Recreating K.’s archive of top pages: 1999 07 10
I was fifty before I ever fished largemouth water.
My first luck was 9 pounds!
(pk holding first bass before Everglades banyan tree)
Ain’t life grand?
As a kid, all I wanted was for God to love me. As a teen, all I wanted was Guys and Dolls New York: concrete, key chain, and zoot suit.
Wouldn’t you know it? That latter was at least partly available. Fifteen years old, sliding up Broadway toward 52nd Street, my pelvis skipping ahead of my chin (there were those in 1955 who thought Elvis was imitating me), flipping a half-dollar with my left hand, my right hand swinging four feet of the hardware store’s best seven-cents-a-foot plumbers’ chain: blue suit, blue suede shoes, white knit tie on blue shirt …
“Hey kid, what’s holdin’ yer mama’s winda’s up?”
Not only did I receive that precise derisive comment, but I failed to see a single Damon Runyan “Doll.” If there were any beyond my ken, they nevertheless failed to come forward and fling themselves at me even after minutes of my doing my hipster shuffle. Hell, and I’d imitated that directly from pictures in Look Magazine!
Yes, I loved New York. So why then at fifty did I so love the banyan tree I was camped under, my bare feet slashed at every step by South Florida oolite? (This piece started out with the picture of me holding my fish.)
Why at sixty do I spend as much time as I can in Highlands Hammock, a hardwood forest so thick you’d have a hard time hearing, let alone seeing, a person a hundred yards away?
A road gives live oaks space to grow sideways.
Three of the oaks in Highlands Hammock are over 1,000 years old.
Because: so little that I’ve wanted since teenhood has been available at all. As a child I embraced the Christian myth. By my teens, I began to notice that I, like the culture as a whole, was immersed in the Gernsbach myth. As an adult, mentors such as Sir James Frazer, Bucky Fuller, Ivan Illich, Gregory Bateson, Ilya Prigogine … (all represented throughout the site) help me see patterns verifiable by methods more rigorous than the carny tricks so long practiced by Church, State & Madison Avenue (ditto). The illusions of these institutions I am convinced are not foisted on us by a conspiracy of any evil elite. I only wish. That might be combated. The elites serve the common man: serve him truly. Nixon’s silent majority clearly prefers to risk extinction for all of us rather than to face the truth about itself and its relationship to reality: either concrete or abstract.
Because: I am trying (and partly succeeding) in curing myself of the addiction [Link to be restored] (the disease?) Church, State, and Madison Avenue had so successfully infected me (us) with: coconspirators in our kleptocracy.
Civilization (kleptocracy) as a disease may also be a myth (one with its source traceable directly to Loren Eisley. Realize further: myth is the only place most of us humans ever live.) Civilization as disease is a corrective myth: one you don’t need to be group-hallucinated to validate. Yes, I had found a banyan tree, but pickups were towing bass boats by it every other minute. (I caught my bass from a hand-paddled canoe.)
Yes, my adult life has been devoted to correction: of myself — and of you too. If only.
the layout of the original clarified the logic
My Overview [Link to be restored] attempts an aerial digest of the whole. I thus offer options where you can look at a blueprint, digest lists, browse by topic, by keyword … There’s a choice of paths to the individual nodes. I just hope you see some of their pattern: there’s meaning in the parts and another level of meaning in the whole.
Individual wholes can be reconnoitered only the hard way: reading an entire module, then checking the links, then reviewing relationships among the modules.
My preferred method for my earliest attempts was art, art of the literary type: corrective myth, as undisguised as possible. As undisguised as possible using a natural language, that is.
Like autumn leaves above the ground facing the dead and discolored leaves below, coloring, falling, falling till the colored leaves swirling on the ground reflect the changing, fluttering leaves above, she colored. She floated closer, shedding her colors, falling as still, she colored.from Beginning
Art is mostly failure.
Trying, drawing by Bydlr
If you visit the Parthenon — indeed, merely look at a postcard — the visual logic is such that a glance accurately suggests the whole (the whole outside at least). Rent a ‘copter and fly around it: Yeah, it’s the same thing from the other side. Big. Imposing, but open, accessible. In contrast, if you visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, you’ll have only wrong ideas of the home’s scope till you’ve wandered every hall, room, and breezeway. In fact, don’t stop there: parts of the home are outdoors.
When Bucky Fuller told me (1968) that real revolutions are accomplished not by politics but by technology, I took him very seriously. When Ivan Illich pointed out (1970) that computers, awful as they were, could be used to make the world both truly democratic and convivial, I saw that as their only proper use.
So why, two years later, when TIME heard that I was gathering and publishing community resources, and all agog, rushed me into their corporate citadel, did they sluice me out the back door as it were and into the alley only a hour later?
I can’t really know but I can certainly guess. Illich proposed (and I offered) that all learning tools be freely (liberty) and cheaply (economics) available. Put it into a data base. Massively cross-reference it. And then offer the information: without censorship, coercion, or certificates. Now, I tried to soft-peddle the deschooling aspects of it. You don’t, after all, cure addicts by direct confrontation. Occasionally I may have revealed that if FLEX could only become the (school-)dog’s tail I could also hope that the tail would wind up wagging the dog. With TIME I probably let slip my vision of a future in which all resources were so indexed and so available. I’m sure I didn’t go on about deschooling. They could see that in Illich. I’m certain I didn’t start up on denewspapering or degovernmenting. But maybe they saw it anyway.
What? A day in which two or three organs didn’t have a strangle hold on the hearts and minds of the masses?
When you got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.
A few months later I was sitting with a director of IBM. It was weird. The Sixties never felt more like the Sixties than in the lobby of the IBM building in 1972. Hysteria. Even people who worked there couldn’t get in without being frisked by metal detectors. For some reason — my appointment with the Director of University Relations perhaps — they whisked me right over to the elevator without even checking my attache’ case. The two of us had our conferences at a table subtly conspicuous for its 100% wood construction, pegs not nails, and big enough for even the Polish Air Force to land a Cessna on. Seldom have I been listened to with more seeming attention or intelligence. “I’ll submit your proposal to the powers,” he said. “But I wouldn’t hold out much hope. This is a good idea. They very rarely respond to good ideas.”
Facilitate: don’t regulate.
All public information
should be freely available
through a single institution:
FLEX Experience [Link to be restored] …
Are you aware that my proposal to Bell Telephone included an idea for a special exchange that could handle billing for inquiries? Unlike IBM, the phone company didn’t even bother to answer my letter. Actually, I may have mailed my letter to the executive’s home address. I may well have since I knew him personally: a trustee in my church. When they came out with 800 numbers and 900 numbers, did they thank me for the idea? No more than did TIME‘s recent history of Tim Berners-Lee’s authorship of WorldWideWeb mention that I had worked out (participated in the conception of) the philosophical(/political) design eighteen years earlier.
Fortunately, for me at least, as little as I’ve succeeded in reforming you, as great a failure as my art may be (Gore Vidal might have said that art, like life, is mostly failure)
… (Man, just wait till you see the kind of failure the rest of life is in for) (local, Earth life, that is.)
Leap, and the net will appear.
… Fortunately, I’ve succeeded most worthily in my original ambition:
God loves me.
How could it not be so? Like Job, His favorite, do I not suffer? Like Job, has not everything been taken from, or denied me? Like Jesus, ([Link to be restored]) His Son, the one in whom He was well pleased, am I not slandered? Falsely accused? Punished? Tormented?
What do you think sustains me in my poverty but God’s love? How do you think I live without career, without income, no insurance, pirouetting on the high wire with no safety net while a succession of landlords, neighbors, police, the “justice” system … threaten me, rob me, evict me, assault and abuse me, break my bones, knock my teeth out?
Arrest me, jail me, censor me … (I add in 2011.)
I live on the yolk I came with.
(So too could you if you could only see it.)
Actually, I have His Word for it. No, no: I don’t mean the Bible … He “told” me directly. First time, when I was twenty-one.
Well, sure as I was that it was Jehovah Himself, but not wanting to be immodest — What! You don’t b e l i e v e me? — I’d say to myself when thinking about it that it was Michael. Or Gabriel.
Even if it was only Michael or Gabriel, who are they without God?
I was forced at an early age to chose between
hypocritical humility & honest arrogance.
You can live happily on God’s love alone, but I am doubly blessed. This decade I’ve also lived on the love of a woman. (Perhaps though this too is another morph of the same thing.) This human love is nevertheless also a love which passes understanding. No, I don’t have a clue either. It’s just there. A gift.
On subsequent visits God has revealed things to me of some public importance. Why me? Because He knows you don’t listen to me? Does He still choose only prophets He knows you’ll ignore? Does He still only give you chances He knows you won’t take?
I thought I was a prophet. Perhaps I’m only His camera, taking evidence.
How do I say this? Neither the love, nor the plan, not even the identity of God is what I thought as a child. The old God, the fake one, may well be a part of what gangs up on me. (And worse. What I can’t overlook or forgive, what I may revenge, is that in griping me, they’re killing my woman.) No, wait: that’s wrong. I’ve got it backwards. I mean we’ve got it backwards: the old God part. — The God we think is old is really very young: six thousand years at the oldest. You know, the one invented by the Jews … the one who takes credit for things that predate him by billions of years, the one who likes to give other people’s property away. I don’t mean He loves me. I mean the real god, the true god, the god of how things actually are. The god of gravity. The god of principle, of rhythm, of texture, of relation … The god of extension, of intension …
And I don’t really mean he loves me. I mean he’s the way it is and love is part of the way it is. Great thinking is part of the way it is and I’m a part of the great thinking. Shakespeare is dead. Bateson is dead. But they speak to me. And I speak too. To them, if only they hear.
See? How can you talk about anything true in this stupid language? This language of camouflage, of lies, of delusion?
there were other links in this section, I’ll try to fill them back in
from this module:
pk, Everglades, Broadway, Guys & Dolls, god, love, New York, banyan, solitude, nature, civilization, Highlands Hammock, myth, Christian myth, culture, Gernsbach myth, patterns, illusions, institutions, elite, truth, silent majority, reality, relationship, addiction, church, state, coconspirators, kleptocracy, disease, art, literary, natural language, deschooling, failure, revolution, technology, Illich, censorship, coercion, certificates, facilitate, regulate, information, public information, coordinate, global, delusion, reason, conceptual, teaching
This file was composed as a new cover to my home page. It was still both too long and not comprehensive enough for that purpose yet I believe its gestalt improves on the earlier, more detailed treatments of the biographical narrative itself. Thus I begin revising toward adaptation here. Meantime, read it as a continuation of or alternative to the current top page.
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Don’t know what that is? People are seldom aware of the sources of their ideas: are seldom aware that their ideas have sources; other that that most stupendous of fictions: the idea of their own minds!
An early William Gibson story employs the name in the title. Check it out. Or stand in front of a Paris subway entrance. Or visit the GM Pavilion at a World’s Fair. Better yet: turn on a television set! This is indeed the Science Fiction Century.
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Ian McHarg retells Eisley’s story to open his great Design with Nature. I’ve been meaning to repeat it here and now’s my chance: Astronauts look forward to their splash down. For weeks they’ve been seeing Earth as beautiful patterns of blue and white. As they descend closer, the greens and beiges of the land masses become discernable. First: air and water; then: air, water, and life!
But as they fall closer, they notice gray splotches. At still higher resolution they notice the splotches connected by more and more gray filiaments. They’ve beheld the works of man: a canker spreading over the biosphere.
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The visual logic of the Parthenon is deceptive. The “steps” of the Parthenon are not of human scale. It “looks” but is not in fact accessible. You’d skin your knee on them. Those for whom it was designed well knew though that only Athena’s high priest entered its inner sanctum and then only for serious ritual.
The goddess would presumably enter from the “ether”; not the ground. The steps are there for our minds, not our feet.
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