(Or on the risk-mixinfinitum problem of metaphors and entropy with damping)
Life is or is not or it may be a can of let’s be healthy and say sparkling water and already this is unraveling: open the top and there’s carbonated liquid inside and gas escaping and the can remains a solid boundary for the liquid but the gaseous liquid is subject to complex dynamics and the bubbles are pretty fascinating describing their movement and flow and thinking of Perelman’s description of deformations of objects at singularities like beads of water or universes meeting making grown adults cry probably in the mind-enhancing revelations kind of way to prove a conjecture over a hundred years in the making but kind of the homology the pockets of gas in a fluid some of which adheres to the solid boundary the fluid I mean and the evident fact that water can bead or bounce, roll and pinch on a solid surface on various solid surfaces and liquids more generally on solid surfaces like rain and jet fuel and additive manufacturing and ideally not fracking because not all applications are good for the world learning and trying to choose the good ones and defining good is as useful or more than knowing of them and gas can bubble in water quite randomly and life can form in or on deep ocean vents the randomness of which is a question wars can’t answer but the probability of which is small enough to require the spacetime of a dynamic universe…but just drink it already this life-sustaining liquid who cares obviously not really that dismissively but overwhelmed (and thirsty) and it’s gone the fluid the can is still there unsurprisingly hopefully and it’s a pretty interesting shape (aren’t they all): how to replicate it or even just the shape with a different material or why it exists at all then just twist and crush it that’s humanly natural proving sort of time’s irreversible orientation in the evolution-of-a-volume-element-in-motion-through-fine-grain-phase-space entropic way (hardly) and human ego and more like proving the ability to manipulate real objects human-made or otherwise requiring an application of the aforementioned evolution concept in reality and the scale-invariance of the theory and the responsibility that implies and don’t cut a finger by the way and recycle and move on but the can though crushed and more like a nondescript thin aluminumostly object that quite recently served as the container of a liquid volume and don’t forget some carbonation and can be viewed as a covering surface of a semi-cylindrical-like space or mesh and the canny-like peel can it be called a can if it was once a can and no longer appears to be this is not our problem but it is and that’s fine
Why read novels? They aren’t real right? Well, what is real anyways. Understand the brain: processing experience, sensory perception, instant-to-instant existence by reducing the infinite complexity of the world into workable representations, mapping the world around us to something inside our head, preserving certain structure, but compacting and compressing an overwhelming amount of information into a finite (living) object. The mapping is an abstraction, the world outside and the brain itself have a physical reality. Novels are representations of human experience across the world over time gifted from others to build the perception category. Novels are real objects to help explore inside then outside the mind, where people are waiting to share knowledge.
Giant Gems (or books to add depth to reading repertoire with subtitles hooray):
- A Naked Singularity by Sergio de la Pava
(or Law & Lacerations)
- Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
(or On the Existence of Lines)
- Women and Men by Joseph McElroy by Joseph McElroy (or A Quantum Chaos Theory of Human Dynamics)
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
(or the OG Women and Men by Mary Ann Evans)
- Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
(or Enter the Vietvoid)
- Underworld by Don Delillo
(or Encounters at the End of the Landfill)
- Miss MacIntosh, My Darling by Marguerite Young (or The Real Magic School Bus)
- The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein (or Class Futility)
- The Sleepwalkers by Hermann Broch (or La Notte by Michelangelo Antonioni)
- Belladonna by Daša Drndić (or EEG by Daša Drndić a duality not a subtitle)
Don’t get lost,
Ancient Human Thought
The profound sense of self-significance leading to the formulation of the universe as some abstract not-earth, but certainly something because in this space of habitually-blue-but-not-water-blue somethingness exist the two great balls, the one of fire who must be best friends with eyeballs, raised to an exalted position because despite eyeballs’s inability to provide reciprocate offerings (while glaring at the fireball all day is harmful (inducing any major-general assumptions about something based solely on sensory perception generoftenally (moreoftenthannotuhlee) makes an ass out of umptions or sumpthins) enough anecdotal evidence exists to support the following conclusion: staring at the Great Ball of Fire assiduously ironally also makes a butt out of one’s eye duo thusly we derive the proverbial epithet ‘butthead’ to those blindly worshipping that which cannot be known) the great fireball still shows up and gives to eyeballs everything it can. And even though it must abdicate for that introverted, oft-veiled (finger nailed?) ball of shadows, the two balls having some sort of agreement or compromise on the great question asking is one ball better than the other, or, perhaps, equivaliantly to these icons of egotism: is one ball more deserving of attention than its dual.
This is probably how early human minds thought about these things right? No? History (and human thought) tends to imagine transitions like the one to full (ish) consciousness and sense of time and self and environment and others etc. as very sudden, or don’t think about it at all. Biologically, we share certain invariants with all life, but consciousness split human evolution because a brain with some self-awareness, self-reflection, being-in-worldness with other beings and objects, and access to long-term memory representations and associated functions to compare and to synthesize (thus self-generating new constructive representations leading to creativity and imagination and multi-tasking) and to retain for most of a lifetime has profound implications for human life, for all life, and even for the universe. Instead of relying on successive generations for evolution to perform its future-blind, random ‘learning’ by natural selection on entire populations using DNA as the memory record-keeper (mutations are random within the individual and thus random individuals have mutations, but they won’t be self-aware of the mutation), the human brain can create limitless closed representations to both map in reduced form onto DNA for later generations but, locally, to store in the infinitely complex (built on unity) fine structure underlying our hyperfunctioning deep memory. Over an entire (very short relative to biological evolutionary timescales even though we live long) lifetime, each individual human being experiences, learns, and synthesizes more knowledge than natural selection can do on its own over epochs.
The BIG QUESTION OF QUESTIONS at the beginning of the evolution of human beings is then, informally, the following: Why consciousness evolved at all?
Access and reassess and