should we assume that being online, is the same as using a mobile, or having a heart monitor?
They may have similarities, they may have differences.
I still want to be particular

>The term online is too
>dependent on the social in an incredibly wide range of associations to be
>useful; I'm not even sure I can define 'social media' in fact. -

Well i can't define social media either, but i will suppose that humans are always immersed in social fields and social histories -  even when on their own. 
social life, interaction with others, seems to be fundamental to almost everything about us.
Sure sometime in the future people may reside alone from birth in environments entirely defined by intelligent machines, or intelligent non-humans, but this is not yet very common. Indeed, in the traditional sense, such suppositions are purely  'virtual'.

>> Taken together they may be paradoxical. I suspect that all axioms imply
>> paradox, although i cannot prove this. If so, then the real and the
>> virtual are useful to the extent they unsettle each other or open the
>> user to receive something.

>Depends I think on how small and simple the system is.

in a positive or negative sense?

>> Although, if we use it this way, is the virtual becoming the illusory?
>> Or is it fortifying illusions? And we have the problem of what is not
>> illusory. Is pain illusory? Perhaps sometimes, especially if some VR
>> diminishes it. Perhaps not, but we are not perceiving the nerves, 'only'
>> a translation, but there is no pain perhaps apart from the
>> translation... and the interpretation of what is happening and what is
>> being done.

>I think 'illusory' is also suspect. If I feel 'illusory' pain, I feel it.

Absolutely, that was the point.

>This relates for me to the popular notion of depression, that someone
>should 'snap out of it,' that it's not 'real.'

In which case the depression is not virtual, and the illusions are in the culture that
assumes this is always the case

>> Which is why i prefer 'online' to virtual. Living online depends on
>> social-psychological-technical dynamics, and that combination clearly
>> includes pain, suffering, melancholy, distance, incomprehension,
>> failure, bonding, joy, intensity, exchange, response, etc.

>Living offline depends on exactly the same things, which is one reason why
>I find the term suspect; 

true, but that is partly my point, and why i find it useful.

>it even hides the differences between, say, what
>being online meant in relation to the post-modern-culture (PMC) MOO, and
>what it means in Second Life.

This is why i keep talking about 'structures of communication' and
'culture'.  Different fora are different in some ways and similar in others.

>> All life is there online, and not diminished.
>Again, it depends on how 'life' is defined; organic life on this planet
>for the most part is inscribed and encoded in RNA/DNA; computer AI is also
>relevant here.

AI is a human social product at the moment

My first expression is careless, but what i mean to claim is that human life is not diminished online
That is, I would oppose those who take second of the two conventional approaches i listed earlier, that online life, or computer use, is inherently a diminuation of proper life.

and part of the action here, is to argue here that online life is not without pain, not without suffering, not without consequence, not a mere image or excresence on the real - which of course you also argue all the time as well as me - and so do others. I am not claiming originality.


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