Becoming a Transducer

From Nordan Symposia
Jump to navigationJump to search


Transducer generic.jpg

Wikidelic Pedagogy

Because wiki "windows" "bear the mark of the infinite" (Govinda 24), learning to pay attention to how we wyrd in wiki cues wikidelic pedagogy. As teachers, we can begin with a performance. A how-to: how to become a search engine for rhetorics. While Gaian syllabi abound, everywhere, rhythmic traditions of the sacred provide clues as to how we might entrain everyday rhythms. These rhythmic recipes, these sacred scripts, at once both specific and timeless, open us up to asignification, and enable the navigatation of many degrees of asignificatory dynamics. They start with zero and proceed to One, via repetition. Repeatedly transitioning, reduplicating, chorusing, accelerating; but also decelerating, juxtaposing, jump-cutting, splitting, and also, perhaps most importantly, stopping and abiding in the lacunae of timelessness that perferate the dynamic mesh that wyrds weave when we affirm their irrational penumbra. Mantras, for example, have for millenia been a means for cultivating this capacity for alternating currents: for opening up consciousness, and for precisely tuning and stabilizing attention, as well. Boethius, forever dancing discursive around the infinite, steering between Providence and Fate, renders his vertigo vertical, into orderly strata. "All that is under Fate is also subject to Providence. But some things which are under Providence are above the course of Fate. For they are those things which, being stably fixed in virtue of their nearness to the first divinity, exceed the order of Fate's mobility\" (cited in Huxley 186). In order to narrate these degrees of difference, Boethius opens a space for us to suggest that sacred technologies for attending to timelessness and infinity differ only by incremental degrees, not in kind, from the repetitious hacking and ordering we perform in the service of time. This principle of repetition does in fact occur throughout our history of rhythmizing and entraining different found orders of vibration which "exceed the order of Fate's mobility," and manifests across all technologies for "yoking" body, consciousness, and spirit: yoga. So, the world's sacred 'scripts, prescribed explicitly for stepping out of time, nevertheless crystalize of logic for transduction across different orders of vibration, different bodies, including the grosser skhanda, and all media (cue Aristoxenus' rhythmizomena, here). Following Boethius, and taking into account his degrees of order rising out of "Fate's mobility," we seek rhetorics that transduce information up and down this stigmergic scale.


The transitive verb "to transduce" describes processes that "alter the physical nature or medium of (a signal)" and "convert variations in (a medium) into corresponding variations in another medium" (OED). When pressure or brightness is converted to voltage or position, you have transduction (OED). The Federal Telecommunications Standard 1037CA describes a transducer as a "device for converting energy from one form to another for the purpose of measurement of a physical quantity or for information transfer" With daily wiki practice, we become attuned to this dynamic nature of information. "At the same time I am caught up in experiencing certain patterns of wyrd, I am creating them" (What is Wyrd?) In this way, transduction becomes the translational mode for weaving wyrds in wiki. Merging with these energy gradients of information transfer, wiki welcomes technologies of writing with sound, image, and text. Suddenly, technological metaphors and analogies for the act of wyrding--antennae, phonographs, tape heads, and cathode ray tubes--actualize as multimedia practice with sound, image, and text. These are repetition-based practices of rhythm, and the lightning computations they facilitate find their most crystalized form in the "logic of gnosis," through the sacred compressions of mantra, yantra, and mudra. These models come into play in the transmission of knowledge, for teaching; however, even in our teaching, they are in first and foremost models of transduction, rhetorics for commons-formation.


Govinda's Foundations of Mysticism, organized according to the syllables of the om mani padme hum mantra, elaborates one such model, and in doing so appears as a rhetoric for becoming a transducer. While the book attunes specifically to Buddhist mantric practices (towards the cultivation of prajna), the opening chapter, "The Magic of Words and the Power of Speech" necessarily connects numerous traditions according to the common element of their diverse practices of repetition: Om, and the association Om with the infinite. According to this argument, Om is the mantric bindu from which diverse traditions, each "expressing the experience of infinity," unfold: both Hindu and Buddhist Tantrism, Vaishnavism and Shaivaism, Jainism, Vedantism. And texts: The Vedas, the Upanishads, and Brahmanas. "This," Govinda states, "does not exhaust the different possibilities of expression, nor does it include their combination and mutual penetration" (24). Wiki windows present themselves as an experience of the infinite. Learning from tradition (sampling from archaic technologies, including sacred technologies) and from experience (testing, translating, and remixing these rhetorics through empirical investigation), we can, in our teaching, facilitate fruitful itineraries in several directions. Govinda's code book, or, in the sense of manual or guide, rhetoric for the visualization, actualization, and navigation of interconnectivity, is but one such rhetoric that, added to wiki, equals resonance.


Govinda's is a theory of "creative sound" and "vibration," where receptivity, not expansion, is the starting point: listening. The lotus flower as the icon of sharing and unfoldment. "The sound of OM... is like the opening of the arms to embrace all that lives. It is not an expression of self expansion, but rather of universal acceptance, devotion, and receptivity--comparable to that of a flower, that opens its petals to the light and to all who partake of its sweetness. It is a giving and a taking at the same time" (47). [1]