Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dense and Thick. Future Present. Mark Pesce, Chu, Fly.

Mark Pesce - Words.
CHU - Images.
Steve 'Fly Agaric'' - Mixing


Dense and Thick

Part One: The Golden Age

In October of 1993 I bought myself a used SparcStation. I’d
just come off of a consulting gig at Apple, and, flush with
cash, wanted to learn UNIX systems administration. I also
had some ideas about coding networking protocols for shared
virtual worlds. Soon after I got the SparcStation installed in
my lounge room – complete with its thirty-kilo monster of a
monitor – I grabbed a modem, connected it to the RS-232
port, configured SLIP, and dialed out onto the Internet. Once
online I used FTP, logged into SUNSITE and downloaded the
newly released NSCA Mosaic, a graphical browser for the
World Wide Web.

I’d first seen Mosaic running on an SGI workstation at the
1993 SIGGRAPH conference. I knew what hypertext was –
I’d built a MacOS-based hypertext system back in the 1980s
so I could see what Mosaic was doing, but there wasn’t much
there. Not enough content to make it really interesting. The
same problem that had bedeviled all hypertext systems since
Douglas Englebart’s first demo, back in 1968. Without
sufficient content, hypertext systems are fundamentally
uninteresting. Even Hypercard, Apple’s early experiment in
Hypertext, never really moved beyond the toy stage. To make
hypertext interesting, it must be broadly connected – beyond
a document, beyond a hard drive. Either everything is
connected, or everything is useless.

In the three months between my first click on NCSA Mosaic
and when I fired it up in my lounge room, a lot of people had
come to the Web party. The master list of Websites –
maintained by CERN, the birthplace of the Web – kept
growing. Over the course of the last week of October 1993, I
visited every single one of those Websites. Then I was done. I
had surfed the entire World Wide Web. I was even able to
keep up, as new sites were added.

This gives you a sense of the size of the Web universe in those
very early days. Before the explosive ‘inflation’ of 1994 and
1995, the Web was a tiny, tidy place filled mostly with
academic websites. Yet even so, the Web had the capacity to
suck you in. I’d find something that interested me –
astronomy, perhaps, or philosophy – and with a click-clickclick
find myself deep within something that spoke to me
directly. This, I believe, is the core of the Web experience, an
experience that we’re so many years away from we tend to
overlook it. At its essence, the Web is personally seductive.
I realized the universal truth of this statement on a cold night
in early 1994, when I dragged my SparcStation and boatanchor
monitor across town to a house party. This party, a
monthly event known as Anon Salon, was notorious for
attracting the more intellectual and artistic crowd in San
Francisco. People would come to perform, create,
demonstrate, and spectate. I decided I would show these
people this new-fangled thing I’d become obsessed with. So,
that evening, as front the door opened, and another person
entered, I’d sidle along side them, and ask them, “So, what are
you interested in?” They’d mention their current hobby –
gardening or vaudeville or whatever it might be – and I’d use
the brand-new Yahoo! category index to look up a web page
on the subject. They’d be delighted, and begin to explore. At
no point did I say, “This is the World Wide Web.” Nor did I
use the word ‘hypertext’. I let the intrinsic seductiveness of
the Web snare them, one by one.

Of course, a few years later, San Francisco became the
epicenter of the Web revolution. Was I responsible for that?
I’d like to think so, but I reckon San Francisco was a bit of a
nexus. I wasn’t the only one exploring the Web. That night at
Anon Salon I met Jonathan Steuer, who walked on up and
said, “Mosaic, hmm? How about you type in
‘’?” Steuer was part of the crew at work,
just few blocks away, bringing WIRED magazine online.
Everyone working on the Web shared the same fervor – an
almost evangelical belief that the Web changes everything. I
didn’t have to tell Steuer, and he didn’t have to tell me. We
knew. And we knew if we simply shared the Web – not the
technology, not its potential, but its real, seductive human
face, we’d be done.

That’s pretty much how it worked out: the Web exploded from
the second half of 1994, because it appeared to every single
person who encountered it as the object of their desire. It
was, and is, all things to all people. This makes it the perfect
love machine – nothing can confirm your prejudices better
than the Web. It also makes the Web a very pretty hate
machine. It is the reflector and amplifier of all things human.
We were completely unprepared, and for that reason the Web
has utterly overwhelmed us. There is no going back. If every
website suddenly crashed, we would find another way to
recreate the universal infinite hypertextual connection.
In the process of overwhelming us – in fact, part of the
process itself – the Web has hoovered up the entire space of
human culture; anything that can be digitized has been
sucked into the Web. Of course, this presents all sorts of
thorny problems for individuals who claim copyright over
cultural products, but they are, in essence swimming against
the tide. The rest, everything that marks us as definably
human, everything that is artifice, has, over the last fifteen
years, been neatly and completely sucked into the space of
infinite connection. The project is not complete – it will never
be complete – but it is substantially underway, and more will
simply be more: it will not represent a qualitative difference.
We have already arrived at a new space, where human culture
is now instantaneously and pervasively accessible to any of
the four and a half billion network-connected individuals on
the planet.

This, then, is the Golden Age, a time of rosy dawns and bright
beginnings, when everything seems possible. But this age is
drawing to a close. Two recent developments will, in
retrospect, be seen as the beginning of the end. The first of
these is the transformation of the oldest medium into the
newest. The book is coextensive with history, with the largest
part of what we regard as human culture. Until five hundred
and fifty years ago, books were handwritten, rare and
precious. Moveable type made books a mass medium, and lit
the spark of modernity. But the book, unlike nearly every
other medium, has resisted its own digitization. This year the
defenses of the book have been breached, and ones and zeroes
are rushing in. Over the next decade perhaps half or more of
all books will ephemeralize, disappearing into the ether,
never to return to physical form. That will seal the
transformation of the human cultural project.

On the other hand, the arrival of the Web-as-appliance means
it is now leaving the rarefied space of computers and mobiles129
as-computers, and will now be seen as something as mundane
as a book or a dinner plate. Apple’s iPad is the first device of
an entirely new class which treat the Web as an appliance, as
something that is pervasively just there when needed, and put
down when not. The genius of Apple’s design is its extreme
simplicity – too simple, I might add, for most of us. It
presents the Web as a surface, nothing more. iPad is a portal
into the human universe, stripped of everything that is a
computer. It is emphatically not a computer. Now, we can
discuss the relative merits of Apple’s design decisions – and
we will, for some years to come. But the basic strength of the
iPad’s simplistic design will influence what the Web is about
to become.

eBooks and the iPad bookend the Golden Age; together they
represent the complete translation of the human universe into
a universally and ubiquitously accessible form. But the
human universe is not the whole universe. We tend to forget
this as we stare into the alluring and seductive navel of our
ever-more-present culture. But the real world remains, and
loses none of its importance even as the flashing lights of
culture grow brighter and more hypnotic.

external image g09lies_11-650x139.jpg

Part Two: The Silver Age

Human beings have the peculiar capability of endowing
material objects with inner meaning. We know this as one of
the basic characteristics of humanness. From the time a child
anthropomorphizes a favorite doll or wooden train, we imbue
the material world with the attributes of our own
consciousness. Soon enough we learn to discriminate
between the animate and the inanimate, but we never
surrender our continual attribution of meaning to the
material world. Things are never purely what they appear to
be, instead we overlay our own meanings and associations
onto every object in the world. This process actually provides
the mechanism by which the world comes to make sense to
us. If we could not overload the material world with meaning,
we could not come to know it or manipulate it.

This layer of meaning is most often implicit; only in works of
‘art’ does the meaning crowd into the definition of the
material itself. But none of us can look at a thing and be
completely innocent about its hidden meanings. They
constantly nip at the edges of our consciousness, unless, Zenlike,
we practice an ‘emptiness of mind’, and attempt to
encounter the material in an immediate, moment-to-moment
awareness. For those of us not in such a blessed state, the
material world has a subconscious component. Everything
means something. Everything is surrounded by a penumbra
of meaning, associations that may be universal (an apple can
invoke the Fall of Man, or Newton’s Laws of Gravity), or
something entirely specific. Through all of human history the
interiority of the material world has remained hidden except
in such moments as when we choose to allude to it. It is
always there, but rarely spoken of. That is about to change.

One of the most significant, yet least understood implications
of a planet where everyone is ubiquitously connected to the
network via the mobile is that it brings the depth of the
network ubiquitously to the individual. You are – amazingly
– connected to the other five billion individuals who carry
mobiles, and you are also connected to everything that’s been
hoovered into cyberspace over the past fifteen years. That
connection did not become entirely apparent until year, as the
first mobiles appeared with both GPS and compass
capabilities. Suddenly, it became possible to point through
the camera on a mobile, and – using the location and
orientation of the device – search through the network.
This technique has become known as ‘Augmented Reality’, or
AR, and it promises to be one of the great growth areas in
technology over the next decade – but perhaps not the
reasons the leaders of the field currently envision. The
strength of AR is not what it brings to the big things – the
buildings and monuments – but what it brings to the smallest
and most common objects in the material world. At present,
AR is flashy, but not at all useful. It’s about to make a
transition. It will no longer be spectacular, but we’ll wonder
how we lived without it.

Let me illustrate the nature of this transition, drawn from
examples in my own experience. These three ‘thought
experiments’ represent the different axes of a world which is
making the transition between implicit meaning, and a world
where the implicit has become explicit. Once meaning is
exposed, it can be manipulated: this is something unexpected,
and unexpectedly powerful.

51 CHU cube
51 CHU cube

Example One: The Book

Last year I read a wonderful book. The Rest is Noise:
Listening to the Twentieth Century, by Alex Ross, is a
thorough and thoroughly enjoyable history of music in the
20th century. By music, Ross means what we would
commonly call ‘classical’ music, even though the Classical
period ended some two hundred years ago. That’s not as
stuffy as it sounds: George Gershwin and Aaron Copland are
both major figures in 20th century music, though their works
have always been classed as ‘popular’.

Ross’ book has a companion website,,
which offers up a chapter-by-chapter samples of the
composers whose lives and exploits he explores in the text.
When I wrote The Playful World, back in 2000, and built a
companion website to augment the text, it was considered
quite revolutionary, but this is all pretty much standard for
better books these days.

As I said earlier, the book is on the edge of ephemeralization.
It wants to be digitized, because it has always been a message,
encoded. When I dreamed up this example, I thought it
would be very straightforward: you’d walk into your
bookstore, point your smartphone at a book that caught your
fancy, and instantly you’d find out what your friends thought
of it, what their friends thought of it, what the reviewers
thought of it, and so on. You’d be able to make a well-briefed
decision on whether this book is the right book for you.
Simple. In fact, Google Labs has already shown a basic
example of this kind of technology in a demo running on

But that’s not what a book is anymore. Yes, it’s good to know
whether you should buy this or that book, but a book
represents an investment of time, and an opportunity to open
a window into an experience of knowledge in depth. It’s this
intension that the device has to support. As the book slowly
dissolves into the sea of fragmentary but infinitely threaded
nodes of hypertext which are the human database, the device
becomes the focal point, the lens through which the whole
book appears, and appears to assemble itself.

This means that the book will vary, person to person. My
fragments will be sewn together with my threads, yours with
your threads. The idea of unitary authorship – persistent
over the last five hundred years – won’t be overwhelmed by
the collective efforts of crowdsourcing, but rather by the
corrosive effects of hyperconnection. The more connected
everything becomes, the less likely we are prone to linearity.
We already see this in the ’tl;dr' phenomenon, where any text
over 300 words becomes too onerous to read.

Somehow, whatever the book is becoming must balance the
need for clarity and linearity against the centrifugal and
connective forces of hypertext. The book is about to be
subsumed within the network; the device is the place where it
will reassemble into meaning. The implicit meaning of the
book – that it has a linear story to tell, from first page to last –
must be made explicit if the idea and function of the book is to

The book stands on the threshold, between the worlds of the
physical and the immaterial. As such it is pulled in both
directions at once. It wants to be liberated, but will be utterly
destroyed in that liberation. The next example is something
far more physical, and, consequentially, far more important.

Cover Your Tracks (3D Sketch) By CHU
Cover Your Tracks (3D Sketch) By CHU

Example Two: Beef Mince

I go into the supermarket to buy myself the makings for a nice
Spaghetti Bolognese. Among the ingredients I’ll need some
beef mince (ground beef for those of you in the United States)
to put into the sauce. Today I’d walk up to the meat case and
throw a random package into my shopping trolley. If I were
being thoughtful, I’d probably read the label carefully, to
make sure the expiration date wasn’t too close. I might also
check to see how much fat is in the mince. Or perhaps it’s
grass-fed beef. Or organically grown. All of this information
is offered up on the label placed on the package. And all of it
is so carefully filtered that it means nearly nothing at all.

What I want to do is hold my device up to the package, and
have it do the hard work. Go through the supermarket to the
distributor, through the distributor to the abattoir, through
the abattoir to farmer, through the farmer to the animal itself.
Was it healthy? Where was it slaughtered? Is that abattoir
healthy? (This isn’t much of an issue in Australia, or New
Zealand. but in America things are quite a bit different.) Was
it fed lots of antibiotics in a feedlot? Which ones?
And – perhaps most importantly – what about the carbon
footprint of this little package of mince? How much CO2 was
created? How much methane? How much water was
consumed? These questions, at the very core of 21st century
life, need to be answered on demand if we can be expected to
adjust our lifestyles so as minimize our footprint on the
planet. Without a system like this, it is essentially impossible.
With such a system it can potentially become easy. As I walk
through the market, popping items into my trolley, my device
can record and keep me informed of a careful balance
between my carbon budget and my financial budget, helping
me to optimize both – all while referencing my purchases
against sales on offer in other supermarkets.

Finally, what about the caloric count of that packet of mince?
And its nutritional value? I should be tracking those as well –
or rather, my device should – so that I can maintain optimal
health. I should know whether I’m getting too much fat, or
insufficient fiber, or – as I’ll discuss in a moment – too much
sodium. Something should be keeping track of this.

Something that can watch and record and use that recording
to build a model. Something that can connect the real world
of objects with the intangible set of goals that I have for
myself. Something that could do that would be exceptionally
desirable. It would be as seductive as the Web.

The more information we have at hand, the better the
decisions we can make for ourselves. It’s an idea so simple it
is completely self-evident. We won’t need to convince anyone
of this, to sell them on the truth of it. They will simply ask,
‘When can I have it?’ But there’s more. My final example
touches on something so personal and so vital that it may
become the center of the drive to make the implicit explicit.

external image cuttysark_final800-335x650.jpg

Example Three: Medicine
Four months ago, I contracted adult-onset chickenpox.
Which was just about as much fun as that sounds. (And yes,
since you’ve asked, I did have it as a child. Go figure.) Every
few days I had doctors come by to make sure that I was
surviving the viral infection. While the first doctor didn’t
touch me at all – understandably – the second doctor took my
blood pressure, and showed me the reading – 160/120, a bit
too uncomfortably high. He suggested that I go on Micardis,
a common medication for hypertension. I was too sick to
argue, so I dutifully filled the prescription and began taking it
that evening.

Whenever I begin taking a new medication – and I’m getting
to an age where that happens with annoying regularity – I am
always somewhat worried. Medicines are never perfect; they
work for a certain large cohort of people. For others they do
nothing at all. For a far smaller number, they might be toxic.
So, when I popped that pill in my mouth I did wonder
whether that medicine might turn out to be poison.
The doctor who came to see me was not my regular GP. He
did not know my medical history. He did not know the
history of the other medications I had been taking. All he
knew was what he saw when he walked into my flat. That
could be a recipe for disaster. Not in this situation – I was
fine, and have continued to take Micardis – but there are
numerous other situations where medications can interact
within the patient to cause all sorts of problems. This is well
known. It is one of the drawbacks of modern pharmaceutical

This situation is only going to grow more intense as the
population ages and pharmaceutical management of the
chronic diseases of aging becomes ever-more-pervasive.
Right now we rely on doctors and pharmacists to keep their
own models of our pharmaceutical consumption. But that’s a
model which is precisely backward. While it is very important
for them to know what drugs we’re on, it is even more
important for us to be able to manage that knowledge for
ourselves. I need to be able to point my device at any
medicine, and know, more or less immediately, whether that
medicine will cure me or kill me.

Over the next decade the cost of sequencing an entire human
genome will fall from the roughly $5000 it costs today to less
than $500. Well within the range of your typical medical test.
Once that happens, will be possible to compile
epidemiological data which compares various genomes to the
effectiveness of drugs. Initial research in this area has already
shown that some drugs are more effective among certain
ethnic groups than others. Our genome holds the clue to why
drugs work, why they occasionally don’t, and why they
sometimes kill.

The device is the connection point between our genome –
which lives, most likely, somewhere out on a medical cloud –
and the medicines we take, and the diagnoses we receive. It is
our interface to ourselves, and in that becomes an object of
almost unimaginable importance. In twenty years time, when
I am ‘officially’ a senior, I will have a handheld device – an
augmented reality – whose sole intent is to keep me as
healthy as possible for as long as possible. It will encompass
everything known about me medically, and will integrate with
everything I capture about my own life – my activities, my
diet, my relationships. It will work with me to optimize
everything we know about health (which is bound to be quite
a bit by 2030) so that I can live a long, rich, healthy life.
These three examples represent the promise bound up in the
collision between the handheld device and the ubiquitous,
knowledge-filled network. There are already bits and pieces
of much of this in place. It is a revolution waiting to happen.
That revolution will change everything about the Web, and
why we use it, how, and who profits from it.

24 Phase CHU CUBE
24 Phase CHU CUBE

Part Three: The Bronze Age

By now, some of you sitting here listening to me this
afternoon are probably thinking, “That’s the Semantic Web.
He’s talking about the Semantic Web.” And you’re right, I am
talking about the Semantic Web. But the Semantic Web as
proposed and endlessly promoted by Sir Tim Berners-Lee was
always about pushing, pushing, pushing to get the machines
talking to one another. What I have demonstrated in these
three thought experiments is a world that is intrinsically so
alluring and so seductive that it will pull us all into it. That’s
the vital difference which made the Web such a success in
1994 and 1995. And it’s about to happen once again.

But we are starting from near zero. Right now, I should be
able to hold up my device, wave it around my flat, and have an
interaction with the device about what’s in my flat. I can not.
I can not Google for the contents of my home. There is no
place to put that information, even if I had it, nor systems to
put that information to work. It is exactly like the Web in
1993: the lights on, but nobody home. We have the capability
to conceive of the world-as-a-database. We have the
capability to create that database. We have systems which
can put that database to work. And we have the need to
overlay the real world with that rich set of data.

We have the capability, we have the systems, we have the
need. But we have precious little connecting these three.
These are not businesses that exist yet. We have not brought
the real world into our conception of the Web. That will have
to change. As it changes, the door opens to a crescendo of
innovations that will make the Web revolution look puny in
comparison. There is an opportunity here to create industries
bigger than Google, bigger than Microsoft, bigger than Apple.
As individuals and organizations figure out how to inject data
into the real world, entirely new industry segments will be

I can not tell you exactly what will fire off this next revolution.
I doubt it will be the integration of Wikipedia with a mobile
camera. It will be something much more immediate. Much
more concrete. Much more useful. Perhaps something
concerned with health. Or with managing your carbon
footprint. Those two seem the most obvious to me. But the
real revolution will probably come from a direction no one
expects. It’s nearly always that way.

There no reason to think that Wellington couldn’t be the
epicenter of that revolution. There was nothing special about
San Francisco back in 1993 and 1994. But, once things got
started, they created a ‘virtuous cycle’ of feedbacks that
brought the best-and-brightest to San Francisco to build out
the Web. Wellington is doing that to the film industry; why
shouldn’t it stretch out a bit, and invent this next generation
web-of things’?

This is where the future is entirely in your hands. You can
leave here today promising yourself to invent the future, to
write meaning explicitly onto the real world, to transform our
relationship to the universe of objects. Or, you can wait for
someone else to come along and do it. Because someone
inevitably will. Every day, the pressure grows. The real world
is clamoring to crawl into cyberspace. You can open the door.


Mark Pesce - Words.
CHU - Images.
Steve 'Fly Agaric'' - Mixing

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reading Finnegans Wake backwards.

Reading Finnegans Wake backwards. by Fly Agaric 23.

And as I was jogging along in a dream as dozing I was dawdling, arrah, methought broadtone was heard and the creepers and the gliders and flivvers of the earth breath and the dancetongues of the woodfires and the hummers in their
ground all vociferated echoating: Shaun! Shaun! Post the post!” 404.

John Sinclair invited me to the Firey Tongues Festival held at Ruigoord, Amsterdam, where I was subjected to several ‘live’ poetry performances at the tranquil setting.

The feeling of being near the squatted church at Ruigoord in Holland was tipped over the edge of cool by encountering the poetry of Robert Priest reading from his new work titled 'reading the bible backwards. Something about his brilliant methodology captured the vibe of questioning God, ‘Reality’ and everything else that oozed out from the choice selection of wordsmiths and wise warrior writers.

A wild band of international troubadours gathered together to exercise the tongue and keep the novelty wave of history on its trajectory ever outwards, and ever inwards, the information expansion that you feel when in the presence of poets, bards and humanists, steersman of the infinite tongue of being.

‘Reading the Bible Backwards’ by Robert Priest made me shiver and shout, it got stuck right in my eyeball and has grew on me like fungus, since being infected with this new viral meme: backwards bible reading I have turned back to Finnegans Wake: a readymade Bible of backwards genius and futurology, I think. Please excuse my Joyce fiending.

Robert Priest’s book of poems has a heavy cosmological and mathematical basis I suspect, and like a current running between James Joyce and Marshall McLuhan, Priest seizes the time-space of 2010 cosmology and intersperses the truth of his place in spacetime, covering Dark Matter, religion & DJ's.

Robert Priest poetically is writing holographic prose in praise of ‘backwards’ interpretations. Reverse engineering of our neurological networds, fully embracing the omni-directional sense of our 2010 connectivity times. Plus, Priest has added the centrifugal force of the turntable's as one inspiration for his work and the turntables are a musical instrument I often romance in my writing and musical network projects.

So I simply recommend you visit Robert’s website and get a copy of ‘Reading the bible backwards’, furthermore visit my blogpost about the fiery tongues festival where I was fortunate to meet Robert and other performers during a break. John Sinclair continued his incredible informative radio show tradition, and crafted a selection of 'live' recordings from the event, shared at radiofreeamsterdam, show number 325. Cheers John.

Here is the first part of my simple search and re-reading of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (with page number), a part of my on-going research into hypertext and synchronicity:

Hubbleforth slouch in his slips backwords (Et Cur Heli!) in the directions
of the duff and demb institutions about ten or eleven hundred
years lurch away in the moonshiny gorge of Patself on the Bach.” 73.

a onestone parable, a rude breathing on the void of to be, a venter hearing his
own bauchspeech in backwords, or, more strictly, but tristurned
initials, the cluekey to a worldroom beyond the roomwhorld, for
scarce one” 100

a part of the whole as a port for a whale; Dear Hewitt Castello, Equerry,
were daylighted with our outing and are looking backwards to
unearly summers, from Rhoda Dundrums” 135.

Hear, O worldwithout! Tiny tattling! Backwoods, be wary!
Daintytrees, go dutch!“ 244.

And his eyelids are painted. If my tutor here
is cut out for an oldeborre I'm Flo, shy of peeps, you know. But
when he beetles backwards, ain't I fly? Pull the boughpee to see
how we sleep.” 248.

He knows his Finsbury Follies backwoods
so you batter see to your regent refutation. Ascare winde is rifing
again about nice boys going native.” 374
I am, thing Sing Larynx, letter potent to
play the sem backwards like Oscan wild or in shunt Persse
transluding from the Otherman or off the Toptic or anything off the
types” 419.

-- God save the monk! I won't mind this is, answering to
your strict crossqueets, whereas it would be as unethical for me
now to answer as it would have been nonsensical for you then
not to have asked. Same no can, home no will, gangin I am.
Gangang is Mine and I will return. Out of my name you call me,
Leelander. But in my shelter you'll miss me. When Lapac walks
backwords he's darkest horse in Capalisoot. You knew me once
but you won't know me twice. 487.

I could guessp to her name who tuckt you that
one,tufnut! Bold bet backwords. For the loves of sinfintins! Before the
naked universe. 624.

any hygienic day to this hour and to
make my hoath to my sinnfinners, even if I get life for it, upon
the Open Bible and before the Great Taskmaster's (I lift my hat!)” 36.

Single wrecks for the weak, double axe for the mail, and quick
queck quack for the radiose. Renove that bible. You will never
have post in your pocket unless you have brasse on your plate.” 579.

next those ars, rrrr! those ars all bellical, the highpriest's hieroglyph of kettletom and oddsbones, wrasted redhandedly from our hallowed rubric prayer
for truce with booty” 122.

Good safe firelamp! hailed the heliots. Goldselforelump!
Halled they. Awed. Where thereon the skyfold high,
trampatrampatramp. Adie. Per ye comdoom doominoom noonstroom.
Yeasome priestomes. Fullyhum toowhoom. Taawhaar?
Sants and sogs, cabs and cobs, kings and karls, tentes and
taunts. 'Tis gone infarover. So fore now, dayleash. Pour deday. To
trancefixureashone. Feist of Taborneccles, scenopegia, come!
Shamwork, be in our scheining! And let every crisscouple be so
crosscomplimentary, little eggons, youlk and meelk, in a farbiger
pancosmos.” 613.

I just spent approximately one hour searching Finnegans Wake for words linking to the Robert Priest book ‘reading the bible backwards’ for the reasons outlined above.

As with most of my searches into the wake, a few strange links emerged from my searching, hyperlinks from my previous readings and activities. For one thing, the last entry I visited was page 613, due to searching the word Priest which appears on that page. Earlier today I made a Tweet’ “Stephen Hawking on rivers, James Joyce on traveltime physics” and used the word ‘pancosmos’ due to the fact that ‘pancosmos’ is the only words that a search for ‘cosmo’ threw up. Pancosmos is on page 613, not far from the word Priest.

Also I previously blogged about Finnegans Wake and the Astrophysicist Hubble, based on Joyce's: ‘Hubbleforth slouch in his slips’ and the next words are ‘backwords (Et Cur Heli!)’ so, the phrase came up in my ‘backw’ search and reiterates my contention about Finnegans Wake, holographic prose and holographic cosmology hypertext, I guess.

The phrase ends with the word Bach. Bringing us to the fugue and the kinds of symmetrical holographic music forms that also provide insight into the Universe and Mind.
When will they reassemble it? O, my back, my back, my bach!” 213.
Backwards becomes ‘Backwords’ in the Wake that is full of reverse and alternative omni-directional readings. Another small synchronicity was with the words ‘sinfintins’ pg. 624’ and ‘sinnfinners’ pg. 36; that came to my attention while searching for the word ‘bible’ in the Wake. I find that these words of sin, finn and infinity, with an added overtone of Sinn Fein fit the ‘bible’ theme, and reading the bible backwards.

Oh, and I almost forgot about MONK! on page 487 Joyce writes --God Save the Monk!" and in the same paragraph we find "When Lapac walks backwords he's darkest horse in Capalisoot." back to Bach to Backwords, Bach words, and Thelonious Monk.

And, looking for some more hyperlinks to add just now, I realized I made a post on April 1st titled GOD SAVE THE MONK! that I forgot about, another surprise.
every telling has a taling and that's the he and the she of it.” 213.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The difference is merely a matter of convention.

"Bekenstein summarizes that "Thermodynamic entropy and Shannon entropy are conceptually equivalent: the number of arrangements that are counted by Boltzmann entropy reflects the amount of Shannon information one would need to implement any particular arrangement..." of matter and energy. The only salient difference between the thermodynamic entropy of physics and the Shannon's entropy of information is in the units of measure; the former is expressed in units of energy divided by temperature, the latter in essentially dimensionless "bits" of information, and so the difference is merely a matter of convention. HOLOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLE



RAW Joyce Quaternions & Hologlyfly

Friday, March 19, 2010


ROBERT ANTON WILSON and the DJVJ Revolution.

I dedicate this writing to Ken Campbell and the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, and Ole'England, to the creative artists who use music, theatre, and multimedia inspire others to interpret and spread the wisdom and ideas of Dr. Robert Anton Wilson across all four corners of the metaphorical, toast.

Approx. three years ago, Matt Black and Mixmaster Morris spearheaded a multimedia tribute to Robert Anton Wilson held at the Royal Queen Elizabeth Festival Hall in London. This event set the vanguard for a new decade of technology and cyber-culture directed toward expanding consciousness and connecting the emergent 'hyperintelligent' social newtworks into a comprehensive praxis of edutainment.

I played a small role in this event by way of my relationship with Deepleaf productions and Maybelogic that helped link up Matt B. and Dr. Wilson for some of the exsquisite video material used in the 2.5 hour extravaganza. With some help I also managed to find an independent host for the entire show, and have been ruthlessly promoting the event since March 2007 together with other sharable RAW related projects.

Over the last three years a lot has happened for the characters involved with this show and here I hope to touch upon some of these events and build a cultural map, with Dr. Robert Anton Wilson firmly in mind.

Ken Campbell
On the 31st of August 2008 the great British writer, comedian, actor Ken Campbell passed over, the comic-glue who pulled the whole RAW tribute event together as the ring master and master of ceremonies for that evening. Not afraid to follow in RAW’s footsteps and explore the 'Chapel Perilous' of his writings; Ken preserved the biting wit and information rich satire that I find budding in RAW and that seems to me desperately missing from the popular conspiracy movement and the alternative social network revolution. Equally, if studied and carefully extracted from these great exemplary figures and their works, what might be missing can indicate the ingrediants for a new synthesis.

There have been a number of fitting tributes to the life of Ken Campbell and I hope that someday, maybe somebody will produce an equally stunning multimedia tribute to Ken, like that which was made for Bob (RAW).

Jung’s Dream & Number 223
On a personal note I, like RAW have traced most of my reasoning for being here to Jung’s dream (Page 223 of Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections) situated in Liverpool, a dream that inspired the creation of the science fiction theatre Liverpool, the theatre which the ‘science fiction group inhabited’ first opened on the day Jung died (6th June, 1961) and is the theatre where John Lennon and the Beatles first sang Yellow submarine, you can read about this on page 223 of Cosmic Trigger by Dr. Wilson.

The fact that Jung called Liverpool the ‘pool’ of life may be due to this dream he had that I found of particular interest as it concerns the discovery of a swimming pool. More than approx. half of the dreams that have come to me, and I have wrestled into the waking world concern bodies of water.

I should add that I first came across the works of Robert Anton Wilson in the mid 1990’s while living in the UK and the sources of my discovery lead me to deduct that Bill Drummond and the KLF, who were the rich cultural icons carrying the RAW flame in the UK at that time, probably led to my coming across Cosmic Trigger. Bill Drummond leads back to Liverpool and 1976 when he was working briefly alongside Ken Campbell, and in the RAW tribute video describes how he first came across the book Illuminatus Trilogy!

Bill spoke of his new seventeen project and ‘no music day’ that also came up on radio show (2009) on the 'late late breakfast show' that also featured my friend John Sinclair, who admires 'Wild' Bill Drummond, which brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to the JAMS. The JAMS!

Word to the wise: Bill Drummond Burns a Million Quid.

RAW attracted me to the United States in 2000 A.D and led me on a five year journey acriss-cross the United States and back to Europe (2005). In fact, the day after the Royal Tribute to RAW I flew out from London to Amsterdam and have lived here since then up to 2010. I once caught up with Matt Black and Mike Ladd andColdcut when they played the club 'Paradiso' in 2008.

When I ask myself the simple question ‘why am I here’ the best short answer is because of Jung’s dream, that Ken Campbell start's off his fantastic and perfect choice role as narrator and ring-master of the Robert Anton Wilson memorial concert.

Due to the tragic loss of the great comic 'Ken Campbell' I hope that in his memory others will research and continue his work, re-enact his plays and read his words aloud. My contributions so far are only within the synchro-mesh that surrounds Liverpool and RAW.

Coldcut and Ninjatune and Big Dada.
Since the London performance Coldcut and the constellation of artists that appear under that umbrella have produced countless ‘live’ shows, recorded and released ‘tracks’ ‘albums’ and even a conscious social green movement called energyunion, continuing their trajectory into the uncharted territory of multimedia manipulation and networked sound arts and activism.

As some of the first visual jockeys (VJ's) and inventors of the first VJ software that I am aware of: VJAMMColdcut and by extension Ninjatune have been the mainstay of my case for introducing some principles and methodologies from Dr. Wilson into the new cultural infotech-sphere.

I was first attracted to Ninjatune by way of the Jazz Breaks series around 1994 and some of the early releases from Journey's by DJ’s, Luke Vibert, DJ Food, Amon Tobin and Funki Porcini. This new sound together with the emerging Bristol-bass scene, some Drum and Bass brewing from both Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the sounds of James Lavelle’s 'Mo-Wax' imprint; more or less shaped my musical cultural leaning and inspired me to aquire turntables, a mixer and start sharing tunes with others and mixing em' together in a Novel way.

One sure fire sign that Ninjatune, or somebody at Ninjatune, had a respect for RAW came when they released NINJASKINS: Ninjatune signature rolling papers that came with a wonderfully intelligent fold out package describing various terms and phrases of Ninjatune philosophy.

A local encounter with a UK Graffiti artist CHU blossomed into a collaboration with another UK graffiti artist and music producer PART2 that was released on Ninjatune’s sister label ‘Big Dada records’ that was recently featured in a UK Hip Hop exposition. The track was called Quantum Mechanix’ from the album Equalibrium by New Flesh For Old, now shortened to New Flesh.

I should point out here that this was a one off release and I was a mere guest on the album, and that I played drums on the track while turntable scratching was provided by DJ Weston. But still I carried the album to the US in 2000 AD wishing to turn on Bob to Big Dada and Ninjatune, and my own ‘superstring theory’ recording, and perhaps collaborate on something, such were my naive desires as a 23 year old kid with his head in the clouds.

RAW Moving pictures album.
After spending some time with RAW at the Prophets Conference Palm Springs and in San Francisco, I was finally invited to his home to conduct an interview on September 10th 2002.

It was here he told me about a movie project he was working on with some locals tentatively called Maybelogic, and so like a good researcher; I got in contact with 'Deepleaf productions' and soon turned them on to Matt Black and Ninjatune, and some other musical entities I thought had an affinity with RAW such as 'Kosmic Renaissance' (The Supplicants). For this linking I was generously given associate producer credits on the finished movie, plus music I mashed-up featured on the DVD menu music featuring my mentor and Garaj Mahal bassist, Kai Eckhardt.

With the kind hearted and good spirited contributions to this DVD project from many sources it turned into my dream album in some sense, a movie all about RAW with a soundtrack by Ninjatune, more or less my favourite things.

Maybe it was all wishful thinking and I had done nothing more than send an email link, but for me after this spree of good fortune I would be a tireless promoter of this movie, of the Maybelogic Academy (that sprung up in 2004 to provide online classes with RAW himself) and of Ninjatune philosophy, although by no means representing Ninjatune officially, just by playing many of their records for over sixteen years and crediting them with inspiring me to experiment with 'psychedelic' DJ sets and mixing techniques. I simply resonate with their early philosophy of Funk, Jazz, Dub and Hip Hop mashups.

Since 2007 and moving to Amsterdam my musical diet has changed dramatically once again, almost leaving behind electronic music generally to develop 'live’ music and writing projects, greatly influenced by my encounter with the giant of music, poetry, activism, and the MC5: John Sinclair.

So today in March 2010, writing about Ninjatune lacks the original spark it first struck me with in the 1990’s, before I started writing, before Internet. Back then the new 'sample' sound hypnotized me deeply, but now has morphed into tones of Sun Ra, John Cage, Jimi and Miles... I am romancing Ninja to rekindle a flame in my heart and so pulling a particular lens gell upon COLCUT: a collective of artists on the Ninjatune label (and who appear upon many other labels of the independent persuasion) that happen to feature two members that instigated the imprint in the early 1990's.

Together with Mixmaster Morris, and Juxta, Coldcut produced the Robert Anton Wilson Tribute show in London that I have picked as the centre point for this writing, and in my opinion is the most information rich multimedia event to date.

"Although the circumstances for this event were somewhat rare and the resources to reproduce such an event based on donations for the most part, I still feel it stands as an testimony to Multimedia edutainment at its most terse and best, almost fully formed in its experimental launch that night the video teaches by example how educational lectures may look and sound like over the new decade.--Matt Black."

Royaley RAW Edutainment
Although the show is 3 years old it has not picked up dust, only moonlight, and seems more relevant each day that passes, it stands as a great experimental interface between cinema, music, theatre, comedy and poetry that I feel culturally binds America, Britain and the rest of Europe and the entire World due to its shared global web presence and open source offering's.

All schools, colleges and University programs would benefit from such an interactive DJ VJ interface to present artistic interpretations of intellectual topics and biographical data.

Alan Moore.

For me Alan Moore produces consistent work that secure his place as the greatest living Britain; one of the best, a genius in fact, and a widely celebrated creative interpreter of 'art and reality engineering', buttered with RAW’s maps and recipes.

To see and hear Alan reading from ‘Masks of the Illuminati’ and his wonderfully bright ‘eulogy’ for RAW, was a heart thumping highlight of the evening in London, listening to Alan’s Northern accent made me feel at home and really proud to be British, and to be honest I don’t often get patriotic feelings like that. A propa warrior mystic Midlands monk, I rekon. He performance was alike RAW performing 'cameo' in the Black Mass scene of the Illuminatus the stage performance in Liverpool, directed by Ken Campbell 31 years previous.

And with the added ambiance of the occasion (that of the passing of Robert Anton Wilson) Alan really put five cherries on top of the Escher cake, his first words from Masks included “A watchmaker in Amsterdam...” The following morning, as I said, I flew to Amsterdam and the 'Jam in the Dam' festival to meet with the band Galactic from New Orleans.

I have a long list of thanks and wish to add some extra names to those on the E-flyer’ Matt Black, Lance Boucher, Nigel Blunt, Nick Larson, Part2, Ninjatune office staff, Juice Aleem, John Sinclair, Galactic, Mixmaster Morris, Mike Ladd, Propanon, Toby Philpott, Chu.

Steven 'Fly Agaric 23' Pratt
Amsterdam NL.

And now for something a little different...

PART II Jung’s Dream Revisited.

A constellation of synchronicities surround a dream that Carl Jung had, twas based in Liverpool. A dream that led to Robert Anton Wilson visiting Liverpool and Ken Campbell producing the Illuminatus Stage paly and, Bill Drummond coming into orbit with the Northern renaissance, but not in that order.

John Lennon and the Beatles first performed yellow Submarine at the Cavern, also on Mathew street, Liverpool, and Jung died on the day it opened on June 6th, 1961. Please note Jung visited Lucia Joyce in Northhampton and Jung prescribed James Joyce's Finnegans Wake to the Western World as good medicine. Alan Moore writes about Lucia Joyce and the Northhampton 'Intersection points' and 'syncro-mesh'.

As a student of synchronicity, by way of RAW, best explicated in his book ‘Coincidance: A head test’ I'm somewhat familiar with this synchromesh around Carl Jung and his Liverpool based dream. And was happy when Ken Campbell reignited my interest when describing the events at the ‘Coldcut and Mixmaster Morris Tribute to RAW’ held in the Royal Festival Hall London.

Three years after that memorable occasion I have been steered back to Jung’s dream, partly due to the writing of my own dream book ‘Shannanigums Wave’ over those three years, and my continual reading and re-reading of RAW, James Joyce, my personal favourite writers whom I feel wonderfully complement one-another.

The opportunity to present my independent research in this area has arisen due to Evolver and the ‘Dream’ theme of the planned April 21st ‘Evolver Spore’ or (art and edutainment salon). I hope that in combining a mixture of RAW inspired dream content based upon a Jungian’ framework, and with a plash’ of Joyce thrown in I can capture the ‘reality’ of some dreams, and provide sharable tools for others to interpret their dreams and dream-states, or those of others.

The future congress of like-minded ‘dream’ evolvers looks to create an environment where dreams and thoughts about dreams can be shared and openly discussed. My idea for a ‘Jung’s dream’ spore here in Amsterdam is only my first thought on the matter, and I hope to share the available time and resources available so that everyone has an opportunity to interact with the group if they wish. My choice of a RAW inspired glossing of the event reflects my affiliations with the Maybelogic Academy, something else I would encourage people to bring any questions or queries about to the spore.

Two or more audio/video presentations:

  • 1. Ken Campbell introducing Jung’s dream, taken from the London Raw tribute.
  • 2. RAW speaking of Synchronicity and Isomorphism in Finnegans Wake
  • 3. ‘Jung’s Dream’ DJ set by Fly Agaric 23

Other activities and fields of resonance include Hyperbolic Crochet, pancakes, live theatre, comedy, meditation, live music, smoking, dancing, sharing mixed and mashed media, magic truffles.

Recommended reading list:

  • 1. Coincidance by Robert Anton Wilson
  • 2. Mankind and His Symbols by Carl Jung
  • 3. Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson
  • 4. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.
Ken Campbell: We did it in Liverpool because Peter O'Hallaghan had come across a dream in Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The dream changed Jung's life, persuaded him to buckle down to the Unconscious for the rest of his life. Anyway, on page 223 he says something like: I was in a dark and grimy city. It was clearly Liverpool. It goes on . . . And this began to obsess Peter who was a proud Liverpoolophile. -
At O'Halligan's venue, known as the Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, artists became immersed in readings, performances and bizarre experiments. "It was the inspirational talking shop, where dole-queue dreamers developed their big ideas," Bill Drummond says. -

A Tribute to Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson - Maybe Logic: The Lives And Ideas Of Robert Anton Wilson

Catalog#: none
Format: DVD
Country: US
Released: 2003
Genre: Non-Music
Style: Interview, Political, Education, Speech


Tuning In

Childhood Mysteries

Discordian Infallibility

Quantum Gamble

PPS Pain

Existential Maps

PPS Medicine

Conspiratorial Responsibility

Magick Science

Sirius Pookha


Green Donkey


Santa Cruz Protest


Infinite B.S.

End Credits


Artwork By [Package Design] - Propane Studio
Directed By, Written-By - Lance Bauscher
Executive Producer - Timothy F.X. Finnegan
Featuring - Douglas Rushkoff , Ivan Stang , Paul Krassner , R.U. Sirius , Tom Robbins , Valerie Corral
Music By - Amon Tobin , Animals On Wheels , Boards Of Canada , Cinematic Orchestra, The , Funki Porcini , Ognen Spiroski , Pullman , Rick Walker , Supplicants, The , Tarentel
Music By [Dvd Menu] - Fly Agaric 23
Narrator - Robert Anton Wilson
Other [Associate Producers] - Amanda Dofflemyer , Fly Agaric 23 , Katherine Covell
Other [Best Boy] - Robert Anton Wilson
Other [Camera] - Amanda Dofflemyer , David Allen , Ivan Stang , Katherine Covell , Lance Bauscher , Robert Dofflemyer
Producer, Edited By, Artwork By [Designed By] - Cody McClintock , Lance Bauscher , Robert Dofflemyer

Contains over 3 hours of material including Maybe Logic feature, expanded interviews with all the featured RAW cohorts, maybe logic exercises, and original, non-simultaneously, DVD-randomized footage of the best of Pope Bob.

More info available from

Jung as a writer
By Susan Rowland

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2010 watch-list #1