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. (Knatz.com 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?