Augmentology" a concise manual of reality for our digital age."

Mark Hancock,_Augmentology: Interfaccia Tra Due Mondi_

[Sponsored by The Ars Virtua Foundation/CADRE Laboratory for New Media]

Biological science defines _synapses_ as neural units that primarily operate as a juncture between neurons. Synapses are viewed as conductors that are essential in determining functions in the central nervous system. Synaptic connections provide for transmission and production of information crucial to the survival of the relevant organism. Each synaptic connection operates via surges in a system dependent on constant electrochemical streaming. In Synthetic environments, a similar fluid process of content absorption and production, social data surging and information engagement is termed _Synthapticism_.

Synaptic performance is specific to a biological organism; in contrast, synthaptic functioning is specific to synthetic spaces and the entities that inhabit them. Synthetics engage synthaptically through a networked equivalent of geospatial orientation, biochemical triggering and geophysical body language. These equivalences are dependent on the platform[s] involved and levels of operational focus generated. This focus is represented by a concentrated mass of aggregational attention. An illustration of how this focused/concentrated attention manifests is the phenomena of _Crowdsourcing_. Crowdsourcers produce clusters of user-mediated data through surges of concentrated attention. MMOGs also utilize aggregational-generated information through the construction of guilds or collectives.

Synthetics display attentional surges appropriate to synthaptic shiftings. Synthetic environments operate in accordance with this surge potentiality, with users adopting platforms that offer a contemporary catering for the relevant surge. For instance, early adopters flock towards software that allows for adequate community transference. Synthapticism is evident in the transference of attention from one synthetic platform to another via this surging. Contemporary examples of such shifts are MMOGers uptake of the newly released _Age of Conan_ whilst abandoning their current game platforms, or Twitter users migrating to consistently usable micro-blogging software.

Synthapticism produces unprecedented connections between synthetic participants. Adjunctive relationships are constructed via Identity interfacing and cushioned by support networks with a comparable emotional weighting to those found in traditional sociocentric structures [acquaintance>friendship>family>community]. Synthaptic communication may appear as fractured or trivial to those not connected synthaptically. One important component of the establishment of these synthaptically-defined relationships is the formation of appropriate semantic structuring. This will be discussed in _Unpacking the _Synthaptic_: Version 1.1_.

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