The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


From Johnson's Dictionary:

Aporia: A figure in rhetorick, by which the speaker shews, that he doubts
where to begin for the multitude of matter, or what to say in some strange
and ambiguous thing; and doth, as it were, argue the case with himself.

Aposiopesis: A form of speech, by which the speaker, through some
affection, as sorrow, bashfulness, fear, anger, or vehemency, breaks off
his speech before it be all ended. A figure, when, seeking of a thing, we
yet seem to conceal it, though indeed we aggravate it, or when the course
of the sentence begun is so stayed, as thereby some part of the sentence,
not being uttered, may be understood. - Smith

Aporrhoea: Effluvium; emanation; something emitted by another. Not in use.

Art: [first definition, only one close art-making of any sort] The power
of doing something not taught by nature and instinct; as, to walk is
natural, to dance is an art.

>> Recursion in Second Life: automated vertical movement with Dojoji
seated on fleeing object = self-fleeing object (movement in determined
stages). There are 125 megabytes of files here but the phenomenon is
unusual and has been more or less captured; check out for self-induction pngs, .mov, and .mp4. The
rise seems to top out at 4117 SL units; at least on this occasion, every-
thing stopped. Falling objects (the ones not immediately above the
rocket-prim) meander down, often go off-world.

>> Or not exactly recursion but a repetitive act which constantly steps-up
as object moves, dragging the catalyst with it (catalyst seated on object,
object as catalyst-bed): the prey flees the hunter who rides on its back -
but of course the hunter never catches the pray, which drags the hunter
along with it. Or rather, the parasite move the thing and thereby creates
a vector, exploration, culture.

>> But each particular command, each action is limited; this is not a
continuous automated movement but a movement relying on a performative
repeatedly called upon - there is a double level at work, the level of the
script creating flight, and the level of the avatar Dojoji following suit.
In this Dojoji is not only passive but seated.

>> Therefore it is in the level and performative of the signal itself that
flight is initiated, which is then carried out for the set amount of time
by the script. Think of this as an autonomic nervous system, sensing and
reacting on a quantum level and thereby constructing a chain of events
which continue until what might be a ceiling is reached - in which case
the whole thing stalls. Note that the ceiling may well be artificial, a
result of my computer at this end acting upon the chain, as I attempted to
record everything going on.

>> And of course what is going on is _miniscule_; the excitement lies in
the (false) glimmerings of artificial life as the total local environ-
ment - call this the _habitus_ takes over from the avatar controller and
makes a line for itself.

>> Why _self-induction_? Because the avatar and object-environment, con-
sidered as a _single_ objects, acts reflexively upon itself, just as a
coil for example self-induces. Let the initial charge be the establishment
of the circuit by the avatar controller, and the continuous charging, much
as occurs in an induction (spark) coil be the result of self-action - the
rest follows suit.

>> Of course this is at best a metaphor; still, one can imagine a _system_
of objects, scripts, and avatars, interacting as if in mid-air in Second
Life, producing the equivalent of simple binary circuits. Two possible
models (among many): simple calculation; and cellular automata behavior.

From Francis Bacon, The Great Instauration:

The practical doctrine of nature we necessarily divide into two parts,
corresponding to those of speculative; for physics, or the inquiry of
efficient and material causes, produces mechanics; and metaphysics, the
inquiry of forms, produces magic; whilst the inquiry of final causes is a
barren thing, or as a virgin consecrated to God.

To access the Odyssey exhibition The Accidental Artist:

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