Time’s Error

In order to grasp the essence of the historical process, or rather its lack of essence, we must acknowledge that all posthistorical truths are truths of error because they attribute a proper nature to what possesses nothing of the kind, a substance to what cannot have one. The theory of a double truth permits us to discern the place history occupies in the scale of unrealities, paradise of sleepwalkers, galloping obnubilation. The truth is, history does not quite lack essence, since it is the essence of deception, key to all that blinds us, all that helps us live in time.

 —E. M.  Cioran, Drawn and Quartered 

Programming Culture: Soft Thought and Lived Abstractions

Programming Culture: Soft Thought and Lived Abstractions

Randomness has become the condition of programming culture. … The computational aesthetic of the curve is now the dominant expression of postcybernetic control

—Luciana Parisi, Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space

For Parisi the abstractions of binary code, the algorithmic logic of mathematics that encodes the programmatic functions that are the drives and engines of our digital world have become “modes of living” – performing entities exposing the “internal inconsistencies of the rational system of governance, inconsistencies that correspond to the proliferation of increasingly random data within it. Instead of granting the infallible execution of automated order and control, the entropic tendency of data to increase in size, and thus to become random, drives infinite amounts of information to interfere with and to reprogram algorithmic procedures.” (p. 10) This randomizing or mutation of the digital matrix opens a door into the world without us, a realm in which the dividual entities of energetic modes of being outside the human take on the mentation of intellect thereby performing many of the functions humans once did: the ability and capacity to select, evaluate, transform, and produce data (p. 10).  In Parisi’s terms “this new level of determination forces governance to rely on indeterminate probabilities, and thus to become confronted with data that produce alien rules. These rules are at once discrete and infinite, united and fractalized. (p. 11)

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