Friday, September 26, 2008

Direction

There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
-Ecclesiastes 1:11

I want to believe that the things I do matter. I want to believe that something matters, but the wider my eyes open, the more deeply lost I feel.

A few days ago I asked Morgan a question I've asked a hundred people, a question I once asked myself on an almost daily basis. It was a companion to me once, but somehow we'd become separated.

I make no great claims of understanding when discourse turns to the mind, but I have become very thoroughly convinced of this: my consciousness - Luke - isn't the thing that makes most of the decisions about what comes out of my mouth, and last night, whatever it is calling the shots for my vocal stream called back a question I hadn't thought about in a long time.

If you knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the world, the universe, reality itself were destined for its end in four years, how would you spend those last heartbeats? What would life look like if you knew when the ending was drumming near?

I used to have an answer, then me and the Teacher got reacquainted and my direction burned away like the cool of the morning.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ARRRRR!!!

T'day be th'day me hearties. Wave yer Jolly Roger with pride, ARRRRR!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unlock

People walk around with these great absurd rings of keys. They're big and brass and tiny black iron and wood and crystal and magic caught and frozen in keyform and they are shaped for doors grown in human gardens, and with them we unlock each other.

The trick then, is not finding the right key for the door at hand, but the right door for the keys you carry.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The King of the Day

Meeting the Family

The prospect by turns made me nauseous and - for reasons that are still beyond me - provoked mild mania, but finally standing in a room with Morgan's boisterous, clever family felt more like coming home than entering the lions' den.

They are a convivial, witty, open clan, and I am proud to be in love with their kind.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Open Source Science Club

So Morgan and I had this idea that we could start a club based on the premise that with some really simple inexpensive tools like say microscopes or EEG. We could start doing tiny bits of research independent of any large organization. It's science in the long tail. listen

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Culture, Religion, and the Platonic Ideal

What's Not Going On:

What Is:

Billions and Billions

There seems to be a trick of conceptualization that makes people wax naturally toward Platonic Idealism. The idea that there is one true form of a thing and all manifestations of the thing are simply permutations of the ideal is not new. People around the world, from ancient Greece to pre-Colombian Mississippi seem to have arrived independently at the idea, probably because type-casting everything as some variation or other on an archetypal theme makes approaching the world a bit easier.

Easier, but wrong.

Linnaeus was wrong when he tried to apply Platonic Idealism to Biology, but nobody realized it until Darwin built his theoretical artillery piece to bring the tower down.

Two problems:

One, those towers pop up like daisies. It seems that people are just born a bit on the Platonic side, so every generation has be leveled anew with Chuck's big gun.

Two, the rebellion against Plato hasn't really gone beyond Biology's little intellectual territory.

People often talk about American culture, or Western culture, or Christianity, or Islam, or Science, as if there are monolithic paragons of each archetype and people only hold imperfect versions of the ideologies, but the truth is there is no paragon.

None of these ideas exist apart from human minds. There is no Christianity, no Science apart from a person thinking about it.

When someone says something about Islam being a peaceful religion, or about the goals of Science being a rigorous adherence to intellectual honesty, they're paying homage to the great Greek.

And they're wrong.

The truth is, Islam is not a peaceful religion, it's a billion religions, each a tiny representation of the ideas that one person has about everything connected to the word Islam. Some of these billion religions are peaceful, some not. Science is not any one thing, it is a billion things to a billion people. There is no American culture, no Eastern, no Western culture, there are billions and billions.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Floating


Madison is a wonder of a town. The love of my life is a constant character in the days' plays now, and Spore rocks my socks, but I can't help but feel I'm just floating on the surface of something very very deep.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Winning at Life

Friday night Morgan and I went to a Nader rally, Saturday morning I went to Whad'ya Know and won the quiz on nationally syndicated radio, and as I type this post Spore is installing on my machine.

Life is good.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Counterflow: 11

In everybody there are two fish: one wants to swim with the current, the other has lost its mind.

The first fish believes itself reasonable, sees the flow of its environment and follows this course.

The second fish, for reasons beyond fishy insight, looks upstream and cannot resist the fight.

Some time ago, my first fish was eaten...