An original tale of love and machine learning. PDF >> “Dimensionality Curses”
Published by Oasis Journal, a project of Holum Press.
Just remembered this great joke from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy:
PREFECT: You should prepare yourself for the jump into hyperspace; it’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
ARTHUR: What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
PREFECT: Just ask a glass of water.
“The invention of the Morse alphabet in 1837 was promptly followed by the tapping specters of spiritistic seances sending their messages from the realm of the dead. Promptly as well, photographic plates-even and especially those taken with the camera shutter closed-furnished reproductions of ghosts or specters, whose black-and-white fuzziness only served to underscore the promise of resemblance. Finally, one of the ten applications Edison envisioned for his newly invented phonograph in the North American Review ( 1878) was to record “the last words of dying persons.”
It was only a small step from such a “family record, “with its special consideration of revenants, to fantasies that had telephone cables linking the living and the dead. What Leopold Bloom in Ulysses could only wish for in his Dublin graveyard meditations had already been turned into science fiction by Walter Rathenau, the AEG chairman of the board and futurist writer. In Rathenau’s story “Resurrection Co.,” the cemetery administration of Necropolis, Dacota/USA, following a series of scandalous premature burials in 1898, founds a daughter company entitled ‘Dacota and Central Resurrection Telephone Bell Co.’ with a capital stock of $750,000. Its sole purpose is to make certain that the inhabitants of graves, too, are connected to the public telephone network. Whereupon the dead avail themselves of the opportunity to prove, long before McLuhan, that the content of one medium is always another medium-in this concrete case, a deformation professionelle.
These days, paranormal voices on tape or radio, the likes of which have been spiritistically researched since 1959 and preserved in rock music since Laurie Anderson’s 1982 release Big Science, inform their researchers of their preferred radio wavelength. This already occurred in 1898, in the case of Senate President Schreber: when a paranormal, beautifully autonomous ‘base or nerve language’ revealed its code as well as its channels, message and channel became one. ‘You just have to Introduction 13 choose a middle-, short-, or long-wave talk-show station, or the ‘white noise’ between two stations, or the ‘Jurgenson wave,’ which, depending on where you are, is located around 1450 to 1600 kHz between Vienna and Moscow. ‘ If you replay a tape that has been recorded off the radio, you will hear all kinds of ghost voices that do not originate from any known radio station, but that, like all official newscasters, indulge in radio self-advertisement. Indeed, the location and existence of that ‘Jürgenson wave’ was pinpointed by none other than ‘Friedrich Jürgenson, the Nestor of vocal research.’
The realm of the dead is as extensive as the storage and transmission capabilities of a given culture. As Klaus Theweleit noted, media are always flight apparatuses into the great beyond. If gravestones stood as symbols at the beginning of culture itself, our media technology can retrieve all gods. The old written laments about ephemerality, which measured no more than distance between writing and sensuality, suddenly fall silent. In our mediascape, immortals have come to exist again.”
—Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter
“I’ve invented nothing; I’ve simply been the secretary of my sensations” — Emil Cioran
Gayatri Spivak on J.M. Coetzee:
“It is this particular ambivalence in poems that seems exciting for this translator to access, as she makes the mistake of thinking the named subject is she. Thus the ambivalence seems to offer a codicil to that bit in Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians that she had so liked: how does the other see me? Identity’s last secret. Coetzee describes the Magistrate describing his deciphering effort thus:
‘So I continue to swoop and circle around the irreducible figure of the girl, casting one net of meaning after another over her… What doe she see? The protecting wings of a guardian albatross or the black shape of a coward crow afraid to strike when its prey yet breathes?’ ”
An Aesthetic Education In The Era of Globalization, pg. 273
“Magic is bloody untruth, but in it domination is not yet disclaimed by transforming itself into a pure truth underlying the world which it enslaves. The magician imitates demons; to frighten or placate them he makes intimidating or appeasing gestures. Although his task was impersonation he did not claim to be made in the image of the invisible power, as does civilized man, whose modest hunting ground then shrinks to the unified cosmos, in which nothing exists but prey. Only when made in such an image does man attain the identity of the self which cannot be lost in identification with the other but takes possession of itself once and for all as an impenetrable mask.” (Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment)
“Whatever is profound loves masks; what is most profound even hates image and parable. Might not nothing less than the opposite , be the proper disguise for the shame of a god? A questionable question: it would be odd if some mystic had not risked something to that effect in his mind…A man whose sense of shame has some profundity encounters his destinies and delicate decisions, too, on paths which few ever reach and of whose mere existence his closest intimates must not know: his mortal danger is concealed from their eyes, and so is his regained sureness of life. Such a concealed man who instinctively needs speech for silence and for burial in silence and who is inexhaustible in his evasion of communication, wants and sees to it that a mask of him roams in his place through the hearts and heads of his friends. And supposing he did not want it, he would still realize some day that in spite of that a mask of him is there – and that this is well. Every profound spirit needs a mask: even more, around every profound spirit a mask is growing continually, owing to the constantly false, namely shallow , interpretation of every word, every step, every sign of life he gives.” — Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
(image by Aldous Massie)