[NetBehaviour] Limassol communication structures

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 14 16:50:28 CEST 2019

Hi Alan,

I agree about the communication-matrix aspect of this type of image.  Water is the ultimate communication matrix for organic phenomena, since it is essential for DNA to do its writing, copying, mutations, permutations, comparisons, deletions, etc.  Leonardo focused a lot on these kinds of attributes of water.

Hence the situation of the organic life as well.  The use of proscenium (landscape) as opposed to portrait view is also an element worth notice.  These are simple but relevant aspects of "environment" contrasted with "individual."

For me the sea urchins image was a reflection or contemplation on a different image, a compare/contrast so to speak on the two images, specifically my January_1_Website from long ago:


Which was itself a simple permutation out of the single circular logo, perhaps prompted by what I saw below when printing out paper copies of the logo (which I did in order to bring the logo out of digital space and onto paper-space for device-free distribution, its URL "www.geocities.com/genius-2000<http://www.geocities.com/genius-2000>" on the reverse side):


Marine life is very interesting for its communication aspects, which differ a lot from land animals.  Leonardo once compared the whole sum of human knowledge, history, potential, and future possibilities to a giant sea monster kind of like a whale.  This may be one of the reasons he included water in the background of many paintings, as well as the land which was being eroded and reshaped by the water.  Water was like a medium for events to exist in, like timespace, but also accompanied by human consciousness in the same medium i.e. "all wrapped up with it."

I recently saw a quote by Cajals, the first neuroscientist who drew a lot of neurons by hand, saying "As long as the brain remains a mystery so will the universe, for the universe is a reflection of the brain."

I also started reading Gregory Bateson yesterday for the first time on a friend's recommendation.  He wrote in Mind and Nature (1979), page 21, the only page I have read as yet:

     "So the immediate task of this book is to construct a picture of how the world is joined together in its mental aspects.  How do ideas, information, steps of logical or pragmatic consistency and the like fit together?  How is logic, the the classical procedure for making chains of ideas, related to an outside world of things and creatures, parts and wholes?  Do ideas really occur in chains, or is this lineal (see Glossary) structure imposed on them by scholars and philosophers?  How is the world of logic, which eschews 'circular argument,' related to a world in which circular trains of causation are the rule rather than the exception?
     "What has to be investigated and described is a vast network or matrix of interlocking message material and abstract tautologies, premises, and exemplifications.
     "But, as of 1979, there is no conventional method of describing such a tangle.  We do not know even where to begin.
     "Fifty years ago, we would have assumed that the best procedure for such a task would have been either logical or quantitative, or both.  But we shall see as every schoolboy ought to know that logic is precisely unable to deal with recursive circuits without generating paradox and that quantities are precisely not the stuff of complex communicating systems."

I found page 21 by opening the book randomly and picked it because it had the word "explicit" italicized (which reminded me of Bohm and provides a potential linkage), and also included the word "network" which is found in the other key books I'm working with these days (Sporns, the Austin which is also from 1979, and Calvino).  Calvino in Six Memos from 1985 even says "vast net" (this is translated, I'm curious what his original Italian was) in reference to the novel-as-such as well as to each person, each life, and the universe or world in its entirety.

Another key bit or byte of information of critical immediate importance regarding Bateson's question of logic is the new revolution in mathematics from the last few years which is replacing "equality" with "equivalence," the latter being much more suited to the network nature of reality and of course mind too -- indeed to any and all "complex communicating systems," which certainly includes humans but also all DNA-systems, as well as "communicating" systems like systems chemistry (the revolution now overturning the RNA-world theory of the origin of life with the chimera-driven systems chemistry model), systems biology, quantum physics (especially the works of Lee Smolin), and well frankly most everything that evolves events in time-space.




"The equal sign is the bedrock of mathematics. It seems to make an entirely fundamental and uncontroversial statement: These things are exactly the same.

"But there is a growing community of mathematicians who regard the equal sign as math’s original error. They see it as a veneer that hides important complexities in the way quantities are related — complexities that could unlock solutions to an enormous number of problems. They want to reformulate mathematics in the looser language of equivalence.

“We came up with this notion of equality,” said Jonathan Campbell of Duke University. “It should have been equivalence all along.”

The most prominent figure in this community is Jacob Lurie. In July, Lurie, 41, left his tenured post at Harvard University for a faculty position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, home to many of the most revered mathematicians in the world.

Lurie’s ideas are sweeping on a scale rarely seen in any field. Through his books, which span thousands of dense, technical pages, he has constructed a strikingly different way to understand some of the most essential concepts in math by moving beyond the equal sign. “I just think he felt this was the correct way to think about mathematics,” said Michael Hopkins, a mathematician at Harvard and Lurie’s graduate school adviser.


Regarding your mention of the icon, I would mention that meditation or something like it (by whatever name) is the crucial dynamic in complex communicating networks.  It is what allows a resting non-occupied but entirely active network state to both embody or retain past information in the form of live processing and also to encounter new information or events via "perturbation" (per Sporns and the network neuroscience model of consciousness) and learning rather than simplistic imitation, reaction, accumulation, or annihilation.

So that to me is how the icon relates to fish.  Or at least one way, or at least some hypothetically possible ways!  🙂

Best regards,


PS -- one of the earliest incarnations of human communication writ large is the system of Greek islands and cities, a relevant image too, both separated and connected by water.

From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim at gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:30 PM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Max Herman <maxnmherman at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Limassol communication structures

hi and thanks for this. i was interested in the refraction of space that occurred in the images as well as the apparent vectors of the needlefish through them. now back to sleep after a great evening of presentations! best, alan

On Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 10:45 PM Max Herman via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:

I like the photos Alan!

They reminded me of some photos I took of sea urchins in the Sea of Cortez in 2006.  I thought the photos might have been on an old site from 2004, but they weren't, somewhere buried.

Went to look, it was a cheering visual memory, attached.

Here is the old geocities site I thought they might have been on, saved by the wayback machine (have to copy/paste it to there since Yahoo deleted all the geocities):


From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org>> on behalf of Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com<mailto:sondheim at panix.com>>
Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:24 AM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>>
Subject: [NetBehaviour] Limassol communication structures

Limassol communication structures


images of Mediterranean needlefish (various names), various shells,
sounds of AM/FM radio running through the bands - coming in from
everywhere in the area == preparing for music tonight, panel
participation/talk tomorrow, then on the following Wednesday, the
ICA talk, then about a week later, the Brunel talk, exciting!

but these images took our breath away, what amazing fish, we'd
seen similar off the Rhode Island coast -

have to wait for the theorizing. photographed a Greek ikon in a
nearby church with attached metal decorations; the image itself
was a photograph. I'd seen these before, but what does this say
literally about somatic ghosting, reproduction, Otto's numinous,
shadow play, Plato, AI poetry/poetics,

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