LNH: Net.Elements (was: re: [REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #47)
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
> 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
[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.
In the overcoming or restraining cycle: Water quenches Fire. Fire
melts Metal. Metal chops Wood. Wood parts Earth. Earth absorbs Water.
(Note that the elements are arranged in different orders depending on
which cycle they are proceeding through. There is a diagram at:
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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