Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Philosophy of Slack 7: Slack and Reality

December 27, 2011

To slack, reality can be a real drag. In fact, realism is just that; a maudlin meditation on the frictions and entropies of existence, the messiness of stuff gumming up the works, obfuscating and occluding the clarity of forms so dutifully floating in ideal empty space, tracing arcs and lines of Pythagorean purity. A squared + B squared = C squared.

But that never happens, for real.

Reality is also the daily dose of hierarchy and paradigm. The calculus that reminds you how totally screwed you are. Welcome to the state of nature, buddy, you are about to have to swallow a dog’s breakfast of rhetoric and unmitigated lies just to get through the day. Don’t like it? Too bad.

Any escape into fantasy and the un-real you are planning is about to be co-opted by those dour, Puritanical realists. For all the reasons above, and many more, slack avoids reality. When it comes to the real, it’s “check, please…”

Fifth Anniversary Post — Caption Contest!

June 13, 2011

Title says it all. I’ve been at this wacky pursuit exactly five years. And I can only marvel at all the twists and turns. In honor of it all, a blogging tour de force of silly picture and hopefully silly responses. To the victor goes a shiny new pony (offer good while supplies last…) Many thanks to one and all for reading, sharing, caring, and generally being. And thanks for the mammaries!

Cosmological Inconstant

August 23, 2008

Feeling the heat death of personal cosmologies. Massless multi-verses of meaningless mind-stuff. Emotional entropy scattering soul through the universe. Looking to the next nova in search of wholeness. Blinding points of light. A singularity of consciousness. Identity coalesced to a moment of infinite density. Knowing, seeing, being — all in harmonious orbits, gravitationally locked. Universal understanding.

Challenging the laws of personal physics, that. Miscalculation. Not accounting for all variables — dark massive objects, newborn stars hidden within foggy nebulae, comets — oh those dusty devils! — drifting through the field of view. Many fellow travelers, contributing their own inevitable pull. A melange of Newtonian notions — microgravity acting across parsecs.

The soundless dark. Directionless space. No main sequence sun announcing, once and for all, that “this side is up.” No up, down, left or right. Just endless panoramas of rock and gas. Organized, yet lifeless. Like city streets at dawn. Is this the star-rise on a lonely, quiet, forgotten moon? A stellar show without audience? Besides, in space no one can hear your rebel yell.

Quiet now. Contemplative. Super hot gases dissipating into the absolute zero of deep space. Floating between systems, far from the light. Seeking ideal concentrations of energy. Agglomerations of meaning. The steady, strong pulse of a nifty neutron star. The perfect spiral color of the ultimate event horizon. A cosmological constant…

(T)ripping From a Dead Dog’s Eye

June 2, 2008

The “demon weed” — a “serviceable villain”? Always seems so. Not in this California county, though. Till now…

On that random note, a little housekeeping:

I was tagged by Shefaly to do a meme about brands. I don’t see brands. I do, however, vaguely ask myself “all the lonely people, where do they all come from?”

And since we’re talking about music (we are?) then I’ll also confess to the fact that I can’t get Madonna’s ditty “I Love New York” out of my head. I blame Vila.

There, I even found an answer to the meme: Madonna is the brand I currently consume the most. Well, if we don’t count all the other stuff

That is all.

Breaking the Galilean Spell

April 28, 2008

Causality is a curious thing. We learn it at a young age, but for some the lesson never totally takes. It’s a simple formula: “Don’t do x or y will happen.” Or, even…”If you do x then y will result.” You get the idea…

But is that how life really functions? Much of our understanding of what it means to be rational and scientific derives from a beginning point of rational and scientific inquiry — the 17th century transformation grandly labeled “The Scientific Revolution”. In this sense the origins of science are rooted in a linear, mechanical, mathematical and, ultimately, de-spiritualized vision of nature. In an essay in Edge entitled “Breaking the Galilean Spell” Stuart A. Kauffman from the University of Calgary challenges these assumptions, arguing for the legitimacy of phenomena that are “emergent” (i.e. incalculable based on what is already given).

I have written about ideas like emergence and the spiritual vs. scientific divide before, using the term vitalism in relationship to these ideas. In an importance sense, emergence and vitalism are synonyms. They are, as suggested by the philosopher of science Georges Canguilhem, more moral than methodological imperatives. Kauffman argues in his interesting little essay (derived from a book…) that there is a dire ethical need to understand nature and science through new metaphors and paradigms. Our survival may depend on it.

N.B. This article found by way of Arts & Letters Daily.

Who Needs Secret Societies?

April 8, 2008

This very intriguing book by geographer Trevor Paglen just came to my attention. Entitled I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed By Me, it features images of patches used by “secret” branches of the Pentagon complex. A fascinating trip down the rabbit hole of U.S. military secrecy and its bizarre offshoots. The New York Times also has a brief piece about it, which touches on the latent occult dimension of the whole thing. Reminds of recent events, and how far things have come since the early Cold War. Paglen, who has also written about rendition and inappropriate U.S. government behavior, was on The Colbert Report last night talking about the book project. Mesmerizing.

Gomi

October 3, 2007

Japanese for “garbage”, “trash” or “junk”. Was suddenly inspired to think about gomi, which first surfaced in my consciousness reading c-punks like William Gibson (who has a new novel, Spook Country — I wanted to attend a book signing in Victoria last week and pick up a copy, but my back wouldn’t cooperate…Has anybody read it yet?). There’s a whole lot of junk in my desk drawer (note, I didn’t say “on my desk“), and it seems somehow appropriate to list this collection of gomi. Call it situational art.

One Debbie Travis brand paint color palette sample. CF11L “Sun Hat”.
A VST Technologies 3 1/2-inch external floppy disk drive, USB compatible.
A ratty old cigarette butt.
One gray shoehorn, with the “Browns” logo on it.
Box of a dozen Papermate “comfortmate” pens — “retractable ball pen with rubberized triangular barrel for unsurpassed comfort.”
A pack of “scientists” playing cards, made by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
One package of 100 Rizla brand “silver” rolling papers (slightly used…).
Another Debbie Travis brand paint color palette sample. CF7L “Mango Madness”.
A half empty pack of heavy-duty Rayovac zinc chloride AAA batteries.
Yellow novelty pen from La Lomita Dos Mexican Restaurant, located at 308 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C. (strangely, I have never been there…).
A half dozen Bic “round stic” black ballpoint pens (what’s with the pens…).
Yet Another Debbie Travis brand paint color palette sample. CF4K “Luscious Lime”.
My name tag from this year’s AAHM conference.
A package of Faultless Feltac self-stick felt floor savers.
Pair of clear rubber “ear buds” by JVC, model #HA-F120 (“Gummy”).
A small bag of weed.

Well, on second thought, I guess it’s not all gomi.

N.B. I thoroughly encourage people to pick up on this trend of carefully listing the contents of desk drawers, purses, or other reasonable sized containers of some sort on their blog. What else are you going to write about today?

Header

September 15, 2007

For some mysterious reason that goes beyond my technological acumen, my old header suddenly disappeared. I’ve thus taken the liberty to replace it with something more personal, originally from this post. Dramatic. Hope you like.

Does anybody even read this thing anymore!?


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