[SIGCIS-Members] Virtuality versus transprency -- trying to locate a quote about the difference

Anker Helms Jørgensen anker at itu.dk
Thu Oct 30 03:48:16 PDT 2014

Hi Tom

I couldn’t resist trying to trace the origin of this geat qote. I guess in vain, but the text “Sensing the virtual, building the insensible” by Brian Massumi at
is kinda close. The year of publication is actually 1998. Perhaps the references may prove helpful??

It appeared as the second hit at

Best - Anker

Anker Helms Jorgensen
Associate Professor, PhD
IT University of Copenhagen
Rued Langgaardsvej 7
DK-2300 Copenhagen S  Denmark
anker at itu.dk<mailto:anker at itu.dk>
+45 72 18 50 00
+45 31 59 00 50
Room 3E10

On 30 Oct 2014, at 00:00, Thomas Haigh <thaigh at computer.org<mailto:thaigh at computer.org>> wrote:


I am trying to locate a quote I remember reading circa 1998. It is something along the lines of “Something virtual isn’t really there but looks as if it is. Something transparent is really there but looks as if it isn’t.” That is of course the computer science sense of transparency as making the work of software invisible a user or process – for example how the network stack shields applications from whatever network media the data is travelling over to present the illusion of a connection.

Google is not helping me. Does anybody know the source and correct wording?


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