LL :: Volume 6 :: LR
|What Goes Right Must Be Left|
Powers of two were sharply down today, as the exponential combines
reported heavier-than-expected losses. Odd multiples of seven saw
heavy trading. Half-integers in the three-to-four thousand range
dipped early in the day, but rallied later on; analysts do not see any
sign of real weakness in the long-term halfint market.
The new trick being passed around the virtual-sculpting discussions is
sensory elision. Apparently several virt hackers have figured out
how to program an experience into your neuroplug, leaving out selected
categories of sensory stimuli, without weakening the overall
emotional and experiential connotation. A fruit which comes across as
tasty and fragrant, but with no specific taste. A piece of music which
is stirring and triumphant, but which does not correspond to an actual
score, composed and synthesized by the designer.
Now, this is nothing like the blurry visuals and numb tactile sensations of the earliest virts. The art of sensory elision is to convey the experience of having the experience, while leaving the details up to the viewer. In a way, "elision" is a misnomer; the focus is on creating the higher-level sensation, not on the lack of the lower level. It is an art of permitting, not denying.
Many experimental virts have been passed around, and the primary pitfall of sensory elision is clear. The viewer must join in the experience willingly and actively, or the whole gimmick simply fails. Suspension of disbelief is fragile. Sovven's Missing the Forest, the most successful experiment so far, is only the barest sketch of a summer forest walk; but it allows free scope to see (smell, touch) the trees that make up that forest. If you approach it right, your mind can create every leaf and scrape of bark. But this is very different from a finely-textured Depth-School virt. The detail is yours, not the designer's. The air of dream is palpable.
|Kitchen Fad Watch|
Pomegranate molasses and apples.
Tamarind molasses and walnuts.
Fig molasses and custard.
For the upcoming year, the annual dog tax will be partitioned: big
dogs will be taxed at twice the current rate, while small dogs will be
free. In the following year, small dogs will be taxed twice, and large
dogs will be free. The flat tax rate will be reinstituted thereafter.
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