Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Brief Argument for “Uncreative” Writing

I'm not even going to quibble the term itself, though I could, for valid reasons, take offense to it. For me, let it be said, that to be creative is to make connections, and that there is a certain benefit to reusing famous lines because not only do they refer to themselves in the new context of their re-uttering, but they saturate the label/signifier with a doubled reference back to the original utterance.

The tension between the old reference, and the new reference, could be said to create some sort of energy between the two which has infinite literary possibilities.

The idea then becomes a resonance.

Take for instance:

Now I lay me down to sleep / Ere on my bed my limbs I lay
I pray the lord my soul to keep / It hath not been my use to pray
If I die before I wake / By moving lips or bended knees
I pray the lord my soul to take / But silently by slow degrees

There is enough metrical similarity between Coleridge's beginning to The Pains of Sleep, and the child's prayer that we're all taught, for a case to be made, that the one is the sublimation of the other. An echo of the prayer is there, and whether Coleridge intended this or not, the effect is subliminal (if not sublime).

So I think there is a lot to be gained by exploring “uncreative” approaches which in fact, may excel in a way in which “creative” approaches are not designed for.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Poetics of Random Number Generation

I don't know how much has been discussed about this already by other gnoets (at gnoetry daily), but I wanted to touch on what I consider to be a very important element in text generation, which is random number generation. We must make a formal distinction here. Pardon me. There is no such thing as random number generation, and the notion of “random” is ontologically exterior to generation. Before you agree with me, fight this statement. Fight it with all your mental might. Try to develop a method for generating anything truly random. The problem isn't generating the random, I have no ability to explain why “gafar gen flaw” was the first thing to pop into my head as I tried. For all intents and purposes, the statement is random, or why 2,172 was the number that just popped into my head. The fact is, I seem to able to do this quite easily. Why then, should it be so difficult to devise any method?

Well, firstly I point this out, because “random number generation” really describes the impulse or desire and not the actuality of the process which is referred to as pseudo-random number generation. Most compilers use random numbers generated by twister algorithms, which approximate well the distribution patterns of an ideally random set of numbers. The result of these numbers is offset by a seed which can be input by the user, or (and more often) is generated from the computer's timer.

I think this is interesting for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, because of the role time plays in acting as the seed for the generation. Time is a very loaded concept, rife with mythological and metaphysical potential. It's strange ability, to be measured indefinitely, allows us to make distinctions between instances, in essence, to linearize time. Linear time, however moves in circles, with familiar continuity between the extremes. A counter is set to turn once for each complete turn of another counter. And another counts the amount of full turns for that counter. It operates perhaps as dials, perhaps like your electric meter. Perhaps a face clock, perhaps a digital clock. Lines running in circles at different speeds. Repeating toward its limit, which is its modulus, its denominator. The time of day is its remainder. It loops always back to its beginning. In mathematics, this is called its base, the upper bound for a full turn.

Secondly the distribution pattern demands that the period (or size) of the upper bound of the random number to be generated not repeat itself, and this (and only) this qualifies it for “randomness.”

Much like trying to be spontaneous, generating random anything negates its own possibility before it even begins. But the urge to try is real.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Infinite Monkeys v1.50

I wanted to announce that Infinite Monkeys has gotten a major upgrade. The new feature allows you to "eat" text into memory, and then generate new text from the old text, using bigrams (for now). The bigrams associate the word that comes before with the word that comes after, cataloging also the number of times it occurs. I'm going to be experimenting with the routine which draws words so updates will be forthcoming and most likely rapid.

Also, if you choose to eat scripts to generate other scripts, please be aware that your bracketing of tags and the like may not be properly closed. Improper code may produce unexpected results. I'm not the greatest programmer on earth.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Recursion and Infinity

According to Chomsky, a fundamental property of language is that any grammar can produce infinitely many sentences. However, an ethnographic study on the Piraha tribe of Brazil reveals that there is a grammar which lacks recursion, and is thus only capable of producing a finite number of possible utterances. My first reaction to this was: impossible! As I read through the article I noticed some things, and I basically want to sketch out a few of the things that I noticed.

The essence of human language is, according to Chomsky, the ability of finite brains to produce what he considers to be infinite grammars. By this he means not only that there is no upper limit on what we can say, but that there is no upper limit on the number of sentences our language has, there's no upper limit on the size of any particular sentence. Chomsky has claimed that the fundamental tool that underlies all of this creativity of human language is recursion: the ability for one phrase to reoccur inside another phrase of the same type. If I say "John's brother's house", I have a noun, "house", which occurs in a noun phrase, "brother's house", and that noun phrase occurs in another noun phrase, "John's brother's house". This makes a lot of sense, and it's an interesting property of human language.

On this level, we have the last output of "John's" being re-entered into the meaning, so that we know it isn't John we're talking about, but his brother's house.

Let's contrast this to what the Piraha would say:

So in the case of Pirahã, the language I've worked with the longest of the 24 languages I've worked with in the Amazon, for about 30 years, Pirahã doesn't have expressions like "John's brother's house". You can say "John's house", you can say "John's brother", but if you want to say "John's brother's house", you have to say "John has a brother. This brother has a house". They have to say it in separate sentences.

On the level of the sentence, there is no possibility of chaining possessives, but the overall meaning of one sentence is carried over into the next and in fact it would make no sense to say "this brother" without the preceding sentence. "This brother" in fact refers back (self-refers, calling itself...) and is therefore fundamentally recursive. Because the chunking system does not allow recursion within sentences, it must allow recursion between sentences. "This" is an earmark of recursion because it is infinitely various, it refers to "the last thing" and is still built on LISP-like linked list principles which are different from "Infinite Language" that "uses recursion" only insofar as the rules which allow it to be employed.

Recursion is not permitted on the level of the sentence, because the sentence, like a word in English, conveys a single thought. On some level, every language is finite. Containing a finite set of agreed upon meanings regardless of articulation. The finitude in fact allows us to define. Without it, everything would remain undefined.

The endlessness with which such a culture could string their sentences together shows me that the set of all things described in tandem is up to the author's attention to detail, and does not limit the possibility of what things can be described. It may refuse certain possibilities but (Infinity - Any number), does not mean that number is finite.

At any rate, my only knowledge of this culture is from the aforementioned article so I take it on faith that these people have violated one of Chomsky's laws. However, we can still say that recursion occurs within this language, so Chomsky's law can be relaxed without causing a cascade failure of Chomskyan linguistics. My only point in making this argument is to corrupt previously held ideas about finite-ness and recursion. The idea of referencing back is necessarily recursive, in fact "this" is a tell tale sign of recursion. But perhaps not the kind Chomsky is talking about.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Opening of Closure II

In any one single statement, the implications of the fact of its capacity to be stated, is implicit in the meaning of the statement. A single statement means the entire reality in which it is produced, there are layers upon layers overlain in a sequence of causes which extends back to the beginning of time.

Closure is an effect of separation. There is no such thing as a discontinuity between an single individual and everything else.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Opening of Closure

The first time I read The Rejection of Closure I had a very emotional reaction to it. Perhaps because I am a naturally irate person, or perhaps because I felt there was an advocacy for something I couldn't abide. I haven't read Lyn Heijinian's text in a very long time, but I'm always struck with the same problem: closure can not be opened by rejection. Rejection is a kind of closure. Closure turned on closure. When we reject something we deny its possibility. The very fact that could be "true".

The target is closure. The strategy is closure. The system is rejection. When we think about closure, we can think of it along an isomorphic echo as encasement, encapsulation, containment, envelopment, often in terms of human affect as being "closed off", or "not open", or "not-openminded." And it's really there that we get stuck.

In the end you're left with another kind of closure. A tacit acknowledgement in the reality/possibility of a "closure" and the rejection of part of that reality. I have in my lifetime found it far more liberating to reject the possibility of a closure. There is always a veritable regress of information implicit in even the simplest of utterances.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Throughout the course of my work, I've implicitly made reference to a type of similarity which also different, giving numerous interpretive schema along the way that was capable of at least tacitly accounting for this repetition. The foundation for this has been a thorough investigation into fractal geometry in which each part of a whole is more or less an exact copy of the whole. That is to say, if you take a look at a fractal, and then proceed to zoom in at various scales of magnification, the fractal will keep its overall shape, or you will be able to see little copies of the whole as you zoom in. This is known as self-similarity.

The sort of logic that can be drawn out of such a shape is one of scale invariance. To use a social sciences example, the same laws that apply to individuals, would apply en masse to societies, cultures, groups and so on.

During the course of my work, I have tried to point out the fractal nature of self-referential utterances such as $This Sentence is False$ which relies on a specific kind of recursion. That is to say, the last output becomes the next input into the function. This sort of recursion is implicit to fractality and is also a prevalent motif in Hofstadter's great work _Godel, Escher, and Bach_.

The eternal golden braid is the helicoid acid and holomorphic structure of none other than the bodies that constitute life. They too have an image of the whole present at each indivisible unit known as the cell.

The implications of this self-similarity resound within a new geometry in which each of the parts reflect each of the other parts within a reflexive and undifferentiable matrix of re-entry.

This (to a certain extent) can resolve the paradox of Western Ontology which was discussed in the Lossy Compression post.

It will be interesting to see how far self-similarity and fractal geometry can be taken as literary devices.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cascade Failure

We've, I've begun to think, identified ourselves ideologically with our strategies. The strategy of more government, more “oversight”, more “supervision” or less of it. As a result, we've failed to see an important part of the overall picture.

Namely, the corporate controlled government is no better than a government controlled capitalism. In fact the two, coming from different directions as they do, amount to the same thing, the emergence of a surveillance based fascism where the activities of the individual are all dictated from a single source. The question that we need to sit down and consider is to what extent this isn't already the case.

The impulse of the corporation is in fact the same as the impulse of the government: to consolidate power. Mergers and buyouts are the name of the game. Amass as much of the market as you possibly can. The latest company to prove this true is Microsoft.

The only way to thoroughly separate the government from its market, is for it be regarded as a conflict of interest to represent both the interests of a corporation through the government. In fact, what you have now is corporate controlled capitalism, which is sliding into a state controlled capitalism.

By and large the reason that this happened was that we had a fiscal conservative in GWB who outspent his “liberal” predocesser while simultaneously lowering taxes. It was a deficit that could only cause one outcome: bankruptcy. I believe that Barak Obama inherited this deficit from Bush Era spending. Bush in fact is perhaps the worst president in American history. Here is a quick look at his resume:

It is ironic that his failure is so abolute in large part because he is a terrible businessman. The delicate balance achieved by former presidents was thrown completely out of wack. It could be argued that bankrupting the federal government is a really effective way to weaken it, and may very well have been intentional.

Now, if I'm philosophically committed to a decentralist impulse (which I am) how do I reconcile the fact that I think this is one of the worst catastrophes in American economic history with a weakened federal government teetering on the brink of death. On some level, we must face the fact, that this was by and large, a corporate orchestrated attack, and face down the realization that the oil companies have more government protections and personalized government influence than any other corporate power in America (other than perhaps banks).

So the real question becomes, what in pragmatic reality would happen if we allow the current federal government default on it's debt? The answer is something akin to an apocalypse (generally speaking) this is the terminology that has been used to describe it. The following results are probable:

1.The dollar would be worthless
2.Lending would stop
3....causing a large portion of the population to lose their jobs
4....businesses would shut down, collapse and the burden of unemployment benefits would fall on bankrupt companies, and the federal/state government
5.Mass bankruptcy
7.Most of our debt would fall to China

Many Republicans in congress have signed a pledge not to raise taxes, and this is primarily the reason why we cannot balance the budget, and why the debt ceiling keeps climbing. My sense of this is that while philosophically I'm opposed to it, the burden of higher taxes, must be borne in order to avoid a cascade failure of epic proportions. The New Deal is irrelevant if we don't have the money to borrow and our credit is worthless. There won't be any deal at all because there won't be anything to deal with. For the time being, the debt ceiling must rise, and if it is not going to rise again we must figure out to avoid an inevitable situation like this one from recurring, or else we won't face any more easy choices.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Western Metaphysic of the End

Continuing from Lossy Compression

The issue then becomes not one of modeling, or mapping, but containing. The problem of the essence-that-contains is one of generality. Western Ontology is deeply rooted in the desire to set everything under a solitary system. The problem of the system is on the one hand a matter of properties becoming objects, and adjectives becoming nouns, it is also irresistably reconfigurable, and herein lies its redemption. The category is not a set containing objects, but a blueprint from which many models can be built. The category as an object of realism, a reality, objectifies each of its members by reducing it to a subset of qualities.

In the end of it all, you are left with a black hole signifier, that sucks everything under one sign. Even the qualativity of qualities, or an essence of the essence can begin to collapse this system, for its own externalization of this blueprint impresses it onto reality, and thus comes to manufacture reality. This is both “the Language of Eden” and the “Curse of Revelation.” What God would leave out of the Bible, is the fact that we are agents in our own creation. To a large extent, we've been making it up all along.

With our history mostly scripted by our mythologies, hurdling toward an apocalypse that even scientists are beginning to buy into, the majority of the resistance is ironically coming from a Christian dominated right.

Their arguments are based at least partially on science, citing a liberal usage of rate multipliers in producing projections.

At any rate, the multipliers do impact how the projections would pan out. The seemingly alarmless rate of one degree over the past 100 years has mollified the possibility of any consensus. The oil companies stand the most to lose and can no doubt afford to fund their own research projects. Since the oil companies have been a major target of environmentalists, one of the few government controlled industries within our sense of capitalism, the issue is on both sides politicized. The sense that one can take either side in earnest is intellectually dishonest. The speculations are all over the place for the projections. We could end up like Venus, or we'll kill off ourselves but life will continue. It's certainly possible that some tipping point will be reached triggering a chain reaction, which causes some sort of atmospheric cascade failure and kills off everything or most of everything. Maybe only insects survive, or bacteria. Certainly this is frightening to contemplate. And worse still it is all distinctly feasible.

So it's an interesting point for Western metaphysics. Will it have its apocalypse after all? Has our blueprint for disaster finally been realized? Never has it been more cleverly argued than by environmental scientists and perhaps never before has been felt the more pressing reality of an end that has been enacted several times before in history.

But the end is everywhere in every disaster, and apocalypses proliferate. Beasts are indeed everywhere, whores of all sorts, but no horsemen yet. We fantasize about it in movies and books. Two series in the last ten years dealt specifically with the apocalypse. Jericho and Jeremiah. Both were cancelled after showdowns with fascist police states. So we survive, perhaps, but suffer the death of our way of life.

But whatever the outcome, this will be remembered as a time when apocalyptic fears were very real.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Book of the Damned

This is a prototype for a book of poems, many of which were constructed with Infinite Monkeys and are now available for download vis a vis the Infinite Monkeys homepage on google code.

It contains roughly 4-5 years worth of poetry, which much like The Gospel of Echo, is a significant time investment in the construction of the work. It lacks the visual flair of TGOE, but retains the pseudo-religious feel for which I am prone.

Have a look if you please:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lossy Compression

It's akin to a mandate, an impulse, a drive, an energy, a desire, things only in an abstract sense, energies, causes, processes, pulses, motion, things too unstable to become "a-thing", thinged nonetheless.

When I think about the impulse of western ontology, I think about it in terms of a mapping of a set of objects onto a smaller set of objects. The ontological impulse being always a reduction of the number of the objects in the explanation set. If this process is carried out to its logical extreme you are generally left with a choice between the following things: Being, Time, Nothingness, objects, properties, nouns and adjectives and sometimes even verbs.

The impulse here then in terms of functionality is then to create a sort of meta-map. What is crucial and irreducible, is also vague and all-encompassing. But it is precisely this impulse to encompass that allows it to be the container with the most objects.

The question now of the map becomes crucial, for it is precisely a matter of mapping that is relevant to this process, and an issue of scalability becomes central. Scaling out of the actual terrain is an image of it as a totality. In the process new information is gleaned but several details are lost. A new perspective is gained but the old one is (temporarily) lost. If the map "maps" to reality, then the map itself is included in one of the objects that the map represents and this is manifested in the ever-present desire to find yourself on the map.

What is present now is a mere antagonism, an uncertainty principle which pervades the pervasions of the map. This principle can be described as follows:

The more you know about the overall shape of an object, the less you will know about its details, and the more you know about the details, the less you know about the shape and as we can readily intuit, this would also apply in the world of objects as distance.

The pervasion of self-containment destabilizes the container logic of the set, and this is the technique I would argue Derrida uses in attempting to deconstruct western metaphysics. The search also yields the desire to externalize the set from its own self-membership and relay it to something on a "higher" hierarchical chain. The chain itself will point to either Being, Time, Nothingness, God or an origin which itself implies the mandate to relay it on a higher link.

The highest link is also the vaguest. In it all manner of potentialities roil. Nothingness is not an emptiness, it is absence of a "thing" which is here defined as an object in the world. No-Thing-Ness itself a transcendental noun of a thing which is no-thing. The image of the thing-in-space, its apparent self-containment, has been transmuted from a property as in a the transcendental noun, onto the image of an object.

So in the process of mapping, things are abstracted into sets of things, which are themselves object-after-transcendental-function with actual things-in-space as properties, potentialities, variations of, etc...

...more to come...

"Lossy Compression" in framing this ontological impulse, has cast it in the best possible light. Filtration issues are present when transcendental-objects are treated as things-in-space. There is also generally a degradation in the awareness that all things-in-space are not static unitary images, but processes which our senses have not evolved to process such as the dynamic processes of atoms and interactions with the environment, which are both intrinsically connected with the real-object which is at this point in human understanding a matter of guesswork.

In delineating these issues of ontology as such I hope to define a link between these processes and projection geometry.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Is Literature Intrinsically Evil?

According to Georges Bataille writers are guilty of a kind of evil. I have my own thoughts on this, and I think it's an interesting and worthy question to ponder, but will pace my response for later this week. In the meantime, enjoy Georges, and try to remember that the greatest evil committed by either of the authors mentioned by Bataille was the unnecessary guilt that they placed on themselves for being writers. This was also true of Chaucer and is something that has really haunted Western literature for many centuries: the fact that a well written book is a distraction from the "real truth" of the Holy Bible.

More soon,


Monday, May 23, 2011

Jhave & Sandra Huber [The Poetics of Science]

My first introduction to these to artists is less than five days old now. But having taken a look at their work, I feel like it is also mine. That is to say, these are kindred artists who artistic depth is foremost poetical. That is to say, they are poets first who engage other forms of media, and their work is therefore crucial to the legitimacy of e-poetry as a literary discipline.

First let me say, that I had the pleasure of meeting these two, and that they are both incredibly dedicated crafts-persons who are actively engaged in the sort of Consilience Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Wilson wrote about in his book of the same name. In other words, both of these artists actively engage the theoretical sciences in their own approach to poetics, a common theme among many of us who are engaged in e-poetry. For those of you who aren't aware, there is a great deal of paranoia surrounding the sciences from the vantage of the humanities and not all of it can be chalked up to science-envy (although I've personally seen very little else to justify such a position). We don't seem to be aiming our ire where it belongs (psychiatry).

At any rate, Jhave is an important artist, not merely because of his relationship to digital poetics, but also because the man writes like he has a gun pointed to the back of his head. I find this quality endearing in an artist, for reasons which are apparent to those who have followed my work. My concern for our role in the destruction of our environment, the proverbial "shitting where you eat" theorem.

One of Jhave's most fascinating contributions to the theoretical ensemble of digital poetics is the notion of language as living entity. This is not as far fetched as it may sound given the groundbreaking work of quantum theorist David Bohm whose sense of dimensionality is a current topic of research for me. The notion here is that inanimate objects contain within them an imperative to animate, or else you have a problem. How can life evolve out of non-life unless there is somehow contained in seed form the potential to do so?

But everywhere the concern here is for life itself, and the questions of life: cells, bodies, seeds, nature, genetics, and environmental sciences. Language itself is an extension of life, of living process and entities seeking for a higher form of signal processing.

By contrast, Sandra Huber has engaged the sciences in a no less radical way. Her current project, "Assembling the Morrow" is an inquiry into scientific study of sleep. Ouroborically choosing to be the object of her own experiment she has literalized the notion of experimental poetry in a way which few artists have dared try (and scientists have advised against). Her project, though still a work in progress, utilizes the brain waves present during human sleep cycles to create a work of poetics that is literally constructed atop the patterns our brain creates when sleeping. Her work is so technically abstruse that to provide a thorough reading would require a great deal of temporal investment. However, there are two possible avenues that I can offer right off the top of my head.

Firstly, it engages "waves" which is a rich theoretical discipline within mathematics that is almost universally necessary for every science. Waves are generally regarded as having both circular and linear components, and the "purest" form of the wave are the sine/cosine waves. Sine and Cosine are generally referred to as "transcendental functions" largely because they require a calculus of interminable series in order to understand and express them. We knew about such sets long before we had a mathematical means to deal with them, which brings us to our second possible line of interrogation: Construction.

Huber's poetry is literally written atop the shapes of her brainwaves and engages the possibility of a concrete poetry in a way I personally have never seen attempted. I have written about Construction (somewhat) thoroughly as a Pythagorean extension of Deconstruction. If Deconstruction seeks to disarticulate things from the constructs that make them, Construction would be a reversal of this, and it would necessarily include the mathematical insights that can be provided from merely the compass and a straight-edge. Furthermore, it opens itself to architectural interpretations, as well as image theories such as Hofstadter's isomorphism, William Blake's literal imagination, and Jakob Bohme concept of the signature.

Both of the artists engage the sciences in ways that were heretofore considered anathema to the humanities, and each in their way collapse the boundaries between what is considered art and science, theory and practice, animate and inanimate, and literature and visual media.

I hope you will check out their works (if you haven't already).

Sandra Huber:, Assembling the Morrow

Sunday, May 22, 2011

E-Poetry 2011 Festival of Techno Art

Having just settled down from the E-Poetry Festival which came to Buffalo, New York (where I live) I believe that I am prepared to offer some thoughts on the experience.

For those of you who have not yet jumped on the bandwagon, e-poetry and digital poetics (which are not really distinct from one another as far as I can tell) is an emerging category of artistic expression that is pushing the limits of what constitutes poetry. Indeed, it has inspired much debate as to whether or not digital poetics constitutes a literary art form.

Regardless of any prior opinion that exists on this topic, it is largely irrelevant. Poets have always fancied themselves the liberators of language and as writer who is inspired by the Beats among (many) others, it has always struck me that through these artists, that it was poetry itself that was trying to free itself from language. With the ironically named language poets you really do see a tendency to think about pre-lingual utterances that happen prior to what a linguist would properly constitute as language. Grunts, moans, ooohs, and ahhhs are every bit as prevalent in spoken langpo performances as syntactically perfect utterances.

Syntax itself becomes a prison from which language desperately tries to escape as luminaries such as Loss Glazier have made reference to, but it is not language that needs to be freed, it is poetry, which is as pervasive a force of nature as consumption and excretion. A failure to see the poetry in everyday life has left us alienated from not just language and each other, but life itself, the experience of being alive. We can blame this on language all we like but it is we who choose, who act, who remain bound and enslaved to notions which fix our images of the world into static forms. And language, while part of the problem, is also a solution.

If I recall correctly, it was Ian Hatcher who stated that to name a thing is the highest form of love, but such a sentiment fails to take into a account that there are at least seven different names for the substance referred to by the word "shit." For me, on the other hyperbolic end of this notion is that to name a thing is to kill it. Something I cannot fully believe but if given an opportunity to sentimentalize language would utter this instead. The reason for this is that to name a thing familiarizes it in such a was as to fix its image and preload it with all the experiences that are associated with it, which is really the point, I do not relate nearly as well to language as the artist who can make that claim.

I am very much a "devil's tools" kind of tactician, so to become a poet was a natural extension of my secret war.

But enough about that. Over the next few days I will blog about digital poetics, the artists who are working in the field, the sorts of ideas that are being thrown around, and the excitement that is being generated around it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Derrida & Binary Trees

Derrida in Dissemination speaks of the "double" and the "triplicity" of the concept, many times beginning with a dual opposition, and moving toward a dialectic transformation which con-fuses in an act of sublation, that Hegel refers to as abolishing and transcending.

In Of Grammatology this begins as a critique of Saussure's concept of the sign. The sign is a unity composed in opposition as a duality.

(sign) -> Signifier
-> Signified

To translate this concept of the concept, into computer terminology, you have in the signifier, a pointer which stands in the place of the reference to the value, which is the signified, the value itself.

The problem of such a methodology can be basically explained in terms of even the simplest expressions. Take for instance this utterance:

The tree is green.

The signifier is the raw text "The tree is green." The signified, the meaning, the value, of the utterance, means that there is a tree, and it is green.

The problem is that the green-ness of the tree, itself signifies (for instance) the season in which the tree exists, for winter trees are seldom green unless they're pines etc...

So in the discrete categorical logic of sign/signifier/signified, you have the reduplication of signifier/signified at the level of both the signifier and the signified.

That is to say, that a signified value can in fact, refer like a signifier to some extraneous meaning, that the categories in an of themselves, do not refer to some static relationship, but rather, are always codetermined by the relation of a signifier to a signified.

The effect of this is akin to the logic of a cause and an effect. If we imagine a row of dominoes toppling over, we can see that there is a first cause, which knocks over the first domino, and as an effect, it falls over. The next domino in the chain, will be knocked over on account of the domino which stands before it, which can now be seen as a cause.

So what we really end up describing is a state, and not a thing. The signifier itself is no-thing, it is merely the state of a relation between a label and a value. Furthermore, the operations which are the cause, necessity and desire for such a system, cannot be reduced to either relation, but rather must include both.

The structure of such a construction of the concept, would in all cases be identical to a binary tree. So let's say that you have 4 levels of bifurcation in a binary tree. How many references are there at the 4th level?

The answer to this question is our familiar binary logarithm of 2^N, ref:

0->1 & 2 (level 1) = 2^1
1-> 3 & 4, 2-> 5 & 6 (level 2) = 2^2
3-> 7 & 8, 4-> 9 & 10, 5-> 11 & 12, 6-> 13, 14 = (level 3) = 2^3 (8)


For those of you who are wondering what the hell I'm doing and why, I've been rereading through Dissemination and Of Grammatology, collecting and recollecting references to topics which relate to the thesis of the $This sentence is false$ essay.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Being, God, and Writing

Being, roughly translated is based on the Old Testament's Tetragrammaton and it comes out in translation as something like: he becomes which in Hebrew is all one word yah-way. In the Hebrew language in which the original version of the OT was written, vowel markings did not exist, so all that you are left with is the YHWH. Vowel markers were added several centuries later by grammarians.

Ehyeh asher ehyeh, I am that which I am, translated into Greek becomes  "ego eimi ho on", "I am the being." (Wiki entry is good).

Being as an is-ness, as a manifesting, or a presencing, is like God himself, What was, what is, and what will be. The Alpha and the Omega are tied in a a knot in a continuous line. Times have collapsed into sequences. Times are relative to a location in time. Extremes meet, and infinity is bound to a pulse, not a circle, but a circling, which itself opens up into a line.

The word Being is a complex verbal noun, a process which has been transmuted into an object. The primordial cause of all known effects. The Origin. It has been sufficiently disarticulated to be all encompassing.

The primordial impulse of western metaphysics is thus to disarticulate the ontological object, shave off those qualities which at once are unique to some object, and so exclude others.

In order to construct such an ontological object, one in which any unique attribute assigned to it would discern it from something else, one uses a process of negation. In the Christian tradition, such a meditative practice has been handed down by an unknown Christian Mystic in the form of the Cloud of Unknowing.

Now, I haven't really done a great deal of research on via negativa, but the general impression I get is this, when we invoke the name of an image, for instance, we can evoke the image, let's say: God is not the sunrise, you will think immediately of the godliness of the sunrise, and then negate the idea that God is the sunrise.

The effect of repeating this process, over and over, we suppress the impulse by which we collapse Being/God into a single image, and allow the image itself, to "stand in for" the concept.

By evoking the concept of God/Being over and over, collapsing it into solitary images, and then negating, erasing, or blotting out the image, we can turn off the projections, without turning off the projector.

This is accomplished through a linguistic and visual process, by which God/Being, is positively defined by a negation of any image you may associate with it, regardless of whether or not it is concrete or abstract or even some event.

An object so transmuted, would cease in time to refer by collapsing, to what is in truly, all of the things that it is not, but not merely any of them.

The process is roughly analogous to reduction. In effect, we are searching the lowest common denominator between all existing things. That being, that they are.

The sense then of a text written in a fashion which adheres to such a process, would necessarily not refer beyond its own semantics or signification as a process, and also become a performance of the questioning as opposed to an answer to a question.

Now, this rather Christian notion, deeply grounded in Western Metaphysical tradition, has become the foundation for its collapse and the history of this process, is undertaken specifically by Derrida and the post-modernists who followed. It is also founded on the very Eastern metaphysical concern that the Word/Sign/Signifier not be confused with the concept/thing which it signifies, since in actual fact, the two are separate. However, by not trying to make the concept the direct object of some text, and by making the flow of the logic and the flow of the language a performance of the thinking, the text itself, becomes an example of exactly that to which it refers, in fact, re-fusing, the word and concept into a single unity, by virtue of the fact that it regards the two as two distinct entities.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Poetry Reading

Hello all!

I will be doing a reading at Rust Belt Books with Matthew Cohen Dunleavy and Xavier Moriarty on Friday the 13th. It may or may not feature a new booklet hand pressed by yours truly. It will definitely feature exciting experimental works from some of the more interesting poets in the Buffalo area. If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by. The event should go from 7pm to 10pm. Thanks,


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Sentence is False

In FreeBASIC, a functional demonstration of "This sentence is false" as a binary logarithm using a recursive function... This is the most perfect proof that I can muster of a double binary. Who needs evidence when you have proof?


Original post:

function CutSwap ( byref txt as string, byval idx0 as integer, byval idx1 as integer, byref newtxt as string ) as string

dim as string firsthalf = LEFT(txt,idx0), secondhalf = RIGHT(txt,len(txt)-(idx1+1))
return firsthalf + newtxt + secondhalf

end function

function ThisSentenceIsFalse ( byref s as string, byval it as integer ) as string
if it<1 then return s
dim as string res = CutSwap( s, InStr( "This sentence", s)-1, len("This sentence"), s & " " )
return ThisSentenceIsFalse ( res, it-1 ) & " "
end function

? ThisSentenceIsFalse ( "This sentence is false", 7 )
? 2^7

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Materiality of Paradox

Whenever I am presented with a new idea, my first inclination is to head directly for all the cases that it cannot intrinsically handle, or in other words, the exceptions. The exceptions cannot “disprove” the theory. The theory's value is not in its rightness or wrongness, but rather, the quality with which it allows you to hedge your bets on the rode to discovery, and of course with the greatest efficiency. A theory's greatest test will be its willingness to self-correct and adapt, when a good guess proves untenable.

The best example that I can give to an ontological exception, is when a material object actually itself refers like a word to some meaning or value, a symbol like a flag, or a trophy. Here you can plainly see that what makes the object lingual, is immaterial.

But as objects can be made lingual, so language can be made material, but the reduction of one to the other causes a certain loss of information, both ways. The theory must then concede the argument that it is on some basic level, considering the immaterial negligible (verbal force/evaluation/meaning). It might even be said that the negligible is immaterial. Ha.

I've always been more interested in the verbal properties of language, but there are instances when the material properties of language express themselves verbally, in much the same fashion as machines act as producing objects, objects which can cause events.

Here, $This sentence is false$, has the mechanical property of being able to re-enter itself by infinite, metanymic substitution.

“This sentence” = “This sentence is false”

So, we can substitute the entire sentence for the part which represents the whole. After one re-entry we get “This sentence is false is false.” After two, “This sentence is false is false is false is false,” and this substitution will cause the number of “is false's” to double each iteration.

In this case the materiality of the sentence is expressed through a recursive re-entry, which allows the result of the last iteration, to be re-entered into the next operation. Thus this sentence is a linguistic representation, of the function, f(n) = 2^N, where N represents the amount of supplementations that have been enacted.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hello All

I have begun a new blog for featuring completed works of my digital poetry selection. Base Nothing has always been for critical essays and theory while Base Infinity has been a sketchbook for my poetry. I wanted to consolidate those poems which I consider to be "completed works" as opposed to "sketches" so I have started a third blog called Cardiac Neuropathy for such works. On it I will feature the definitive collection of my works which I consider to be "unimpeachably completed."

Take care all,


Friday, March 4, 2011

The Second Coming of Yeats' Poem

...As randomly generated by Infinite Monkeys. You can easily pick out the meter from the original Yeats poem; the new words are sort of interesting too.

murdering and shooting the descending engine
The speech cannot abnegate the summons;
descents intend; the thunder cannot rush;
emotional whistle is waited upon the gut,
The warmth - forced need is squandered, and everywhere
The innocence of fire is wavered;
The advanced lack all obscurity; while the survived
Are full of Jesus' prescription.
Surely some pipe is at hand
Surely the washed killing is at hand.
The skimmed knee! Hardly are those promises out
When a made problem out of reflex need
casts my thought: somewhere in the fades of the closed thing
A braid with static body and the success of a day,
A suspense bypassing and embattled as the paper,
is fornicateing its rhetorical facelessnesses, while all about it
dreams wills of the flat slouch prophecies.
The tool damns again; but now I make
That twenty bundles of swum inheritor
are wandered to architect by a loving blaze,
and what real tombstone, its terror come round at last,
brings towards dawn to be dredged?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Revelation as Script

Apocalyptic literature is fascinating because it is written in code. Part of the reason why people can interpret apocalyptic literature as being portents to current events is because the language is intentionally vague to the point of disarticulating specific references into emotionally charged essences, that not only hearken back to writers who would be well known among their select group, but use a collapsed set of symbols to convey direct meanings in a round about yet pointed way.

What's interesting is that Revelation was written by St John the Divine obviously sometime shortly after the reign of Nero, since he is implicitly mentioned by the Mark of the Beast. During Nero's reign, Christians were openly persecuted, being blamed for a great fire that many believed Nero himself set. He was a vicious and cruel man who willing to murder anyone who stood in his way, and the Christians made an easy scapegoat, so they were rounded up and publicly executed.

The fact that this text in essence looms over the unfolding of our history, it is no exaggeration to assume that those who take it literally, or understand it as a prediction, are stuck in the role of the viciously oppressed minority of a world that is beginning to come true.

We in essence, when accepting this book, are taking on the lenses of spectacles that are still emotionally charged with the baggage of a community still reeling from the grief of its losses. There is a great hatred for the world in which the writer finds himself situated, and a great desire to see it destroyed.

The effect it has as a code is to write a script. And this is a script now that is being partially written by scientists with doomsday scenarios concerning global warning.

The question that I've always pondered, is how do our myths write our history and in a broader sense, can they, and I do not mean myth in the pejorative sense of a falsehood. I think in the case of Revelation, its unfortunate placement at the end of the Bible, ensured that those memories would forever direct our energies. It trained us to see inhumanity where there was wickedness and gave us the justification to punish those who challenge our power as enemies of God.

In essence, Revelation is a repository for rage, which was at one time justified. Projected through the lens of the future, it becomes a never ending war against not only the oppressors, but all that they stood for.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stupid Poetry Generator

Alright, so I was playing with the associative engine of my poetry generator and it came up this chunk of nonsense:

I need the passionate longing behind the fetishized nothing & my nothings are bereft of things. & my thing is made of nothing. my other name is tool. my toollike name: tool. not just before the fetishizing blow, or the blow of blows, or fornication 's fornication. cried by the shine. not just before the glowed thing beheld that tells us telling us. the speech whispers us. speaking us. that we are swallow. more. than what we consume.

Thought I'd share, for the sake of humor.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hello All

I am currently working on a new, better version of the Random Sentence Generator. This version will be capable of:

1.) Alliteration
2.) Assonance
3.) Rhyme
4.) Metrical styling (beats per line)
5.) Associative Tags

It is currently running at about the same level of capacity as the original Sentence Generator, except without the glitches and all. I am also working on a better dictionary file which holds information on pronunciation, definition, stress/accents, tags, and principle parts for verbs etc...

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Poetics of Ugliness

It's difficult for a poetics of beauty to accurately come to terms with the world that I live in. Ugliness has its own beauty, I suppose, and it is in our despair and depression and our sense of hopelessness, our apocalypses that loom over every word we speak, that we find ourselves in the current midhaven of a poetics of sewage, tumors, insanity, and faith. We want to believe so badly in a God who hovers just beyond our perception who is willing to forgive us for our trespasses against the Earth, that we believe he will literally keep our environment in stasis no matter how little regard we show it. We believe that because our ancestors endured an ancient flood, we will not have to endure the same. How sad will it be when we realize that our prayers have merely been aimed at balls of helium and hydrogen millions of light years away, completely unaware of our existence.

Apocalyptic fantasies are the projections of species who are aware that their own lives are doomed to cease some time in the future. But they are also the fantasies of the oppressed who feel (rightly or wrongly) that a dominant power is corrupting the very world they cohabitate with it. To the children who are born with black lung disorders and asthma a poetics of beauty is a mockery of their reality. Who will take up their voices when poets believe in a looking glass universe and that perception is reality?

Perception is not reality. Reality existed before humans were alive to fetishize the sollipsism of their own self-obsessiveness. Who can write of beauty when the polluted air we breathe is killing our children. We wanted to grow up to be Romantics, like Wordsworth, who saw the beauty of nature and the wisdom of children. But we ended up caught in the Ryme of the Ancient Mariner, and here is where we must stay if we aspire to write the words that befit our place in time.

The only fitting metaphor for an economy that values growth above all things, is a malignant tumor destroying the very body that it feeds on for sustenance. A religion based on growth, is itself, much like a retrovirus or a prion which finds unlike cells and reprograms it with its own internal coding. Like psychotics, we have come to compartmentalize them in the moribund space of our own bodies, but we must recognize that the same basic mechanism that exists on an elemental level in proteins and tissues, finds another home (quite comfortably) in the human soul.

Nothing in nature can grow uncontrollably without necessarily destroying itself. These are lessons that we forget in our business models which are fashioned out our greed and our lust for power. A poetics that rejects the truth serves itself, and that which serves itself is reviled by the web of life and will in time be purged. We are seeing this happen now. We have made our apocalypses come true through years of systematic abuse. Abuse of our environment, we have turned out freshwater lakes to dead lifeless toilets while praying to a vacant god that would fulfill every promise of a destiny of renown. We want to suck in attention the way plants feed on sunlight, while investing in a dream of greed and egoic masturbation.

There will be no hand of God to save us if we cannot do the basic things that save ourselves, and to write about flowers and writing is (for a poet) to betray his duty as a thinker, like so many in so many other vocations who plod mindlessly toward a wormy doom.

The floods that drown our children and the sulfur rains that burn our skin will hardly destroy life itself, merely ourselves, and rightfully so. The research of our greatest thinkers who are coming up with replacement strategies for the burning of oil and coal are falling on deaf ears because the oil lobby is more powerful.

In the end, we will die much like Plato's Atlanteans who given all the technological prowess the gods themselves could not persist as they did without the virtue of their own foresight.

So when you ask yourself, why does this nice young man of good humor write such exotically ugly poetry, be reminded of the portents of the modern sciences which prophecy that we cannot by any means sustain the rate of consumption we are currently enjoying, nor house a place for all the waste we are producing without unfixably altering the chain of balance that is our biosphere. We are as a species, as of this moment, on suicide watch, and only the suicidal have devised a means of escaping the immanent doom that awaits our continued poor choices.