[NetBehaviour] Partial Description of the World

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Oct 1 09:21:35 CEST 2005

Partial Description of the World

The power grid provides 60 Hz here at approximately 115-117 volts; this is
maintained by dynamos driven by steam or coal or oil or hydro held
together in a malleable grid. The grid enters the city, where electricity
is parceled out through substations to cables continuously maintained and
repaired. Here, the cables are below ground. They drive my Japanese Zaurus
PDA which utilizes an entire linux operating system on it. The Zaurus
connects to the Internet through a wireless card that most often connects
to my Linksys router, which is connected both to the power grid and the
DSL modem by a cat cable. The DSL is operated by Verizon with its own grid
at least nation-wide and continuously-maintained. The DSL of course
connects more or less directly to the Internet, which is dependent upon an
enormous number of protocol suites for its operation, the most prominent
probably TCP/IP. The addresses of the Internet, through which I reach my
goal of NOAA weather radar, are maintained by ICANN and other organiza-
tions. These organization are run by any number of people, who employ the
Net, fax, telephone, and standard mail, to communicate world-wide. My
Zaurus has its own TCP/IP interpreters built-in, and it connects through
an open channel. The wireless modem may have been built in the US. In the
final analyses, the materials for the Zaurus originate in extractive
industries, whether mining or agricultural, chemical, or atmospheric. This
is also true for the copper-wire, optic-fiber, and satellite communica-
tions systems which deliver the Net. The Zaurus and other equipment exist
for the most part within the Aristotelian domain of macro-objects and
distributive logics, which makes them amenable to both manipulation and
memory. Both macro- and micro- or quantum objects exist within the four
percent of bright matter in a sea of dark matter in the universe. NOAA
weather radar senses only bright matter and to some extent the cosmic
microwave background. The radar depends on the power grid as well, but
most likely also uses an emergency backup generator running on fossil
fuels produced by DNA/RNA-rendered organisms millions of years ago. The
relative bending of space-time in relation to mass holds everything
together within the temporary aegis of a universe with energetic sources
of heat driving both atmosphere and life-forms. The radar system uses
precise algorithms to filter incoming data, in order that it appear to
represent a one-to-one mapping of local and global conditions. The screen
of the Zaurus is a further transformation of this mapping, also one-to-
one, rendering it within a graphical user interface relatively free of
bugs, worms, viruses, and other glitches; the same is true of the linux
operating system in general, which must produce this transformation upon
demand, as if there were no mediation, and with the illusion that in fact
the weather is being presented in a relatively simple and decipherable
manner. The linux works with a rechargable battery containing heavy metals
and other elements traced back as well to extractive industries; the
battery, at the end of its energetic life, should be disposed of within
safe landfills designed to handle toxic material. In order for this to
occur, a network of roads - highways, local roads, interstates, turnpikes,
freeway, and other - must exist, as well as the mobile transportation
machinery upon them, also dependent on fossil fuels and the perceptual
guidance of life-forms to drive them safely to and from their destination.
Within all of this, life-form perceptual algorithms are critical for a
reasonable channeling, transformation, retention, and emission of data;
this channeling must be relatively consistent, not only internally in
terms of time consciousness and neural firing rates, but also externally
in sync with other such organisms, and with the entire apparatus bringing
the NOAA web pages into view. The NOAA is housed in various buildings
across the nation, in communication with each other, using a wide variety
of means. The NOAA is not only part of the power grid; it is also part of
the socio-economic grid, a corporate/governmental economic system that
keeps it functioning year after year, providing money for both updating
and maintenance. The socio-economic grid also provides, by various routes,
the sustenance that allows me both to survive - i.e. food, water, shelter
- but also to purchase the Zaurus in the first place. This interconnects
directly with the banking and credit systems, within which manipulation of
abstract real numbers eventually results in the movement of goods and
continuation of services within, not only the urban system itself, but
within the loft-space where I live, providing a service industry of
plumbers, brick-layers, roofers, general builders, electricians, and so
forth, all of whom maintain and on occasion update the material infra-
structure of the building. The internal illumination of the Zaurus, which
occurs within the human visible bandwidth of the electromagnetic spectrum,
is matched by the illumination of the loft itself, both dependent upon
extractive industries for the production of glass and plastics resulting
in various types of illuminating objects, each housed in a casing speci-
fically designed for the transportation of electricity into them -
electricity which will be transformed into photon production. Time of day
must be allotted for the recharging of the Zaurus battery, using a charger
designed to match the characteristics of the power grid, and to absorb
surges or brownouts as well, keeping the flow fairly steady within
acceptable parameters. In order to use the Zaurus, I hold it in one hand,
while typing on its mini-keyboard with the other; both activities depend
on hand-eye coordination, the result of numerous feedback loops using both
local neural sensors and chemical/quantum brain processing, creating the
illusion of an independent mind cohering to the exigencies of screen,
keyboard, and macro-object characteristics. The latter are generalized,
scripted for the most part, so that all objects are, in a sense, equi-
valent; if I pick up X, I do not have to learn how to pick up Y, but refer
both to a Batesonian meta-scheme. Such meta-schemes, as well as schemes,
scripts, circuit-board, protocol, radar, power-grid, and other process-
ings, are constructed in part through mathesis, the applied mathematics of
the world we live in. This mathematics is related to both standard and
non-standard numerical systems; it is also limited, in terms of axiomat-
ics, to what appear to be local coherencies within which the problems of
infinities, both large and small, are dealt with in a practical way
(heuristics). Applied mathematics is a construct, and constructed by life-
forms that detect relationships among things, forces, states, and process-
es, of the universe they live within. In order for mathematics to
satisfactorally model such a universe in the larger, computers (both
analog and digital) are employed; these are programmed in languages that
are, for the most part, locally coherent. Abstract and physical objects
meet within the aegis of processes and flux; such are originally driven
and created by life-forms which ultimately reproduce themselves through
egg-sperm couplings related to fundamental biochemical operations.
Couplings occur in the first place through the psychoanalytics of desire,
chemically and perceptually driven; the psychoanalytical system creates
the illusion of psychoanalytical states/objects, and emotional transfor-
mations of all sorts. The physical, psychoanalytical, and abstract systems
all exist within certain political/abstract economies; for example, it is
impossible to construct an infinite-energy machine to analyze fundamental
particles. Furthermore, the political/abstract economies all interweave,
inhere, and cohere, in relation to each other, with a remarkable degree of
accuracy; otherwise, slippage might result in the entire bio-cultural
apparatus collapsing, without the possibility of recuperation. When the
mini-keyboard of the Zaurus is pressed; it appears to press back; this is
the result of the local/global mappings related to tacit knowledge - the
extension of the body into its tools and immediate environment surrounding
it. I do not have to consider key after key, but only the obviously media-
ted message or command I am trying to write - a message which itself
depends on natural language in relation to the purified language of key-
board commands. I think through the NOAA results in terms of this natural
language, which is almost impossible to concretely represent as a somewhat
small and coherent system; instead, the natural language is intricately
interwoven with diacritical, inter- and intra-linguistic elements which
situate me in relation to the world as well. Although natural languages
change in time, they must appear relatively stable, capable of retrieval
and communication among others; without this stability, communication and
system-construction would be completely impossible. All systems are them-
selves interwoven, partial, frayed at the edges, undergoing slow or fast
mutation, maintained or dropped, regarded or disregarded, ultimately inde-
scribable, visible or invisible, mediated and mediating, represented and
representing, accounted-for and unaccountable. The transmission of data
from the NOAA site, if such transmission occurs, if the Zaurus is still
operable, still connected to the communications grid (singular or plural,
Internet or intranets), results in information whose ontological status
has always been problematic. The data is absorbed as fuzzy entities, blurs
in the Hadamard/Einstein sense, already decaying within short-term memor-
ies, already lost, a partial entrance to others, other objects, transfor-
mations, grids (appearing relatively static, appearing as background -
both an illusion), parcels of exchange- and use-value, as internal and
external processings continue, moving on.


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