Thursday, April 15, 2010

the space of logical possibility.

day 2:

i'm changing course, deviating from my list of things to write about, to think about a question drew posed in a comment on my last post-- both because it interests me and because i only have twenty minutes today, and i just spent ten of them looking for images i couldn't find. this is a question i've asked about many times myself: what are we suppose to be imagining when we imagine the space of logical possibility?

upon reflection it seems to me that i always imagine the space of logical possibility as a hybrid between:

(a) the fine grained color wheel that appears when i'm feeling picky and choose the 'more colors' option in microsoft word, so that i can pick the perfect shade in which to offer feedback on student papers. ('what color,' i ask myself, ' will communicate firmness and authority without being harsh or anxiety inducing?' and then i choose regular old blue again.)


(b) that old map (which i can't find anywhere) that they used in science textbooks circa 1995, representing our best guess at the time of what the universe might look like: a sort of ghostly dimpled undulating sphere-- the deep center of which looked utterly impenetrable, even in that sad little textbook sketch.

-- a hybrid interactive in the style of the technology used by the department of precrime in steven spielberg's minority report-- with all of the data swirling and reorganizing itself with an incredible responsiveness the smallest changes in the nature of the particular inquiry, utterly sensitive to the smallest expert flick of the inquirer's wrist (the mind's wrist!).

what do you say, drew k?
also, question: isn't there something square/circle-y about trying to imagine the space of logical possibility? how does the fact that we may or may not be able to imagine the space of logical possibility, or generate models of it (could we?), reflect on its ontological status?

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