Sunday, January 03, 2010

Episode 468: Hexagonal Mirrored Rooms?

Have done no work today beyond writing this line: 'My name is John, and I have seen the end of the world.' I like to think it's a recognisable Biblical allusion. I described the future contents of my portfolio to Chris as the ideas of Jorge Luis Borges meets the weirdness of Tim Burton (thanks to Shirley for that comment), set in a library that owes more to the two-parter storyline, 'Silence In The Library'/'Forest Of The Dead', from Doctor Who than I realised. Maybe I could talk about all this in my commentary? It would definitely help me hit the 1000-word limit for that, just not very sure whether whoever's marking my portfolio will approve of Doctor Who as an influence. It is, admittedly, a very polarising cultural touchstone. I did also read Borges's 'The Total Library', 'The Library Of Babel' and 'The Book Of Sand' though, so I guess that somewhat makes up for things. Haven't quite figured out how I'm going to make the whole story apocalyptic, although I guess it is kind of hellish to make your narrator piece together his story in Morse code, which is a direct reference to W. V. O. Quine's reductio of Borges's ideas, as expressed in his short essay, 'Universal Library': 'The ultimate absurdity is now staring us in the face: a universal library of two volumes, one containing a single dot and the other a dash. Persistent repetition and alternation of the two is sufficient, we well know, for spelling out any and every truth. The miracle of the finite but universal library is a mere inflation of the miracle of binary notation: everything worth saying, and everything else as well, can be said with two characters. It is a letdown befitting the Wizard of Oz, but it has been a boon to computers.'

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