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Monthly Archives: November 2011

I once knew a lady who could cross her wires
She could smell the light and hear the sights

“but that is not natural” I would say and frown

“Isn’t it weird for light to smell?” I would say quite proud

She would only shake her head and wrinkle her nose
I suppose if i could hear smells I would understand
So I would go my own way till the next time round

But one day she did speak.

“You labour under this apprehension that the world is
 That there is some natural affair and a definite order
 But don’t you see how silly that is?
 It is an accident of consequence and nothing more
 that you can sense as smell some molecules
 or feel them as warmth as they bounce forth
 or hear them vibrating within a medium
 or see their vibrating without a medium.

 Your world is experienced through a tiny peephole
 And you seek to fit everything through. Though
 the better choice would be: fix your damn radius!
 Why, your Light and your radios, are one and the same
 But even though in a manner you hear light
 You fail to imagine what it would be to see heat”

“But what colour would it be?” I then asked

“The brain has it own natural wiring
 You can pick or choose the nearest firing
 But your notion of colour is limited arbitrary
 Why not assign and attune some neurons new
 to frequencies of light beyond you
 experience a new colour and many others too
 And unexperience the universe as it is true”

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Why you, Hello there!
I have a question to ask

Do you think you have no destiny?
That choices you make
are of your own volition?

That your are more than
an echo in neural firings?

Or that your consciousness
is certainly more, no less

than mere stochastic fluctuations
in brain chemistry?

Ah. Then I am most sorry to inform.
that this is not true
Long before you decide
on which finger to lift
Your brain has sent a cascade large
of chemical messengers adrift
and only sometimes will
later decide to inform you
tricking you to think
the choice had been yours

Can you claim the credit
that you think as you?
Perhaps but forget not
that you were born
In accordance to the summed
dangers of lineages long past.

The blueprint of your genes set the tone
So though you may think you prefer that one
It is more a preference turned by actions taken
That led some to live and give birth
Long by far before you were born.

But genes are only a guideline you may say
A rough formless blueprint of arbitrary sway
ah, but remember you did not pick
the where  and when you would be born
Nor did your parents and so on back
Nor did you choose what things to expose
As you grew and gained to a weighted average
of things seen done and others consumed,
mere connections flimsy but tricked to consequence

So there we have it.
Your brain, genes and places all
collude to your path inhibit and your choices still.
That your destiny becomes set.
So is all you do not of yours?
That you may harm and certainly no choice
More than a moving train?

No. for sometimes though rarely so
the system does reflect
up to a point that is fixed
so that the choice made
and the choice unmade
fix to become one and the same
Sometimes. maybe twice, not much more
A decision is made that goes as you had

so do not forget when next choosing
That though not often, actions may conspire so
the guide rail is removed to an open place
The choice is yours and all too real
And then in those few times yes
the consequences are certain. less surreal.

You will set and pick a cascade to the chaos
that will set and limit the choices of one many
Far and long removed in time and space
so for that very moment you must all your life spend
practicing on choices prepackaged and unfree

That the innumerable lives the wave
that simple choice touches
are imperceptibly turned
from wretched souls
to full and kindred spirits

sally sally she would not go
tally tally she could not show
nary nary she had no grace
bleary bleary she hid her face

always always did she choose flight
even even if it lost right
this day this day would she choose might
this way this way would she gain sight

for no score no more would her place decline,
Yay. for no tool no fool would her path recline

and no door no door would her face hide
herefore therefore would her pace glide
faster faster would she now grow
master master could she now flow

INT. FUTURISTIC INFOMERCIAL SET

Joe and Charlene are our two presenters for today’s infomercial. Charlene is a beautiful and voluptuous woman and Joe is a guy in a suit. The set dressing and colors of the place are like that of your typical garish infomercial except more futuristic. Paraphernalia from a 1960’s version of 2000 can be seen scattered about. A banner of a DeKnotifier 4000 – a 1m^3 featureless box with some shiny buttons and a hinged door – hangs in the background. A large blue star with a $199.99! label is stuck to the banner’s top right corner.

        JOE
Welcome viewers. If you are just tuning in then you might be interested in finding out more about our DeKnotifier 4000. What is the Deknotifier 4000 I hear you ask? Well let Charlene our science expert explain. Take it away Charlene.

        CHARLENE
Well the DeKnotifier comes from the Lab of Dr Frink.

        JOE
And what does it do?

        CHARLENE
As I was about to go on to say, Professor-Captain Frink Crankenstein invented it because he was tired of sticking all his cables in a draw and having them get all knotted up.

        JOE
Yes and what did he about it?

        CHARLENE
(clenches and unclenches her jaws as she walks over and points to the image on a curved large screen)
What he did about it Joe, is that he first supposed that we were in a multiverse where you could syphon energy from another universe into ours to either shrink or expand the extra dimensions string theory predicts. Straightforward Extradimensional Topology.

Charlene points a remote at the screen to change the image.

Following from that, he emptied his pantry so he could create a closet universe in there. And then he used an Oracular deluxe quantum computer to calculate the precise energies and collisions required to create a wormhole to another universe localized to a space with a high probability of two colliding supermassive galaxies. He syphoned the energy of this collision into the small closet universe in order to expand a smaller dimension and so create an effective 4 macro spatial closet universe in his pantry…
  
        JOE
And this is useful how?

        CHARLENE
If you didn’t keep interrupting we would know by now. If we stick a tangle in our 4 dimensional closet space it becomes trivial – easy peasy – to unknot it.

        JOE
I thought string theory was considered bunk? This is a wonderful application of string theory!

        CHARLENE
Well for some definition of bunk. But Dr Crankenstein is a mathematician and not a physicist. The usual cumbersome rules of reality don’t strictly apply to him, so he is able to get around them. You are right though, back in the stone ages people thought string theory was useless. It is fitting that string theory would end up so useful in untangling knots.

        JOE
How was he able to commercialize the invention outside his pantry? And please assure our viewers on why they don’t need to worry about the device failing to find colliding super galaxies.
            
        CHARLENE
Dr Crankenstein is not called a Captain-Professor for nothing. He managed to devise a mini oracular quantum chip for cheap so that he could take the closet universe outside of his pantry and replicate it. The device is able to sample from only the highest quality galaxies from the rich landscape of multiverses with near subinfinite precision. There is a (1 – 10^-500)% Guarantee of finding enough energy to disentangle any knot or your money back.

        JOE
(makes a grand gesture at the banner in the background)
So there you have it folks. The DeKnotifier 4000…

        CHARLENE
Wait, I’m not finished.

        JOE
Oh okay, go on then girl!

        CHARLENE
Grr. So yes, the DeKnotifier 4000 allows you to toss a bunch of knots in, you press a kinetic shaking setting and it will untangle even the toughest tangles made up of thousands of wires.

        JOE
Thank you Charlene, isn’t she wonderful folks? Her grasp of science is pretty impressive for a woman.

        CHARLENE
And your intelligence is as feeble as the typical man’s.

        JOE
Haha isn’t she a kidder folks? You heard it here first, to get in on this unique moment please call 1-800-209-7593 now to get your DeKnotifier 4000 for the ultra low one time only sale price of $199.99. Only a hundred bucks folks. Our operators are standing by to take your order now. And be sure to try again if the lines are busy so you don’t miss your chance at this amazing device that is history in the making. Again that is 1-800-209-7593.

Joe walks over to a side table. On the side table are a smaller featureless box with shiny knobs and a smooth unmarked capsule.

And if you call within the next five minutes we will throw in a spare replacement interdimensional decompactificer 1000/0 free of charge. You heard that right, Free of charge! And because we are feeling extra nice today we’ll add a Washer Dryer DeKnotifier 4000/100 Mini Edition. A portable washer dryer deknotifier combo suited for washing laces, socks – pairs not guaranteed unless your edition comes with the axiom of choice, see terms and conditions in the fine print at the top right pixel of your screen – and more. Throw in the most knotted of laces and strings and get them out sparkling clean and deknotted. An amazing deal worth at least $1013 in value.
So call now at 1-800-209-7593. That is 1-800-209-7593. Our operators are standing by folks. Don’t miss your chance at a major history making sale.

would that i could, would that i would
would that i knew things that I should

Excuses you give, Excuses you leave
Why not say sumth we could believe

believe it I can’t, believe it you rant
why not say something than platitudes to chant

things that you say come into play
words have the power for unfolding a way
a word said in heart can wisdom impart
a word said in heart can all hope depart

and with this fed the self the cycle to start

Once upon a time
but not time upon a once
There was a thing of nothing
Which was not a thing
Neither was it a no thing
rather it was
an empty complete void

It is hard to describe
A thing that is not a thing
But not itself nothing
A Lack beyond nothing
Completely incomprehenible
To a Mortal mind like yours

But then one day
The thing decided
That it should exist
And so it did
And no longer was it nothing
No not at all
For you see
Now it was everything
But that was not all

Since with that spring
It cascaded a scheme
To reflect upon itself
Or at least
A part of itself
By a part of itself
And so here you are

For a long moment Xryl does not answer Yrxl. They sit in silent repose, carefully contemplating their next words and actions. Finally Xrly speaks.

 

“I cannot say I understand why they place so much weight into who has piled the largest amount of dirt on their back. Perhaps it dates from a time where they thought they could fill the hole. But they are not all like that. Look at some of those groups. They allow those not similarly marked into their packs. And have you noticed how some of them have begun to refuse markings of any kind?”

 

Yrlx’s head shakes, a movement which  presages an interruption but Xryl moves on quickly, closing any chance of a counterargument.

 

“Sure when it rains the great effort they have made in piling and shaping the mounds of dirt will seem for naught. But you must look past that. It is not the result of what they make that matters but the forms in between.  It is not the destination but how they make the journey. It is from the forms that exist between things that they shape their own meaning. Some of them express care beyond themselves and from their interactions they forge a coexistence outside meaning. It is not our place to decide their fate and erase their journey.”

 

Xryl stops again. Head slowly swaying from heavy thought. This time though only a short change of time occurs before Xryl picks up the dropped thread of thought.

 

“Where you see dirt I see an equation whose other side is hidden from us. We do not know why they have come to shape the dirt as they do but neither do we know why the universe came to place them there. We do not know the nature of their carvings, cease them and who knows where we would be.”

 

Yrlx is not convinced. “It will rain soon and we will still be here but they will not.”

 

The look reflected in Xryl’s eyes is deeply thoughtful.

 

“It will always rain soon. You know that. That threat has little meaning here.  Look past their failings and instead at the beauty and elegance of the shapes they carve. And check again, not all of them make their way inexorably to the pit at a breakneck pace. Some move slower than others. Pausing even. Perhaps there is ho…”

 

As Xryl speaks the ground gives way beneath one of the creatures. A wave of matter washes over it as it gyrates frantically, trying to escape. Its movements only serves to draw it further down.

 

This one is not marked. Its end will come soon. Many pass it by but because no markings can be found on it they leave it to die. As all seems lost for the trapped creature, a group passes by. Some of them marked, others not or differently so. Some look weakened and others even more so. With great risk to themselves they set about to helping their trapped brethren. A slight mistake or slip will lead to their cumulative deaths. Many times in the past this has happened but not this time – they all make it safely. As they watch, Xryl turns an almost smug look on Yrlx.

 

Yrxl sneers “Huh, how convenient. Although that smug look is not becoming, you know very well that that was an exception and not a rule. But anyways, I give you that they are not all blind to each others suffering but the vast majority will not help those not of their circle of marking. They still distance themselves via genetic similarity. How primitive!  Still though, consider this. Suppose they were to somehow make their way up, it would not be good news for us. Look at how they destroy that around them to make their precious carvings. And they breed so. Our world would be overrun by the vermin. For the greater good must their current existence be eliminated and turned into something more wholesome.”

 

“Despite our great advances we still understand very little about the universe. But what we do know is that it is a very violent place. Entire stars and galaxies are ripped apart and turned to cosmic gasses. Do not make the mistake into thinking that we or those creatures are separate from the universe. We are the universe’s and it constantly reforms itself. Anything that happens is decided by its laws. There is nothing that happens in this universe that is unnatural, anything that is a certain way is because it can be that way. All orders which exist within the universe are natural. Perhaps we could discover some way to work with or around them so that if your fear were to ever occur it would be to a symbiotic benefit.”

 

Yrlx lunges at Xryl but is easily brushed aside. “You are a traitor to your kind tree hugger. You would place these vermin whose existence is meaningless, who spend their short time trying to pile as much dirt on their back as possible or follow those who can, who create arbitrary differences so they may more easily forsake and destroy their own kind, who overturn their environment so that they can make their ‘elegant cosmic carvings’. You would allow them to overrun our world? Is that your meaning?!”

 

Yrlx head shakes as a look of anguish passes over. Then in a flash of movement that tells of a decision made before it reaches a consciousness Yrlx moves to act on the creatures. But Xryl is there. As if knowing Yrlx’s choice even before one had been taken. They both freeze and then move in  lock-step motion, a jerky yet elegant dance as one tries to subdue the other. They go on for a length of time that is not determinable. The colour of the sky does not change but the clouds travel a vast distance while new ones form in their place. Beyond the observed creatures, no sign of any other animal can be heard or seen. The breeze continues its gentle sway of the tree branches as the leaves seem to wave in step with the eerie dance.

 

The two struggle intensely for a moment or many more, looks of grim determination contorting both their faces. As they struggle, a single drop falls from the sky and unto the ground. Sober satisfaction plasters Yrlx’s face while resigned anguish hangs on Xryl’s. All is still for a countless moment before suddenly they turn as something strange catches the corner of their eyes. Something they both would have thought impossible. There are a dozen or so of the creatures struggling upwards against the slope.

 

In a place between moments is a clearing by a brook. The sky overhead is a dim red as the light struggles to pierce the thick cloud cover. On the shore are many rocks but one is larger than all the rest. Like everything around it, this is a rock there that is not a rock because it writes its own value. No one sits atop it and so we cannot know if it is correct. It is hard to tell if this is because there is no one here or because everyone has moved on to everywhere.

Two people sit on a rock. The rock is the largest of the stones scattered across the shore of a brook. Overhead thin rays of light struggle to fight their way through large sheets of cloud. The sky is a dim red and no hint of the sun can be seen, it could just as well be dawn as dusk. No sounds can be heard mingled with the soft breeze which weaves its way around the relaxed sway of the trees that dot this place.

It is hard to tell how long these two have been here. Five minutes or five millenia their position is so unstrained that they might have just placed themselves atop the rock, so natural that it seems they must have always been so. They sit quietly, observing some lesser creatures go about their business – insects perhaps, or something else altogether. The exact form of the creatures is vague to the eye. After some indeterminate amount of time one of them says to the other.

“Xryl! This is futile, I should end their misery.”

It is clear from the patient look of resignation written across Xryl’s eyes and face that this is a topic of conversation that they have hashed and rehashed countless times to no resolution. Yet, the issue is of enough weight to them that still they continue to raise these same lines of thought.

“Ehm Yrlx, surely we have better things to do than revisit this age old argument about what to do about these creatures.” The implication remains hanging in the air for a time while the two continue in silence. Eventually Xryl speaks again.

“It is not for you to decide their misery, their lives are so alien to ours we cannot even know if such a concept as we understand it can apply to them”.

This time Yrlx answers. “There you are wrong my friend. Look at how some of them simply stop moving. In their refusal to continue they show us that in some way some of them know the futility of their journey.”

“You are right. And I cannot say why some of them stop as they do. But thinking about it, I am certain they don’t know this misery you speak of. For they cannot see the larger shape of the world around them as we do. They do not know the context of anything better.”

“You are a funny one Xryl, In the same breath you take to tell me to respect them, you put them down as simple things little better than the dirt they drag around so. Even if they cannot perceive the wider shape of the world they must at least see how limited theirs is.”

It is clear that Yrlx has hit a note and there is a look of slight annoyance on Xryl’s face. “Don’t play that game with me. We both know their limits, I respect them for what they do within those limits. You however, in your arrogance have decided it is your place to ‘end their misery’. If you think as highly of them as you just implied then surely you should take the time to ask them what they think of your act of kindness.”

“No! No! No! I am in the right. Take a look at them, they are hatched on the slopes of a ditch. None of them ever tries to go up. Always they go down and without fail those which make it to the bottom all fall into the hole there. What is the sense of that?! It is a waste and a tragedy.” Yrlx pauses and reflects for a moment. “And as I said before, they know this on some level. For some time they have been trying to fill that hole. Silly that, when all they must do is climb up.”

“Neither you nor I know the extent of the hole nor its ultimate destination. Perhaps something beyond oblivion lies there. And surely you must appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the carvings they make in the dirt as they go about their journeys. Surely there is something in that. Not to mention that we have not fully untangled the recursive functions and rules which underlie this universe. Who knows, by destroying them we may end up unravelling ourselves.”

“Haha Xryl! You and your farcical fractalities. You do so enjoy invoking cosmic nonsense to disguise your penchant for inaction. I am sure the universe is strong enough to handle whatever I could throw at it. It probably doesn’t even know I exist.”

The mirth fades from Yrlx’s face as a shadow blanks the expressions carved there. Then slowly Yrlx’s head turns to fix a gaze in Xryl’s direction.

“You cannot claim to care more about these creatures than me. It is because I care for them so that it pains me to watch them in their meaningless closed circle. And you use such pointedly colourful language. I do not mean to end them, I mean to lift them. To make them like us. I have spent long figuring on the intricacies that would involve. It is an act of compassion for all our sakes. The closest thing to appreciable they make is the forms they carve into and from the dirt, some in their likeness. But through it all, always they struggle futilely to fill the hole at the bottom. And, as if things weren’t grim enough, they do not even hold themselves to the same level of respect that you think they deserve. Always destroying those others who would not match their markings.”

Yrlx is worked up now, gesturing wildly and eyes blazing with a focused intensity. “The saddest part about all this Xryl, is that it will storm soon and wash them and all their carvings away. Into the hole. They do not comprehend your urgings upwards. All they see are shadows and dark forms which they scuttle around. Please, if you care at all for my sanity let me end this madness.” Yrlx pauses and breathes deeply for continued speech at that rate would certainly cause asphyxiation. After taking a moment to reach a more balanced mood Yrlx continues on.

“Look at how they pile the dirt upon themselves. And see how those with the largest pile try to get others to place more upon them. It is all so nonsensical. And those structures which you admire so, look at how they carve the markings of them unto themselves. And then kill all those that do not have those markings. They are each of them more or less the same but by mere difference of the meaningless markings they dream up, they decide those who are not similarly marked are not worthy to live. Tell me, what place does such banality have in your notions of balanced actions?”

Xryl brushes the question aside. “What I do know is that lifting them is tantamount to destroying them. Their old memories would be rendered meaningless or at least valueless and incommensurable, their new experiences completely unrelateable. Their person’s fully foreign. Make no mistake about it, lifting them will erase everything that they were, a full destruction.”

“Perhaps. There is no precedent for this but that is a price worth paying no? For a higher and enlightened existence where so much worship is not placed on piles of dirt. No?”

Part II