29 August 2010

September 11, 2001: Apparently Living in Infamy

The Smoke in the Far Distance

I guess everyone you meet in New York City, that is, if you propose enough time and conversation with the person, and supposing they've lived in New York City long enough, will have their own 9/11 story. Its a date we were reminded of daily for an entire year after its occurrence. Most of us remember the night before and the day after. There wasn't much of anything else on anyone's mind in New York City for the rest of that week, perhaps for the rest of that month. And it might've not just been exclusive to New York City; to say there wasn't much of anything else on anyone's mind in the rest of the country, might not be that far or conceited of a stretch. Going back to my opening sentence, perhaps regardless of where the person lived at the time, everyone has a 9/11 story to tell.

The week of 9/11 was the week after my grandmother died. Technically a week but in actuality, a full seven days had not yet passed since Friday September 7, 2001, when in the early AM, on a hospital bed, Dominga Baptista-Encarnacion passed away. A date was scheduled with Ortiz Funeral Home but had to be moved because many of our relatives were not allowed in New York City, via bridge, boat, or airport. The funeral for which I awoke on the morning of Tuesday September 11, 2001 happened to occupy a much grander day for Death. Postponed for Friday the 14th, I would spend the late afternoon after the funeral in a housing projects' staircase, awkwardly entertaining a girl who wanted to do more than just sit in poorly lit silence.

In general, events rarely inspire a strong emotional reaction from me. Whether my grandmother's death, a terrorist attack, or a sexually curious girl--my unaffected distance made me weightless to any gravity any of these respectively offered. As I sat on those steps in the projects staircase, I wasn't distracted by my grandmother, or Death at all for that matter. It wasn't that I was reflecting on my nineteen year old life, and couldn't respond to obvious hints from the girl seated beside me. It wasn't 9/11. She didn't care, I didn't care--I just sort of didn't like her and was nervous to be there absorbing her intentions. By the time I cleared out, abruptly and perhaps a bit embarrassed, I could honestly say that I wasn't at all thinking of 9/11.

The South Bronx, September 11, 2001 - On rooftops, neighbors watched the smoke in the far distance; children returned from dismissed classes, adults from dismissed jobs. Images, repeated on television gave you a bizarre surreality, like watching a film on screen and then opening a window and seeing the scene become real. Yet, from The South Bronx it seemed so small, out of our reach even. There was a certain level of disconnection on that morning, a certain amount of unaffected coldness towards the September 11th Attack--towards terrorism--towards the future. Its not that I or some of my friends didn't care, we just didn't one hundred percent feel as if it was happening to us. In fact, nothing had happened to us, we each awoke in our beds and if it wasn't for Television or Radio, we wouldn't have known about 9/11 until later in the day or evening, maybe not even till the next day. Of course there was one out of five of us who felt the impact and felt like joining the armed forces, we laughed at him. We spent the afternoon at the barber's shop, someone was getting a shape-up and we said things like,

"Its payback for all the fucked up shit this country does to the middle east."

"Thats what we get for not minding our own business."

"That shit would never happen in The Bronx."

"That shit was sad though--people jumping, people on fire, thats a fucked up way to die."

There are some people who live and die in The Bronx, who were raised and schooled in The Bronx, who eat, sleep, and work in The Bronx, who fuck in The Bronx, get married and have kids in The Bronx. They take vacations to other states, to visit family not to experience a new area; some go to caribbean islands, mostly to party. Manhattan is like Las Vegas to them, a party town, one which they couldn't imagine becoming a permanent part of, one in which what happens there, remains there. Its a bright light circus, a club hopping spectacle--as strange as the idea of viewing The Bronx as a small town, especially considering how close it is to Manhattan (its one of the 5 boroughs after all) some of its residents have small town mentalities.

Everyone had a different reaction, I am not the spokesperson for The Bronx, some people attacked convenient stores during that week, there was a strong anti-arabic atmosphere in the air, ignorant and brash. Others were scared, locked inside, for them the attack was just the beginning, a war was on the verge of breaking open, spilling onto our streets, shattering like a cracked glass that finally gives. There were others who were just confused, who were overwhelmed by excess tragedy and minimal explanation, not necessarily having a reaction, only numb and stunned by the interruption of it all. I'm certain this wasn't limited to only The Bronx, but that's what I saw because that's where I spent the week.

So my friends and I didn't take 9/11 seriously. In the weeks that followed most of us were of the opinion the whole event was staged to get us into war, in a general we-have-no-real-evidence-to-prove-this sort of way; nor did we care to investigate. The birth of Post 9/11 had changed the view of not only the skyline but also our perspectives. In the months that followed Innocence and Trust were concepts that were tested by the governing actions of the country we lived under. Danger and Fear were the new unofficial ad campaigns; boosting isolation and encouraging technological communication (text messages, myspace, facebook). We didn't have cellphones and television wasn't that interesting prior to 9/11, people needed to stay home and safe, to constantly be in contact with one another. Bush "stealing" the 2000 election was hardly an issue as most people forgot about it by then, For myself, it was like pointillism, where you had to stand back to see the full picture. The closer you stood geographically and emotionally, the more the mess of dots would distort the image. American flags annoyed me, angry veterans shook me to Casper, soldiers with firearms in subway stations professed me to a Masters Degree in Paranoia and Anxiety. Whenever I look back I remember how I almost fooled around in projects staircase on the same day as my grandmother's funeral, I remember how much I hate Parkchester because I spent a full, rainy Monday, September 10th out there dropping fliers for NYC mayoral candidate, Mark Green (election day was 9/11). I remember when the 2nd plane hit, up until the two towers fell. I was in bed, listening to the television in the adjacent living room; my sister had yelled out to me to come and watch, I was too tired.

Today, almost a decade later, the event is even further away. Its as if everything that happened after that date went out of its way to normalize the September 11th Attack. To blend the sudden surprise of the attack with a surreal world of constant surveillance, constant diminishing freedoms, desensitized acceptance of our "War on Terror" which might as well be the War with Eurasia or East Asia. Misinformation, distraction, pills for ignoring what should be your natural reaction to this brave new world. Staring at the Seurat becomes more difficult as every time you move back a bit further they blow up the image, enlarging the picture until you, the viewer, either gives in and joins the distortion or leaves the gallery all together.

28 August 2010

There's No Spark, No Light in the Dark

On Decisions Made During Seemingly Insignificant Moments

Life being a series of decisions, one can spend countless amounts of time and energy analyzing whether one's actions (or inactions) were played out intelligently. Wondering if one has made the right choice or performed at their possibly best, considering their circumstance(s). Your mind may flood with "should I have said no?" "Should I have spoken up?" "Should I have waited or hurried?" "Should I have anticipated and/or prepared this?" If you're conscious then most likely every significant action has a gravity that acts upon it through these after-thoughts. There is such a thing as a past but its full of spotlit moments for which these questions hang over like a banner. For every decision you make, a thousand doubts can manifest instantly--just standing at a street corner, awaiting a red signal can become a conference of mind, especially if the vehicles are far enough. "I should've crossed?" "Could I have crossed?" "I could've been across the street by now." "I should've been across the street--down the next block by now." "All this time thinking could've been me crossing and reaching the other side by now." "Why didn't I cross?"

Us humans possess a terrible ordeal called Intelligence, better yet, self-consciousness. "Thus conscience does make cowards" as Hamlet concludes in his famous soliloquy. "And the native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, and enterprises of great pitch and moment with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action." When I first read Hamlet, which was relatively recently after years of a general impression painted by pop culture, I realized that To Be or Not To Be, though mortally interpreted as To Live or Not To Live could also be translated as To Act or Not To Act. Especially with the final words in the quote, "turn awry and lose the name of action." Hamlet is almost realizing that over-analyzing and over-plotting may in fact dull the passion of the act itself--in the play, avenging of his father's murder. We can all identify with Hamlet in that we've all experienced at one time or another, a moment when conviction waned as a result of thinking too much. When logic stepped into the picture and rationalized brash impulse. Which can be quite helpful in certain circumstances like marrying a stranger but absolutely destroy much lighter moments, say like complimenting a stranger, who may become your significant other; whom in time perhaps you'll marry.

I am no enemy to self-consciousness, I feel if we are aware of other people then it is only natural that we be aware of ourselves. We live too close to one another to ignore the proximity--to pretend we don't observe our behaviors, to compare, contrast, judge, and imitate one another. In studying others, we look inward and study how we relate, we establish ideas of preference, and judge what comfort individually means for ourselves.

The problem with constantly looking inward and organizing information; filing away, neatly, all the data before arriving at an answer, besides the time wasted, the problem is the un-exercised muscles of instinct. Through experience, one's mind and body should become more and more unified. As an adult, one's coordination to perform the act of walking is so seamless and mathematically precise, that it feels as if one's mind isn't involved, in the slightest bit, with one's moving legs--as if the body were acting on its own, without thought. The older you get, the more confident you'll become if you practice acting on impulse. Even if the impulses result in mistakes, these are the mistakes you'll learn from, thus writing new involuntary codes into the physical language of your impulse. "Go with your heart," a cliche that only got to that memetic point through some degree of reinforcement by truth, will in fact work someday, as it learns from trial and error. But Self-Consciousness has a huge prejudice against Humility.

Need-less-to-say, especially since Thom Yorke has sung it for us, over-analysis, "gets you down...it gets you down. You traveled far. What have you found? That there's no time. There's no time. To analyze. To think things through. To make sense." As Hamlet stands alone contemplating action, measuring his conviction and patience, his constitution for morality and hypocrisy Yorke sings to him, "A self-fulfilling prophesy of endless possibility. You roll in reams across the street--In algebra, in algebra. The fences you cannot climb. The sentences that do not rhyme...it gets you down." Prophesy is a very crucial concept in over-analysis. Well, prophecy is too romantic a word, foresight and anticipation are more modestly accurate. Our ability to look ahead, and hope situations arrive in a pleasing manner --in a favorable pre-planned program that we can rehearse and thereby control.This need for control is usually constructed by past memories that have conformed individuals into requiring second chances in order to retry their actions with knowledge of how everything will turn out. Crossing a street during a green light is extremely important if its happened that the opportunity to perform this action was provided before in the past but not exercised.

I'm so blinded by the past I can't see where the future lies; that's right, the future lies, past tells the truth, the present is open and this empty box is the proof...

Cryptic One's lyrics very vividly describes the predicament of a choice, the inability to successfully determine, through analysis, spontaneous decisions--However, when faced with To Act or Not To Act, my advice is take a walk, and at some point look down at your legs. See as they move, as they coordinate step after step, notice how you don't have to think about every muscle, its without your personal command that this amazing synchronization is collecting into a movement, into an action. Act. Act now and sort everything out later. Its the only way to pass insignificant moments from present to future within a random universe.

18 August 2010

And Nature Said Let Us Make Genes in Our Image


In the beginning, after the Creation, Nature (God) had just finished with Adam, the first single-cell. Nature had promised Adam all the living things of Earth, they would all somehow be the property of this first single-cell. Nature soon realized that Adam desired a companion, a way to survive and a proliferation that Nature itself also desired from Adam. This was when Adam was introduced to a process called reproduction, and he was split in half--this second half was called Eve. She was an exact replicate of Adam, equal in every way, without even a gender to separate the two from one another. Nature then instructed the two to propagate the garden, to spread over Eden and fully populate it.

It wasn't long before all of Eden was home to single-cells, copies of copies--very few altering from the majority. Some of the single-cells grouped into multi-celled units. These minute complexities inspired more absorption of energies. Eden was not equipped for the necessities of all the multi-celled units; Adam and Eve soon found that they had exhausted all of their resources. All except for the Tree of Knowledge, whose energy they were forbidden to use. The Tree of Knowledge was golden and far away but its fruit fell daily onto the garden. Within each ray of light that shone from the tree's branches, more than enough sufficient energy was to be discovered. But Nature had not permitted its usage. All would've remained as such if Evolution had not crawled into the garden and spoke onto Eve, "surely you shall not really die if you disobeyed Nature." Eve had designed a method called photosynthesis, and used energy from the Tree of Knowledge, she taught Adam and together they had solved their problem of limited resources--as the Tree daily shone and provided Knowledge.

For disobeying Nature, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. They were banished in the sense that Eden was removed from Earth, either buried beneath it or hidden above it. Photosynthesis had established a new excess of oxygen and carbon dioxide which Eden never carried, never intended. This banishment East of Eden, was an atmosphere that sheltered Earth and inspired complex forms of multi-celled units. And here we still are. Adam and Eve within us, the Tree of Knowledge above us, and Evolution constantly whispering new suggestions.

16 August 2010

Awaiting Water From the Overcast

Water: Beautiful Mother, Home, and Soul

Today under an overcast morning sky, I anticipated water. The wild silver fumes of clouds that puff over expansively remind me that they were once parts of oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes, any language of water affected enough by heat to condensate. Water is quite a pleasing notion to me, ever the symbol for such ideas as change, birth and purity, life and consciousness--it is quite difficult to not be drawn to it. Accounting for 70% of the Earth's surface and a similar 70% of our interior human bodies, its not so easily an ignorable element. Exiting the 6 station at Astor Place, I look up and marvel at the compilation of Earth's aquatic surfaces holding their breath in a gaseous phase, I think of Baudelaire's poem which ends, "Eh, qu' aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire etranger?" to which the etranger replies, "J'aime les nuages...les nuages qui passent...la bas...la bas...les merveilleux nuages!" Over there...over there...the marvelous clouds.

Whether poured into a tall drinking glass or spraying out from a shower head; whether lubricating a tube-slide at an amusement park or obscuring distance through a dense fog--from pools to beaches, fountains to waterfalls, ice cubes and vapors, streams, brooks, geysers and rapids; fire hoses and hydrotherapy--Water, from all its uses to its most sub-molecular levels of design, seems to me one of the most wonderful inventions of nature. Of nature and perhaps, of the universe.

I was by the Hudson yesterday. Resting on the grass, reading The Mating Mind, and watching the sky begin its sentimental songs of farewell through the blushing colors of dusk. I sat up and glanced over at the river. Before even reaching the Hudson, I could see the river from a distance, as I walked down Bank, right in the middle of the street against the seldom traffic. Between rows of apartment houses that shrank into a converging vantage point, a blue horizon--that with sun-reflecting glints, sparkled; a blue horizon stood like a wall at the eventual seemingly dead-end of Bank Street. Of course one knows better, Bank Street doesn't end with the Hudson, it ends with the Westside Highway--which one has to wait an expensive amount of time before a red light allows you to dissect across, onto the bike path and promenade of Hudson River Park.

When I glanced over to the river, it was the sparks, like spontaneous electric snaps that jumped from the wavy surface of the water, that caught my attention. Among all the separate waves that interacted, shifting this way and that, affected by the wind and the slightest movement from boats, vessels or lifeforms above or below--among the waves, the sun reflected and shimmered, like gilded coins, falling from the sun's palms and bouncing on the skin of the river before sinking within. I thought about randomness. I observed the lack of pattern from where the sparks would jump; contrary to anticipation, they would appear from no apparent set sequence or order. Just as the waves themselves had no apparent, determinable pattern, nor did the shards of sun that surfed them. I got my mind thinking about sparks of life, the human soul if you'd humor me such a term. I thought that this must be what it looks like from a universal perspective--that all life, each individual can be represented as a falling gilded coin; that the surface is the momentary life they live until finally submerging. The spark is the bounce of life, its wave which we ride only for the most temporary of time and space. Our souls are probably such a thing, dropping from an eminent source onto a reflective surface, a liquid mirror and we all appear as random specks. No sooner do we surface than we submerge, never again to repeat. Only we don't really submerge because we were never truly on the surface in the first place; we were only a reflection of the source to which we return. We are all the source, collectively.

This talk of souls and sources, reflection and randomness, is in fact, only randomness. It is definitely not the point I meant to arrive at. I meant to only illustrate my love for water, how it calms me and how mesmerizing it can be to just stare at that moving element, or technically two elements dancing as a compound. Its so pure and gracing; if nothing else is, water is truth--Truth, yet its surreal and consistent but flexible. "Be formless, shapeless--like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water in a bottle it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash, be water my friend," Bruce Lee tells us. Put water in a human...? It has adapted to us, water has taken our shape and acts through us but can we in turn take from its example, to be true yet remain surreal; be consistent yet flexible.

All He Can Say


He told her she's a walking poem written by Neruda. Said her dark skin reminds him of a tree but feels like a dolphin. Her eyes dug into his heart and blinded his pulse, the curve of her lips swung like hips to the dance of her smile; she was a song he hadn't learn the words to yet. Repeating her spanish name in his head, trying to trace the shape of her from each letter, tonguing the syllables, tasting every corner of the pronunciation; she was enough to press against and have her pull from his mouth a word, a promise, a lie, a truth, a joke, a name, a question, an answer, an excuse, an insult, a tease, an apology, an idea, a confession, a kiss, a groan, a smile, a whisper, a bite, a growl, a whistle, a sip, a pout; anything, anything that he felt would strike a reaction out of that face, that body, that mind--such an achievement would be like watching God create light based upon your request.

10 August 2010

A Domestic Death

On things being too easy, on the absence of challenges and obstacles, on the attainability of goals without the compromising cost of energy--without the tests of will power, or gauges of endurance. The bitter battle scars that only sweeten the final victory--going back once again, to Icarus--Conflict must exist.

Sacrifice, risk, moral twilight...Whatever the end, remember that through the means, there will be blood. Is it justified? Does the passion equal the task? That is for the individual to decide upon self-analysis. But passion is what will get you there.

If there is a thought, act it. If there is an opportunity, take it. Jump in head first, sort it out as you go along. Moments are eternal parades of sequence, one proceeding the next down the corridors of infinity. When you see one you like, take hold of it and affect it, shake it in your hands and watch it stray away from its course and form a new line, a new procession of consequence. Expect contradiction from the parallel queue, await the unknown, be certain it will be uncomfortable and with much difficulty, it will wrap you in its intricate knots, that as sure as there is breath in your lungs it will strangle you dead at the throat. Of course, they are knots that you can no doubt untie but each with effort and time, all the while the temptation of the parallel queue begs you to return the moment, to forget the complex anarchy and ride the wave already prepared for you. Give it all up, it says--enticing you, massaging you with visions--Why should it be so difficult? Its so utterly unfair...there is pleasure, there is heaven, we've made it long before you got here. We labored years to design it; just so that when you got here you needn't worry about it.

Poor fellow, with its mind petted and not one muscle moving. Poor fellow, for whom life lives as a breathing death.

An Undisturbed Moment: Identifying One's Passion


"Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it."

So what is the glass onto which I pour out my heart? What is the catalyst to actions I cannot seize in the cage of logic or the command of restraint? When reaction is almost impulse and cheered by the battery of pure emotion, what invites this? As if my passion were itself a living parasite, momentarily set apart, seated with its legs crossed and a steaming cup of honey-camomille tea before it, I offer it this composition as a chance to answer for itself.

My passion leans forward, inhales the tea steam, the scent of cinnamon from the stick he tossed in the kettle. My passion cannot define itself without speaking about obsession. For you see, Obsession is my passion's Passion. Obsession is the evolution of memories, conditioning, and conflict all converging into a concentrated dose, that swims through your veins in boiling tempest. Its an addiction and my passion needs its fix constantly, ceaselessly at times. Absorbing obsession from my body; from any corner where it could locate a drop, a morsel, a single nucleus or atom of obsession. Its become that finally I've become an obsession-producing vehicle; a factory of fixed ideas, assembled and mounted onto a conveyor belt that ends right into the stomach of my passion.

How do I form my obsessions? I doubt my passion cares enough to wonder. But my obsessions come about easily enough, through thorough stimulation. I recently told a very attractive insomniac that "senses were made for sensations". Impressions that are strong enough, sharp and shocking enough to attach, cut, or vibrate my memory and its adrenaline, are the persistent, little fists that knock on the doors of habit. If something feels good, I want to repeat the feeling. After a certain amount of tolerance builds I have to escalate the methods in order to reproduce that feeling once again.

I have no passions only obsessions. But because of those obsessions I exercise my actions passionately. I see the world loudly, I feel the kingdom of galaxy as one shrinking wave in an ocean of universe. Pain becomes eternal agony, pleasure becomes exponential bliss, women become goddesses and words double-edged swords, songs are floating prayers that on their way to heaven, riding airwaves find my ears and dance under laser beams of thoughts. My obsession is attention, its looking at everything long enough to discover its oneness, its unique participation in a universe that continues to expand, continues to change so much so, that no two seconds within that universe have ever repeated--quite impressive if its at all true that the universe is in fact, infinite.

A kiss because nuclear fusion; sunsets, daily paintings; and evolution is the perfect instrumental for life to sing over. My passion finds these things, hurries forth and devours them, slowly like decomposition. My passion is a disease, an infection, its a cancerous appetite, never satisfied. My passion pulls on my obsessions and my obsessions pull on my attentions. It cracks open the doors of perception and peers in slightly, each inch begs for another inch until the door, wide open swallows me in. And why not? There are times when a person must jump into the water before learning to swim, not because one's life is in danger but because one's life is curious; that is passion.

With his hands clasped behind his head as he lies on the floor of our apartment, my passion nods his head approvingly of my description. He bites skin from his lips and returns to notice patterns on the paint-chipping ceiling. He's humming a melody unknown to me. Our apartment is usually an empty studio, nothing but windows, walls, a floor and a ceiling. I furnish the studio with obsessions, constantly pulling them in from outside, providing a home and place for their amusement as well as ours. My passion wears them out, each piece of furniture fades and eventually disappears. No sooner than I decorate a corner, or adorn a window, than my passion disassembles the hinges, chews the fabric, absorbs the varnish--returning the studio to a blank slate by the time I return with a new set of obsessions. It seems we won't rest till the whole universe has come and gone through the digestive system of our studio.

07 August 2010

Because We Never Found the Time Nor the Space


she used to be perfect. so marvelous, so full of potential and potency; she has been bled out, she has been reduced to a common denominator and removed of decoration. she has not been made naked--naked was her perfection; instead, she has been covered up, in clothes that loosely hang off her parts. i recall her confidence, her gait and balance--i see these things like cold far-distanced ghosts when we speak, humming from the shadow of her words. it is utmost saddening how i lost someone i barely got to know. i made the mistake of thinking there was time, it too was a ghost. she has been bled out, she has been taken in--away from where i can reach, far from where i would want to reach--naked was her perfection, naked were we two truths but only promises of ourselves, dreams within dreams. she used to be perfect. someone who knew a truth about herself simultaneously as i knew a truth about me, and the two went hand in hand. a truth that didn't move when the moment said, "go".

so we've been gulfed from one another ever since. she was an empire, a queen, a nebula and from her lips, stars were the promises that burned bright against the solid dark ceiling of shrinking nights. stars were the memories that now evaporate, separated by a yawning universe's stretch. there it was that i lost someone i barely got to know. someone like me, perfect and ready yet not moving, knowing the steps but waiting to be asked for the dance. i recall her voice, her laugh and its weight, where she'd place her eyes when we spoke. she's been covered up, in sheets that bury her, that fall disrespectfully from her parts. and the truths we were, hang there as well, spill clumsily between us as we try to stand you back on your two feet. but you're too weak and i get bored. i too used to be perfect.

06 August 2010

Today, Brooklyn was the Syringe with Which I Injected My Overdue Dose of Shilpa Ray

I really love this woman. Just got home from The Brooklyn Bowl where she took my heart and infected it with tiny micro-bacteria called "a good time". Incase you were wondering, I was the weirdo by the brick corner, who nodded his head slightly along with you but mainly just stared at a tigress, a living, full-blooded, growling tigress. A bottle of Jameson by her ankles and two flowers carelessly hanging from her hair, as she played the harmonium--air never sounded so sweet; and sweet never sounded so bitter, while bitter never punched like that before--and a punch never felt like a kiss until tonight.

04 August 2010

The Man Who Did Too Little

Movement of Applied Thought / Paralysis of an Action Withheld

An action is an idea set in motion. It is an orchestration of nervous and muscular systems synchronizing the evolution of a thought. Any act therefore can be said to be like words, extrenal communication of internalized impression. Idea pure of action is only potential--only theory, perfectly possible insofar as it is never tried; never practiced; prohibited from kinesis.

What one is to do for creative balance is merge the internal with the external; integrate the two worlds. Think of the line in the Our Father prayer, "Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." There is truth to this implication of harmony. One plane should mirror the other; or in opposing, face the stressful complication of attempting to rationalize two conflicting dimensions simultaneously.

What of actions without thought? How can there be a conflict in such a situation where only one dimension is active? During these instinctive motions--rhyme without reason--the purest of ideations are sparked awake in momentary life spans. When Idea skips the brain altogether and directly inspires the neuro-muscular messengers, the branch-end instrumentalists that improvise movements based on memory and applied theory--this is pure, unfiltered mind. Creative balance becomes absent; as expected when two dimensions fuse into one. If nature and logic do in fact marry, binding at the very essence, then there must be present, Intelligence within impulsive reaction.

03 August 2010

My Evolving Comprehension of Charles Darwin Through the Natural Selection of Information

Diversification within Misinformed Opinions Evolving to Facts

It is of particular note how, over time, a person or idea may become a general summation--even distorted due to the passing of the information by insufficient transfer. Let's say as, the insufficient transfer of a rumor, that only expands into extreme hyperbole as it is repeated from ear to thirsty ear. So may it be that through this rushed migration, that hurries forth without fully gathering all its facts; basing ideas on impressions based on impressions--it is conceivably possible that the truth has been somewhat diluted.

I have drawn the threshold of evolutionary argument with certain individuals and whenever Darwin was brought up--he is simply summed up as the guy who said we came from monkeys. Mind you these arguments weren't the most intellectual. This is an over-simplification of the idea of Evolution that would successfully make the notion accessible to 1st graders. Perhaps it was the fact that Evolution was not fully delved into during my schooling that left us with the premature and only perspective we were proposed during our simpler youths. Coincidentally I was raised Catholic, or was attempted to be brought up Catholic by weekend Catholics. And though not one single word was ever spoken by my parents against Darwin or Evolution, I saw it elsewhere. "Humans came from monkeys"-- An entire book about species; subtle differences and similarities, about Natural Selection which collects evidence and gives life an interpretation in terms of how its come to survive--all this is summed up as, "humans came from monkeys." Darwin had might as well just wrote that line and repeated it for 200 pages.

Today I watched Creation, a film about Charles Darwin during his work on Origins. More specifically, the film is about his conflict with being a creationist while working on his theory of natural selection. Also, while reading The Mating mind by Geoffrey Miller, I came across a passage where he parked on Darwin for a moment and explained the 19th Century naturalist's contribution to sexual selection. So, in the past few days much information has been introduced to me that seeks to correct the impressions of Darwin, erroneously suggested to me from childhood.

I have never read Origins of Species or The Descent of Man. With my current attraction to the subject of evolution and human behavior one would've thought that these milestone contributions to that very subject would be the obvious starting points. However, I feel Darwin would appreciate my backward journey, following threads into the past, discovering through them, variations of forms, arriving at conceptual errors that went extinct, in contrast to successful adaptations that deemed fit for survival. Because since the time of its release, Origin of Species has branched out into many species of its original idea, creating for the book a lead role in an example of what it sets out to explain.

Alternate Route

It was my thought, not too long ago, that the way for me to push forward was to abandon my surroundings. I conspired to disappear and meet my grand adventure abroad, find what I may, surprise after surprise--and its a wonderful dream, a beautiful fancy but what of the one element that fails to be considered in my great escape plan. The one voice in my head that no distance may quiet, no ocean may paralyze, and no foreign language converse with--Love? No. Not at all love, even though it was heavily regarded before discovering what I was really after. Presence. Existence. I need to find that in this world I am able to grab hold of a small patch of universe, however temporary, and sign my name upon it. In time the small patch will expand and break apart the letters of my name; further down, each letter will be decomposed until nothing remains--nothing but time and space. Regardless of longevity, of lifespan and mortality, it isn't how long the signature will last that counts; its the fact that you were able to sign at all.

02 August 2010

Sex Makes the Survivalist Go 'Round

In keeping with my recent interest in biology, evolution, and human nature, I took to commencing Geoffrey Miller's The Mating Mind, How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature. I have not yet finished the first chapter and already I find myself in slight defense against the material Miller presents. I suppose it would be key to mention that I have a hard time separating Natural Selection from Sexual Selection or vise versa. The lack of such a perspective, which Miller states early enough for its importance and relevance to his argument, supports my favor towards the idea that reproduction is part of biological survival, rather than parallel to it.

I do not disagree with his main theory, namely that our human brain is more or less a peacock's tail, an ornamental display to enhance our chances of sexual choice by a prospective mate; that our minds have evolved as a result of intelligent mates being preferred over lesser intelligent ones--therefore such genes that encouraged intelligence were passed on from generation to generation while those that were not chosen as mates did not pass on their genes, for obvious reasons. This theory appears sound enough to me yet as I've mentioned above I need further convincing that the passing of these genes does not qualify as a form of survival.

For me, there are two ways of viewing reproduction in terms of survival, one is as a species and the other is genetically. In terms or species it can be said, reproduction is necessary in order to continue the generation or existence of the family, the entire species. In terms of the individual its not so different from its species only you're now viewing it from a genetic standpoint. The genes in a sense, become the species; replicating themselves and surviving through body to body reconstruction. Whether its the species or the genes, reproduction preserves the lineage or continuation of an organism. Sexual selection is an active mechanism within that preservation that favors the best genes to pass on down the line. What's happening is that the seemingly best traits are chosen for the future generation's survival, whether it be individual or as a species. This is how I understand so far.

Most of what I'm feeling from Miller's first chapter, which I am unfairly writing about as I've not yet fully finished reading--is that Miller's argument seems arbitrary, he seems to be picking a fight with ideas that could better his theory if he incorporated them rather than isolated. Then again, the book was released in 2000 and researched for ten years before, so perhaps his manner was the only way to penetrate the subject at all with any successful impact. His aim does seem more directed towards a reaction to further the curiosity of the matter than to define it once and for all. Or maybe I just need to shut up and read the entire work before criticizing it with my inferior non-biologist opinion.