online: 16 june 2003
modified: 22, 25, 29 june 2003

13 june 2003 parkbench tv 2

(continued from the historical parkbench tv and from the electric book part 2)

Numeroso is tired and looks for somewhere to sit down. He finds an unoccupied bench in a city square and sits there (barely thinking) with his eyes closed.

I've not slept very well he thinks in English words for this is London2 and everything is authentic - from the language of his thoughts to the form of this square with its central garden behind railings and the surrounding eighteenth century English houses - although he believes that thought can happen without language - and that life can happen without houses... can think in colours and you can live on a parkbench write the fingers...

Without opening his eyes he feels that there is something odd about the bench. With his hands he can feel indentations in the plank on which he is sitting. He opens his eyes and sees that there are incised diagrams along the front of the bench and he gets up to look at them:

a website address (,

its GPS location (lattitude and longitude),

an instruction for aligning a wireless laptop towards an antenna on the roof of a nearly building,

and a picture of people gathering and talking around the bench...

and by now there are indeed a few people gathering, as in the incised picture.

There's something new about this he thinks and then he sees that Unesco is there talking to a social activist, called Ella, who wants to know what's happening. Unesco tells her that this is the fictional version of parkbench tv, the first step in realising the experimental city - it began recently in the historical London and is now being extended on the second earth in London2...

London2 - what's that she asks incredulously - what's that? It sounds to her more like a dream than a reality (but she's already in it!). She asks Unesco about the aims and the budget, and who's responsible for the plan, and what is the time scale...

...It looks like London as it is in all respects, says Unesco, except for these bench marks, but they tell of the beginning of something very different that may not even figure in management data - parkbench tv is entirely local, it has no central equivalent or model... people as we really are and our city as it really is - these are things beyond thought and beyond measurement.

Ella looks at the incisions - and also at Numeroso - he's an enormous man and attracts attention wherever he goes - she thinks he looks kindly and not at all dangerous. He reminds her of Robert Browing.

This is a network of local channels, says Unesco, through which the daily life of everyone becomes both the content and the government of global culture - that's the underlying idea...

At this point the writing stops and with it the imagined picture of the square, the bench, these people, their thoughts and sayings... as the fingers await inspiration for the next bit - hm - hm - hm -

I must remember that this is not speaking but writing thinks the writer, it's happening much more slowly than daily life as the fingers inscribe and the mind reviews and improves what is written beyond the small vocabulary of colloquial speech and of course or off course it is poetry... Without that we might as well stop immediately for this is meant to become a formative myth of the time - it's more than entertainment and it doesn't figure in any measurement or objective calculation - it's the invisible ethos or spirit of the time - if we do not kill it at birth by attempted appeal to normality or common sense or finality. No such criteria are relevant to the making of new life. And perfection is of course impossible, and unnecessary...

We are re not supposed to intrude in this way type the fingers - and then there is a pause while elements regroup and malformation is refused.

...but something has happened

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