The dissertation…

In the cool of the morning as the heat builds up, hiding in the library, wandering around the stacks, meandering around the half read ideologies, in the chaotics of writing your dissertation.

epistemological obstacles…

…epistemological obstacles, used more or less in the sense that Gaston Bachelard (formation of the scientific mind) meant it;  referencing the burdens of tradition that slow down and prevent scientific, philosophical and cultural  analyses and perhaps even raise false expectations that cannot be met or despite the problems hinted at here cannot be replaced. In this context then tradition   can be said to have responded to natural questions and in the simple problematics of the past to have provided answers.  In the present however science, philosophy and cultural analyses have become theory dependent, whose solutions can only be judged within the context being hinted at here…. The epistemological obstacles blocking our ways forward, which include the definitions of information, the canons, the unworkable ideas, dominant ideologies, are all insufficiently complex and completely overestimate their ability to deal with the objects and relations that are at stake… epistemological obstacles block everything…

serres durations and cycles

”..To safeguard the earth or respect the weather, the wind and rain, we would have to think toward the long term and because we don’t live out in the weather, we’ve unlearned how to think in accordance with its rhythms and its scope. Concerned with maintaining his position, the politician makes plans that rarely go beyond the next election, the administrator reigns over the next fiscal budgetary year, and news goes out on a daily and weekly basis, As for contemporary science, its born in journal articles that almost never go back more than ten years; even if work on the paleoclimate recapitulates tens of millennia, it goes back less than three decades itself….” MIchel Serres

Kristeva Strangers…

(in a strange land within my country… Aragon) …strange indeed is the encounter with the other… confronting the foreigner whom i reject and with whom at the same identify… I lose my composure. I feel lost, indolent, hazy…. Yet the foreigner is within us. And when we flee from or struggle against the foreigner, we are fighting our unconscious …. delicately, analytically… we must be taught to detect foreignness in ourselves…. By recognizing our uncanny strangeness we shall neither suffer from it nor enjoy it from the outside.The foreigner is within me, hence we are all foreigners. If i am a foreigner there are no foreigners…. (Julia Kristeva Strangers to Ourselves, some from page 192)

summer…

We are sitting in the shade of the library, the doors folded open to let the summer heat enter the room. Chatting easily about the decades we have been living together, our friends, those who couldn’t live together, those who shouldn’t and those who are still surprisingly living together, like us really. Outside beyond the garden’s boundaries, young girls are shrieking with pleasure. Too far away to go to the fence to see what is causing the commotion. The garden chimes  ring in the hot summer breeze. It was raining during the night and occasionally in the morning, but now the moisture has mostly evaporated.  Across the room as we talk of possible endings that never happened, I see a copy of Julio Cortazar’s Around The Day in Eighty Worlds… it’s been on some shelf or other since 1990, nobody has opened it for at least five years. There is an advertising postcard for a bar in Paleo date  Wednesday 19th August… "I am indebted to Lester Young. One night  when Lester filled the melody of ‘thee little words’ with smoke and rain, I understood better than ever the way great jazzmen would stay faithful  to a theme by playing against it, transformng it and rendering it iridescent…."(3) Tomorrow it is supposed to rain heavily but that is another world all together….

falling…

i will explain the motion by which the generative bodies of matter give birth to various things, and , after they are born, dissolve them once more…..’ Lucretius  …The office is on the twenty first  floor, there are forty eight landings and flights of stairs, you have no idea how many floors there are in the building.  You moved down from the north a few months ago on getting the appointment. It is an early evening in high summer, after 8pm but still light. We are looking out of the window to the west and waiting for the sun to almost set. A climber passes by edging there way carefully up the grid to the right of your window,  they smile at you and wave.  Shortly afterwards their partner follows them, you think they look slightly more confident as they acknowledge your hello. We are  waiting for the 8.30 security guard as she will be the last guard of the evening, the cleaners went through cleaning the floor at 6.30. I am eating the remains of the salad from the coffee bar. We have not decided whether to take your sleeping bag up to the roof to sleep tonight in the lea of the giant water tank or whether to open the window of the office and sleep on the carpeted floor….When you arrived in London you imagined that you would get a room, a flat perhaps in the East of the city. Having been told by your parents and friends that was where people migrated too, that it was where you’d find a place to live. Instead you have an office and a roof to sleep on, and a man who occasionally comes to visit you to talk and sleep with you and at weekends you stay with him in a flat in Dover Square. Years will pass before you can explain why it is you didn’t live with him in the flat at that moment, children will be born, governments will fall, years of psychoanalysis will pass, topologies change and papers published explaining the end of a dominant ideological trope, only then in the depths of the suburban countryside will you be able to explain why. In this moment though as the sun moves to the right and your face is warmed by the late evening rays,  such thoughts are far away in the distant future. …Falling bodies pass the window. As the bodies pass  its impossible to tell which form of falling it is, whether it is the continuous downward fall of (bodies)atoms, each moving at the same speed and in the same direction, or if  its the kind of movement that encompasses  the  collision of atoms (bodies) (plagae) which causes vortices and compound bodies of matter to develop on a macroscopic scale. That is, they become fused into the elementary building blocks which give rise to matter and life ‘being driven into closer union and held there by the entanglement of their interlocking shapes..’  The third is the clinamen or the swerve, which Lucretius so perfectly describes as a spontaneous and infinitesimally small change of direction in the course of an atom’s downward fall. The fluidity of the downward fall appearing by chance in the laminar flow. The importance of this minute deviation, the indirection cannot be overestimated:‘If it were not for this swerve, everything would fall downwards like raindrops through the abyss of space. No collision would take place and no impact of atom upon atom would be created. Thus nature would never have created anything.’ The falling bodies pass the window, their bodies catching the onset of turbulence within the laminar flow, which they caused with the minute unseen gesture as they leaned forward, the even downward flow of atoms,  their arms and legs  They catch the thermal updraft,  the photons from the sun warming the air on the side of the building, they glide away from the building, slowing their descent along the long curve that crosses Millbank and  out over the river, towards the waiting boat, the first person lands in the river and is hauled onto the boat as the second lands gently and perfectly on the deck of the boat. The boat zooms off upriver, vanishing under the bridges, chaos bubbling in their wake… ‘…oh…’ She puts her arm around him glad for the moment that they have collided rather than swerved.  The collision of atoms watching the consequences of the swerve…
Years later he will drive past the building and watch others climb and remember that moment, parking he stands watching and remembering indifferent to the fact he’ll be late for the interview.

from the 1870s….

Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It holds tight an author’s phrase, uses his expressions, eliminates a false idea, and replaces it with just the right idea.  – Comte de Lautréamont

hard and soft…

…. we call work at an entropic level hard: hammer blows on a chisel, steel melting, engines or nuclear bombs.  We call acts at the information level soft: traces, marks, signs, codes and ther meaning…. a kind of paleolithic age is ending. Today an unpredictable bifurcation is taking place: it is the end of the hard and the beginning of the soft. It concerns not only the soft of morality but also of codes, the theoretical, scholarly and work related soft; for example, as blue collar work is lessening, there is an immense  in crease in white collar work in production, the law and  collective activities. This soft makes access and intervention possible. We have arrived at the deep tectonic plate where encounters, short circuits and ruptures between hard and soft provoke earthquakes… (p71-72) A Time of Crisis - Serres

hayfever..

Every itchy eye, every sneeze always catches us by surprise, an unexpected moment when nature penetrates the skin of our body through one of the many holes in the skin, encouraging us, in what sense? We might recognise in the bright midday light (I transcribe this from a notebook at midday in July) that we are impossible to satisfy, that we can never transcend our limitations, because we are determined by the limitations of our bodies, with our itchy eyes, thinking of where we left the anti-histamines. We breathe deeply and the sneeze explodes into the air, involuntarily we move, with a reaction equivalent to some definable thermodynamic force, we deflate and collapse into ourselves, feeling flushed at the expenditure of energy we can no longer afford at our age. Later, the next morning when we are suffering under another set of allergic sneezing, regretting that the pill has not yet worked, pouring a glass of fruit juice into a glass to take the blood pressure medicine, also necessary to slow down the inevitable entropic decline, aren’t we slightly saddened by our thermodynamic sneezing and its trivial effect…