# Re: The Scale of Digital

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On Sunday, January 12, 2014 5:02:07 PM UTC-5, Liz R wrote:
>
> On 13 January 2014 02:35, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>
> > wrote:
>
>> How large does a digital circle have to be before the circumference seems
>> like a straight line?
>>
> That depends on who is viewing it and where from, surely?
>```
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Exactly, but if math doesn't have a term for that, then it is outside of
mathematics.

> Digital information has no scale or sense of relation. Code is code. Any
>> rendering of that code into a visual experience of lines and curves is a
>> question of graphic formatting and human optical interaction. With a
>> universe that assumes information as fundamental, the proximity-dependent
>> flatness or roundness of the Earth would have to be defined
>> programmatically. Otherwise, it is simply “the case” that a person is
>> standing on the round surface of the round Earth. Proximity is simply a
>> value with no inherent geometric relevance.
>>
>> When we resize a circle in Photoshop, for instance, the program is not
>> transforming a real shape, it is erasing the old digital circle and
>> creating a new, unrelated digital circle. Like a cartoon, the relation
>> between the before and after, between one frame and the “next” is within
>> our own interpretation, not within the information.
>>
> I think what's it's doing is re-rendering the circle on a different scale.
>

I think that is our projection. I don't think that the computer re-members
the old circle. You want pixels at certain coordinates, so it puts them
there. You want the contents of a buffer dumped into screen RAM, then it
does it.

> The pixels that are set as a result are different, but the underlying
> circle data is either unchanged, and a transformation matrix is changed, or
> the circle data itself is transformed (the radius is changed, but the
> centre remains unchanged).
>

I don't think that data has any concept of circularity or change. There are
states and recordings of states which can be compared, but I think all of
the transformation and formation that we project on computers disappears
when we turn off the video screen or speakers, just as the conversation
that a ventriloquist has with a dummy ends for the dummy, before it even
begins.

>
> The real (underlying) circle is an abstraction stored as - I would guess -
> a centre and radius, plus no doubt colour, style and so on.
>

I would say instead that reality is not the circle, the circle is always a
figure which represents circularity. Reality is what is actually presented
in addition to abstract patterns such as circles. Reality is concrete
aesthetic phenomena.

>
> Didn't Plato say something about the world being an imperfect rendering?
> :-)
>

Yes, but he may have had it upside down. Perfection is an imperfect
rendering of the world.

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