This was 5 years, 2 months, 8 days ago

ha! ha!
the irony of wanting to write about not wanting to write.

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from something somewhere: "a system is so complex nobody can understand it"

phrases like this seems to me, from this vantage point of in-the-field in-situ process, looking at things from the wrong end of the telescope, or from the point of understanding purely. people work in complex systems daily, and change it, using a series of heuristics disguised under phrases like "this is how we've done it" or "industry standards". these heuristics are flawed and biased and opinionated, yet operate as functional ways to modify a complex system in complex ways with simple judgment processes.

the main flaw (and is this like debating with myself, 2 years ago?) is perhaps to believe that full understanding is necessary or anterior to decision-making, or that understanding means 'making a model of' something.

(or: would I say: no no no, you are being anti-science? non-rigorous?)

(and to that I can't help but say: what have I learned these past two years if not the immensity of heuristics and the hyperopia of information? the intelligence borne in the reflex of the hand and the judgement of a shared practice, but not in the mind of a single person? the gap between science, which seems to me a desire to focus on repeatable, controllable, results, models of understanding that are correct the vast majority of cases, and heuristics/know-how/ways-of-doing that are about being correct once, about jumping over a gap and nailing it, about wandering in a city you've never been to before and will never again be a complete stranger to and having an interesting time?

it wouldn't be hyperbole to talk about an earth-shaking realization of ways of doing.)

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(the sadness of this approach, of course, is that things aren't as easily sharable. I cannot as easily share my learnings with a snap, cannot beam them into your brain using the tool we call language or writing, you cannot transitively share them across, and so this is all slow to spread, slow to be understood.

what oh what do we do with the things we learn that do not accord to the logic of our dominant media? things that are not cut-copy-pastable, things that are unidirectional and anisotropic in time and effort? things that are not spreadable, or in spreading, lose their efficacy completely? things that are not transitive, commutative, distributive?

how do I share these with you? how do I share the impossibility of sharing these things with you over text? the answer being only, 'come and see'. what do other mediums do about this?

how do I speak about this outside an anti-technological context and try to say that, maybe to be pro-technology can be anti-medium, so to be pro-medium is to be neutral to technology, and to see beyond the reliable assemblages that make something up (because after all, there is no technology that does not aspire to reliability)?

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maybe a good rule of thumb for myself is:
if my body is moving, then I am absorbing something that is difficult to bottle.
if I ask others to move their bodies, then I am sharing/learning something that is difficult to bottle.
if my body is not moving, then I am absorbing something that is easy to bottle. I should understand that things that are easily bottled and easily spread, while they are valuable and precious, also highly rely on their context to mean more.

your mouth moves and you speak, and it's not the language that you say, but the fact that you say it in response to my mouth movements, and together we've gone back and forth. your body moves against my body and we share a center of gravity, and it's not the form that our body makes, but the experience of moving together that is indescribable.

we sit in a circle and talk and waggle our fingers and this thing that happened here, I cannot quite tell you what it was like with words, because I would be trying to bottle up something that is unbottleable, a type error, a casting error. more accurately I must transform what's unbottleable into the bottled, and this thing happens that's very magical, and I weave and reduce and boil away and transform and pour it into the bottle, and what happens is that now I have a bottle of what happened, very different in taste and form and quantity and color, and I share it with you, and I cannot say much other than the fact that it came from this other thing, the same way that sugar comes from sugarcane, linked in fact but an endless distance apart in effect.

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"why attempt the bottling in the first place?", you might ask, and I might ask to myself.

it's because I want to share.

"why?"

because I want to be heard.

"why?"

maybe it's because I often use these bottles to listen or to be heard.

"why?"

well, maybe because my models of closeness or politics have long revolved around these bottles, language, words, writing.

"why?"

I don't know. maybe because language is the medium of ultra-fast transitivity; I hear a joke and turn it around and say it to ten friends, and so the quickness of linkages and connections made between nodes in this graph is really nice because I can share what I'm thinking to people I don't often talk to.

"why?"

good question! maybe it's because conversations that I have lately are either with people I don't know as well or people I know pretty well, and not much in between; there's a bimodal distribution of sorts, and so with people I know pretty well I want to share ideas quickly and trust in the same context so I can sling words like viruses with payloads, shorthands designed to operate in a context I can foresee; with people I don’t know pretty well I rely on the power of signification and share words like those hyper-compressed towels in mini-packages that, when placed in water, bloom and expand like flowers; ideas that can enlarge quickly and spread with richness and color. (or maybe: procedurally generated landscapes, small bits of code that unfold and unfold and unfold..)

“why?”

well. because I live in this city. because I’m impatient and can’t wait and need to have all parts of my brain tickled.

or or. or maybe it’s really because the work that I am working on is in a specific medium and the work has a specific logic, of endless dependencies and entanglements with weather and money and labor and politics and people and emotions and communications and phones and shipping costs,

and the logic flows back in reverse, flows from my fingers and my lips into my body and up my spine into my brain and my heart and affects my being. the medium/domain/field in which I operate affecting how I think and believe.

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the dissonance I feel is the sliding between the logic of architecture/construction/teaching/collectives and the logic of information, like geological plates that shift along each other or across each other and cause earthquakes, repetitive oscillations, rumblings in a landscape.

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so, so, so.

can bacteria be freeze-dried?
how can viruses be understood in their context?
what are some new ways of sharing things that happen over years rather than minutes?
what is an ideal union/collaboration between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge?
a study of tacit knowledge looks like an apprenticeship. a study of explicit knowledge looks like a typ. academic program. what does both? what others are possible?

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or perhaps it just takes time.