/ Journal /
1985 – 1997
|Id Intros||Scant Tech Style
AwRi’t! Now and here I start a new id series: MacId! The 8 of May, 19 hundred and 93. The day of frustration and pride as FoxBase drove me berserkers and bk saned me out. Meantime, I had fresh jd visions: me at war with the judge but not ready to openly declare it for the same reason that an indian didn’t walk up to a Wasi’chu and tell him what he thought if he also hoped to fight afterward: … and I tell the judge (knowing he won’t understand), But judge, you gotta understand, you live in an inferior alternate universe, the one, one of many, that took the, the nth of many, wrong turns, despite my standing at the fork and warning.
“a graduate, not a member of the human species: exterminate random members of the class responsible for my succession being silent.” May 18, 93 I move from pub.lets where it hid as pub.not, since ’90 or so.
Jun 16, can’t sleep. grumble guts. nightmare revists of Prof Patrick, my oral exam, Mitch Bridges, etc. … and phrases which i’ve no longer been writing down haunt me till they hie me over here:
Support life: kill a human.
Optimize the biosphere: kill a human.
Syn: two types of discussion:
• seem to discuss, while actually preventing discussion, stonewalling the status quo.
that line from that Edwardian bio, I think of HG Wells: the biographer said of him, “always in the right, he always put himself in the wrong”: that line has always struck me and struck me as autobiographical for me as well as likely of Wells, poor bastard, trying to point out myopias to over-optimistic and overly self-confident Fabians. but recently, all the more so. autobio for me, that is.
T: What Goes Without Saying (?)
epis awareness implies epis responsibility. What little epis awareness we have, we have for the ungrounded assumptions of our enemies, not ourselves.
Monday, October 18, 1993, I cycle around the park loop. On the third pass of the cypress swamp, just as I approach Cottage Road, I see an indigo snake crossing the road. A car has been shadowing me since the grandfather sabal palm, and I hold up my hand and block the road: if the car is going to run over the snake, it’s going to have to run me over first. I don’t look back; I’m concentrating on the snake. Beautiful things. This one was small. Only a couple of feet or so. But I hear the car veer off! Now I do look back, and there’s Pete, smiling and saying “Hi, Paul, how’s it going?” His car is stopped just off the pavement. “What was it?” he asks. “Indigo snake,” I answer as I try again to locate it. By God, the snake is scooting right in front of the forward wheels of his car! Clearly Pete still hasn’t seen it, he never did. But at least he stopped. That would be a pisser if the captain of the park ran over a federally protected, endangered species snake in the midst of being warned to watch out for it. Endangered or not, I do see plenty of indigos, here at Sebring Gardens as well as at HHSP. I see them under my trailer, going under Catherine’s trailer, passing under the fence to the fireworks place. … What I had yet to see was a diamondback. Funny that I should see gators by the trillion, otters in the road, bobcats, jaguarundis, red fox, several coral snakes, gopher tortoises by the hundred, a red cockaded woodpecker, even the supposedly extinct ivory billed woodpecker, and never once see a rattlesnake. Well, within the next five minutes, just past the orange grove and heading back toward the picnic area, a see another snake at the road side. This one is four, maybe five feet long and coiled partly on the pavement. I cycle right up next to it to see what kind this one is. Hooie, Eastern Diamondback! He coils up real fast and cocks his head back, jaws fully open, fangs exposed to the max. Now coming at him at close to 15 mph, I’m on him and passed him pretty quickly. I make sure I’m at least twice his body length away, stop midroad and check to see that no traffic is coming. Check with my ears too. Don’t hear anything from out of sight. Now I can consider whether he’s about to go in the road of not. It was escorting a three or so foot gator across the road in front of a car last year or so that made Steve, the biologist, say I was crazy. That too was just past the Cottage Road. Last week, I stop the car and wave off a truck coming around one of Wachula Road’s hairpins till a gopher got to the other side. He gave me back a fist of triumph. Cracker power. Tortoise power. Eco-power. Poor damn gopher closes up and won’t move. So I finally get out, pick him up, hissing and spitting, and carry him across to where he was headed. I’d done that before on 636. Now there I was having to do it again on a road that has several miles of just one lane. Still, even that road has been heavily trafficked the last couple of times I’ve been on it. Now how do you escort a diamondback who is threatening to bring a quick quietus to your life? I keep my distance in the middle of the road. Finally he turns his head sideways to me, so he can see. I have a strong feeling that he can’t see me at all. I get off the bike to get more comfortable but also to hold the bike sideways across the road the better to signal traffic that something is up. When I move the snake stops moving his head like he’s looking as hard as he can. Very slowly he starts out into the road. Not toward me, not away from me, just straight across toward the other side. But he goes slowly, almost painfully. I’m imagining that the pavement must be hell on his belly. I figure, he’s being careful of where that 15-mph-danger that had just startled him was; maybe he’s always careful near the road; but mainly I figure that the road just hurts like hell. Once he gets to the other side, he slows down all the more. Here I imagine that he’s not at all happy about putting his head into the shrubbery while his whole body is still out in the road where monsters buzz him at impossible speeds. But finally he gets halfway in, and then zoom! he wriggles away fast as hell. Nothing uncomfortable about the forest floor. Nice organic litter.
X gets crucified every time cause we’re always looking for our savior over the horizon; we can’t recognize him standing in front of us.
overhearing tv ad fr xians: sf horror of genetic engineering. harp on delusion that parents would prefer boys (maybe at first). … undiscussed assumption that god is against it, god the conservative. no mention of the dangers recognized by eg M Crighton. I recognize smiley-voice. sounds like a choir boy. says (reducio ad absurum, hee hee ) “now if what the evolutionists have been telling us is correct, then it wouldn’t make any difference. … blah blah. … more boys than girls blah blah. I’ve heard that assumption all my life, that god and god alone is the source and only source of any possible morality, ethos, etc. If there’s no god, then torture, murder, tyranny. .. wouldn’t be wrong. Nothing could possibly be wrong. Wrong wouldn’t exist. … Finally, I grew up a little and realized, bullshit, no foundation whatsoever. contradicted by all anthropological, philosophical, etc experience. There have been plenty of groups without god, a sheer majority, in fact, but none without an ethos.
link my “praise and blame” thesis to King: we praise the king or the god or the cheiftan or the pater familias for the sun and the rain and the economy; we blame the shaman etc for the drought, the economy. … we’re forever assigning praise and blame instead of analysing the best strategy for survival a/o maximization. trouble is, i’ve never written out my praise and blame thesis, either. Never even my Sh sonnets thesis! not really. especially not the cybernetic rephrasing of it. well, they didn’t pay me; fuck ’em.
wise words: … “but agnoticism is an unstable creed.” I’d find the author if I searched my Sh’onets notes from ’65-’69. She was commenting on Shakespeare criticims, Sh’bio, etc. I’ve thought of that quote many times since in many connections, theological to anthro-zoological, most recently, sociopathological while a crime tv movie was on. CK phones and says Do I want to see about the earthquake in California, turn on channel 8. Hell, I’m playing chess/Shanghai/Tetris, and don’t want to see anything other than the screen, but I turn it on and hear about the quake. Don’t get up to turn it off, and so some tv movie about two guys confessing to the murder of a cop provides not-quite-white noise. Not-quite-white because I keep hearing different parts of it: Fact is, they don’t know which one did it. (It never occurrs to them that maybe neither one did it, that maybe they’ve got two kooks pulling their chain. I saw no white hot fire to know the truth, I saw no wise caution about acting prematurely. … I saw only cops, lawyers, DAs, etc desperate to come to a decision, and to fob off that decision as truth to the desperately-uncomfortable-about-uncertainty public. We’re simply not wired to care about truth, but rather to be precipitous about decision. That’s what’s gotten us here. Here being two sided, or better, two valued: because where we are exists, and is dominant; and where we are is in deep shit, in danger of not-existing, let along being dominant.
I want to see good and bad defined in a quantifiable way. Good meaning congruent with optimum survival, survival being congruent with optimal biomass. Etc.
Peter Wason’s 4 card problem: only 5 of 128 got it right: 3.9%.
Santa Claus’s clear message to us before we’re old enough to examine it: believe what you’re told, the more preposterous the better, and you’ll be rewarded. The alternative isn’t intelligence or survival, but disapprobation and Coventry. AKA: if you want rewards from us big un’s, by whose pleasure alone, you are allowed to exist, then you must believe whatever us big ‘uns tell you.
intelligence shouldn’t have to whore itself to be heard.
mythology, fiction. … Our main palettes of propaganda and self deception are simultaneously the only mirrors in which the truth can be shown.
St King tells truth, but is published and read because he writes bullshit. Shakespeare wowed em with his all seeing intellect, but we went to the plays, at least to start with, only because they were populist crap: revenge tragedies, love stories where everyone gets rich, famous, married, and knighted in the last few lines.
RE: let me clear my buffer. …, and: “you can’t take that course; you haven’t had the prerequisites BS 101,2.” …: •How much RAM do you have, what speed processor? Your inits conflict with the new, objectively preferable, paradigm.
If this is a Xian country, then, by application of the Golden Rule, I must have been treated by others the way they wish to be treated. Therefore, I shall now do them the favor of treating them the same way. QED.
the flock protecting the fleecer
5/1 Gibbon made own file in Epis.low status of independent intelligence (is there any other kind?), we ignore it like a fart in church.
Man, the tool user, man the fire user, man the political animal, man the symbol user …; how about man, the animal, which jumps to conclusions? A good thing if it’s hot breath you feel and a tiger smell you smell; not so good if it’s the ozone layer you’re discussing and it’s politicians supervising the discussion.
show on whether the capacity for language is, after all, exclusive to humans: impressive experiments with a species of chimp I’d never noticed before. Heart almost stopped as they showed Washo all grown up and being cared for lovingly, but caged. this am i awake with two perceptions percolating: 1)
2) the chimps numeracy being studied: the experimenter shows Subj A a jelly bean. chimp wants it. X shows A two piles of jelly beans: pile 1 has two, pile 2 has four. chimp gestures he wants pile 2. X gives Subj B the four and Subj A the two. Again and again, the chimp picks the large number and gets the small number. Then the Experimenters switch from showing the piles of jelly beans to offering a choice of two different arabic number symbols; This time, the chimp doing the choosing picks the SMALL # and GETS the LARGE #! Again and again. Surely the same emotional override applies in critical instances to humans and our exploiters, in the name of governing us, trick us in our faces again and again. Again and again we see we’ve chosen wrong, but given the next chance we choose wrong again: Learning 0 preventing Learning 1. But couldn’t we use Learning 2 to get around it? Find governors who would use symbols instead of lotteries and shamanism and magic and bullshit?
Wimbledon: ‘there’s Princess Di, “leading” the applause.’ Grr. Looked to me like she was following it.
Baseball. attribute clichés to rookies. quote the student, not the coach. but the coach was the student once. worldwide, how we palm followers off as leaders.
Mr. Blackwell: Goldie was luscious, Karen Stone smashing, Babette dowdy, Lavinia frowzy … Total subjectivity, no “esthetic” way to predict what he’ll say. social and psychological, that’s a different story. And we all (?) listen. People behave as though they’re hearing something.
None of the indoctrinations altogether took on me: I’m immune to the lies that allow society to think it’s working.
“thanks” to CK I see the news on occasion. & had routinely overheard and now listen to scandal shows. generally, she turns the trash off the second I walk in, but at dinner she wants the tube on for the weather and it’s sometimes left on for the remainder of all the shit. During the Tanja Harding/Nancy Kerrigan thing, I ceased walking out of the house when the magazines came on. some show paid $ to TH to talk about the Olympics etc. When she looked and skated like a pig in the Olympics everyone ceased paying attention except this show; they’d paid their $ and now they were stuck. (They’d bet on her winning, I guess.) The following show paid her ex husband to bad mouth her. Now it’s weeks later and I’m mildly addicted to pseudo-news (not counting sports) for the first time in my life.
Well, tonight one of those shows has a “story” on some farmer who injected his cow with his blood, drank the milk, and shrank, he says, his cancer. Then, they say, he promised to cure others: @ $30 a qt, n$M for their own cow. Some widows are pissed. Others praise the farmer and credit his milk with curative powers. Fraud, the mag says. And right they are, if he did indeed promise anything. Then, something actually exceptionally perceptive for the tube: they point out that it’s perfect fraud in that the survivors live to defend and the failures die and offer no testimony. Wow!
Now: how come they don’t notice how that applies to practically everything about history. We killed the indigens, slaughtered Sutter’s family while bankrupting him through protests, etc.
Bob Costas blends interest with knowledge, allowing a discreet amount of emotion to show. Tear-producing interview with the Mick on his alcoholism and incipient recovery.
Word processing facilitated my mental feedback, producing my “polished” writing (in so far as any of it is polished: certain passages are polished (others don’t need any), whole parts of the Model are polished) and my babble. The babble has been an important part of my thinking and working. I was able vastly to increase the number of things laying below consciousness that I was able to tease to the surface. Which introduced its own frustration: some things came up, then came up some more, then flowed all too easily. More of the same gem became a kind of pollution, and a kind of a clog: other things were trying to float up: I could just glimpse them, I wanted to tease them free, but the fingers were just flying with the nth repetition of homeostasis, of man as a planetary disease, of how groggy I was while the flow of pre-waking, the flow I’ve encouraged from semi-conscious pre-consciousness, the deliberate or rather perhaps slightly edited dreams, to actual working, recording, reflecting, editing, correcting, consciousness. It’s a micro-scale manifestation I believe of the same thing that happens all the time in my trying to speak to others. BK, eg. No one has ever understood more of what I was trying to say (of course I tried my damnedest to raise him, train him to my perspective, given him a core vocabulary, a basic tool kit, …); yet he too, especially as he became more and more his own adult self, his own intellect, wanting to speak more than listen, he too has become a filter, a clog. He’d say the things that were already well lubricated to flow from the premises while the new point, the new proof evaporated. Not a thing where I could patiently wait till it was my turn again and then say it, because I didn’t know what it was myself. It had to be let come out, teased disciplinedly to emerge. In math, you say To prove, cite the already established axioms, and everything choruses in on the axioms and the new proof can’t be given, especially if the mathematician has started with, “To … um, er …”
Brian, when I said something about the above to him once, came back with the position that I was an “Arab rhetorician” or some such that I believe meant that I thought while talking and expected others to listen while I talked. True enough in the last part (meaning want, not expect, others to listen). But I can’t believe that any class of Arabs were welcoming new thought while they talked. Classes are typically soldiers for the last revolution, not the next. (Of course when I say next, I mean “future possible,” not “destined,” or “future fact.”)
I know what it is: in my new imagery: I have only so much RAM and I’m inventing applications that can’t be invented (or at least I can’t invent them) until the processor is upgraded. And the upgrade isn’t on the market. Another thing waiting for God.
Of course now Brian has joined the solid majority in not talking to me at all. A few years ago it had been World – 1, the 1 being Brian (occasionally, not regularly). Then it was World – 2, the 2 being Catherine and Brian. Now it’s a year that it’s World -1 again, the 1 becoming Catherine. As of yesterday is World – 0.
And of course Catherine’s 1 does not equal Brian’s 1 because she doesn’t have the tools or the vocabulary and my perceptions mean little more to her than if I were telling her that the moon is made, not of green cheese, but of Stilton.
Anyway, I hardly babble any more. And absolutely don’t try to polish. As I told Catherine this morning, or tried to tell her: it’s four years now since my career as a would be communicator/author ended of inanition, exhaustion, and despair. I couldn’t work on Beginning any more (once I had a whole draft, the problems were daunting. So I began Dark Beacon. The SNAFU with Donadio & agency crippled me there. I wrote King. Achieved a whole draft. Again the problems were daunting. That’s ok, when you can’t work on one thing, work on another. I wrote Primitive Access. Or started to. Then, what with my snafus at the library, Highland Wheel, SFCC, CircleK, the park … both HH & SG, zero response from BK, Corinne & Pete … Terminal inanition, terminal exhaustion.
I’m still alive, so I can’t judge that it’s terminal: terminal is an unhappy prediction, not a report of a “fact.” To me the despair seems to be terminal.
Anyway, I then launched my retirement. It’s no longer my ambition to be an artist, an antenna (in Pound’s image) for my “race”; it’s my ambition to use my experience to shame my race: not to itself, I think that’s hopeless, but to its survivors. And to do that I’m back to the problem of how to get my work known. And this time I see the problem as solvable: notice what makes people famous in our culture, of the three observed divisions, which is top or at least second: and then … simply follow up on my own observation that what hss needs to be healthy and normal is a grazer.
Even as a kid I always had a kind of admiration for the kamikaze; I never thought I’d want to be one. Or is that true? Hell, we deify Jesus precisely because he was a kamikaze. We call it “sacrificial lamb.”
Shame civilization to itself? What an amusing idea. I doubt that many Germans looked at Dresden and saw it the way we did: as a consequence of their doing; rather the other way around. Ditto the Japanese with H & N.
But of course (and here flows more flotsam already greased) that idea is already core to our culture: original sin. On top of which we crucify our God! The trouble is, we just don’t understand our own idea. We look at our enemies and instead of seeing our own reflection, we see … our enemies! Eek!
So I hardly babble any more (evidence is in my actually punctuating and styling the above as I went: no time for that when you’re dredging pre consciousness) and never polish (ditto). But when I write in this file at all, I do what I used to: not get to where I wanted to start. Write: Ahem!: and start. Here a 1,076 word ahem. (Thank you MS-Word.)
This morning, as happens so often, I awake thinking, Ah, these jettisa aren’t just Sargassum weed, I think I’ll hold them in mind till I get to the Mac, boot up, and enter. For four years now, I’ve let them evaporate before the Plus, or now the Mac, ever got loaded. This morning I abbreviate a couple. Thanks to my fighting with C. If I drink coffee with her pleasantly, it militates against the kind of consciousness that I’m devoted to and that my ex-species shuns, palliating the prickles. But not now, so here goes.
“rational society” is an oxymoron. a contradiction in terms.
Let’s see: my dialogue with BK about oxymoron, was about a year ago, had to be …, so I probably haven’t babbled this. But then, who knows? I haven’t “polished” these files (apart from the rare noticing of a typo or misspelling). I learned the word as a senior at CC. James Zito’s seminar on RenLit: Donne and company. Ah, no. It would have been as a junior with Chiappe, on Sh. Yes, now I remember Chiappe defining it and illustrating it with “freezing fire.” Well, I receive oxymora as rhetorical paradox, not as mere contradiction. It’s as the latter that I hear it increasingly today. The word is even used on tv! I wish I could easily access info on what studies have been done where or what studies are being contemplated where. Or that there were a universal suggestion box: why don’t we research such and such? I’d like to know if anyone has been quantifying certain usages: oxymoron, eg.
Now I wonder, was my understanding simply wrong? or a minority, specialized usage? Because I’m the only one I know to use the word my way since Chiappe and Zito. Now I don’t know how, say, Phil used to understand my usage.
Reminds me of my comment to Smullion, c. 1965 or 6: “It’s my belief that something can’t be true unless it’s paradoxical.” A foreshadowing in my mind of cybernetics and the cybernetic path? (My seizing on the double arrow in high school chem. certainly was.) Now it strikes me as funny when I recall my first reaction on first reading Bateson and his comments on his division of Pleroma and Creatura. I couldn’t know, first picking him up in Omni, where he was going, or that he too would have exempted my double arrow example from his generalization of the false wisdom of metaphors from the Pleroma sciences applied to Creatura. Now I’ll bet without actually researching it that chemists didn’t have the double arrow until after the ’40s and the invention of information theory
Also apropos of rational society (almost as funny, now that I think of it, as funeral home. (Catholic education was my favorite as a teen.)), it occurred to me as I was driving yesterday that society trains us (the majority, overwhelming majority) not to see evidence. At least not to see refuting evidence. (Exactly what, once again, my fight with CK is about.)
Last night I deliberately watch a PBS show on sex: how sexual differentiation (specialization) influences behavior or some such. I don’t recall the exact words in tv guide, but that’s how I interpreted them. Oh, dread. I turn on Ch 3 and there’s that syrupy voice: George Page about to anesthetize us with his endless high school poetic anthropomorphisms.
I listened anyway. I found myself looking up to watch occasionally. The show was actually good. George actually seems to have learned a little real science and method in his career. The anthropomorphisms seemed blessedly absent. I think maybe someone else (someones elses) must have actually written him my letter. George seems finally to have read a little SJ Gould at the very least. To have read some one’s digest of Lovejoy. A PBS science show not hosted by Attenborough or Sagan that actually seemed connected to science!
Or has my own brain turned to mush?
In any case, my own reading of science being as sparse, since my retirement, as my upper teeth, I learned a few instances I’d never heard before, saw examples from species I’d never heard of before, …
Parenthetically, before I conclude, I’ll record a few of the to me salient observations. I’d never thought myself, nor seen it put, so starkly, that human wealth acquisition, may be a form of display. Have no more purpose than a peacock’s tail. Which is not to say, have no purpose. Or rather, have the same purpose as …
Fine so long as peacocks don’t foul their yard, having made their yard coextensive with the planet, in the acquisition.
Extinct, thanks to sex.
Especially toward the end there was a excellent series of comparisons between hss and other primates. Geo even mentioned Lovejoy’s breasts. Whoops, I didn’t get that from Lovejoy, but from Morris. Sloppy, sloppy. And at the end, creeping ever more blatantly toward editorialism, but a good editorialism for a change, he cites some primate species, ape, I think, that spent lots and lots of time fucking and sucking. Everybody, children too. Homo- as well as hetero-. Reminded me of that time Phil and I took BK, age 21⁄2ish, to the Bronx Zoo, and he got restless while Phil and I paused at the armadillo display in the night house. There was an oral orgy going on there not to be believed, everyone in the family linked in a sucking chain which included grandma to sister to baby. Ah, yes, now that I recall, that was homo- and hetero- and pan generational, but more female than male. There was dad, eating away, but his own dick sprouted into nothing but air.
I actually get up from the Mac and stand in front of the tube to watch the images. These apes got into some positions that I’m not quite sure what I was seeing, but if one of them wasn’t a flat out blow job, I then don’t know what hole the dick was penetrating. Looked to me too like the male was fucking the blow job, not just receiving it.
And there’s syrupy George, pointing out the variety like a guide at one of those Hindi temples to the Kama Sutra.
But dig it folks, best of all (we haven’t left the Victorian Age altogether), there’s a moral! Geo. explains that the apes have learned perpetual s/fucking as a substitute … for aggression!
Wow. And right away I start explaining my own sexual freedom relative to the advertised norm (who knows where it is in relation to any actual norm (or set of norms)?) in self-flattering terms. Which doesn’t necessarily mean untrue terms. No telling.
Sure, why shouldn’t the mind of the human s have that as one of the potentials that it’s seeding, seeing which ones, if any, survive? And why shouldn’t it be one more of the many many experiments of which I, mostly unwittingly, wittingly only when compared to the blind behavior of my fellows, am a participant? The best sighted of us still doesn’t see 1% of 1% of 1% … of all there is (which, naturally is a total of all-there-is and all-there-isn’t). (Does that total necessarily include the simply erroneous all-there-isn’t with the merely intensional all-there-isn’t? In other words, I’ve devoted years, a decade or more, to the understanding that God, and god, and gods, and the United States, and the Church, … don’t have the same class of existence as the table which weights 12 lbs, a mass of x, has a glass top, etc. But what class of existence does the idea that the moon is made of green cheese have?)
More flotsam. Haven’t I said all that before?
Didn’t BK tell me about some body’s work where things had decimal truth value? How about negative truth value? Not just zero. Disinformation isn’t zero.
So I wake up this morning thinking: rational society … trained not to see evidence … and Hey, George Page has actually improved. Not just to endurable, but past endurable to good … when it strikes me:
Wait a minute: One of the things I was admiring was his statement that hss was the only species that could refrain from sex. Whatever the exact words, that was the gist. Hss was unique in … Hss used his brain such that … And I sit up, get up, and CK hands me coffee as I pee. Wait a minute. Anesthetized after all. That’s another one of those infernal, uncheckable “hss is unique …” statements that plague our “thought” even when they’re a blind stumbling back away from some previous delusion of singularity. Man is the only creature that’s half animal and half angel … or half god … or whatever is no worse than: man is the cruelest of all … The Platonic Original example in my mind is always that passage Anton read me from … the name of that female lit scholar who was polluting thought at the universities in the early 60s, … I’ve blessedly forgotten her name. … Suzanne something? Man is the only creature to have war, to enslave, blah blah bullshit. Susan Langler?
(Of course, it is not the case that I deny uniqueness to hss; I attribute uniqueness to every species, to every individual. Maybe even to every particle or event in pleroma. Perhaps the equality to the point of identity of all electrons is merely a convenient fiction of physics. (Further, I have nothing against convenient fictions … as long as there’s a way back to remember (or recognize) that they’re fictions.)
GP had just pointed out behavior in a pack of dogs where all the pups were sired by the single alpha male. Farley Mowatt’s Uncle George. Stays a bachelor within his own species (but fucks for glory when the Innuitt stake out a husky bitch in heat.)
What’s that if not some individuals not procreating while others do it for them? Surely GP isn’t saying that hss has decided to cease reproducing? The nun who saves her chastity for Jesus isn’t committing suicide for the species. The kid who’d rather buy a ‘Vette than get married hasn’t made a (Hamlet-like) decision that his species will not have sex. So what’s the difference between the Man and the Dog or the Wolf? (In that single respect, of course.)
Uncheckable. GP says those apes at the end fucked sometimes face to face, the most “intimate” way. Then he says that it had been previously thought that the missionary position was unique to … etc etc. When does the speaker of such pronouncements ever add: I have checked all species whose coitus in any way resembles ours, not only all primates, but all mammals …, etc. my staff has watched them through n repetitions, etc? Are we sure we even know all primate species? Know of their existence? I’d never heard of the apes he ended with.
Well, it was a good show. I learned from it and am grateful that it was on and that I caught the blurb while reading the Guide to CK. George Page has … improved.
While I’m at it: C & I have been quarreling since last Sun: Apr 10: 9 days, including today. After an absence of quarrels since last Sept. 8 months, 7 not including this one. Let’s say mid Sept to almost mid Apr. 7 mos. I don’t doubt that finally starting to launch PK Imaging has a deal to do with it. One, I have things on my mind; Two, I must necessarily be paying less attention to her; Three, maybe the combination of things-Lewis always changing the deal, excitement of visiting clients, dread at failure, dismay at realizing how many things there are still to calculate and learn …-has made my skin thinner; Four, I maybe feel more vulnerable; Five, I maybe feel less vulnerable; … The behavior of someone independent will always be different from that of someone dependent. & CK & I are both curious combos of both indep & dep. She doesn’t need me: she has two alternatives: she can go broke fast paying rent at a room and board place; or she can die. I don’t need her: I can just start visiting customers, exactly what I’m starting to do anyway; or I can just start visiting my enemies; or I can just die. Uh oh: why am I suddenly writing in my id file again?
Apr 10: I’ve been out in the lake till near dark, the bluegills are still flapping in the sink, I still have a mouthful or two of food to down before I clean them and then hightail it for my place, and whoops, it’s eight o’clock: time for C to watch Murder She Wrote (now that I write that, I can’t be sureof the spelling of the Charlie Parker tune: She ‘Rote?)
The trailer comes on: an arsonist dousing a western town with gas and ignites it, turns, and the camera catches his face: wild, his blue eyes blazing: the antithesis of civilization and the “reason” that English style mysteries perpetually represent civ and reason as troubled, but, in the end, ascendant. contrast of course hard boiled or American mysteries where civilization has about as much “reason” as does a plague. I of course like the American; Catherine, the English: Perry Mason, Murder She Wrote … (Of course it matters nothing that the two examples I cite are American (in a different sense of the word.))
So I’m still sitting there chewing when that awful music comes on: first a little dizzy, but still harmonized simplistically enough for any moron to feel safe and civilized with, quickly transforming into that unbearable cutsy cutsy skipping syncopation. Well, as long as they’re gonna burn, I’ll bear it. I’ll clean the fish and maybe share this one night of tube with the woman with whom I share everything else except tv.
Half way or so, something occurs to me: I see a pattern in how the material is being presented and I make a bet with myself that I know what the writers have in mind. I rinse the fish scales off the board and actually sit down next to C and watch. A moment later I decide to engage her with the same thought: “I bet you I know what the murder is about.” She turns to me. “It’s not the stock the guy’s swindled; it’s the treasure stolen from the stage in the last century.”
Now when I walked past Beth watching Perry Mason at Mom’s Freeport River apartment in 1957 or 8, and said, “that guy did it,” and Beth was watching the show avidly, carefully following the plot, thinking about evidence and motive, and I hadn’t seen any part of it other than what I saw walking past, or not much more, and the show ended, and I was right, Beth was furious: how had I figured it out when I didn’t even have the data?
Of course you can’t ever figure them out, because the writers make sure you don’t have enough data. Reason has nothing to do with it. Of course you can guess, but the writers put in sufficient misdirection to make it unlikely that you’ll guess the right choice. On the other hand, they will put in some pointer so you’re not too surprised. So don’t look for the pointers you’re supposed to see; look for the ones you’re not supposed to see. It’s an advantage not to follow the plot.
A child may see the magician’s pants leg bulge while he’s showing the audience that there’s nothing up his sleeve, but the audience, adult audience, won’t; they’re following the misdirection. The magician controls their assumptions.
I don’t remember what it was: the camera had changed depth of field or number of microseconds the shot was held when it was on the otherwise unimportant character. Why? Maybe it’s a pointer. And so it proved to be. Or my choice was extra lucky.
My favorite pointers, not surprisingly, are in Shakespeare. Macbeth e.g.:
Witch: “By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes..”
Stage Direction: [enter Macbeth]
unbelievably bald and subtle at the same time.
So in Murder She Wrote: the intro shows a stage robbery, the guy shoots the guy, the guy falls down, amateur editing, amateur stunt, and we know that it’s staged. Sure enough, the camera turns to catch Jessica Fletcher and friends smiling and applauding and enjoying the hell out of murder and robbery as some stagy narrator says something about the swag never being recovered, then a quick subsequent history of the ghost town that was now a tourist trap. I was reminded of my Platonic Original God how I hate entertainment’s idea of civilized people being entertained example: Edwards/Sellers Pink Panther where David Niven, whom I’d adored as a teen, but couldn’t stand as an adult, watches some bimbo sing and dance in the hotel night club in Switzerland or on the Riviera or where ever it was that the jewel theif operated that time. The default depictation of actors being entertained is that They like it, They smile, broad and mindless, whatever horror of human history is being referred to. Let’s listen to them rap about offing pigs. Oh, smile and smile. I’m just so entertained.
Then we meet the characters and all the red herrings are introduced. The stage robbery intro was just a mood setter. The plot develops a series of directions, and I think … They’re all maggufins; the one obvious maggufin, the mood setter at the opening, the one we’re all trained to know better than to have paid any attention to, that’s the real one.
And so I say so to C.
She doesn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. She didn’t notice anything about a stage robbery. She thinks they’re after the money from the off-shore drilling swindle, but has no idea whether it’s a good idea or why any other should have any merit. In other words, she wasn’t at all engaged by what she was watching. Then why does she never miss a Perry or a She Wrote or a Matlock? What does it mean to her?
She and I made up to an extent in the time between my writing about George Page and this story. So now I once again have World1, not World0. But not really. The talk means nothing. Yesterday I blew up when she insulted Linus Pauling. Today she wants me not to take anythings she says so seriously. Words without meaning or responsibility. Why? Why shouldn’t I just go into phase: final right now?
God: Nixon’s death sends the press right back to the bullshit “reporting” of 20 years ago. Last night’s recap refers to Watergate as a “3rd rate burglary,” the anchor looking right at the camera as though she were responsible for what she were saying. Fool the people bad enough and you can do it openly, like the rehashed ads that have different models say exactly the same lines: “Ooo, Tums have calcium; that’s something my body needs anyway … I like that,” and the actress smiles and nods knowingly as though she had just had a thought rather than was just repeating a script.
I don’t recall precisely who it was 19 or 20 years ago who first labeled the White House break in at the DemConven at Watergate (actually of course I didn’t follow it with precision: there wasn’t anything that could be revealed that was any worse than how it already seemed to me):.”a third-rate burglary,” but it clearly was a phrase intended to be dismissive: Oh, don’t pay any attention to that: an intelligent public would be alarmed only by a first rate burglary.
As I tried and failed to explain to C last night, there are no “classes” of burglary in the common parlance and therefore the phrase has no meaning in a newscast. The anchor can responsibly talk about a first degree burn or a second degree homicide or a B movie: these all have known references; but a 3rd rate burglary? No, it’s just our owners trying to put us back to sleep. That’s not journalism; that’s just the nurse masturbating the baby when he cries.
Neither did C follow my point the other night when the gal referred to the American in Shanghai as condemned to “a brutal caning.” I’ll bet anything the Shanghai judge didn’t say, here, cane these felons humanely, and then brutally cane that American.
What the news-bimbo said was meretriciously distinct from: “the American boy has been sentenced to a caning.” She could have added: “Caning is a brutal punishment and we shouldn’t allow it in the United States where we have an amendment against cruel and unusual punishments. US diplomats have contacted Shanghai legislators and pointed out our enlightenment to them, recommending that they reconsider. A fund has been established for Americans who want to contribute to a fund for hiring Shanghai lawyers to review the evidence in his conviction and the legality of his trial and sentencing.”
We have no right to our own sovereign laws and then also to Shanghai’s. Or Lima’s or Peking’s. Unless the we ceased to be sovereign and became universal. Then we’d have a voice in Shanghai law and Shanghai a voice in Washington. And both a voice in Moscow. Etc.
babble here of May 1, 94 copied to its own file: anything to add, add it there.
c. 1960 the debut issue of Horizon Magazine gave me a glimpse of A C Clarke’s vision of satellites, digital info, and the global net. Bouncing calls through tri-sats would make any call a local call, et cetera. I can’t without rereading swear that all that I attribute to that article was in that single article: micro computers accessing data via modem so that you could call up the text of War and Peace or the Rosetta Stone from a wired igloo (I think the eg in the article was MD accessing info). My memory may be lumping other subsequent articles by other visionaries (the way all early poems were attributed to Chaucer, all quotes to Shakespeare, and all of Shakespeare to ‘they say’.) I saw that world, thought it was good, and waited for it. c. 1969 Ivan Illich’s first Deschooling article came out in NYR. Computers’ best use would be to cross reference people and tool matching in an overcrowed, too-big-to-be-a-superfamily-any-other-way world. I wrote Ivan that I’d like to work on such a thing. He wrote back with Denis Detzel’s name but no address other than Northwestern. I wrote DD c/o NWU with no answer. Within 6 or 9 months of the first, article three appeared, the book was due out, and I wrote Ivan again: I’d do better as a worker than a leader, but if no one else is leading, then it might as well be me, and founded FLEX. A year or so later I learn that DD’s Evanston Exchange started at about the same time. No exact dating possible but Evanston’s Bob Lewis and I decided that I was probably first by about a month. Unless you date from my first letter to Ivan in which case I was first by a year. Unless you date from Ivan’s giving me DD’s name in which case he was first by virtue of knowing Ivan longer and having that interest. Ivan doesn’t count in any of this for the simple reason that he envisioned it and described it but made no non-theoretical attempt to do it. Unless you count CIDOC, in which case Ivan was first by a few years.
(And of course subsequent histories might find networking going back to Sumer.) (And of course non-earth centered subsequent histories may have know all along that Lonfyt Yemip was networking in the CoalSack 40 millions years? ago.
Anyway, FLEX more than any single thing made me indelibly not a member of this society but an ignored would be reformer of it. All my writing is more of the same, the world resisting it by not knowing of it.
• Society insists than individuals (at least minority, non-owner individuals) be held responsible for their behavior. It seems clear to me that individuals should begin reciprocating and holding society responsible for its behavior. (I told Jim the other day my still unwritten idea for a ss in which the ripped off artists of the world unite and destroy all works of art (and ideas) which the artist (thinker) never got paid for: the museums would be all but empty. And so would be our heads.)
• I still believe that I’d have been a better worker than leader (it could hardy be otherwise cause I’m no leader at all, a total catastrophe), but the case remains: no one’s doing it: so it’s got to be me.
Apropos (certainly apropos of being catastrophically a non-leader), it drives me crazy that all of the ways in which I’ve gone overboard to lead by example, remain invisible to all, even to my son:
I’ve never owned property
never owned stocks or bonds (except for war bonds bought for me, and by me till I was old enough to stop. forbade Mom from buying them for BK.)
never worked for a corporation (with that brief exception of Stone and Webster after Hilary’s begging convinced me that given the experience of FLEX some virtues had to be tempered).
refused to teach conscripted students.
have lived in poverty rather than pay war taxes.
Never owned and avoided where possible gas guzzlers
pick up more litter than I drop
But how is leadership possible if everyone is devotedly ignoring your best points. The way the draft board and my neighbors and relatives! ignored my being a conscientious objector, no conscience being allowed which is the actual active state of the thinker. No, conscious is valid only second hand and in groups. A Quaker could be a CO but not an independent would-be Xian. Well, it’s ok now, because, as they’ll find out: I’m no longer against killing, and I’m no longer a would be X’ian. On the contrary, …
what’s the relation between Learning 0 and our editing our experience to fit cultural preconceptions? We can function only if we “see” our nest a certain way. The fertile wasp 1) digs a hole, 2) tidies it, 3) goes out and hunts a large insect to lay her eggs in, 4) carries it back to the entrance, 5) enters & checks the nest, 6) goes out and 7) hauls the insect in, 8) lays her eggs … If during # 3) the experimenter introduces a pebble to the nest, the wasp stops at # 5) and loops back to # 2). The experimenter can keep her looping between 2) and 5) until she starves by introducing a bit of disorder. The pattern predicts that the wasp will never figure it out, say to herself what the fuck difference does that damn intrusive pebble make anyway?, and go ahead with her family. She never stops to seek out the experimenter and sting him. She just sticks in the loop. That’s DNA.
But it’s not just genes that keep us from measuring the best reality for us; it’s brainwashing. (Though there’s got to be plenty of DNA mixed in: Stalin takes over the Soviet Union by whatever means, displays himself as top monkey, and it becomes hard to replace him. Once the group has saluted him as top monkey, convinced themselves that his piss raining down on their faces tastes like nectar, they see him as the correct top monkey. Ditto, Nixon, John Donohue, etc.)
T: Venganon: hit service
we build defenses around our semantic worlds to protect them from reality. the defenses don’t always hold.
to get a true answer, the question must first be itself congruent with the truth.
driving to Sar June 23, 1994, it strikes me … (for the nth time?):
science vs. society
real census recognized members
map strives to match territory official truth
once again, how can reviewers, critics, etc talk about a generation of blank blank writers (or movie makers, or anything) when they know perfectly well they only know a selected few, those officially recognized, whether lovingly or not (ie, published), plus perhaps an unpublished friend or two. what scientist in his right mind would study the dozen giraffes in a zoo and imagine that he was studying the species?
psychology is a key vertebra in the backbone of contemporary homeostasis: early Freud vs late Freud, emphasis on neuroses, etc of individuals, not neuroses, etc, and Procrustean demands of society. Soc is regarded as a hard taskmaster, not all too lovingly, but still, a master to be complied with, not opposed, and if possible, made to behave, if not overthrown.
… I’m not making fun of their beliefs; I’m entreating them to have their beliefs less unrelated to thought. (thought, reason, & experience)
… human behavior is based too much on hope and too little on analysis.
… and through the posturing of the false God, he heard the true god …
private wealth?/public poverty? bass-ackards
All I want … (Michael Caine cadence) is for it to be perfectly clear … that your extinction … will be … despite my best efforts … on your behalf.
I’ve got it: first: I write out my bio so an intelligent person could read and understand it. ie sans personal vocabulary, enthymemes, triple elisions, or unidentified literary references. Include details of writings, publishing attempts, reactions, lack of reactions, … Also, references to parallel emergences, whether by coincidence, plagiarism, or world spirit. Then, work it so that it will be irretrievably, uncensorably published over networks and bulletin boards. Then, (and here’s the new part) secede! First from the United States, then from Homo sapiens, or at least from the left and long middle part of the bell curve. Then, declare war on the US and on hss, warning them to leave me breathing space. Then, Judgment Days.
subjective reality: hss has a vast capacity, call it infinite, a group capacity, for resisting disagreeable truths. Systematic misunderstanding is one of many basic tools.
prophet of the present
I know I’ve mentioned at least one of my being chased stories: the Army newsletter in a letter to BK, definitely: also, Brian Carey & I being stalked by the armed guard in the Guggenheim, I could see the shadow of his gun … people make a great fuss running around looking for some truth, and will work even harder to avoid noticing it, once they realize that the truth is troublesome and/or dangerous to them. … Find that the landowner is at fault … and then loudly lynch the n-. (n- as always meaning anyone perceived as helpless, unretaliatory …)
[Bowdlerizing K., 2016 08 02 To me a syncopated word is even more offensive than the straight vulgar term.]
Civilization needs to cure itself of its addiction to power & wealth.
Hitting on ex-enemies: I’m looking for a lever long enough to move the world. (not the earth, mind you: not the planet.)
perhaps it’s ok to seek to optimize our own evolution, genotype & social type & phenotype: but we should absolutely refrain from trying to halt it: we’re not debugged nearly enough.
someday expatiate on theme of science, meaning big technology from the invention of agriculture (not to mention the Late Pleistocene Overkill) to the horrors of our own day, = bad; scientific method, unfortunately known to few and resisted by others including the school system, including most universities, = good.
This morning I found myself making a generalization I now wonder about the truth of: is all religion an attempt (with varying degrees of sophistication) to con the big magician into giving you something more than you deserve?
ss: must write: shapers & mechanists? bees & spiders! start with black widow-like mating.
fiction is to non-fiction as algebra is to arithmetic. the latter categories record specific events, quantities … the former: patterns of relationship. Either category can contain falsities and errors: there can be bad fiction, fiction that doesn’t scan, doesn’t enhance evolution or social or personal development, fiction that reinforces bad habits and addictions, just as there can be arithmetic doesn’t add up, arithmetic which is wrong.
nature is free; culture constrained. (non-being is free; being constrained.) freedom in any culture can have no meaning other than freedom from unnecessary, untraditional, arbitrary constraints. we who are discontent with civilization and who would prefer the freedom of nature should beware assuming that early man had no culture. until we’re tried both via time travel or exploration of alternate worlds with different histories (probably trailing pollution with us both ways) we should take our preferences with a grain of salt. i hate this world of presidents and popes and ads and hypocritical self-delusion: i’d rather be a gatherer-hunter amid competing predators; but would I really prefer shamans to priests? 100 taboos to five or six? Actually, yes: provided i were living among them, not born among them and one of them. but i don’t really think I have to fear ever having been one of anything.
starving millionaire artist
in our seeking wealth we have little sense of value. we are not competent to evaluate the nature that civilization destroys: only to see all the $n we can extract.
freedom: the concept freedom can have no non-pathological meaning independent of a relationship to some structure.
Culture is a “double helix” intertwining freedoms and constraints.
The black widow spider is free to capture and eat the bug that’s just hypnotized and mated with her if she comes to in time to see and grab it. Spiders have hard-wired behavior patterns, modified by phenotypic experience; but they have no culture. Humans form a society within which are complex patterns of cooperation and competition. The slave owner may be free to beat the slave, the slave is not free to fuck the master’s wife, not without dire consequences. Culture is a way of devising constraints not hardwired. Behavior in any culture is free out side of those constraints. We were all free to pollute until we knew how bad it was for the common weal.
An untrained person with a musical instrument is theoretically free to play any notes in any order, at any rhythm, for any duration. In practice, the beginner can play nothing. Total freedom is total paralysis. Or he bangs and smashes away, making total cacophony. The neighbors will soon put a stop to his freedom. The novice sees, oh, it’s a C measure: I can play C, E or G. The intermediate will add A or B or Bb. The master improviser however will see the total harmonic structure of the composition, or, in improvisation, will know the whole structure of a tradition; and then he is totally free to play anything he wants, any of 12 tones in any rhythm of any duration, because he’ll make them relate to the known structure, the tradition, either by following it or departing from it.
A bank safe keeps the public out, but the designer of the locks would be able to get in.
The nerd in the horror film is constrained by the obvious doors and windows of the castle, but the ghoul or vampire-whatever-knows and uses the secret passageways as well.
An actor familiar with the trap doors can move about the stage gracefully; a member of the audience, brought up onto the stage would flounder like the damned falling into hell.
in this universe, the speed of light is a constant, the four forces are in effect; but a god with perfect knowledge of the structure would be free within its constraints; using worm holes, warps … at choice.
We can’t see our own best interests because we are wrapped in a cocoon of self-complacency
truth & fiction: can they be separated? art & propaganda: they routinely overlap: is there ever part of either unmixed with the other?
Literature serves a double function: to size truth to our capacity to learn it; and, contrarily (but simultaneously? in all cases?) to steep us more indelibly in our own deceptions.
For decades I’ve thought of Shakespeare and Sophocles as truth tellers. I’ve believed there to be a core of truth in the Bible. I’ve thought of Michelangelo as being toward a pure extreme of art whereas commercials, however artful, are at the other. I’ve thought that commercials, however skillful, couldn’t be considered as true art: their motive being to promote, not to reveal. (Of course, there are some commercials that explore something of the human state, but where so, it’s just along for the ride.) 4:30 AM. Fretting on Catherine’s couch, further from sleep than I was when I lay down at 11:30, the thought haunts me more insistently than ever: No, Michelangelo was a commercial artist … as of course was Shakespeare. (The latter less so: coming later in the Renaissance, he was freer to chose is own subject matter. Then again, Michelangelo took biblical stuff and made it his own. And what’s biblical about the “slaves”?)
remember to import from SK (nearly two years into the Mac, I still have the Plus and may sometimes write a note in SK, then forget that it’s there. I know there’s at least one such that says): I don’t doubt that Freud is right that religion is a step (up?), at least a streamlining, from totem and taboo, organizing all the magics into the work of one big invisible magician (or that science is then an epistemological step, a huge one, up from there; but: it occurs to me, that religion is also a prolongation by sublimation of a number of taboos: in Xity eg, we practice deicide & cannibalism. (where’s the incest?) it would be interesting to chart such things worldwide.
I try to restrain my species toward (backing away from runaway destruction) viability in this biosphere.
Wow. Freedom. Last night I slave for hours f&r’ing typographical quotes for all quotes, then Find and Skip or Replace for the right side. Today I put 0-10 into Quark XPress and it does all that automatically! Wow. Wish I’d knows sooner.
Kant’s Pro on Hume encore. last night Caroline’s sons gang up on my trying to answer their question about what I used to do before PK Imaging by perverting everything I said. Refutation by sabotage. Systematic group homeostasis.
God is dead, wrote Nietzsche. Long live God, I’ve frequently added. Agnosticism is an unstable creed, I’ve frequently quoted. I don’t know about nature, but the human psyche abhors a vacuum. Every decade another dozen gods abdicate or are cast out or forgotten, and two dozen new ones come in, confusing everything by having many of the same names.