Thursday, January 04, 2024

Cosmic Serpent


"All the peoples in the world who talk of a cosmic serpent have been saying as much for millennia. He had not seen it because the rational gaze is forever focalized and can examine only one thing at a time. It separates things to understand them, including the truly complementary. It is the gaze of the specialist, who sees the fine grain of a necessarily restricted field of vision."

- Jeremy Narby (1959 - )
The Cosmic Serpent, DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

Monday, December 25, 2023

A Borgesian Wink and a small Gift to readers of my Blog

As a small thank you to all the kind visitors of my blog - think of it as a holiday gift - please feel free to download an extended version of my "Icelandic Abstracts" portfolio that was just published in the Dec issue of Lenswork magazine (and whom I thank for allowing me to offer it as a freebie here); clicking on the triptych above will take you to a 22MB Adobe pdf file. While it is always a thrill to be published in Lenswork (that belongs at the top of any list of the best "pure photography" magazines in the world; camera gear is only occasionally mentioned, and when it is, only to support the "story" behind the visual narrative; there are also no ads -ever- except those for Lenswork itself), it is a double pleasure for me this go around since my "Icelandic Abstracts" appears in the same issue as a portfolio by Sean Kernan

Although I do not know Kernan, I have long admired his talents as a photographer. And, devotees of my blog all know of my fascination with Jorge Luis Borges. The fact that Kernan's and my portfolio appear side-by-side in this month's Lenswork is therefore (from my perspective, at least) a quintessentially Borgesian twist of fate: Kernan's book of photographs accompanying Borges' tales - The Secret Books (published in 1999 and long out of print, it is unfortunately prohibitively expensive if/when found) - is among my most cherished literary/photography possessions! I'd like to think that (again, purely from my perspective, certainly not Kernan's) some otherworldly incorporeal incarnation of Borges just gave me a Borgesian wink ūüėČ

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Complexity


"Today the network of relationships linking the human race to itself and to the rest of the biosphere is so complex that all aspects affect all others to an extraordinary degree. Someone should be studying the whole system, however crudely that has to be done, because no gluing together of partial studies of a complex nonlinear system can give a good idea of the behavior of the whole. "

- Murray Gell-Mann (1929 - 2019)

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Full of Fire


"When primitive man gained control over fire, it was a great step. However, the Universe is full of fire; consider the stars. Because we can think, and nothing else on our planet seems to be able to do so, it is natural for us to hold our intellectual prowess in great esteem. However, it may be that information processing, instead of being the sole province of us humans and our machines, may be a part of almost everything else in physics. Life itself, is clearly mediated by digital information; the genetic code. Digital Mechanics assumes that physics is also a process based on informational processes. We may need to rid ourselves of the prejudice that purposeful, thought related action is exclusively the domain of humans or perhaps aliens similar to humans. There are kinds of thinking that are qualitatively unimaginable to us though we can think about it quantitatively. We should not be afraid to consider intellectual activity as the driving force behind the creation of the Universe. By a close and quantitative examination of the possible parameters of Digital Mechanics, we can arrive at reasonable guesses as to what might be the purpose behind the creation of a universe like ours. That, in turn, can lead us towards intelligent speculations about Other, the space that contains the engine of our world."

Edward Fredkin (1934 - 2023)
A New Cosmogony

Monday, December 18, 2023

Be Still With Yourself


"When you approach something to photograph it,
first be still with yourself until the object
of your attention affirms your presence.
Then don't leave until you have
captured its essence."

Minor White (1908 - 1976)

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Lily Math

"Philosophy is written in this all-encompassing book that is constantly open to our eyes, that is the universe; but it cannot be understood unless one first learns to understand the language and knows the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures; without these it is humanly impossible to understand a word of it, and one wanders in a dark labyrinth."

Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)
Il Saggiatore

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Orderly Action Within the Whole


"One must then go on to
a consideration of time as a
projection of multidimensional
reality into a sequence of moments.
...
Thought divides itself from feeling and from the body. Thought is said to be the mind; we have the notion that it is something abstract or spiritual or immaterial. Then there is the body, which is very physical. And we have emotions, which are perhaps somewhere in between. The idea is that they are all different. That is, we think of them as different. And we experience them as different because we think of them as different.
...
Man’s general way of thinking of the totality, i.e. his general world view, is crucial for overall order of the human mind itself. If he thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole."

 - David Bohm (1917 - 1992)