~e; EM terminology in political language

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 4 Jun 2004 18:39:16 -0500

Awhile ago I was reading about basic electronics and there are several 
diagrams which explain the relations between power and resistance and 
capacitance, and a few basic equations.  At that time the language of 
'flow' and 'resistance' as part of a balanced circuit sounded similar 
to the language used in certain discourses; such as the 'flow of 
information' or 'political acts of resistance'.

There are diagrams for specific mathematical relationships, and yet the 
most basic, instructive circuit diagrams are also interesting to 
consider with regards to potential conceptual parallels. A search 
online for "electromagnetism" and politics or political-economy 
resulted in no directly relevant hits. Though the most basic diagram 
can be found at the following url:


	I = E/R		flow = force / resistance

	E=IR			force = flow x resistance

	R=E/I		resistance =  force / flow

	resistance: R, ohms

		the ability to control current,
		all materials have it
		conductors have low resistance
		insulators have high resistance

	current: I, amperes


	emf: E, volts

		electromotive force
		possibly related to 'difference'

Apparently in political-science or political economics there is some 
reference to hydrodynamics or thermodynamics, as a conceptual analogy. 
Therefore, it may be possible to reframe 'flow' and 'resistance' in 
relation to a balancing of circuits, however complex. For instance, a 
circuit can have a battery within a circuit, with a flow of electrical 
current which can be resisted in several ways (parallel and-or series) 
while also having certain flows harnessed, so much so that computation, 
wireless, and everything else electronic is made possible, if the 
circuit works.

It is wondered when reading of a certain position which relies just on 
'resistance' and another, possibly, just on mediating flows, if these 
could be part of a 'single circuit' design, like in electronics. Maybe 
this is an idea about circuit diagrams and diagramming, as a conceptual 
tool beyond just tangible printed circuit boards and as a type of 
language in which to communicate ideas, beyond electronics. And some 
artists have explored this with circuit boards. An example is in the 
list archives though I have forgotten the artist's Canadian name.

What flows, What is resisted, and what is the source of power? It seems 
that ideas can both be resisted as ideas, and on ideological bases, and 
vice-versa ideologies can be freely circulated and resisted, by ideas 
or ideologies. The medium of the flow and forces can change, such as 
with wireless (radio, IR, magnetism) and wired circuitry, and 
resistance is a quality that seems to be inherent in that 'loss' occurs 
in the circuitry, and can be resisted by things that need the force and 
flow in which to work, such as an LED and its metal posts, probably 
also the photons jumping across the gap to make light inside the 
transparent plastic casing. Variable resistors exist, which can be like 
a dial from one value (smaller) to another (larger). And capacitors, 
which function somewhat like temporary batteries which collect flow to 
a certain point, and then release it back into the circuit when 
reaching their specifications from what I gather. Capacitors are found 
in memory backup devices in portable electronics, to keep a certain 
amount of reserve it would seem.

This possible connection between circuits and the political use of 
electronics and EM language could be helpful if it clarifies or allows 
some things that may not otherwise be possible within existing uses of 
'resistance' and 'flow'. As, they are the fundamental parts of a 
electronics circuit diagram. To discuss them outside this context, or 
with another rationale without allowing an electromagnetic vantage may 
limit the meaning that is possible. And, some questions that 
differentiate the ideological use of terminology and the conceptual 
use. A battery, for instance, in a circuit could function in a 
democracy as the citizenry as represented as power (through taxes, 
voting, law) and the flow could be that which is institutional and 
constitutional, or 'debate' itself about culture, or values, the 
resistance could the same thing, in another way. Though, a circuit 
based just on a resistance and a power source would seem just to 'lose 
energy' in the total circuit. As might flows without resistance drain 
energy very fast, with respect to the work that may be performed. It is 
endless speculation though specific circuit diagrams could communicate, 
it seems possible, a variety of perspectives.

With the use of 'flip-flop', antenna, lightning-rod, signals, and the 
rest as part of the everyday discourse in politics, the idea of a 
circuit and circuit-analysis.

	1. Flow of Charge: The Current
	2. Electric Resistance and Ohm's Law
	3. Voltage Law and Current Law


It is curious what an 'individual' circuit would be modeled as being, 
as a citizen in a democracy or any other form of government, or a 
specific democracy, even. What the symbols in the circuit might be, 
like the heraldry on a family coat-of-arms, what may represent certain 
ideas or even values, for people, for countries, for relationships 
between these.


Here is an additional aspect of power, which also could be considered 
in the context of circuitry...

Current and resistance

                 	Power = force x flow

		Power = force (squared) / resistance

		Power = flow (squared) x resistance

I am writing this down as a note, not knowing if there has been a great 
deal already done on this subject with regard to terminology. It is 
curious how pervasive the use of the language is, though it is wondered 
if the meaning is retained or may be pre-electronic in its 
understanding, as, for example, one may read Plato and consider only 
the four forces as described (air, fire, water, earth) instead of 
today's, when reading, or likewise, ancients belief that water was the 
primordial substance that held the material world together (a case can 
be made for EM being this, though) and existed in everything, though it 
does not seem fire nor water today can do justice to the politics which 
exploit electromagnetic means to their political own ends, while it is 
possible zero-knowledge exists which explores this phenomenon in an 
electromagnetic context.

Thoughts on any of it, appreciated.

  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization