The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


Filtering filtering


Reworked from a 1978 Toronto Notebook, "On the successive eliminations of
the entity in transformations"

or rather all that is necessary from the diagrams

a -> a' -> a''
  f    f'

The function f moves a to a'; f' moves a' to a'' and of course there is a
composition f'f(a) -> a'' or some such. a' disappears as an entity, and on
might generalize, considering a series of functions f, f', f'', f''' ...
such that (ff'f''f'''(z)) is a filter over z. In the lifeworld, f^n
extends in either direction, i.e. n ranges over the integers at the least.
In reality, n ranges over the continuum. Every entity z carries its filter
and a filter is non-existent without an entity. The continuous transfor-
mation of the entity is defined by the filter and vice-versa. Since z may
split in the process, the filter may split. The series of f need not
define any particular entity, but may be considered split from a previous
entity, i.e. one out of an almost infinite number of processes, infinite
in relation to the continuum. In this fashion, the worlding process is
visible, the entity disappears, as entities do. Entities are named _in any
case_ in relation to space-time; too great a dispersion, and 'entity'
disappears qua entity; the background microwave radiation of the universe
is an example. Too small a dispersion, virtual particles for example, ad
'entity' is ontologically problematic. Within everyday life, water and
other liquids, as well as gases, are not considered entities, while glass,
also liquid, is. It's a question of a family of usages in relation to
viscosity for example. There is also a notion of intrinsic identity based
on communality and communication; humans are entities, although rapidly
undergoing decomposition. Reichenbach's genidentity may be of value here;
it references the actual material substrate of a coherent object, held
together over a substantial period of time, and undergoing change qua
object. Such an object brings human phenomenology with it; objects out-
gas, wear, dissolve, split, from what might temporarily be considered an
origin. All origins and all endpoints are subject to filtering, which
dissolves them as such. One is left with continuous birthing, continuous
languaging and worlding, something related to Bohm's implicate order on
one hand and maya on the other. Of course the filtering itself is
filtered, there is no end to it. To be human is to attempt to halt such,
impede what is identified as dissolution, death, permanent impediment.
Ownership arises out of this, as does the urge to collect, related to the
urge to hunt, to permanently annihilate, absorb, be reborn in the blood of
the other. To stay with the filter is to remain analogic, deeply human,
chthonic; to impede is to construct the digital, build, aerate, delude.
The digital is always already inauthentic, Vaihinger's as-if which resides
for and in the moment. Culture veers among the various orders, as if the
world and its history is ordered and orderly; it is the sympathetic, not
empathetic, magic of this that allows us to survive.


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