A public mirror is a device that enables an open, topical community (a public) to formalize the definitive bounds of its own communications, and therein the image of itself. See the full definition. The present investigation attempts to answer the question: Might the sight of its own reflected image in a public mirror be sufficient to sustain the extensive, purposeful communications of a discursive baseline or similar proto-public?1
The last link above points to the mirror front for this topic, which in turn points to the remainder of the discussion. The mirror front might not survive, however, so here is a complete trace, excluding unanswered threads:
These span the invention of public mirrors and an attempt to bootrap the first mirror on the topic of itself.
The bootstrapping attempt failed to catch on. But I realized that the invention of public mirrors might complete the core design of Votorola. Looking into their similarity with vote mirrors, I identified a class of device named "open reflector" that I expect will be a crucial structural support for publics and the public sphere. I thought of turning a battery of reflectors onto themselves and using the result as a lever to launch the public sphere. I fitted these ideas into Votorola in a restructured home page,2 and carried them over into a new investigation, one that looks into the possibility of a recursive public sphere.3
- ^ Thanks to Stephen Konieczka for pointing out the problem of a public's extensive boundaries, which is crucial to the concept of public imaging. Private email from Stephen Konieczka to Michael Allan. July 23, 2013.
- ^ http://reluk.ca/var/db/repo/votorola/rev/aa019abcffe5
- ^ Named after Christopher Kelty's "recursive publics" in Two Bits. Thanks to Sebastian Benthall for mentioning this book.