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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Trial Perspective: Chance, Story, Theory, Data, Chance

PERSPECTIVE: As consciousness emerges, it seeks perspective. The Being is never content with itself, but must Do something about it, in the same sense that guilt accompanies the Big Bang of awareness, and the infinite dance of evasion begins to spin outwards. Do Be Do Be Doo....

CHANCE. We see in the cave paintings of 30,000 years ago (Chauvet), the alphabet being made. And there is no Round Table, no Ring-cycle, no Word, no God, no King-cipher, no ideology. There is only the spiraling out of seasons, the enumeration of gravid moons, the chance of salmon, the hunting hopes pinned on the mystery of birth. And behind the observed, there was only the guarantee of surprise, of waiting for an uncertain tomorrow. We were dealing with pure chance.

STORY. In the cave paintings of 20,000 years ago (Lescaux, N. Africa), we see the alphabet telling a story. We see events being recalled, and told in the re-echoing chambers of the caves to the hundreds of children who left their footprints in the hemp-lit darkness. This story gave us a bearing, a mirror, a generational link beyond the mystery of the birth canal, to the tribe.

MYTH. With the rise of agriculture, the control of land became important. The controllers added hierarchic imperatives to the story as a tool for connecting us not only to the tribe, but to the controllers. Not a coincidence that Homer was blind, he was the first story-teller to lead us out of the darkness of the cave, into a rich geography of mythology. We began to depict Gods and their pretenders, the Kings. The story elaborated into a theology based on an Adam-and-Even Mother.

THEORY. Theology always degenerates into a theory of everything, a Summa. Thomas Aquinas only compiled what his generation of believers were forced to reckon with -- a Summa Theologica -- ironically published in the very year Galileo looked through a telescope. A God of Everything in a closed system, a Unified Field, the goal of all theory. To understand this machine, Newton generated calculus, and we use the algorithm method to analyze the mystery of the birth-patterns of Relativity.

DATA. Theories are overthrown by facts. The data are indifferent to the organization we require for our own understanding. The brain itself is data, in a sunset of "consciousness" falling like a subjectivity tree in an forest of inputs from proprioceptive devices with hopelessly mixed metaphors. The arbitrariness of birth is highlighted by the mystery of Google rankings across PetaBytes of information. There is still "content", but the content is entertainment. The search for patterns in an incomprehensible surplus, in effect, a flood of chaos choked with Chance.

CHANCE. The patterns in the data become more meaningful than the content of the information. No distinction is made between the baby and the bath-water, one molecule at a time, spiraling into the Black Holes in the center of every galaxy. We are back in the cave, trying to come to terms with the darker older colder slower. The perspective of a riparian creature observing motions which can be understood only by emerging wet drying onto the kitchen midden beach to gather grapes and mushrooms. We try to think up stories to tell. Submerged, we look for the floating Ark nobody built. Somewhere, there is a golden engagement ring-cycle.