Across the Cross: Translation, Transgression, War

by Sergey Tyulenev

The world, as we know it, does not exist in an undivided state — the world is always a combination of marked and unmarked parts. Even if an observer attempts to observe the world in its entirety, the world will inevitably be divided into the observed and the observer. In other words, the world should be presented as ever-crossed, that is, containing a cross. George Spencer Brown, the author of Laws of Form, defines cross as distinguishing between two sides of a cleft space (form), or between something and something else (1973, 1, 6). Cross is a boundary between something that is indicated, and therefore marked, and all the rest — not indicated, not marked. Such cross-generating distinction lies at the basis of any observation understood at the highest degree of abstraction (not just optical), including observations in the cognitive and social realms (Spencer Brown 1973, v, xiii). Observation is understood as handling distinctions — differentiating between marked and unmarked phenomena. The boundary (cross), drawn as a result of distinguishing between the marked and unmarked and indicating the marked, separates a named value from all other values, ego from alter, and system (including social systems) from environment.



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