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<nettime-ann> [ann] towards a semantics and social cartography
xavier cahen pourinfos.org on Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:59:00 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime-ann> [ann] towards a semantics and social cartography


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pourinfos.org
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Hello, pourinfos is please to present a new column to you :
apostils
Bonjour, pourinfos est heureux de vous présenter sa nouvelle rubrique :
apostilles

Summuary / Sommaire :

- The Net: towards a semantics and social cartography. |Rémi Sussan|
http://pourinfos.org/encours/item.php?id=2427


- Le Net : vers une cartographie sémantique et sociale. |Rémi Sussan|
http://pourinfos.org/encours/item.php?id=2424


[version française dessous]
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Hello,
pourinfos is please to present a new column to you:

Apostils :

â??Small annotations designed to remember things we have seenâ??.

The word apostil comes from the Latin â??post illaâ??, â??after those
thingsâ??
and is generally written in the left margin, whether it is a legal
document or the note that we added today at the bottom of a page.

The purpose of this column is to publish an original text on a
bi-monthly basis.
pourinfos.org wishes to share periodically contemporary thoughts in a
non-synchronized time/news (headlines) relationship with no further
intention to become a magazine or a review.
The articles that you will read in this column will not only debate
matters about visual arts, but also about topics related to society,
politics, techniques, etcâ?¦

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The Net: towards a semantics [1] and social cartography.

Ancient orators from the Antiquity used to associate various
architectural elements belonging to a building or a city with the
salient points of their discourse. When addressing an audience, they
mentally traveled through their imaginary journey to recall the many
stages of their argumentation: this staircase reminding them of a very
explicit metaphor, that corbelled construction reminding them of an
opponentâ??s critique, and so onâ?¦ The very Western concept of
â??mental
spaceâ?? developed from â??the Art of memoryâ?? gained many mystical and
magical connotations all along the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,
finally to reach many centuries later, the concept of cyberspace, the
Internet [2].

The Net, just like the old memory palaces, is an abstract space where
semantic elements, ideas, concepts and texts can be found. However,
unlike ancient structures, semantic objects are not arbitrarily
distributed according to an urban or an external architectural diagram
that would be elaborated separately. Here, the discourse itself
organizes the space, creates landscapes and cathedrals, and designs
curves for its streets. There is more to it: the memory palace was a
desert space kept for the lonely oratorâ??s meditation. This very space
is
filled with crowds that are moving in it, following paths that have been
imposed on them by the language itself. Therefore, Netâ??s new geography
is simultaneously describing a social landscape and a semantic universe.


The Web is the mirror of the Net.

The Web gets most attention from new comers in this mental space.
However, the Web is not really the Net. It is only a visible face.
The Web is the Netâ??s distorting mirror. The Net is dynamic, and is
formed by a flux of ideas or individuals; the Web is static, and is
constituted by sites, and more or less permanent pages. The Net is
â??peer
to peerâ?? [3]], bidirectional. Everybody participates and interacts.
The
Web is â??client/serverâ??: a few large suppliers spread information to
small addressees who are, in fact, a passive audience that only get
occasionally connected: most of us.
However, the Web already has
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