01 September 2005

Here Be Demons

Okay, fuck. I need to get smarter. Faster. I never thought I'd ever claim that I wished there were more hours in a day. I feel like Buckminster Fuller, though he taught himself how to sleep a total of three hours a day in like 30-minute intervals. That crazy, grumpy genius.

Anyhow, I am just looking over Quasimondo's new project, Raycoaster, which he developed using the graphical programming app (or is it a language, I dunno) known as Processing. This little applet explores the visualisation of caustic and "pseudo-caustic" algorithms. Caustics are the optical effects that occur when light gets bent several times by some refractive material. You can observe them for example on the bottom of a swimming pool or when light shines through a glass bottle.

Via Incubator, you can explore Quasimondo's project, read about it in more detail, and play with the applet yourself.
The algorithm I have written to accomplish this probably works very different to those that get used by conventional ray-tracers - especially as in my version there is no 3D involved at all: I shoot millions of "photons" or "light rays" at a 2D Perlin-Noise field and depending on the intensity of the field at the point of collision the ray gets reflected in a certain angle. It travels on some distance and then collides again with the noise field from where it gets reflected again. After a set amount of collisions it will end up on some position on the screen. I repeat this with millions of particles that get launched from different positions and at different angles and end up with the results you can see here.

It was a nice fluke to come across this right after posting about cymatics, and I still have a bunch of thoughts running the course of my mind in regards to the post I dropped about Here Be Dragons. Namely, after re-reading the Here Be Dragons white paper again and in more detail, I've gleamed a fuller understanding of the project and where it's going. The concept of a vacuous, self-evolving digitial environment crossed with the idea of cymatics and "sacred languages" (e.g. Hebrew, Sanskrit, Chinese, et al.), leads me to believe that it may be possible to:
  1. Create a cymatic equivalent of the Raycoaster applet, in which phase, frequency, and wavelength can be controlled via interface to build virtual combinations. (Interesting to note that the symbol used to represent phase shift is the Greek phi (Φ or φ), which is the equivalent of the golden ratio, long used in mathematics, art, architecture, et cetera. Whether any of that has anything to do with one another, I couldn't say.)

  2. Cross-referencing ancient grimoires and the occult use of Hebrew in the angelic and demonic names, it may be possible to map the structures of the entities "names" in virtual space using such tools. As was posted here (the second quote about Hans Jenny's work with his tonoscope), some of the ancient languages may have been transcribed to a two-dimensional working surface in the guise of written language, just as two tetrahedrons existing in three dimsensions appears as the so-called Star of David when imposed upon two dimensions:

  3. Rather than offering parfums and analogous artefacts and symbols by which to aid the entity to embed itself in Malkuth — the manifest realm which we believe is reality — if there were some way in which to associate code and "sacrifice" or offer a binary language to them by which they could learn? This may sound like science fiction, but like I've said before: this blog is a sounding board for my ideas. As parfums are used in ceremonial magic and other rites, their functions are many, but I figure from what I know that they act as a lighthouses in that the particles have poetic properties akin to the nature of the entity being evoked. The nature of the parfum offers an entry point — an anchor — into this realm. The olfactory sense, in particular, seeing as how it bypasses the other processes of the senses and affects the part of the brain that deals with long-term memory (if I recall correctly), may tie together aspects of the subconscious mind to other aspects of subtle consciousness and/or altered states made use of in magical rites.

  4. I must wonder if it's possible to create something akin to Here Be Dragons where the app is open-ended enough to allow any sort of abstract intelligence to manifest itself through it via the allowance of chaos in its algorithms?

It's Alberta's centennial tonight. Time to walk over to Tara's to watch Twin Peaks, drink wine, enjoy the fireworks that NASA is supposed to be photographing from space across our province tonight.

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