LNH: Net.Elements (was: re: [REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #47)

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 4 16:31:47 PST 2007

On Tuesday 4 December 2007 Jamas replied:

>>>    I don't recall if I was the first, but before Jamas I was using 
>>> the net.elements of thread (water), flame (fire), pixel (earth) and 
>> net (air).
>> Jamas's four elements were flame, spham, crosspost and lag.  I was
>> going from memory and I misspoke.
> I ripped off...er, used development from Dave. Lag is a part of net, 
> crosspost comes from thread and spham from pixel (haven't used spham 
> actually).
> And the fifth element is TimeIndex (plasma). [Again, from Dave.]
TimeIndex corresponds to plasma?  I must have missed that.  Makes 
sense, but that leads to the mischeivous question: do we have a 
correspondence for the Bose-Einstein Condensate supercool 
(superdense?) state of matter?
Actually, we may as well use this opportunity to sort out the 
Eastern Net.Elemets.  I've been working on-and-of on these for about a 
year, and even pestered Dvandom on them.

[the first four have been established as far back as Lord Ebon's attack 
against the LNH in _Constellation_ #11 in 1993; see also Dvandom's 
addition to the _Kid Kirby's Guide To The Cosmos_ FAQ]
  Earth  - Keystroke 
  Air    - Net                        
  Fire   - Flame
  Water  - Thread
  Plasma - TimeIndex

  Earth - Net
  Water - Thread
  Fire  - Flame
  Wood  - Processing (a 'living' net.element)
  Metal - ? Marco

In addition to my suggestions for what the equivalents of Metal and 
Plant might be, I asked Dvandom his thoughts on the matter.  He 
replied that he'd suspected Hardware and Software.
[babble mode: ON] 
Extra problems with Eastern net.Elements which may have to be 
selectively overlooked:
[copy'n'paste from a discussion paper I wrote about this at start of 
The Eastern elements and net.elements are not just archetypal 
substances but also processes.  Or to put in the word-centric worldview 
of the Looniverse, they aren't just nouns, they're also verbs.
Processing is a 'living' (active) computing action in the same way that 
Wood is a 'living' substance on the mundane level.  As a 'noun' style 
archetypal substance I feel it makes a good match up, but am prepared 
to admit that it could possibly be replaced if a more appropriate match 
for the 'verb' processes could be found.
A Macro is a refinement of Keystroke, and so is symbolic of a refined 
tool. This seems like a reasonable analogy for tools made out of metal 
refined from the earth - although contrariwise it doesn't represent 
hardness, so the analogy is inexact.  Again, this works well as a noun 
but could be altered.
These elements are arranged in two circular cycles, one creative 
and one destructive.  In the generating cycle: Wood burns, producing 
Fire.  Fire leaves ash, or Earth.  From Earth is extracted Metal.  
Metal collects Water.  Water nourishes the growth of Wood.  
(Cycle repeats)
In the overcoming or restraining cycle: Water quenches Fire.  Fire 
melts Metal.  Metal chops Wood.  Wood parts Earth.  Earth absorbs Water. 
(Cycle repeats)
(Note that the elements are arranged in different orders depending on 
which cycle they are proceeding through.  There is a diagram at: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_elements_%28Chinese_philosophy%29 )
In assigning correspondences for the Eastern elements, I have found 
it relatively easy to assign net.elements as nouns, and found that 
these work reasonably well as verbs in the creative cycle.  However, 
in the destructive cycle they suck big time, producing results that 
are at best non-sequitors and at worst flatly the opposite of what 
they should be.
Thus: Generative net.element cycle: Processing prompts the response 
of Flaming.  Flame produces much text, with many Keystrokes.  From 
Keystrokes are refined Macros.  [Macros make responses flow like 
Thread]  An ongoing Thread facilitates more Processing. (Cycle repeats)
But: Destructive net.element Cycle:
Thread quenches Flame [whether Water quenches Fires or Fire boils off 
Water depends on the relative proportions of both; but conceptually 
Thread often incites Flame, while Flames typically degrade but not 
halt Thread]  Flame melts Macros [non sequitor]  Macros chop 
Processing [non sequitor. Also macros enhance Processing]  
Processing eats Keystroke [opposite, actually]  Keystroke drinks 
Saxon Brenton   Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia

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