Enough with the gifting shit. Read a your loved one a poem. Give someone a hug or a backrub. Cook a delicious and thoughtful meal. Thank the animals that were slaughtered for your indulgence, and savor their gift, that’s really the least we can do. Thank your tree. Get together. Spread Love.
Is less of an artist and more of a curator. The curator of ingredients. Spices, oils, vegetables, meats, grains, legumes, liquids.. A slice of sourdough bread. Are not like colors, or marble, or a canvas, but pieces of art in and of themselves, true to the definition. Artisanal. Putting them together is creating the exhibition, creating the theme, the motif, the soul of the plate.
Swarm Intelligence? Bacterial logic. Millions upon millions of little homunculi. They’re alive, they’re in you, they’re operating. Gut decisions. Intuition? ‘I have a feeling about this..’ The Hunch. We know all ideas start out small, but how small exactly? Is the brain literally just processing impulses, is it the giver and receiver, and where the fuck is my subconscious located anyway? How deep does the rabbit hole go on this, I really wonder.
Two times two makes four is truth
Shame it’s light and empty
‘Cuz I rather wanted clarity
About what’s full and heavy
– Wilhelm Busch (my own translation)
This oft quoted poem, most notably by Karl Popper, reveals a fundamental problem with our desire, our standard for objectivity. If our guidelines force us to work in a way, with methods, rulesets, with a sort of asceticism of emotion and meaning, that it might restrict us in our pursuit of truth, so that the result is not a pure and universal law of truth, as the objectivists want to believe, but rather a sterile, castrated concotion of meaninglessness, then it calls into question whether we should be looking for an antiquated, dusty standard of objectivity at all. Maths is a purely logical, axiomatic system, and thus, is the implication in Busch’s poem, it’s internal results (light and empty) can never reveal answers to the profound questions we grapple with every day, the ones that essentially make us human, because they’re all about meaning (full and heavy), and therefore outside of the spectrum of objectivity and formal logic. It seems such a standard is not only incompatible with such sciences that are in the pursuit of meaning, it is even destructive, murderous, effacing. Alarmists will light their torches and march towards the tower of scientific nihilism, but a rejection of absolute objectivity does not require one to abandon an idea of particular objectivity. It may manifest itself, whether consciously or not, in a desire to look for a better suited, less judgemental language. To a rigorous methodolical standard. To intersubjectivity, consensus, a pragmatic, procedural, applied idea of objectivity. The “soft” notion of objectivity. One that is not esoteric, nor universal, but literal. A focus on the object, on all things palpable in a scientific text, on all the factors we have control, or creative freedom over. One we can better comprehend, review, apply ourselves. Objectivity as a gradient, one that gets very fuzzy on either end. That, I think, is a standard worth striving for in the scientific community.
I have an App called ‘Relaxio’ which I like very much. It has few functions: There is a choice of permanent sound effects, which you can mix and adjust to your liking. It features rain, chatter, forests, wind, rivers, oceans, thunderstorms, trains, Pink and Brown noise and many others. It is best enjoyed with in-ears or noise cancellation, Ironically. In light of Baudrilliards ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ I’ve finally managed to put in words what is similarly so pleasing yet uncanny about this App.
First off, a simulation, according to B’s definition, necessitates the death of the real. What is real about rain? Its form and visual, which is removed. It’s tactility, raindrops on our skin, its temperature, its rate. Its locality, it being bound in space and time. The smell that it carries. Its sound, most importantly, ever changing, ever depending on the surroundings. Those things that are real, all of them, are stripped away by the App. It leaves a naked, empty, simulated rain. Not even its sound, the main point of the simulation, is like that of real rain. It is a short snippet, removed from its worldly context, surgically, and looped infinitely. It is missing all of the real, which has instead been replaced by the operational mechanism of the simulation. “Meaning, truth, the real cannot appear except locally, in a restricted horizon, they are partial objects, partial effects of the mirror and of equivalence.”
Reading Simulacra and Simulations has spooked me the fuck out. Constantly I am seeing new simulations inmy own life flash before my third eye. When you realize that certain narratives, ideas, indicators, models, shape the way you think, what way to retaliate is there? How do we even strike back? Or is it simply navel-gazing, wanting-to-see, wanting this book to be meaningful? Can’t you view practically everything through the lense of Simulacra and Simulation? Lately I’ve had an epiphany about porno, based on really just a short sentence, a snippet of an undeveloped idea. It develops, grows roots, until it is steadfast implanted in my mind. I can’t share it, precisely because it sent a shiver down my spine and revealed some things that I might not be ready to deal with.. yet:
The pleasure of an excess of meaning, when the bar of the sign falls below the usual waterline of meaning: the nonsignifier is exalted by the camera angle. There one sees what the real never was (but “as if you were there”), without the distance that gives us perspectival space and depth vision (but “more real than nature”). Pleasure in the microscopic simulation that allows the real to pass into the hyperreal. (This is also somewhat the case in porno, which is fascinating more on a metaphysical than on a sexual level.)
Get it? Well, you don’t have to. Half this book is indecypherable for a small light like moi. Oddly enough it feels like his ideas still stick, like one can suck all the meaning out of a passage without understanding half of it. Maybe that is his forte, too, to convey ideas not solely based on concise language, but based on something that goes beyond feelings, a sort of inherent understanding of concepts we have internalized subconsciously, but cannot explain with our conscious mind. Seldom has a book manage to both captivate and influence me. Still, I remain critical. Still, I re-read every passage, and sometimes declare them overtly wordy bullshit. Mental masturbation with no trajectory or body. It’s a conflicting read. You can be sure that in the future, there will be more Baudrilliard, hopefully next time it’ll be something substantial, an Essay perhaps, and not another directionless ramble.
So the American, when talking about any place in this world, is really (also) talking about America, or maybe rather “his” America. It’s like in Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” when Marco Polo, sitting by the fire with Genghis Khan, conjures up dozens of dreamlike, incredible and detailed cities, but they’re all aspects of Venice.