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Universe of Dots

Vilém Flusser’s model of the history of culture is what he calls the game of abstraction. Thrown into the four-dimensional world, human beings first abstract out three-dimensional objects, distance themselves from these with two-dimensional images, to which, in turn, they respond critically with one-dimensional texts. From the texts’ linear logic, thinking in terms of causal connections is derived, historical thought in which there is an ontological reason. This results from the remnants of the things that remain after abstraction. Truth is the adaption of this model to these things (adaequatio intellectus et rei).

Then linear textual codes are recoded as computer numerical codes. The simultaneity with which a mathematical equation relates quantities of individual dots to one another is a characteristic of the mathematical code. It does not expand; it is zero-dimensional. Every dot can be related simultaneously to every other dot.

Differential calculus (which closes the gaps between natural numbers) and analytical geometry make it possible to adapt the mathematical object to the expanded object completely; after this final step of abstraction, there is no remainder anymore. The concept of truth becomes impossible. The direction reverses; abstraction becomes projection. The world consists of concentrations of dots, of fields of possibilities.

This means that everything existing is something that is made, that is surveyed (computed) from dots, is a realization of the possibilities contained in the abstract universe, and every one of these realizations is dependent on a standpoint. These standpoints are linked and interact with one another via communication structures. The information computed from the dots is transmitted between the nodes.

Following Democritus’s and Lucretius’s idea of falling drops, in this communicative situation the things of the world emerge from the universe of dots. In contrast to Plato’s eternal ideas, the universe of dots constitutes an Epicurean flow: for something to exist, it has to be constantly computed, again and again.

Original article by Philipp Tögel in Flusseriana

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universe_dots.txt · Last modified: 2023/02/27 22:17 by steffi_winkler