Why now?
The academic institution being in the throes of privatization of cultural capital, progressivism, data-driven and dada-rich colonialism, does not need a response. But pataphysics will give it one anyway. Because pataphysics engages with the world and its administrative workings with a science of exceptions, equivalence, and imaginary solutions. And because it sets in front of the non-inevitable a stance of the imperturbable. In short, the science of pataphysics provides a way of getting on with things when administrative imperialism is on the rise.

Why here?
All places being equivalent makes the place as fitting as any. It will be seen that Here has become There, in a network. Because here can be simulated anywhere, this pataphysical institute will be located spatially (specially) .

The Name of FortyCups
The name of the institute will be derived from its geospatial location at

Lat: N 47 ° 35 ‘ 6 ” ( 47.585 ° )
Lon: W 94 ° 55 ‘ 19 ” ( -94.922 ° )
Elevation (ft): 1417

In the interest of efficiency, branding, and logo design (none of which will be officially endorsed) the name will be immediately shortened to 47941417 and then to 4, as the most frequent but not most important number, all numbers being equivalent. Friends may even refer to the institute as Forty Cups, a reference to how 2+2=40 (2 teacups + 2 teacups = 40 cups) Once the institute becomes ambient, a choral bed, the official name of the institute will be changed to FortyCups, and the history (hosiery) of the naming will be relegated to myth.

An alternative name considered was ForkHandles, which inscribed a line from Ubu’s green candle and the equivalent Two Ronnies sketch while inflecting the 4 of the geolocation. There was no reason to use 40Cups, save it was thought of first.

The inscription options


The institute will be a 500 gig hard drive formatted for Mac, at the geolocation (ego location) on which is stored all the notes, documents, bookmarks, metadata, PDFs; and two paperbound books: a copy of Faustroll, and a copy of Hugill, ‘pataphysics. When the drive is replaced, it will be formatted at the same location, or the name of the institution changed to designate the location of the formatting.

Because the institute as a hard drive is limited in access, it will also exist as a wiki ++on a domain, either at FortyCups.erhetoric.org or FortyCups.org++ Update 28 May 2016: a static set of web pages at pataphysics.github.io. We are looking at this. Update 10 Jan 2017: a weblog hosted on WordPress.Com christened against its will as PataphysicsToday.

The official language will be Markdown.

The official iconography will be the WikiWord. WikiWords will have special but equivalent status in the documents of FortyCups. As will the autosuggestion. Both provide access to the exception that drives understanding in pataphysics.

The official mode of composition will be the autocorrection.

The special interests (SIGs) will be

open source software
wikis but not blogs, except when they are interesting
the semiotics of academic management prose
autocorrective semantics
autocorrective poetics
student pataphysics
ambient rhetoric as a study of pataphysical emergence

The common theme is obvious: that pataphysics has become firmly embedded in the culture, as it surfaces in academics, management, academic management, wikis, open source (douce) software, software design, and unconsciously in student work. In this last, we suspect that academics set up pataphysical situations as kairotic spaces: that teaching in academics is the various requests for imaginary solutions, every solution being of equivalent. In autocorrect we see imaginary solutions taking on features of imaginary AI. In open source software we see the nearly perfect (pretext) imaginary solution. Wikis, as the simplist database that can possibly work (Cunningham), were designed to never be completed, constantly updated, a pataphysical bed from which to work. We see the utility of wikis increasing beyond their lack of authority, as Wikipedia enacts. And, like wikis as a digital space, the US drive towards privatization (privilege) of state resources as it is practiced in academic management as corporate wanna-be-ism creates a fertile (ferule) managerial bed for pataphysics, both conscious and unconscious. The overarching thought-theme is ambient rhetoric (Rickert), with its never to be realized project to replace or displace or perhaps unplace the subject-object binary of persuasion (rhetor-public mediated by the use of symbols) with the presymbolic. The world persuades and in doing so, enworlds (enfolds) us. We are persuaded, and in being so, enworld. Being is persuasion. We find chora, kairos, enworlding and other concepts from ambient rhetoric useful in embedding pataphysics, and the other way around. As well, my 6th grade teacher was a Miss Rickert. She taught sixth graders anthropology and color theory off the curriculum, a pataphysical gesture.

The totem of FortyCups is the speed bump, known in England and Europe as a sleeping policeman. The sleeping policeman embeds ambient rhetoric in materiality (Rickert), ++but it also serves++ and so it serves as a reminder that pataphysical presences lie in wait to slow us down, or speed up. We propose renaming speed bumps in the Americas as *dreaming pataphysicians*.

An initial project of 47.5-94.9 (4TeaCups) is to embed in the documents of the institute alternative words and spellings of terms related to pataphysics and the institution autosuggested instruction, then insertion) (autosuggested pata physical) made by autocorrect mechanisms. In this way, an autosuggested alternative (alert native) record will be recorded that traces the interaction of the recorder with the keyboard device. As an example, an early suggestion was para for pata, but after a dozen uses, the suggestion of paraphysical came to be replaced by pataphysical. This on a Apple iPhone, with iOS v 7.01. In the future all history will be recorded (recoded) keystroke by keystroke so readers might consider with precision how history is written. Of special interest will be those suggestions made by the device that the recorder (recode re) does not take, either consciously (and so ‘pataphysical) or unconsciously (paraphysical). Eventually a markup code will be developed for these morphemic and semantic alternatives

The first significant debate was the network placing of the institute. Should it be its own domain as 4TeaCups.org? Or should it ride on the domain back of the pre-existant erhetoric.org? Both solutions , it was immediately acknowledged, were (we’re was the autocorrection as a trace of the solutions speaking for themselves) identical. 4TeaCups.org was available at the time, so the choice would involve ignoring a potential imaginary possession of a name space. The argument ran thus:

Purchasing the domain name would limit the possibility of confusion. We could end up with two similarly named spaces: a dot org top level, and a subdomain (subdominant) at erhetoric.org. This could create a potential for confusion in Google results, never mind what happens if you just type forty cups in a browser and the length of the web address in the business card.

The counter argument ran:

Property is theft, and syzygy is freedom. (autocorrect offers no alternative for syzygy). All solutions are equivalent. By embracing Google, we embrace the responsibility to create confusion in search results. Adding it as a subdomain means not spending $10 a year and leaves potential for other gestures of pataphysics. Why would you restrict the use of a pun? Mind the speed bump.

In the end, it was decided that limiting the possibility of confusion also limits the potentiality of transcendental enlightenment, sketching a ladder from the gutter to the stars. FortyCups must will, as a site of pataphysics, create potentialities, even knowing it doesn’t really matter.