2006 01 18
Centers, Edges & Borders is the original file of this section. I concentrated there on edges, not at the time planning a section on relatives of the topic. I also promised that I had a great deal more to say about centers. I don’t today recall what I had in mind. I don’t doubt that anything I had in mind has made other appearances around K., not necessarily here among my Thinking Tools. But a file in which to jot things scrapbook style on centers is overdue here, so this is a start.

I doubt if our hominid ancestors worried much about centers but as civilization swiftly entwined with kleptocracy centralizing powers emphasized centers: started worshiping a central God, started foisting one Church, one king, one state, one government … We’re #1, and we’re the center.

Infants experience things as their center: at least that’s what some smart people, like William Faulkner, imagine as they grow up and talk publicly. The Egyptians had a cute cosmology with earth as the center. The Church, in Europe, taught that earth was to center of the universe, made it a dogma. They wanted the cosmos to be a circle and they wanted to be the center. Uh, how come God wasn’t the center? and people way out in the middle somewhere? (Because … I don’t believe that monotheists ever meant a thing they said about god: it was all really about them. ( may seem sometimes to be all about pk, but it isn’t, not really: it’s all about centers, and edges … and centralization / decentralization. It’s about real orders, and false orders.)

Even today as we think about the universe, the only clear image we have is of a circular solar system with our sun as the center: and very misleading picture it is. Even if we correct “circle” to ellipse, we still mislead ourselves if we think we can map it on a sheet of paper. If we draw a pencil point dot and call it earth, nothing else fits on our paper, not proportionally. The sun, drawn the size of a quarter, would be in another state, Pluto would be chaos-knows-where, and the comet cloud wouldn’t be on the planet: just in our proportional drawing.

Quick notes on what I want to come back and sketch: We picture atoms as having centers: hydrogen: a proton with an election zooming, buzzing around it: in “orbit.” Do molecules have centers? Do quarks, hyperstrings? Do persons?

We can make a center: for anything: “center of gravity” … for a kid doing stunts on a jumping dirt bike.

Is it possible that centers, at least apparent centers, skip a layer (or more) as we zoom from theology … to universe, to galaxy … to quark, to hyperstring. Atom, yes. State, yes. Solar system, yes … But how many in between don’t?

Thinking Tools

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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