Wednesday, June 24, 2009 interlude...

The idea of a public diary is as much the things we would like to talk about with our perfect Significant Other as a sounding board for the thoughts we enjoy thinking and doubly-enjoy in writing. It imparts form to the formless. And if this blog is about anything at all, it must be this. Therefore, it does me no harm and much good to spend a few moments as if I were an actual reader of myself. So if this entry sounds a little schizophrenic, it may be because I am of two minds meself... (Yeh, I know. Let's get ultra-primitive here and go all the way back to the dawn of psychoanalysis for a term and say, instead: This is more a case of a split personality.)

It having been months since my last visit, I decided to re-read all the entries for content, context, etc., including logic flaws, before preparing the previous edition. What I found was a helluva lotta repetition and some errors in basic proofreading. As is my wont to sit in chinese restaurants and correct their menus, this was a habit I needed to suppress here. Yes, I admit I am very redundant and the last one, at the very least, came close to boring pedantry. (Maybe is. I was a little like “get on with it” at the end.) However, there comes at point at which further refinement is a waste of energy.

What I found is pretty much what I remembered writing and still supports my researches. But, as a casual perusal, it seemed that I never fully answered my own question about Syntax, and just what that figures into the whole mix as. The reason for this is that I took some time off to actually read Steven Pinker's book “The Stuff of Thought”. At just about the time I was finishing up, I heard there was going to be an actual discussion of this very subject between Pinker and Tom Wolfe at the Rubin Center here in New York. So whatever independent ideas I had, of that which could be gleaned from the book up to that point in time, were put on further hold until I could attend that gathering of eagles. Perhaps I will go into the substance of their exchange (or at least what I can make sense of it from my notes), but that will have to wait.

As I said, the re-examination of the argument thus far has made me pretty satisfied, yet just as aware of the metamorphic nature of our times, how things change so fast, as mercurial as the glides up and down the gradations in the glass outside the window. Which is, in itself, an archaic reference: no manufacturer of thermometers uses any precious metal to tell the temperature anymore. Also, further edits only aid the logorithmic progression of Time means that the closer I get to my goal, the tinier the divisions become as halfs-proceed-halfs ahead of me into the infinite. And here I have the image of a slide rule in my mind, another relic of the past. I was in error attributing the coinage of “meme” to William Gibson or Bruce Sterling: it was Richard Dawkins they both copped it from, and rightly so—you can't have science fiction without starting with some really great science. (But I can't go into Dawkins here as that would take another entire blog on its own.) And I was even more outdated in quoting Gil Scott-Heron's “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” in the same breath (almost) where I mention McLuhan. Observing the events in Iran, even as I write, the parallels with Paris in 1968 cannot be dismissed. That was when the theorists, the Situationists, ended up becoming activists by becoming message couriers between factory workers and the transit unions and the student rebels to organize the most effective counter-demonstrations and to paralyze the nation. And what are the Iranians doing? Utilizing “social networking sites” to do EXACTLY THE SAME THING! The most innocuous of self-vanity/celebrity-worshipping whimsies becomes a tool of the popular democratic uprising. What was I thinking? “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”...but that doesn't say anything about twittered... Marshall would be ashamed of me.

Overall, it is obvious that while the enthusiasm expressed at the beginning was the same you get from Youth and the elation of embarcation on a journey, Shakespeare's “Seven Ages of Man” pretty much proved out the rest, leaving this one, I might gather, to be mewling and puking in the crib, sans sight, sans taste, sans wit. Truth is, probably, when it got down to the scut-work of actually using the philosophers I had some knowledge of, I kept switching from vernacular to doctoral thesis as if such informal/formal constructions could substitute for lucidity and directness, it became turgid and stiff. Even as it pumped up the vigor with the familiar, trying to get some life into the old girl, it got bogged down in jargon and, consequently, even the author got tired of not reaching the conclusion.

Yet he was so close.

So (some weighty preposition, totally without any relation to a bound morpheme—just try to figure out what it means: I DARE YOU...)
Well (and yet another stupid cupid to shoot an arrow into the void...)
The (at least you get the definite article, right?...)
And (...almost as bad as “But” to kick off any sentence...)

Here's the deal. (Oh my! Aren't we going to get all Wall Street on your ass?) Notes exist that finish this. No more deviations, no more proofs. They are no longer needed. I realized that if I was even partially right in all that came before, and had no reason to find much more fault than that cited heretofore, then it stands to reason that whatever followed it will most likely stand or fall on the same logic and if enough wasn't said to convince YOU, it surely did and does ME. (Yes. Ok. Functional “split personality” is alright too.) It may have something to do with reading Roberto Bolano's epic novel “2666”. Having gotten the second part of the trilogy first, I started reading at page 365 or so and realized that, yeah, this was possible, do-able. I don't have to know anything more to make all the connections I want and, in fact, will make them regardless of whether they are 100% accurate of not. That's the nature of the beast, folks.

What follows is, as much as necessary, the end. And that is why it is called...

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