Tag Archives: art

#50 On depth

Dear Jamie,

That was my favourite letter in some time. Thank you. I also love irony, at least when I’m aware of it.

The progression of agency in the history of literature was something I never really appreciated until you said it. It makes sense given your snapshots; a deus ex machina-heavy ancient Greek play through conscious fate-addled Shakespearean contemplator up to the unrelenting conscious agency of the agent James Bond. OK the last one’s a joke, and it’s because an invincible agency is as boring as a completely yielding one, which suggests to me this Continue reading #50 On depth

#13 On trumping our instincts

Dear Mat,

Sorry I’m late. Can I blame Trump?

Anyway, as for your last letter, not bad. It’s like the reduced randomness = better art idea. It reminds one of Kolmogorov complexity. As you know, that’s where the complexity of a string of information is proportional to the length of a computer program that could reproduce it. A string of 6.66666… could be of infinite length but is not very complex at all, because a tiny computer program could describe it. A sequence of random digits, however, cannot be easily summarised or programmed and any algorithm that would do so would be at least as long as the sequence itself. Of course, that makes complexity something close to randomness. Continue reading #13 On trumping our instincts