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Second Life: Imaging Virtual Place Part2


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Part 2 of a presentation delivered in Gainesville, FL, during the IMAGING PLACE conference in February 2007.

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Second Life: Imaging Virtual Place Part2

  1. 1. Second Life: Imaging Virtual Place (part 2) Richard Smyth, Ph.D. Invent-L Conference 2007: Imaging Place University of Florida 24 February 2007
  2. 2. Part II <ul><li>Deconstruction vs. “Reconstruction”: </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual Metaphors of Thinking and Topological Alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>A. Metaphor and Philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>B. Introduction to Topology </li></ul><ul><li>C. Hidden Dimensions in (Cyber)Space </li></ul>
  3. 3. Deconstruction <ul><li>Identifying the central metaphor underlying a discourse and undermining it. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Reconstruction <ul><li>After identifying the central metaphor via deconstruction, suggest an alternative for creative invention. </li></ul><ul><li>“To change your language you must change your life.” –Derek Walcott </li></ul><ul><li>“To change your life you must change your language.” –Richard Smyth </li></ul>
  5. 5. Example of Reconstruction <ul><li>“ Argument is War” (literate argument) </li></ul><ul><li>participants are rivals </li></ul><ul><li>goal is to win the argument and destroy arguments of opponent </li></ul><ul><li>goal is to make a point </li></ul><ul><li>“ Argument is Dance” (electrate argument) </li></ul><ul><li>participants are performers </li></ul><ul><li>goal is to perform in balanced and aesthetically pleasing way </li></ul><ul><li>goal is to turn the point into a line </li></ul><ul><li>(Scholes, Comley, and Ulmer 81) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Conceptual Metaphors of Thinking <ul><li>Lakoff and Johnson identify a cluster of associated conceptual metaphors related to the Mind as Body metaphor: </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking is Moving </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking is Perceiving </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking is Object Manipulation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Thinking is Moving <ul><li>Most relevant to consideration of virtual reality as a prosthesis for thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas are Locations </li></ul><ul><li>Reason is a Force </li></ul><ul><li>A Line of Thought is A Path </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating is Guiding </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding is Following </li></ul><ul><li>Inability to Think is Inability to Move </li></ul><ul><li>(Lakoff and Johnson 236) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Topological Alternatives <ul><li>If thinking is moving through space: </li></ul><ul><li>What happens to thought when our understanding of space changes? </li></ul><ul><li>What happens to thought when we consider the space of non-Euclidean geometries? </li></ul><ul><li>What happens to thought when we begin to navigate virtual spaces like Second Life? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Topology 101 <ul><li>The goal is, in the words of Gregory Ulmer, a “humanities equivalent of non-Euclidean geometry” (1985, xii). </li></ul><ul><li>The goal is, in the words of Manual DeLanda, a “more sophisticated topological style of thought” (63). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Joining (i.e. Identifying) Edges CYLINDER MOBIUS STRIP TORUS KLEIN BOTTLE
  11. 11. The Cylinder and the Torus A torus is topologically equivalent to a rectangle: gluing the opposite edges of a rectangle turns it into a cylinder; joining the free pair of edges turns the cylinder into a torus CYLINDER TORUS
  12. 12. Creating a Torus from a flat surface A “flat” torus and the doughnut surface both have the same topology
  13. 13. The Mobius Strip and the Klein Bottle MOBIUS STRIP KLEIN BOTTLE Cutting a Klein Bottle along a curve yields two Mobius bands. That is, a Klein Bottle can be made from joining two Mobius bands along their boundaries.
  14. 14. Creating a Klein Bottle from a cylinder KLEIN BOTTLE
  15. 15. Torus Tic-Tac-Toe “ These four positions are equivalent in torus tic-tac-toe” (Weeks 16). “ The second position is obtained from the first by moving every- thing ‘up’ one notch (when the top row moves ‘up’ it naturally reappears at the bottom). Similarly, the third positionis the result of moving everything in the second position onenotch to the right. The fourth position is obtained a little differently: it results from rotating the third position one quarterturn clockwise” (Weeks 15-16).
  16. 16. Klein Bottle Chess The diagram above represents a chess position on a board that is a Klein bottle. It is White's turn to play. Find a move for White that checkmates Black. How many such moves are there?
  17. 17. Torus and Klein Bottle Chess <ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
  18. 18. Hidden Dimensions in Real Space The hose appears to be a line, but up close we see that it’s a hose with a hidden circular dimension.
  19. 19. Hidden Dimensions in Real Space Two normal dimensions with two extra “curled up” dimensions represented by spheres. Now, instead of a one-dimensional line, imagine a plane in two dimensions. Just as the hose has an extra dimension at each point, we can see an extra dimension in the form of a loop or a circle at each point on the plane. If we use spheres, we now have two curled up dimensions at each point on the plane. Remember that even though the image shows spheres only at intersections of grid lines, there would be spheres at every point on the plane.
  20. 20. Hidden Dimensions in Real Space Two normal dimensions with six extra dimensions curled up in Calabi-Yau spaces
  21. 21. Calabi-Yau Space – 6D <ul><li>The Calabi-Yau space is a six-dimensional form that string theory incorporates as the extra, curled up dimensions. </li></ul><ul><li>In reality, the universe would consist of one temporal dimension, three normal spatial dimensions, and six (or more) extra dimensions in the form of Calabi-Yau spaces, at each point in the normal three spatial dimensions </li></ul>
  22. 22. Hidden Dimensions in Cyberspace “ Data available at the intersection of the three ‘crosshairs’ opens into a subspace of three dimensions” (Benedikt 118).
  23. 23. Hidden Dimensions in Cyberspace “ Two surfaces of the subspace continue to display navigation data…while the third surface is beginning to show destination data, that is, the sought images” (Benedikt 118).
  24. 24. Hidden Dimensions in Cyberspace “ The user has moved in to inspect the images more closely” (Benedikt 118).
  25. 25. Hidden Dimensions in Cyberspace “ The intrinsic dimensions of the six-dimensional data object p , located at ( x,y,z ) in the (extrinsic) dimensional space of XYZ , are unfolded into the space of ABC and have the values given by the location ( a,b,c )” (Benedikt 145).
  26. 26. from The Laws of Form <ul><li>“…a universe comes into being when a space is severed or taken apart.” </li></ul><ul><li>--G. Spencer-Brown </li></ul>
  27. 27. Vision <ul><li>A fusion of Second Life and Wikipedia, such that every point/ object in the virtual world can become a co-created information node, opening into new spaces of information. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Mystory/Choragraphy: Six-Dimensional Expression <ul><li>wabi-sabi : wide image :: outline : argument </li></ul><ul><li>wabi-sabi has six parts: three each for tenor and vehicle of a metaphor </li></ul><ul><li>the “need to fill in each slot locates some dimensions of thought and feeling that you might have overlooked…” (Ulmer 2003, 277) </li></ul>
  29. 29. In Sum: Research Interests <ul><li>Information Storage & Retrieval in Second Life/Cyberspace </li></ul><ul><li>Application of advanced physics and mathematics as conceptual metaphors of spatial thinking </li></ul><ul><li>How to formulate public mnemonic spaces navigable by any body </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive change in the age of electracy </li></ul>
  30. 30. References <ul><li>IMAGES </li></ul><ul><li>Benedikt, Michael. Cyberspace: First Steps. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. </li></ul><ul><li>Weeks, Jeffrey R. The Shape of Space . Second Edition. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Williams, Michael B. “Origin and Evolution of the Universe: Extra Dimensions.” 3/10/2003. Viewed 2/11/2007. < astro18200/dimensions.html>/. </li></ul>
  31. 31. References <ul><li>TEXT </li></ul><ul><li>DeLanda, Manuel. Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. New York: Continuum, 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind And Its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books, 1999. </li></ul><ul><li>Scholes, Robert, Nancy Comley and Gregory L. Ulmer. Text Book: An Introduction to Literary Language. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988. </li></ul><ul><li>Spencer-Brown, G. Laws of Form . New York: E.P. Dutton, 1977. </li></ul><ul><li>Stafford, Barbara Maria. Artful Science: Enlightenment Entertainment and the Eclipse of Visual Education. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>Ulmer, Gregory L. Applied Grammatology: Post(e)-Pedagogy from Jacques Derrida to Joseph Beuys. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1985. </li></ul><ul><li>Ulmer, Gregory L. Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. New York: Longman, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Walcott, Derek. “Codicil.” In The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry . Eds. Richard Ellman and Robert O’Clair. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1973. 1250 </li></ul>
  32. 32. Contact <ul><li>Richard Smyth, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>