The ending of True Names, a short sf novel by VernorVinge, includes a delicious image (mild spoiler warning — stop reading now if you don't want to know) of a character's effective uploading of her personality into the global computational network. From that new location "she", in a sense, will outlive her physical body, diffused across the matrix of the 'Net.

It has not escaped my notice that the ^zhurnal, in a similar sense, is growing into an image of my consciousness. It's a highly impressionistic or maybe pointillistic simulacrum ... it's fragmentary, incomplete, idiosyncratic, and disorganized (as I often am in person!) ... and it's static most of the time, mere lifeless symbols.

But — as in the yang-yin dance of data and program — when another mind reads and responds to a ^zhurnal musing, there's a little bit of my consciousness that comes alive for a moment ...

(see also DataVersusProgram (1 May 1999), BitsOfConsciousness (21 Jan 2000), ColdHardMind (9 Feb 2000), ThoughtfulMetaphors (8 Nov 2000), DreamData (22 Mar 2002), ...)

TopicLiterature - TopicZhurnal - TopicMind - 2003-05-21

(correlates: YouCanHaveItAll, FlashInThePan, ReadyWillingAble, ...)