Welcome to OrdoAbWiki, a wiki about Ordo Abchao (ordo ab chao), a gamified book for iPad, a.k.a the scripture for non-believers by @GreyEcologist. Ordo Abchao is about Nas Eddin, a San Francisco weed grower and an AIR member, trying to survive an apocalyptic near future where winged-creatures nicknamed 'angels' have invaded Earth, but mysteriously disappear at night. When Nas auctions his weed for food supplies, his winning bid only brings chaos to his doorstep, in the form of a vulture named John B.
OA is the original FPS-Punk, or First Person Shooter Punk, which is an innovative, engaging and immersive reading experience born out of the convergence between gaming and literature. This wiki gathers all the news, informations and materials about Ordo Abchao.
Ordo Abchao started as a simple idea, to write a story about an apocalyptic future using a futuristic way to tell it. At first, this futuristic way consisted of a timestamp above each paragraph:
Then other 'status counters' came to be added below the timestamps, i.e temperature, civilization type, mood, etc, and altogether they shaped the format used throughout most of OA 1.0:
Location: San Francisco, CA
All those additions, while essentially numerical, added a new narrative dimension to the story. At first, they seemed to add an immersive quality to the narrative, but eventually they changed the story being written from a story about an apocalyptic future to an immersion into an apocalyptic future. This is when FPS-Punk, both as a style and as a purpose, came to life. The First Person Shooter Punk Manifesto came much later on, but its conception was born out of this added dimension that changed both the nature and the direction of the story. The I of the narrator became divorced from the I of the author, not merely separated from it and used as a literary device, but completely emancipated. From that point on, the story found its direction through an immersion of the I of the author into the I of the narrator immersed into the apocalyptic future of OA. In other words, I as the author became a reader. This consumption of the divorce between the narrator (and in a greater sense, the meaning of the story) and the author had been called for by the french literary theorist Roland Barthes in his famous essay The Death of the Author. As Barthes puts it:
This materialization of a new dimension made it impossible for me to stamp on the narrative my author-itative voice. From then on, the story wrote itself. There are parallels to this paradoxical non-agency of the author towards his creation that can be found in network theory, namely in Bruno Latour's actor-network theory. For a social network like Facebook, its social graph is defined by the people connected and connecting with other people. People are the actors creating and maintaining relationships. However, the use of the actor-network theory (ANT) reveals that its actual social graph involves other actors such as images, conversations, posts, videos, etc, which also play they parts in the creation and maintenance of relations within the social graph. ANT provides a framework to include nonhuman agencies such as ideas, symbols, objects, organizations in how we look and study networks. Referring to ANT, Bruno Latour writes:
Similarly in a story, there is a network of characters, themes, symbols, places and other nonhuman agencies acting and interacting within and upon the narrative. In a sense the narrative becomes the resolution of all those agencies and relationships within the story. Yet it is not as simple as to say that the author unconsciously or passively wrote the story, more accurately, all the different agencies within the narrative are simultaneously both created by and the creators of the narrative they are part of, the magic residing in the whole (i.e the narrative) being greater than the sum of its parts. The story wrote itself. The same principle applies to dreams. Unless lucid dreaming, we do not actively shape the nature or course of our dreams. Instead, memories, events, moods, desires, fears, etc, all coordinates with the dreamer's agency to create the dream, which while in it, the dreamer accepts as real. Barthes might have as well written the Death of the Dreamer, for very much like the fictional story, the dream story does not find its meaning in the dreamer, but in whoever hear or read or otherwise experience the dream.
So while Ordo Abchao started as a project to tell a story about an apocalyptic future, it became an immersion into an apocalyptic future. And where the narrative started as the expression of the author's singular agency, it became the organic resolution of a network of agencies and relationships, an elegant answer derived from a complex system, or if I dare say so, order out of chaos.
Much of what we do is guided by will, our free will or another's will, and again using ANT, that other could be anyone, or any group, any institution, religion, culture, law, rule, moral, principle, etc. The same principle applies when we are immersed inside a dream, our actions are guided by either our will or that of another. Further more, whether in real life or immersed inside a dream, we tend to put a great focus, successful or not, on controlling the set of actions that we take. However, when we do wake up from a dream, we tend not to focus so much on the control we had on our actions as much we focus on the meaning of those actions. Shouldn't the same principle apply when we contemplate our lives? Shouldn't we give a greater focus on the meaning of our actions than on the control we have over them? In practice however, we tend to give a greater meaning to the actions we take out of our own free will than those we take because of another's will. In fact, the Milgram experiment showed that we tend to completely defer the meaning and responsibility of our actions when we can point to another's will.
What if indeed sleep is the cousin of death? What if sleep is a small death? Then every time we wake up we get to live again and give a meaning to the life we just lived. But in a way, we already do that, for while we usually do not control the course of our dreams, every night they give a meaning to the life we live. It is not meaning born out of our own free will, but it is meaning nonetheless, even as we can point to our unconscious or another's will. Our dreams are meaningful, and as such they ought to guide not just our actions, but every agent's actions within our actor-network (i.e community or society). In dreams begin responsibilities, with or without free will. That responsibility begins with acknowledging and sharing our dreams, for they are guide to us all, for they too are order born out of chaos. The mission of Ordo Abchao is to create a secular movement willing to share its dreams. That movement is AIR.