The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

March 2, 2017

the 1999 (shakuhachi)

the edited chown 11/19/1999 11:59:59

my own, this is mine, this is really mine, this isn't yours, i
invented it, it's mine to do what i want with 8 chown 745 own 9
man chown 10 h 11 help own 12 h 13 who own 14 whence -v own,
lovely my own my chown, help own, help own me, my "very own
place", 15 you are "my very own" 16 i "own the alphabet" 17 this
is my style why do you use it, why don't you ever comment on it,
why don't you talk to me, why do you leave me hanging like a
dead man in a gully, why do you leave me tethered like a
beautiful russian ballet dancer pirouetting, why do you leave me
lusting like an energized daishin, not found 18 why don't you
read my language, why can't you <i>see</i> my language, why do
my bones show 19 why i invent language from the ground up, from
scratch, from primordial bits and bytes, from the chown chown
russian daishin Nov EST parenthetical, from tablature 20 Nov 19
11:59:59 EST 1999 20a perfect resonance of odd numbers 20b you
never talk about my work 20c you don't even read what i own 20d
you don't let it affect you in any way 20e you stuff my words
down my throat 20f you don't know how to read 21 from you to me
22 "my own take on things, then i'll get back to you" 23 do you
own me? 24 diacritical membrane spread across the entities of
the world: ownership 25 foreclosure across the skin-tableaus of
the body, circumscriptions 27 your name inscribed on me, "the
tip of the knife draws very little blood" 28 exchange of names
29 proper names 30 they're mine to do what i want with 31 is
that a thing? 32 @create $thing called touch 33 "from the ground
up, mine" 34 chown, change file owner and group 35

group 35, i own group 35

The Edited Number-Systems

"And reading Knuth on number-base systems which include, for
example a ternary system with +1, -1, and 0 as the symbols. Such
systems can absorb the positive and negative numbers; there are
others, such as ones based on 2i, that can absorb the complex
number system as well (i.e. a single num- ber of the form ax^n +
bx^(n-1) ... +dx^1 +e). This is an amazing economy of means. The
book is my favorite in the Knuth programming series - the volume
on Seminumerical Algorithms - since it goes into the construct
of arithmetic processes and algorithms we all take for granted.
In my own work, I've always been fascinated by the possibility
of base-1 and base- infinity systems; in the former, of course,
addition becomes concatena- tion, and in the latter, the
addition of any two unique symbols results in a third, i.e. J +
K = L. There's an easy translation from the decimal sys- tem;
say 25 * 26 = 650 - one would just look up within the infinite
multi- plication table, [25] and [26] and see [650] where the
[x] represents the unique symbol. One goes from algorithms to
infinite memorization or look- up. The phenomenology of this is
really interesting, I think. For multip- lication with base-1,
one returns again to concatenation, for example 1111 * 111 = 111
111 111 111 which is the same as 4 * 3 = 12. There's nothing to
learn in terms of memorization or lookup tables here; there's
nothing to look up or memorize. Think of this as an infinite
abacus of sticks placed in a single row; one moves from
base-infinity with its pure economy of place and infinite
symbols, to base-one with its pure economy of symbol and
infinite place. This material is fascinating; it says something
about the stability of the world itself, the Aristotelian logic
at the heart of the almost-disconnected plateau of the
life-world. I wrote years ago ex- tensively on such
phenomenologies; it's great to see the structures them- selves
in Knuth." To place sticks in the row, letters in a row, one
counts (literally) on the stability of place and demarcation -
_these_ sticks are counted - _those_ remain unaccounted-for and
uncounted. The sticks need not be in a row; there's no need for
geometry, positioning, since what one is concerned with is the
pure quantity of sticks, not a positional relationship.
Interestingly, positionality also disappears with base-infinity,
since every operation and quantity involves only _one_ pos-
ition. In The Matrix, there is considerable discussion about
"who is the One" - in base-one, everyone is, and in
base-infinity, whatever is _there_ is the one.

What is going on here? On one hand, with base-one, there is the
fact and phenomenology of _substance_ and the quantifiability
and stability of the world; on the other, with base-infinity,
there is the problematic of the proper name in the Kripkean
sense of rigid designator. In the former, names shift towards
processes; in the latter, processes harden as names.

One might also consider issues of perception: exactly what
constitutes a stick or a symbol? Could, for example, two trees
represent 2541 and 1734, a third representing 2541^1734
base-infinity? Is all of nature, in fact, the mathematics of
base-infinity write large? At the other end, what might one say
about typification, standardization: What constitutes a stick
and what doesn't? Sticks are related to tallying, of course;
they are indexi- cal in relation to the quantification of the
real, a one-to-one relation- ship with other physical objects.
On the other hand one might consider the base-infinity symbols
both symbolic (standing-for quantity as proper names or
summarizations) and "quasi-ikonic," the coagulation of quantity
itself as unary.

And there are issues of memory: _Where_ is the place of counting
- which sticks have already been marked, which remain unmarked?
This depends not only on the stability of place, but our
knowledge of place as well. Since base-infinity relies on
individuated symbols, place, even the place of _announcement,_
becomes less relevant; memory of place is replaced by symbol
memory: 2541^1734 = [2541^1734]

Between base-one and base-infinity, the structure and variety of
the world appear - not the infinite and obdurate variety of
base-infinity, nor the pure quantifications of base-one, but
gatherings, foreclosings, metaphors and metonymies. It's at the
limits that nature becomes simultaneously mute and revelatory;
in-between it's all culture and our image writ large, rubbed
against the structure of the world.

the edited collaboration

collaboration between two dying writers
collaboration on the lam from the law
collaboration marching from kosovo
collaboration wounded in east timor
collaboration beneath earthquake
in free fire zone, collaboration
in mountain fire zone, collaboration
collaboration among prisoners
collaboration between rival gangs
in the mine-fields of pennsylvania, collaboration
the last breath, you against the light, collaborating
collaborating with friends
collaborating with the enemy
oh hiroshima mon amour
to collaborate among the ruins of the atomic bomb
insistent on the lyric after auschwitz, collaboration
among my jews, collaboration
among my neo-nazis, collaboration
collaboration in the last words ever spoken
collaboration among the last tears, the last sigh
collaboration at a loss for words
collaboration with present regimes and expulsions
war-time and collaboration
and of great beauty and moons wheeling, collaboration
there are so many things i want to tell you
there are so many things i must say to you before I die this
             morning, this
evening, this night
there are so many things, there is so little time to say them
refugee, you will see me last, you will hear beyond my hearing
refugee, you will walk, leaving this room of the dying
refugee, you will carry with you, your collaborator
refugee, i will not participate among the dying writers
among the writers of death
among the writers of death, i will not be carried

The Edited Untitled Fragment

Jennifer says: Julu is in 400,000 pieces.
Piece 381,924 says: I am piece 381,924, you are addressing me.
Jennifer says: Julu piece 381,924 is addressing me.
Piece 381,924 says: Hello Julu, come in Julu.
Jennifer says: You are 1/400,000 Julu; you have come in.
Piece 381,924 says: Maybe what I have to say is one thing.
Jennifer says: It is one thing, piece 381,924.
Piece 381,924 says: This is one thing Julu.
Jennifer says: This is Jennifer, Julu piece 381,924.
Piece 381,924 says: Forgive me ...

The 1999

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