Fragments from a Digital Deluge (or entropy and archaeology)


J256x256-00680.jpg . J256x256-00681.jpg

I’m no expert at computers. The same way I’m no expert at “things”, and keeping “order” in them. I just want to inhabit the world without having to think of the consequences there may be to spilling my coffee on important files. Or spilling my coffee on my computer. Analog or digital, the consequences are apparently very similar.

In any case, disaster struck me a few days ago, and, as if I lived in a shack by the sea and had all my beloved possessions destroyed by flood, so it happened to my computer files. I tried getting them back, but as with flood-water, the computer process stained my papers and photos. We place all too much trust on the digital to preserve; when I see these images, I think that perhaps future archaeologists will be piecing back the XXIst century by looking at pixelated warped representations. Some crazies will say the ancient people were aliens who actually looked like that. The more astute will discurse of the artistic nature of our civilization. It all just attests to the dumb nature of civilization, if you ask me. As if out of spite for me, its owner, the artificial intelligence of this device saved only one, and I mean only one, intact image. If it wasn’t Maxwell’s demon, then I didn’t understand what Maxwell’s demon means:


The deluge which swept over my files illustrates chaos theory as illustrated by the mathematician Chaitin. “A chaotic stream of information may yet hide a simple algorithm. Working back from the chaos to the algorithm may be impossible”. Entropy causes order to become disorder, and it is the law of the universe. We are left with a bunch of random gas molecules, files, pottery pieces, and, chances are, we can’t put them back to the order from which they originated. There probably is an algorithm out there that would lead back to my original files. But for that, I’d need Maxwell’s demon on my side.  After all, according to Hawking, information is still preserved after it goes through a black hole.

hand awesome






egyptian artist



finish exhibit with this

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