living fictions

30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 11 May 2024 09:29
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    • Linguistic or other artificial structures that appear to have a life or autonomy of their own. Sherlock Holmes and Captain Kirk, to the extent they have escaped their particular stories and become a kind of cultural icon. The God of the Old Testament, to an unbeliever, is still a powerful character despite being wholly made up.
    • Refs

      • In Lector et Fabula Eco writes about the status of fictional characters that he calls "supernumaries" because they add to the people in the real world. Ronald Reagan and Napoleon are part of the real world, while Sherlock Holmes is not. But then what meaning can there be in an assertion like "Sherlock Holmes is unmarried" or "Hamlet is mad"? Is it possible to regard a supernumary as a real person?
      • C. Michael Saler's book As If (via Erik Davis). A prehistory of fandom, eg the people who treated Sherlock Holmes as real
      • Computational beings

        • Computational processes are abstract beings that inhabit computers.
          • – Sussman & Abelson, SICP, p1
          • (and there's more in that vein. The book is dedicated to"the spirit that lives in the computer").
      • Philip K Dick

        • "The principle of emergence, as when nonliving matter becomes living. As if information (thought concepts) when pushed to their limit become metamorphosed into something alive.
          • – Exegesis (back jacket cover)
        • “A vast noetic factor lived in me; I both saw and comprehended in a single mentational act, although it's taken me months to label what I encountered (e.g., the Logos, God as Immanent Mind within the structural framework of reality surrounding me). I think what was the most thrilling of all, above and beyond everything else which was new to me, was visually to observe the constant, steady, unfailing signaling systems by which all living organisms are disinhibited; which is to say, their engrammed and then blocked instinctive patterns imprinted on them at the beginning are periodically released at the correct moment, for the appropriate occasion … in this fashion chaos becomes cosmos, and harmony and stability and regulated interaction between all parts of the structure are perpetually achieved”
          • – Exegesis (p 153)
        • “I not only say (in VALIS) that the universe is information but that this information is a narrative, what the narrative is (tells), why, what effect it has on the mind and hence on us....I have read the writing—or heard it read—that causes our universe to be. I know what the narrative says. And why. I.e., the purpose of the universe (which is information, a narrative).”