Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 25 16:51:40 CEST 2021

Hi Anthony,

I was trying to place "riverrun" too and I think it is from James Joyce, perhaps Finnegan's Wake?  Some of the material seems to invoke streams of consciousness, streams of data, "course" being perhaps the key word?  I was interested recently to find that "curriculum" meant "chariot course" way back when.

The word "course" has a lot of meanings and history.  Calvino talks in Six Memos (in the "Quickness" memo, concerning speed in third millennium literature) about Galileo's reflections on "coursing" in his dialogues, juxtaposing the term "discoursing" but comparing verbal conversation and thought to racing horses.

"Course" after enough repetitions starts to looks like a picture, which I used to notice about the word "garage."  I'm not sure if there is a name for this effect, but some have suggested that it's a state we are better off in.  🙂

Also in Six Memos, a very short book of five short lectures on literature, Calvino mentions Joyce and Eliot as the two writers in English most steeped in the medieval.  My knowledge of Joyce is uneven but I believe he was significantly influenced by Dante who illustrated the divine nature of being visually as a river of light that once beheld transforms into a turning rose or wheel of light somewhat akin to a mandala.

"Liminal" is a word that I had to look up, because my working definition of it (blurry, tentative) I know is wrong, though I was recently reminded that "limnology" refers to the study of lakes.  Having looked it up, I see it means something like "transitional" or "on either side of a boundary," kind of like a bridge state.  Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Tolstoy's reference to same, are related as well.  If we take a snapshot of a transition, and say "this is what it is," we err.

Humans are perhaps the organism most capable of snapshots, and this may well be one of our least adaptive instincts during the present crises.  Snapshots lose flow, and disconnect from reality both external and otherwise.  I do think Alan's Atlas 2 captures this theme well, adding the mystery of what Atlas 1 might have been.  In some ways it's an evocative work to juxtapose to Weiss's works referencing Daphne.  Is the "intelligence" in the slime mold, the wood chips, or something even less boundaried?  Clearly the two are connected, and there is something about this "mapping" that does carry the whole universe on its shoulders.  Metaphorically speaking but also somewhat literally too.

Snipped is a photo I took yesterday of "new shore" of the local Mississippi in drought.

All best,



word-forming element used scientifically, "of or pertaining to lakes and fresh water," from Greek limne "pool of standing water, tidal pool, marsh, lake," a word of uncertain origin; the most likely guess is that it is related to Latin limus "mud," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime" (see slime (n.)), via the notion of "moistness, standing water" [Beekes].


liminal (adj.)
"of or pertaining to a threshold," 1870, from Latin limen "threshold, cross-piece, sill" (see limit (n.)) + -al (1). Related: Liminality.

From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Anthony Stephenson via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2021 8:35 AM
To: netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Anthony Stephenson <aps0loot at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] DHSI TALK 2016 RIVERRUN THEORY DHSI

Might inclusion of the liminal help in organizing these thoughts? It seems that you are employing a hard-edged concept of the edge. After all, logic allows for not only this or that, but both or some of both and more. Perhaps you are referring to something that I'm unfamiliar with when you speak of Riverrun, but the edge of almost every natural river is liminal.
The edge or border is something that I've been interested in as it applies to Art. I haven't bothered to prop up cryptocurrencies by placing a bet on NFTs, but I suppose defining ownership as such may be one of the latest expressions of this subject.


- Anthony Stephenson



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