[NetBehaviour] AlphaSmart 3000 late and early text

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri May 8 18:18:27 CEST 2020

The AlphaSmart 3000 is a portable keyboard designed for school use; it's 
independent of a computer, and has a 4-line tiny window so you can see a 
bit of what you're typing. It runs on batteries and it's good for typing 
when you don't want to use a full computer with its distractions. On the 
other hand, it's very odd for trying to write something complex, because 
you see very little text at any one time. So it's interesting to use. So
I went back to an older piece I had on it, and wrote a different 
introduction for it.

Meanwhile there's a reference you might need by the way; it's a very short 
book by the quantum physicist/logician David Finkelstein,
https://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0602185 - on Durer's Melancholia (called 
Melencolia here - the full text is at 
- do take a look. I knew Finkelstein, and did some copy-editing for him 
when I was in Atlanta -

Best, Alan

On Fri, 8 May 2020, Max Herman via NetBehaviour wrote:

> Hi Alan,
> I don't recognize the phrases in the subject line. Is there more etymology?
> I'm reminded of "the world is too much with us, late and soon," and of the
> local soda and snack machines here in the Midwest which are called
> Intellivend2000.
> All best in the springing of the season,
> Max
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf
> of Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
> Sent: Friday, May 8, 2020 3:16 AM
> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> Subject: [NetBehaviour] AlphaSmart 3000 late and early text
> AlphaSmart 3000 late and early text
> http://www.alansondheim.org/wound1.jpg
> http://www.alansondheim.org/wound2.jpg
> final draft current text on Situation
> always an edge here, writing again, returning to the scene of the
> crime, the appearance of the body in the habitus of ascii; for
> several billion of years, there was none, except what was written
> in our code, our dnarna in our stars from the stars, the melange
> that constitutes us. no longer can i believe in objects, even codes
> reveal their existence only in the frailness of molecular chains
> that fall apart under the slightest provocation. but NOTHING HAS
> BEEN lost, there was nothing to lose, and now i sit here and type
> this into a small machine with a screen that only reveals four
> lines at a time, a screen which just about threatens itself to
> disappear. the world is never one of appearances, always the moment
> after, the long denouement, where that, this tail of exhaustion
> that ends with the cessation of life, not as we know it, but as i
> myself know it; what could be the last word spoken to Azure in the
> finitude that for me and me alone is the descent of darkness. here
> I write invisibly, and by association and extrapolation, i know
> that the invisibility will reduce I to i, and that too will be at
> one point the last word spoken or heard. i am the witness of a
> dominion whose bounds are always indeterminate, just as the world
> is, this one island universe among many on the way towards the
> darkness of extrapolation. this is an unaccustom, and let us think
> together that at the edges and elsewhere of the pool, what is, is
> unaccustom, what will be, is unaccustom. thus does the space among
> me, none of object or subject, waves which dissolve as if exhausted
> among themselves i am among them, an amongness.
> for i say unto you, amongness is what is, what exists, there are
> none other, neither singularities nor myriads, what remains, and
> here is that which is among you -
> what remains, what is, is always already echos, reverberations,
> thus for the fantasy of imminence, the dream if immanence.
> it is late here, i write to weyou thus, youwe among always
> speaking, sounds and these soundings among us
> ~
> ~
> early draft early text on Network
> A rabid network connects and interconnects everywhere and at all
> times; so it might appear as substance, at best dynamic striations.
> A chain may be as strong as its weakest link, but a chain may also
> be duplicated; each to the other, each a procurement. A chain grows
> at one or both ends; it's anchored, it's ascendent, it's linear.
> Everything that transmits, transmits one at a time; even
> multiplexing might break into thinner categories. There are more
> frequencies than we know within the universe, more frequencies,
> anywhere, and if we think of such as infinite in extent and
> duration, we are limited to the infinitely small portion of the
> world, quantum granularity notwithstanding. Chains and networks are
> outgrowths; everything is natural about them, nothing is natural
> about them. What extends, might do so with and without nodes,
> surfaces, bearings, coordinates. One might prefer a world without
> any of these; their presence signifies birth and day, and
> unimaginable attendant cruelties.
> There may be no originary object, no 0-> and no finality, ->1 ;
> there may be slurry at best. This is the poetics of form, its
> poesis, which refuses any mathematico-physical reduction, no matter
> the reality.
> The chain is a walkalong; the network is a walkabout. Notice the
> difference. The network is full of contradiction; the chain exists
> as [x-1][x][x+1] or some such, in other words a well-ordering; the
> network might be, for all one knows, a continuum, a collocation of
> surreal numbers, anything but _that_ which tends towards
> calculation, the abacus, the clear movement of a bead from one
> place to another.
> A network might have no place at all, neither this nor that,
> neither one nor another. There might be sheaves, layers, monstrous
> topologies, foam, percolation. There might be something only
> visible from the outset or the outside, or something invisible from
> every conceivable vantage-point. There may be no conceivable
> vantage-points. I remember writing the notion of the _anorectic
> airliner,_ the motion of air in air, the introverted and intense
> turbulence, perhaps without temperature gradients whatsoever, that
> remains inherently invisible. Or caught with one or another
> Schlieren optics. Or not caught at all.
> The network channels movement, or movement defines the channels of
> the network; the channels may have fixed walls, or none whatsoever;
> there may be sloughs and surges for example. The channel/carrying
> capacity/information model holds in a miniscule number of models;
> at the same time it dominates all our thinking in a revolutionary
> way reminiscent of the discovery of the wheel, the printing press
> electricity. The revolution might well lie otherwise, elsewhere
> elsewhen, however; it might lie in those glimpses of inconceivable
> networks that pervade us and our objects, pervade organisms and
> boundaries, problematize aristotelian logics, dissolve into
> dissolution or the abject upon or within our notice or momentary
> attention - or none or all of these. What might be of interest here
> is the idea of the _lifespan of the network_ - in other words, the
> temporality of what might or might not be noticed.
> As open-ended organisms were bound and unbound there, within this
> temporality, within the very concept, not of measurement, but of
> objects or durations we find amenable. That brings us back to our
> problem, our temporality, our networks and their chains which bind
> them - as if they, the we within us, were the case or cases.
> No 0,1, no beginnings and endings, (but) what might pass for a
> (momentary) glance, something of the nature of attention or of the
> economy of attention. We don't let sleeping dogs lie; we wake them,
> sometime or other in the morning, it's a humid day, it might be
> better or best to let them be.
> (be, being, open multi-dimensional sets on any interval; care,
> attention, absence)
> +++
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