S1E4 Variables

GURSKY, ANDREAS: CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE II (1999)

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Proteus City aims to know all things, past, present, and future. It is the realization of the collaborative project to build the environment as The Great Library, in which inhabitants relentlessly trade their individual knowledge. All citizens are equal in their contribution to the shared vision, letting countless shifted perspectives continuously renegotiate the environment in which complete truth remains a constant fugitive.

Noise in Variables: STATEMENT (2020)

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Noise in Variables: MOVIE (2020)

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Noise in Variables: PROTEUS CITY (2020)

Noise in Variables: ARGUMENT (2020)

Francisci, Erasmus: Der höllische Proteus (1695)

noise in variables: white noise (2020)

WIKIPEDIA: KNOWLEDGE (2020)

WARBURG, ABY: ATLAS MNEMOSYNE (1924)

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RUFF, THOMAS: JPEG MSH01 (2004)

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How much noise has to be made to still the noise ?

Serres, Michel: Noise (1983)

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It became a test case for ideas of crowd intelligence: users endlessly debated the reliability—in theory and in actuality—of articles written in an authoritative tone by people with no credentials, no verifiable identity, and unknown prejudices. Wikipedia was notoriously subject to vandalism. It exposed the difficulties—perhaps the impossibility—of reaching a neutral, consensus view of disputed, tumultuous reality. The process was plagued by so-called edit wars, when battling contributors reversed one another’s alterations without surcease.

GLEICK, JAMES: THE INFORMATION (2011)

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GURSKY, ANDREAS: CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE II (1999)

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Noise in Variables: PROTEUS CITY (2020)

Noise in Variables: PROTEUS CITY ZOOM-IN (2020)

Noise in Variables: PROTEUS CITY ZOOM-IN (2020)

Noise in Variables: PROTEUS CITY ZOOM-IN (2020)

Noise in Variables: PROTEUS CITY (2020)

Noise in Variables: PROTEUS CITY NIGHT (2020)

Noise in Variables: ARSENAL (2020)

noise, noun

[uncountable] information that is not wanted and that can make it difficult for the important or useful information to be seen clearly

OXFORD LEARNERS DICTIONARY: DEFINITION (2020)

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In the view of Claude Shannon, noise is anything that interferes with the transmission of a signal.

SHANNON, CLAUDE: INFORMATION THEORY (1900)

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Noise in Variables: SIGNAL (2020)

ECKERT, FRITZ: STOCKHOLM TELEPHONE TOWER (1887)

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Noise in Variables: MULTIPLICITY OF SIGNALS (2020)

UNKOWN: WHITE NOISE (2020)

WIKIPEDIA: KNOWLEDGE (2020)

Noise in Variables: INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE (2020)

(latin) nausea, ae f. : seasickness, nausea, need to vomit, disgust

(greek) nausea f. : seasickness, travel sickness

(greek) naus f. : ship

ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARIES: ETYMOLOGY (2020)

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There then is the origin. Noise and nausea, noise and nautical, noise and navy have the same etymology. We shouldn't be astonished for we never hear white noise [bruit de fond] better than when at sea. This noise, be it calm or vehement, seems to have been established for all time. On a strict horizontal plane, stable or unstable flows of water constantly exchange places. Space is completely invaded by noise; we are completely occupied by the same noise. The agitation is everywhere to be heard, beside the signals, beside the silence.

[...]

How much noise has to be made to still the noise?

SERRES, MICHEL: NOISE (1983)

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FRANCISCI, ERASMUS: DER HOLLISCHE PROTEUS (1695)

Proteus, in Greek mythology, the prophetic old man of the sea and shepherd of the sea’s flocks (e.g., seals). He was subject to the sea god Poseidon, and his dwelling place was either the island of Pharos, near the mouth of the Nile River, or the island of Carpathus, between Crete and Rhodes.

Proteus knew all things—past, present, and future—but disliked divulging what he knew. Those who wished to consult him had first to surprise and bind him during his noonday slumber. Even when caught he would try to escape by assuming all sorts of shapes. But if his captor held him fast, the god at last returned to his proper shape, gave the wished-for answer, and plunged into the sea. The captor in Homer’s version (Odyssey, Book IV) was Menelaus; in Virgil’s telling (Georgics, Book IV) it was Aristaeus who tried to hold Proteus. Because Proteus could assume whatever shape he pleased, he came to be regarded by some as a symbol of the original matter from which the world was created. The word protean, one meaning of which is “changeable in shape or form,” is derived from Proteus.

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA: DEFINITION (2020)

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Et maintenant, dites-moi, Muses, habitantes de l’Olympe - car vous êtes, vous, des déesses : partout présentes, vous savez tout ; nous n’entendons qu’un bruit, nous, et ne savons rien - dites-moi quels étaient les guides, les chefs des Danéens.

HOMERE: L'ILIADE, CHANT II (1200)

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COLE, THOMAS: EXPULSION FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN (1828)

MCLUHAN, MARSHALL: THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSAGE (1967)

Deluge became a common metaphor for people describing information surfeit. There is a sensation of drowning: information as a rising, churning flood. Or it calls to mind bombardment, data impinging in a series of blows, from all sides, too fast. Fear of the cacophony of voices can have a religious motivation, a worry about secular noise overwhelming the truth.

GLEICK, JAMES: THE INFORMATION (2011)

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GRAHAM, DAN: VIDEO PROJECTION OUTSIDE HOME (1978)

DELSAUX, CÉDRIC: A COMMON DENSITY (2006)

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MUNCH, EDVARD: SKRIK (1893)

After “information theory” came to be, so did “information overload,” “information glut,” “information anxiety,” and “information fatigue,” the last recognized by the OED in 2009 as a timely syndrome: “Apathy, indifference, or mental exhaustion arising from exposure to too much information, esp. (in later use) stress induced by the attempt to assimilate excessive amounts of information from the media, the Internet, or at work.” Sometimes information anxiety can coexist with boredom, a particularly confusing combination. David Foster Wallace had a more ominous name for this modern condition: Total Noise. “The tsunami of available fact, context, and perspective”—that, he wrote in 2007, constitutes Total Noise. He talked about the sensation of drowning and also of a loss of autonomy, of personal responsibility for being informed.

GLEICK, JAMES: THE INFORMATION (2011)

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MCLUHAN, MARSHALL: THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSAGE (1967)

Et sans rien formuler nettement, je comprenais que j’avais trouvé la clef de l’Existence, la clef de mes Nausées, de ma propre vie.

[…]

Ce moment fut extraordinaire. J’étais là, immobile et glacé, plongé dans une extase horrible. Mais, au sein même de cette extase quelque chose de neuf venait d’apparaître ; je comprenais la Nausée, je la possédais. À vrai dire je ne me formulais pas mes découvertes. Mais je crois qu’à présent, il me serait facile de les mettre en mots. L’essentiel c’est la contingence.

SARTE, JEAN-PAUL: LA NAUSÉE (1938)

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Our chance is on the crest. Our living and inventive path follows the fringed, capricious curve where the simple beach of sand meets the noisy rolling in of the waves. A simple and straight method gives no information; its uselessness and flatness (or platitude) is finally calculable. Intelligence, we knew, remains unexpected, like invention or grace; it does not surpass the surprising to head toward the anything-under-the-sun. Rigor is never in the simple tending toward the identical and would be nothing without uniting and holding together what should not be associated. There is only something new by the injection of chance in the rule, by the introduction of the law at the heart of disorder. An organization is born from circumstances, like Aphrodite rising from the sea.

SERRES, MICHEL: THE PARASITE (1982)

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UNKNOWN: SEUSS LANDING, FLORIDA (2011)

ARONOFSKY, DARREN: REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000)

When it was announced that the Library contained all books, the first reaction was unbounded joy. All men felt themselves the possessors of an intact and secret treasure. There was no personal problem, no world problem, whose eloquent solution did not exist - somewhere in some hexagon. The universe was justified; the universe suddenly became congruent with the unlimited width and breadth of humankind’s hope.

BORGES, JORGE LUIS: FICCIONES (1956)

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RUBENS, PETER PAUL: ABUNDANTIA (1630)

BRUEGEL, PIETER: THE LAND OF COCKAIGNE (1567)

COPPOLA, SOFIA: LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003)

YAMASHITA, MICHAEL: TOKYO (2020)

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BARDOU, BENJAMIN: MICROPOLIS SHINJUKU (2000)

BIT, noun : a unit of information in a computer that must be either 0 or 1

CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY: DEFINITION (2020)

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YAMASHITA, MICHAEL: TOKYO (2020)

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UNKNOWN: LAS VEGAS AERIAL VIEW (2010)

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How much does it compute? How fast? How big is its total information capacity, its memory space? What is the link between energy and information; what is the energy cost of flipping a bit?

GLEICK, JAMES: THE INFORMATION (2011)

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NASA: SHOCKWAVES (2019)

The geometry of Tlön has two somewhat distinct systems, a visual one and a tactile one. The latter system corresponds to our geometry; they consider it inferior to the former. The foundation of visual geometry is the surface, not the point. This system rejects the principle of parallelism, and states that, as man moves about, he alters the forms which surround him. The arithmetical system is based on the idea of indefinite numbers. […] We already know that in Tlön the source of all-knowing is single and eternal.

BORGES, JORSE LUIS: FICCIONES (1966)

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TROOTMAN, STANLEY: WORLD WAR II AFTERMATH (1945)

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Who says what? That in a world where everyone thinks they have to express themselves, there is no more possible enlightenment. Nothing can be illuminated in full luminance. It takes a lot of silence to hear a

one note. It takes a lot of night for a lightning bolt to go off, for a new colour to be perceived, to be received.

DAMASIO, ALAIN: AUCUN SOUVENIR ASSEZ SOLIDE (2012)

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NASA: DENVER AERIAL VIEW NIGHT (2009)

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KOOLHAAS, REM: DELIRIOUS NEW YORK (1994)

UNKNOWN: PHAROS ALEXANDRIA (1000)

When data of any sort are placed in storage, they are filed alphabetically or numerically, and information is found (when it is) by tracing it down from subclass to subclass. It can be in only one place, unless duplicates are used ; one has to have rules as to which path will locate it, and the rules are cumbersome. Having found one item, moreover, one has to emerge from the system and re-enter on a new path.

The human mind does not work that way. It operated by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain.

BUSH, VANEVAR: AS WE MAY THINK (1945)

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Noise in Variables: VIRTOUS CIRCLE (2020)

UNKNOWN: COMPUTER CIRCUIT BOARD (2017)

BLENDER, GRETCHEN: RECALL (1987)

WARBUNG, ABY: ATLAS MNEMOSYNE (1924)

STRUTH, THOMAS: CORSO VITTORIO EMANUELE (1989)

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SERLIO, SEBASTIANO: SETTING FOR A COMEDY (1545)

Apophenia :

the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things.

Klaus Conrad (1958) : "unmotivated seeing of connections [accompanied by] a specific feeling of abnormal meaningfulness".

Apophenia has come to imply a human propensity to seek patterns in random information, such as gambling.

WIKIPEDIA: APOPHENIA (2020)

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HARRISON, CHRIS: WIKIVIZ V5 (2000)

PORCHET, CYRIL: CROWDS (2000)

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Noise in Variables: ORTHOPHOTO ZOOM-IN (2020)

Then today we have entered into a new form of schizophrenia - with the emergence of an immanent promiscuity and the perpetual interconnection of all information and communication networks. […] a state of terror which is characteristic of the schizophrenic, and over-proximity of all things, a foul promiscuity of all things which beleaguer and penetrate him, meeting with no resistance, and no halo, no aura, not even the aura of his own body protects him. In spite of himself the schizophrenic is open to everything and lives in the most extreme confusion. He is the obscene victim of the world’s obscenity. The schizophrenic is not, as generally claimed, characterized by his loss of touch with reality, but by the absolute proximity to and total instantaneousness with things, this overexposure to the transparency of the world.

BAUDRILLARD, JEAN: THE ECSTASY OF COMMUNICATION (1987)

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RUFF, THOMAS: JPEG MSH01 (2004)

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GURSKY, ANDREAS: CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE II (1999)

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Infinite I have just written. I have not interpolated this adjective merely from rhetorical habit. It is not illogical, I say, to think that the world is infinite. Those who judge it to be limited, postulate that in remote places the corridors and stairs and hexagons could inconceivably cease - a manifest absurdity. Those who imagined it to be limitless forget that the possible number of books is limited. I dare insinuate the following solution to this ancient problem : The Library is limitless and periodic. If an eternal voyager were to traverse it in any direction, he would find, after many centuries, that the same volumes are repeated in the same disorder (which, repeated, would constituted an order : Order itself). My solitude rejoices in this elegant hope.

BORGES, JORGE LUIS: FICCIONES (1956)

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The Wikipedians consider themselves as the Great Library’s heirs, their mission the gathering of all recorded knowledge. [...]

Like the imaginary library of Borges, Wikipedia begins to appear boundless. [...] The English Wikipedia began with one article and then a jungle grew. [...]

Alone among the great enterprises of the early Internet, Wikipedia was not a business; made no money, only lost money. It was supported by a nonprofit charity established for the purpose. By the time the encyclopedia had 50 million users daily, the foundation had a payroll of eighteen people [...] and everyone else was a volunteer: the millions of contributors, the thousand or more designated “administrators,” and, always a looming presence, the founder and self-described “spiritual leader,” Jimmy Wales. Wales did not plan initially the scrappy, chaotic, dilettantish, amateurish, upstart free-for-all that Wikipedia quickly became. [...] A “wiki,” from a Hawaiian word for “quick,” was a website that could be not just viewed but edited, by anyone. A wiki was therefore self-created, or at least self-sustaining.

GLEICK, JAMES: THE INFORMATION (2011)

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Suppose within every book there is another book, and within every letter on every page another volume constantly unfolding; but these volumes take no space on the desk. Suppose knowledge could be reduced to a quintessence, held within a picture, a sign, held within a place which is no place.

MANTEL, HILARY: WOLF HALL (2009)

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CABANEL, ALEXANDRE: ECHO (1887)

Beyond the end, beyond all finality, we enter a paradoxical state—the state of too much reality, too much positivity, too much information. In this state of paradox, faced with extreme phenomena, we do not know exactly what is taking place.

Ecstasy of information: simulation. Truer than true.

BAUDRILLARD, JEAN: THE VITAL ILLUSION (2000)

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If the Real is disappearing, it is not because of a lack of it—on the contrary, there is too much of it. It is the excess of reality that puts an end to reality, just as the excess of information puts an end to information, or the excess of communication puts an end to communication.

BBAUDRILLARD, JEAN: THE VITAL ILLUSION (2000)

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The information they get when sitting in their rooms in front of their screens is the basis of all their thoughts and values. If this continues, in the future, everything will be about information and the reality you’ve created in your mind will come alive.

UNKNOWN: TOKYO NOISE (2002)

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BIOY CASARES, ADOLFO: THE INVENTION OF MOREL (1940)

They don’t say, ‘What do I have to say? What is worthy of being offered, of being passed on to the people? They’re just wondering: what’s going on?

Yes, because for them, communication is primarily a form, not a content. It makes no sense what cannot be seen and read. They don’t write by the way, they sign. And they only emit what can be understood by all and easily relayed.

The value of a message is reduced to its exchange value!

Or to its potential for repetition. And this repetition saturates everything, it ends up masking the rare words that illuminate a day. But that’s because a message of value, you can’t receive it without being transformed, no matter how little it is. Its content is resistant to pure photocopying. You can’t translate it without changing it, without adapting it to whoever you send it to next.

DAMASIO, ALAIN: AUCUN SOUVENIR ASSEZ SOLIDE (2012)

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Finally the journey leads to the city of Tamara. You penetrate it along streets thick with signboards jutting from the walls. The eye does not see things but images of things that mean other things: pincers point out the tooth-drawer's house; a tankard, the tavern; halberds, the barracks; scales, the grocer’s. […] Your gaze scans the streets as if they were written pages: the city says everything you must think, makes you repeat her discourse, and while you believe you are visiting Tamara you are only recording the names with which she defines herself and all her parts.

However the city may really be, beneath this thick coating of signs, whatever it may contain or conceal, you leave Tamara without having discovered it.

CALVINO, ITALO: INVISIBLE CITIES (1972)

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kaleidoscope : optical device consisting of mirrors that reflect images of bits of coloured

glass in a symmetrical geometric design through a viewer. The design may be changed

endlessly by rotating the section containing the loose fragments.

(greek) kalos - beautiful

eïdo - form

skopeïn - to view

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA: DEFINITION (2020)

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ERKINS, ROMAN: MURRAY'S ROMAN GARDEN (1906)

PORCHET, CYRIL: SEDUCTION (2010)

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BOTTICELLI, SANDRO: THE BIRTH OF VENUS (1485)

POLLOCK, JACKSON: 26A (1948)

Noise in Variables: ORTHOPHOTO ZOOM-OUT (2020)

Noise destroys and horrifies. But order and flat repetition are in the vicinity of death. Noise nourishes a new order. Organization, life, and intelligent thought live between order and noise, between disorder and perfect harmony. If there were only order, if we only heard perfect harmonies, our stupidity would soon fall down toward a dreamless sleep; if we were always surrounded by the shivaree, we would lose our breath and our consistency, we would spread out among all the dancing atoms of the universe. We are; we live; we think on the fringe, in the probable fed by the unexpected, in the legal nourished with information. There are two ways to die, two ways to sleep, two ways to be stupid - a head-first dive into chaos or stabilized installation in order and chitin. We are provided with enough senses and instinct to protect us against the danger of explosion, but we do not have enough when faced with death from order or with falling asleep from rules and harmony.

SERRES, MICHEL: THE PARASITE (1982)

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