April 15, 2009

about everything

Back in January, Phil Davenport’s book about everything came out http://tony-trehy.blogspot.com/2009/01/about-everything.html . It has taken me a while to get round to reviewing it, and as I have digested it over the last few months, I am confirmed in my belief that Davenport is the synthesising heir of Bob Cobbing and Ian Hamiton Finlay. While I could comment on the double column form – drawn from newspaper layouts – the paratactic rhythm of the mirroring colour images to the text, the cutting of ontological meditation with media verbiage, for me I think there is something much deeper and more significant going on in the way the language progresses and at the same time dissolves to [][][][][][]. The following passage from a completely unrelated web site seems to me to encapsulate an important phenomenon about everything:

“A phase transition or, phase change, describes when a substance changes its state of matter - eg. ice melting to water is a phase change because a solid changed to a liquid. For a phase change to occur, energy must be added or removed from the substance. Normally adding or removing energy will change the temperature of the substance as the kinetic energy of the particles will increase or decrease. During a phase change however, the potential energy of the substance changes as the particles are moved further apart or closer together. When a system goes from one phase to another, there will generally be a stage where the free energy is non-analytic. This is a phase transition. Due to this non-analyticity, the free energies on either side of the transition are two different functions”


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