Monthly Archives: March 2007

On Cyberspace

*CPU design is like building a microscopic city on a pinhead. Teams of engineers engaged in countless tasks taking many thousands of person-hours are behind these instruments which are, first of all, instruments of vast unfathomable hyper-fast computation.Networked computers are multi-path communications devices. The construction of the Internet is a collaborative process that takes place over the very networks involved in its creation. It’s not coincidental that it shares the infrastructure underpinnings of telephony.The act of putting information on the Internet is a form of publishing wholly unavailable in the past. Because of the way the protocols are structured, it is a form of pure collaboration in which the addition of input extends the very structure of the space. We reconstruct the Internet every time we use it. The pathways of even the most trivial of our online interactions are virtually instantaneous and global.As the Net is a new collaborative communication space each time we enter it, we are also simultaneously restructuring paradigms of human intercourse. Some noteworthy and unpredictable aspects of how we are transformed by the medium as we use it are becoming evident.In the real world, as combinations of subjective and social realities, our identities are somewhat fluid – yet constrained by parameters of environment and cultural context. In cyberspace, our identities are unhinged from their real-world counterparts to a palpable degree.On the Net one can become a new person. The thoroughly fluid aspects of identity in cyberspace are immediately apparent to even new users. The exhilaration inherent in opportunities to role-play or metaphorically upgrade one’s self image seems a universal attraction.Reinvention of the self is a deeply human desire, as evidenced by the universal occurrance of the dream state. On the Internet, to free up the ties of culture, heritage, geography, age, and even gender is as easy as changing your name.The freeing up of the human spirit that accompanies a feeling of free identity offers a sense of unlimited potentiality and creative possibility. Sitting down at the keyboard and projecting oneself into the Internet is an empowering action in itself.Based on collaborative and distributed technology, the basic killer apps of the Internet – e-mail, newsgroups, message boards, web pages, chat, file-sharing, personal content and social networking sites – create connections between people and allow global projects to proceed on a 24/7 basis. They exponentially multiply productivity and forge highly skilled teams who can work together in real time from any point of origin.There’s no end to this. It’s happening now, even as you receive my thoughts in this collaborative interface where my words appear. You hyperlinked to this page and you’ll hyperlink yourself out of it.This page is an electronic reconstruction of the processes that occur during its existence. More than that, your apprehension of it indicates it is actually a physiological-electronic construction. Atoms in your brain are being activated by transmissions over global-scale distances. In a real way, we’re doing this together.That’s the project and that’s the product – making it up as we go. Where will we take it next? For the first time in history the vessel is as evanescent, manifold, multi-sensory, and instantaneous as our species. We’re creating the future bit by human/electronic bit. Press a key in cyberspace and open a new portal into our collective evolution…*Image: http://www.utdallas.edu/~jps033000/photo_html/cs.html

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Snow Geese Rising

*The snow geese have returned.A cacophonous din announced their presence. I awoke to the sound of the gabbing flock covering the hundred acres of farmland a stone’s throw from my nook. Salt-and-peppering the entire cornfield, the stunning birds completely obscured the crusty old snow of early March. A few moments later, a farm hand’s rifle shot thundered through the avian multitude and shocked them skyward. Such a flock it was – it took actual minutes of flying time to sort themselves out. They came back to the stubbled field six times in the next three days. And each day the shots rang out against them. I knew it was an innocent chase and not a deadly game the farmer played. The birds seemed to anticipate the gunpowder retort. I knew the field was a simple diversion for the migratory throng. And I knew where they headed when they fled.Today I made the annual pilgrimage to their genuine gathering place. The huge and sprawling man-made lake and forested preserve that floods the valley between these hills holds the ten thousand for a week or more of their vernal northern passage. And there they were, the whole squawking gaggle splayed out upon the icy waters. An aggregation of miraculous beings, the entire lot seemed a single sonorous organism. Flying above them squadrons of new arrivals approached from the south. Each v-shaped strand crowded in among the shining singularity that was the flock itself. Finally, as if the water could not hold another bird, a disruption spread among them all at once. Jostling for position and room to spread their wings, they rose from the lake in a sun-speckled congregation. Above my head the beautiful birds formed a single living cloud-like mass larger than the blue sky’s most massive cumulous. And their flapping wings aroused the very wind surrounding me.*image: TFD, 2007

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How to get here (a tangled web we weave)

Cyberspace is a funny thing.We inhabit it via our machines and our imaginations.We visit particular places in cyberspace – places which, in fact, are simply files residing on particular servers in various parts of the world.It’s clear there are many metaphors involved in Internet navigation.Some of you arrive at this page by means of the specific page address:http://www.readingeagle.com/blog/tullioIn fact, if when navigating here via the website portal is not possible, the above URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the only way to get here for sure – if relevant servers are connected to the Internet.When things are all working, this blog is available via site navigation in several different ways.I’ll list some of them here so you may choose the method that works best for you – and also so you can have a few alternatives for when all things are not working perfectly.On the home page of http://www.readingeagle.com there are two ways to get to ARTology.You can click on the “Arts/Entertainment” option on the darker blue left side of the navigation bar that resides directly under the readingeagle.com main banner/masthead. This takes you to the main “Entertainment” page. At the bottom left side of that page, there is a heading called: “Entertainment Blogs.” The first item beneath that bar is a hyperlink to this blog, “ARTology.” Click it and you’re here.Another way to get here from the readingeagle.com home page is to scroll down to the bottom left of the page and click “Berks Blogs Index” under the heading “Berks Blogs.” This will also bring you to this page.Additionally, out there on the wide open Internet, you can always do a search for “ARTology with Tullio DeSantis” or just search for a version of my name and click one of the many ARTology links that come up. There are many other ways to get here from the Internet-at-large but the ones I’ve listed here should do us well.Until your next visit then, take care and best wishes.Art (TFD)P.S. This reminds me to create some entries dealing with the Internet in terms of its appearance and more importantly as a ding an sich.

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