/ Journal /
random? yesterday, the colonel mistakes my saying “desk work” for “chess work.” behold, his board is already set up. uh oh, i announce. looks like i’m not going to get any work done. when can we start? he’s put white’s side down by himself. actually, i would like to play black since Morphy never lets me (can’t let me; he’s not programmed that way), but i don’t want him to just assume the right. it’s his set and his porch but not his game. not mine either. it already has rules. i pick up two pawns and roll them in my hands behind my back. which do you want? i’ll take the white ones, he says, indicating my right hand. I open the hand, and by god, there’s the white pawn. how did he know? he didn’t say it like a guess he had a fifty-fifty chance with. he didn’t say it like a guess he had some reason to think he had a better than fifty chance with. he said it like he knew. and he was right. so i start rehearsing in my mind that familiar obsession of mine: what is the random? mathematicians use it as an undefined term. which doesn’t mean, at least not to me, that we shouldn’t be trying to define it. To me, I had mixed them randomly. That is, I had rolled them around in my hands behind my back without trying to pay any attention to their changing positions. I started out knowing which was which because I had picked them up. I didn’t pay attention to how I picked them up, but my eye guided my hands and then my hands joined. I didn’t know which color piece was in which hand, so to me it was random. he knew it was my right hand, so to him, it wasn’t. so, is random what’s outside your perception?
phrased sloppily. what a magician does is outside your perception, but it isn’t random, you just don’t recognize the force, the fast shuffle, the deal off the bottom. yes, but what if it’s beyond the perception of the group?, the group’s perception including the best of your science and cosmology? the old question: .is god bound by our rules? by the universe’s rules? by his own rules? if not, then how could messages between us exist, either given or received?
science started out with the working assumption: there are rules for the universe and they are knowable. what other assumptions are or had been in the world, the human world, is harder to judge, because A) they’re in retreat or in hiding B) they were unconscious or sloppily stated (religions seem to be a varying mix of both). for a while it looked as though science had figured them out. that’s like thinking that today’s newspaper, yellowing and flaking in your hands as you hold it, is history. part of it, sure. anyway, physicists have seen thresholds to their seeing in the macro direction, in the micro direction, in the where did time come from direction and in the where is time going direction. so, we know that there’s that which is beyond our perception. we seem to know that neither zero nor infinity are reachable by us. we (at least I) also see that reality passes beyond infinities and perhaps reaches zero and beyond all the time with other infinities dwarfing the ones we had been so worried about. so, we’re stated laws for what we see. (that’s funny: a freudian typo. i meant “we’ve”) we keep and keep revising them. does it occur to us that since we’ve never had them anything but wrong, perhaps we’ll never have them right? or is that merely a wrong formulation of it? does what we used to mean as right have nothing to do with it or with anything? we’re merely adjusting our seeing, like a hawk after a rabbit or a man walking down a road.
the question is: are the cosmos and the universe one and the same? or are they equal? or are there other universes? or even if all universes are one, what’s in the cosmos that isn’t in the universe or isn’t restricted by or to the universe?
(my own son says that i am an atheist, and there are many who would agree; but if so, then i am one who has never for a minute doubted the existence of god.)
language & meaning, including science and math. all relative to the limits of our perception. (is the imagination an “organ” of perception?)
“beginning” how often have we changed the age of the beginning? the random? the order outside our perception of what’s relevant?
probability? knowing the outcome without knowing the sequence.
we know pretty much what’s going to happen, what its resultant shape will be; but we don’t know in what order and we know that we don’t know it. is going to an astrologer a wishful denial of that knowledge? or truly an exception to (and therefore refutation of) what I just said?
change your cosmology, or try to enter someone else’s, and you have to rethink, reexperience, redefine everything.
GB’s creatura vs. pleroma. Ah ha! yes, the initial emphasis has to be on creatura as mental, because our minds, from our previous cosmology, epis, etc., see it as “material.” (remember: subdivide thingness). but how do we know that pleroma isn’t also the “embodiment” of mental process? mystics having said so doesn’t make it so; it also doesn’t make it false. forget newtonian celestial “mechanics.” (besides, we already know that that’s not a true model, not only incomplete, but false) get into quantum physics. what is that? what happened to materialism? if quarks aren’t mental, what are they?
it started among the blacks: meaning, i first heard of it there. it was first allowed to be noticed there.
Loaded up, intending to complete my entries of yesterday when, typically, I made points without ever shadowing the walls of my main points. Damn, more stuff starts mixing around in my head, and now I have to put that in before I forget it. But will I ever get there? and will I ever get back to my point about the nature of the random and of the utmost importance, my point about SJ Gould’s incomplete calculus of thinking on the subject of mammalian body to brain mass. it’s back to the old which stands still, the sun or the earth, question. there: i’ve pointed them out so I can’t possibly forget (ha!), if i ever get back this way again (ha!).
my how we tarnish and elevate dead heroes. plato has always been my enemy because i’ve always perceived him as over elevated. not not brilliant, innovative, important, etc. but over elevated. Aristotle by the poor renaissance. and then the scientific backlash since Galileo that nevertheless most humanists haven’t yet heard of. Shakespeare as an easy object of fun for any talentless comic or ever a comedian of genius. A recent Bill Cosby show, eg. But the current Midas muffler ad is typical. an actor imitating sweet will comes out holding a quill, talking funny and making little sense. your non-shakesperian apparently recognizes this as shakeseare: talking funny and making little sense. oh really? other poets, dramatists, thinkers, philosophers, etc regard him as maybe the best of all time, certainly the best in English, etc etc. all for talking funny, for using eighteen words incorrectly to imply one trivial point: i’m not going to pay a lot for this muffler. my point of course has nothing to do with midas: we’ve seen it a million times. i had such an impulse myself in the army. phil quoted a tv example as good which would make me cringe now: so fair a foul I have not seen. elizabethans watching baseball. still, it’s the best. for one thing because it’s actually partly shakespeare. but i’ve even seen peter ustinov guilty, and he should know better.
anyway: socrates. scene and dialogue buzzing around in my head as the computer loads: would Homer (ie Homer’s rep) have passed through a phase as “ancient greek” evolved to demotic in which he was an object of fun for talking funny and not making much sense? I doubt it, because his subject was folk themes. i doubt that he was ever hard to understand. sh was probably more comprehensible to his not-specially-trained contemporaries than to the equivalent today for easily seen reasons: he was speaking their language and speaking it exceedingly well. he was thinking their thoughts. his subject matter was popular stuff: revenge tragedy, sonnet sequences, eupheuistic prose, etc. he still wouldn’t have been easy. the farmer in his audience would have known he was talking fancy, would have loved it, and would have understood in general because of redundancy, not because he knew all the words or recognized all the references. still, he would have known they were classical references and would have been impressed. etc
soc automatic smart guy in popular mind. people ordinarily have two default settings for the category among living people. He’s very smart; he must not know how to put his pants on. Or, he’s a man of respect; he must be very smart. they have no mental model for being smart and poor and practical. that’s partly because they assume (naturally) that their “practicality” is practical and smart, especially if it isn’t theirs naturally.
ha! the xian idea of salvation and grace coming from above, not being natural, not growing out of the integrity of the organism with its environment. schiz.
anyway, all dead heroes are automatically better than any living. Achilleus could outrun Willie Mays, etc. ie, for those with a vested interest in learning. for the rest of us, yeah willie mays. Achi … who? then there’s the default assumption that the young crop can’t possibly contain any heroes because that all over with and known. recruits at a team camp. any veteran yankee is going to seem god like to anyone seeing a young mickey mantle walk in. yeah, this mike schmidt is good, but be serious: Cobb, Gherig, Ruth …
anyway, i’m thinking: ok, you see that i’m smart. i scare you a little. maybe a lot. just as suddenly, just as falsely, you may switch into seeing me as a figure of derision. but you’re still going to assume that plato is the cat’s pajamas and that any living thinker or recently dead thinker like GB is still a raw recruit. and in my dialogue i hear myself saying, i could have held my own against socrates. that is, if i were i and he were still thinking in the bronze age: if he hadn’t learned anything since. and even if he had, maybe i still could have held my own. people don’t communicate well, or one seems much smarter than another when they’re living in different semantic universes. ordinary epistemology which doesn’t know its nature or fallabilities judging science which does. relatively anyway. the arrogance of fundamentalists against the humility of scientists. such arrogance being impossible of being right; whatever the other is.
i hear myself saying: i see myself doing a better job in argument than those straw men Plato puts him up against. But here’s the kicker: that is unless there’s something in the scene hidden from the reader. Like Socrates is holding a gun on them. Or his goons in the back are for him. Or Socrates is rich, whatever the pretense, and is liable to write all these yo-yos out of his will. or soc is holding 51% of the stock and the rest are just a bunch of coward vice presidents. Now that would certainly change the whole tone of the dialogues. But it isn’t so; Athens had the gun on him.
Random: so had I really mixed the chess pieces? or had the Colonel seen something that i in my own mind hadn’t? see? the random as a perceptual threshold, not anything absolute. Great fun in the next game. I roll the pawns around behind my back. The Colonel picks my right hand: I’ll still take white, he says. I open my right hand with my jaw already dropped. could he really be right? still? what was I doing that i was unaware of. There’s a black piece. If two examples can mean anything, there was the 50/50 distribution. one appearance each in that hand. that still doesn’t mean that i wasn’t doing something that had a pattern that i was unaware of. after all, i was mixing them. and if i had used some other device. couldn’t it too have a pattern, however hidden from us? but we’re just people. the colonel now takes a different tone and explains his strategy to me. i explain mine to him (and to his surprise): i just mix them: i wasn’t trying to guess which one you would guess.
what i really learned there was that i was still gullible at least for that moment. if some astrologer had claimed something and then something else and it had all come true i still wouldn’t have paid much attention, not knowing the extent of his stage or his rigging. yet here i was ready to believe the colonel was a perceptive whiz. we’re wired to look for proof, not for disproof.
why should i be anxious to record such nonsense in my diary? maybe there’s no such possibility as a consequence-free pursuit of philosophy, but soc clearly wasn’t the godfather.
because 1) to hold onto it so i could look at it before it dreamed itself away. & 2) because i am fascinated by what i find floating around just beneath consciousness, in those slothful times before i’ve turned my brain on for the day. ah, so you’ve learned to look into your unconscious, eh? a contradiction in terms. No; i seek, and believe i am succeeding in, to broaden the interface between consciousness and unconsciousness. Surely, they do talk to each other. i find evidence of my consciousness in that intermediate twilight zone all the time. what the fuck is socrates and science doing in my unconscious if that isn’t so?
and now, of serious importance: sj gould and cybernetics. gould is a good and famous scientist and one of the explainers. he’s not asimov, he’s not calder, he’s not sagan, and he’s certainly not GB. but a good guy. if only he didn’t so confuse Darwin, a dead and very fallible hero, and evolution, an ongoing theory.
but cybernetics is not something that darwin saw, and cybernetics is something that gould seems to have difficulty with, even though i see evidence after evidence that it’s gotten into his consciousness occasionally. he hasn’t fully assimilated it. and if he did, he couldn’t go on talking about darwin the way he does. so, in his almost great essay on brain mass collected in Ever Since … you know who. The essay is a clear example of science progressing. Gould here is more advanced than Sagan, and there’s no question in my mind which one is smarter, more knowledgeable and of greater poetry and heart. Sagan summarized scientists comparing brain weight to body weight (since by the standard of brain mass alone, dinosaurs would have been very bright, and whales a good deal smarter than we. we wouldn’t want that conclusion, would we? so gould quotes somebody i don’t know as having compared body mass among mammals and esp primates, incl. fossil hominids, not to brain mass but to EXPECTED brain mass.
now here’s where cybernetics shows itself, only i don’t see gould seeing it. how do you know what’s expected except by extrapolation from what’s known? and you’ve just found that what is is different from what’s expected based on what’s known. it’s like aiming a shotgun at a flying creature or clay pigeon. maybe you hit it, but the nature of the hitting isn’t exact. the aim is based on feedback revised estimates, and a bulls eye isn’t needed for results to have been achieved.
but our bronze age trained minds don’t want to live in a universe without a fixed center. maybe it has one. we don’t know what it is. what we do know is that our previous thinking about it is wrong. astronomers still measure as thought the earth were the center. asimov gives dimensions as though the earth had no atmosphere. they all still act as though if the earth isn’t fixed then the sun is. what center? there’s no center in the best models we have. but we still want one for the reality. and in fact we intrude it into our actual models: the ones we speak from. we still live our daily lives in a language which models the earth as fixed and the sun as rising and setting.
maybe gould sees this, or thinks he sees it, but he phrased it the old way. his own best thinking hasn’t been assimilated by his speech (or writing).
perhaps all disagreement is based on (unstated) differences of definition (perhaps too so is all agreement).
i would like to submit this story with a nice short cover letter. I would like back an even shorter letter and nothing else in the envelope but a check. A nice check with lots of numbers. I would even be happy if all the numbers but the first one were zeros.
add (or subtract) a dimension to (from) your looking. If you’re on the ground, try the view from up in the air. If you’re looking at earth from mars or someplace, try the view from the ground. get down on the ground, crawl around in the grass, I mean your whole universe shrunk to the grass. there’s nothing above or beyond the grass, nothing that concerns you or that you can or should perceive. get into the fractals. bound in time: try the view across eons. too beatific to understand everyday pain or joy. try limits, become mortal. god did.
You spend your life trying to make a living and the rest of the time trying not to be bored. I spend as little time as possible making a living and all of my time living. Boredom does not enter into it. All aspect of life are endlessly fascinating to the active participant. Unless of course you are just passively waiting to be entertained.
Blood Waters of Dr. Z. another swamp man horror sci-fi monster flick. metaphysical subject. like Frankenstein, science and society: can the latter survive the former? plenty of real human swamp: TAP.
perhaps all people not below certain thresholds of defectiveness, would have similar responses and similar learnings were circumstances ever similar. there are many who are closed, under their circumstances, to the learning that I enjoy, but certainly they didn’t have my childhood advantages: poverty without the feeling of want. Economic. The poverty
and the want that I felt proved to be aesthetic, the first time I ever noticed a blues wail from a trumpet on the late 1940s radio. Surely it is an infinitely receding illusion that economic wants are satisfiable or that material advantage to a statistical norm is beneficial rather than detrimental to a young human. Napoleon’s child is not without want: he will want China.
what is the random? what is magic?
the audience assumes that the shuffle of the deck of cards is random. the performer knows that it isn’t. but what if the shuffler too, thinks the shuffle is random while actually he always has the card from the right side of the cut wind up on the bottom of the next deck, what if he goes about shuffling in a way that is ordered? then will not patterns appear whether he sees them or exploits them or not. will the universe itself not be exploiting them somehow? (exploit for sure is the wrong word, but same result) Say one always plays solitaire to the point where at least an ace or two and a deuce or two are at the top. the player isn’t a cheater and begins again, sweeping the array together and shuffling for a new deal. There would be ways of shuffling where the aces and deuces would appear in a variety of different areas of the deck after shuffling (say a second consciousness monitors the order of shuffled deck …
there’s what I mean: the shuffled deck has an order. Random means that you don’t know what it is.
Random: a disjuncture between an order and a consciousness of that order.
The magician’s deck is random to the audience, but not to the magician.
I recently bought the first deck of cards I’ve purchased since childhood (if I ever purchased one then. Yes, a present for my mother, the bridge player.) Opening the package revealed that the cards were packaged ace, deuce … by suit. I think spades were on the top, so even the suite of suites was probably regular. So, the card manufacturer knows that. The regular player knows it, the cheat certainly knows it. Now, let a martian buy the deck, who doesn’t know it. He simply begins inventing some game and playing it. For the time being, at least, what is regular to us is random to him.
Therefore, the magic of the magician’s trick is a disjunction of perception!
An Idea is a stack, skein, nest, or molecule of ideas.
The molecule image appeals to me especially. Could there be a good analogy between atomic and sub-atomic, quantum theory and information theory. Could there be quarks to the atoms of yes and no?
Perhaps should be understood to be in all utterances. It’s there whether understood or not. Ie in all creatures subject to Godel’s theorem, a continuing universe, fallibility, limits, etc. Rhetoric of course ignores it. It should be punished in churches & in politics as well in more minor charlatanisms. That is, if we want consciousness and intelligent decision making to makable on an atomic basis. If on a hierarchical basis, then it matters less, and charlitanism may be just what’s called for. (Trouble is, it’s impossible to tell how far within the nests you are, whether they’re infinite, etc. You may perceive yourself to be a plus and may indeed be so within your parenthesis (invisible environment). But there’s no telling overall for sentiences within the system.
(perhaps, always perhaps) The universe is an idea that god has that he might exist. That idea has extensional implications. That does not make the thinker of that idea extensional. The extensionality is itself an expression of intensionality.
The question whether the thinker had to exist in order to have the thought is meaningless only you realize that you are within a tautology, a complete system. Of course circularity applies: and temporal limits don’t.
It is only where cosmology and theology come together that one may have an actual correspondence between the tautology and the experience. The map comes at close to one on one as a map can.
The universe is an extensional idea that god has so that he might increase his intensional complexity. Extensional consequences. Life is one of those ensuing ideas.
An organism is …
A species is …
A mind is … What complexity of stack, nest, skein?
Is it that the higher logical category thinks the lower? Is there a higher without all the lowers’ thoughts adding up to it?
Common sense isn’t always wrong. Just always on scales that it didn’t evolve for.
It is as incomprehensible to the saint as to the genius why no one understands him. The genius has invariably redefined the universe. The saint has rather found anything less than martyr- level integrity to be impossible once the true choice of life has been seen clearly: one choice is death; the other choice too is death, death with a chance of a little improvement.
I sometimes think that I was once an almost saint who decided instead to try to become a genius and almost succeeded.
Graduate discipline: do I really want to be on the same sandpile with these louts? these enemies of literature? Willingly to embrace insult for the privilege of being forced into a life time of sniffing each other’s shit, pretending it’s ambrosia, in exchange for being allowed to eat with the lower middle class.
You might just as well reject me while you can. continue till my death. Your stupidity may not be so dumb. For otherwise, I would devour you. without relish, more than remorse, without pity any more than pleasure.
If people don’t want to recognize genius, let Rocco’s mother’s principle apply: So don’t give ’em no fuckin’ genius. Ditto great music, great anything. Similarly, we’ll well deserve the loss of species as we change, diminish, pollute, and destroy habitat.
At what point, over what series of points, does destruction of habitat for others also destroy the wealth thereby produced?
Trouble is, you do it in WASP, nobody’ll get it.
Who’s hurt more? Jesus in his day’s agony at being crucified; or the rest of us, ever since and maybe before, in our damnation?
Neo Platonic; or pseudo- if you prefer.
time is where you don’t know the outcome: if you do know, then it isn’t time.
chaos, time and entropy
pepper and salt mix, they don’t unmix; tobacco oxidizes rapidly as smoke disperses
time’s direction, according to 2nd Law Th, is toward
then, as GB asks, how come things order? the “disorder” is only what’s under our nose. on a global scale, the smoke does reform as tobacco. And as wheat, and as us, and as limestone, and as daisies. Including as things more complicated than tobacco.
the pepper and salt mixed onto our food does unmix within our own systems. it unmixes and remixes into us.
The God of the future is the parent of the god of the past.
minor is my major mode.
our actual history never has the same shape or contents as our planned history. it’s often impossible for us to notice the difference.
I’m exercising my woman’s prerogative to change my mind.
Good. And now I’m exercising my man’s prerogative to change everyone’s mind: all right everybody, think my wife is wrong: I should divorce her if she doesn’t straighten out: don’t forget the tax review next month.
That’s not a man’s prerogative. You’re the mayor.
Right. And you’re not a woman; you’re the mayor’s wife.
Struthers bothered by Anglican controversy whether Onward Christian Soldiers is militaristic. It’s obvious, she thinks, that it isn’t. It’s obvious, to me, that it is. So: sure it’s a contradiction. But if people didn’t contradict themselves, they wouldn’t be people. Maybe they wouldn’t even be in this universe. And then what would God do with all of us in Hell?
no one stoops for genius
meaning is in the gap, in the breadth of the gap, in the potential difference, between the contradictions.
yeah, I see what you mean, but it has practically zero voltage.
you can change language, but it has yet to be orchestrated.
that store owner on Georgia Ave who liked big assed women: I didn’t even see what he was gawking and gesturing at until he went out of his way to make it unambiguous: she had been invisible to me.
Just because you make the most noise, doesn’t mean you do the most damage.
genius and infancy, never taking root in a particular thought system. genius as retarded development.
growth and maturation are difficult to achieve at the same time
Comedy and tragedy are two sides of the same coin. No wonder those two masks look alike; they’re closer than mirror images.
Comedy is about being mortal and not dying. Tragedy is about being immortal and dying.
maybe you can force the men to fight, but you can’t force them to win.
most people give up their potential for the status quo, the genius trades the status quo for potential.
If one is malcontent with physics, I hold no brief for him. That is: physics the reality. But if he is malcontent with physics, our model of the reality, however wrong his own model may be, I am entirely on his side.
Michael Caine in some tug boat movie: said of course in Michael Caine cadences: “…all the same, it would be awfully nice/ if somehow/ all of this/ … were someone’s fault.” (since identified as, i think, the poseidon adventure IX.
He has an office? Of course. What did you think? I thought he just materialized in the evening and then went back to hell.
dream of 3:46:33 9/22/1988 half hour earlier. I was in my same situation, broke, with a broken trailer, but was visiting my mother. My sister was there. But it was back in our house in RVC. I was trying to sleep in my old room. Beth was in her old room. I couldn’t sleep. The 12 bar blues in Bb was driving me crazy. I wanted to turn my synth on and pinkle. I heard a noise. The bed, from the other room squeaking. Would Beth be masturbating if the bed was so loud? Mother? It went on. It stopped. I tried to sleep. Then it began again. Then I heard footsteps, not trying to be too quiet, going up and down the old stairs. Voices. Beth and her husband, Don. He was there too, I guess. “The drug store is closed.” “Then call an ambulance.” Is mother all right? Had that been Don giving a heart massage? I got up in the dark. I tried putting my pants on. I skipped the underwear. I put my legs in. It was wrong. My pants were shorts and I had put my feet in through the knee holes. Could I park my trailer in the old garden back by the garage? If mother’s died, don’t sell the house; I could park my trailer there.
You’re a judge. You represent society, your honor. And I’m sure you do a good job at representing it. But I’m an artist. I represent the universe. Or at least the biosphere. Life. I have different gods. And goals to serve.
Literally true? No, no, no: you’re trivializing religion. Everything that’s literally true (the way you mean it) is merely detail. Seek literal as in literature. Seek the pattern: the patterns which connect. Stop confusing individuals for species.
no, no. you really want to hurt them? Help them.
Help them too little.
judge. they have to have insurance. buys stock. now cancel their policy. refund half. make them get it again. claim? cancel & refund half. But I don’t want no insurance; they never pay. then go to jail.
imitation of jesus. demands being unrecognized by the establishment. Cuban committee to maintain the revolution doesn’t do it either.
two addenda to “science never proves anything.” 1) neither does anything else. 2) the idea that anything has or can have clear cut experimental results, accurately measurable and unambiguous
can only be sustained among those who have no contact with the experiments. Einstein & bending star light. cf Conn Yankee & Hide & Seek.
cybernetic linkage to population control and institutional reversal. chaos pattern, appears simple then becomes complex. good work leads to reward, good work leads to reward, …. higher energy, good work leads to getting crucified, being intelligent gets you stoned, doing what’s officially required puts you in Coventry …. but people still have the old map, they think that if you’re crucified it proves that you’re bad. Society may be protecting itself for real by having defenced the greatest danger, eliminating important learning from schooling, passing off no choice as freedom, …
2 reich officers, amid smoldering rubble: what do you mean we should stop? Exterminating jews has gotten us this far, hasn’t it? i love the republicans and democrats in 1988 accusing each other of polluting. Bush team shows Boston Harbor. ho ho.
do you realize that we could save way over a trillion dollars a year by not having any money at all? That if we didn’t destroy everything to create more wealth, we’d still have much of the wealth we started with? yes, but then man wouldn’t be man. what did you put him into the garden for in the first place? except to break it open and see what happens? yeah, but what’s happening is about to reduce the biomass even further/ maybe destroy this local biomass altogether.
don’t try that shit with me satan; i know perfectly well I put a NOT gate in there; a reverse cybernetic linkage; do the logic so it comes out YES, pass it through the gate, YES will switch to NO every time. i’m not as stupid as i used to be, you know; whereas you’re still as stupid as you always were.
a return to a more primitive epistemology may be a good thing for an individual’s or species’ (or biosphere’s) survival if the new epistemology isn’t being handled well (if the new epistemology isn’t the new epistemology, if logic is mistaken for truth, if contradiction is confused with being wrong) OR if the new epistemology is the old epistemology stripped of its major errors. medieval maps of the world may have been wrong, but they were “maps,” however wrong. You don’t want to navigate by their coordinates, but you may want to appreciate their spirit. From ‘no such thing as a map’ to ‘a map wrong in most of its details.’ Which state is more primitive? No map? Or wrong map? Well, both could have some advantages. the sky is falling on you, you have no idea that navigation is possible. maybe you’ll be lucky. maybe luck is the best thing to hope for. the sky is falling, you try navigating by a wrong map. nevertheless, the mere attempt at movement saves you. So you apotheosize your map and say it’s god. now your salvation is everyoneelse’s death. but they can fight back, can’t they. no, because you’re strong enough to kill those who try. Extinction. Still they can thank you for the extra few years. unless they’d rather have been extinct sooner and saved the slavery.
amazing how i’ve hardly written into the diary since june. db, db, db. then cd, cd. todays the first day of starting to crash. I wake up 2:45 pm with a killer head ache. god, I may as well be hungover. a cautious aspirin, no effect, a cautious Advil, a half dozen cups of coffee, and the id file reopens. hmm. but X, what will I do tonight?
I know I’m in trouble when I find that what I get is very different from what I’ve been promised. When I’m then told that that’s what I was promised and that it’s all my fault, I know I’m in real trouble. Though my trouble is temporary and annoying. The real trouble will remain with the person, people, or institution which is either lying to me or to itself or both. What evolutionary advantage can there be in self-deception? Surely the advantage can’t be long term. Get you through an emergency, maybe, but what about after the emergency has been declared a permanent state by the tendency? Or is self- deception a necessary consequence of a very limited consciousness that we’re so proud of?
map/terr and crossing w. light. more pedestrians hit crossing with light than against. you know the cars are supposed to stop so you stop being careful. higher map of be careful is overridden by misplaced trust in the order of society.
An angel came and went, unnoticed
Another stone for the world’s death.
The high energy order of chaos; the low energy order of perception
She did the civilized thing: she cheated. she lied and robbed me.
Beginning: AKA Christ Woman
Are you telling me that I’m supposed to tell the American people that just because they’re fat, lazy, & stupid that they won’t automatically dominate the world?
entropy and Iago. He stops talking. Torture will make no difference. Absolute zero. Cessation of entropy. Stoppage of leaks, not cessation of existence, just removal from universe of communication.
It isn’t the artist who’d become incomprehensible to the society so much as a cybernetic mutual incomprehensibility. The artist who does understand something is the most unwelcome of all. Incomprehensibility is the great subject. Not all the contradictions we’re force fed while young wash equally with all individuals. Everyone’s is potentially an artist to the extent that any of it sticks in their craw. At least in trad Xity the contradictions were passed as of fairly high level.
90% of journalism is dishonest? 99%? Oh, I don’t mean reporting that the Nazi’s beat the Allies: you wouldn’t sell any newspapers in the US with that headline (though in a mostly germanic market that’s exactly what the headlines will always say, and did say in Reich markets. No, I mean “animal Olympics”: taking ordinary footage of say cheetah’s doing ordinary hunting or horses just plain running and treating them as the exception rather than the average. Or awarding a Novel Prize for poetry to 23 year old Bob Dylan. It isn’t that Dylan’s poetry is better or worse than that of some more conventional contender; it’s that at 23 he isn’t a contender at all, no matter what comes to happen. My opinion of yesterday has stood the test of time; that new rock tune is the greatest of all time. The ten greatest athletes of all time coincidentally all played during the times between when I was 12 and 25.
Cf the high handed gibberish of science shows for children, it’s almost as bad as the gibberish of science shows for prime time “family,” a George Page travelogue.
George Leach and the PRs in Central Park. Geo, the goon, breaks scoring records at SSSHS, “the greatest natural athlete I’ve ever seen” the coach says, disturbing the study hall, ostentatious yawns, rattles the pages of his comic book (which I noticed he didn’t read but only looked at), banging his monster silver ID bracelet on the puny, ordinary adolescent sized kid’s desk. SSSHS takes Beth’s class to the Met Musyroom. that would have been 1951. first chance, the hoods disperse into the park. some PRs are playing ball. Geo wants the bat. I can just picture it. Geo, huge among ball players, King Kong among PRs, wants to see the bat. No doubt bullying, pushing, intimidating, used to having his way. The penalty he pays is the teachers calling him a dummy, but Geo is no dummy; he knows the society’s values: ;he’s just putting in his time until Marc Antony will be rewarded by JC. or antony will take the reward himself. Of course Marc Antonys usually drink themselves fat and silly long before that happens and then, and when they can’t take it for themselves, never figure out what went wrong, or blame it on the jews. next thing they know, the prettiest girl in the school, always a couple of years behind them, is as fat as they are and all they can do is blacken her eye.
anyway, geo says gimme the bat to the PR at the plate. the PR doesn’t. geo pushes it. the PR hauls off and uses the bat on Geo’s mouth. I forget how many of his teeth had to be capped.
the way I look at it, it was a situation of conflicting individuals, cultures, and population densities.
BK & I at Yankee Stadium. They give the kid a Bobby Mercer bat. It means nothing to Brian. The other kids, tough kids, street kids see it. It’s the second time BK has been followed for something he’s carrying in my presence: his pinata at the Mercado and now his Bobby Mercer bat. They probably gave it to BK cause he looked middle class, the street kids either weren’t at the game or they gave them Horace Clark bats. Anyway, the kids are eyeing Brian. Some push up and offer a trade. Brian knows it’s about to be snatched. What are you worried about? I say. You got the bat. Defend yourself and it. Use it if you have to. The PRs understood that and no doubt wouldn’t have pushed up on another PR if they had been bigger even than Geo. Geo has experienced nothing but everybody being a wimp. Now his fluid flesh is gushing out of his mouth together with fragments of his calcium structure.
Ideas are like a tide pulling. Some people are in a position to feel it first. As in gravity, the mind pulls the ideas as well as the idea pulls the mind. The more “heavy” the mind, the stronger the pull; the more “heavy” the idea, the stronger the pull on minds of appropriate density.
jails overcrowded? people contentious? litigious? court calendar jammed? first the state takes away our ability to defend ourselves in trad ways and then finds itself unprepared to do what it’s insisted upon.
of course, traditionally, it’s the weak, the strange that has no defense.
Since courts have become another form of tax collection, however much less sophisticated and venal than say the lottery or the fear and defense game, it can little afford justice to the poor or helpless. lawyers don’t get paid, fines don’t get collected. it costs money to put them in jail. now to some extent, jails provide employment for the otherwise unemployable, a sinecure for the warden, a place for the near criminal to vent their sadism.
UpperBlackEddy says we take care of our own problems here. Sure, like beating me up. They castrate and cannibalize the stranger.
ss: UBE dies and goes to heaven. the whole USA dies and goes to heaven. There, they’re the stranger, the vietnamese shitting as he hears the planes.
The USA is an Indian hiding in the reeds. The white men, bristling with heavy fire power are terrified of the arrows, of the desperate 14 year old with the tomahawk. Guy is wounded by arrow. White woman is upset, fainting. One guy attends to the guy with the arrow wound, everybody else solicits the woman. oh, you poor thing, you’re terrified, these savages, we’ll show them.
stick by your game plan, exterminate the locals, kill the immigrants once the RRs are built, once slavery is no longer popular. Annex Canada. Conquer England. Fuckem. They taxed us. Why should we pay taxes when we can conquer them?
curved space. go far enough away and infinity curves back into your own ass hole.
Who are “they”? Look far enough away and they turn out to be us, us turns out to be you. Wait a minute: I’m the one they tarred and feathered. Oh, yes; they can’t turn out to be you without you also turning out to be them. A recognition of injustice is the very heart of Xity.
dialogue in DC. what’s that stone? that’s a very sensitive instrument installed in the senate and programmed to dance the polka if it every hears a single true statement.
governor on political debates. mic goes off if answer doesn’t fit the question. questioner’s mic goes off if question doesn’t make relevant sense.
crit. of school. why reward appearance of answering the question when clearly the greatest rewards go to prevarication and to skill in ducking questions.
the morality of westerns: even though the west is spilling over with bad wasps who are punks and crooks, there is at least one good wasp who’s fast on the draw, polite to women, represents the law, and removes bullets from indians as the latter are pushed further and further. the indians wind up believing this wasp’s latest promises of another treaty.
It’s amazing: I wrote the above last night after an Audie Murphy movie, but I thought of it the night before during a Coop movie, Coopie with … it looked like Susan Heyward. God, I once thought she was beautiful; last night she was a pure pain in the ass. And so was Coop. He looked like nothing more than a man turned manikin to me. Ok, he looks real, now lets tell him what to do. Most of the illusions of fiction don’t work for me anymore. I see nothing but technique, scripts, stacked decks, and automatons. The technique had better be damn good, or unfamiliar, to work with me at all. Much of what I meant above by amazing was that I had just seen the VPres’ial debates, Oct 5, and had seen Sen Quail for the first time. I’d just walked into Teri’s the moment after he’d been named a month or so ago. The dykes were clucking about Bush’s statement about how he’s good looking and would get the women’s vote. Teri and C. didn’t like that. It sounded probable to me. Then last week, I thought I had seen him. Some good looking guy lowers over a mike and says hi I’m Dan Quayle. People laugh. Then I’m told that it’s Robert Redford joking around. Then I see that’s it’s so. So I still had never seen this guy. But the advance publicity made me expect a manikin. Teri was shocked that I’d never heard of him and probably further disturbed that I didn’t run to the tube to look. Then she said that she had never heard of him either. So today, driving around, I write a note about the hole that famous people find themselves in with me if I feel that their name is being forced on me. If I discover the work and love it then I’ll promote the guy. Bucky Fuller. Etc. The public school system put Shakespeare in a hole for me by talking about him as someone we all ought to know. His work has worked that out with me since then, and now I try to promote him too. A few politicians have won me over. Kennedy never did. Who was this guy whose picture was on the front page all of a sudden. Ike’s was too, but his I didn’t notice. It was familiar: invisible. But the fruit with the shaggy hair I noticed and it annoyed me. So I watch this debate. I never heard of the other guy either, but I don’t mind him. He’s invisible to me. So here’s this Quayle. Blue eyes, for chrisake. A wasp not like hitler or nixon or any of the fake wasps. this guy is a real gentleman’s C at Exeter or someplace. The living emblem of let’s favor our genes over theirs. Sure the price is anemic but he’s our prince. we should slaughter any Mike Tysons in our path to be led by this passive fruit follower of whatever is venal and will serve our short-term selfishness. The guy looked so shallow he looked like he couldn’t possibly be offended. But he takes exception to whatshisface insulting him. shit, it’s the republicans who are supposed to be able to insult with impunity. the rest of us are all niggers and we should accept kangaroo courts as at worst more than our due. But you don’t call the name caller names. Yet this Texan did. And all the guy had done was say something that for all I know is perfectly true however egregious the motive, finding something in common between his watery self and the camelot Jack Kennedy. Now. I don’t mean to judge this guy. I’m seeing him in a context that’s been handed to me. He’s been active or at least cooperative in its being handed to me. The fucking guy is running for office! So, he has no rights in my book. i’m not obliged to be accurate or fair. I’m content with my impressions. And my impression was that the Republicans have come up with the perfect pair in Pit Bull Bush and Watery WASP. It’s about time we had a good run of honesty in politics. We’re the power; we don’t have to make sense. Vote for Caligula and you’ll find that the olive oil flows all over you. What? we raped you daughter, we stole your estates? We murdered your son. Still, we serve your class. If it weren’t for our power you wouldn’t have had estates or a son or a daughter. Of course Caligula was carrying his obscene power too far. Deliberately, no doubt. Like Nero, a grotesque parody of himself. Like my letter to Nixon. The only freedom possible under their enslavement to the power they were born to. No choice for the emperor but to be emperor. But Bush has a choice. He’s not born to it. He has to steal it again and then have it ratified. They used liberal, which to me means “open-minded” as a curse. We don’t want to open minds. Open minds don’t make America dominate the world. Open minds don’t give us 90% of the pie. We don’t want no fuckin conscience except where it occurs to us. Then we’ll give pittances from our 90% to one or two deserving poor who catch our attention. And the billions of dead we don’t want to see. Let them starve in fucking Bangladesh and don’t keep sending tv cameras over there. Sure we’ll send some nut doctor or two. Don’t tell us about charity. We’re fucking Christians, for christsakes. We’re the good guys. We don’t even need a white hat. What, you see us with our hands in the till. Well, somewhere there’s an Audie Murphy whom we punish for his goodness. Till he turns into Ronnie. Which no doubt he did long before he got to Hollywood. You want a real blond, a real virgin. Don’t look at Marilyn Monroe. Don’t look in Hollywood. Cause we don’t give suckers an even break. Only the alchie WC Fields was stupid enough to say so.
thank you ABC sports for the playoff commentaries. I have long looked forward to the time when Reggie Jackson would take the mike. It’s only more recently that I’ve discovered that Joe Morgan too is a superior analyst of plays. They’re also the only two guys whose past exploits I enjoy remembering. I was a Yankee fan since seeing Joe D on my 11th birthday. Rizzuto had to be the greatest short stop for any Y fan, right? So I was patient when he went up to the booth. Boy was he awful, but he became tolerable and we were all fond of him to begin with. Now I only associate him with the Money Store. I hope Reggie and Morgan remain in the booth and only in the booth.
AIDS. Not finding a cure right away may be our salvation. What we lack sorely for our health as a species is a “grazer”: something to keep us healthy: genetically, hygienically, ethically. It matters not at all that some “innocent” gets it. Justice must be blind. Random. Impartial. Cull the faggot first, and eventually anyone until the population finds a healthy dynamic.
Maybe the plague is an even more patient bamboo (bamboo: which flowers only every 116 yrs). Maybe the plague flowers only every couple of thousand, or ten thousand, or whatever.
The Phoenix Cardinals
the law is hopelessly? entangled in dead and dying concepts of free will. (to deny or seriously to revise such concepts is not to deny responsibility) the prosecution charges first degree intent. the defense denies all possibility of guilt. The D blames the parents. After a while that doesn’t wash. The D blames circumstances. The D blames society. The D doesn’t accuse the O of having an epistemology that has failed updated
intelligence tests. After all, it’s a member of the bar too. It’s not trying to put itself out of business.
“anyone who doesn’t like mystery stories is an anarchist” that’s me. but i’ve come to like some of them anyway. i think you can like the hard-boiled stuff in which evil is distributed everywhere & still be an anarchist. What i dislike about the English variety is how ersatz the logic is.
McLuhan says that the environment is what you’re not aware of. Is a fish aware of water? We’re now aware of air. What was beyond that? It was assumed that it had to be something: so, the aether. Then a reverse assumption: the vacuum. Ok, then atomic theory, then quantum theory. Now the vacuum is filled with all kinds of stuff: matter, energy, a hydrogen atom here and there. “Light” etc. Gamma rays, photons, neutrinos, “virtual particles,” we don’t know what all. We don’t know what: but we can do all sorts of stuff based on the theories. But then Pleistocene man did all sorts of things with his theories too. He was better at exterminating large mammal species than we are (of course he had the species to exterminate). So what’s left over? Nothing? That’s merely a recent default assumption. Everything? That’s a no longer current default assumption. It could come back. It could be right. It could be wrong. We don’t know. We can’t know. We can never know. It’s my (examined) default assumption that a consciousness within the system cannot understand (fully) the system. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make out like bandits. That doesn’t mean that we’re not the smartest creatures “of all time” (whatever that means). Though to believe so is a guess which can never be proved.
We may come to a great synthesis. Gravity may be integrated with the other forces. Physics may become a maintenance science. The big research may move elsewhere. Fine. Why not? We might be better off even short of a grand unification. Though if the field is biology, unless we learn wisdom as well as technique, we may have been better off just “perfecting” the bombs. But then physics could explode again. In a decade. In a minute. In twenty centuries. to a completely different species.
There’s nothing wrong with being proud as well as ashamed of our accomplishments. Sure we “know” things. Lots of things. We’re effective at exploiting the environment (different meaning, obviously). What we would do especially well to realize is that it’s relative. It’s incomplete. And we should be content as well as restless. We should be content to live. And to die. To promote the species, but not to fail to try to appreciate what whole we can see. If we look. If our narcissims doesn’t blind us to what can be visible in the mirror. And around us.
But then, evolution has given us eyes looking outward. Not infinitely, but plenty good enough to spot both food and danger on the savanna. We’ve improved on that. Considerably. But still not infinite. If infinite has any meaning in the material universe. Eyes here is a metaphor as well as an organ. What organ do we look inward with. With the mind. Is that an organ? Or a virtual organ, combining the functions of more than one? Does that make it more, or less truthworthy. Use it, and be suspicious. Or rather humble.
8 October 1988. The Mets vs. the Dodgers. Who’s the best mudder? Maybe the better team will win a seven game series in wet, cold, wind, mud, confused scheduling, coast to coast travel. Switching from day to night activity and back again. No sense of circadian rhythms of the athletes, attention exclusively on tv revenue time. Hernandez falling down several times trying to get to third base. Throwing a pitcher out for cheating? Unprecedented. Why pick on Howell (was it Howell?) when cheating is part of the game? Unless they are not going to be consistent and enforce the rules through out the season, it’s just another random element in this backgammon game. Give the icosahedron die to the ump, 1 in 20 times, you’re out of the game. The rest of the time, cheating pays. Overall, cheating will still pay unless they up the frequency.
My favorite (perverse, of course) world series memory. Bowie Kuhn watching a series on a freezing night in Boston in his shirt sleeves. Who knew how many layers of thermals he had on underneath? But he was determined to show baseball’s image as a sport of “summer.”
Empty means we don’t know what’s there.
Anyone whose name tries to get my attention before his work has has earned my contempt. Inevitably, given my interests, this makes all politicians worthy of my hatred. From total anonymity (to me) to presidential candidate. I would have hated Lincoln too.
Shakespeare was shoved in my face. He gradually won me over. A couple of politicians have made me grudge them a concession or two as well. Lindsay, Koch, even LBJ for a week or two. I like them dead and gone. I can safely be a fan of Julius, the first Caesar.
Sure I had heard of Bucky Fuller before I appreciated his work, but the reference was work related. Brian C mentioned his lecture.
Bob Abrams I first met sitting next to him during freshman exams. He had automatically placed into several advanced classes; I into only one. He looked like a vegetable but he frightened me: a guy right in tune with what the institutions wanted. Obviously talented.
my heaven is much too wise to be perfect. my heaven, my god, etc.
values, judgments, and I don’t doubt, epistemologies, are variously linked to assumptions and assessments, no doubt mostly unconscious of where evolution is going. different sensitivities and thresholds for when you give up a strategy and go back to the drawing board.
judge on bench hasn’t given up, ordinary criminal doesn’t know about it, saint is crucified because he has given up on what the judge is still defending. not given up to prefer non existence or death or failure but to get on to the next algorithm, to a different algorithm. the next or different algorithm is necessarily in conflict with the one the judge is still defending. But all the judge can do is imprison or kill the believer in the next algorithm; he can’t stop the algorithm: if the saint is right and the judge’s algorithm is failing. the plague can continue to kill people even while the species is adjusting and surviving it.
Chaos: high energy order.
show on football coaches. 110%. win all the time. but they’re talking about a game where half the teams must lose! Faulty epistemologies enforced at the very powerful cultural level. You must be insane; or you’re not Audie Murphy in a white hat. I remember the guy sniffling about Vince Lombardy. If I heard it right, he unwittingly had him fighting in Armageddon on the losing side. That is, the side of Satan!
woke up thinking about Tom Jones in the context of my recent dwelling on westerns. tom jones whole everything changes once his social environment decides that he’s legitimate. he’s the same person, same personality, experience, parentage, genetic make up, etc. Suddenly, he’s the heir. Everyone’s happy, including the reader or tony richardson’s audience. assumptions change and the whole universe changes. did gravity change as well? and we all accept it. tj doesn’t murder blifel, bomb Squire Western. punch out alworthy. tj has worn a white hat and now alworthy does too. in the end he gets the girl and the land and can perpetuate the same primogeniture and the cheating and lying and self-deception that goes with it. But that was the economic structure.
what might be analogous within the body or in physics? Do any dextro chiral molecules sabotage levros or disguise themselves, pretending?
thought of another extension of my recent thought while cutting myself shaving. I’ve noted a couple of times that we now believe that space is curved and that one of these days we are or are going to think that we’ve looked around the universe only to be staring up our own ass hole. Well the world is round too, and we are looking up our own ass hole there if only we knew it. Apocalypse now shows evil in one man wearing a bald head instead of a black hat. the signs of his evil aren’t that he’s surrounded by napalm. the napalm is everywhere. in fact where he is is the only place it isn’t. he’s surrounded not by machine guns but by earlier low scale human war. heads on sticks. no napalm there or there wouldn’t be any head. body paint. maybe cannibalism. crowds of people. god, they’re CLOSE to me. not enough napalm around here. now. are we just supposed to creek like conrad’s dutchmen on encountering primeval humanity? Kurtz is living in a country we’re not officially invading. so, he’s bad. actually we are unofficially invading it, but he’s bad because he’s actually living there. he didn’t just go in, blow it up, and go back to the hotel in manila. the usarmy sent him there. the missionaries and the trade companies sent Conrad’s Kurtz. get rich and get out. oh my god, what’s happened? he didn’t get out. he got hooked.
so what’s evil about the vietnam experience? all that wicked fire power. the vietnamese didn’t invent or manufacture that stuff. it comes from the us or the ussr. the ussr didn’t invent that stuff; they stole it. they stole it from us. why did we have it? because they had it. because we were afraid they’d use our weapons and methods on us. they were supposed to be ours. god gave them to us because we’re the good guys. they stole our atomic secrets.
ho ho. the only way in which atomic anything was secret was in the government’s illiteracy. waddaya mean? sure it was secret, it was hard for us to invent that stuff. we had very smart people. the only ones in history. we had Hitler’s germans. in 1945 we wanted an expostfacto secret patent on ideas public since 1905. sure the G-men never heard of it. so the russians must have cheated.
so we look at the guys in the black hats. and what do we see? we see ourselves. our weapons. our industrial mode of destruction. our own ass holes.
right. what’s horrible about contemporary warfare, international mugging, etc? we’re exporting industrial levels of consumption, dependency, destruction, and abstractions (nationalism, freedom, communism, anti-communism, capitalism, etc.) we’re appalled to find peoples who don’t even know that they’re living in a country. we can’t allow that. it threatens our existence. we have to infect everything with ourselves.
don’t trust anyone who has the answers. Especially not to complex problems. Trust those with algorithms. Trial and revision.
synecdoche: what a great idea. Count Alfred’s caterpillar has been in my head now these several years. So I put it in a couple places. Most recently into Dark Beacon. I had let myself get a little English major in a couple of places in the narrative. Suddenly I want to call the caterpillar’s attraction to light a synecdoche. I do. Now a couple of months later I wake up dreaming what a great idea, with other applications. We are so vain about our rationality. We are so little rational (by which I mean merely that if we took any body’s definition and took it literally and applied it uniformly with no excuses, no special teological suspensions, etc. we’d all perform pretty miserably. we do our special rational thing 1% of our lives or 1% of 1% or 100% of 0% and think that that’s what we do. It’s our habitual showing off, our most histrionic acting being all part of our poker face, bluff and hold. The small degree to which we are aware of this, I doubt even that many professionals fail to see themselves as exceptions. maybe by a small degree. (sometimes a small degree is a different species.)
So I wake up dreaming other functional and evolutionary, all unconscious, synecdoches. how can I fit them into DB. I’m hoping to write today. Ignore all emergencies for one more week and see if I can get back into the flow.
At my most dysfunctional, I believe that my imagination will translate into something eventually. My ideas will find a form and that form will find an observer. Another than myself to look at it. I can look at it in its pajamas, but for the other, it has to be dressed.
At maximum function, such as I was by late Aug and early Sept 88, I thought well, another paragraph does it, another paragraph or so will get me to the end of my ideas as I’ve had any so far. I can’t stop now to worry whether I’ll have to shelve it until something else comes, some new inspiration, I’ll just wade through this paragraph. Boom. There. That’s it. It’s not done, but I don’t have any more ideas. For the time being. Chrissake I haven’t watched a ball game since last Oct. Seen a movie in 6 mos. Chased a woman since longer. But first, wait a minute, something’s knocking. Let me jot it down and I’ll be done.
That was everything after DrR getting back to processing and having difficulty getting back in. Mrs. Ruth, the caterpillar, her fish market boyfriend, the Passion, etc. Though the saint part had come to me as something vague somewhere during the past year. I’d started that funny little nothing story last Nov 1, merely knowing the basic metamorphosis which I had noted, told BK, and told Lee. One afternoon and then another produced 15 pages. I had done nothing more than arrive at the beginning of the idea. DrR is now Mrs Bl and the trials of the chair begin.
15 pp. to have done no more than begin? no, that’s not a weekend’s bagatelle. For a while, a while not trying to write it, I know that that start wasn’t efficient. The ideas and images were condensed in the first couple of paragraphs, then it started to stretch out toward normal. Normal inefficient, redundancy. Now too typically my writing isn’t redundant enough to find readers. Just the same, the story had disqualified itself to this writer as something that could be done in a day or two. I was still starving from last time.
But why can’t I get to synecdoche? I dream synecdoches. Appropriate for heaven. Before rinsing my face or peeing or finding cream for a gulp of the automatic coffee I turn on the T-1100. SK for speed? or QA cause I’m about to shower and write anyway. QA. you’ve held on to the dream through all that almost waking up, you’ve had it for a hour now, hold it another 30 seconds. The machine beeps, I’ve already checked the A drive for the batch disk. I pee, I rinse my face. I stare at the loaded screen. Put in disk three. What am I doing? I more asleep than I was. Here’s the cleared write screen on line one of the brand new id.now file. So what? I don’t remember any of the heaven ideas. Not one. Only that it was all synecdoche. You’re cold. Nothing has flowed since you phoned Donadio Agency. Nothing but a few revisions. Writing 69 pages to Neal isn’t at all the same thing as writing 9 pp. of DB. And you’ve neglected your diary. Next to nothing since DB took hold. It’s all over there. And far more entertaining, I might add.
Anyway, I was saying (as I begin once again, writing now, that it will come back to me, get over your skis, get into a rhythm, stay in the fall line; see that shelf, where the world drops away? no way to tell if it’s the opening to hell, or jagged rocks, or lovely untracked power on a 40o throat of the mountain. That’s ok, you’ve got the rhythm, John’s right behind you, you’re like musicians trading fours, at the top of your lungs you’re reciting Donne’s Satire Oh My America, trading turns for each phrase, with John, you’re approaching the shelf of K-22 at about 15 mph in knee deep powder: you hit the top of a buried mogal right on the last word of “to enter in these bonds is to be free.” Airborne, spewing powder, yes, you knew it was K-22, you knew it wasn’t a concealed dump for idle farm equipment, and sure, the rate it’s snowing you knew the rocks could be too jagged, but still, you did it right, you didn’t look, you trusted your rhythm, your balance, your ability to make little but significant adjustments in that brief second in the air, you’d missed that scarf you’d thought was a kid that time, destroyed, totally delaminated your Head 360s, cause you’d frozen after the miss, but you’d missed him, you didn’t know till after you’d missed him that it wasn’t a kid, just a scarf, what the hell, but that was on packed snow/ice right under the gondola line in Maine, and this is in dreaming fluff, if it weren’t for the fluff you’d be going 60 as little edged as you are, who could ever have dreamed of cannonballing into K22 trying to flatten the skies? you have to turn, you have to keep your weight swinging but you don’t want much edge, you’ve got to stay in the fall line, just swing back and forth through it, and here comes the top of the mogul that’s the far side of the intermediate path which crosses just short of the real beginning and you hear John right behind you, he’s missing a word by now, he’s letting you take two phrases for his one, but the skiing rhythm is synched, he’s on your shoulder, you remember that magic day around Christmas the first time you and John had found perfect powder together, any kind of powder together, you were both new at it, but now you were together and here it was, 9 in the morning and you were on Upper Widow Maker in Virgin snow, your choice of which trail to break, you never thought it would happen, let alone to the two of you together, and there you are. You stop to breath. You look back. Tracks from a magazine photograph. Was that us? Why, they’re perfect! Perfect figure 8s. And you start again. And this time you edge just a little and you look back and there’s a fifteen foot rooster tail over John’s head and you realize that you look the same, or you had, until you’d edged to look back, and on you go, back up to speed, back into the rhythm, it’s the edge of the world coming?, so what? you trust your luck, you hold your speed, and here it is, the entrance to the jaws of death, the top of the mogel, it’s corn snow you bash it in, it’s powder it’s invisible in, but this time you know it’s there and you hit it, you know that girl is watching with her mouth open, she’s not skiing this slope, she’s clinging terrified on the intermediate cross path, and she’s within five feet of the mouth to the throat and at fifteen miles an hour you can see the cells of her skin, her mouth open, she can believe it, not only are you approaching the tunnel at speed, you’re reciting Donne at the top of your lungs, and you didn’t look at her for more than the instant it took to check her distance from where you wanted to be, and you’re there, FREE, and you can’t believe it, you’ve skied the head wall in linked turns but never staying this close to the fall line, never at speed, you never thought you would, or could, and you’ve already done it, the snow is like an embrace, slowing you, holding you against gravity, trust the parachute, if you turn it’ll grab and fling you, you have to go with it, trust it.
And Dr. Raleigh is in his office and he refused a welfare patient, he’s seldom seen such problems where there are any teeth still there to have problems, but medicaid doesn’t pay enough, and the welfare bum understands, and turns away, and there’s a bump on the floor and Dr. Raleigh looks and it’s Jesus’ cross. Jesus looks back. it’s the good looking one from the calendars. He looks. It’s Willem Dafoe.
I still don’t know what I was thinking, but I’m mid plunge. The fingers are moving. It was synecdoche. We think we know the reason something is right, but it isn’t the reason, (or it may not be the reason,) it’s something close to the reason, that’s it, that’s it!!!:
When we consciously use a synecdoche, we know we’re doing it. We know what we mean. We mean a boat, not just the sail. (Why not just say a boat? (for another time)) When it comes to what nature has done, what god has done, what evolution has done, we don’t call it accident for very long, we call it design. we naturally trust our genes more than our ideas; we assume they knew what they were doing. Maybe they did; maybe they were winging it. We think we want pussy, to get laid. (or is that too a synecdoche? we want the pheromone without even being aware of it.) We don’t understand, if, even once we’re parents, that we wanted to reproduce, that reproduction was too important to trust to intention. And that it’s not just us, it’s reproduction in general, sexual diversification. The stuff of evolution. What is the design tending toward? Toward What Works. Toward we can’t know what. But we can’t rule anything out. Toward the future pulling the past. maybe. maybe not. we can’t even say if it’s good or bad. is gravity good or bad? it’s what’s pulling us. anyway, by definition, by the fact of our saying it, we say it’s good.
We see the design. we see it working. we say, oh the goal isn’t leaves, it’s light; except that it isn’t really light, it’s leaves. But it isn’t just plain, uncybernetically, leaves.
OK. we decide, we believe, we are willing to die, we are willing to kill, to insist that god is good, just, wise, righteous, etc. And maybe god thinks so too. But what if those are all synecdoches for something vaster, more inclusive, harder to say?
A sail is a grand thing. But a ship is grander. Harder to say. Harder to see. Even more impossible to define inclusively. And trade, mobility, migration, discovery, flight, freedom, deracination, commerce, industry, invention, etc. Are harder to say and to see or even to want than the ship which is merely a small part of it.
Also. disjuncture. god and man. if it’s important that man not understand woman, and kings not understand peasants, how much more important is it that man not understand god?
Then why the fuck am i so satisfied to live a totally crazy life, being rejected by those i’ve rejected in advance, conspicuously anti-social, and addicted to poverty? all to try, obsessively to try to understand god, the determine the nature of his reality, the limits of his tolerance, etc.? Who’s wiser? Mike Tyson? or Freud?
I bet Freud thought he was being rational. Tyson might think so too if he should happen to think about it at all, but he wouldn’t be overly devoted to it either way.
Robin Givens. Is that her name? Just saw Body Heat for 2nd tv time, 4th or 5th overall. I admire exotic predators. It doesn’t bother me that it might be me that they might prey on. I too am an exotic predator in many ways. Female varieties of it are strange and admirable. Tyson is a showboat predator, a predator without real teeth: he’s fed by his audience, not by the carcass of his victims. Even out of the ring, even when a mugger, it was their money, not their meat that he would have taken.
And too she is an actress. another artificial evolutionary specialized product. like the warrior bees are fed by workers. they kill, the workers make food and feed their warriors. they’re not going to make much food without them. we pay priests to be sexless and sinless and ambitionless for us so we can go out and rape the world unencumbered. we pay actors to be good for us too. heroic. courageous. handsome. attractive. murderous. lucky, unlucky, tragic. what ever we need to look at but personally shun: overexperienced, underexperienced, too promiscuous, too chaste, whatever. The cinema is one of society’s many and most important laboratories. Let’s try what’s in the test tube on Gary Cooper before we try it on ourselves. (Of course we also try it on Coop after we’ve tried it ourselves, using Coop to make us look good at it.)
Amazing. I knew it would come if I just could start typing and get a rhythm as though I were thinking something, that I then would be thinking something, remembering a new complex thought, a synthesis delivered to me in my sleep. I didn’t get all of it. There were particular dramatic situations, dialogue, and at least one or two master images. But I did get the leaves that the light was carrying or near or associated with. Or was it that I got the light that accompanies the leaves? Can we ever really know if we’ve got it inside out or right side out? Does it matter? Does right have any meaning beyond what kind of bio-molecules we’re made of? What meaning beyond that does it need? This is sterile; this is wholesome. Not only sterile but toxic.
Just about to save the file so I can have breakfast at 4:07 pm, when I get another cybernetic idea. We’re hot in the midst of a presidential campaign. Any living system can be subdivided infinitely, right? I’ve said that many times. So you’ve got endless dualities, all artifacts of perception, and related to how you’re composed and how you make your living (cause we’re all translations, transforms of something and that’s true of the pleroma universe as well. atoms are quarks, we don’t know what quarks are, molecules are atoms, everything material is molecules and ions except for stars which are atoms and molecules and ions. But not really, cause it’s really all ions and all ions are really quarks trading places or not trading places, anyway, we’re ideas well below our consciousness organizing and trading the organizing-and-trading-non-material matter. And we form a society without which we couldn’t likely live very long or at least certainly not the same way, though often I’d prefer it. That that society also composes and is composed of competing organizations. The main question between the Capitalists and the Communists is: at what level of consciousness are other sub-routines of consciousness desirable and allowable? Do you want to look before you leap or leap before you look? And of the greatest importance, who is to do the looking and who is to do the leaping? Or do we all both look and leap together? Democrats and the Republicans have another level of the same difference. How do we compartmentalize and label our cybernetic feedback? If we try a bad design, should the consequence be impartial death to all of us, without ever having been conscious that we were experimenting in the first place? How far should the consciousness extend?
The industrializing capitalists who made darwinism and defined for a century and more the meaning of “survival” and “fittest” had a different idea of those questions than did Marx and Engels. The industrialists didn’t want no feedback anywhere. They wanted to do the looking while the workers did the leaping. They also wanted to find and distribute the products of the new resources. they did not try to take over consciousness of existing distributions. the agricultural overlords still had control over land regarded as agricultural. the industrialists, at least then, did not compete for farm land, they made waste land productive (at first. eventually, it all turns into waste land.)
also, in such political divisions, at what level do you address the society’s double binds? Patriotism glosses them over: a form of piety. Bush’s campaign is pious, but far from humble. We’re good by dominating. Trust me to make the back alley slayings so we can wear clean uniforms on parade.
uh oh. i’m hungry, time’s passing, and i’m babbling. stretching ideas, not catching them. To the goal, please. The larger the tribe, the more it needs a chief. caesars are a consequence of empires. if you don’t want the emperor stealing your property, don’t sell your olive oil much beyond your cousin. if you don’t want a chief selling you and your people, don’t sell any olive oil at all. you don’t even want a chief?: don’t have any olive oil in the first place.
you want olive oil and to sell it anywhere in the universe? then make room for the armies.
maybe once the chief got buried while plain tribe members were left to rot. maybe then the chief got dressed up for burial while everyone else just got buried. the next thing you know, you’re building pyramids for them. fancy housing for death. then fancy housing for the living pharaoh. then fancy housing for the big guy who kept the northmen for killing all of you. maybe you should have let them, because the northmen killed and then went away. this king stays around all the time. the northmen killed twenty of you in three afternoons. now the king keeps hundreds of thousands of you in misery. until one day you discover that you’re living in a better house than the king. you’ve got heat and plumbing and it isn’t so big it’s impossible to do anything with. Stop it. go and eat. One more thing.
The bees have evolved so that he who finds the food can’t eat it until it’s processed through others of her kind. the industrialists could both find and eat. (metaphorically, not literally. literally we’re all utterly interdependent) by distributing, but they could eat plenty. Bye for now. More later.
I’m back. The question is: how large is the group? do you serve your self? your family? your profession? your class? your country? your race? your species? an alliance of groups? the earth, the biosphere, life, the universe, any universe? evolution? stasis? is the mere question of “should management be capital and profit oriented? or worker oriented?” the most profound we can ask? it’s what we pretend to talk about while going about our real task of exploiting undefended territories until the whole planet is unliveable for any large mammal and maybe for a whole lot more families besides. is capital really still assuming that the supply of labor is infinite and expendable? actually, that’s true, until it’s too late for capital to have any human meaning. Mcwhatshisface in 1984 had that right: so? let everybody die at 24 as long as they leave 2 or 3 more 10 or 11 years old behind. If all you’re interested in is control of capital, what difference does it make? oh, you want yourself and your offspring to live past 24. that should be doable, there have been aristocracies and priesthoods before. what we haven’t done is differentiate genetically into queen, worker, drone, though now we could do that in labs with a little effort. the bees do it deliberately through different nurturings. feed this to the queen grub. and who knows? maybe shakespeare’s romance notions are right: the prince is recognizable by his behavior, whatever his clothing and nurture.
Clearly, few historical princes have been princes even while in the palace by that standard, but why not? we assume that we can recognize what’s what; but the main point of my adulthood is that we can’t.
we think we’re thinking. we all think we are until one reads GB and sees thinking for the first time. thinking with self recognized contexts, limits, assumptions, unrecognized assumptions and contexts, …
maybe eating what you produce should be forbidden unless you also own the property and then there should be a conservative upper limit on the size of the property. unless you are keeping it wild, or fallow, or something. but then there should also be wild places where any one who wants should be able to drop and to gather and hunt. too crowded? let them have their own population controls. in the wild area you should be able to kill anyone else you come across. no external controls.
you yourself are my weapon against you.
yesterday I’ve typed all the above 353 lines, did recover some of my synecdoche dream, but one phrase had slipped away altogether. it’s back in my head on rising today. this time the machine in on and waiting. but I’m already walking toward the bathroom, plugging in the coffee pot, trying to think whether it’s too late to see or call a customer, oh, there’s that thought, I’ll pee and then write it down. so I’m shaved, and coffeed, and my hair is combed and I don’t remember what the hell it was. the trouble with being an automaton: you’re closer to what’s brewing, but you’re not in “control.”
since word processing opened the possibility of a diary for me, I know one thing: you can lose the bubble, but not the boil. Far enough into Dark Beacon, Beginning floats up out of it. Comet’s in there too. And the Model. my themes.