Rendered Fat Content


Edvard Munch: "Selvportrett" (1886)
"We'll likely look back with both nostalgia and regret."

I suspect that my many years interacting with computers have entrained me into certain preconscious habits. My computer, however outwardly benevolent, operates strictly within a very narrow range of permissible patterns. I must, for instance, open, edit, save, and recover according to certain procedures, some of which initially baffled me but which later became second nature. I've found several applications unusable because they seemed to expect me to think and react in ways I could not intuit or consistently remember. Some applications, I need to relearn each time I use them. I have many which I tried to use once and then never went back, finding nothing compelling in them after my initial investigation. A friend posted one of her grandmother's recipes and I felt shaken for just how un-Boolean it was. It violated what I've come to understand constitutes normal. One had to read it clear through at least once to understand that, for instance, it was not written in the preparation sequence, a gross violation of more thoroughly-ingrained modern practice. I began considering what forms of structure might lie Beyond the ones we have grown to use today.

It wasn't until the 1930s that anybody had developed a logical structure simple, spare, yet complete enough to support anything like a consistent machine language, one capable of mechanically replicating complex calculations.
That underlying structure would eventually become the way we as a society would parse our problems and concoct our solutions. Because there was a time before that discovery, I suspect that there will one day be a Beyond it as well. When (not if) that Beyond time comes, an upgrade the likes of which I cannot imagine will occur. Why am I fussing about this idea I cannot even imagine? It's just that I suspect that we'll one day come to realize the limiting folly we mostly bought into. We'll be perceived as primitives then, as backward as those who performed complex calculations with pencils and on dusty chalkboards. We think ourselves so far advanced, but one day some utterly transcendent insight will emerge to replace most all of our good works, as well as our bad ones.

Many already have not bought into the epistemological bases within which we operate. Certainly no religion does, for the devout doubt and believe with impunity. They harbor internally inconsistent beliefs in clear violation of the predicate calculus. We all seem to, though we do not all very rigorously try to more properly structure our thoughts according to any consistent calculus. We scrupulously maintain blind spots, choosing or feeling compelled to quite deliberately not think about some things. We simply let them
lie in every possible connotation of that term. I try to structure my stories so that they might quite easily slip inside their reader. I try to put the beginning first and draw my conclusions later, but this is mere convention, a manner we've grown to expect. We notice when it's violated. Other cultures do not respect this framework, and not out of ignorance or neglect, but quite deliberately, like the Dadas did back in the nineteen-teens, to poke at convention or to see what might emerge Beyond.

A scant year ago, it was unthinkable that I might ever live in a world where my mask became an integral part of my wardrobe. This week, The Muse and I started heading out to an appointment, when a few blocks out, The Muse realized that she'd left her mask behind. Tight for time, we still turned around to fetch it before continuing. This convention was Beyond before it became so damned present. I imagine no time now when I will not carry a mask near. What next? Nobody knows. We adapt as we go without ever knowing beforehand.

Evolution works in unanticipatable ways. Yet we still seem to spend considerable of our present projecting how it might become. Perhaps half of what I've written in my life so far has become inaccessible due to technological breakthroughs. The apps I used to create those pieces were obsoleted and their files rendered unreadable, though they both once represented the perfectly respectable and were anticipated as essentially eternal environments. I consider those lost pieces practice, though they might have held within them my greatest insights. Forever hardly means eternal anymore. Our conventions seem more like passing fancies as each decade passes. Even our manners of thinking seem to have been changing while we predicated essentially each one of our actions upon them, if only by close association with a machine only capable of insisting upon them. One day soon, the bedrock internal combustion engine will become another buggy whip convention, one once useful but grown irrelevant. We'll likely look back with both nostalgia and regret. As the Amish say, "Too late Schmart."

Friday came again, rendering the week into the past column. It came and went almost simultaneously this time.

I began my writing week with a
WillingSuspension of an earlier Disbelieving, a necessary condition, perhaps, for continuing belief in anything.

I then reflected on how I'm still growing and not yet (perhaps never) grown up in
GroanUpAgain, my most popular posting of the week. Maybe we're all still growing and groaning.

I next disclosed my recipe for everything I cook in

I wondered just how effective
PersonalResponsibility might reasonably prove to be when engaging in collective activity.

I made a little bit of fun with our practice of celebrating
SecularHolidays but not the higher more holy ones.

I learned after posting
badream that many have been experiencing Pandemic Dreams, not necessarily horrible, but unsettling ones. Perhaps they visit purely to wake us up.

I ended my writing week by celebrating not Thanksgiving, but
ThanksReceiving, because we can't really have one without the other.

What's Beyond? Heck if I know! One of the underlying purposes of this stretch of writing has been to catch the emergent as it's emerging. I reflect that a scant week ago, I had no idea what might lie just Beyond where I was then, and I had been struggling a bit to capture my experiences in ways that interested even me. I persisted and look what emerged! I feel well satisfied, still poised upon the edge of Beyond. I deeply appreciate you for accompanying my explorations. Thank You!

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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