The Blue Raccoon

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Post-Root Canal Ruminations
China Town bus to NYC; Don Fontaine and David Foster Wallace

Doesn't matter if it's art; it's just plain big. Jeff Koons Up On The Roof: image by Karen Jones via metromix. John Pereault's take on this exhibition in his Artopia says it far better than me, and you can see so here. I confess: I don't like the stuff, and don't care, and

Billion-eyed audience, never fear, I'm still alive just drugged after a root canal procedure, and missing Amie, whom I put on a plane to New Orleans for an arts conference on Monday.

I thought I'd catch up on a few random matters to enliven and entertain your perusal of the blogosphere.

Persistence of Memory

I got to thinking about memory when on WRIR I caught a broadcast of a RadioLab episode from earlier in the year about the ephemeral nature of remembering and forgetting. Fascinating stuff. Upshot is, according to the most recent science, memory is not like some big file cabinet, nor even computer storage, but it's more like painting. Memories are recreated even as they are stored. And we make them over, like a painter, sometimes adding elements that weren't even present when the even occurred. RadioLab is here.

Which flashed me into the Hadron Collider experiements -- the HLC, by the way, which is already experiencing engine difficulty. Before we can glimpse into the potential of other universes, the HLC needs to work in this one, as the Telegraph's Roger Highfield explains here.

But what if we find that the Big Bang turns into the Super Big Gulp, and comes out the other side as yet another Big Bang? The Universe recreates -- but not the same way every time.

This goes back to Chronon Theory that basically stipulates how reality can be broken into distinct and discrete particles of that are strung together like beads on a string, or even images in a motion picture. That like inhaling and exhaling, in each frame the universe comes into being and is "destroyed" in simultaniety. This gets into the Creator-Destroyer of the Hindu god Shiva.

What Chronon Theory suggests then like beads or movie images, there is a gap between them. There might be an "inifinite series of real, solid universes stuck into the probability gaps between quantum gaps of our own," as described by Cliff Pickover in Time: A Traveler's Guide, here.

And I thought of death, and how that experience may resemble going under in an anesthetic coma, and you fade away, and probably nothing -- unless you fall through the cracks into an alternate universe, as another entity somewhere else.

That's a huge amount of theory, and goes a long way to understand why we've devised gods and angels and demons to explain it all through metaphor. "My Father's house hath many mansions," yes, yes indeed it just very well may.

Cosmologist Paul Davies in his The Cosmic Jackpot theorizes that the Universe has engineered its own self-awareness. Mind and Life are fundamental particles in Creation. Life and the Universe that brought it into being are part of a explanatory statement. The Universe is a great cosmic computer, and Thought its software -- didn't we get this with The Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy?

He also states with great emphasis that you can't travel back in time or send information through. Humph. Near as I know, that's all still a theory. See Paul J. Nahin's Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction, Second Edition.

Davies says Mind and Universe will at some point in the future merge. What we do today, what human beings choose to measure, what gets measured today effects what happens in the distant past -- sounds weird but weird things happen in quantum physics.

Reality is an amalgam of histories of the past, thus, what we study today, affects the past. Mind/Universe is in a constant process self-revelation--computing itself; refining and polishing. Davies isn't partial to the idea that life was imprinted from outside. The Universe generated Mind. It's always thinking about...itself. What happens when Deep Thought reaches a conclusion?

Unique New York

I leave these cosmic considerations for a more urbane excursion; this past Sunday Amie and I took the 1 a.m. China Town bus from Richmond to New York. Her mission was to see the Louise Bourgeois closing that weekend at the Guggenheim, the nocturnal Van Gogh opening at MoMA and works of Girogio Morandi at the Met, which she'd never seen much of person, but in books. There's one at the Virginia Museum.

I carried with me the page proofs for Richmond In Ragtime and on various street corners, and in the hushed and bright courtyards of museums, and upon the splendid roof of MoMA with views spoiled by Jeff Koons, I power read and circled words that needed to be changed, lines to cut, repetitions to reduce. And all this while on vicodin.

How grand it is to enter the city just at dawn, and experience the place waking up to itself. The light and the shadows of exquisite early autumn day in New York. I gawked at architecture, some of the buildings landmarked, others not. The Bayard-Condict halted me like a stunning woman.

This Louis Sullivan building is astonishing; without being fussy, it also like an elegant sculpted confection. I did not know this place and had to cross the street and learn its name. You can share the fascination here.

To cure my early morning grumpiness, we breakfasted at Le Basket, 683 Broadway, got an omelette and an outdoor table--those sleek, chrome cafe kind, easy to clean and durable-- and watched regulars come in and chat up the proprietor as the city stirred and hooted awake, and I had my New York Times and though the headlines were in almost every way dire, the day seemed impervious to disaster. The coffee was a tonic.

I will continue my varied ruminations about NYC, the collapse of the nation, and all that other stuff, later in the day.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home