[-empyre-] II (

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Oct 10 15:13:38 EST 2012

On Wed, 10 Oct 2012, Jonathan Marshall wrote:

> Alan writes:
>> I don't think these terms are as ill-defined as you think and obviously
>> most people find them useful.
> but that does not help define them... :)
The whole point is they're not subject to the kinds of def. you want; 
they're much more in tune with Wittgenstein's language games for example. 
They're imprecise because they're entangled in the lifeworld,

>> Not important or not important, but coding implies the digital; this is
>> why there are potential wells, protections, built into data, all the way
>> back to the bullae and envelopes.
> I'm not sure here, why does protection necessarily imply digitality?
It's protection of the signifier and of the chain of signifiers.

> indeed but all kinds of coding can decay. We don't even have to specify 
> that it is coding everything of a certain complexity decays, wears down 
> etc....

Decays in the analog, not the digital. Decays because of noise, rupture, 
etc. Again, I've written about this at length, apologies.

> Its one reason why i would say the real is not inert, that it undermines 
> itself and reconstitutes itself continually.
The real doesn't _do_ anything.

> Ok. I had thought you are wanting the 'virtual' as the question you 
> asked was:
> "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?"
> in which case then virtual and online both fail to describe the 
> commonality between things which may not have much in common....
Virtuality and online aren't the same and don't have parallel 

> If i am writing about life online then why not?
> that is an attempt at being specific....
Here we circle again, maybe we should stop? What IS life online? The heart 
monitor? Electronic surveillance? Facebook? ATMs? All of these? None?

> i agree that complexity helps. but with a=a it depends. is the system 
> completely closed, is there nothing looking at it (which is not a)? does 
> it say anything? is it meaningful? does it undermine itself because the 
> only way a can equal a is if there are non a's it cannot equal?

Yes, there is no -a because all there is, is a=a; that's the entirety.
What's meaningful? It's precisely meaningful in this conversation. To the 
extent that logic relates heavily to tautology, it's meaningful. And 
actually it doesn't "undermine" itself - again _it_ doesn't do anything - 
because this is the entire universe of discourse, defined as such.

> which is social, and depends upon a history of software writing and a 
> history of theorising, and of interactions between people and people and 
> machines and so on.

more complicated than that from within.

- Alan

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