/ Journal /

(1987?) 9/19: IVY LEAGUE. [note of 1/20: i leave the original scribble here intact, not touched since tinkering at the time I printed it out to Brian. to make it readable for dyan, etc., i move it to its own file] that situation in fencing class with that spastic guy is emblematic of my life. or at least so I was dreaming it be this am: I’ll write it first and see if I understand it later. Irv Dekoff was a great athletic teacher, the only great one I’ve ever had. We knew knowing about fencing, nothing about balance, counterbalance or using Newton’s third law to recover. (or was it some law of angular momentum that we used?) dekoff never mentioned either of these things; i was only trying to save time-anyway, he showed us how to reel ourselves back in from the lunge by pulling back inward with the left arm), but he showed us a bunch of basics in about five minutes. then the rest was all competition and combative psychology. he was also the best I’ve ever seen at intimidating us in order to illustrate how not to be intimidated by an enemy. dekoff would have been killed every day of his life if his intimidation had ever failed. Anyway, I feel like a champion after 10 minutes. We fence for a week or two and by the last day, I’m undefeated round robin champion. No one had scored a point off me until the last round and he was on the saber team; I’d never even heard of a foil. 30 plus years later I can’t be sure that I did beat the saber guy. One had the other two zip and the other came back to two all. Next point won. Was it me or him? I don’t know. Regardless, I won the round robin, either by beating him or because he didn’t count and was there to show us something suddenly more difficult. And in between, in case we couldn’t think of something more difficult, there was dekoff-thwack … thwack-splitting padded canvas open with his saber. Ok, what’s emblematic? The winning as a beginner? the not being sure? Actually two things: neither yet mentioned. After the round robin I was sure dekoff would come up to me and beg me to be on the team. he didn’t. finally I went up to him. what did you think? pretty good, huh? nudge, nudge. He says, “You’re great at creating openings, but you can’t follow through.” and he walks away. Still, that’s not the one the dream was about. You see, earlier on in the intra-class tournament, I had been paired against this nerd. 5’3″, 150 lbs, looked like his eyes had never been exposed to light before, totally uncoordinated. Begin. He stands there like a sack of potatoes. I merely practice my balletic thrust: extend the right arm toward the target, arm not locked, inner elbow up like Ben Hogan. Lift right foot to step toward target and propel forward off left leg. Score. Touch. Smack in the center of his heart. He never moved. I’m there, all stretched out like Danny Kaye, for everyone to see and admire. The statue of a dancer. Best dancer at South Side High? Best dancer anybody there had ever seen, you’d better believe it. The foil is all bent over in a bow. The guy’s dead, lost, pierced through. The canvas holds the blunt tip unwavering. What I don’t know is that this toadstool’s reflexes are just beginning to work. His right hand comes forward. Not at all like dekoff showed, but forward it comes. He doesn’t move his feet-there’s no telling how the guy even got to the gym-but he leans forward. He’ll topple on his face for sure if something doesn’t catch him. Not arced in a nice parabola toward the heart, but jabbed up from the floor comes his foil: the guy’s been dead lost for five seconds and here comes his attack or counter attack or whatever. He leans forward and my foil bows out further, still caught at his heart. Here comes the sword. This guy couldn’t pin the tail on the donkey with his eyes open, his glasses on, and a warehouse of prostheses to guy him, but here come the sword: jab! right in my balls. “Huhnuhh.” He says. I’m speechless. He drools. His eyes: one eye meets mine, the other is looking through my skull somewhere. If his eyes matched, he’d either be looking right at me or right passed me. He’s certainly not looking at his target.
They give me 30 seconds to recover. 30 seconds?! I need a month in the country. No one instructs the guy that once you’ve lost, you’re supposed to cease hostilities. Make these real swords, and I’m invulnerable. At least in this match. Anyway: point one for me, first to reach three. Begin. Like a morning glory opening to the sun my sword extends. With the thrust of the left leg the whole flower unfurls, the right leg catches and holds the magnificent bilateral symmetry. Touch. Right on the heart. I’ll bet my point is bent over against the same thread of canvas. Two points to nothing: me. I hold the pose. I maintain the full extension like I jelled the curves of my form that night we all got drunk and went bowling. Maybe I bowled a ninety, maybe a one-thirty. I don’t remember whether I won, came in last, or in the middle. But John kept intoning, “My god, look at Paul’s form.” Now, I think you sacrifice some of the dynamic of the left arm’s ability to haul you back in again if you don’t spring back to en garde right away. My right thigh had been screaming long before this match began. Me: a miler, a long distance man. But I feel it’s worth it. Look everyone. If the photographers haven’t arrived yet you can still all see: I got him right in the heart.
If there are an infinite number of points merely between any two atoms and there are a trillion atoms in an ordinary breath of air, how many possible points are there that his foil’s tip could hit once it finally got moving, up from where his simian troll’s arm held the sword just off the floor some full half-second or so after he had been killed for the second time? Just one. They give me thirty seconds to recover.
Before you believe anyone who tells you that lightning can never strike twice in the same place, talk to me. When my vision focuses again, I see the guy is still there, still in the same place, like there were footprints painted on the floor and the script had said ‘put the tarbaby here, on spot x’. He stands there. I suppose his drool is as close as he comes to smiling social grace. He held his sword around whatever you would call what comes between his calf and his ankle. When the ‘en garde’ came, he was already as ready as he would get.
Discover Magazine just had an article on jelly fish. They float around at the speed of the tide or the current. When they wash up on the beach, that’s it for them. But their stings are incredible. Eighty-five different mechanisms to do one lethal thing and very fast. And they had one story about a researcher who got stung by a dead and dismembered jelly fish fifty years after he had fled to Mars or something to get away from it. I don’t remember exactly, but he chopped the jelly fish up, sent it to the cleaner who nuked it under the Manhattan Project, got the instructions wrong, and instead of further preparing it for analysis, buried it under the laws of toxic waste. Then, working from Jupiter, his grandson or something, opens King Tut’s tomb and, jab! Faster than lightning, up from the floor, set unerringly somehow in a cosmic groove … They gave me thirty seconds to recover before I had to progress to the next level of the competition or default.
Memory is funny. That had to have been my first match: first of the day, first of the tournament, as well as my first ever; there’s no way that guy could have progressed past anybody. You shoot him with a paint bullet; he shoots you with lead. He could have killed everybody in the class and still not have won a point. Maybe he could have defeated the padded girder that Dekoff punished with his saber. It’s a good thing the coach didn’t do that during a match, ’cause we would have all froze at the sound. But I don’t positively remember it being the first. I remember still being paralyzed during my final match, the one against the guy on the saber team. But I don’t at all remember the ones in the middle. I was probably paralyzed then too. Or maybe what I’m remembering from the final match was my right thigh’s solemn refusal to cooperate in a lunge. Till that day it hadn’t known what work was. Maybe it’s from then that I can still, at age 49, practice ten or twenty squat jumps, give myself an hour or so, and then reel off 100 of them before walking away no more than a little rubber legged. Or why I can still jump my ski tails around the top of the mogul at the end of the day, or land on one in spring and send a rainbow flying.
But that’s alone, and solo, and for nothing but my own sport. Make it a tournament, with society and rules involved, I start in like Baryshnikov, and come away sterile. On a million subsequent occasions I know what dekoff meant by not following through. But I’ve retired, and built a monument to myself just on the natural brilliance of the opening. I wonder now for the first time ever where that other guy is. I’m reminded suddenly of the short guy in Faulkner’s Old Man. He must have looked like a wart to all of us. But what did we look like to others? This was a gym class, remember, and gym class was only for people not in a sport that semester. I had retired from competition at the end of my freshman year after coxswaining the first heavy weight crew to last place in the IC4A or something regatta at Syracuse. Mike, the nerd that was cox for the seconds now owns P&S or something. What was that one guy doing there if he was on saber? Maybe he had come in last the other semester and dekoff had excessed him. What would any of us have looked like if Chet Forte and the basketball team had walked by?I remember changing, I think it was in Princeton’s boat house on Lake Carnegie. No, it was more likely when we were first moving in at Lake Onandaga. The Yale frosh had to pass through our locker room. That’s who Al, the crew coach, said had to come though in another minute. Jesus, what a bunch of fairies. They looked at us like we were mold growing on the drain. The Yale varsity that year was great. I think they won. Even their coxswain looked like a gymnast. He had forearms like woven rope. But the freshmen! I remember the scene in Tony Richardson’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner with Tom Courtney where the English public school boys come into the locker room with the jail birds: “Ohh … Helllo? Rah-ther!” Or some such.
Anyway, I think Robert Burns was wrong: it would not be such a blessing if the lord ‘the gift ‘ould gye us/ To see oorselves as uthers see us.’
Now: follow through. Since 1983 I’ve been trying my damndest to follow through on one thing: By the Hair of the Comet. Isn’t it ironic that it’s still not finished, but I wrote the ending first and the ending is great. Now I have another start in mind. Another, even greater opening. I think. When could I possibly get to it? Then another: the Marcel debacle. Now, Beginning. What a great title for me. I’m doing the second draft of the end. I think it’s the greatest writing since Isak Dinesen. I like my beginning. I like my ravings that are stringing out as a middle. But it may not be a good middle. The tone of the beginning may be wrong for the tone of the ending, where I think I’ve really done something. In the middle of the ending has to come another thread that may not match in tone, pace, or impact. Or maybe it will. I’ve got to be able to follow through on something sometime and have a little luck too. I did win that round robin for all the nothing it meant.
9/20: phr. I’m punishing you in advance for when you will reject what I’ve given you. Deb, Sonia, Brooks, Hil, etc. Socrates and senate: his simple request of a pension was clearly the best solution to a double bind, but they had no precedent for it: they did have precedent to kill him. It was a simple question of economy of energy: it would have taken energy to innovate and to solve the problem [even when the solution was handed to you]; it took less energy to revert to already discredited default values. Now, I can’t think of any person or any god who would not behave similarly under the circumstances. The point isn’t to be exempt from nature, but to understand, to see the point and to accept that the joke is always on you. To be humble in your betrayals, to be a devil who applauds the god that you are crucifying and perhaps to know, that invisibly, perhaps in a future, he is the devil crucifying another god. Will he applaud his victim?
Synergetics: just helped me to articulate in a more concise way what going on in the Vietnam/K/J/Nixon/F/etc./Watergate/etc. years. Two revolutions were trying to happen at once. One from a democracy (semi) to a (semi-, semi-interchangeable) dictatorship. The other was from a democracy (semi) to a democracy (variously more or less semi-), always with the danger that it could slip into a dictatorship. The soviet’s bad example for socialism (quite possible in a democracy) was in Russia’s revolution from the dictatorship of the Tsars to the dictatorship of the secretary, the politburo, etc.
In the US, it was “patriotic” to de facto support the first revolution which has already occurred through successful conspiracy (the conspiracy of the K or J or N etc. and his coalition to change the nature of the state through winning the executive branch with more double bind promises about democracy, the constitution, freedom, progress, empire and profit. they knew that the constitution was already meaningless or nearly irrelevant to actual power and they were happy or at least ambitiously willing to exploit that schizophrenia. The other revolution recognized however inarticulately, that the map had slipped further from correspondence with the territory, recognized that their own wishes had been bypassed, and they objected. Some would happily have replaced themselves into the tyranny, others wanted a return to what they imagined had been a democracy. (it had, in that previous power groups weren’t as powerful or as reckless as the present coalition of pentagon and its suppliers).
Now, how about those (losers) who would willingly have replaced the tyranny with their own? benevolent, of course. [what tyranny isn’t? Hitler was being benevolent to his coalition, as were most of the caesars. those who tried not to be-Caligula & Nero, e.g.-didn’t last long. those unhappy nebbishes who did-Claudius, e.g.-lasted longer.] the second you become the tyrant, you change perspective, change logical level. now you know what the others can’t know. you know how important you are to the sun rising and the rain raining. you know that it’s only right that some of that incredible wealth (from an individual’s standpoint) that boils past you should stick to you. It would be a full time job just to stay free of it. You stay up all night worrying about that toxic leak. Finally exhaustion overcomes you. The leak isn’t fixed, but you feel better about it. You’ve done the noble thing. you worried all night. and now that you finally understand the profit motive and its rightness, of course you’ll reward those who are key executives and key bureaucrats in helping you to fight the good fight. what, christ is still crucified on the cross somewhere? well, why doesn’t the idiot come down? what, you mean he still hasn’t? then put another nail in the bastard. that’ll teach him a lesson. he’s just doing it to humiliate me. me, the right thinking people’s choice. it’s only jews and subversives who don’t see what i’m trying to do. and don’t forget to check jane fonda’s tax returns. I’ll show that stupid C- (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 30) what being a liberal means.
Disease theory of learning fantasy: you know, like where one student says to another Do you know the Rime of the Ancient Mariner? Oh, I already had that. And now they’re immune. And it never ends. The electronics gadget manuals, Okidata e.g., assume you’re an idiot secretary just trying to get a job done. Here, Missy, here’s how easy it is. You just plug it in. See? That’s all you ever have to know. Then the important part of the manual come next. And there’s an index. But no body edits the thing to see if it has all data that anyone could possibly want to know so that they can look it up no matter where or when or at what stage they’re coming from. What kind of ribbon does it take. Only assurances as to how easy it is to put in (with six pages of complicated diagrams belying it.
Math-how to solve problems only. Never what does it mean?
Woman to President: Mr President, why are you drawing and quartering my son.
Never mind ma’am, you only got a D in history.
The software’s inability to know whether you’ve written, edited, and just laid an elbow on the keys could be dangerous. It assumes intensional edition in all cases. Somebody could easily get into a file, chop 90% off as irrelevant to what they want to see, and then find a typo in the fragment and correct it. They have dinner and go to a movie. Back home, oh gee, I never got out of that file. WARNING etc. oh yeah, I corrected a typo. I want to save this edited version. Whoops, there goes all of the Bible except Exodus 11,4.
9/22: Espistemology Class 3D Toolkit. Because speech is typically linear (as well as living) and has little provision for footnotes or comprehensive autopsy.
!!Teaching aid for teaching, practicing, for doing anything but hoodwinking with thinking: a la my Byron play: the room festooned with “truth” tags.
Room is festooned with colored and tagged lights operated by switches that all have access to: the students as well as the teacher. All signal epistemological concepts, contexts, etc.
One light is a programmable LCD. As he believes appropriate, the teacher lights the LCD and says: “How sure am I?” (or are we, is he, is she, are they). A student or students too can light the light, inviting a certainty estimate. Rules of the game: the light should not be seen as an interruption of what the teacher (or anyone else is saying). The speaker can ignore it midsentence, but cannot be considered to be concluded until the light is answered. If the light(s) distract a speaker, they can be put on hold till he’s out of his distractible period. Then context would have to be resupplied or remain lost.
The teacher should make it clear that in some ways, the lights should wink or glare constantly.
e.g. George Washington was first president. What certainty should the LED read out? It has no 100%. That’s the point. Certainty only goes with charlitanism. But it will go 99.99999999…etc. Discuss why it isn’t 100% and can’t be 100%.
How sure am I that it can’t be 100%? Can it be 100 even in a tautology? where you’ve defined the terms, axioms, yourself? I still don’t believe so. How sure am I?
There is but one god and mohammed is his prophet. Estimates, please.
“I have never had a headache.” Richard Nixon. The LED could change color to accuse the speaker of different relationships to a Boolean truth: he’s lying. he’s ignorant. he’s caught in a tangle of conflicting loyalties. Therefore, his statement just became some frequency of crystal in which each face may have a different certainty estimate. This will especially apply where an entire public agrees to a known misstatement to “protect” (light, light) their “interests” (lights, lights). e.g. a german queried in 1944 about concentration camps. an american in 1954 about macarthy or an alleged communist. a southerner (or northerner) in 1854 about the humanity, rights, comfort, health, happiness, etc. of a black. Any of us about the morality of the BOD of a company we own stock in (stock our own mortgage depends on). Any of us when queried about danger to the environment. from environmentalists. from the status quo. Can we have a meaningful choice between employment and the environment.
At what point does the Iron Mountain fallacy come in: that the most important thing is to protect ourselves?
Now, if we answer, “I hope they have all the ethics of Attila the Hun.” Does that mean we are being truthful? No layers. No rhetoric. No self-deception. No possibility of ignorance. Any defense for Attila as perhaps arguably one of the more ethical among his people? among any people.
How much does the guy give when he says he gives 110% on tv? Class discussion. Etc. A quick review of the math, if necessary. Survey of different estimates. One has to be that since it’s a thoughtless and stupid cliché, he has to be giving hardly at all. Unless you have an instance where the absurdity was being invented. rhetoric. a joke. Now the estimates may vary wildly. Maybe the guy was just ignorant and it wasn’t rhetoric. The estimates may vary wildly. And nested within the discussion there may be more lights: how sure is he?
Also: logical level lights. Got a match? Sure: my farts and your breath. Ghengis Khan and your mother. No, will a Bic do?
Yes, Martina and I are going against Jimmy and Chris in half an hour. Keep back. I got a gun.
In some sense, these id files of mine are just a such. Ordinarily, among people who have a full mental tool kit and can use it, none of these points should need to be made. I make them, some of them over and over again, because I know from my own life that they are not familiar. Or sometimes that I was not familiar with them. My god, it’s so new to me I’d still daily working out the ramifications. seeing new ones. Evidence that I’m alone (not in books and seminars, but among people you can meet) is everywhere.
And a what’s your evidence light. And a what cohering theory are you following light. Then there should be an expandable cohering theory chart, expandable internally and at both chronological ends. That’s totemic. That’s mechanistic universe. That’s the democracy is necessarily better than all other systems hypothesis. That’s the one that thinks that human control would enfeeble divine control. that’s euclidian. etc. oh, that’s the one that thinks that the board of ed. knows what it’s doing. etc. that’s the one that thinks there can be no divine control without human struggle. that’s ockam. that rejects or ignores ockam. that’s the one that insists on entropy right in the face of self-organization. that’s the opposite. that’s merely the geo/epistemological mix for the age; no consciousness about it.
I would like to see Asch’s three line/one line test administered to those who know about the test and its results and who must therefore be able to infer that they have a 20/40/60% prob. of being one or the other, while in their minds they must know whether they are in general conformist or martyr. I would like to see it administered to Mary when she knows Jesus has taken it. I would like to see it administered to Mary when she doesn’t know Jesus has taken it. How about Mary when she knows Jesus has taken it and knows what his answer is, and also knows the opposing unanimity of the testers?
The disease theory of society. pot calling the lid black. society subliminally recognized the lack of coordination of its parts but doesn’t know how to coordinate them. Blows off steam approving the name calling of individuals who exhibit the same lack of coherence.
[11/23 note: ah ha! so it must have been 9/28 that I added that passage to Beginning! And when I did, I had forgotten that I had written this just the night before.
9/27: Considering what follows, Hamlet has to have the greatest opening line in literature. Modern literature. “Who’s there?” My God, all us moderns. Not knowing the answer. Homer wouldn’t have understood it. Or, if he did, it would be as a nightmare. We’re Achaens; they’re Trojans. We kill them for our glory. They kill us for the same. Sing a good epic and you have a special place by the feast fire. The military changing of the guard part is fine: but the secondary (important) reasons? Zeus! Those people have gone mad.
The best place to learn a living art is the street. Miles joined Bird on 52 St, not at Julliard. Shakespeare in London, not at Oxford. So too with whorish trash art. Murray as a messenger boy, suddenly on Madison Avenue.
no eyes top of head. evolution in no way prepares the individual for that rock falling in from Comet Encke.
chaos in civilization: different transitions froze at different jells. Now the frozen stuff moves like a glacier moves, but slowly. English spelling e.g.; music notation e.g.-burgeoned wine in a byzantinely distorted bottle; etymology in any language; law. Now isn’t law a wonderful example. English common law stacked on all those other laws and americans trying to use it after their “conscious” default assumptions have been set in school by the chaotic drilling of the constitution, the bill of rights, and biblical fundamentalism. and some other mash of protect yourself, protect your family (read promote at any cost), do unto others, let’s feel sorry for the indians and the third world, and always remember that the reason god so loves us . well, it’s obvious: look at the success of the Monroe Doctrine. Didn’t we beat Hitler? How come he let us down with a bunch of gooks? Well, let’s forget that part. The way to rule the world is still obviously to sit on your ass, skim in the dark, give poor quality at both ends, and lie to your children. It’s not that you know the truth (ha ha), but you still know a lie when you tell one.
but I didn’t mean to start my usual ranting again: I’m trying to be clear. As an adult student, taking up the flute and practicing my reading of music drove me crazy: what were these people talking about? Harold Branch’s Two Bar Jazz Licks: shows you to think root, lowered third, third, fourth, lowered fifth, fifth, root-and don’t forget second, sixth, lowered sixth, lowered seventh, and seventh. Fine: I play it and yeah, that’s jazz. But then: the illustrations. Sloppily edited. Forget to lower the seventh on p 11, line 2, Ab example: G instead of Gb. But the ear knows the mistake instantly. How? I haven’t learned to read but stumblingly yet, but my nervous system demands that the seventh be lowered without knowing what to call it. The consciousness bumbles around in the dark, but the nervous system is tuned to the spheres. OK, so he made a mistake, a publisher. Harumph. I’m a publisher and I’m no better. Worse, if anything. But his mistake drives me crazy. I go on. The “mistakes” come to seem willful. The lowered third in D written as E#. If it’s a sharpened second instead of a lowered third, why not say so? Oh, don’t you see, they’re the same. Ah, but they’re not, or say so first. In algebra you always have a little step where you say that something is the same and that you’re switching them. Why is algebra careful (albeit superficially-its mistakes are another example of chaos), and music so sloppy? Because music is run by a lot of hay brains and algebra is run by world beaters?
Anyway, my point is that some effort at consistency should be made for the sake of beginners. Or do I have it backwards as usual? Maybe the point is to keep the beginners confused so that’s simply accept the absurdity of the world? What’s the advantage there. No evolutionary advantage. We’ll all fall off the cliff, but in the meantime, the kids will think you’re smart cause you understand the incomprehensible. Hell, you had to suffer thinking that yo-yo teacher was smarter than you when you were a beginner, didn’t you? Shouldn’t you be able to get a little of your own back? Sure, right off the edge of the cliff. And remember, (I remember the complaisant slob who sold discount furniture on the scam that it was to union members-he’d wave his arms so his belly showed between his pants and his tee shirt, then you’d see him lying in a bed of an egregious bed room set wearing his hard hat) see, you can be a stupid slob and still get some of the skim. remember to keep it dark and know when to threaten to strike. How come Americans are buying jap cars? What’s the matter with these people? Don’t they realize that skimming from their pockets is part of my livelihood?
Again, trying to stick to my point: I criticize them and then realize that I switch symbol systems with Brian as the time. I did remember to signal the switch, didn’t I. I’ve defined those terms for him, haven’t I? How can I remember.
So now I think that maybe the chaos of the physicists and the synergists is a little like the entropy of the thermodynamicists: defined in terms of their selfish order, not of abstract order. I see this order because it’s useful to me or because I see it as useful to me. I can that chaos because it’s out of my control. Ah ha. Maybe it should be.
Attitude of the biosphere: if you can topple me, it’s my deserving.
People: How can I survive? We survive? We all survive?
Maybe the we should come first, then there could be an I.
Maybe the we all should come first, then there could be a we.
On the other hand, maybe I should survive first. Then, if I do, and there’s no we, then maybe there could be another we. The we descended from me, the new Abraham. Then there could be a new we all. We’re all potential species starters.
10/7: re: Syn: if the physical goes down and down:’ object, compounds, elements, molecules, atoms, particles, quarks … into the unknown, and if the complex goes up and up: things, organisms, groups, societies, ecologies, cultures, languages, law, theory, idea, humor, etc. etc. into the potentially more abstract, more compound, more complex, and if space is curved, … somewhere perhaps … they meet and form each other. A line becomes a circle.
I’ve been thinking how Beginning itself is like Escher’s two hands drawing each other. the souls draw the savanna as they are drawn by it.
More concise perhaps articulation of difference between a normal generalization and a scientific generalization:
Normal: mostly true. Scientific: no known exceptions, at least no unequivocal exceptions. The generalization can only be accountable for as far as is known. Sometimes, what is known is not so clear. The measurements of time/light bending around star, e.g. There the plurality seems to support relativity. If the measurement that seemed to go counter was more reliable or unequivocal, that would be the end of that theory’s supremacy.
Normal: people can’t be bothered with accuracy. Old, wrong impressions get bolstered by inertia. The culture has already made an investment. Only when the cost becomes prohibitive will the slate be cleared. Or when a fluctuation catches. Or when a leader has charisma, luck, etc. Charisma may not be possible, ie may not be communicated without the fluctuation and the fluctuation may not occur without a disaster making the cost of ignoring the evidence prohibitive. There’s no guarantee that the change may be in time for survival. Arm in arm, we may march off the cliff together, even though a number are struggling to break ranks.
Human generalization: usually true. Scientific law: always true, no exceptions. Divine law: seldom kept? What’s going on?
10/9: original sin: adam and eve are given a garden as paradise. not a hunting ground or a cave or a shopping mall or a favorable balance of trade. they gain knowledge. from then on, it’s still a garden, but one with hunger, death, and menstrual pains. Division of labor among the children. At first agriculture was easy. Then not so. Hey, what happened? Answer: both we did something wrong and it’s in the nature of things to be painful and disappointing. It’s in our nature to be wrong in our expectations. All too true.
10/10: Ways in which Christianity is “true”: that we disinherit ourselves from, persecute, torture, kill, etc. … the best among us as well as the worst. Jesus and Barabas. We call people with real solutions crazy. There’s that homeopathic magic again. The Tom Wolf like giveaway (a la The Painted Word) is in how we are willing to “defend” order by unleashing chaos. Sometimes we are anxious to unleash the chaos.
Judgment Day: god the chastiser: a glimpse of gradual evolution. Things that aren’t good for the system just don’t work for long.
God the angry god of justice: wrath, the god of catastrophe (which the Darwinians neglected for so long). Shaw’s Quintessence of Ibsenism (cast the world as 1) the philistines-for them the shoe fits, 2) the idealists-to them the shoe hasn’t fit for some time but they refuse to acknowledge it, claiming that somewhere there is an ideal shoe that does fit, fit everybody perfectly, and 3) the minority of realists-who say, dammit, the shoe doesn’t fit: I now see with an evolutionary vocabulary. The realist the mutant, the potential new species for a changed environment: hey the environment’s changing, I’m changing; why should I act the way you and your traditions and habits tell me?
Double description. Not necessarily the same thing in other words. The medieval schoolman’s “infinite” isn’t the same thing in other words as the stone age thinker’s “it’s big.” Isn’t the same thing as the Galileo/Newtonian’s “347,000 miles” or the post-Kantor mathematician’s “infinite” or his “finite, but much bigger.”
banks milk the map/map discrepancy
call me a communist because I criticize the present govt? No invidious comparison is necessary between this govt and any other existing govt: only between it and its own stated ideals. Or between it and any other ideal polity, preferably a possible one.
Modern anger (or just plain anger?), anyway, the anger of the mature person: a lower class compromises its own interests for a supposed alliance with the class above (which of course has compromised its interests with the class above that {not here thinking of a one, two, or three class society}) only to see change everywhere anyway and others who didn’t compromise seeming to make out like bandits (always easy to seem so to those who don’t know). Sure, even some part of the alliance was realized but its “value” has somehow eroded. A royalist look at a revolutionary, etc. old look at young, white at black, etc. Honest at crooks. It always looks like they’re making out and you’ve been fooled somehow.
Anything round is infinite in that it has no beginning and no end.
school: divide the family, pry apart the generations, gives the state more power, especially since it’s the state religion which is taught (that the state is good, not Xity).
Modern parents benefit by being relieved of responsibility for the education, morals, time, safety, etc. of their young.
Parents suffer by being deprived of responsibility for etc.
provide business with free conditioning and testing at public expense.
too, schools teach, disseminate information, knowledge, opinion, etc. …
also superstition, misinformation, disinformation, etc. …
Ann Rice’s vampires telling each other they’re immortal after they’ve been vampires for five minutes, two centuries, etc. How old should you have to be before you can consider yourself to be immortal? 200? 2,000? 20,000,000,000? Is the solar system or the universe old enough?
If I get $1,000 for Beginning, that would be less than $1/hr. And that would be doing well.
Names: what his parents decided he would be called. what his parents decided he would alternately be called. what his father and his father’s father and his father’s father’s father were called. perhaps an ordinal number or a junior if there have been at least one other adjacent generation with the same string. what his peers call him. a church might add another. attributes and attributions: what others in his life call him: good, bad, greedy, lazy, talented, ugly, ambitious, etc. And then in rare cases, what he comes to call himself as a complete person or at least as a master of a complete part of life: Picasso, Hokusai, “That was a Tom Seaver sort of game.” Mahatma, father.
Ibex with crossed out left horn. Ice age sign for spring. writing more like 20 or 30,000 years old. Origin of A.
science owes a “debt” to society? Ha! society has never and can never pay its debt to the odd genes, genius, saint who keeps the possibilities vital. We reward this or that one (I’m not talking about the whole classes of drudges that we reward) but crucify him if he gets too close to the core.
Society protects itself by making sanities other than the sanities or insanities of the set of norms for its niche insane.
We all know this as Xians, whose basic message is that people crucify gods and that the gods are committed to help them anyway.
seeing pic of some platinum blond in buxom zebra striped profile in a restaurant in NC. the owner? owner’s wife? Clarrisa’s appearance bespoke her genes; Harlow (harlot), Monroe, etc. to May West (oxymoron spring/death) and Dolly Parton etc. all lies and whorishness. The hair definitely wasn’t hers. Neither were the lips, the brows or the lashes. Soon or perhaps already, maybe the pupils weren’t either. And who knows what combination of exercise or injections produced those tits? Couldn’t tell anything about the skin either. She was clearly human, but near 100% canned.
Lestat e.g. The thief who scatters some small fraction of his stolen wealth will be loved and forgiven. govt too. casinos. vegas.
Safire quote in Story of English on not being able to call a woman who delivers the mail a mailman. Why not? You’re not saying her gender is male. And Safire looking ever the political barometer. God forbid I should have an unsupported opinion. Preferably minority, of course, but powerful, respected. Somebody else wants to call her a mailmonkey, I may cringe, but each speaker contributes to the evolution of the language. I object to others attempts to control my usage when my usage is traditional and comfortable and already tuned for euphony. /mën/ two labial consonants around a nice forward lower vowel. It’s easy to say. It’s inevitable speech mechanically and aesthetically, unlike person, robot, woman, etc. Why add a syllable?
Like all slogans, it’s neither true nor rational. It preys on people’s insecurity in their own usage and judgment.
10/21: Reading Tolstoy, we see and live with and love human beings swept by great forces, including historical, cultural, evolutionary, cosmic, spiritual, sexual, etc. There are victims, but even prisoners are not helpless. When we read Thomas Hardy, we see puppets manipulated by a dyspeptic puppeteer who has the gall to keep accusing the scenery where fate and destiny are painted of not just responsibility for what he is doing to his puppets, but guilt. He’s also forgotten how visible he is controlling the strings, since he’s forgotten or given up working on his blind. But then the audience, unless it’s as careless as he is, knows it’s at a show. The reader knows it’s a novel. Tolstoy’s reader forgets that it’s a novel. When we read Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., …
He winds up attributing Unk’s resolution not to hurt anything to Boas. These people couldn’t create religions. manipulate worlds. it passes for metaphysical because of how half baked it is. A fruit cake with quality as one of the lesser ingredients.
god’s eye view. cf 1 perspective, 2 perspective, 10000, ten to the ten, etc. perspective. Then cf description and metaphor. Each has advantages. We do not know, at least I do not know, how to cf the classes, so have to use real examples
guy. impossible for me to come up from the bottom; I have to come down from the top.
Roy Rogers sign: “Violators will be towed away at the owner’s expense”
people who haven’t followed the conventional path, ie made the conventional changes that make up convention, have no rights, no matter what the “law” says, unless of course, the conventional wishes to issue a special dispensation.
society doesn’t appreciate people who lift up its skirts are peer underneath; it especially doesn’t appreciate attempts to show what’s there to others. But it’s unnecessary; the others will themselves blind to what they’re shown. “But the emperor has no clothes on,” says the kid. That’s the end of the story. But beyond the end of the story, the people chastise the kid. Shut up, kid. We can all see how very well dressed he is. It’s his new clothes, specially made.
Write whole series of sequels to fairy tales. The boy who cried wolf. Show the wolf tearing apart, not the boy-he’s not the one in danger-but the sheep, destroying the economy of the town which wouldn’t listen to their own alarm system. The community had understood neither its inherent unreliability nor the necessity of testing it for possible trustworthiness.
good and evil undefined. how about toward and away from one’s ideal? But that by definition isn’t the reality. Talk of good and evil only appropriate to insanity, a situation where the map does not fit the territory AND is known not to!
Evil is an idea which is not addressed to the intellect. Infantile fears amalgamated with evolutionary yearning, partly genetic but mostly social (national, class, family, etc.)
French in Action, Yale (PBS)
“Barbados an unruly man”
Irish Beyond the Pale: a conquered people who were also inventive with alcohol. Indians and Blacks consume Irish genius for self-destructive consolation. Beware a sober and aware Irishman, Black, Indian, 4th son, unprovided daughter, etc.
The Ascendancy-English Irish ruling class
famine of 1840s
Dublin and English city!
neurosis: disjuncture between the set of ideas by which the organism operates and the actual environment. Sanity: to accept the environment and to try to modify the ideas to fit. Neurosis has an attachment to the ideas. These are not absolute states but tendencies among relations.
Alternate: what if the neurosis is like termites dropping grains of sand prior to mound building? If you’re not picturing the resulting mound, the activity will not make any sense, will seem insane. It’s not in the environment … yet. Can we judge the sanity of any current behavior without also seeing the future? How about it? Maybe it’s wisdom always to imagine that maybe you’re wrong. No matter how clear the evidence, maybe you’re missing something, not seeing the cohering pattern. God should always consider that maybe he’s not all in all, maybe not infinite, maybe he’s satan. And visa versa. Maybe the soviets are the good guys. maybe the blacks. Then again, after all, maybe we are the good guys. Maybe our military insanity will build the mound.
Chaos and evolution. The Consolation of Despair. Different banks, different electronic systems. Nobody knows anything. The clerks are trained to answer preconceived problems only. Maybe they too are grains of sand randomly seeking conjunction. Maybe they’ll build a better mound than planning could have done.
Illustrate where English is: adequate
Statement, elision, and syncope
All statements a shorthand: patience and attention
completeness and accuracy
Waiting for Godel. The contradiction like a shoe dropping.
Phil Morrison contradicting himself (19th-cen physics vs 20th-cen) and calling it a science show.
Obsolescence of idea as the basic assumption. “You’ll have to forget everything you’ve been taught.” How come we can never say, then I don’t want to waste my time listening to you either. take me to the last guy, the end of the line, the teacher I won’t later have to forget. Why can’t you just tell me the truth the first time around. Why do we deliberately teach false math to kids? False everything? Which of these teachers takes the evolutionary position: all I can show you is where we are and indicate where I think we may be going. This is the best map I have for here. No, humans pay attention to the rhetoric of the false promise only. This is the truth. No, this is the truth. No, this.
Seeing Gunfight at OK Coral makes me think: Shane, etc. Land use, borders, who’s in the economic alliance. Those outside the alliance, park your guns outside town while we keep our in town and call ourselves law and order. See, we even write ourselves letters saying that I represent this alliance: us marshal.
So too this evening “entertainment”. For my pleasure and edification I see cops behave indistinguably from criminals and low lifes except that every once in while they pull and badge instead of a gun, change their style of speech a bit toward tv standard and say that they’re undercover. Man, you guys really are high.
11/11: how about an epistemology test, one which is self-admittedly, self-proclaimed not perfect, not final: merely the best interdisciplinary cooperation can make it. No one need apply it, though it should be available to all who wish to. It should be recommended as an occasional yardstick for publicly available opinions, especially those which affect the commonwealth, such as politics, science, religion; business, intelligence, advertising …
cf the three line experiment and tv guess and match shows. Think of a bird. If you say robin, you’re rewarded; if you say ostrich, you lose. How important is the occasional person who says ostrich to our survival? What effect does “losing” have on that person? none? reinforcement? discouragement and conversion to the norm?
How healthy is that discouragement for daily life? What are the pluses and minuses? for sales, for politics, for science.
Did Jehovah’s promise to Abraham mean empire? Hey, then he delivered. Gave them a little taste and then let them fall from it. Since then, even more than before then, a great number of peoples have had a taste. All but the current tasters have had it fall from them. What would be the results of an international pole of all peoples and people in which they were asked if they could start over again from say 10,000 years ago, would they want empire with a little taste or none? How about if their guess as to the opinions of the dead could be included. It would be hardest to pole the Armenians, the Indians, the extinct tribes. The longer empire lasts, the worse it is for the inheritors of the fallen culture? Is it better to be a Roman or a Jew?
Liberal education was designed for princes and courtiers, individuals with already established futures: to rule and to advise. A few talented middle class individuals were also admitted: a Chaucer, e.g. It was only for the latter minority that the education was intended to have practical consequences. Now even the best of the liberal arts institutions seem to promise practical advantages. Still preach liberal ideas. How about starting out with a map of what kind of a world can support both. The map should be debated, updated, revised. We should all be rich and have servants. What kind of a map is that? We should some of us be rich, exploit the world, and help a few others to have servants. How about help everybody to be OK and not to need or want servants?
US history does make is sound like the US is a nation devoted to moral and ethical principles. Is that a contradiction in terms, or what? The documents should be rewritten to say citizens, not people or men. Or it should be rewritten to say short of international cooperation and the superceding of sovereignty we’ll tend our own ethical garden while exploiting abroad. Or should a mix of ethics and business be declared. We’ll be 90% practical but 10% ethical. Perhaps it should be in the constitution that at least 10% of government revenues go to long term survival intelligence.
How about studying genetics? what’s the proportion of programming to exploit the hell out of whatever you fall into vs. programming to remain flexible? Maybe that proportion should be adapted. Maybe the ethical component would be reduced. At least we’d know the basis for our decision. Then we could campaign for more. Rise above nature, etc.
The ethical tone of the Dec. of Ind. and the Const, the Statue of Liberty, etc., the writing of despised idiots like Whitman and Thoreau, and of revered idiots like Paine, Jefferson, etc. is an embarrassment to hard ball politicos who “understand” the world. They themselves being in a advantageous position is a part of that understanding. Hey, why shouldn’t heart cells get first shot at the freshly oxygenated blood? Maybe that’s unavoidable. I just wish that there were public knowledge of the degree such thinking is in line with the statistical distributions of evolution. Like all living species are practical in their niche. All niches become exhausted or change. Etc. Latent flexibility yields other species for the new niches. Etc. Active flexibility … Etc.
I don’t want any politics which aren’t practical. I just want to know how practical practical is. If I don’t fit the present or the future and I don’t adapt, then fuck me. If the unprivileged have no place in the present or future, then fuck them. Likewise the privileged. The trouble with despising Hitler is that the sense or lack of it of his ideas can’t be discussed. Likewise, the trouble with revering Jesus is that the sense of lack of sense of his ideas can’t be discussed. They can’t even be known: just words wielded like weapons against all your enemies. Isn’t it lovely how your enemies in a Christian context tend to be your siblings, your neighbors, your allies? Purges may kill more than wars.
The hood in the breakfast club taunts freckles as though having nice parents and security were awful burdens, so too he taunts Claire because she has the diamond he winds up wearing. As a group of high school or college students or adults at a church topic evening to analyze the scene. We see the faces of the taunted twitch and look guilty. Ok, scan his words: what strikes home about them? Why should they feel exposed because they’ve succeeded where he too would succeed. Well, on the minor side, civilization is based on crimes and on contradictions. But far more major is merely the tone of disapproval, disrespect, the tone of mockery. Their instinct isn’t nearly so much to be rich, to be secure, to have diamonds or cars, hardly to be right, to be moral; but to belong. Basket case doesn’t look like she belongs, but she’s different: you see, she disqualified herself before you can disqualify her.
I don’t doubt that the instinct to belong is of a different logical type than the urge to be right. Instincts, urges, … must be types of patterns in arrays, not precise combinations. Many location source, high redundancy. J Edgar Hoover (Jack Warden) wasn’t using the same standards of justice of surveillance when it came to applying standards and values, the warranting of security, especially of national security. OK to slander commies and niggers for national security. (OK, even right, to be the Atty. Gen.’s mosquito; neither of you are elected, both appointed, but somehow you deserve the mandate and he stole it-damn catholic.) How would the FBI behave if the president of a munitions corp. wanted to exercise his constitutional right to do something? Would the agents just take notes while he got slaughtered?
long shots: important to perceive how long the trial lasts. most people will rip up their tickets when the horse doesn’t cross first, forgetting that the bet was to win. Cross first may be visual and objective. Win is cybernetically linked to consensus. I bought a ticket not to cross first, I haven’t been trying to cross first, but to have an untried, undervalued shot at winning. Winning of a sort where it is not known when the results will be in. Now, if mankind, god, the biosphere, the earth, etc. die, then I didn’t win, but neither did the whatever it was that crossed first.
ask a lawyer if even ideally the law should be stated clearly and unambiguously, aiming at least toward the clarity of mathematics. Is it necessary to have judges to interpret a clear law?
we’re asked to believe that high level politicos have information, wisdom, etc. to make unrevealed, unpalatable decisions for all of us. I would be willing to assign them some probability of truth if it could be pointed out any situation from any culture in the past, other than our own direct linkage, where that was the case.
how about applying hard science standards to ordinary proclamations of truth? free country? find one exception.
or maybe studying epistemology is like peeling an onion. there is no level which is not dependent for perception on some sort of group feedback of shared assumption and belief. Larry Olivier is giving the performance of his life, god he’s high, right on. but something is wrong with the audience. well, he playing the sticks; not like London, after all. there’s a cat call or two, and god, a chuckle. he fumes back to his dressing room. Sure, he looks in the mirror. He knows his own after glow of expressions. he’s never been better? well, sure he has, but this one was at least average, wasn’t it? He gets up and then he sees it. He wasn’t wearing the bottom of the costume.
Therefore, is it better to explore alone, discover what the group can’t see, but for all intents and purposes be just as wrong as they are, or join the group clinging and checking each other’s costumes, and maybe marching lock step, arm in arm, off the edge of the cliff?
cyb cir: did Reagan change public taste? or did his election truly reflect conservative mood? Let’s guess what lies the core people want to be told. We hypnotize ourselves so we won’t feel the rude bumps against reality (“reality” being other consensuses, not controlled by ours?)
4 dimensional innocence: commit crimes so your children can be innocent. But not according to OT. See? another e.g. of change.
Abstractions are meaningless except in a non-abstract context/ level
We are not capable of knowing the truth but we are, sometimes, capable of detecting error. Therefore, we are capable of negative truth: “this is not so.”
list what fundamental things exist besides relationship: would they be different than the categories of mathematics?
A characteristic of mine, an immaturity? a foolishness? merely being human? dumb attempt at consistency?, is that I have never really forgiven any of the groups into which I was born for not being what they say they are. I guess it started out merely as a horror of hypocrisy. Now it occurs to me, for the hundreds time, that the problem is semantic. What groups claim is often simply impossible, not in the nature of things. Where not impossible, they would be stupid. It’s usually some rhetoric that comes to represent an unexpected success (Christianity, the United States constitutional republican democracy, etc.), an unexperienced, untested ideal, not a description of actual behavior. Everyone should be equal under the law. Unless you have no social position, at one extreme, or unless you’re president, or very rich and powerful, at the other.
… These are imaginary sets: the question is-do they have any members?
Subjectivity of perception, perspective: the worst years of WWII? 1946. That’s when I got my finger caught in the rusty door of a surplus jeep. Boy, did that hurt. …
The worst years of Vietnam? for whom? for what? for the US? for the Vietnamese? The geography? Ecology? The worst years for Vietnam were in the mid-Pleistocene when volcanoes …
Is it because she is not ordinarily beautiful, physically pretty of face, that Meryl Streep’s technical virtuosity is so perceptible? Humans evolved distinctively individual faces, males the more so. Perhaps a little Lamarckian effort there too, females trying to be attractive, bland, non-threatening, males decisive, unwavering. So look at the faces of Bogart, Mitchum, even young actors like Ford, Dafoe, even very young like Phoenix. How many actresses could project independence like Barbara Stanwyk? Not than she was so great. But she did show character. Social character. Then look at Vanna White. A four dimensional emblem of accommodating vacuity. A perfect face, a perfect smile, graceful and gracious, a perfect body, fabulous ass, long legs … but there’s nobody there.
me trying to communicate with others is a perhaps insoluble problem in logical level. I try to tune my mind with what’s happening in evolution and how it happens. Since there’s no linear control there, it has to do with wisdom, hope and faith more than ambition and “influence.” This may well be vanity and insanity on my part, but I see the alternatives as vain and insane for sure. Or as already taken care of. But then my interests too are already taken care of. GBS had no control of legislation, yet all of his concerns have been realized in one way or another. Creating their own problems.
politics, journalism, literature, … do in part address themselves to the mind of the species, of the continent, of the world, of the levels of ecology; …
All two tiered minimally: literature, for example, is a mirror which: fun house distortion, just to be crazy; flattering light to entertain by reinforcing our semantic delusions; probes possibilities, runs scenarios as tests before we commit anything vital to such change; highlights key contradictions, or stating more meaninglessly-tells the truth.
GB says that we shouldn’t normally expect level 2 learning. It occurs to me too that we shouldn’t expect open-mindedness except in extraordinary circumstances. scientists e.g. may have moments of open-mindedness when hypothesizing. then experiment is something of an objective correlative. they’ll still hope and pray for their hypothesis. occasionally any of us may have such a moment. or even moments. for the rest, we should be understood to be human beings, wired the way we are.
drinking serves many functions, of course. one: alone sometimes, but especially in groups, is the group weave of emotions, especially those that emphasize some rightness held in common. until one wants to be superior and then attacks everybody else for lacking faith, understanding, purity, whatever.
civilization: what set of irrationalities are you allied with?
corruption: yield to another order. human mind surrenders to bacteriological mind and/or ecological mind; not necessarily a come down.
where does govt get off taking people’s children away from them saying that they’re bad parents (no matter how true it may be) considering its own record at parenting with schools, the perversion of peer assemblages, orphanages, prisons, etc.
Abraham and double bind.
Since the number of infinities is infinite you have to realize that the relative size of any single infinity is very small.
Set Society: find exception in law and justice. if more time and lawyers and money can find the evidence to prove innocence in a web of circumstantial evidence, then one generalize that perry mason could find anybody innocent.
legal epistemology is still largely medieval. an expert can testify on physics to prove suicide or murder, why not generalize to all cases? Take each individual and do it all over again.
FLEX joke re lawyers’ advertising has become true, but 99% for law profitable to lawyers (injury, etc.). Onct upon a time lawyers didn’t need to advertise because the king already knew them, then the courtiers. For the middle class, the phone book was enough.
The idea of an educated society is great but we indoctrinate the contradictions, not freedom.
Why are we so willing, perhaps even so anxious, to lie when ever it seems appropriate to make lofty generalizations? Church, govt. maybe god too. It’s seldom deliberate. Deliberate from the left brain, ie I think it has to do with social instincts. What ideas will identify one with the group, above the group, below the group or this individual. Vanna White’s charm is to be inferior to everybody.
12/3: I wake up groggy. Can hardly stand up. Cup of coffee in my hand finally and I still stand there nodding. Damn. It’s eleven am. I can’t even think of the million things I have to do. I pee. I rinse my face. I still can’t focus or think or move. If it weren’t for the elevated bed in the trailer I would have climbed back into it by now. Exhausted from running back and forth across Alligator Alley with trailer attached. I turn on the tv. A dangerous move. Fortunately, at least for the moment, the action is as unnatural, deliberate, and uncomforting as having a cigarette before breakfast would have been to the teenage me or asking for a martini before lunch would have been for the thirty year old me. I’ve seen moments of daytime tv throughout adulthood, and by god, I don’t want to see anymore. Unless they showing Ugetsu by mistake or something. Jesus, there, smiling winningly, is the above reference, and by god, she’s talking. The cheeks still smile even while the mouth is moving. Suddenly I’m all attention. I listen for the give away phoneme, unyielded to speech lessons, inharmonious and vulgar, the slip-through give-away. I hear none. The voice is media accent to perfection. It has no character, but the cadences as well as the phonemes are tv-standard. They’ve given her a speaking part. Or had she always had it? Please. In Haverford I would see her nightly. Joe would say “there she is” every evening as I would head for the kitchen. Now, independently, for the last couple of weeks in Florida, I leave the tube there as this guy goes through a two second introduction. Nothing to be explained; the audience is already oriented. Everybody has the formula. The ritual is perfunctory until he introduces her. I watched to see if it wasn’t taped; no it’s like Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow for the 10,000th time. She twirls, smiles, and cocks her head to the side. The movement of a three year old girl to an adult male. Pause and analyze the dipping of the head to the side sometime: submission, for sure; offering the neck? I lose, please don’t kill me? A female imitation of a male sign; like a collar? She’s such a Pamela, Clarissa, Jean Harlot … icon; why is she talking?
It’s over. It was the sign off. I stand there stupid, not seeing the commercials. Suddenly, it’s off to the races again. It’s another game, wow, personality, aren’t we all submissive to the boob audience show. Somebody who hasn’t rehearsed posture and walking and just standing like Vanna White has is introduced as being witty. She looks awful, clumsy, peddalpushers I think they called them when my sister bought them in 1953 or something. Then they introduce the panel. First they show cartoons of them. Men against women. The emcee is female. Now I get it. They go close up and stay there. Her talent is in her face and the mobility and meaning of her features in different “faces.” She’s an ironist. A kidder. I’ve got my boot up your ass but my tongue is in my cheek. I mock, but then I smile submissively at you, the boob audience. Don’t cut off my privileges. She’s an ironist of the Art Buchwald sort, not at all of the Dr Swift, Mark Twain, Russell Baker sort. My irony is that of the center pretending to be radical, like the US school system or VFW reading Jefferson, or a Christian Church reading the passion. I mock only discredited, no longer held attitudes, or they’re held only by people off the scale of the Nielsen ratings. Not I ally myself with god the unfashionable (though he too allies himself with some sort of fashion: right-handedness, male dominance, …)
Now I remember: last night before canceling the tube and picking up Whirlwind: that fat host with the funny protruding round jaw: he makes all kinds of faces too. But just as it’s time to cut for the commercial or to say good night, he smiles utterly without deceit, guile, irony, any but the primary: “I submit to you: I just love you boob audience, nameless creator and destroyer, Mr. Volcano-earthquake-fallingsky- incomprehensibledisaster.”
Nirvana: how about translate as “no bias.” But is that possible, let alone desirable? Jehovah has biases as well as Satan. How about left-handed molecules? How about some core of stability, with only cautious tentative change. Until it’s time to boil everything again. Even boiled, the molecules will still come out levro-chiral.
Wave as e.g. of synergetics. But, how about depth and extent of water under the wave? To the molecules of the wave, of the surface, what’s happening to them may seem to speak for everything, while actually it’s strictly local. Sound the depths, the slower changes. There is no non-changing.
Different levels of noticing: what’s your perspective? How far from the object and in what relationship? above, below, front, back? Significant numbers: to what exactitude do you want to notice? What are the limits of your perception? macro, micro, and stereo?
Sure this that and the other thing is communist; how is that threatening? Is that the worst threat? Is the label helping perception or masking perception?
The shape of science, current, is the closest thing we have to the shape of the cosmos. But it isn’t the cosmos. It’s merely the best image we have. Most people, of course, in-so-far-as they see it at all, will compare it to their default programming and will judge it as though from above rather than from below (outside, inside, the metaphor isn’t the important part). How does this evidence agree with the “revealed truth” of the bible, my witch doctor, the president, the physics of the subject- predicate-modifiers-… grammar? Now, somewhere, science too may have hidden assumptions. However, it is part of the role of science to hunt for such assumptions, to reduce their number and nature as far as possible: ideally, to zero (?).
Is time in the picture? The statement “protons never decay” may be true if time is not included (in which case the word “never” would merely be an intensive of “don’t”).


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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