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<nettime> Paper on the foolishness of digital aesthetic (fwd)
Seraphic Artifex on Thu, 8 Apr 1999 06:18:32 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Paper on the foolishness of digital aesthetic (fwd)


Seemed rather relevant to nettime.

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: Paper on the foolishness of digital aesthetic 

On Digital Worlds and Digital Dreams.				

By Frank Rizzo:

outline:

i. forward
ii. abstract
1.0 background
	1.0.1 explain digital
	1.0.2 explain finite state
	1.0.3 explain analog 


	1.1 explain perceptions of network
		1.1.1 IRC
		1.1.2 USENET
		1.1.3 www
		1.1.4 email
		
		(subsets of each area, intermingled)
		explain perceived benefits of network
		community,
		raw unfiltered knowledge 
		ident
		exist
		explain perceived failures of network as it addresses
issue like
		identity
			loathe
			limited by medium
			HATEHATEHATE.. explain why. 
			poor substitute
			too easy
		community 
			nothings
			brave new world.
			i will create it
			don't ask me to love it
		existence
			digital representations of analog world
			kludge of reality
			good at modeling patterns found by 
			recursion (maybe talk a little about chaos)
		
			these may be more germaine to computers instead
			of the secific cited examples.

	1.2 abstract to computers
		recurse to overviews of network perceptions

	1.3 abstract to the digital vs. analog discussion.
		AND WRAP IT UP.. AND OWN THE WORLD

i. Forward:

This is no pedantic or didactic children's fable.  This is merely the
creation of the mind of some nameless faceless entity who would prefer to
be called a philosopher in the literal (not the underpaid) sense.

ii.  Abstract:

The internet (as a subset of the world existing on a protocol plane built
above the digital landscape) is buzzing across the world with a propoganda
popularity not seen since the third reich.  I feel that it is important to
analyse this medium and abstract that analysis to digital mediums in
general so that the reader can perhaps derive some rational insight into
the nature, benefits and shortcomings of said media.  I intend to provide
three levels of abstraction.  The internet realm, the computer realm and
the digital realm.  Why three? WHY NOT?
 
1.0 Background:

When i refer to digital, i refer to finite state systems.  This refers
to systems whose possible states can be listed on paper.  For example,
the home computer only has two states.  It contains a binary
representation of the world.  From that binary representation of
state, the computer has demonstrated curious facets ranging from
windows 95 to bluebeep to unix flavours and the daemons which built
what is commonly referred to as 'the internet'.  It is also important
to note that for some people, digital is synonymous with binary.  
I do not believe this to be correct.  My definition of digital contains
binary systems as a subset of overall finite state machines.  Please
acknowledge this during the rest of the text.  Analog is the form of
nature.  It is not defined in terms of some binary or finite-state
approximation.  It simply is its own form.  


1.1 Explain perceptions of network

	I have built a respectable portion of the internet. I have delved
into computers to try and understand them as a system.  Intricate and
complex was the world I found.  I am constantly dazzled by the tedious
effort i give as well as the reward i receive from the spartan simplicity
of the solution.  I have observed the users, the maintainers, and the
creators of this medium.  I have observed them since the only network was
a loose mesh of universities.  I have observed the populous loading onto
the carrier and have seen the changes the network and its keepers have
endured.  I present my observations and my analysis.  I will not
present the analysis as the humble servant of a dying race of knowledge
lovers, but as an arrogant finder of knowledge who wishes to further
refine perception.

"oh, do not ask 'what is it?'
let us go and make our visit."
		-TS Eliot

	Into this maddeningly fast world i descended when the beard
was scare upon my chin.  My perceptions are an attempt to view the
environment without the bias of race, religion, creed.  The internet
afford as a wonderful medium for said observations because it does
not discriminate on any of these terms.  It may be possible that
there is not a true population representation for socio-economic reasons,
but i believe this imbalance to be lessening as the predominantly white
xmale no longer has a stranglehold on the network usage and content.  
	I have seen the irc, www, usenet, email.  I have seen how users
interact in these different forums.  I will attempt to identity the
commonality among them as well as isolate what the user is attempting to 
glean from the forums.  

1.1.1 IRC:

	The premise of irc is a chaotic conglomeration of terminal
sessions from users across the globe.  No opinion is inherently favoured.
There are few, if any, rules.  People are free to develop in any anarchic
fashion they desire.  The nascent observer of this medium might quickly
err into perceiving IRC as a flat hierarchy of special interest groups.
This is not correct.  There is structure to this forum.  There are system
operators who can kill sessions at will.  There are channel operators who
lord power over the specific denizens of their established rooms.  Many
rooms have competing rooms attempting to address the same questions.  
These rooms compete among each other to try and ascertain which room is
superior in a cerabral sense (seeing as there is no physical contact on
this medium).  This world is fraught with mind games, adolescent passions
and immaturity, and general melee.  However, it has order.  That order
strictly defines master slave relationships in the community.  Early
denizens were opposed to such ideas, but as the feasible user base grew to
the world, societal constructs were forklifted into the code so that order
could be maintained.  The IRC is generally a disgusting medium.  It is
even more loathesome in that more people are attempting to identify with a
community formed solely on these servers.  They spend their lives on these
servers.  They have virtual friends and virtual lovers.  How romantic it
must be to never see your lovers face when you confront them with
difficult mind-blowing questions.  How warm it must feel to cuddle up to
your mouse as he cuddles up to his mouse thousands of miles away.  Also
interesting, in complement to this bastardised sense of community, is the
attempt to search for (and find) identity.  It is humorous to watch
personalities and identities develop on the IRC.  People may start their
journey a humble neophyte and blossom into an arrogant asshole with a few
decaying nuggets of knowledge to sling at the withering plebians of low
channel status.  I cannot confirm whether all of these people behave like
their IRC persona in the real world.  However,  I have met a few IRC
junkies who are bold, brash, arrogant and outspoken on irc and are nerdy,
introverted, slow-witted and quiet in real life.  The duality is quite
intriguing.  IRC seems to give them some sort of outlet for the superman
side of their mentality which the normal forum of human social interaction
could not.  Many were ostracised and cast into this realm.  Now, 
as the population of netaddicts soars into the realms of the commoner
(with common views and common thoughts) we even see a movement away from 
the nerdy pseudo-intellectual towards a full-fledged online society where
people get ostracised into real life and not the reverse.

To those addicts, educated or not, the IRC becomes their world.  No longer
do the cars swoop by on the streets below.  Children screaming as they
play in sprinklers are blocked out by the focus on this new world; brave
it is not.  It is a world based on fear of another.  It is much more
apathetic to sit in front of a terminal and type to other complex
turing machines than to go outside for groceries and have to interact with
such vile scum as baggers and cashiers.  Much easier to abandon the world
which is full of lust and hate for a world filled with muted colours
and muted emotions.  Some would say they don't even exist in the forum,
for how seriously can you take an operator's tirade?  there are always
other rooms.  That operator will not confront you personally.  You can
move on quickly, quietly, and without effort.  It is all a simple
progression which i will further develop later.   I understand that
it will suffice to move away from the ghetto, build our fences higher,
pull shades over our windows, lock our doors, log in.  

IRC has merit.  As much as i loathe the general bottom feeders that
inhabit its reaches, I have met entirely unusual people who i may never
have ran head on into in the real world.  It is wonderful to find people
who may think similarly or totally opposite from me; however, they think
at the same pace.  They are comfortable running a conversation from ghandi
to voltron to brautigan to w.richard stevens in the course of a dozen
lines.  The reason why i isolate myself from the world is because i
concluded i could not find said intellects in daily human interaction
unless i invested an exorbitant amount of my most valued commodity, time.
I am not willing to invest that time for counter clerks, shoe salesmen,
bureau of motor vehicle attendants, police officers or most anyone else.
The question is, is IRC any more efficient than the real world for
isolating those types of intellects.  I cannot answer that because
i have never found one of those intellects by human social interaction.
When i find that case, i can compare time investments against IRC.  At
this juncture, i value IRC because it has provided me with people i have
never found before.  I have found peers.  In the sense that humans are
torn between isolation of the individual and companionship of the society,
i have found a shred of solace in the small society i have built among
irc denizens; however, this does not absolve me from human interaction.
I cannot live with sitting behind a screen and never knowing the facets 
of these people.  I have to meet them.  I have to see them when they
are vulnerable and not when they are calculating behind well-timed
lulls in the conversation to concoct the next verbal barb or witty retort.
IRC is not a mirror, it is merely a distortion; however, even with
distortions there are singularly beautiful moments of clarity.

IRC is not really an information source.  It is not a passive interaction.
You actively engage in conversation (unless you are sitting and
observing).  It is merely a conversational forum.  I have gained little
knowledge from IRC, but i have gained some obtuse and acute insights
which fuel my thought.

I am not here to debate the merits of anarchic systems. What I am debating
is whether all of the perceived benefits of the network are valid.  From
the IRC we are starting to see some of the developing patterns of thought
in regards to existence, identity, community, security and many other
'ities' that i will not address in this document.

1.1.2 USENET

USENET's popularity predates IRC.  It is an active-passive forum that 
heavily leans towards passive interaction.  It is almost analagous to
email except that it provides a multicast of data instead of the normal
unicast found in email conversations.  

USENET flame wars are legendary.  Most of them can be found in engagements
of near religious magnitude (in fact, there are computer groups for
just this scenario.. try alt.comp.religion?).  Two sides attempt to 
battle with intellect, then if not intellect witticism, then if not
witticism rot13 insults, then if not rot13 insults, plain unadulterated 
vulgarity (some are even exotic).  

USENET has waned in relative popularity in the recent years 
(save the popularity of its binary pornography content, which is 
astounding) by losing its active discussion to places like IRC
and its passive knowledge to place like the www.  I personally
believe the almost inconveivable amount of porn which flows
through the alt.binaries section of the hierarchy is the only
merit usenet still has in the eyes of the new internauts.  It
is almost saddening to see a decent information forum waste away to
other flashier media (decent in that you still needed those urban
legend blinders often).  Before i am accused of being a geriatric
waxing nostalgic about a digital age now passed, i will cut short.

USENET was a decent idea.  People don't want it anymore.  It was a
worldwide bulletin board which segregated interest by hierarchy.  
Soon it will go the way of gopher and BITNET.


1.1.3 WWW

Thank you tbl for this monstrosity.  Of course, if we all listened
to randy bush, such abstracts were already being complicated
in 1948 when only randy and the dinosaurs were known to roam the earth.
Actually, do not let my humorous tone distract attention from my real
perception.  

This web exists, like all of the other services in this 4 tuple, as
a daemon run on a machine.  It provides the querier material from the
queried party (should that party exist).  Content on the web is entirely
the responsibility of the creators of web pages.  Apart from the decently
strict (technologically, politically, and financially) hierarchy of the
DNS system which underlies most people's perception of the web, the web
as an independent information unit is enthralling.  It is very anarchic
and provides the user with whatever information desired.  It is also
wonderful that the user is often the only sanity check of information
(though debates of whether the insane can perform sanity checks can be 
left to the reader's socratic method sessions).  You find misinformation,
phd dissertations, cooking recipies and auctioned sets of plastic
farm animals on the web.  Best of all, no one interacts with you
against your will (what are those cookies anyways?).  You entirely control
your destination on the web.  There are some interesting shared
observations, however.  Namely, people attempt to find something (through
a search engine or whatnot because the destination is not known) and are
instead distracted down a totally unrelated tangent for hours or days
or the rest of their lives.  I do not believe this to be endemic to the
web, however.  As the masses teem to the shores of the internet, you
invariably get the overwhelming perception that most of the inhabitants of
this world are content to float on the ephemeral zephyrs only hoping that
the wind keeps carrying them without dropping them to the depths below.  
A 'fate is in god's hands' mentality is utterly repulsive, but for the 
sake of objective (right) analysis, i am simply making an observation that
this problem has genesis well before tbl or even rbush roamed the plain.  

I cull information from the web hourly.  I book airline flights, I 
buy computer hardware, I read RFCs, I read guitar tablature, etc.  It is
inspiring to see this mountain of information laid out in some wacky
assemblage and begging to be climbed.  So I climb.  I climb into this nook
and that nook.  I climb into areas where the government doesn't want me,
into areas where common decency and common sense shouldn't permit me, and
into areas that i have never had the chance to experience before. The web
is wonderful for static content.  

Where the web becomes annoying is where i see the tendrils of mass
communication attaching their pseudopodia to its content.  Now,
I am not so naive as to ignore the fact that this mass communications
finances the network expansions which provide me livelihood.  I
acknowledge that i can build bigger and better networks and play with
bigger and better toys because of those advertisement dollars; however,
accepting money as conferring acceptance of intent i abhor.  I smile
and shake their hand whilst the blade is being sharpened for harikare
behind my back.  There will always be a web for me in some alcove, hidden
away beneath the prozac veneer madison avenue decides to paste onto the
surface.  That web i seek is the freedom of information.  The freedom
to access information around the world at light speed (well, fiber
optics aren't quite at light speed.. knock it down by a constant kids).
Yes, freedom is the correct word.  Said information is being willfully
hidden from public view.  

Another problem with the web is that people do not understand the inherent
value of information. In case the reader is not aware, information carries
absolutely no connotation of aesthetic or eurhythmic.  The web is simply a
medium which permits the quick access of information without the bounds of 
telecom tarrif or postal rate.  It does not engender frills or buttons or
silly graphics, but merely links of text.  I am not opposed to graphics
that make the dissemination of information quicker by providing content
access mechanisms which overcome the failings of plaintext; however, 
I am opposed to the notion that the web is an art gallery where marvelous
forms are spread across the tableau for the new viewer to admire.   I
believe it is a wholly vulgar to attempt to mirror the analog world in the
digital realm.   It always fails by the sheer nature of the digital media
and instead becomes a vile bastardisation of the art i see in the world.
Some find solace in erecting modern-day pedestals for themselves which
they then mount to see over the heads of their virtual subjects, and those
virtual subjects cower in fear in the presence of such a creative entity.
It is all ceaseless circles in the void however for both the creator and
the subject.  It is a creation, it may even have passion as its maker, but
it is merely a crude kludge: a representation of perfection which merely
magnifies flaws.   

I enjoy the web.  I enjoy many facets of the internet.  However, I do not
substitute the web for the world and instead seek out my aesthetic in the
analog realm: the realm of human creation and failings and beautiful
flaws which cannot be replicated no matter how precise the machine.  We
are always just a few decimal points away from eternity.

1.1.4 email:

Electronic mail (e-mail or email for the lazy) is an active discussion
of elastic time length.  Namely, the receiver can choose not to answer
the quesiton immediately.  Mail can be queued or saved for weeks without
perusal and then answered.  Generally this elasticity comes from the
perception by the sender of the email that an answer is not needed within 
a set timeframe.  Some people ignore mail, some people answer mail
religiously and are constantly waiting for new messages.  

I have used email to communicate for business almost exclusively.  I do
not like to be interrupted at odd hours by the loud ring of the phone.
Email silently piles up in the inbox and i generally check to see if there
is anything worth reading every hour or so.  I can ignore it all if i wish
for it signifies no contract to the sender.  Email is an inexpensive way
to communicate thoughts that is nearly ubiquitous to all internet users.  
Therefore, it is the most common means of active communication on the
network.  I have received a variety of email.  I receive spam/junk mail,
business issues, personal issues, mailing list issues and others in my
email box every day.  I read probably 10% of them because i can quickly
scan through the lists for people who i know have interesting opinions.
Everyone else gets deleted.  The question remains as to the perceived
benefits of email.  

I agree that it is an inexpensive way to communicate thoughts ranging
from the mundane to the profound.  Parents talk to their college children 
via this medium.  Business partners on different continents mail stock
tips to each other when they have the time.  Email can be trivial or
meaningful.  There is no inherent restriction on its content.  I do not
advocate any restriction on its content.  This implies i do not advocate
any restrictions on spam or junk mail.  That is a correct assumption.  

It is important to note, however, that though i can advocate keeping
content restrictions out of this communication forum (and indeed any
communication forum), i do not condone some of the content which passes
through email.  Now, this is not a tipper gore argument or an attempt
to straddle the fencepost.  I am merely trying to be liberal in what i
accept and conservative in what i send. (thanks jon for the smart words).
I have sent mail for my work, for my side projects, for personal reasons 
and for impersonal reasons, but i shudder to note some of the ideas i have
ocmmitted to bit.  

For over a year i wrote long love letters (though they were cleverly
veiled.. so cleverly that the receiving party never guessed their
intent.. but perhaps she did and didn't care to crush me... but i digress)
The fact that i was resorting to using this medium to try and communicate
on both an emotional and intellectual level is a notion that i find
disgusting in retrospect.   These letters explored every piece of my soul.
They explored everything i could bear to commit to the keyboard.   I was
searching for acceptance on the other side of that message.  I searched
for acceptance from the receiver but found nothing,  I found inter-message
times for replies increasing exponentially.  I found her diverted on
courses more tangible than a mere jumble of electrons fixing some dull
form on the screen and then blinked off with the click of a key. 
It was foolish for me to expert her to substitute the world swinging
recklessly outside for the safe and comfortable realm of impersonal 
conversations, emoticons and ascii.  I was trying to find comfort in a
world where i was judged only by the content of my mind.  I wanted to
seperate the mind body duality and transcend the coporeal existence onto
a different plane with her as my companion.  I wanted to try at least, and
if failing know not to proceed down that course.  I never tried.  I merely
fumbled around in jumbles of humble phrases and witticisms.  I danced
around the emotion with the words of education and the style of grammar
school.  I lost.  I have no remorse for those past actions or regret for
lost opporunities.  I know that this medium is no fair carrier for the
passion that accompanies my mind.  To know that passion, you have to know
my emotion.  You have to stare at me from across the table, eye to eye.
You have to see me close my eyes when it is possible you could pull out
your sig-sauer and blow the back of my skull clear across the room as my
heart races and senses its own vulnerability and mortality.

That prana as some call it is what each of these protocol layers fail 
to mirror.  They attempt to duplicate that emotion through their bits.
People on irc run to cycles of love and lust and despair without ever
moving from the keyboard, but it is not my reality.  They choose to create
their reality by susbsituting the vulnerable and beautiful for the
invulnerable and the impotent.  I have fear and loathing for these kids
because they are the majority.  I am merely the hapless minority who does
not raise opposition to the onslaught of that juggernaut.  They are free
to make their world; however, they are not free to make my world.

Before abstracing to computer operations in general, it is necessary to
focus some of the points wildly scattered across the previous ramblings.

People try to find community on the internet.  Whether in the four areas i
have already illustrated or in muses/mushes/mooS/muds etc.  Why are they
trying to find community?  I do not claim to understand sociology or even
the actions of a single person.  I can volunteer that i believe people are
not satisfied with the community they are finding in the exterior.  So
instead of internalising the problems to their mind and solitude and
individual thought, they internalise it by attempting, perhaps, a last
ditch effort to find acceptance through a media that knows know faces but
is a decent judge of minds.  So then, why not just rip the face off? If
you are sterile, why not just rip your balls off?  I do not apologise for
vulgarity because those are my thoughts when i see people attempting to
find community on a network of cold unemotional and faceless interactions.
To promote this, as i invariably do by building these networks through the
honeycomb for the poor souls, is tantamount to handing a loaded weapon to
a child.  Something is going to get fucked up.  It certainly has.  I,
however, am lazy as well as satisfied that i can perform the job of
building networks better than anyone.  I also take secret satisfaction in 
plotting the destruction of a social race of beings who ostracised me.
It is not entirely vengeance, for I am building network to test the
strength of my mind in handling logical matters.  Vengeance limits me to 
the ignorance of my quarry.  It is very odd that the internet, in an
attempt to provide an online community, is causing mental atrophy on the
social level.  People now can only communicate via slang and modes common
to the network.  Why sit under a tree and gaze at the stars with
murderous intent when you can netsex a 46 year old transvestite from
yonkers?  I do not jest.  While i do not make any claims to piety, the
depravity of the network is awesome.  People are no longer monitored in
their actions by peers.  They are free to act as autonomous individuals in
secrecy to download whatever fetishes their heart desires, and i have seen
them download those fetishes.  Suddenly there are no bounds of good taste
when the teacher turns her back.  It is romantically anarchic in form, but
pretty bleak in result.  It was as if the ends were ignored in pursuit of
the ideal.   This community exists nominally.  It doesn't have the
tenderness and battles that real life exhibits.  When things get heated,
people leave onto other tranquil realms.  They move their community to one
settled pasture to graze in sated bliss.  Perhaps that community has just
moved from real life onto the network and i cannot expect any real
representation of community in either.  In the real world i see community
under the bootheel of societal pressure.  In the internet i see anarchy
called community which disinigrates under the slightest pressure.  It is
still questionable whether the merits of the internet are tightly 
interwoven with the results of the internet.  Namely, does freedom in
inforamtion foster alienation, pseudo-communities and false realisation
of existence?

That identity is being defined by people whose major persona is only
derived through the network.  I call them netentities.  I do not agree
with their premises.  I also do not know their premises, but i would
conclude that whatever premise leads people to attempt to define their
actions in terms of a flawed medium would be a premise best left discarded
to animals without consciousness so that they may taste a sample of
consciousness and never be foolish enough to want again.  It is
faux identity in the way that dessicated rose is morphologically similar
to a rose in the full bloom of spring.  The image is of a withered hag
conjuring memories of the fair skin and flaxen hair of youth.

The existence people claim to find may be valid for their perceptions.
People don't chastise them with harmful barbs anyomre, but rather with 
verbal barrages which can easily be avoided or deflected.  You can ignore
whatever portion of the internet you desire.  You are never forced to read
an email or join an irc channel.  The existence defined is one of
substitution and avoidance.  Namely, substitution of blandness for flavour
and the avoidance of confrontation.  In some senses it would be the
paragon of model living.  There is no tangible authority besides
self-imposed hierarchy and everyone is free to avoid confrontation and
seek solace in nary a deviation from the mean.  For some definition of
existence, this may be ideal.  For my definition of existence, it is
merely a sampling of a mean best left rarely visited.  It seemingly
limits the observer to the environment of center.  All other points become
outliers and deviant.    Perhaps society only wants to evolve into one
muted soma-popping center.  

Perhaps the reader has been questioning what i find so vile about the
digital realm that anything based on digital foundation is inherently
flawed.  I will develop this in the next sections.

1.2 Abstraction to binary computers:

It is time to delve deeper under the layers of this insidious community so
that we may see some of the foundation which provides its constructs.  
It is important to understand this foundation because layers
are built up from the ground.  If the foundational layer is entirely 
weak, then the protocol layers above will be moot even if they work
reasonably well.  They need the lower levels of support because they do
not contain the ability to be self-sufficient.

That is the rationalisation for delving into the world of the binary
computer upon which the internet (large network of computers) is based.  
I will be abstracting this above system architecture and simplifying so 
beginners can grasp the concepts.  I will abstract to the operation code
level.  

Operation codes are specific to the processor.  As an example, the pentium
processor has 246 different opcodes which can be passed to it by programs.
This covers the gamut from multiply to load effective adress to storing
operations to register operations etc.  All of these opcodes are in
binary, but are often represented as hex values for simplicity or in
assembly language for inexperienced coders.  All programs, when compiled,
are translated into a series of sequential operations codes falling into
one of the opcodes available to the processor (in the pentium's case, one
of 246).  Every program, from webserver to irc server to mail server is
translated from higher level languages into code the machine can
understand.  Because this is a 2 state machine, the higher level mnemonics
are translated into some fixed bit width strings of ones and zeroes.

The important aspect of the binary computer is that it can only gauge
(on a base level) true and false.  It only has two states.  On a less
base level, it only has around 250 opcodes to which all functional
programs must compile.  The heart of the argument about the inadequacy of
digital representations centers around the inability for such a system
to accurately represent the analog world.  

>From millions of programs on millions of computers, it condenses down to
250 operations which condense down to 2 states.  That is an amazingly
quick transition in only three layers of responsibility, but it is not the
quickness that should be the focus.  The focus is that everything based on
a binary finite-state machine eventually becomes a decision of good or
bad (without connotation), true or false, a word and its opposite.  On a
quick observation without moving into linguistics and etymology, it is
interesting that one and zero are opposite. 

So the question is, how can this machine represent a world of threes? or
fours? or fives? or bananas? or high fidelity stereo equipmnent?  It
approximates each of these with the repetition of ones and zeroes in
columns denoting place significance.  And the question is, is 11 == 3? In
pure mathematical terms it is, because there is no intrinsic value in
three other than an agreed upon number of clams or bananas which that
number represents.  The binary is decent for modelling the world of pure 
mathematics.  But when you ask the binary to approximate soft modulations
in human speech, it has problems.  What happens when the intensity of
the sound is between the one value and the zero value?  The computer 
is not allowed to compromise.  It knows not grey.  It has to choose, 
by directive of the program whether the representation should be a one or
a zero or the program will fail.  The computer can gain precision.  You
can use 8 binary digits (bits) to represent these intensity values.  Now
you have 256 possible levels the program can account for.  What happens
when you want to record 145.6?  It does not conveniently slide into one
of the placeholders.  We can use integer mathematics to slyly floor the
value down to 145 or other notions of rounding to move the value up to
146.  We can keep getting closer to the analog sound with more divisions.
After enough divisions the human ear will not be able to distinguish the
imperfections in the sampling.  That is the point at which we conclude the
computer has mirrored the analog correct?  I do not agree.  In fact, i
belive it to be even more ugly to keep sampling past human perception
and then slyly pass off a digital kludge representation as a replication
of reality.  I understand a bit of the underlying fabric, so there would
be no distracting me from reality, however, the manufacturers of the
computer or the CD player pass these items off as reality and foster
behaviour of internet junkies who constantly consume this mortally
fabricated doppelganger who is flawed ever so slightly. 

These computers provide an admirable reconstruction of reality.  The
perform wonderfully in assisting me on boring repetitous tasks which i
would have to commit to paper if i didn't have their fancy loops and
conditions to guide me to the appropriate output.  However, the are merely
good statistical guesses at reality to a certain level of precision.  The
only limiting factor is how deep the developer wishes to travel in
approximation; however, binary machines, no matter how precisely the
approximate, will always be asymptotic to reality.  

What wastelands i now see streched before me as addicts crave for the new
elite m00 or the key to the hacker channels so they can finally get in the
cadre or circle of enlightened lads.  The closer that substitution gets
to the outside world, the more i feel compelled to rebel.  I rebel against
that substitution.  I rebel against spoon feeding and forcefeeding the
masses until they regurgitate in the predetermined quantity, texture and
colour.  I rebel against the faux asthetic of this wasteland.  The more it
entreats me with the sirens call, the tighter i must tie the bindings of
rational thought based on analog conceptualization.  I am also offended
that a machine only capable of having a binary state would ever be
compared to the mind which is unpredictable.  My mind.  Any machine can
approximate it.  Any machine can run through mundane repetitous tasks.  I
charge a machine to attain a consciousness and a logic independent of
a finite state.  My state is infinite.  I charge psychologists and
neurologists to define my brain perfectly as a finite-state machine.  
At that point, i will plunge the sharpened blade through my chest in
harikare and admit defeat.  I will wish luck to the rest of the world
that desires a life in a program.  

The foundation of representation cracks and crumbles under the weight of
analysis.  This community, or existence, or identity found on the network
is a binary identity.  It can only tell you about true and falso.  It
knows no compromise between those two values at the bit.  The people that
find their community or identiy or exitense on the internet are limiting
themselves to the cold identity of the processor which controls their
actions.  How do you represent passion and fear and lust and vulerability
in ones and zeroes?  I see them.  They are my reality.  They are not the
computer's reality.  They therefore cannot be part of a reality derived
from a computer.  

1.3 Abstraction to finite-state machines:

Most of the work has already been done for this abstraction.  The
rest of the analysis really lies in understanding that the binary
world is really a subset of all finate state machines and while the 
representable values might change there is in fact no difference.

I can play the game of limits again by asking for further and further
divisions of space, but it is equally impossible to represent
irrational numbers with any finite state machine as it is with a binary
machine.  The more possible states, the closer the initial approximation,
but close and exact are not equal.  If the viewer of the world is looking
for the exact (or the perfect) form, he is not going to find it
in any environment where the state set is defined at some static amount
less than infinite.  You can keep increasing state out to a finite amount 
and you will still be as far away from exact values as you were when there
were only two states to the world as in the binary computer example.



So why is the analog world superior, and does the digital realm have
merit?  I believe the analog world to be superior because it is exact.  
There are no approximations.  It exists.  Even with all of the merits of
man and the ingenuity of his mind, he still cannot produce a mind in his
own image artificially.  He can only produce machines which are decent at
performing repetition and can make fast approximations but which cannot
understand the very nature of the analog world.  Because they cannot
understand the very nature of the analog world, they can never hope to 
be able to model the exact nature of the world. They can never become
conscious and understand the analog sice of the world that is so full with
beauty i barely have words to contain.  I would have no problem with
digital representations if manufacturers of digital technology explained
what digital really means.  Sure your cellular phone is clearer.  Do you
know what that means?  Someone is making a wonderful alteration of your
reality and they have conditioned you into accepting it with a smile so
broad no one could question your position.   Perhaps this is all the
people want and i am some misguided youth with much misspent time.  As
long as i have a voice to yell or fingers to type or lips to kiss i will
continue on those courses.  The populous can continue on their course to
demise (which perhaps they have always been on).  I will not stop a single
soul.  I will talk to the souls that stop themselves, but i cannot be
party to saving people before they have saved themselves.  Whatever the
outcome, the populous that endorses the digital world with the smile of
ignorance will never have my appropbation.
The digital realm has merit as long as you realise its limitations.
The world formed on the internet has exposed me to information so varied
and far-reaching that i am thankful for its creation.  I have learned far
outside the cnofines of my beige walled cell into more knowledge than i
could stock on my bookshelf or in my brain.  I try to shove every piece in
however it will fit so i can carry it arround like an overstuffed suitcase
prepared for any situation.  For this infromation (free information), the
digital world is of benefit.  
However, when i see people lauding the progressiveness of digital
communities for being only about the mind and about true community,
identity and existence, I must pause and hope the reader have read this
document closely.  It almost seems humourously analagous to the 60s
counterculture which preached tuning in, turning on and dropping out. 
The 60s counter culture was a sad attempt to replace reality with drug 
induced trances and hallucinations.  They were not the realities of a
sober observer.  They were the concoctions of causing the brain to distort
its perception.  So too the digital realm is away to avoid the analog
world by allowing the user a much more potent drug which is guarenteed to
smoothe over the rough edges of passion and pain which are the footmen who
attend to the structure.  That opiate is so taboo that it doesn't even
have a name.  The advertisers know of it.  They sell that opiate.  The
governments know about it, they produce that opiate.  How long will they
keep smashing fabrications and lies down your waiting throat.  Open up
wide like you always do.  Thats a good kid.  
I cannot hope the reader agrees with anything in this document.  I don't
wish the reader to form a reality based on my conception of what is real. 
Perhaps the reader has seen similary in experience that would support the
thoughts i have gatherered.  Perhaps the reader is counting along and
refuting all my points the way a professor refutes the points of an 
uncouth and illiterate student whose tongue is not yet reformed to that
reader knows the answer to those questions.  Ask ELIZA, she will tell you
the answer.  Those computers are smart.   
I arrogantly submit this for your perusal.-FR
This paper has been brought to you by the letter Q and the number 6
as well as oscar's favourite microvax 3520.
P.S. Don't read this in binary.  Write it out in longhand.. 
(if you can still remember cursive)


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