Distribution Automatique

Tuesday, July 5

[Scroll down to Monday, July 4th for
A Dream about Alan Davies; and further
quotes from *Zettel*]
Thomas obit {click here}

via SUNY/Buff poetics listserv
Calculations as Ornament;
Machines as Conceptual Ornament

"709. To regard a calculation as an ornament
is also formalism, but of a good sort.

710. A calculation can be regarded as
an ornament. A figure in a plane may fit
another one or not, may be taken with
other ones in various ways. If further the
figure is coloured, there is a further fit
according to colour. (Colour is only
another dimension).

711. There is a way of looking at electrical
machines and installations (dynamos,
radio stations, etc., etc.) which sees these
objects as arrangements of copper, iron,
rubber etc. in space, without any
preliminary understanding. And this way
of looking at them might lead to some
interesting results. It is quite analogous
to looking at a mathematical proposition
as an ornament.- It is of course an absolutely
strict and correct conception; and the
characteristic and difficult thing about it
is that it looks at the object without any
preconceived idea (as it were from a
Martian point of view), or perhaps more
correctly: it upsets the normal preconceived
idea (runs athwart it)."

*Zettel*, Ludwig Wittgenstein
(see below)
"The human mind is only capable of
absorbing a few things at a time. We see
what is taking place in front of us in the
here and new, and cannot envisiage
simultaneously a succession of
processes, no matter how integrated and
complementary. Our facilities of perception
are consequently limited even as regards
fairly simple phenomena. The fate of a
single man can be rich in significance
that of a few hundred less so, but the
history of thousands and millions of
men does not mean anything at all,
in any adequate sense of the word. The
symmetriad is a million- a billion, rather,-
raised to the power of N; it is incomprehensible.
We pass through vast halls, each with a
capacity of ten Kronicker units, and
creep like so many ants clinging to the
folds of breathing vaults and craning
to watch the flight of soaring girders...
We observe a fraction of the process, like
hearing the vibration of a single string
in an orchestra of supergiants. We know,
but cannot grasp, that above and below,
beyond the limits of perception or
imagination, thousands and millions
of simultaneous transformations are
at work, interlinked like a musical
score, by mathematical counterpoint..."

[from *Solaris* by Stanislaw Lem]

"'Your blood is like my own.'
'I give you my word.''
'What does that indicate? I had been telling
myself that...the unknown force might
be concealed somewhere inside me, and
that it might not occupy very much space.
But I did not know whereabouts it was. I
think now that I was evading the real issue
because I didn't have the nerve to make
a decision. I was afraid and I looked for a
way out. But Kris, if my blood is like yours...
if I really...no it's impossible. I would already
be dead, wouldn't I? That means there
really is something different- but where?
In the mind? Yet it seems to me I think
as any human being does...and I know
nothing! If that alien thing was thinking in
my head, I would know everything. And
I would not love you. I would be pretending,
and aware that I was pretending. .."

[from *Solaris* by Stanislaw Lem,

Reading *Solaris*, absorbing the
theme of the simultaneity of experience,
where so much is gazed upon
and contemplated, as in Wittgenstein's
recognition of the impact of electronic
parts or equations contemplated without technical
comprehension, a fleeting image and
sense of human imagining
and thought throughout
time experienced as one vast living organism
struggling to learn and to create solutions.
The Darwinian evolutionary
struggle seen as a game, an
Olympics of invention:
this outcome decides
the fate of life. All of art and
literature a crucial facet of this
struggle, the facet of
expression and communication.
Big Questions

a link from

Boynton {click here}

Science asks the big questions
Coming of Age in Manhattan:
Still Floating on the Zep

Jordan (Equanimity)
says he still
has some growing up to do if he's
still dazed by the Zep.
Well, I'm still in no hurry, if that's the case,
and I've got quite a few years on Jordan.
Anecdotage tale #9: the day in the
early 70's I ran into Patti Smith on 8th Street
and offered to take her to Led Zep at Mad
Square with my
extra ticket. She said she thought her
boyfriend wouldn't approve! The Zep!
The Zep!