Out of focus because of the tree, but what a beautiful bird, nonetheless.
When in doubt, go with the imperfect image.
The leader of The Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has put his shoulder behind the wheel of a thing he calls “The Middle Class”. This is not the middle class that Marx wanted to abolish, as a representation of the social power of exploitive capital. It’s just that group of Canadians with money to spend, who can maintain the Canadian industrial economy by, well, buying stuff. The thing is, that definition cuts across social classes, which have nothing to do with money. Sometimes art says more than words, which can usually be made to mean anything at all. Here, for instance, is a security apparatus, for a definitely non-Middle Class, non-Liberal establishment seeking to raise money to help in the fight against abortion and the liberal rights the practice embodies.
Downtown Vernon, British Columbia
Not always a liberal (or a LIberal) place, but always full of class.
Think of that as a representation of the human body, and you get the idea. And here we go, to the edge of downtown, at the boundary of a local park and the huge new, very expensive, middle class subdivision that would warm Justin Trudeau’s heart.
More Non-Liberal Security
There’s an old Okanagan tradition of strewing one’s property with junked cars and equipment to stick it to creeping gentrification. That dog sure needs to relax a little, though. The way he was going on, he’s going to need throat lozenges, soon.
Think of it as a representation of the human body, and you get the idea. More than that, think of it as a representation of a social body, or, rather, its boundary. And what is Trudeau’s middle class up to? To da!
Vernon Subdivision for the Well-Heeled
The architectural style is a mix of Provence and the American Southwest.
Here’s the Bella Vista Hills, as re-sculpted by Trudeau’s middle class, for its enjoyment…
A bit of reused sewage outflow can really add a nice nitrogen gleam to the grassland hills.
Why, you’d almost think that a couple classes were at war. Here, for example, is the golf course’s neighbour’s land use strategy.
Private Rights at Any Price
It always seems to be the earth that loses in these inter-human squabbles.
Maybe all this talk of class is not really descriptive of what’s going on. Here’s the middle class’s university.
Symbols of Power and Post-Modernity at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan)
Now, that’s a colonial name, or what.
And here’s the institution’s landscaping.
Landscaping at UBCO
Why do they even bother?
Now, is it just me, or is the aesthetic and cheesy abuse of any kind of respectful relationship to the living things of the earth pretty universal, across class lines here?
Lower class alley (a residential area) used as a middle class parking lot and garbage disposal for the middle class business behind that red door.
How is that different than this?
Now, this cultural aesthetic has another manifestation, among the young (ish). This is Justin Trudeau’s demographic. Here’s a downtown business in Vernon, British Columbia, in the process of a remodel. That doesn’t stop a bit of irony from creeping in …
Indeed. Healing would be the perfect thing. Blabbing on about the not-so-middle middle class is just a way to continue national partisan party politics in the intrusion of our communities into a fragile and threatened biosphere. Politicians are the representations of the polis, or the community. The thing is, this is the community, too:
This character in an ancient story about social equality, which is written on the land, is surrounded by a very non-Middle Class neighbourhood. This, by the way, is what the middle class subdivision of Turtle Mountain looks down upon.
Canada and images of it are not ‘reality’. They are social and political struggles written out upon the land. It doesn’t matter what class Canadians belong to. This is what Canadians take part in. Given the need to address those issues, the desire of all classes to maintain the social and political construct of “Canada”, as it is, whether by building up the middle class or tearing it down or whatever, is selfish (if not plain insane) — unless someone like Trudeau can demonstrate how supporting it can make things better, i.e. reduce the erosion of the social commons called “the earth.” So far, he hasn’t done that. I hope he finds the courage to do so.
Here’s something troubling. It comes from theoretical physicist Lee Smolen.
Lee Smolen, Physicist Source
…all talk of future, past, and present is relative to the moment of time of the person who is speaking. All ordinary talk of time is relational.
Here’s where he’s saying this:
Lee Smolin’s The LIfe of the Cosmos
A curious hybrid of theoretical physics and American political mythology.
Smolin is saying: “ordinary time” is “future, past, and present”. Those are mythological terms, so perhaps a translation for non-Americans might help. Here’s a rudimentary crib:
He’s talking about “ordinary time.” He’s not talking about other forms of time. The American way (as is the way with all cultures) is to relate everything to its own cultural archetypes. For Americans, like Smolin, the strongest of these is the myth of the “common man,” which is “ordinary”, which is, to say, “living in the world of things that can be counted, weighed and measured,” not to mention the stuff that can be made out of it. For that, no other term but “ordinary time” will do the trick. If you’re from a non-American or non-ordinary or non-linear-time-oriented society, Smolin is not talking about the world you know. Again, that’s an American thing. American political mythology is based around the idea of the random actions of individuals coming together in struggle to arrive at the universal good. In one plane, this mythology is symbolized by the partisan politics of the American government in Washington.
Obama’s Problem of Polarization
On another plane, this American mythology is symbolized in the structures of Smolin’s physics, which lead to a notion of a “living” universe (or at least one capable of generating life out of its deepest forms) composed out of a series of networks. His entire book could be summed up like this:
The geometry of the universe is built up at the smallest subatomic level out of a series of networked possibilities.
He is, in other words, describing this:
Circuit Board Source
I find it troubling that the images of a certain age get written into descriptions of the universe. If it’s a universe, it’s a little more universal than the present time, I’d think. And there is a historical precedent for caution.
When German biologists (from the leading scientific nation in the world) came to Harvard in 1936, they showed the workings of “Der Führerprinzip”, or “The Leadership Principle”, among cells in a petri dish. The American biologists were astounded at how quickly the world’s leading scientists could be indoctrinated with politics, so that they couldn’t see the physical proof in front of them. For their part, the Germans were astounded that the Americans were talking about the random actions of individual organisms in the petri dish, coming together through processes of random, mathematical accretion to form complex chains of activity and assemblage.
The American ideology won, but it was no less an ideology than the German one. And Smolin is using it now to describe the universe. There should, at least, be a point of caution here. Still, to be fair, to Smolen the universe is random; any point of reference is as good as any other. It’s as if he has been reading Buddhism, without really getting it. In that light, here’s an image for you to look at …
Home Sweet Home
Okanagan Landing, British Columbia
If Smolen’s rather Buddhist influenced Western thinking were presented in that image, he’d be looking at the moment the photograph was taken, or the narrative of history that laid down all of the components of this front yard one after the other, because those are “ordinary” time. It follows by definition. The other time present would not be his concern, as it is not the concern of empirical science. He would, in other words, not be seeing the image, or that history, or the objects as one thing all at once or any other way outside the parameters of what might, for lack of a better word, be called ego. Now, that’s all fine and good, because, as he says, he’s picking a random point of measurement, in a universe consistent across its extant, and working up the other parts from his point of measurement. The only problem is that he is attempt to describe a universe in this way, which contains universal forces, including forms of time which are not “ordinary”. If he sees the point of attending to them or what consequences attending to them might have for physics, he does not mention it in his book. He doesn’t, for instance, speak of senses of time embedded in, say, groups, or collectives, rather than individuals. His notion of networks gets close, but replaces presence with a map of linear processes … which would never create the universe he is trying to describe. He is, in other words making a work of art. In human experience. there are thousands of alternate approaches to time, each which would support different versions of physics. He does not include them, either. My worry is that this might just be an indication of limitations within physics, rather than limitations within those perspectives. It’s quite likely that even if he saw this image …
… as the technological intrusion that it is (i.e., it is processed through a camera), that’s to say, an image of the world that speaks as much or more about the technology that made it as it does about the world, he would relate the image to the moment at which a human made it, rather than to the place and time, together, that made it, because such an experience would be outside of the boundaries of physics, and … that’s because it can’t be empirically tested, because it’s not ordinary. You could, after all, empirically test this …
… but you’d be limited by what you (and your notions of time and space) could imagine. That’s where mythology comes in. Here’s a thought:
It is entirely possible to improve the process of empirical testing, so that these viewpoints are included. It would create change on the order of magnitude of relativity theory or quantum theory.
Which is exactly what Smolen appears to be seeking. To do so, he insists on the primacy of one particular mythology. He’s saying:
This relation refers to a person speaking.
Fascinating. In many cultures, an individual is the earth speaking. In at least one branch of Wiccan culture, the individual remains still, while the stories that are the world break over him or her like waves. This individual is an incarnation (not re-incarnation) of one of the stories that are the world. In light of that example of what is humanly possible, I think what Smolen is really saying is,
“Within the parameters of dominant American culture’s positioning of individual experience in relationship to the earth and the universe, these are the effects one could expect. If the universe were different, we could expect different effects.”
As a contemporary theoretical physicist, he has no trouble positing an infinite number of inaccessible universes. It is curious, however, that he thinks they are inaccessible. I think that’s what he’s trying to do. In contemporary physics, space and time are a unified energy. For the sake of popular (“ordinary”) argument, Smolen has broken them apart into their “ordinary” manifestation, in which space is constant and either a) moves across time or b) is moved across by time. You won’t know which until you measure it, but if you measure it, the other possibility will cease to exist.
Isn’t that a perfect description of physics?
Again, alarm bells are ringing. Given the wealth of human cultural approaches to this knot, he could have, just as easily, kept time as the constant, and have space moved across it, or have had them both not separated at all.
It takes an hour of time to walk three kilometres from this fir to the valley below, or it takes three kilometres to travel an hour in time.
It seems that Smolen has not found a simple way to integrate his physics with the world. The tools that he has just make it more complicated than it needs to be. Again, that’s trouble. Here’s an example of that, from Smolen’s The Life of the Cosmos…
When we use a clock or a calendar to locate an event in time, we are givings its time relative to a system that has been set up by human beings.
Makes sense. That’s what I’ve been pointing out, more or less. Then a bit of wobbliness sets in. He continues …
Although that system is arbitrary, its use is necessary.
He’s saying that the system of physics is necessary; it’s the only “clock” that can measure the universe. I dunno. Here’s a clock that fits human parameters, works with space, time and the universe, and was the centre of the world of one of the peoples Smolen’s culture put on a reservation so that their earth could be used to grow wheat.
Sacred Palouse Falls. (From the Okanagan Okanogan archives.)
… even while the moon draws its stories onward as smoke …
The pipe burns all day above the life-giving waters …
Salamander Tadpole, Upper Palouse Falls
… and at dusk …
In “ordinary” culture that observation is called poetry, which places it outside the boundaries of physics. As Smolen continues, I think he explains why very well:
Without such a system, we would be lost, for we have no access to any absolute notion of when something happens.
And that is a problem… because? It’s surely not a problem for humans in general. Cultural history shows us that. It’s not a problem for the universe, obviously. It’s not a problem for poets. It’s only a problem for people who want an absolute notion of when something happens. That’s important, for sure, but for people, in their lives, that absolute notion is embedded in and conducted in concert with other notions which extend far beyond the physics-based ones that Smolen concentrates on. To include them, for a more complete image, I suggest ceasing to relate stuff like what is recorded in the image below to human observers.
That a human “made” that image is surely not the most important thing about it. What if the earth made it, through a human? Or through geese? Or through time? Or through matter? Those are also clocks. The presumption of physics that any clock is as good as any other, didn’t apply to biology in 1935 and should probably not apply now. I mean, we can approach the unity of the living earth as a computer network, or as a living thing. I think the outcomes we will get will not be the same. I think that matters. I think it’s time to upgrade the foundations of physics. I think it’s time to give it a better story.
Crystal Moon, by Canada Goose
Air, water, light and cold.
More goose art.
Double White Hole, by Goose
Air, water, light, cold and sun.
How do they do this? Aha. Well, there’s beautiful ice, like this:
And there’s beautiful ice like this:
The geese are why the ice is so varied. Here’s how it’s done. First, you swim around, because you’re a goose.
When it gets colder, you sleep by standing along the shore, in the water, thank you, because it’s warmer on the feet than the air.And then you nod off, because you’re a goose, and the lake freezes around you. Because you’re a goose, you panic, a little.
Here’s some goose art starting to gel again…
So, folks, give thanks that Canada geese have decided to stay for the winter, because without them great beauty would be absent from the world. Note, we should stop coddling their eggs. What a thing to do to artists!
Great Blue Heron on His Barn Roof, Watching for Mice Below (Click.)
Is evolution a random process? Is life itself random? Did life arise on earth randomly and then develop randomly? [Evolutionary theory tends to say Yes!]
Are the Colours of This Gull Random? Is the Gull? Is its Behaviour?
Mid-winter thaw on Okanagan Lake.
To be fair, evolutionary theory is using the “random” word to separate itself from a conception of the universe that is determined by will and intention, with a sixteenth century God making everything happen for his own social purposes.
God at Work?
Hey, it’s winter. You’d hope He’d play with the ice, right?
Truth is, technicians of evolutionary theory really don’t use evolutionary theory for opinions on matters of God. They use it to describe observable processes. (And God, by definition, is not observable.) Should evolutionary theorists comment on matters of God, however, they’re no longer talking about evolutionary processes; they’re talking about God.
No, by definition God is uncontainable in images.
And in the middle of this dog chasing its tail is the word that is used to separate notions of intention from those of non-intentional process: randomness. Another word for that is “chance”. Those early mathematicians were actually trying to figure out ways to cheat at cards. Ironically, they are called games of chance, but the ancestors of contemporary science were trying to take all the chance out of it. Hmmmm. A little switcher, and the problem is solved: use “randomness” instead. The problem is, however, that the word doesn’t fit the world well, either. It’s also just not random. Pattern, it seems, is inescapable, and beautiful, too. Calling it “random” changes nothing, except the ability to see it.
The Exquisite Energies of Winter
What is a guy to do, when the world that is described as random, to separate it from intentionality and the predetermined fate that follows that (and the obedience to social class and the political and religious superstructures that follow hot on the heels of that), isn’t random? If it were random, it would be chaos.
This is Not Chaos
Sure, sure, sure, “random” means the non-intentional combination and combination of elements according to general, universal principles called “The Laws of Nature”, that create the preconditions on which the energy and matter architecture of the scientifically-imagined universe rest. One such “law” is Archimedes’ principle, which states that the upward buoyant force exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces. Just to give an example.
Random, though, also means totally by chance, which has got nothing to do with natural laws, which, like the God they are modelled after, aren’t by chance. You could say they’re the very idea of will and intentionality that evolutionary theorists are trying to escape. Tut tut tut. What a mess.
This Is Not a Mess
In order to make their way through this maze, scientists, who are practical roll-up-the-sleeves-and-break-out-a-petri-dish folks who brook little nonsense and have built some really cool devices (like android phones running on ice cream sandwich … my my), tend to redefine or constrict words, such as ‘random’, to create a language specific to their intentions. That’s a powerful solution, but also one that locks thinking to specific parameters, while excluding others, which might also be present in phenomena.
In Romantic Forms of Art, This is Life
Now that academic art practices have subordinated themselves to scientific nomenclature it is illusion, and all the world with it.
Bizarre! Is this illusion?
No. It is a gull. Any human seeing an illusion here is under an illusion. Here’s an illusion:
Blue Heron On His Old Telephone Pole Decoration House Post Thing
Here’s the real thing.
Great Blue Heron on His Barn Roof
See? Not the same thing at all. Yes, I get it. If God is undefinable and can’t be presented in images, the old monkish game of listing what God is not (anything left over should, by definition, be God) retains its power in contemporary scientific thinking. But, wait, let’s try that, shall we.
This is Not God. This is a Bike Rack.
Umm… sorry. By definition, God is everything.
Gadzooks. May I just say that from what I’ve observed as a human living in a physical world built out of spiritual energy and mapped through stories in which I am both the land and the man walking through it, could it be that something has been left out?
I Made This Crack in the Ice by Crossing it To Make This Shot
Could what has been left out be the notion of human-ness itself? What if nature, rather than being distant, is very close, and human?
I Cracked This Ice, Too!
It’s not the crack I wish to draw your attention to, nor my cracking of it, but that I cracked myself in the process. It might sound a little obscure, but it’s a direct, physical thing, like this:
Or maybe the weight of geese. Physical, at any rate.
In the image below, I also had an intention, of moving my body into a certain position. I imagined it, in other words. I saw and felt myself there, and moved my body to get inside that thought. It happens much in the way you know where your hand is in the dark or how to get from your bedroom to the kitchen and get a glass of water without seeing a thing (watch out for the cat, though).
Human Body, Cracked
There is a force at work here that is neither fate nor intentionality but completeness. In the sense of energy, I was already there before I moved my body there and made the energy into a physical, or bodily form. Let’s call that completeness time, to get the discussion going.
What if time were filtered in to the equation? Would the gull that opened this meditation be random then? To help you meditate on that, here is an image of that gull taken shortly before the image above.
Sure gets around, doesn’t it! But, wait, if we’re looking at a gull existing in time rather than in space, what about the gull existing in a flock, rather than as an individual? How is that different, really?
Gulls with the Okanagan Lake Shrimp Fleet, Okanagan Landing
What if any individual gull’s movements were random only if considered separately from its relation to the flock and its own movements? What if the flock were the life and the individual gull only a generator of the movements in time that are the flock and which human definitions of “life” call “life”? Even the geese don’t have words for knots of ideas like that. They just cut right through it all and do this instead:
Well, lucky for us, we don’t have to answer questions like that, either. They’re unanswerable. They are questions asked with words. This is not a word…
… or if it is, it is spoken in a language of energy that words present as ice, water, light, flock and so on. That’s simply not the same thing, and to state that it is so is not to quibble with words, either. Just to point that out.
This is Not a Quibble
It is called “walking carefully so you don’t fall down.”
To show you what I have observed in light of this observation, here’s some ice I found three days ago, in some grass in a young swampland just beginning to develop as an ecosystem.
Cool stuff, huh! What you’re looking at is water funnelled into an old irrigation canal by an urban street drainage system, which has given rise to a colony of reeds, dryland grasses, weeds and rushes high above the valley floor. That unique (and brand new) combination makes for some beautiful effects.
Caterpillar? Peas in a Pod?
No, just grassland ice.
Evolutionary and mathematical theory would suggest that the formation of such structures is “random”, because it’s unpredictable and unrepeatable, but what is random, anyway? A word? Yes. A mathematical concept? Hardly.
This is Not a Mathematical Principle
It is a complex combination of water, grass, light, energy, gravity, atmospheric pressure, and the boundaries between their energy states, as expressed through time. In other words, this is what time looks like.
There are strict mathematical principles at play in the water captured in the image above, which give rise to basic forms like this …
… on a non-predictable frequency, but that’s not the same as interpreting those principles as randomness. There is, after all, the physics of air bubbles in freezing water and the play between water tension and the molecular energy of air, as they achieve a balance …
… always on the same principles but never quite the same …
… but that’s not precisely randomness, either. Again, I’m not arguing fine points of nomenclature here, or slicing and dicing words up into a rhetorical salad to make some point that doesn’t interact meaningfully with either the physical world or scientific practice. I’m trying to point out that phenomena are wordless and that there is more power and potential within them than words characteristically release.
There Are No Words for This…
…yet every human responds to them profoundly (and physically). The “thought” in play in such a response is a physical response, not the kind of cognitive one used to play hide and seek with “God”.
On the other hand, phenomena are constrained by words. The image below, for example, is an illustration of how early life formed around the frozen-thawed boundaries of different molecular regimes in the early earth.
No, not really. I made that up. Still, it might be the case, or it might not, but that’s not the point. Rigorous experimentation and analysis might increase understanding of the issues behind this hypothesis, or might dismiss it altogether, but that’s not what I’m trying to get at. I’m trying to get at this:
My point is that by applying descriptive terms to the ice (such as my hypothesis about cold-warm energy exchange boundaries playing a possible role in the formation of life on earth), certain lines of thought are opened while others are closed. That’s why words like “random” are dangerous — they do the same thing. Whatever the image below is, it is not random.
To say it is random is to close off possibilities that might lead to different comprehensions. Call those points of view. Here’s that ice again, from a different point of view.
Ah, but what is a point of view? It is a viewing self, an individual human “I”, constructed by the early romantic philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte in 1792 as a portable, relativizing tool for scientific observation, that allowed measurement to both take place and be transferable, as distinct from the pre-scientific self, which was embedded in a social group, or a church, which isn’t called a flock for no reason. The following image presents another point of view. In this one, notice that a point of view that can separate the world into points of attention can also be redefined by the earth that it chooses to attend to.
It also means you are not downtown have a coffee at Starbucks.
A huge number of points of view are possible.
They are all human. You can talk about gas pressures and molecular structures till the cows come home, but, in the end, this is just ice.,
Before There Were “I”s to Focus Attention, There Were Words
To “understand” ice is one thing. To know what in the heck it is, you’re going to have to go out and spend some time with it.
You could, for example, eat it, touch it or just throw stuff on it instead of going out onto it yourself (Safety first!)
A Messy Experiment in Out of Body Travel
The scientific world view is built upon best guesses confirmed by experiment, which are then used to build the foundation for future hypotheses, which are confirmed by further experiment, and so on. At each step along the way, language guides which hypotheses are formed: it makes some possible and makes others extremely unlikely. In this sense, scientific descriptions of the world are cultural artefacts.
As Soon as You Name This It is a Cultural Artefact
Too much naming based on ladders of hypothesis and proof, as essential as they are to the system called science, risk turning that system of exploration into a self-fulfilling cultural prophecy. Perhaps an example from ancient Syria might help clarify that point. Beware, this was translated from the Latin, from the Greek, in 1911, by a New Age philosopher.
In like manner, also, as the light of the sun is present in the air without being combined with it — and it is evident that there is nothing left in the air when the illuminating agent is removed, although warmth is still present when the heating has entirely ceased — so also the light of the gods shines while entirely separate from the objects illuminated, and, being firmly established in itself, makes its way through all existing things.
Iamblichus, On the Mysteries (Source.)
Translation? Sure, I’ll make a stab at it:
In the same way that sunlight is present in the air without being part of it — and nothing of it is left there after the sun has gone down, although the air remains warm for awhile after the sun has stopped heating it — the light of the gods also shines separately from the objects it illuminates. Because of its indivisible nature, it makes its way through all existing things.
Iamblichus is talking about ancient spiritual matters. Inn his discussion (which gave rise to medieval scholasticism and from that to contemporary science itself), two points are relevant to my point here:
1. Life rises from the earth when struck with the light of the sun (for Iamblichus, a supreme force, which gives rise to the gods as well),
2. Godhood (or the sun) is present in an object proportionately to the perfect shape (beauty) of that object. (The more beautiful [perfectly shaped] an object, the more the god [or the sun] is present within it.)
Not exactly the stuff of science, is it! Well, no, but it could be. That’s my point. Here, let’s look at that ice again. First, life is rising from the earth, when light strikes it…
Well, grass, at any rate. Of course, the grass came from seed, so it’s not really quite the way Iamblichus describes it. Sure, the new grass wetland has evolved from the combination of forces in an unlikely location, but the grasses themselves evolved millions of years ago, so the sun didn’t really animate dead earth to make all this magic happen (that was long, long before), and this stuff …
… evolved billions of years ago. All life stands in an unbroken chain with the cell divisions within these organisms and others like them. It has all happened in time. Read there, read as if time were space (um… it is!), it has all happened at once, much like this:
A Flock of Gulls, Okanagan Indian Band Beach, Okanagan Lake
Another word for this is Time.
That’s all a bit different than randomness, and a bit different as well from the intellectual rigour of science, which sought to separate itself from romantic interpretations of Iamblichus’s philosophy and the alchemical traditions that came from them.
Human I in the Ice
It’s not a romantic concept. Fichte tried to turn you into a more portable version less easily confused with God. Oh, those parsons’ sons!
Humanly observed, nature exists in human social time, in which the term “random” is a human social marker, moreso than a marker of actually physical processes. One such human social marker, for example, is the word “random.” Another is the notion that time progresses while space remains stable. It could just as easily be the opposite. There is certainly a sense of that reversal in Iamblichus.
Mom and Son Feeding Ducks
Is this time or is it space? No, it is space-time, which is a kind of word sandwich meant to say “human” without saying “human”.
Ah, what’s to be done? Well, one way to get at time is to go back to the beginning of life, with one eye on Iamblichus and one eye on molecular biology, which creates energy and material transfers and physical replications by such processes as gas permeation of membranes (for example, oxygen uptake into lungs), electron transfers across membranes (photosynthesis), and intricately folded hydrocarbon strings designed to adhere to specific atoms and molecules in specific positions (DNA, photosynthesis, and so on). It all happens at the point at which the sun strikes carbon in the presence of water and carbon dioxide, at particular energy levels. Here’s that ice again…
That’s not such a far cry from cell biology. Liquid water is required for life on earth, but perhaps frozen water, and its ability to separate processes on spectrums of time and energy, played a role…
…, in relation to water in its liquid state. What is separated in the process of freezing could be in the process of thawing.
and freezing again…
… and thawing and freezing and freezing and thawing and freezing and thawing and freezing and thawing as the earth turns…
… like breath.
That has merged with light.
Whatever those things are.
The fact that it looks like life is because a living human has observed it. Dead humans don’t observe stuff like this. Neither do android phones running on ice cream sandwich.
Ideology is an Invasive Weed (Part Two)
In cold post-glacial lakes there are no weeds. The weeds grow in wetlands draining into the shore. In Canada’s version of the Okanagan Valley, it’s not quite like that, as I showed two days ago (Click.) Why, one would think that Canada is trying to turn this lake into an image of the famous muskeg of the Boreal Forest (Perhaps around the tar sands of Northern Alberta?), or maybe just the algal bloom and general over-fertilized muck of Lake Erie (tobacco field petroleum-based fertilizer runoff). I dunno. The geese do, though.
Florida 1. Okanagan 0. Third inning.
Poor things. They’re grossed out at the hell that human mis-reading of grassland lake systems as summer boating and swimming paradises have made out of the lake (see yesterday’s post) and are hanging out at the children’s playground instead of dipsy-doodling down on the lake shore, which isn’t really a shore anymore.
Playgrounds are Designed to Teach Children the Skills Required to Do the Work of Adults in Society
Complete with wheelchair ramp. Note that these training devices for domesticating the wild human body don’t reference the natural habitat of such creatures (the earth). This playground is a visual representation of contemporary ideology. It should be a warning. Shouldn’t children be playing in the lake? Na, they’re probably grossed out by it too. They’re also smart enough to pick up that it has certain approved roles in adult society, and not others. No point wasting their time, eh.
The geese don’t know a thing about the niceties of economic triage, which is a cozy term to describe the ideology that holds (with trumpets) that all things in the world are subject to the practical demands of reducing public expenses to allow for increased corporate profit. The political class of the city in which I live (Vernon, British Columbia) holds that it is the business of the government to reduce costs above all other things, and to create opportunities for private investment and profit. This ideology holds that it is the role of government to provide services that have only costs (roads, sewers, and so on), but no potential for profit. Did you get the irony in that? The government’s role is to reduce the costs that it’s responsibility is to provide? Kind of like this, I think.
Adventure Playground Ideology by Another Name
In the terms of contemporary society, this is called “reality” and “practical thinking” and even “good government.” It is only good, however, if viewed from within its own ideology. When looked at from the world of the geese, maybe the world looks like this?
Sometimes the Worst Picture from a Human Perspective is the Best
Ah, but these are publicly-kept non-migratory geese that have their eggs destroyed every spring so that they don’t have more geese, which will mar the expensive trucked-in sand choking out the lake’s natural boundary with goose poop and making it useless to the ideology of summer. (Without cheap petroleum, no one would have thought of trucking sand across entire mountain ranges to make a place for half-naked humans to lie and soak up the sun and dream they were in florida.) Sure, go ahead.
Like the geese, I’m grossed out, too. This is like an oil spill.
Would you play there? No. The problem with that is that, by extension, the question could be asked: Would you play on the earth? The answer is, sadly, God no.
The whole playground that has been made out of the earth because of the cheapness of petroleum and the ability it gives to create ideologies without connection to the living earth is based around the principles of a) the earth can be discarded because we all outgrow our childhood fantasies and b) wildness will always heal what we do once we have done that. In ideological terms, this is called, “growing up”, and “it’s just business,” and “we need balanced development.” It’s even called “responsible.” Sure.
Impromptu Curling Rink on Okanagan Lake
It’s not just the shore that gets eroded.
For some reason, nonmigratory geese, which choose not to migrate (and to self-domesticate instead), and which are further domesticated by human intervention, are called wild. I think these images show that the humans have become domesticated, too. I’d say what has been done to the lake and these geese has also been done to us. You won’t read it in water management reports or civic government public information session promotional brochures or proselytizing Ministry of Environment apologies for goose egg coddling initiatives, but you sure can read it in the lake. Like the playground, it is our mirror.