Sunday, November 24, 2013

All is Lost

This is not narrative. You have to watch it hard to make poesis happen. You will feel it near to happening to you. It will not carry you along to its conclusion.

Like I am sick. Very very sick. My disease will kill me, but not tomorrow or the next day. These are emotional illnesses, in the plural which all now have physiological solutions for the hulk of me. I eat too much, and it's not a matter of my appetite. There is some emotional lack; some craving. I drink too much, especially when up against it and in need of my full wits. I am self-indulgent. I stop at 35 pushups now. Schlump. It will be sad to watch me sink were I the one doing it.

Not so sick, at least not anymore, that I need some Prozac-descended magic, but you know I'm sick the way that the earth is sick. Not twelve-step program sick, but moving in that direction. We all know what we should do, but we can't do it. Walking out of the United Nations talks on global warming because nobody will make a decision and we're too powerless to make a decision. All of us, even collectively or especially collectively. Our leader is a disappointment. So was Lincoln (I watched that film again last night with malice aforethought).

Certainties fall like the price for computing cycles per nano-second. I'm so certain that Google is brain-dead fixated on an old Platonic dream of virtual reality made real, just like Richard Swinburne who I saw the other day. Some supposed brilliant analytical philosopher who's still wondering if God is necessary. Innocent of all physics which solves Zeno in a much more clever way and not as Swinburne had to suppose since logic dictates ever more minuscule divisions of time or space. Reality denied. There is no perfect conveyance for our soul.

Innocent of anything Eastern, and so just rehearsing one among infinities of mental chess matches which can be deployed by the adept. But I was just too certain that Google was truly pursuing a self-driving car because we just can't let go of our individualistic personal God cares for me individually drive which will destroy the earth, most especially if we find some really cheap form of heat-energy.

But I read this New Yorker article about the Googleplex (just how do they keep their peculiar tone across so much time and so many different authors?) and it seems maybe they do have a vision, Google. That we won't need individually to own cars when they can drive themselves and we can just use them when we want to and fly in flocks to advantage the drafting the way bicyclists do while racing. I'd thought they weren't even working on networking the cars, but of course, duh, cars are merest analog for smart network packets.

But these dreams are of what? Sure I always want some newer and better gadget, but isn't there so much noise that my actual being can't hold that proverbial candle to off-the-grid? Or afloat alone beyond the horizon? How can they double my internet bill for loyalty! I was a sucker in the beginning and now they own me.

The geneticists were certain too until they took a good look at dog and goldfish breeding and had to wake up to the evident fact that these massive phenotypic variations were taking place in time slices far shorter than evolutionary. And that even certain acquired or learned changes can be inherited by mechanisms of enfolding.

And surprisingly enough again once we start cataloging the human genome, we get symbiotic parasites along for that ride too when we start checking out the bacteria inside us and then discover, say, that the contents of our stomachs might have something to do with our personalities, and so God sure is a trickster when he cares for each of us, soul-wise, if we can be so different according to what we eat or maybe how our emotions change the chemistry of our stomachs. You get the point.

And how can post-post critical theorists go gunning for the Nobel prize, I really want to know. Because, I mean the anti-prior-knowledge anti-privileging of point of view goes so anti-individualistically against the grain for prizes. But the world is mostly irony, and so I suppose must God be. Still.

My problem is that I'm just not sufficiently money-motivated, or else I'd have some. I'd still have my boat afloat. But really you know I have enough, and too bad if I go and make crazy decisions like going back to make another attempt at a Ph.D. at my advanced age, as though it could do me any good. But I don't do it for me, I do it for you, you know, which is pretty damned cheeky of me if you were to ask me. As though the certificate actually means something as sound as a dollar.

Money is a life-force, at least as much as bacteria in our guts, the way it manipulates hormones and mediates so much that no matter how much style we have we still all look the same and will never be so bold as to look the way that indigenous people can without the imperial us behind borders that individualize even as they homogenize. Ironic, no?

Well, and my abstracted memory sucks too. I hardly ever remember if I saw that movie before, and which of my loves among the spectrum of children through friends and lovers I saw it with. Or visited which place, though if I un-abstract my memory by travelling the literal memory lane it's all still there. I've tried it. It's true!

And still I throw things out, which is pretty much the same then as discarding myself or allowing those digital photos to continue to pile up though I never ever look at them. Do you?

I mean, if there isn't something at my core and center then there is no I there, but still I can lay no real claim to genetic ownership of the family tree if its all mitigated by freaks of accident. And why choose this narrative over some other? It's the bugs talking. Listening in.

At the core of humanity, there would be God, analog to Chinese heart-mind though that particular locution is a radially humanistic one and not divine. You have to work for it. Which is back to my disease of self-indulgence; a treat for the fictional "I" that has no right and plenty of work to do now. But I'm really smart and so entitled and why should I have to earn my keep when looks alone suffice? If you're Robert Redford, maybe.

But we don't even allow for the existence of emotion apart from some human birthright, and how ironic that I do, cosmically, acknowledge the primordial existence of emotion even apart from humans right alongside fundamental particles which aren't even particles or even strings so much as they remain projections of conceptual certainty no matter how complicated and outered the machines for their detection since we can't quite disimplicate our selves. Nor draw a boundary where we end.

We are infiltrated, and pure full-blooded Americans are exiled away to Mexico because they don't hold patent papers on their precincts and are supposed to belong there, just like the criminals in my genetic past. Right?

I did watch, and oh how self-indulgent or maybe it's just my age cohort now since it was before 11 AM, that new Robert Redford film of the old Robert Redford. All is Lost, right?

I've seen that movie before. It's my life. I've drowned. I've died. It's your life if you're still alive because there have been so many close calls. But the sailboat, not quite up to perfect snuff and Redford old and tired, and you really can't tell if he just doesn't care to live or if he's too tired in a physical way.

My absolute favorite scene is when he shaved. Like at least you don't have to wonder the way that I always do how come the desperate guy hasn't grown a beard after so many days. And it explains why his manual bilge pump has lost its lever, or he just hasn't gotten around to replacing it.

None of it matters until it does, and boy let me tell you I did things a lot stupider on my old boat than Redford did on his there, no matter that shore was just over the horizon for me it was still to far to swim for. Or cold, he was never cold.

But we will all get to that point soon, and I don't suppose the Googleplex will clever us out of it, since they're not really all that clever. They can't be. They're too young and have spent too much time on things that aren't quite real. And then there's the money. A drug which prevents real search. Research. Which is why you hire youngsters in the first place. Callow cleverness is so cheap.

I mostly hear Johnny Cash on his final cut. Standing in for beauty. We have to feel and want our future if it is to become real. And I'm still too damned lazy to ride a bike to work. No time to train. I startle myself awake, like Ambien against thought-coma. And so attenuated from what I never was again. Give me a hand.