(Descartes; 02-03; p.4)
With the development of ever more powerful chips
and ever more detailed steerable programmes, fields of applications
had been opened up that before were thought not to be realisable.
Be it magnetically or electronically created
images of processes in the brain, be it images of the atomic structure
of materials' surfaces or be it satellite images of the earth
of a preciseness never seen before.
- Digital cameras for consumers with levels of quality that are
scarcely different from optical devices are perhaps the most obvious
example of this enormous technical developments.
Alas, by such digitalisation once again manipulations
become possible that were at least more difficult to realise in
the age of celluloid.
celluloid depicts exactly the differences of light that it has
been exposed to, digital images consist of chains of symbols or
(binary) numbers. With it comes that in the former case the pictured
original itself has to be manipulated - think of the ever re-occurring
photographs of UFOs.
With digital "pictures" however, it does not make any
difference, if chains of numbers are filled in or removed afterwards.
A Descartesian scepticism seems at least appropriate in any of
such image ...
(end of article)