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Thread: Revealing the Map

  1. #1
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    Default Revealing the Map

    The way the map's revealed in RDR2's really getting me atm. The idea of all that stuff just sat out there, unmarked, but perfectly accessible if you're willing to just ride out into it. It wasn't like that in some of the older GTA games. The map was all there, but you couldn't physically access it all due to damaged bridges, story-reliant events and so on.

    1QdqeGD.jpg

    It's a relatively new mechanic given how young that sort of game is, but it's managed to worm its way into my head as a template and analogy for certain things. Those notes of McLuhan's on Burroughs which have come up a bunch of times are a decent example. When I first read them it was like it was all already there, the map had just been fogged out until that point. I already knew what he was saying on some level, I just hadn't been able to articulate it or connect the dots.

    Quote Originally Posted by entertainment View Post
    There I go, a new idea has taken residence in my mind, re-writing the code of my worldview.
    This is something I find perhaps equal parts unsettling and exciting. That sense of "fuck, this was there the whole time?", the table flipping, the board spinning. The example I bump into most frequently is when I come across an author I've never heard of and assume they're a footnote because I haven't heard of them. A fair few times I've completely misjudged someone and had to re calibrate. I did it with DeLillo when I first heard of him, assumed he was just some rando - luka will probably maintain that he is - only to find out he was considered some sort of great.

    The first point - the idea that you already knew, you just hadn't uncovered that part of the map yet - is probably the more interesting, if any of this is, but the latter interests me too. There's a bit in one of the old Burial interviews where he's going on about how he covered everything in crackle, just wanted to make UK stuff that sounded like pirates etc then Kode9 sent him a CD of Basic Channel and Pole and it completely threw him off because it wasn't what he thought he was doing or wanted to be doing at all.

    One of the most illuminating experiences I had as a child was cracking a joke about some company having the word 'vivid' in their name thinking it meant the complete opposite of what it actually meant and my mum just staring at me. I couldn't understand why it wasn't funny until sometime later I found out what it actually meant and felt like I'd had the rug pulled out from under me, I think it was probably the first time I'd had something I absolutely knew was true turn out to be false and it threw me for a loop. Also the fact it was something mundane I'd taken for granted rather than finding out Father Christmas isn't real or whatever, the idea that language could be 'wrong' or distorted like that was an eyeopener.

    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    If as Burroughs says reality is a constant scanning pattern then those are moments when it's radically reassembled
    It can definitely feel like this, even with something as trivial as finding out the actual meaning of a word you've been misusing. The Lego pieces reassembling.


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    Quote Originally Posted by H.P. Lovecraft
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
    A somewhat less encouraging take on perhaps the same thing. Maybe some of the map should remain hidden?

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    Been thinking a lot lately about how in this age of access things like culture have taken a nose dive. Every step forward in technological progress, especially when it's for convenience, only seems to enable more mediocrity. Take electronic music making. The cost of entry, even for the same tools as the pros use, is now free. There are tutorials to teach everyone how to make pro sounding music. And yet we all know that there is way less music being made now that we will be listening to in 20 years time, and way more music being released which is the same as everything else. There are more factors involved than just this, but I think the access age has played a huge role.
    Took a rest stop that wasn't on the schedule

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    Quote Originally Posted by pattycakes_ View Post
    Been thinking a lot lately about how in this age of access things like culture have taken a nose dive. Every step forward in technological progress, especially when it's for convenience, only seems to enable more mediocrity. Take electronic music making. The cost of entry, even for the same tools as the pros use, is now free. There are tutorials to teach everyone how to make pro sounding music. And yet we all know that there is way less music being made now that we will be listening to in 20 years time, and way more music being released which is the same as everything else. There are more factors involved than just this, but I think the access age has played a huge role.
    Brad Bird was accused of trying to smuggle Ayn Rand into The Incredibles via Syndrome being the bad guy for trying to democratise superpowers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    If as Burroughs says reality is a constant scanning pattern then those are moments when it's radically reassembled
    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    The Lego pieces reassembling.
    The whole 'fake news' thing, conspiracy theories etc feels like someone's sabotaged this process so that the pieces never fully reassemble. It's just a churning mass of bricks forever on the verge of forming a coherent whole.

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    Good thread. This kind of spatial metaphor is irresistible really and also comes up. You might talk of scientific pioneers for instance, discovering and opening up new territories to be mapped and exploited and the same can be said for culture.

    The sense of a dark space we venture into, feeling our way. The possibility field. Actualising this or that set of potentials. All this is basic to our systems of metaphor.

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    There's a browser extension called Lightbeam which maps the sites, trackers etc you've come into contact with and their relationship to one another.

    lightbeam.jpg

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    That Bitcoin has to be 'mined' interests me, online prospecting, the California Gold Rush reemerging in cyberspace. There's the 'dark web' too, whole areas of the internet hidden, like the deepest points of the ocean.

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    Psychoanalysis uses spatial metaphors though they tend to be arranged on a vertical. Digging down, as a rule.

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    The vertical axis is also common to a lot of spiritual thought. We ascend, the crown chakra opens. Higher states of consciousness. This is the route, the direct line to transcendence.

    But we can also postpone transcendence, which is, at least to some extent, uniform and already experienced content, and instead explore the territory, shunning the vertical for the horizontal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Digging down, as a rule.
    Into the sewers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    Into the sewers.
    That's right.

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    “A Knowledge of Tunneling became more and more negotiable, as more of the Surface succumb’d to Enclosure, Sub-Division, and the simple Exhaustion of Space,— Down Below, where no property Lines existed, lay a World as yet untravers’d”

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    Transcendence-speed wank to snatched orgasm. The vertical.

    Explore the territory-all day edging. The horizontal.

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    I was reading something about Mason & Dixon and the negative side of the drawing of lines etc earlier.

    As the line, this “conduit for Evil,” extends across the American landscape it takes on an inhuman power of control over the lives of those propelled along its trajectory (Pynchon 1997, 700). Although an instrument for rationalising the earth, and driving from the world all that has been decreed unfit for an enlightened age, it also delineates and thus defines the borders of a vast and boundless universe which persists outside. The party constantly encounters sublime images of a nature “transgressing all Metes and Bounds” (485) which, in typical Gothic fashion, are never experienced as “the subject’s capacity to feel and think beyond reason, but the invasion of reason from elsewhere” (Colebrook 2018, 93). Whether beholding the majesty of the colonial line or the impenetrable murk of the lands beyond, the surveyors realise that what they see is but the surface of a vast and unknown war for control of the earth. In these moments of realisation, the novel descends below the outer scars of battle to speculate on the subterranean spaces which may yet reveal the secrets of this occulted conflict [...]

    The novel abounds with imagery of a world which is itself made into a kind of machine composed of territories, pathways, and barriers which enclose and encode the movements of those living souls caught within. But even as this nexus of control triangulates its way across the globe, and attempts to harness the forces of the earth to its own ends, at some point it bottoms out and an as yet untraversed abyss opens up beneath our feet. Pynchon maps not only the totalising order of an emerging world capitalism, but seeks out those hidden crevices which lead ever-deeper down to all that has been denied existence in this world, but which may one day spring from the earth to reclaim its half-forgotten rights to existence.

    https://thewastedworld.wordpress.com.../ecogothic-md/

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