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Name. Label. Category. Property. Feature. Function.

These are the objects of existence. These are not fundamentally ontological. These are secondary-effect objects. Objects of an awareness that requires difference to exist.

Naming. Labeling. Categorizing. Identifying. Testing. Sensing.

These are the activities of this difference awareness.

All that we are aware of in existence is wholly contained in our recognition of something being different – set apart – from something else. We annouce the differences by giving a thing a name – we put it in a category – we slap a label on it – we define its properties – we recognize its features and functions.

Without a name or definition – it does not exist. This thing’s specific existence depends on its acknowledged relations to other things.

Our science is a process of identification and naming of differences. Rates of change. Taxonomy of species. Periodic tables. Phase changes. Quantum states. Direction of Field. Size, color, speed, charge, strength.

Our civilization and societies are recognitions and groupings of differences between people. Classes, races, parties, families.

Our language is differences in symbols and sounds.

The question at hand: are these differences real? do the things we name have an existence, any at all, without our naming.

No. The name we give it and the associations that name carries determines the full extent of the thing. This is a direct result of the connectedness of everything and nothing. There is no cut point at which a series of points isn’t a line. There is no point at which humans break from the animal kingdom. There is no discrete point in which a particle is just a particle and not also a wave. PI never resolves. Our mathematics is never complete. We decide in our finitude when to recognize the existence of something. at that recognition is always incomplete because it seeks to disconnect that which is connected.

And so it is with our own identification of the self. We say I, and we have no true idea of who I am. We just decide what details full under the name of I, but it is not all that our particular bodies and nervous system and memories ever are. Our ideas are not our own. Our DNA is not self generated. Our sense organs do not sense I like others sense us. And so on. The definition is incomplete. Forever. But there is an existence of I because we name it, but it is always changing. The I right now is not the I in the next configuration of the universe.
And in that regard… existence, as we name it, is a secondary effect. The totality of everything cannot be named. The totality of existence does not exist. It is beyond existence, it never existed. It is contained with the infinite regress of finite awareness naming things.

We, as finite awareness machines and the more aware but still finite awareness machines we create, will never reach the end of naming. the very existence of awareness is in fact simply the product of naming. To be aware is to name. This is this. That is that. This is not that. I am aware of that. This is not true. That is false.

Here I label us machines to conjure a sort of existence up. I can refine that name and conjure a different existence up. But does that change the existence of awareness. Yes! It would be a slightly different awareness. And yet would still be a finite awareness. Total awareness implies total everything. To be aware of all differences which require awareness of all connection and relation. Which would admit of all absurdities, logical falsehoods, dark energies, the opposite of everything, total entropy… nothing. It would resolve into nothing. Total awareness is total nothing.

For there to be anything at all, anything less than infinity, there must be a loss in fidelity. A categorization of those things with sense, that can be sensed. versus those things that more sternly refuse awareness and sense – non sense.

Many will label the above words as esoteric meandering. A label itself. And perhaps it fits within the category of nonsense.

And yet, there are things we all deal with that because we are less aware of them we fail to recognize their non sense, their own esoterics.

Consider currency. What is it? What is its existence? Paper? backed by a government? backed by a commodity? backed by a military? backed by a nation state?

All a taxonomy of names. Not anything other that a building up a related names.

What is a price? What is its existence? It’s what people agree to in an exchange… an exchange of named things.

Consider art. What is art? a painting? colors?

What is geography? when does the mountain give way to the valley? When does a river become a lake?

This exercise can and will go on forever. It is an out of time and space process. It is. Existence.

Just a name.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

- Albert Einstein

Perhaps Albert Einstein said this.   It seems like a worthy ideal.  Except it really doesn’t work out.  At all.

Here are just a few straightforward, well known concepts that don’t give up to simple explanations even though we all assume they do.


what:
e = mc^2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass%E2%80%93energy_equivalence

why:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002TJLF7W?btkr=1
http://www.askamathematician.com/2011/03/q-why-does-emc2/


what:
1+1 = 2

why:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principia_Mathematica (300+ pages of proof required)


what:
this is the color red

why:
http://www.crayola.com/for-educators/resources-landing/articles/color-what-is-color.aspx
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/color/#ProCol


Simple explanations are usually very broad strokes and at a minimum only indicative of what might be going on.  Any serious and remotely accurate explanation about anything is nuanced, open ended and will inevitably be amended in the future.

There’s pressure in this culture, in the US, to make everything simple.  This devotion to simplicity is a trap and often a very dangerous one.  It rears its head in politics, business, social situations, religion and pretty much every other facet of our culture.

art and patterns

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
art lives in the mind.

but there is no mind.

art lives in perception.

but there is no perception.

art lives as patterns.

there are patterns.

but there is no art.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

a,boys,story,listed

a boy, alone, shadows, crafted by leaves, filtered sunlight, these empty days, with no obligations, wandering wonders, of the world, this moment, heart pounding, he runs, chasing the hunted, hunted by a hunter, swift, silent, silence, look right, look left, up, swerves, he whirls, the unknown still unknown, dusk, rods and cones, mesopic optics confused, blue, green, dark blood, drips slowly, drop, surrounded, he flees, raised among the markets, he retreats, returns to them, passing tree upon tree, dodge, duck, jump, hide, sprint, back back back, to the artificial, light, light of man, man’s lit streets, beasts cannot roam, the ones created by nature, disallowed, too afraid, unable to survive, this maze of brick, steel, dung, motive means, rigid paths, paved more, less, to drive, anonymous exchange, eye of God, attempts, a reminder, that indeed we do trust, that, which isn’t, what, a boy, should know.

darkforest

Should Artists Get Paid?

Who’s Free and Who Isn’t (this is about artists) aka who should we pay aka The Free and Anti Free

An N+1 article grapples with the basic question, “should an artist get paid?” https://nplusonemag.com/issue-20/the-intellectual-situation/the-free-and-the-antifree/ It’s a decent question – that is, we ought to ask it and keep asking it. This article and so many like it definitely don’t answer it. The article isn’t poor quality. It’s thought provoking in that way where you want to chase down a lot of things. I don’t want to pick apart the article right now as it gets into class warfare, lots of history, media critique and more. I want to attack the question head on without the backdrop of all this other stuff – which I think is mostly just baggage.

The most important point of all is sort of an anti-point in life and existence. That is, none of us, nothing (no thing), deserves anything. The title of the article introduces the concept of SHOULD which is really just a form of “deserves.” Human language will never do this point justice but there isn’t any universal SHOULD. There are proximal “SHOULDS.” In some cultures, in some relationships, in some situations X SHOULD HAPPEN.

So no, artists shouldn’t get paid.

In this proximal culture, this western world of award shows and museums and ad agencies and media companies, should artists get paid? maybe. If they want to get paid they figure out how. Should they be paid a priori because they are doing art? maybe.

Why the waffle?

Really this question is bigger than art and artists. Does anyone deserve to get paid? should ___________ get paid? No. No, no category of people, persons, trades, classes SHOULD get paid. Do they? yes. Yes, some people get paid. Some categories of people with categories of skills get paid.

This distinction matters because there are FAR MORE starving manual laborers than starving artists. There are FAR MORE starving students than artists. There are a lot of starving people on the planet. There are lots of species of animals in very bad shape. The subclass of artists that are humans that are part of species on the earth is hardly unique.

what is art? that’s a relevant question at this point. It doesn’t matter. what is science? what is math? what is teaching? what is philanthropy? what is a job? what is work? Should WE Get Paid?

what do you do? Why do you think you should get paid? If you are a teacher you most likely have decided that you’re doing a good for society. If you are a social worker, same. If you are a business person you probably think you are “adding value” to the company or marketplace. Most likely you think you should get paid because those around you and those before you who did vaguely similar things think you should get paid and those people often “hire” those similar to them.

and then there’s art (and its cousins…) Art is the stuff that changes perceptions. Art is the concepts and ideas and forms and tools that don’t make sense. Pay only comes from a marketplace. Art is anti-market. It has an anti-market if it has anything at all.

So n+1 and those that worry about these sorts of things you can stop wondering if someone will pay or if capitalism or whatever category of being we’re talking about will assign commodity-based currency quantification to something that seeks, at its core, to never be defined.

Art and artists should forever seek ill definition, that’s the fucking point. If there is a point at all.

Very Short Stories

I did as I was told.

I did as I was told.

At the escape the pistons fire incorrectly.

She frowns at the sound of hushed murmurs.

Bound and silenced, his captors forget.

In an instant, bang, existence.

Swallow-filled woods hide the shadowy fleet of marching barbarions.

Billowing stacks fulfill the dreams of green-eyed titans.

Misfired, misdeed, mistake but still someone is dead in Ferguson.

“You lie!” from the commons it comes changing discourse discordingly forever.

“Hello [long pause] tell me your location,” the sleepy 911 operator sighs.

Dosed off, door unlocked, debts unpaid he sleeps perhaps too well.

The far off chirp and the slight drip of sunsoaked cicles warns us that he will arise soon.

Logic gates flip bits determined to ruin fortunes.

She blushes at the his left left foot.

A scream reaches out signaling another miracle.

I love Robin Williams.

Robin Williams is a hero of mine. But that’s not really a deep enough concept to express his role in my life. I have absolutely shaped my approach to life around what I perceived of him as a hero. I never met him. I never received fan mail back from him or did a stand up routine next to him. I don’t have any remarkable story about him – except that I stayed up late, rented, borrowed my way into every piece of work he put out. From Mork and Mindy to the Comic Relief stuff to all of his movies to every late night appearance… I took in all of it as some source-book of how to interact, how to think, how to absorb the world so fully you can be in all of those situations and BE REMARKABLE.

As a high school senior I thought deeply about the idea of Julliard because of him. I imagined a future in which I could go out to the world and say things he said… not because I rehearsed it but because I was speaking honestly in my synthesis of everything I was taking in. I wanted to be that good only better… even faster on my feet. Even quicker with my wit. Even deeper with my knowledge. Anywhere, in any circle, at any moment.

And make no mistake, I’m not delusional about Performance vs. Real Life. I read anything I could of his non-performance experiences – from his activism and social engagement to his personal struggles to his ideas about comedy to his appreciation of J. Winters. Robins Williams life, in all its facets, speaks profoundly to me.

For most of my life the person I’ve been mostly compared to in my approach to everything, even from my own mouth, is Robin Williams. (and I not only don’t hate it, I love it. I want to be that.) I’m drawn to this engagement with the world:

KNOW EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLE CAN

LISTEN TO EVERYTHING (EVERYTHING!) and EVERYONE (EVERYONE!) AROUND YOU

SYNTHESIZE VERY QUICKLY

TRY ANY IDEA

10000000 jokes (ideas) is bound to deliver 1 GOOD ONE, SO KEEP GOING

ENGAGE EVERYONE SINCERELY and SERIOUSLY

WALK A BILLION MILES IN EVERYONE ELSES SHOES

SWEAT

Yes, Dead Poets Society is one of my top 5 movies. Good Morning Vietnam is also in the top 5. Good Will Hunting is such an important movie to me….. …. …. All these things are quite obvious. Robin Williams dealt with and engaged and seriously considered the entirety of the human experience. For me he is the ultimate synthesis of this absurd and beautiful world.

The vortex that is postmortem analysis will never change the strange loop that lives on through me and others. Posit what we want about mental illness and depression and comedy and hollywood or whatever else we will try to make it all tidy, it doesn’t matter. Robins Williams is a buddha. He’s one of those rare convergences of vitality that infuses many other souls with purpose. I love you, Robin. Thanks for helping make me, me.

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