The Boolean Logic of the Thames

If you look at the code below you’ll see that my state is activated and defined by a number of factors, including the psychometric evaluation of readers, CCTV images of the South Bank area, financial and weather information and the height of the Thames at London Bridge. This may paint a rather confusing picture and I’m sorry and all that, but it’s a confusing configuration. My subjectivity. London. Autonomy. I am not so much a man as a series of events. I can see I am just confusing you. Let’s start again

The Thames has released these words for me tonight, it’s a high tide, 7.1 metres at London Bridge, so my lineaments are unusually substantial this grey evening. Don’t ask me to explain my system at this point though. I hardly understand it myself, despite being the creator of this watery calculus. The words that can be used to describe my situation are currently:

watery gesture flaunt astute contradict activate calculus

These the astute reader will note are mainly action verbs. I am an agent after all, and action is my business. If I cannot activate things then my agency is purely nominal, and what kind of agency is that I ask you? If you’d like to make a contribution by the way, I will not be embarrassed; such feelings are hardly appropriate in these parlous times. I’ve been here for half an hour and no one has given me a single penny, not even a laundry token. That’s the Credit Crunch for you. What was it exactly you wanted to know? The Boolean sluices of the Thames? Ah Yes. But no. No this is jumping ahead. Manchuria? That is jumping backwards and I do not wish to flaunt my old war wounds so early in our acquaintance. It’s a retrograde step and I wont take it. My granddaughter? She thinks I am dead. I will not contradict this assumption. It wont help anyone, least of all her. Only Smith knows my true identity and he has the Alzheimers. So my privacy is secured. The notes relating to my case are not reliable. Though I will confirm a diagnosis of Legendary Psychasthenia. My personality and the space around it are frequently subject to disturbed relations, to depersonalisation by assimilation to space, as Caillois put it. There are very few references to it in the literature. Dr. Torro’s brief notes say:

The subject is suffering from acute osmotic depersonalisation. The subject is experiencing a form of Cartesian rift. He is adrift in a world without differential boundaries.

Well, there is some truth in that. But it was a long time ago, something like 1944. Since then I’ve done a lot to improve my ability to differentiate: Encounter groups, brain machines, shock treatments, anti-psychiatry. Drown Therapy. Drown Therapy. Did I say Drown Therapy? No. My gestures. Tower Bridge is not London Bridge, and London Bridge is not falling down, I just wanted to clear that up for the American readers before we continue. Perhaps we should go straight into the code? I fear I am not efficiently articulating the best features of the South System. I’ve commented it to the best of my ability, but it is more or less self-explanatory:

//we jump in at mode 2 else if (mode ==2){ makePaper(); //Papanek’s paper computer, an exercise //in creative bisociation applied to the South Bank area //of South London } else if (mode ==3){

text("In a minute I might splash out on a nice cup of tea, but I'll have to check my shares first, see what the FTSE is up to", 30, 20, 300, 500);
textFont(smallFont, 14);
text("This is somewhat unorthodox, I agree, I believe it is called anterior narration, but this is a variation on that as I myself have no idea how my shares have performed, and therefore no idea what my subsequent actions will be. The authors of 'How to Write a Block Buster' warn against this sort of thing, but what am I supposed to do, counterfeit some sort of clairvoyant insight as my Aunt Tizzle once did. The courts take a very dim view of such things I can tell you.", 700, 60, 300, 500);
textFont(aFont, 22);

} else if (mode ==4){ text(“NP1 +V-be+Adj”, 30, 20); text(” I nearly forgot why I am waiting here. I was telling you about Smith wasn’t I? \n” + pattern2, 30, 70, 300, 500);

} else if (mode ==5){

text(characCheck() + " .But where on earth is Smith? He'd better turn up soon. I suppose I could introduce you to my tidal logic program. I've been working on it for so long now I take it for granted. Try to picture the Thames as a vast environmentally defined system of circuits, a giant, riverine computer. The boolean logic of this machine is defined by the height of its waters and low at high tide. My system is defined by the height of the Thames at London Bridge. What sort of things does it define I hear you ask? Well for starters, let's take my personality traits, the higher the tide the more of traits get released through its intricate system of subjective sluices. Don't ask me exactly how because I haven't worked it out fully myself. The lower the tide the...well...'flatter' I become. I appreciate this must all seem very odd to you, but please take me on trust. I am not given to fabrication. If you turn the page you'll effectively trigger the opening of one of those sluices, so you'll see exactly what I mean. You might notice new features of my personality that were previously hidden from view. I'll take on a far more rounded appearance, the fuller the Thames the rounder I'll seem. It's a mystery I do agree.", 30, 30, 700, 500);

} else if (mode ==6){

sluice.traitSluice(); //releases character traits

text(“6”, 30, 70, 300, 500); }

else if (mode ==7){ text(“Chapter Two”, 70, 25); chap2.intro(20, 55); //more unrealistic games ensue in //which I encourage the reader to share some insight into //my condition.


else if (mode ==8){ chap2.story(); chap2.eightM(); }

else if (mode ==9){ /* Answer the following questions about the river:

Is it diurnal or nocturnal?

Is it an extrovert or an introvert? Would it be lazy or energetic? What kind of house would it like? Is it happy or unhappy? What job would it have? What is its favourite colour? How does it feel first thing in the morning? If it was a film-star who would it be? What does it smell of? Who is its best friend? What would be its favourite song?

  • / } else if (mode ==10){

CREATING NEW SUPERSTITIONS Come up with a new superstition.


If you are emailed by a twin, Google three times.

  • /

} }

//Ivan Dar part II //I could describe this as another agent checking the //status of things and making autonomous choices:


  image(run, 120, 250, 120, 150);
  text("Ivan Dar was running from something that terrified him. He had lost his faith in the power of architecture to protect him, so he decided to keep running until something better appeared.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  textFont(fontB, 18);
  text("It was odd that he was allowing readers to interfere with him, one might even say perverse.", 50, 430, 300, 300);
  text(b1, 400, 400);
else if((b1>=2)&& (b1<3)){
  text("This was invigorating.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  image(trip, 140, 250,  120, 150);
  text(b1, 400, 400);
else if((b1>=3)&& (b1<4)){
  text("Its more than invigorating, I feel like a puppet, like that Stelarc fellow.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  image(run, 190, 250,  120, 150);
  text(b1, 400, 400);
else if((b1>=4)&&(b1<5)){
  text("Could I have a small rest. It’s been a long day and my feet are worn out. My head is like the London Eye, Do you see it lit up and whirling?", 150, 40, 300, 300);}
  if(b2>=2){text("I know I had a small rest earlier, but I’m awfully tired", 150, 40, 300, 300);}
  image(trip, 280, 250,  120, 150);
  text(b1, 400, 400);
else if((b1>=5)&&(b1<6)){
  text("This is a form of mal-administration.", 140, 250, 300, 300);
  image(run, 320, 250,  120, 150);
  text(b1, 400, 400);

else if(b1>=6){
  text("now we move on. Enough", 140, 250, 300, 300);
  //image(stop, 320, 250,  120, 150);
  // text(b1, 400, 400);
  mode2 = true;


////////////////////////////// if(checker2){//button2 text(b2, 400, 400); if(b2<=1){ text(“A calm came over him and he stopped. He couldn’t remember what had frightened him, something about a collision of values, the conflict of night and day.”, 150, 40, 300, 300); image(stop, 220, 250, 120, 150); fill(0); textFont(fontB, 18); text(“His actions contradicted orthodox notions of narrative agency, see Wolf et al (2003). It was closer to a form of simulation.”, 50, 430, 300, 300);

else if((b2>=2)&& (b2<3)){
  text("This was a nice spot for a rest.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  image(sit, 140, 250,  120, 150);
else if((b2>=3)&& (b2<4)){
  text("I am feeling oceanic, my feet are hardly in the same realm as my    head hairs.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  image(lie, 140, 250,  120, 150);
else if((b2>=4)&&(b2<5)){
  text("A close up shot, I like your style", 140, 250, 300, 300);
  image(lie, 80, 250,  375, 190);
else if((b2>=5)&&(b2<6)){
  text("Its quite boring.", 140, 250, 300, 300);
  image(sit, 140, 250,  120, 150);

else if(b2>=6){
  // text("we move on.", 140, 250, 300, 300);
  // image(stop, 140, 250,  120, 150);
  mode2 = true;


////////////////////////////////////// if(checker1){//button text(b, 400, 400); if(b<=1){ text(“Ivan Dar was walking East. He had met a woman once from the East. Though he had no address and no other information about her, he remembered her cyclical theories of human history.”, 150, 40, 300, 300); image(walk, 90, 250, 120, 150); fill(0); textFont(fontB, 18); text(“If he had read Propp’s Morphology of the Russian Folk Tale who knows how things might have turned out?”, 50, 430, 300, 300);


else if((b>=2)&& (b<3)){
  text("Now he was really getting somewhere. He couldn’t wait to discuss her theory of the eternal return, hmm he hoped he was thinking of the right girl, it would be rather awkward if he had got her mixed up with another.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  image(walk, 110, 250,  120, 150);
  textFont(fontB, 18);
  text("Perhaps he would be struggling with some form of inner turmoil to do with Klansman and villainy nullified?", 50, 430, 300, 300);
else if((b>=3)&& (b<4)){
  text("A little fatigue was setting in. Perhaps he might sleep in a barn or on a park bench for a while. Its up to you, he thought passively. You, the reader, will decide my fate.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  image(walk, 140, 250,  120, 150);
  textFont(fontB, 18);
  text("Though he  failed to understand exactly how this was achievable", 50, 430, 300, 300);
else if((b>=4)&& (b<5)){
  text("I see, so that’s how things are going to be between you and me. I am dancing a merry jig for you here. Anything to amuse. In a way it confirms those theories of the eternal return. There aren’t many who wouldn’t benefit from an afternoon with Ecclesiastes, maybe you know him?  Qoheleth, Göhalath? Its true one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life.", 150, 40, 300, 300);
  image(walk, 220, 290,  120, 150);

else if((b>=5)&&(b<6)){
  image(walk, 270, 290,  120, 150);
  text("I've nearly had enough", 150, 300);
else if((b>=6)){
  // text("Enough", 150, 300);
  // image(stop, 290, 290,  120, 150);
  mode2 = true;

Published by Rejected Short Stories

"Now I have restored some of my words that I want to tell people what it feels like to go through such an experience- the contents right flushed out of your brain. What it's like a whole load of other people's stuff pumped into it. Most of what they put in my mind was bank account numbers and bioinformatics data flows rearrange forever. A swirl of unstable figures, flows through me in all directions, such as rats and fleas self-replicating and voracious attacks of my brain, only animals was not, it was language."

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