This is the astronomical symbol for a comet. An earthbound comet is an influx of cosmic material into the earthly realm, so, in many ways the symbol is an apt metaphor for the type of written material it represents.
This is the mathematical symbol representing the concept of infinity. Used in science, mathematics and tarot, in Upgrade Space it is used to represent data associated with the mind in general.
This is a taijitu symbol, used to represent the concept of yin and yang. In this case it is representing data related to emotional balance.
This is a mathematical symbol that has been repurposed to represent objective discourse related to sexuality. Here, the X is represents sex as in “XXX”, the “XX” chromosome or the “X” in the word sex. The circle surrounding the X represents a barrier of objectivity. The stand-up comedian Stewart Lee used to draw a chalk circle around the microphone, referencing something medieval clowns used to do outside churches in order to protect themselves from being persecuted for heresy.
This symbol is a box representing earthly systems…
Martin Teague: Sir? If you don’t mind my asking… why a box?
Arlington Steward: Your home is a box. Your car is a box on wheels. You drive to work in it. You drive home in it. You sit in your home, staring into a box. It erodes your soul, while the box that is your body inevitably withers… then dies. Whereupon it is placed in the ultimate box, to slowly decompose.
Martin Teague: It’s quite depressing, if you think of it that way.
Arlington Steward: Don’t think of it that way… think of it as a temporary state of being.
Dialogue from “The Box” (2009), directed by Richard Kelly.
“…Paul Tillich argued that, while signs are invented and forgotten, symbols are born and die. There are, therefore, dead and living symbols. A living symbol can reveal to an individual hidden levels of meaning and transcendent or religious realities. For Tillich a symbol always “points beyond itself” to something that is unquantifiable and mysterious: the symbol’s “depth dimension”. Symbols are complex, and their meanings can evolve as the individual or culture evolves. When a symbol loses its meaning and power for an individual or culture, it becomes a dead symbol. The Greek Gods might be an example of symbols that were once living for the ancient Greeks but whose meaning and power are now gone. When a symbol becomes identified with the deeper reality to which it refers, it becomes idolatrous as the “symbol is taken for reality.” The symbol itself is substituted for the deeper meaning it intends to convey. The unique nature of a symbol is that it gives access to deeper layers of reality which are otherwise inaccessible.” – ⓦ