L-Systems and the Fall toward Singularitygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Daily Tales : One Thread
Good Eostar to you;
The following are from letters I've sent to Amara - there's poetic image in here that I wish you to hear, for you've been and are so much a part of each finger tap on these keys. It's interesting to place this here, in the Daily Tales, and to see how much of what I write to others holds you in mind, and is written as if you were (t)here.
As you are.
So, I'm still writing away. Less directly to you in these weeks' spurts, but my assumption is that you'll find me when you want to.
On 3/4/2002 9:52 PM, Amara D. Angelica wrote: >
> Are you on a modem or broadband? I can send you an MP3 file.
Modem - but I'm looking into alternatives. Portable alternatives.
>Yes, I just bought "Seismic Frequencies" with wild sounds for sampling, looping (repeated segments) and merging with synth sounds. I'm also going to including actual sounds of earthquakes (sped up to be audible) and sounds from the universe. (I thought of that last sentence while writing this -- thanks for the inspiration.)
You could do some *great* sounds/songs from the universe. After all, what is a song but a map of a rhythmic journey of periodic frequency? Imagine a song that was layer upon layer of sonic metaphor, matching the geology of an area, for example.
Say you're tripping on this seismic/earthquake theme. Maybe you lay down the track that corresponds to the iron core of the earth. The track map might have some correspondence to the molecule of Iron - I used to construct Celtic knot patterns based on specific molecules, using some of the mathematical mapping/descriptive equations Buckminster Fuller has in his book "Synergetics". Maybe you add a bunch of layers that correspond to the geologic strata of the land where the earthquake is - if you had a big library of sound, and the sort of mind that could manage it all and construct metaphors that expressed the compression, the solidity, the density - well, I can only imagine... >
> I'll be there. It would be fun to see you! We could hang out with the wildest nanogeeks and singularity freaks.
This would be *very* cool. I know you were speaking in the context of the Nanotech Conference, and I'm not counting on being there, but perhaps there will be some side things where I can be a fly-on-the-wall and just trip...
>(But unless you're deeply into nanotech and AI, etc., the sessions may be a bit hard to follow.)
RE: stuff being over my head: I don't mind the depth of any session; I have a broad enough data set that there's always an allegory somewhere nearby - the only thing that ever bores me is a lack of passion.
The only thing that never bores me is a beautiful and inspired passion. And if there's no beauty discernible in the discussion (and beauty is also a question; it's a paradox; it's a gracefully acknowledged discontinuity between apparent knowns, or a symmetry between seemingly unrelated things...) then whoever's speaking hasn't quite yet found what's true. Noticing that is usually (temporarily) interesting, too, so I'm rarely bored. >
> I hope my face will be healed by then. I'm thinking about switching from brown to long blond hair and going wild as a sort of coming out event -- hey, why not?
Oh, I think it's definitely better to kick up your heels just out of the barn. There's plenty of time for sedate and reining-it-in later on, after you've tired yourself out a bit.
>> if you think either yourself or someone you know needs a mouthy sort of cross between an aging Audrey Hepburn - http://www.efn.org/~cabeal/bleutie/bttheos.html and a small-town-Elvira -- (gosh, that's sort of scary...) http://www.efn.org/~cabeal/muse/theosgang.html on his or her arm
> Two of my favorite role models!
So, now it's today. Tuesday, the 26th. I'll catch you up just a tad because I'm very much looking forward to my trip down there, and I have so much work to do before I go (which means I have to dodge it just a little with this indulgence of a letter).
I've been thinking a *lot* about what I'm going to be up to, post grocery store. I'm moving into my next stage of packing...packing up the store; wow...what a mind-squeal. I'm probably going on the road, and working over the Net for friends - legal stuff, and perhaps some writing - and I realize that, if I want to be taking off, it's still going to take me another 6 months to get fully portable. So, the work/task list began to be underway in earnest a couple of weeks ago.
This trip down there marks a small breathing point between the day-to-day operations of the last 13 years, and this next few-months-chunk of wrap up. It's actually a ritual passage of sorts, marking the shift from one mode to the next - my aetheric derailleur - and I'm looking forward to it immensely.
I'm going to try to get down there in time to hear Michael Moore speak on the Stanford Campus, 4/18. He's coming to Portland while I'm gone, and he's doing his Stupid White Men tour, and I *really* want to at least be one of the throng, somewhere, and cheer him along. For the most part, I like people who dissent well, and I'm attracted to noble, graceful dissent. I think I'm a bit prissy in the Revolution department, for complex, defensible reasons. But Michael Moore is my Heyoka Hero.
Wondering where to camp, I ran around on the web a bit, and have decided I'm probably going to stay at Butano State Park, at least for the first run through the woods. I'm open to suggestions, but I really want some quiet deep redwood time.
If you're into a hike or two, we could have some fun. I'm very *light* duty - I'm a meanderer, a moss-sitter, a slow-moving contemplative whose preferred nature field guide would be my copy of Aristid Lindenmayer's "Algorithmic Beauty of Plants",
- "L-Systems for George" by cabeal http://hermetic.nofadz.com/misc/beal1.htm -
and I'd be less likely to be keying out the pistil and stamen configuration of the plant, and more likely to be comparing the derivation equation for the symmetric branching of a compound leaf with the actual fern on the floor, pretending I understand it all...I'm totally hopeless.
What's REALLY fun is to spend some time just looking at all of the natural lines within the context of imagining the creation of a mathematical nature simulation - you stay in one *very beautiful* spot, accompanied by a little wine and a good (dwindling) cheese and bread, and sketch basic elements while grokking the equations necessary to represent and stack the images, and hold the lines.
(Imagine this with me here and see if you shiver...) You do the firm things first - the large rocks, the tree trunks, cones, acorns, twigs - the split in the bark, the squirrel-chewed seed; then the flexible but stable - the branching shrubs (cool equations here), lichens, mosses.
The truly yielding follow: leaves that spin on their stems, flower heads, ferns...you drift toward the stream, and begin to lay out the chained water molecule in the bed, with its echo of rocks and the invisible layers of mosaic'd form that stuff its pattern full.
Hold it all in your head, and feel all the equations just barely keeping step, and then let that afternoon breeze blow through and juggle the calculus of everything. The breeze picks up - add gusts, add rain, add clouds - thunder; lightning, and then the fading of all into night, and the sky clears and the moon comes out, and the algorithms of life on earth blow me completely away... Now *that* is my idea of intellectual climax! (see, I told you I was hopeless.)
Of course, there are those who *hate* to go here with their minds. They usually cite some "alienation from nature" syndrome, as if that was a true explanation, and that nature-oriented individuals had no reason to go to this place in their minds. Since my biggest problem with technology (outside of my ignorance) is dirt in my keyboard, fallen from under my fingernails precisely because I'm not alienated at all from nature, I just notice a bad hypothesis on their part and ignore it. *******************
Hi there, Amara;
Ray's got me writing, now. Between you, John and Ray constantly shooting these little zaps through my circuitry, I am *never* going to get this escrow to close, or these taxes done - I just keep writing... *sigh*
I really liked some of Ray's ideas in the last AI news bit, that interview that Brockman did on the Singularity.
I suppose I'm an idea consumer, an ingester of ideas. I try to be a thoughtful shopper - one of those thrifty folk who pan the continuum for utility, pick out interesting ones, try them on - check them out in the mirror of my own internal reflection - and, for the most part, put them back.
Sometimes the concepts are sticky, and bits of them cling to me - now and then like lint or loose hair. Sometimes they're ghastly, and it's hard to get their after-image out of my mind; now and again I even have to run my head through some sort of rationalizer and de-stick the worst of them. And sometimes they resonate, and the after-hum slips into bits and pieces of me and causes things to glow.
But this latest was particularly stimulating, in part because Ray touches on one of my favorite pattern metaphors - water - and the one that I want to run around with when I finally get free of this space and can move around, nomadic again, and write without the constraint of - well, with different constraints. (I need a new harness...)
Regarding his future scenarios, some of what I'm most interested in revolve/resolve around the ethical issues that appear to influence the scenario trends he postulates. I liked especially his image of ethical conundrums as stones in a stream.
It took me to a piece I wrote, Christmas morning of 2001, when I was feeling a bit too Singular in the cosmic swirl of it all (kind of blue, kind of *alone* with a little "a" - not really Alone, just temporally alone - the heart-achey way you can get when you want someone else's toothbrush in the bathroom), and this piece came out:
I extend the metaphor of Ray's Singularity to some of what I understand about water - about the flow of the actual stuffness of water in a stream, while its wave-form remains stationary, vs. the relative stasis of the stuffness of water in an ocean, while its wave-form flows through to some boundary.
If the ethical issues are like stones then they, like the rest of the stream's bed, perforce become the sluice, the eventual channel that holds the stuff of water (in itself, the condensate of its final destination, the "sea", gone particulate when it slowed enough to do so) and pretends to govern it for awhile.
Of course, even Morality's wished-for perpendicular diversion (or reversal, though that takes a huge amount of energy that quickly outpaces available capacity unless that primal force that disbands the final ocean-collective of water-stuff itself, the Sun, is harnessed, in which case the hydrological cycle is simply foreshortened and, really, probably accelerated as opposed to being truly diverted) of the flow only holds for so long until the fiction of control is cracked, gravity prevails, and the mass of once-dam(N)med-stuff cascades downward even faster on its course toward its Sea, ripping and shredding all ecologies of concept in its wake.
As any good naturalist will tell you, rocks in a stream - especially large rocks in a stream - are important for interrupting the sameness of the flow, and establishing niches for a multiplicity of styles of being to flourish. Today, our own mismanagement of waterways - this cutting and smoothing of banks to maximize volume and standardize flow - creates huge challenges for everything downstream, and we're to the point where we're actually paying money and attention to toss rocks back into the stream. So, I'm grateful for the ethical dilemmas, hope they continue to vary in shape and position, and enjoy the kayaking immensely.
To think of the "future", shaped by our concepts, these stones and twigs, as an unfolding of flows from some Source, to some Source, is useful to me.
To have a name - The Singularity - marking a place up ahead in this River I'm on is a compelling and energizing notion. That scene in "Fitzcaraldo" where the boat goes over that huge waterfall in the Amazon comes to mind. I think I'd want a hang-glider just about then.
In fact, I think that's what we may be building - mental hang-gliders that allow us to momentarily escape that ultimate gravity of the Flow's surface tension when it finally falls from the agricultural plateau of cultivated Idea we've forced it to meander upon into a re-organizing churn below.
We've spent a huge amount of energy on holding back this flow of Future, this inevitable Child of the Sea. It is heading Home. There's no stopping it. And so I realize the only thing to do is hoist the para-sail, hope I spent enough time splicing line (and tied it to the right things...gosh, what *are* the right things?), cross my fingers, and FLY!!!
*************** "...Ethics are born from agriculture. The nomad gets no further than the concept of my sheep and thy sheep..." Ezra Pound; Chung Yung: "The Unwobbling Pivot".
PLUR. Remember PLUR
-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002