Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Future of the Web: GGG (Giant Global Graph)

In a post on Nov. 22, 2007, Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, prescribes the future of the web as another sieving of the granular elements of its network into a new level of fineness : "So the Net and the Web may both be shaped as something mathematicians call a Graph, but they are at different levels. The Net links computers, the Web links documents. Now, people are making another mental move. There is realization now, 'It’s not the documents, it is the things they are about which are important'."

This calls for the restructuring the 'architecture of the web' as what Kevin Kelly calls the Semantic web. According to Kelly, the Internet moved from being ‘the net’ from connecting computers and sharing packets to linking ‘pages’ (the web) [a probe of smaller units, comparative to the investigation of particles that moved from molecules to the understanding of atoms and thereon to protons, gluons and the string theory in modern physics.] The third stage [Web 3.0] is linking ‘data’ rather than linking pages to pages. Every idea is linked to every idea and is supported by such at the scale of word, items and so on. A “Database of Things” that contain meaning for the parent web. In this respect physical space becomes engulfed by the 'One Machine'. A machine that links every object and place to the other with our gadgets a window into this machine.

Within this new paradigm, material loses its value to time.

"Attention is the new currency"
Kevin Kelly

American Idol

Power, unless justified, is inherently illegitimate. The burden of proof is on those in authority to demonstrate why their elevated position is justified. If this burden can't be met, the authority in question should be dismantled. Authority for its own sake is inherently unjustified. An example of a legitimate authority is that exerted by an adult to prevent a young child from wandering into traffic.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mad Particles

Deleuze and Guattari use the term BwO (Body Without Organs) in an extended sense, to refer to the virtual dimension of reality in general (which they more often call "plane of consistency" or "plane of immanence"). In this sense, they speak of a BwO of "the earth." "The Earth," they write, "is a body without organs. This body without organs is permeated by unformed, unstable matters, by flows in all directions, by free intensities or nomadic singularities, by mad or transitory particles" (A Thousand Plateaus, p. 40). That is, we usually think of the world as composed of relatively stable entities ("bodies," beings). But these bodies are really composed of sets of flows moving at various speeds (rocks and mountains as very slow-moving flows; living things as flows of genetic material; language as flows of information, words, etc.). This fluid substratum is what Deleuze calls the BwO in a general sense.
A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari eventually differentiate between three kinds of BwO: cancerous, empty, and full. Roughly, the empty BwO is the BwO of Anti-Oedipus. This BwO is also described as "catatonic" because it is completely de-organ-ized; all flows pass through it freely, with no stopping, and no directing. Even though any form of desire can be produced on it, the empty BwO is non-productive. The full BwO is the healthy BwO; it is productive, but not petrified in its organ-ization. The cancerous BwO is caught in a pattern of endless reproduction of the self-same pattern.

Theatre of Cruelty

Antonin Artaud advocated what he called a "Theatre of Cruelty". At one point, he stated that by cruelty, he meant not exclusively sadism or causing pain, but just as often a violent, physical determination to shatter the false reality.

The Theatre of Cruelty aimed to hurl the spectator into the centre of the action, forcing them to engage with the performance on an instinctive level. For Artaud, this was a cruel, yet necessary act upon the spectator designed to shock them out of their complacency:
Artaud wanted to (but never did) put the audience in the middle of the 'spectacle' (his term for the play), so they would be 'engulfed and physically affected by it'. He referred to this layout as like a 'vortex' - a constantly shifting shape - 'to be trapped and powerless'.