Re: virus: Robin! Things, was coherence and correspondence

Dave Pape (
Wed, 26 May 1999 13:31:25 +0100

At 10:59 24/05/99 +0100, you wrote:
>In message <>, Dave
>Pape <> writes
>>At 14:57 23/05/99 -0500, Joe wrote:
>>>> >Not sure I believe in Things, myself, but if there's nothing "out
>>>> >there", how do you account for all the consistencies in our perceptions?
>>>> Cos I believe in relationships. The way I see it, and I'm a bit of an
>>>> armchair dosser thinker, is that Things, when you look at them, look like
>>>> arrangements of other Things.[...] I ended up
>>>> thinking that maybe the relationships between Things are realler than the
>>>> Things themselves.
>>>Think of things and the relationships which obtain between them as
>>>co-primordial and mutually grounding.
>>I'm trying. Doesn't do a massive amount for me, though.
>Think of it this way: all that's "really real" is stuff like
>strangeness, charm, and "things" that wink into existence for a few
>nanoseconds then blink out again. That stuff happens to cohere (!) in
>larger scale patterns, which are what we perceive. All that we know,
>and that we can know, is patterns, information. Both "things" and
>"relationships" are abstractions, swirls in the quantum soup, like
>whirlpools and eddies in a mountain stream.
>Nice, eh? :-)

Yeh, I've been very close to this cognitive basin before, when I was into cellular automata and ConwayLife. Dunno how much of this is me twigging to what everyone else thinks anyway, but I was buzzed by the conceptual similarity between the behaviour of the cells in ConwayLife and what I'd read/heard about this half-existent/half-non-existent quantum froth stuff. However, being me I sat there looking at glider-guns and imagining them as photons/electrons rather than, for instance, being able to express the idea in a clear or compelling manner. Although, be honest, you put quotemarks round the word "things" there because secretly you know that something that appears from utterly nowhere and disappears back to utterly nowhere isn't really a thing at all. Didn't you? RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALL!

Ah-herm. Koff.