Archive of Month December 2008 :


The output — is it caused by the program? Or by the user input? Or by the computer? Or by the electric current?

Each of these things — if not quite another one — may be referred to as the relevant cause, depending on context.

In physics it has become common practice to take the laws of nature as fundamental causes. If we describe an event in a way that clearly shows the effective laws of nature, then we explicate it physically.

So we say, in the framework of mechanics, that a body principally moves linearly uniformly, as long as no forces act upon it. Nobody reasonably involved in that matter still asks “why?“.

But here, in the framework of these investigations, we take the next — maybe just small — step. We declare the moving body to be a special case of a thing, saying that every thing multiplies.

This is a law — and cause of all kinds of events.

New Land

A lot of what is said here, about knowledge spaces and so, would have been impossible without computers — and, probably, there would have been no need for it.

Computers make it different. They open a new approach to knowledge. Not only does the quantity of available informations grow explosively, but also, by and by, a new quality of knowledge becomes visible, prospects of a land we are just going to explore — though we live there all the time.

Wider Scope

Computers are part of what is nowadays usually called “new media”. As such they may be seen in contrast to traditional (or “old”) media. Both allow communication and conservation of knowledge, though in rather different manners.

Surely we are inclined to say that computers are much more capable than, for instance, books; for with the aid of computers it is easy to store and, if required, to recall thousands of books — together with uncountable additional informations, pictures, movies, learning programs and so on.

It is typical that, as soon as we get acquainted with something new, we cannot but see it standing head and shoulders above all the old. The scope of the new seems infinitely wider, enclosing the old at best as a somewhat primitive special case. A poor predecessor, maybe a toy for children…

Yet, not always and everywhere can computers replace a book really equivalently.

Becoming Active

Maybe the most obvious distinction between computers and traditional media is denoted by activity.

For a start, computers must be switched on. They require energy. Processes are running inside of them that have to be maintained permanently. Under the surface there is ongoing activity.

But also on the surface, especially on that of the screen, there is motion — not only when movies are playing.

Such motion pictures preceded computers, thus heralding the age of new media, so to speak. They already had strong influence on our world view and, for example, gave rise to a fairly new notion of time — not least in physics.

Computers, however, are new and outstanding mostly due to their interactivity, which allows the user to launch and manipulate various kinds of actions.

Logic Of Love

The X-Logic describes how different things melt into one that multiplies. This is a principle that could have been taken from biology, for it is perhaps most clearly realized in the propagation of life, especially in sexual reproduction. But it finds itself everywhere, even in the core of matter. It may be named the principle of two, of pairing.

The logic of knowledge is a logic of creative fusion. The central act of knowing is an act of love.