The Personalization of Complexity III.C.3.c.

Lexia to Perplexia


The Booby Trap

The InfiniteRegress

Lexia to Perplexia

The Book Drop

The Tower of Babel

Butterfield 8 Revisted


Perhaps I should identify what I am not talking about first.   I am not talking about the complexity of the computer itself, not the glyph world of code that sustains its soft movments, not the staggering expanse of the WWW, not the difficulties associated with the speed of technological change, not the panoply of prosthetic extensions--phone, fax, cell phone, palm pilot, beeper--nor the fact that they may all be communicating with one another without your knowledge.

"Whereas the second wave is characterized by an attempt to include the observer in an account of the system's functioning, in the third wave the emphasis falls on getting the system to evolve in new directions.  Self-organization is no longer enough.  The third wave wants to impart an upward tension to the recursive loops of self-organizing processes so that, like a spring compressed and suddenly released, the processes break out of the pattern of circular self-organization and leap outward into the new." N. Katherine Hayles *

Yes.  We may indeed harbor the feeling that our involvement with electronic systems threatens to spring beyond our control.  And in the case of the specific kind of complexity I am trying to fence, located in mind, for one thing, and in body trained to execute the mind, and in the computer you are now looking at, provided it is your own, or the one that you habitually use, it may already have.  The interactive drama of secrets between you and your own computer has gone from a capacity of 28 kilobytes to 28 gigabytes in a generation .

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The Book Drop


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