Monday, August 30, 2010

the ideologues of web-specificity

registers and territories of muck which - in turn - eliminate publication

The Silence of Gathered Knowledge


Bessemer, in his industrialized innovation of carbon-removal in iron (nothing new to the 800-year antedated Song Dynasty scientists), patented this new economic boon in an explanatory method that could not be reproduced by other steel-makers. What lacked was just what lacks in peer-idealization, or the iconography of scientific communication. Peircean guessing here becomes relevant, as do the memory-tablets of Gilgamesh and the pleas against the reduced recollective-knowledge in documentation for Socrates. As Polanyi would put it, the knowledge is tacit, a silence akin to the purposeful fudges of a Davincian diagram, or the jargon-enriched self-patent in the alchemical description of chemical experiments. Bessemer could not convey the method which - though its overtly ideal form as a scientific process correlates to its pragmatic success when he took up the job - serves as a post-Goethian aesthetized instance of material epistemology, a basic instance of knowledge which Peirce rightly held as an irreductive core of scientific exploration.

Thus Bessemer industrialized and brought about radical changes in the steel-making process (which itself then brings about a new experimental paradigm - in society not only but also in the factory), which correlates interestingly back to Polanyi's personalized science and subsequent opposition of the socialized advocacies of physicist John Desmond Bernal (think here of the current split between Science 2.0, transhumanism and citizen science - advocacies towards a less immediately social (but ultimately far more plurally social) form of science, and the general practice which in certain ways exists as a skewed legacy of the socialized science semi-progressivism of Bernal (which could be redated to List, a contemporary of Bessemer)).

Bernal, who has been cited as an originary of the sociology of science, still represents an age where empirical methodology was not relatively confused by technoscientific re-encounter (although certainly well present, as Bessemer's case attests) - forms of progressivism still held more consistent sway in collectivized ideals (as opposed to the more radical forms today, or the watered-down negating assumptions of more oblique terminologies such as welfare and care (progression as neutralization)). Further, Bernal's social analysis comes from a practitioner - its pragmatics find a grounding there, and serve to inspire the annals of science policy, economic thought, yet also in a sense become more radical than their successors, as in Bernal's fervent support of Soviet science and subsequently Lysenkoism.

Polanyi's critique enters here (say in the 1940 co-founding of the "Society for Freedom in Science", an ostensibly anti-instrumentalist defender of liberal free enquiry - a neutralized personalism which ironically flips Bernal's argument to a predictive rebuttal which formulates the theory-laden admittal of a socially-oriented critical counter), propounding something akin to what some call pure science, or the gentlemanly and individualized, free as they say to enquire without the bounds of social capital and public approvals. It is an intermediary of these two views that offers a useful model - this begins with an acknowledgement that Polanyi's critique of the socially-oriented science of Bernal could be restated as an aleatoric clearing that could well remain tacitly personal, or could reorient in a different social function (the which is inevitable anyway). It is in this fated reorientation (personality exists socially, there is no isolative lone man for neither Hai Ebn Yokdhan, Mowgli, nor Rousseauian analysis, aside from their fictional reproductions) that a personally-pluralized view of social process begins to unravel.

The correlation to industry growth matches research funding, thus the question of policy becomes a crucial instance of where the money comes from, as this indelibly serves to focus what the research is doing. This, which leads to a bureaucratic insularity, was something that Bernal was critical of - again, as a partial radical which confuses a simple binary opposition with Polanyi, this position mirrors open science policists general advocation of more pluralist and public fund-models (crowdsourced as they say) as a method of breaking down bureaucratic singularity - in critique Bernalian, but in counter-solution quite different from the socialist orienting before and after Lysenko's sanctioning. For Bernal, science should serve the people - here in this simplified nobility applied as a contradictory rigidness, this point is in fact defended and more concretely brought home through the opposition and personalized elements of Polanyi's disagreement therewith. The foundation then of this hybridized social orientation, is not a collectivized social policy but a system that, while just as socially-indebted, fundamentalizes Bessemer's formula for making steel in a more rapid fashion. It eschews the collective for a more critical application of what is foundationally not neutral at all, but definitively personal, or ill-defined in open relationship to a collective which it will alter (contrast this with the idea of political or state science) - this is not the symbolic gentleman in his laboratory unearthing laws, but a situated individual whose socially and theoretically tied ontics produce a knowledge that disrupts formalized systems - both through language and the lack thereof. The epistemology of silence marks experiential inception.

scoriate


the coaster townspeople

[who had] accounted [for] salting

imply a quadrate

(cowardly these proscriptions damn synaptics)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Problem of Growth

Methods to Grow Plants in Your Lungs

Inside the germ-pod of the carboniferous structure there is a de-watered mini-me, which needs only moisture and its own stored nutrient (saccharides) to survive a bit in human dirt

slidte, revet, ufuldstændige, undersøgelse

Betsy: "The proper appreciation of Deleuze is not in his endless series of jargons, his pseudosciences, his self-recursive language of pure trend, but in his work as an important writer (and embodiment) of aesthetics. (Something similar might be said about Baudrillard, though he plumbs the language of poetry to its medial denial (not its Deleuzian proliferation) which allows it to give way to physicality, immediate symbology - bearing its spiritual idea to its root in Bataillean flesh))"

Plant: "Our religious formulations have shifted to mediated displacement, focussing on its figurations of sex, violence, and the miracle of an all-too otherwordly science of technique."

Betsy: "In converse relation to the intensity of basic experiences is the collectively rationalizable aspect of their results - yet it is always the role of the rational to realize its foundation in the empirical and to further accept its fallibility and incompleteness in what is a range of empirical data that resist final categorization, and do so increasingly as those experiences become more fundamental. The Euro-Christian synthesis that forms in neo-latinate medieval Europe, and which comes to inform our post-colonial new world of increasingly American forms of global structure and power, generally turns to deny these more taboo-ridden realms of grotesque materialism to a less-privileged epistemological status than the more rationalizable and collectivizable."

Stein on Pound: "he was a village explainer, excellent if you were a village, but if you were not, not"

Plant: "The simulacrum no longer engages in the sex act, but it can multiply its image."

A squishy tomato comes out of Betsy's navel. Betsy, the revolutionary.

Betsy: "and just words, and she said i feel as though i'm fucking your words" (from Beauty and the Gimp)

de Sade, Solanas and the measure of man; the synthesis in the garden of eden.

SK: "Christianly, 'witness' and 'danger' correspond"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trinity


A: The muscles of Kay Underwood - a cataplexic - fail to fire when experiencing strong emotion, such as laughter.

B: Matt Frerking - a Neuroscientist - is petrified when he has a romantic impulse, or sees others as such.

C: The narcoleptics Allison June Burchell and Luis Alfredo Pinilla both woke up on a slab in the morgue one day. For June, this was one of two times. The first, as a teen, was induced by a Hollywood comedy film: having collapsed paralyzed and conscious, she was brought to the hospital and pronounced dead, only to wake up hours later, oddly displaced.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

predicative dissolutive ontology and the gateway to sensation



ontology ultimately a set of instances – foundationless (albeit in ad hoc extremities) the opening leads to new being which supplants what non-definition attempts to contain

in its study it is anything that can be said to be whether "transcendentally" or "immanently" or in any other conceivable manner

hegel has a divide between stuff that is (has beingness) and the Geistly being of humans, the strange distinction is married by his pessimism towards a sense meaning of being as a concept alone, as its lack of predicates indicate that nothing at all remains

The Redemption of Action



In Act II, Aaron compares his attachment for Tamora, to whom he is "fetter'd in amorous chains", as one stronger than what binds Prometheus to the Caucasus as his innards are born away.

She is like Semiramis, the daughter of Derketo, who was abandoned at birth, after which her mother drowned herself. First fed by doves, then found by Simmas, a sheep-herder, her story is one of millions, the abandoned child of Musean or Oedipal climes. That is, one of millions if she was an abandoned son, which she was not. Her consequent independence mirrored her wit and craft, and with time wed her to the king of Assyria. Her exploits included cross-dressing as her son (after her husband passed) to fight in battle, to gaining a reputation as the originator of both the chastity belt and male castration. At each turn, the pedigree of a female who acts was an ambiguous heritage to assume. For the individuality of action, her reward was the death by her own seed and a mixed reputation which included its travel to Armenia as an amoral homewrecker and pretended harlot.

The poet Nairi Zarian told of her desire for a good-looking king of Armenia, Ara. Upon being refused in marriage, she proceeded to attack with her Assyrian forces. Once Ara died, she dressed a lover of hers as Ara, and feigning a resurrection to the Armenian people, one both peace and the dubious honour of saving through inexplicable sorcery. The role, then, of the witch, no longer the dove-symbol of Ishtar and human love, but that Medusa whose actions are feared and mystified for no more reason than that they are actions. It is at this juncture that love becomes lust, no different in action, yet in perspective a life transfers in this case to the second rung of Dante's hell, an empress of many languages, that made the lustful licit and became abandoned to the sensual - not as the naive encounter with an otherwise mystifying senselessness (that is, the means to know, to know at all, in the sense of faculty), but rather to double deviation so as to remove the blame to which she had been led.

It is here, in this metaphor, that Tamora's character takes place, a woman who plans, and a woman who loves, duelly for caution in a recursive circle of pre-empted amorality. And Aaron, the all-too-black, and fittingly dark and sinister companion of hers, attached as the chains of punished hubris, the chains that bind not devotion, but vice and its irremediable, quite Dantesque, remunerance of flesh elimination (in this case, by vultures).



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Venter and the Epiphany of Abstraction


Craig Venter might be considered one of the exemplary contemporary models of the marriage of capital and scientistic endeavour (which might in turn be traced through euro-capital beginnings and the specific kind of institutional climate (in its inception, the catholic church) against which it worked to define itself - in other words, capitalism in a kind of infancy and science as a practice defined either in conjunction with or in contradistinction with the christian church).

In Joseph Jackson's recent interview at H+ mag he drew a distinction between what he labelled as authentic past citizen scientists consistent with an advocated contemporary view of open science practice - here he names Franklin, Jefferson and Jenner - and what didn't quite fit that bill, or was only partially representative of the citizen scientist, for which he named Thomas Edison. Edison "partially fits the descriptor of Citizen-Scientist" but, on the whole, for Jackson, "his example is not one we want to encourage under the new Open Science paradigm". The key distinction here between the authentic citizen scientist and Edison, is Edison's "feud with Tesla and other abusive monopolistic industrial practices". Now, I'm not sure if Jackson's claim says that increased commercialization makes it less qualified to be open science, but I don't think he believes this (and certainly many advocates of breeds of open science are not anti-capitalist, but rather in favour of new and different forms of capitalism (more "open, plural and collective" you might say)). Nonetheless, I would like to use the suggested distinction myself, to draw a difference between what might be a particular definition of citizen science, or empirical exploration, and a certain kind of pragmatic technoscience, or capitalistic science, or business science. In this latter case, we might look at someone like Edison (and even further explore Jackson's examples, such as the pragmatic elements of Franklin's science) or Venter as representative of a science not solely focussed on empirical description and exploration (as say in the case of Linnean classification, or Darwin in the Galapagos), but that further explores the knowledge's use and application in new technological products.

In this way, Venter can be seen as a model of what has been called technoscience (herein used as a way of saying scientific exploration linked whether as goal or byproduct to a kind of technological invention and production). I'm not here drawing any moralistic divisions, but I do hold that a different paradigmatic structures merit different formulations of accountability. I think there is a functional difference useful to delineate between how to look at a more exploratory science and one that could be called technological, the which - to explore the latter - is my current concern.

I'm particularly interested in Venter's language and certain aspects of his recent project, a "synthetic" bacterium which the ETC called "Synthia", where a synthesized imitation of the Mycoplasma mycoides genome was transplanted into a cell of Mycoplasma capricolum, whose DNA had been removed. Scientifically speaking, everything about the project consists in slight modifications of current methods, mimicry of biological parts and while certainly in ways this can be practically distinguished from other experimental practices, the extent to which it can be is dwarfed by the amount that this is largely differentiated as a conceptual and medial event. In this way it might be considered a fitting conceptual pillar from which to analyze current technoscientific engagement.

"To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!" - these are some of the "words" that are etched in the synthetic genome (a mind-bogglingly arbitrary association that coincides well with the "genetic poems" of Bok (whose words's roman letter abstracts were, in all probability, generally unknown in the early grammar schools of Hadean hyperthermophiles)). Barring the combinatoric and desultory fact of their logographic being, the choice itself is quite interesting. This line, from Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is contextualized by a preamble of the protagonist, on the beach, gazing at a woman. His voyeuristic silence (matched only by his Dantesque relationship to the shore's Beatrice) is monologued in the kind of epiphanic aesthetic manner that makes up some of Joyce's best prose. This stream-of-consciousness encounter, one that - aside from a returned look mentioned in the text - has little to no physical or interactive involvement either of the "gazee" or even the protagonist himself (in another framing, you might say that as a film scene it would have appeared largely inactive or, shall I say, very effectively Tarkovskian).

The quoted line however, only comes after the momentous and riveting encounter (in what might fittingly be described as an instance of Kierkegaardian recollection), after the protagonist-viewer has fled, overwhelmed at the statuesque sight. The encounter already from its inception is experienced from the monologue of the protagonist (not to say that being viewed is merely the non-act of a passive object, but whatever the subjective experience of the woman being viewed, the text does not represent it) - thus already the viewed lacks the reality that might be attributed to interaction, dialogic description, speech or action and instead is largely an epiphanic fixation for the viewer in its terms of description (think here of the medieval story's insta-love sight that precedes the intrepidly random quest to marry someone unknown, if but for that all-descriptive initial mental photograph).

The overwhelmed protagonist then suddenly sprints away, no longer able to handle the burgeoning emotion, and launches into inspired tongues of speech bitten by the bug of transcendental love. Love, in this case, of the sort that involves little to no action nor interaction, is immediately perceived, and is, finally, something that - like the young man in Kierkegaard's Gjentagelsen - can only effectively be experienced alone, tending towards either the silence or absence of the actual object of love (making it in this sense a form of virtual love). It is in this state of enraptured retreat that our possessed subject intones the inspired line "To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!"

And now, this line is "written" into Synthia, or at least so the team has coded it to be as such, and so it is claimed which is, in the respect of their intentions and choice of Joyce quotes, the same in practice. Now you could say that any analysis is useless, that it's just a line, and it says life and Venter put it in there, and whatever who cares it doesn't mean anything. However, I think to actually hold that there was no real selection process at all (aside from say, looking for nice sounding words and maybe a mention of the word "life"), wouldn't really hold up to any scrutiny, and if we are to concede that, then the next question is how exactly does it relate, in its entirety (whether in a premeditative or accidental way) to the project to which it's being applied. This line, which might, in Joyce's own general terms of Aquinian gradations into epiphany, be described as a transcendental form of aesthetic appreciation. Everything the protagonist is experiencing is in the abstractive realm - his living and triumphing are inspired by the virtual abstraction of a viewed beach siren, and out of this, to say that life is being recreated out of life, is to say that the virtual is created out of the virtual (or, if one were to disagree with this interpretation, s/he would be hard-pressed to discover what specifically "life" is referring to here, other than the ineffable simulacrum of the girl in the protagonist's memory, or some equally vague idea of "all life" or some such blanket concept). So the virtual begets the virtual and this includes falling, triumphing, living and erring (as well as most anything else, I dare say).

"To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!" To now return to this line (and our inauguration of Venterian textual analysis), we can do so through Venter's own words. Venter talks about the Synthia project as one that - for him at least - changes the definition of life - we've sloughed off the old heavy baggage of formerly overbearing life definitions and moved into a realm where "we're limited mostly by our imaginations". It is "the first species.... to have its parents be a computer", whose active ingredient, DNA, itself is fittingly the "software" (compare the materialist Lewontinian concept of DNA as recipe book) and of course, this ineffable, immaterial definition fits precisely in the abstracted territory of patents and watermark signatures (more gene "writing" that accompanied the various literary selections). In one of those gene-quotations, we have our Joycean expression of abstracted beauty, of the imaginative and virtual sublime whose eternal newness evades specific description beyond the solitary experience of the observer. The material object or experimental subject at hand is eschewed for abstractive concepts of imagination, new definitions, logographic substitutions and the aleatoric gamut of the virtual entities of software that - while certainly never denying the scientific and material elements underlying all this - focus instead on the abstracted elements which play more effectively into patent and media. Those material elements might be comparable to the plethora of wet lab work in transfections, transformations, transductions, protofections and similar common techniques in current lab practice, yet the language (the very fact there's "language" in the synthetic organism) and descriptive elements mark out Venter's project as conceptually exemplary.

This is, then, a model for technoscientific discussion, science as taken into a realm that focusses more on object-orientation and the symbolizing procedures of computation and simplification and away from what could be termed naive empirical description. The automatic and isolative elements of effective technology (perhaps nowhere better exemplified than in the machine-talking-to-machine singularity concept - no human agent is even required at all) in fact invert the experiential portions of scientistic encounter, emphasizing its philosophical counterpart, a kind of classical rationalism tweaked to reinvent Lullian combinatorics (or finally, those of an exemplary rationalist himself, Leibniz) into a more complexly abstracted form of computational object arrays (in this case, the formula for recording and remaking the gene itself).

Capital, in its essential formation, is coincidentally a displaced symbolism of value (you're not getting the cow you want to eat, but you're getting the equivalent symbolic value which could be applied to getting the cow, or something else entirely). The technical, patentable portion of Venter's endeavour is thus fittingly an ideal object for market introduction (as were the inventions of Edison), and the human relation thereto, becomes increasingly complexified, insofar as the web of uses into which that technology is reapplied is complexified (say, a lab technique used for multiple different areas of research, such as a technique like PCR).

This withdrawl of the human, as it might be termed (into, let's say, the universal black hole that will co-evolve with the singularity), is perhaps in few places better represented than by Stephen Daedelus, Joyce's protagonist, and his retreat from the object of his fascination. His actual relation becomes nill, limited now only by his imagination and the "life" that is born out of that, may not be a collectively distinguishable entity by anyone but himself. Conversely, it is just that move to symbolically abstract "life" that puts it entirely in the hands of Daedelus to redefine it however he likes and then if - like a good maze-building Daedelian - he could then reify that concept, his personally patented version of the term could then take actual form. Of course any such idea will then be resubject to the empirical events of nature's course (the more rigorous experiment of observing different results of different genetic "transplants"), yet these results, both relatively enabling and paradigmatically undermining/disabling (say, a fantastic computer that a kid benefits from and his grandparents get "left behind" by) are still subject to the human creator (that is, Daedelus, the technowizard) whose visions, insofar as they are speculatively practical, must take responsibility for the abstracted dreams they have actualized into effect.

Technoscience - as opposed to strictly experimental science - then as the Daedelian experience or epiphany and its technological manifestation. However, unlike a religious epiphany, there is more than simply the persuasive aspect of the vision to account for - its rhetoric is not just rhetoric but, in Fregeian terms, referential language. What in Joyce can be aesthetic and entirely in the realm of the hypothetical, for Venter applies that aesthetics into potentially practical objects (quite literally in "writing" in genes) whose activity forces the transcendent into a scrutiny of its potential applications. The problem, of course, with multi-referent language is that, while in a poetic space it can demolish trite distinctions and seemingly liberate, in scientific endeavour it becomes questionable insofar as its actual referent is unknown (in this case, what sort of "life" will *actually* exist with this genetic mixing, beyond the vaguely affirmative language of Joyce's quote). Technoscience - the pragmatic and collectively implicated aspect of the properly empirical - creates tools that, contextually speaking, quite simply extend ability in relation to need. They are simple social decisions that work to address an issue (say, a physical disability, and the social accommodation thereof) through invention and application. Yet like nothing else, it's these practicable elements of science - from textual creations to mainframe computers - that require the most multilayered scrutiny and analysis. Whether through verification or more severely, falsification, or in the case of the unfalsifiable (say, a realm where imagination rules over everything), a contextual analysis and, in pseudo-Kuhnian terms, a revolutionary approach that re-evaluates the very precepts under which investigation is conducted.

A possible view here could be (and is, for some) that both Venter's science and his overarching theoretical vision are sound and to be supported. So be it, this is a possible viewpoint, and the primary concern of this analysis is that that is a possible perspective, but hopefully in terms that are increasingly collective in their generalized or public understanding (one key catch here is that "science communication" is a two-way, not a one-way street). Likewise, insofar as this description is laid out, another might hold that the singular patent model and the vaguely optimistic definitions and descriptions might, if nothing else, call for a more open and collective model, that works to ground the abstracted terms in a more pluralistic forum, as in a more open patent system and a more empirically-grounded set of descriptions (contrast the usual funding-seeking report of "it works" with a relation of both the negative and positive data).

Maybe then, if we were to attempt to glean a complete, practical picture of Joyce's scene (and not his lyrical flight), we might, quite simply want a monologue from the woman on the beach shore (which could well be like Molly Bloom's thoughtstream which ends Ulysses' final chapter). But while such "practicality" might rightly be said to entirely miss the point of the subject's transformative experience (which is, after all, a key event that turns the "young man" into the "artist"), I think this sort of a reply would hold little water in relation to a genetic practice which will proliferate into multiple aspects of daily life. Here the epiphany and its transcendental imagination becomes a crucial object of analysis which only hints - as a dream hints a reality - at what the actual manifestations of an unlimited imagination really are.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Mediacentric (and its Mock over History or Drowning)


The scam, in its permeation of a given material, reveals the obtuse quality of the medium-in-itself. Its referentiality fails - a crucial element in discarding hypotheses and plumbing the qualities of a given means.

Ibn Batuta, the great Muslim traveller, recounts his travels into Hangzhou, China in the midst of the 14th Century. What he sees there is the remarkable aerial travel of an inanimate object, for which he attempts to provide an explanation. The explanation of the action of the relatively inanimate, we will see, was a move it seems only preliterate culture grasped in its immediacy. It was, as the rare intelligence of Ibn Battuta discovered, explained by re-relating that object to a human agent.

Pu Songling, in his collection of 18th Century folkloric tales, performs the task not just of a Lonnrot or Grimm brother in collating the rural fancies of purportedly simple folk, but also records some tales which he saw with his own eyes. In this story - this story that is an immediate account, not distorted by multiple tales nor the labour of copies - this story begins with a mandarin who, upon meeting a vagabond whose reputation merited the common name "magician" (this translation entirely loses the nuance of a word which refers to no magic at all, or one that might otherwise be associated with a kind of being) - upon meeting this traveller and the pretenses of his unofficialised status, upon meeting him the mandarin stops and starts in thoughts of humiliation, or of pre-empted challenge. How and what can the magician do? Or, to return to the title, what can the charlatan do? Fakery, in this case, is the refuge of the impression which delineates ones belief into anothers influence - the magician can say nothing, nor do anything. He can however regard the instance of the event and its appearances, as a method from which to be reduced, to - as the masked men would say - mock. And mock he did.

The challenge, a fantastical and maliciously ironic request to produce a peach in mid-winter, was met with equal malice, this time in the form of action. The magician sent his son to climb a rope, which he did, into the sky, and vanished from sight. Shortly afterward, a peach falls, soon followed by the dismembered limbs of the now-mutilated son. This strange, and viciously humorous reply, not in words, but more severely in actions - in the surreal falling actions of the appendages of ones progeny - this reply did not even arrive to form a metaphor, to cleverly invert the mandarin's obvious envy of the magician's visual allure. This action was too jarring for such a result, and could not settle into anything but the event itself, as it occurred (at least, insofar as we can depend on the so-called magician to be performing a successful ruse).

This event - which the magician called a protometaphor - was once described by him to his friend as being done "in the traditional manner". That is, as if surreal brutality can necessarily have an abstracted condition (we see here already the magician's clear predilection for mockery - in nothing else if in his very description, recited during this latter portion, that his son can never be other than what he is - imagine these words, accompanied by an entirely unearthly spectacle, and yet the simplistic reaming of what by this point is an audience both transfixed and disgusted). As if in affirmation of his now somewhat questionable status as one to be accorded due presence (as if his reply to the impossible task of the mandarin was to rise to it by humiliating himself beyond anyone's prediction or comprehension), the magician now stoops over and begins to pick up the parts of his scattered son. One by one, he places them in a basket, which he has seemingly (and oddly retroactively) brought just for this specific task which he now performs in tact and religious solemnity. He closes the basket, and approaches the mandarin, demanding his payment. Yet no payment had been offered and it was this action, which the magician described as the "point of tradition" - demanding a referent currency where there is none - which formed what he called the "essence of the trick". Whether or not the mandarin gave him some money - probably an amount insignificant to him though possibly meaningful to the magician - is irrelevant. Indeed the tale can well end at this point where the entire act is reduced to a trivial and basically habitualized occurrence. "It might as well have been", the magician would say, "that I simply begged for the money."

The ruse, he said, of being poor, the ruse of an event trapped nowhere but reality, is enough for him to properly pay homage to history. The mandarin suddenly becomes irrelevant to the story - this, he said, was the function of the mediacentric trick. The drowning artist, he explained, once famous on the shores of France, did not understand the essence of irrelevance (though some have disputed this to a powerful degree). And history, he said, well you see how its tradition is simply a function of my whimsical drive to either effectively make light of it, or to take it so seriously so as to repell any listener from its fabricated precepts. The triumph, he said, is not in silence, but in deriding not only those who want to either be fooled or expose a given trick, but to deride *the trick itself*.

Songling once claimed that the tricks of the magician were favourites of the White Lotus Society - and that he must have initially learnt them from them. The White Lotus Society was a Buddhist heterodoxy that found appeal with women and the poor, and whose image of solace was collectively referred to as the "Unborn and Eternal Venerable Mother".


Monday, August 2, 2010

Science 2.0/3.0


As I've already intimated in my preliminary explorations of literature and art in the web 2.0 environment, the web 2.0 paradigm (or what might simply be called the web or internet paradigm) informs my investigation of an empirical epistemology and its aesthetic and scientistic bifurcations. Thus, just as much as the internet reformulates aesthetic questions and their relation to our ontological framework (regardless of whether we use it or not), so will it reformulate the pragmatic affairs of our scientific endeavours. Insofar as its tools are adopted and employed, it will shake up and reconfigure the current structure of science practice; these changes will, in partial parallel with aesthetic modifications, provide paradigmatic shifts that could facilitate a move more towards what might be outlined as an open and fallible system of practical inquiry. Simultaneously, it could do the opposite, but this only enhances the need for social and critical engagement with the new problematics that coincide with its structure.

This position still, is resolutely for the use of a web whose presence is real and increasingly prevalent, as it comes to define our virtual-global society, so it will quite functionally redefine our being and knowledge - and what actualized measures we take with them. In this way, the web is *the* location for scientific forums (in their actuality and speculation) - and although its uptake in the science community is slowed in relation to the large scale of its actual institutions, its impact is inevitable: already its general use is in certain respects common - such as in the online subscription database, and the article-driven search engine.

Mark Hahnel's Science 3.0 (I'm techblob there) is a new hub in the continued move to interpolate science, its commentators and practitioners into the web realm. This move is, as I've said, inevitable in my opinion; I think that participation in these spaces (and the creation thereof as Hahnel and co have done, no slight task) is increasingly relevant in how science is and will come to be defined. As I have done with aesthetic and literary endeavours, so I hope to bridge my interest in science (therein unified with technology) through a similar move, compounded by a return to the pathways and processes of formulating artistic creations in a web environment, that explore its content formally and in subject.