I’ve been rereading Christopher Alexander’s The Luminous Ground, connecting Alexander’s passion for intimacy with space with intimate technology and pervasive computing.
I want to create living structure in the world, to fill space with beings. Beings are living centers recursively made of other living centers. Generative art could be like painting easter eggs (as Alexander had his students do)—a way to free oneself from ensnaring practicalities and just make something beautiful, something joyous. The process becomes more open-ended, more hopeful.
Count Zero, William Gibson (235)
Perhaps the contents of the dome would spill out into space, a blossoming cloud of lace and tarnished sterling, marbles and bits of string, brown leaves of old books, to orbit the cores forever. That had the right tone, somehow; the artist who had set the boxmaker in motion would be pleased…
We don’t know how to make open-ended software. A generative system can’t set its own initial conditions—the unknown artist must set the boxmaker in motion, kick things off. The Singularity, if it is indeed coming, will be the same. There will be no technological rapture, no salvation that isn’t brought about by human hands.
For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world.
If space is made of beings, what of this bohdisattva vow?