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preservation and persistence of the changing book

Archive for March 3rd, 2013

the-ascent-of-books

trail mix

Here are three snippets without apparent tether; (1) the interdisciplinary graduate program in informatics instills skills to solve complex issues facing today’s society, (2) the UI is home to the only multi-arm bio printer in the world, and (3) at the Antelope Lending Library anything can be a document.

Such disparate snippets are synthesized in Paleopoetics a wonderful exposition of the cumulative process of cognitive evolution. Increasing remoteness is not an obstacle to popularization and paleo has taken over from retro. Still mysterious is the persuasive leverage of humanist cognitive exposition. We want to believe the mystery of explanation.

The allure of cognitive humanism is intensified if a deep past of semiotics can be zoomed forward to authenticate the current reversals of machine reading. Apparently this can also be accomplished by conceiving digital prehistory in a context of post human adventure.

weather

Have you noticed that for a difficult maneuver of craft skill we tend to lightly clench the tongue to impose concentrated, silent attention? If you accept a premise that we react much the same as previous people, even remote people, we can look around for persistent models of such selective cognitive response.

So, at our best behavior, we can work up and down the ladder of the layers of consciousness. We can focus on one or a few or layer together a merge of episodic, mimetic, mythic and theoretic perceptions. The point of attention could be an action of dexterity and tool use or a ritual performance or a response to the weather. Paring leather concentrates mimetic knowledge, ritual performance mythic and reaction to weather all of the perceptual layers including a theoretic sense of meteorology.

What sort of perceptual encounter is reading? Any or all of the layers of consciousness are in play. But here we need another layer too. This is the pretext or paratext layer of extra-somatic processing poised to displace bionic perceptions. This synthetic consciousness of the database, admittedly ancient in origins, is lately countering our more bionic narrative processing.

So for example, we can now react to the weather, before it happens. And we do. This added layer of consciousness, grafting extra-somatic intelligence, brings on a cyborg state.

reality acts as paradigm

This eerie complement (Hayles, 2012:123), (Collins, 2013:105) is wonderfully explained in our sacred texts; How We Think and Paleopoetics. Kate Hayles uses the exemplar of telegraph encoding/decoding while Christopher Collins uses the wave/particle exemplar from physics. In each case reality fulfills a model of perception.

Another eerie complement is paper. Paper in a bionic regime of communication is high in organic fiber and simulated bionic writing substrates such as parchment. Now in a hybrid communication regime, featuring transition to an inorganic silicon medium communication, paper has shifted to low fiber, higher inorganic composition and simulates glassy screen display substrates. Tough and tactile or electrophor and glassy, the two papers convey the bionic and silicon based communication regimes as exemplar complements. Details include paper adaptation from hand to computer-automated production, from handwriting to photo imaging end use, and from service of bionic to hybrid bionic/silicon communication transmission. Reality acts as paradigm.

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