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PS2 Note #3: Omnividence

More notes towards Postsingular #2, a.k.a. After Everything Awoke.

You can tune in on distant objects. The lazy eight link via the ubiquitous point at infinity is like the object in Jorge Luis Borges’s story, “The Aleph.” It’s like a crystal ball that displays whatever you want to see. Since the lazy eight link attaches to every possible location, the view is endlessly smooth and rich.

Quotes from Jorge-Luis Borges, “The Aleph,” in Collected Fictions, (Viking 1998, pp. 280-285).

“An Aleph is one of the points in space that contains all points…all the places of the world are within the Aleph [which is] the microcosm of the alchemists and Kabbalists, our proverbial friend the multum in parvo, made flesh!

“I come now to the ineffable center of my tale; it is here that a writer’s hopelessness begins. … In a similar situation, mystics have employed a wealth of emblems: a bird that somehow is all birds; a sphere whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere; an angel with four faces, facing east and west, north and south at once…Perhaps the gods would not deny me the discovery of an equivalent image, but then the report would be polluted with literature, with falseness…

“In that unbounded moment, I saw millions of delightful and horrible acts; none amazed me so much as the fact that all occupied the same point, without superposition and without transparency. What my eyes saw was simultaneous; what I shall write is successive… Something of it, though, I will capture.

“I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brightness. At first I thought it was spinning; then I realized that the movement was an illusion produced by the dizzying spectacles inside it. The Aleph was probably two or three centimeters in diameter, but universal space was contained inside it, with no diminution in size. Each thing … was infinite things, because I could clearly see it from every point in the cosmos. I saw the populous sea, … [a wonderful page-long Borgesian list ensues] …, saw my face and my viscera, saw your face, and I felt dizzy, and I wept because my eyes had seen that secret, hypothetical object whose name has been usurped by men but which no man has every truly looked upon: the inconceivable universe.

“I had a sense of infinite veneration, infinite pity.

“Out in the street…in the subway, all the faces seemed familiar. I feared there was nothing that had the power to surprise or astonish me anymore, I feared I would never again be without a sense of dj vu.

“Aleph … is the name of the first letter of the alphabet of the sacred language. Its application to the little sphere of my tale would not appear to be accidental…that letter signifies the pure and unlimited godhead [and] its shape is that of a man pointing to the sky and the earth, to indicate that the lower world is the map and mirror of the higher.”

5 Responses to “PS2 Note #3: Omnividence”

  1. gamma Says:

    this is bit like a sterched tree giggling as the 8 tutns as the vortex – as yuo know sirius is osiris & it is a double star twisting with special specral beans?

  2. Michael Martine Says:

    I remember a William Gibson Story (one of his “Sprawl” series–sorry, can’t remember which) in which an aleph was a self-contained virtual reality in which a man spent his life reliving the glory years with his celebrity girlfriend, who in reality had dumped him and moved on. The “shape” of the Aleph was exactly like the shape of all existence: a white cylinder extending infinitely above and below.

  3. linus r Says:

    certainly a Borges passage like this is not complete without THIS version of this song: play track one over and over….
    cdbaby dotcom/cd/tvpohsp

  4. gamma Says:

    i wish i could remember my name
    who am i
    i wish but nothing happens

  5. Steve H Says:

    gamma, you just need more RAM. Wait until Rudy gets his lazy-8 unrolled (you can probably get connected via Monkeybrains ISP).


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