Friday, February 25, 2011

Anger Making Machinery

The proper response to an Internet search which turns up nothing is anger. The field of expectation has been created that it is worthwhile to go looking for things, without any countervailing road-map about what sorts of things won't be found.

I know it would be silly to go searching for plumbing insights, but it seems more plausible to seek out ways to use Chinese on my smartphone. There are ads, but there are also shortcomings in addition to cost for using fat and cleverly created bits of software. I pay the plumber, though the instructions are trivial to find by searching. The smell is too costly in reality.

I shall persist, but this dissonance between the field created by technologies, and the confusion one faces in attempts to occupy that field, is as old as the written word. It's not just that post-modern defenestration impulse. It's the overall illusion that the word once written can provide the way to ultimate revelation of The Word as handed down from God.

This is precisely the same mistaking of identity for comprehension which informs political anger or the anger of love's betrayal. There is no answer to it other than to depart the field and look for ultimates elsewhere. And investigate only dispassionately those things which reward investigation.

Like, for instance, the written word itself, whose modality for production now is universalized as a keyboard. Gone are styluses and pencils, brushes and ink. Interactions now are all mediated by those same twitching fingers which pull triggers or caress or which shape a ball of clay. But allowing nothing of character through other than by elements of style.

A crumb falls into my keyboard, and the "R" key is disabled. I blow, it moves, and now I can't work the shift key. Crumble. The stylus offered a more certain connection to its output. The calligraphic character I once would have been required to cultivate before I could claim literacy in Chinese is as remote as in my facility with English handwriting. A relic. Quaint.

Once upon a time, in imitation of my older brother whom I idolized in all things, my handwriting was neat, but slanted in the manner of a lefty. A southpaw. Rectification meant the end of neat, and so my character is scrawled and lacking. There was a time.

What happens, though, when Chinese written characters lose their kinetic inform-ation of our consciousness? Will we then become trapped as it seems we are now already believing in some form of human consciousness which is, in fact, as remote as that final Word? That thing for which the absence of interpretation and translation does not denote the actual Word of God, but in fact denotes absolute and ultimate solipsism. An absence, a private without its public.

Enter Watson, the Jeopardy confounding machine. Anger is the proper response. We have already become unconscious. There is no more possibility for human consciousness any more than there is for God's Word unvarnished. I wax poetical, and wane with the keystroke of finality. And yet I cheer him, it, us.

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