SEMIOTIC MACHINES: by Louis Armand (Joyce, McLuhan, Shannon, Weiner, Von Neumann)

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)

TTOTT 2013: Go git’ yr’ pens and pads

TTOTT 2013 by Steven ‘fly’ Pratt.

Some of my readers, and a small portion of friends may be familiar with Robert Anton Wilson and his tale of the tribe, but, alas i imagine that most are not. If you stumbled upon this writing, and are out of facebook well done, I dearly wish you might give me a chance to turn you on.

I have shared the continued relevance and impact that the individuals and ideas from ‘the tale of the tribe’ have had, and are having on global humanity through a network of blogs and posts. I am also resending the same simple message here: read Robert Anton Wilson’s books and try out his ideas, again! This post consists of a short review of his ideas from TTOTT and current 2013 events and breakthroughs that have a direct correspondence to the characters.

Swooping from the global banking and credit circus to ‘open source’ software ‘The tale of the tribe’ forms a unique doorway into a coherent system, running from the renaissance to the present day, that helps frame some big questions pertaining to our times, a bawdy bunch and global cross-section of individuals and their works selected by Dr Wilson for an equal balance of high-brow and low brow, art and science and mysticism, all innovators and ahead of their time.


Most of them, worryingly to me, are still understudied overlooked and almost forgotten in the majority of mainstream Academic institutions, yet, together in synchrony and as the TRIBE, they bootstrap their influences and coherence into a group of 13–relatively unknown–super geniuses. A kind of renaissance super hero-gang. I think that Dr Wilson picked these characters very very very carefully, and of course, they still hold infinite potential for anybody crazy enough to begin studying em’ and carefully scaffolding between ideas, and, furthermore, I am certain they will be important for the future scenarios and technological breakthroughs during 2013 and ahead, in the spirit of the poet as early warning missile defence system.

“Pound & Joyce supplement each other
like Jefferson & Adams
each created a NEW non-aristotelian
for the tale of the tribe”–RAW

In one sense, the tale of the tribe includes some of the most complicated and scholarly works known to man: Finnegans Wake, Information Theory, General Semantics, Pound’s Cantos, Cybernetics, Ulysses, Media Studies and Quantum Mechanics. On the other hand, I think that Dr Wilson recognized this ‘too complicated’ factor, and might have been hinting, in part, that in the age of internet search engines and masses of shared data, translation software etc. the once esoteric works and ideas available to the select few, can now be read, decoded, studied and poured over, even when high…by anyone and everyone who can connect to the net. You don’t need no stinking Yale or Cambridge library, or even their professors, in many cases, you require a connection and whole lot of time, will and energy to invest in things that at first may not seem worth your while pursuing. I hope to persuade you otherwise.

“Distinguish also between faith-based programs [NO FEEDBACK]
and research-based programs [MAXIMUM POSSIBLE FEEDBACK].–RAW

For me today, the tale of the tribe boils down to the concept of humanity. The problems confronting everyman man, women and living system on planet earth today. Dr Wilson stressed a comprehensive strategy, a GLOBAL view, and he was known for having at least seven models for explaining anything. This wish to communicate and show compassion to all-around-humanity remains a goal of ‘TTOTT’ and at the same time liberate humanity, consciousness and our  daily doings from the boot and chains and guns of the oppressors:

Those who champion closed systems, surveillance, secrecy, violence, war and clandestine attacks on the emotional and physical strings of a mostly innocent humanity-as-a-whole. Those that fan the flames, do damage to names, switch the rules, the sneaky pundits and spin doctors, the war advertisers and the TV Mirage salespeople, those that wish the majority of us live in fear and in debt, be it to Gods or States-entities, they’re surely watching you even now. I hear you, and I think ‘TTOTT’ provides an historical current that runs counter to the above trending towards centralized control and secrecy, to shallow pools of bullshit passing as news and bad, wrongheaded single mindedness and bullying throughout the mediasphere. The decentralized universe of the mystics, poets, shaman & shawomen, neuro-scientists, design scientists and information theorists pushes against centralized control, both psychological and political (via. The digital hacktivist revolution) these are new forces that we have all heard about, if not felt in our daily life.

“can we see this emerging in psychedelics & internet?
or in Leary & McLuhan at least?”–RAW

Fly On The Tale Of The Tribe: A Rollercoaster Ride With Robert Anton Wilson

by Steven James Pratt


Continue reading “TTOTT 2013: Go git’ yr’ pens and pads”

Shannon Info, Jung-Paul Synchro, digital holographic DNA cosmology stuffing

Is preparing food for my nerdrons: Claude Shannon’s Information Theory and DNA sequencing as fresh news that seems to me a hopeful avenue for some cutting edge research: 
“What they prove is that there is a channel capacity that defines a maximum rate of information flow during the process of sequencing. ” It gives the maximum number of DNA base pairs that can be resolved per read, by any assembly algorithm, without regard to computational limitations,” they say.”
it’s a long wynding story, if you wanna’ likkle primer, watch this short video about Claude Shannon. I see this being useful as providing a framework (Shannon’s infomation theory) for thinking about human DNA RNA synthesis, and calculating better–more efficiently–so as to speed up the emerging DNA based medicine and therapy. It could be useful for every single aspect of human biological medicine, and at the same time, makes an explicit link between ‘digital bits‘ and ‘the biological ‘binary’ aspects of biology. ‘
So, to continue on this tip, and explain myself a little, it’s been my hunch over the last 3 or so years that the ‘holographic principle‘ co-founded by Dutch Nobel prized physicist: ‘Gerard t’hooft‘ and ‘information theory’ as developed by Claude Shannon, underly a somewhat hermetic ‘unified theory’. The above link to DNA sequencing, and the following link to ‘cosmological’ BIT Theory, if you like, are examples for the seriousness of this pretty ‘far out’ idea that, in some sense, the whole universe seems contained within each atom! or you could say a ‘Digital‘ Universe, or better yet Multi-verse. As above, a new ‘Digital’ DNA information theory, and below:
“Hogan’s noise arises if space is made of chunks. Blocks. Bits. Hogan’s noise would imply that the universe is digital.”

 p.s Physicist Jack Sarfatti has proposed similar idea’s that include Shannon’s maxim’s, and a neurological-cosmological ratio. I picked up on these ideas via Dr Robert Anton Wilson, who I suspect picked up some of these ideas from Jack, Saul Paul Sirag, David Bohm and others from the now legendary Bay Area based ‘Physics Consciousness Research Group‘ that he attended.

–Steve Fly


Shannon’s Mathematical Theory of Communication Applied to DNA Sequencing

If we could have James Joyce and Robert Anton Wilson in the mix we might get close to something very really close to ‘the tale of the tribe’. With a focus on RAW’s book ‘Coincidance’ in which he defines DNA based information theory through a Joycean measure of the redundancy of information, poetry as information, political speeches as low. love, fly.


Shannon’s Mathematical Theory of Communication Applied to DNA Sequencing

Nobody knows which sequencing technology is fastest because there has never been a fair way to compare the rate at which they extract information from DNA. Until now.
kfc 04/02/2012

One of the great unsung heroes of 20th-century science is Claude Shannon, an engineer at the famous Bell Laboratories during its heyday in the mid-20th century. Shannon’s most enduring contribution to science is information theory, which underpins all digital communication.
In a famous paper dating from the late 1940s, Shannon set out the fundamental problem of communication: to reproduce, at one point in space, a message that has been created at another. The message is first encoded in some way, transmitted, and then decoded.

Shannon’s showed that a message can always be reproduced at another point in space with arbitrary precision provided noise is below some threshold level. He went on to work out how much information could be sent in this way, a property known as the capacity of this information channel.

Shannon’s ideas have been applied widely to all forms of information transmission with much success. One particularly interesting avenue has been the application of information theory to biology–the idea that life itself is the transmission of information from one generation to the next.

That type of thinking is ongoing, revolutionary, and still in its early stages. There’s much to come.
Today, we look at an interesting corollary in the area of biological information transmission. Abolfazl Motahari and pals at the University of California, Berkeley, use Shannon’s approach to examine how rapidly information can be extracted from DNA using the process of shotgun sequencing.

The problem here is to determine the sequence of nucleotides (A, G, C, and T) in a genome. That’s time-consuming because genomes tend to be long–for instance, the human genome consists of some 3 billion nucleotides or base pairs. This would take forever to sequence in series.
So the shotgun approach involves cutting the genome into random pieces, consisting of between 100 and 1,000 base pairs, and sequencing them in parallel. The information is then glued back together in silico by a so-called reassembly algorithm.

Of course, there’s no way of knowing how to reassemble the information from a single “read” of the genome. So in the shotgun approach, this process is repeated many times. Because each read divides up the genome in a different way, pieces inevitably overlap with segments from a previous run. These areas of overlap make it possible to reassemble the entire genome, like a jigsaw puzzle.

That smells like a classic problem of information theory, and indeed various people have thought about in this way. However, Motahari and co go a step further by restating it more or less exactly as an analogue of Shannon’s famous approach.

They say the problem of genome sequencing is essentially of reproducing a message written in DNA, in a digital electronic format. In this approach, the original message is in DNA, it is encoded for transmission by the process of reading, and then it is decoded by a reassembly algorithm to produce an electronic version.

What they prove is that there is a channel capacity that defines a maximum rate of information flow during the process of sequencing. “It gives the maximum number of DNA base pairs that can be resolved per read, by any assembly algorithm, without regard to computational limitations,” they say.

That is a significant result for anybody interested in sequencing genomes. An important question is how quickly any particular sequencing technology can do its job and whether it is faster or slower than other approaches.

That’s not possible to work out at the moment because many of the algorithms used for assembly are designed for specific technologies and approaches to reading. Motohari and co say there are at least 20 different reassembly algorithms, for example. “This makes it difficult to compare different algorithms,” they say.

Consequently, nobody really knows which is quickest or even which has the potential to be quickest.

The new work changes this. For the first time, it should be possible to work how close a given sequencing technology gets to the theoretical limit.

That could well force a clear-out-dead-wood from this area and stimulate a period of rapid innovation in sequencing technology.

Ref: Information Theory of DNA Sequencing

Bit By Bit, ‘The Information’ Reveals Everything

March 8, 2011

The Information, written by James Gleick, covers nearly everything — jungle drums, language, Morse code, telegraphy, telephony, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, genetics and more — as it relates to information, which he describes as the “fundamental core of things.” Information theory can now be seen as the overarching concept for our times, describing how scientists in many disciplines see a common thread to their work.

Gleick’s book spans centuries and geographic locations, but one person stays throughout the story for almost 400 pages: Claude Shannon, an engineer and mathematician who worked at Bell Labs in the mid-20th century. Shannon created what is now called information theory, Gleick tells Robert Siegel on All Things Considered:

“He was the first person to use the word ‘bit’ as a scientific unit of measuring this funny abstract thing that until this point in time scientists had not thought of as a measurable scientific quantity.”

Bits are more commonly recognized as the 1s and 0s that enable computers to store and share information, but can also be thought of in this context as a yes/no, either/or or on/off switch. Gleick describes the bit as “the irreducible quantum of information,” upon which all things are built.

Just like Isaac Newton took vague words like “force” and “mass” that had fuzzy contemporary meanings and turned them into specific mathematical definitions, “information” now can refer to a specific scientific definition similar to a bit.

“Binary yes or no choices are at the root of things,” Gleick explains. The physicist John Archibald Wheeler coined an epigram to encapsulate the concept behind information theory: “It from bit.” It described the idea that the smallest particle of every piece of matter is a binary question, a 1 or a 0. From these pieces of information, other things could develop — like DNA, matter and living organisms. The field of information theory, in addition to creating new meanings for words like “information,” also builds upon knowledge from other scientific disciplines such as thermodynamics, even though the result may be a little tough to understand.
James Gleick also wrote Chaos: Making a New Science, which popularized the idea of the butterfly effect. His books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Phylis Rose

James Gleick also wrote Chaos: Making a New Science, which popularized the idea of the butterfly effect. His books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

“When Claude Shannon first wrote his paper and made a connection between information and the thermodynamic concept of entropy, a rumor started around Bell Labs that the great atomic physicist John von Neumann had suggested to Shannon, ‘Just use the word entropy — no one will know what you’re talking about, and everyone will be scared to doubt you.’ “

Though it may be a difficult subject to conceptualize, entropy does have a deep connection to information science, Gleick says. Entropy is associated with disorder in thermodynamic systems, and analogously so in informational systems. Though it may seem paradoxical to link information to disorder, Gleick explains that each new bit of information is a surprise — if you knew what a particular message contained, there would not be information in it.

“Information equals disorder, disorder equals entropy and a lot of physicists have been both scratching their heads and making scientific progress ever since,” Gleick says.

In the everyday — not scientific — sense, an object like the moon only seems to contain information when we perceive it and develop thoughts about it, whether that’s the man in the moon, the moon being made of cheese or the moon driving people to madness. But Gleick says that even without our perceiving it, the moon is more than just matter — it still has its own bits of intrinsic information.

“It sounds mystical, and I can’t pretend that I fully understand it either, but it’s just one of the many ways in which scientists have discovered a conception of information that helps them solve problems in a whole range of disciplines.”

We can see now that information is what our world runs on: the blood and the fuel, the vital principle. It pervades the sciences from top to bottom, transforming every branch of knowledge. Information theory began as a bridge from mathematics to electrical engineering and from there to computing. What English speakers call “computer science” Europeans have long since known as informatique, informatica, and Informatik. Now even biology has become an information science, a subject of messages, instructions, and code. Genes encapsulate information and enable procedures for reading it in and writing it out. Life spreads by networking. The body itself is an information processor. Memory is stored not just in brains but in every cell. No wonder genetics bloomed along with information theory. DNA is the quintessential information molecule, the most advanced message processor at the cellular level—an alphabet and a code, 6 billion bits to form a human being. “What lies at the heart of every living thing is not a fire, not warm breath, not a ‘spark of life,'” declares the evolutionary theorist Richard Dawkins. “It is information, words, instructions. . . . If you want to understand life, don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology.” The cells of an organism are nodes in a richly interwoven communications network, transmitting and receiving, coding and decoding. Evolution itself embodies an ongoing exchange of information between organism and environment.

“The information circle becomes the unit of life,” says Werner Loewenstein after thirty years spent studying intercellular communication. He reminds us that information means something deeper now: “It connotes a cosmic principle of organization and order, and it provides an exact measure of that.” The gene has its cultural analog, too: the meme. In cultural evolution, a meme is a replicator and propagator—an idea, a fashion, a chain letter, or a conspiracy theory. On a bad day, a meme is a virus.