Sat, 23 Jul 2005top
questions for miss manners
now I'm no etiquette nazi—far from it—but the following wedding goings-on strike me as just a little gauche:
- A 32 year old man does not get his own invitation, but is instead lumped in with his parents—with whom he does not live with. Bizarrely, his sister and her husband are not invited at all.
- The bride-to-be's aunt is invited, but not her husband (and, no, they are not divorced.)
- Acquaintances are invited over close family members.
- Many people—including close family members—are invited to the bridal shower but not to the wedding or the reception.
Mon, 04 Jul 2005top
compelled to distill some sense from the gnarled mass of thoughts like a tangled skein of yarn convoluted into incomprehension pathetically conflating this sensation, this phenomenon of not feeling any pain merging this concept with happiness
knowing it is hollow, a dessicated rind of delusion enclosing the horrific, intrinsic void
this nullifying nadir of my existence at the hopeless bottom of this gravity well embraced on all sides by impossibilities
what more, indeed, what more can a man ask for? as I stifle my desire, crush it like a spent, empty beer can against my forehead
because what is desire but suffering? but still knowing that stillness is death
can my soul ossify, perhaps? fossilized, smashed down by the weighing strata of fear fraught with failure I think: Atlas with the world on his back the doomed caryatid falled under her burden my soul crystallizing into dead, still carbon (you ever think of diamond as the sad remains of some creature? some sad creature as myself crushed down into something that sparkles at last)
times like this, I wish I could implode like a star shining bright my heart blazing like a hellacious furnace committing violent acts of creation raging with the tempest of a stellar wind illuminating the aching void of the cosmos
I am but a man alone, and doomed to die and days like this I wonder if that is all I have left to look forward to.
Sun, 03 Jul 2005top
strings of memory
(disclaimer: all that I understand of m-theory is what I have read from Brian Greene's excellent popular texts The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory and The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. I am hampered by my inability to do calculations more complex than integration, and in reality don't really use much more than basic algebra these days.)
As I zoomed up the I-5 from San Diego (for some reason, having lost almost an entire day to sleep) I pondered how I was tracing a three-dimensional path through four-dimensional space-time (not even wanting to ponder the other six to seven dimensions postulated by m-theory) Realistically, I was really just thinking about a two-dimensional path through three-dimensions, considering only two of my own dimensions crisscrossing space-time, a la "Donnie Darko," where the titular protagonist can see an object smearing across space-time, being somewhat able to anticipate the near-future. And given the continuous nature of the threads that make up my individual atoms, I was wondering, why wouldn't it be possible to send signals to myself back in time?
Clearly I have been influenced by Kage Baker's The Life of the World to Come which is about a corporation called Dr. Zeus Inc. (AKA the Company) which has a time travel machine and uses it to retrieve treasures that were otherwise believed to be destroyed (for example, the books lost in the Great Library in Alexandria when they burned it and Hypatia, hitherto unknown works of Shakespeare, etc.) The one limitation is that they discover they cannot actually change the past—everything up to the 24th century is already known and thus preordained. (Why this changes in 2355 remains a mystery)
There are metaphysical theories that use M-theory as a springboard that posit that the phenomenon of consciousness occurs in the hidden, curled-up dimensions, thereby explaining the difficulty of tracing the exact neurons in the brain that should contain "the soul." But even without this hypothesis, if you imagine the (very flawed) analogy of a particle's wavefunction/worldline/fatemap as a continous thread tracing space-time, given the contiguous structure, why couldn't you send a signal along this thread, regardless of which direction it goes with regards to the arrow of entropy?
(What would it mean to be sending a signal through the time dimension only? Is it forbidden because of the inability to travel faster than c? )
Clearly I have not successfully done this yet. I don't have future thoughts intruding into my head as of yet, nor do I recall any instances of this occurring. Or maybe I could be wrong. Maybe that explains many of the extraordinarily vivid dreams I sometimes have—bits and pieces of the future getting garbled as I send them down my own wordline.
Would this explain my frequent sensations of deja vu? (Although I suppose Occam's Razor could simply point to psychosis, but is not a productive line of thinking.)
Could this explain my current sense of ennui? I have no desire to try anything these days.
Mostly, I am extraordinarily wary (and perhaps not a little paranoid) about falling in love.
Not that there's really any risk of that happening these days.
But seriously, the days have been passing with a sense of "been here, done that" that has been quite alarming. When you start losing your desire to eat, and your sex drive, that's got to be a sign that something is not right, and while I'm probably just clinically depressed, I like the exercise for my imagination.
I'll keep trying to fling memories back to my former self. Everything predestined, but with a very convincing, very harrowing illusion of free-will.
And that's the best we can do until all the qubits decohere.