byzantium, presence, and the internet
the byzantine worldview is innately tied to how we define and interact with the internet and internet based entities. iconographic paintings act as screens; access points to a world that lives everywhere and also nowhere. this space was deemed divine because it was constant, accessible, and a thing-into-itself; not a signifier for a not-present idea or a person. these paintings do not require the illusion of depth because that depth is intrinsic. the screens with which we access the contemporary content of the internet are also thin spaces. the world in which we lived is layed over with another space; many other spaces; that are accessible everywhere. the bots that live in this world are beings-unto-themselves with the selfhood of a saint. acheiropoieta; icons created by divine agency were known as acheiropoieta ("not made by (human) hands"). this category of miraculously created image was accorded special veneration throughout the history of byzantium. a significant number of acheiropoieta originated in the early byzantine period, before the advent of iconoclasm in the early eighth century. the most famous acheiropoieta included the mandylion, a white cloth imprinted with the face of christ, and the keramion, a ceramic tile which received the impression of christ's face from the mandylion. the ability to miraculously replicate was a common feature of acheiropoieta. a self-replicating machine is a construct that is capable of reproducing itself autonomously using raw materials found in the environment, thus exhibiting self-replication in a way analogous to that found in nature. a quine is a non-empty computer program which takes no input and produces a copy of its own source code as its only output. the standard terms for these programs in the computability theory and computer science literature are "self-replicating programs", "self-reproducing programs", and "self-copying programs". the quine concept can be extended to multiple levels or recursion, originating what has been called "ouroboros programs".