21.38, Wednesday 23 Nov 2005

Semiotcraton: The semiotcracy (defined; links) is a constellation of consequences of representation and naming: We want to represent, and - in a society [I include the nonhuman, naturally] - some representations thrive, and interact. They exert forces on the world, giving skins to that-which-is-represented so that alternative representations are progressively denied.

Consider the power of models. The world is round now. 1,000 years ago, the world is flat. Now, the world was flat. The words is and was allow us to refer to alternative totalising models from the inside and outside. They afford us history. They are the this and that of models; they are pointers with minimal representation.

But once our drive to represent has categorised the universe, we will live in a continuous present, a continuous is. The semiotcracy will have caused a self-reinforcing loop where the universe inspires representation, and then conforms to that same representation, inspiring itself. We will be at a dead end. The is will never become a was.

The eschaton is the end times (see eschatology in Wikipedia; the Catholic Encyclopedia). Thus the semiotcraton is the end of history through total naming, and it can happen in little ways, and I see the signs of it everywhere.

(At Design Engaged, Matt Ward gave me a DEscribe badge when I used the word "semiotcraton" (while looking at this graffiti I believe), requiring me to write a definition in 200 words or less. I just made it, if you don't count the hypertext.)