Making Sense of Orai


Session Title:

  • Orai, Comings and Goings

Presentation Title:

  • Making Sense of Orai



  • Pathways in the Net, let’s call them hypertracks, are like pathways in the brain – non-linear, associative, bifurcating. If we apply hypertracking to the rubric ORAI we are led geographically from Nagoya to Lithuanian, to Brazil by way of Portugal, to the Pays Basque, to Poznan, to Italy, finally with a little twist to New Mexico. This is to conduct a semantic routing. ORAI means weather in Lithuanian, pray! in Portuguese, today in Basque, it stands for Laboratory of Operational Research and Artificial Intelligence in Poland, and Organizacion Revolucionaria Anarquista Insurreccionalista in Italy. ORAI leads us to ORAIBI?for long the most important pueblo of the Hopi people who have lived there for over a thousand years. Old Oraibi, on Third Mesa, has the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States.We could settle there a while. We are told about the Orai Shinsatsu (The New Correspondence Manual) of the Northern and Southern Courts Period in Japan, and we quickly see that with the slightest shift of intonation it becomes Orei – a cash gift made by Japanese custom to doctors as a token of appreciation. And that’s just the first ten minutes of Net associative thought.


    Increasingly my thinking is net thinking, increasingly the flow between my internal associations and my hypertracking is seamless. If I were not always on to the Net (which is to say always in the mixed reality of physical space and telematic space) when I’m reading, on the phone, mobile texting, or in face to face seminar mode I would loose half of my imaginative thinking capacity. Increasingly my better half is in the Net. So this marks out a phase space of a shifting landscape : weather pray! today Artificial Intelligence anarchic insurrection. Try triangulating these semantic loci. Then the scene shifts to Hopiland where the most significant tracking motif has to be the ladder, linking those levels between the kiva floor, and the sky altars, just as with the Hopi language itself – layered, stratified, stepped.


    What kind of thought landscape is constituted by this process? Where is the linearity of the enlightenment, the determinism of regulation science? All gone! A new kind of romantic revival is at work here, not the romanticism of self expression but that of self-navigation, of connectivism, a liberated, open-ended routing through the mind. But this mind is amplified by the computer, made artificially more intelligent, quicker, multitasking. More PDP dependent than centrally controlled, driven more more by contingency than will. Hypertracking through the Net , communicating and interacting as much as retrieving and depositing ideas in a state of telematic immersion brings us close to the mental activity of the shamans immersed in a psychic space of limitless dimensions, minds opened to a larger source of ideas, images and wisdom. Hypertracking, web-wandering, these are ancient dreams, played out in the new numinosity of cyberspace.

Supporting Document(s):