Archive for May, 2016

The Titanic Twelve

 

Human consciousness is subject to fad. Left brain for this epoch – right brain for that. In a mandelbrotian hierarchy, the zeit of each generation leans to one hemisphere or the other. Zeit-summarizers comprise our philosophical, artistic, scientific canon: Brunelleschi with his fixation of the station point opened the door for linear perspective in drawing and painting, Newton explains a grand order, Carlyle and Ruskin repurpose religious energy for secular use, Einstein explains the simultaneity of energy and matter, McCartney combines rock-romance and melodic-harmonic invention, Cobain signals frustrated flannel for Gen-Y.

In Western Art-making for the past 20,000 years the picture plane has oscillated from shallow to deep and back to shallow. Cave art is shallow. Giotto, Cimabue extended pictorial space on chapel walls and with Brunelleschi’s codification of linear perspective, pictorial space became very deep. 400 years of Western looking through the picture plane as a window. Impressionists flattened the picture plane with impasto 3-d brushwork scattering sunlight across the retina. Cezanne accelerated this de-windowing of the picture plane, shattering the illusion of deep pictorial space altogether while creating deeply felt, intensely real works. Deep pictorial space and linear perspective not required.  Cezanne’s rebellious denial of the picture plane as a window is the source of his greatness and the source of all things Cubist,  thus most 20th century painting and much architecture. Analytical cubism is Cezanne for Dummies. Young Picasso was a great mimic of all the prominent painters of his youth but he wasn’t about to sit on a folding canvas stool out in the blazing sun every day painting rocks and trees to get his Cezanne ticket punched, nevertheless, he wanted to absorb Cezanne’s closure of the Renaissance idea of the picture plane as clear glass. Cezanne searches for a deeper magic and finds it. Mondrian, Malevich ignored the whole idea of a painting as a view through a plane. What you see is what you get – a panel with an idea – no window, flat as a pancake.

This three part division of ways of representing pictorial space: naive shallow, deep, informed shallow,  distill graphically the three great epochs of Western civilization 1. Pre-Renaissance: an epoch of the unpinned station point 2. The Renaissance epoch of the “Descended Grid” ( 1412-1912) from Brunelleschi’s codification of rules of linear perspective (pinned station point)  to 3. Cezanne and the cubists flattening of pictorial space. 1912 is the locus of Postmodernism – a new epoch of the Unpinned station point emerges with renewed vigor.The Titanic sunk in 1912 – a symbolic end of the domination of Enlightenment rationalism ( think steam power, slave-cotton capitalism, urban slums and disease and the evils of the 15 hour work day for children taking the bloom from Voltaire’s rational rose) There are 12 significant thinkers who introduced the ideas of Postmodernism to the world ( multivalence, ambiguity, contradiction, simultaneity, rhizomic connection. The Titanic Twelve: Braquasso, Einstein, Schoenberg, Joyce, Mieles, Isadora Duncan, Tesla, Marconi, Wilbur Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ferdinand Saussure. The twelfth player to be selected by reader.

Postmodernism did NOT begin in the 1960s with the invasion of the Fab French Five: Barthes, Deleuze, Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard, as Yale academics would have us think or with the Modernist dogma-shattering book by Robert Venturi: “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture” but in 1912 with the unpinning of the station point by Braquasso – see: attached diagram for the split of Western civilization at 1912. It re-started a dormant epoch of simultaneous and always conflicting, ways of looking at the world: orthographically pinned or in the spirit of the Titanic 12 – unpinned.

Note: Architecture game changer Robert Venturi likes my diagram and has the original on the wall of his Philadelphia office ( and in his slide show). The architecture world has labelled Venturi as the father of postmodernism and he has crowed from the rooftops that he is not a Postmodernist. My diagram (see above)  explains his assertion that he is not a postmodernist.

In the attached diagram “T.O.E.2” ( Theory Of Everything-2)  the postmodern ( unpinned) stuff is the upper branch of the arrow and the Modern is the lower, straighter continuation of the pinned idea. These ideas have been at war with one another for the past 100 years creating a cultural dynamism that continues to thrive. One is essentially pinned or unpinned at heart and mind. A case of neurology-neocortical networks-left brain-right brain, matters for neuroscientists. The Titanic Twelve launched the Postmodern swerve.

Diagram e-mailed upon request

JB Questions and Observations:

  1. Frank Lloyd Wright draws heavily on John Ruskin via William Morris to convey Protestant religious fervor in architecture. Mid-20th century Modern architects had religion i.e “Kill ‘em all if they don’t convert, feel the power and the glo-reee of the Miesian box-a placeholder for the uninspired.
  2. The religious impulse is an engine always running in human culture: the gears, clutches, belts, pulleys of core myth supply fervor to the machinery of art and politics. The Grand Synthesis ( Darwin-Mendel), Abstract Expressionism and MId-century Modern Architecture were religious cults.  Passing through the cultural alimentary canal soon will be gender-race driven obsession currently being digested as enzymes try to dissolve exceptionalism in a reign (rain) of obsession.
  3. Does life on Earth change the rate of solar decay? Does life accelerate the reduction of the solar gradient? Does life reduce the sun-void gradient or simply take advantage of it for some large and remote chemical-spiritual purpose?
  4. Are there long-term lasting genetic-epigenetic effects resulting from the age of American slavery (“The fecundity of the capitalized womb”) that are locked into both white and black genomes as methylated chromatin? Are black and white Americans now born deformed by 18th, 19th Century slavery horrors?
  5. JB Experiment: Test African blacks and American Blacks for DNA,RNA methylation differential. Are there residual heritable genetic effects of slavery horror. See: TTT (Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma – Dr. Natan Kellerman)
  6. T.S. Eliot and Richard Prince: appropriation agonistes.
  7. Any story told by anyone falls into some literary trope for explication – no need for erudition on part of author – explanation performed by lit academics for sport and credit.
  8. A bright purple butterfly is a single small, pretty thing in its own right but wherever it darts in its zigging and zagging across the Mayfield amid hundreds of shades of green, yellow, purple and orange-brown beige, it acts as a keynote or a compliment and lights up all colors as it flutters by. Its color is the cherry on top of the existing diffuse hues. Each small zone visited has its unique color combo and this butterfly brings them all to life. The fluttering keynote. Gifted people do this – add the keynote color wherever they go.
  9. Antebellum plantation owners were a population of absolutist dictators – one absolutist per mile square.
  10. The emergence of The Beatles in 1960s was the manifestation of a grand cycle of crime and atonement with roots in 250 years of global cotton capitalism, American slavery, Black oppression giving rise to the blues, jazz, R&B, rock and roll. Liverpool was at the heart of Cotton capitalism as the British port of entry for Slave-produced cotton for the child-crippling textile mills of Lancashire. Liverpool merchants and bankers got rich on the global slave trade as British banks financed American cotton capitalism (black enslavement). The Beatles were the expansion valve releasing an unspoken, dark pressure suffusing the Merseyside air. The Beatles, a band born of African-American music, transform this black music delivering it back to people of every color and creed around the world -a big thank you for the world built upon your slavery and the music it inspired- a melodic, passionate prayer for life  from the Liverpool lads:  tears into music – liquid into animated air.
  11. Two great inspirations for 19th early 20th century women’s hair fashion: Fannie Kemble and the Gibson Girl.
  12. Is high-fructose corn sweetener an enteric pathogen? Yes it is – don’t touch the stuff.
  13. Only two of our first 12 presidents did not own slaves: John and John Q. Adams.

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May 31, 2016    1:07 PM

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Radiation-Speciation

 

“Whatever is beneath the earth change their forms, the earth and all that is within it.”  Ovid – “Metamorphoses”

 

Rays of sunlight penetrate into the center and through all living things, through the skin into plant and animal cells shallow and deep, into cell nuclei, into the DNA, RNA and histone molecules where rays strike atoms, quarks, pi-mesons and higgs-bosuns making changes all along the way in and back out, changes manifest as organism growth, oxygen production and genetic revision. Speciation is a grand manifestation of the change wrought by solar and other cosmic radiation. DNA is revised by radiation. New strategies for life are tested in environments nano to macro.  Environments  change along with organisms. Everything on Earth and beyond at every level of the cosmic hierarchy is aswirl.

Human culture comprises myriad efforts to slow time in order to get a grip on rapid, relentless change. A story is an anchor for the vessel called humanity seeking a port in this galactic storm. Stories give form to the formless. The theories of Darwin, Marx, Freud and Einstein are such stories as are the work of Dickens, Dostoevsky and DeLillo. A story is a machine for seeing with. Every story is a theory – all theories are stories. Does it matter if they are “right” or “wrong”? They serve us during their time. A compelling theory may launch 1,000 useful ideas and be wrong at it’s core. A potent story spawns many new ideas, some endure longer than others. Generating stories is like throwing glitter on a wet dog – some is going to stick, most will end up on the floor.

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JB Questions and Observations:

  1. Storytellers in sequence: Carlyle-Ruskin-Morris-Wright-ecclesiastical to temporal intellectual passion i.e. Frank Lloyd Wright gets religion and spawns 20th century architecture – FLW was the ground zero story bricoleur transforming 18th century Scottish Presbyterian fervor into built form.
  2. Chaucer, Dante, Shakespeare and countless others borrowed heavily from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” a cornucopia of deus ex machinae. Bloodiest book I ever read.

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5/17/2016    4:09 PM

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Gravity Sticks

 

Law of nature: All that exists accrues, expands, grows: ideas, opinions, facts, myth, law, superstition, inanimate objects, prisons, animals, armies, plants

Corollary: All that exists decays, dissolves, diminishes, dilutes, devolves

This law and its corollary applies to  any and all things real and imagined, corporal, temporal, ecclesiastical, incipient or bound for extinction, bottom line: reification works both ways-abstract to temporal and temporal to ephemeral ( de-abstracted, reabsorbed) nature is all simple arithmetic adding and subtracting. Wrong or right ideas, when they are fresh, can grow if nourished with energy. Ideas are weeds or useful plants. How are they framed? Energy is a fickle fellow, a trickster, he must be entertained, amused by novelty, synergy and invention. When freshness dissolves, order dissolves. Add energy and success happens, add color, motion, rhythm for healthy ideas. Recombine the success of others into something new. Choose a signifying color as in Prince purple, the Red Baron, Black Bart, The Brown Bomber, Blues Magoos. Learn to dance.

JB Questions and Observations:

  1. Teapot: Mammal organ systems were pre-precambrian ( before 540 MYA) symbionts i.e. free-swimming protists ( single-celled animals with a nucleus) each with its specific capacity to create, pump, filter, and digest fluid and to create networks that exchanged information and stored information that could be retrieved at will – early forms of brain, liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, and stomach. Each life-form evolved separately as each one developed its specific capability and then 850 MYA during the Sturtian Snowball Earth when all life was crowded into teeming pools around deep thermal vents below the ice. Organisms mixed and matched their strengths for advantage in a 250 million year cage match. Quoting former “Wired” editor Kevin Kelly “The ever-thickening mix of existing technologies in a society creates a supersaturated matrix charged with restless potential. When the right idea is seeded within, the inevitable invention practically explodes into existence.”
  2. Our “special six” cell types migrate into an undifferentiated colony of single-cell organisms, perhaps bacteria. DNA is swapped laterally between all cells in the colony – all cells in this group ultimately share all DNA and seven organ systems evolve within this larger, more complex and dominant organism. Some of these symbionts are multi-cell systems when they enter the colony.
  3. Were the first animal neurons symbiotic slime mold? Neurons and slime mold are filamentous and form complex networks
  4. The computer chip is the Gothic cathedral of our age, the technology that has our largest attention and resources. During Ancient Rome it was civil infrastructure: water, sewer, roads, baths, during the 19th century it was all things steam powered especially cotton mills.
  5. Kevin Kelly neologism: Technium:  everything ever conceived and manifest by the human neocortex and not found in chimps: towns and cities, language spoken and written, myth, ritual, art, engineering, music, science, law, war, technology, entertainment, consumer products – the whole shebang. A useful new word.
  6. People are like crossties below railroad rails – a certain strict conformity of language, behavior and gesture is a given -material ( strong wood) geometry of cross section, length, alignment and spacing, preservative treatment. Within these constraints be and do anything you want – be creative. Allow the train of your times to roll over you adding value to the experience of everyone. If you get old or if you misbehave you will be extracted like a rotten tooth and replaced. Your realm of personal expression revolves around your surface texture, the natural variation of the wood grain, slight irregularities of installation ( one’s heritage, parents, friends, social station), the rate at which you accrue moss, dirt, gravel, your orientation by fate to sun or shade, desert or mountainside. There is  micro-variation seen as individuality but if you don’t support the rails you’re gone. Ten of you can decide to leave at once and send a train into a river – a revolution!
  7. Most tech development goes into war-making / defense, the general population pays the bill and gets the leftovers – toys. The technium has always been about war and its parent – Capitalism.
  8. Marconi deserves a place among the Titanic Twelve – The children of Darwin, Marx and Cezanne-progenitors of all things Postmodern i.e. multivalent, ambiguous, uncertain, simultaneous, rhizomic.
  1. Picasso
  2. Braque
  3. Wilbur Wright
  4. Frank Lloyd Wright
  5. James Joyce
  6. Mieles
  7. Schoenberg
  8. Isadora Duncan
  9. Einstein
  10. Tesla
  11. Marconi
  12. Henry Ford
  1. “The muses are born of God and memory” – Ovid
  2. Surveillance device: Vomero-Detector i.e. pheromone sensor that identifies everyone in a crowd of 1,000,000 in one second and can display everyone’s  person’s life history, credit report, education, purchasing pattern, criminal record, driving record, airline, train and bus ticket purchases, sort the entire crowd by net worth and genetic composition. It sends signals to participating local boutiques for personalized pitches at shop window flat screen technology images are adjusted as high net worth individuals pass by. The wealthy are greeted by name and asked about family,  presented with the latest glam merchandise,  speakers play favorite music and walls turn into favorite colors. Wristwatch detector-analyzers available for romance chemistry analysis.
  3. The technium is bonded to nature like a cancer growing on skin. The technium is inseparable from nature. Can humans change the current destructive nature of the technium?
  4. Surf your bliss i.e. don’t interfere with the wave you are riding.
  5. JB invention: A gut microbiome monitor management system to keep immune system tip-top. A device that accounts for 1,000,000 species of gut microorganisms and monitors their status, demise, proliferation activities throughout the day. The device suggests what to eat next for top health.
  6. Stochastic Fog ( StFg)- An academic device wherein one makes something up – some phenomenon – some previously nebulous process or thing of any scale. This activity is parsed six ways from sunday. The bright new idea is inserted into all of this fabricated “data” and is explained and reinforced by it. The stochastic BS is used to explain one’s pet hypothesis. This works especially well in juridical matters.
  7. Ways of growing: a. Expand from within as a balloon or onion b. Add to exterior as paint on a wall or stacked bricks.
  8. Was the idea of nuclear family cohesion among African Americans epigenetically scrubbed from their genome in a process of histone demethylation that was reinforced and conserved during hundreds of years of slavery? Do humans have a family cohesion gene? If so, what chromosome is it on?
  9. How is social bonding stored and transmitted in primate genome?
  10. Idea for cable TV series: “Upstairs downstairs” – “Downton Abbey” with American colonial aristocrats Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and their wealthy farming neighbors and their enslaved populations. See: “The American Slave Coast” by the Sublettes for details.
  11. What are the genetic effects of hundreds of years of hog-corn-molasses diet for African Americans?
  12. Are there any residual  TTT effects of the master-slave experience in the genome of either black or white Americans? TTT (Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma) see: Natan Kellerman research.
  13. Substitute the word “property” for “liberty” in USA founding texts for real intent.
  14. “The Civil War was a revolution as it destroyed an entirely legal form of property” Sublettes
  15. The ancient Roman classic Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (50 AD) is the source for countless cheap and not-so-cheap novels, dramas, boddice-rippers. It is a great source of dastardly human behavior. All deadly sins all the time and more ! It inspired 400 years of western literature high and low and much academic painting.
  16. Global Capitalism ( it has always been global for past 400 years since the beginning) demands hierarchy and USA private high schools and colleges provide it.

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May 8, 2016    4:31 PM

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