My favourite news item of today concerns Max Plank and a thread worm. It already has the sound of a Lovecraftian science fiction drama to me. x steve fly
Biologists Name Newly Discovered Threadworm After Physicist Max Planck
“When Japanese biologist Natsumi Kanzaki and his German colleague Matthias Herrmann collected a stag beetle from an oak forest in Fukushima province, they had no idea at the time about the surprise the impressive insect concealed: a microscopic threadworm, completely unknown to the zoologists until then, was hidden on the beetle’s body.
The official name Pristionchus maxplancki was bestowed on the new discovery in honour of theoretical physicist Max Planck (1858 — 1947). The worm, only a millimetre long, becomes the first organism to carry the name of the Nobel laureate from Göttingen. — http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709115148.htm
SEMIOTIC MACHINES: by Louis Armand, presents a number of passages that see James Joyce, McLuhan, Shannon, Weiner, Von Neumann, criss-crossing and pollinating the tale of the tribe with a Joycean, atomic, digital glossing. Also invoking Orson Welles through the reference to expanded cinema of Gene Yougblood, this essay exhibits the highest standards of critical writing on Joyce IMHO, and in the kind of prose i would like to see utilized to help explicate the questions of the tale of the tribe as defined by Robert Anton Wilson, Ezra Pound, Buckminster Fuller, and Joyce.–Steve fly
Above all, the importance of Joyce for McLuhan resides in the decisive role of Finnegans Wake in re-defining the late stages of print culture and the advent of digiculture (the so-called “postmodern moment”). In this sense, Joyce’s text assumes a pre-eminent status among the agents and historians of late modernity—among them John von Neumann, Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon, Lewis Mumford and Siegfried Giedion—and, along with the Mallarméan critique of the book and Marcel Duchamp’s satirisation of mechanical rationalism, the Wake becomes something of a benchmark in the early discourse of cyberspace.
Joyce’s technique of “verbivocovisual presentement”(5)—reprising the symbolist preoccupation with effects of synaesthesia—bears directly upon the conceptualisation of virtual reality and emersive signifying environments. Gene Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema (1970?), which proposes the integration of computing technology and other forms of telecommunications for the synaesthetic and syncretistic expansion of film, is heavily indebted to McLuhan’s reading of Finnegans Wake in Understanding Media (1964) and The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962). “The stripping of the senses and the interruption of their interplay in tactile synaesthesia,” McLuhan writes, “may well have been one of the effects of the Gutenberg technology”—of which Finnegans Wake is considered a kind of apotheosis.(6)
Interestingly, Baudrillard’s collapse of poles operates on dynamics similar to those expressed in Giordano Bruno’s Cause, Principle and Unity, whose coincidence of contraries extends binary values, like macro and micro, to such an extreme that they become equal, like two antithetical objects travelling in opposite directions on a single line that becomes a circle (8). As is well known, Bruno’s theory of the coincidence of contraries plays a substantial role throughout Finnegans Wake. Besides the fact that his name is often referenced and that merging binary values are frequently represented through Shem and Shaun, Issy and her mirror image, between father and sons, and mother and daughter–in all manner of conflicts familial or epic–the paradoxical function of Bruno’s theory surfaces in numerous aesthetic and epistemological issues in Finnegans Wake. The Museyroom, overture and prelude to all that follows, plays a pivotal role in complicating a system of differentials like past/present, factual/fictive, and inside/outside, thus exposing historiography and archive practices to the labyrinthine effects of paradox and inversion. — http://hjs.ff.cuni.cz/main/essays.php?essay=mcfeaters
While looking for a virtual textual gift for a friend of mine, who really loves Shakespeare, i came across this illuminating and superb essay:HCE and Jarl van Hoother on the Piss with the Porter. If you have the stamina and the time, and read a little of James Joyce’s book ‘Finnegans Wake’ i suspect you may find this essay a little pleasant.–steve fly
HCE and Jarl van Hoother on the Piss with the Porter.
In Macbeth the porter who responds to the knocking on the gate structures the speech he makes while responding to the knocking by counting the knocks. His counting punctuates his speech and divides it into five sections: an initial response to the knocking in which the porter imagines himself as the “porter of hell-gate,” and four questions on the identity of the person, or persons, knocking. More importantly, the porter’s counting of knocks establishes a pattern of four groups divided into three, two, three, and two: “Knock, knock, knock . . . Knock, knock . . . Knock, knock, knock . . . Knock, knock.” The prankquean episode stages a precise repetition of this pattern, but, in a deconstructive dislodging, overturns the signifiers that function within its parameters. The prankquean responds to Jarl’s refusal of her advances by kidnapping the “jiminy Tristopher” (21.21) and returning to “Woeman’s Land” (22.8) where she sustains the power of her desire, both sexual and political, by “raining” (22.18) and ‘reigning’ on the land. The signifiers of her desire are grouped in precisely the same mathematical configuration as the porter’s knocks. The prankquean first “rain, rain, rain,” (21.22), or ‘ran’ from the castle; then she starts “to rain and to rain” (21.31); next, she “rain, rain, rain” (22.9); and, finally, she starts “raining, raining” (22.18) once more. Both the porter’s “knock” and the prankquean’s “rain” are signifiers of desire. In Macbeth, the knock signify the desire to Lennox and Macduff to attend to the king’s needs and serve him as loyal subjects; in the Wake, the prankquean’s rains signify her desire to be served by Jarl. When Jarl fails to answer the prankquean’s riddle, she expresses her power by kidnapping and running (“raining”) back to the land where she sustains her ‘reign’ until Jarl meets her demands.
The prankquean episode is structured on a tripartite pattern that reflects the “three- times-is-a-charm” motif that “runs like a musical theme — with variations throughout the book.” This three-part structure is “associated with the structural system of cycles” that provide an important foundation for the Wake‘s narrative organization:
the Viconian rhythm of three ages and ricorso, the units of three tones and an interval, three attacks and a pause, three surges and a change, and the fairytale pattern of three tries and a magic ‘opening.’
In restaging this three-part pattern, the prankquean episode repeats another pattern that operates in the drunken porter scene. This first part of the second act’s third scene divides the revelation of the king’s death to Macduff into three sections: the porter’s speech and his opening of the gate, Macduff’s request for the king; and the peripeteian moment of Macduff’s three-fold cry, “O horror! horror! horror!”. This first part of the scene also stages three entrances that punctuate the action prior to Macduff’s realization of the king’s death: the entrances of the porter, Macduff and Lennox, and Macbeth. Macduff’s conversation with the porter, moreover, consists of three questions: an inquiry into why the porter sleeps so late; the request for information on the effects of drinking; and the questions “Is thy master stirring?” The porter’s narrative sustains the three-part pattern as it names the “three things” of which drink “is a great provoker”: “nose painting, sleep, and urine.”