Monday, August 15, 2005

What?

Things happening in that other dimension or those other dimensions probably impinge on our universe. All sorts of wild imaginings come to mind, but any other world would make no more sense than our own, and no less. Our universe as the snow globe in Citizen Kane. What the hell is this? Never mind why, when, where, just what? What? What is this? Big bang! Gets us nowhere. What what what. Rocks. What are rocks? Iron. What is iron? Atoms. What are atoms? Bits of atoms. What are bits of atoms? Energy. What is energy? Something. What is that something? Something else. What is that something else? Nobody knows. We don't know what we are, or what our world is.

Nothing one can propose can be built on anything but sand. At the end of every proposed explanation is another question: what is it made of? As T. S. Eliot said (in The Rock?) all of our knowledge only brings us closer to our ignorance. How can I think and write and listen to sweet Paul Simon melodies and wear out my creaking knuckles and program computers and live and die in ignorance and everyone we know all disappear and stupid mad animals massacre people and disease boil us alive, dismantle and eat us, and still Paul Simon is singing so sweetly, and all the gods fight it out in a temple amongst themselves, and...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

State of the universe

Following from previous speculations (below). Observation leads to description which is the attribution of properties to entities. Entities have properties whose state only they themselves "know" authoritatively, e.g. alive. Albeit consisting of mutually ignorant entities, the universe nevertheless is the set of all properties of all entities according to their owners.

Nothing and nobody inside the universe can have an overview, which might require an additional dimension or additional dimensions. Seen from a world with an additional dimension, our universe becomes an observable object, like the snow globe in Citizen Kane maybe. To us the extra dimension is a physical barrier, absolute and unvarying to all within our universe because not observed by any, like the barrier of the third dimension to a 2-D line drawing.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

"If I want your opinion I'll give it to you," said the dying man to the doctor

How can we know the dancer from the dance? (W. B. Yeats)

Thinking about those imaginary people who go off on rockets at nearly the speed of light, and come back after only a year in their own lives to find that thousands of years have elapsed here on Earth...

It is people's own version of events that is authoritative for matters concerning themselves, most dramatically whether they are alive or dead. How somebody else perceives the timing of one's being alive or dead may be interesting and strange, but it is irrelevant to oneself as the owner of the attribute "alive".

From various vantage points, other people may think that one dies at different times, some seeing one drop down dead later than others see the same thing. Nobody may see it sooner than it actually happens, I hope it's safe to assume. If the soonest to know is oneself (not that one can really know, being dead), can we say that the time when it occurs is the only possible time for the owner of the attribute, and always earlier than all other observations?

So even though different observers can't agree on the timing, there is a time in all of their pasts after they have seen it, which corresponds to the time in the dying person's present. The event in the owner's realm, in this case the owner's death, is a fixed mark around which the observers are arranged and correlated. There is one absolute version that is authoritative, the owner's version, and it determines the observers' experiences absolutely.

All versions are not equal, since the secondary ones held by the observers are variously inaccurate, but the owner's version is absolute and it precedes and controls the others. The mistake is to say that all versions are equally valid. You could say that you don't really care about the attributes of an event according to the owner of the attributes until they impinge on you, however it is the case that you are at the mercy of those incoming attributes as they were established before they reached you. Your fate was sealed in the realm of the owner, in that sense.

Therefore it is necessary to get rid of the idea that one can see anything happening, all that can be seen is a trace after something has happened. In effect we don't see anything, we only see images and traces of things. That is what seeing is, it's a property of the observer, arising in response to events that have already occurred earlier. As to what things are, we can't say, all we know are the effects they produce.

Even though we have the fascinating mystery of living in a haze of relativism, where none can see any other accurately, and "outside" things are not the same for any two people or for any two entities, we still have absolutes within us about which we know with authority. We know we're alive as long as we're alive, and we know what we think and feel, absolutely unmoderated by anybody else's version. Our subjective experience is ours alone. Outside people and entities also know about the attributes they own. Communication bridges the uncertainty, it is transmission and reception, across the quagmire of timespace, with noise and delays on the line. Over.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Update

DeadDrunkDublin feature

Carmencita has found a home. The "drunk" bit reminds me that "Novices and Pros" was originally going to have this epigraph: "Desperation and drink are bad guides. One will make you walk all over town and never meet anybody you know. The other will lead you to the wrong people and the wrong places."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Slag Lit.

Carmencita is a sort of anti Bridget Jones, who leaves a trail of destruction wherever she goes. I must post an excerpt sometime. Any agents or publishers reading? I need an advance. I'm brassic.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What is seen and what is

Can an entity have properties of its own, known only to itself, were it capable of knowing, and so absolute not relative? Isn't the falling item, whether observed from a train or from an embankment, only what it is itself, and not the varying impressions that observers receive?

We only know what we can observe ("seeing is believing") but that is a problem not an advantage. Otherwise why say "only"? Our impressions are always to some extent out-of-step with underlying reality.

The inner properties of something may be held in a fixed frame of reference which is the containing item itself. Equally the frame of reference that is authoritative for effects on an entity, is its own frame of reference, what it encounters from its vantage point. That we cannot see things that way is merely our problem.

Two entities may collide and the fact that various others cannot see the collision at the same times is their problem. It's no consolation to the items which collide and are destroyed. When did it happen? When the entities collided. Never mind where we were. We had a distorted view of each entity, and we will receive a distorted view of when they collided, but the entities are not in any doubt themselves. When did it happen? Ask the collision. When did we see it? At different times.

Things have conditions and properties which we try and ultimately are not able precisely to discover. Does the theory of relativity confuse what is observed with what is at the point that owns the attribute, where the attribute is a condition of the entity and not a condition of its image? Images are distorted, but attributes that underly them are authoritative. Relying on images, we cannot see in a precise or timely way, that which the items in question "experience" or bear as attributes of themselves.

So turning to that intangible and much denied concept, the soul, and thereby losing the goodwill of any readers who've got this far, maybe it is the sum of one's absolute attributes, known not to oneself even but to itself, invisible and inexpressible except imperfectly, about which one can only wonder.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Square one*

There are now so many books it's as if there were no books. And so much of every medium it's as if there were no media. If everything is told then we're back to square one, with as much to make sense of as we started with and no distillation, no reduction, no summary, the "raised voice" of the poet inaudible in the racket, the vision of the painter indecipherable in the welter, and as for music, forget it.

But it's a fallacy, because there's a new world for every individual, every day, untold, undepicted, unlived, unknown, and other things starting with "un". Yes, you got it, the old world is gone with the wind.

*On browsing www.granta.com