June 7, 2008
Version 1 of _Unpacking the _Synthaptic_ outlined the concept of Synthapticism and its formation in synthetic environments. Synthapticism rests on an underlying set of semantic structures. These structures allow for the development of credible synthetic relationships and vary according to platform specifics. Common semantic elements include a combination of the _lingual_ and _multivariate_.
In synthetic environments, social interaction occurs through multichannelled communication. Relevant language evolution is reliant on communication patterns generated through brevity and massed consistency. In Second Life, avatars mimic the physical action of writing on a keyboard when their geophysical selves type on screen. Second Life avies may use a combination of local or global text chat or messaging. SL avies can also communicate via voice. Many MMOGs use similar text-based communication with VOIP allowing for layered engagement. Mobile technologies, social games and ARG items all encourage text abbreviation resulting in dense stylistics. These lingual variables help define the mechanics of synthaptic transmission.
Another component of semantic synthapticism is a multivariate method of data absorption. Synthetics navigate and produce constant streams of data. This data may be funnelled through specific software types [eg PMOG] or via self-selected parameters [think: RRS feeds or Friendfeed]. This filtering acts to flatten primary data in terms of acceptable methods of verifiability. Synthetics assign priority to this data through shared attentional chunking. This chunking is multivariate; filtered data transforms and embeds into a socially-elastic comprehension system.
One way of assigning comprehension in this synthaptic data refinement is deliberate _content pinpointing_. In printcentric models, this extraction would parallel the linear construction of meaning via narrative or expositional means. One hazard of the accumulative nature of this process is _rechannelled bottlenecking_. The process of multivariate data absorption creates serial flagging of emergent concepts [ie tipping-points]. These concepts create information bottlenecks via repeated flaggings. Entities may target-mine these areas in line with capitalistic reappropriation. Current examples of this phenomenon are Corporate “Social Media Experts” who mask their synthetic participation so as to claim individuated authorship of such aggregated concepts. Should limits be placed on such reappropriation attempts?
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