I am amazed that I was able to think so coherently on an abstract plane. This is taken from MetaMimetics – HyperMnemonics

From With Towards

There in the book On the Origin of Objects by Brian Cantwell Smith, a passage fascinates me.

World-directedness takes many forms. […] subjects (their experiences, representations, documents, intentions, thoughts, etc.) point or are directed towards the transcendent-but-immanent world that surrounds them. A symmetrically realist account per se supplies two of the requiste ingredients in this pointing: (i) the fact that subjects are in an enveloping world, which gives them a place to point from; and (ii) the fact that they are made of that same enveloping world, which gives them the wherewithal to point with. What a theory of intentionality needs to add is the far-from-obvious third ingredient: (iii) a way for subjects to orient towards that enveloping world, the world of which they are constituted and in which they live.

What fascinates me is the way in which “from” is paired with “in” and “with” is paired with “made” and that “towards” remains unpaired. The trio of prepositions reminds me of the experience of modeling content or a way of writing in/with structured forms such as those offered by the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines. Marking from…. marking with… marking towards. In a very fundamental fashion, writing is about how to segment and how to align. Pick a point. From that point there stem a before and an after. Pick another point and observe that part of one point’s after is part of another point’s before and observe a between that emerges with its own before and its own after.

Place a mark in a given space and with the given mark, place another mark [erasing is a type of marking] or stop.

Now I see “towards” in Smith’s phrase “orient towards” could be read sous rature. Peeking out of those italics is the phrase “a way for subjects to orient […] that enveloping world” which gives a hint of agency to acts of world-directed intentionality. And so I read again carefully and note a progression from the indefinite “an enveloping” towards a singularly demonstrative “that” through an attestation of “the same enveloping”. This rereading helps me better understand the medial position of the “with” between the “in” and the “towards”. It helps me comprehend that the connectedness of the made in and of the world might pass through an orientation for the world. Indeed the apperception of being in and of the world might depend upon the declaration of the thatness of the world. (Note, I am not arguing that the world depends upon either the apperception or the declaration.)

What fascinates me is the involutive relation to the actual. It is a relation that is not tautological. I am here because here I am. Contrast this with absolute circular assurance of the I-am-that-I-am.

Smith does not extensively treat the ontological status of the hypothetical, the counterfactual, the fictional. Yet the trio of ingredients in the theory of intentionality he sketches can offer a topological insight into the relations between the actual and possible worlds. And allows us to nuance his assertion that

You can hardly cook for dinner something that is fictional […]

with the indication that with every cook hovers a hallucinatory body. You cannot eat a story but a story can within limits alleviate the pangs of hunger. You cannot drink a sonorous sequence but within limits a sonorous sequence can quench thirst. You cannot but imagine and that is different from and not the same as the list of things you can do with fictional things that is offered by Smith: “refer to it, wonder about it, or entertain it in a hypothetical”. To be fair, one can hardly imagine without reference, wonder or entertainment.

In, with, towards the virtual
In, with, towards the textual
In, with, towards the interactive

A story can eat you.

And so for day 956

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