Distinction of digital and virtual

*these writings may not make sense throughly as they are mostly notes of what I think at that moment

The distinction between digital and virtual is a crucial point in order to understand how information is produced (recorded), transmitted and exchanged. Those three points, mentioned in Kwinter’s last book Requiem for the city at the end of the millennium, based on the fact that our culture no longer stores its history primarily in words and texts, but in images.

Digital what we call can be thought as the underlying base of the reality, virtual or physical. It is based over bits, binaries, which don’t have an existence. They are the free form of data that does need a certain interface to operate with. At that point that interface, rather virtual or physical turns the digital into a reality, where an existence can now be talked about.

The social relationships, very first meeting of two people and their conversation is the actual form of this virtual existence…

The location based social networks extends persons virtual existence in a wider range through some sort of device that translates the data of personality. Like the facebook page or the foursquare tips, it creates another virtual layer over the person’s existence that can interact with the other person’s layer and create some sort of transmission. Again over Kwinter’s explanation of recording, transmission and exchange, every person is itself a recording device of the images around their environment. For example, a tourist in Times Square captures 50 pictures in a moment, and it becomes 5000 pictures with 100 people takes the picture of the same place, with lots of differentiation of the same location, through different people. The information of the same object, space, and location is transmitted to the recording device; a camera, a drawing, or some kind of sentence includes the image of the moment. This recording process creates a certain layer for every person, through what kind of preference they might have over the same situation. And it is exchanged with the gathering of different people that gets into the range. One people that takes the picture, sees the other pictures that have been taken, and downloads to his own, while others are doing the same. Various moments of the various pictures are distributed to the whole people in that area. That will create a field of information exchange, where the very moment of exchange drives the whole system, and there emerges a complete interaction of people.  That very moment of exchange is where the digital information turns into virtual field and creates another sort of communication.

Slavoj Zizek’s “The Reality of the Virtual” worths watching at this point.


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