Sunday, December 30, 2007

I've stopped building my latest perpetual design

out of a kind of mortal terror that it will work.

The chasm between a 'divinely inspired' schema (or one I would megalomaniacally perceive as such) and one with design flaws is intimidating.

The idea that there are abysses of history without an example is itself a terror.

More rationally, I might pretend that my handicrafts are at fault, that a working design is no economic solution to my life, that physicists would actually want to shoot me, that I'm not the person for the job, or I was soon to discover something completely wrong with my thinking (similar to balancing my expenses last week).

To ask the best has so far not been to know the path.

Latest Drawings



"Silky Form", ink on paper, 2007



"Hectic Flirri", ink on paper, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

No news from the reporter

about possible marketing. Perhaps this will be a long-term commitment.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Volitional Concept Under Construction

For the first time I notarized an original document, with the intent to keep the design secret even from potential computer vulnerabilities.

The design marks 1 year and four months from the formation of my website at nathancoppedge.com, indicating that some published designs are no longer patentable, even with evidence of priority, workability, and a good lawyer.

Recently purchased materials from Hull's Hardware may allow me to build a model of the latest design in the next several days, whatever its merits. I have been eager to post photos or even a movie clip of a design or my experiments with it for the purpose of promoting the website or generating wider audience appeal.

I have even considered that a device functioning by one measure or another, or applicable as a non-perpetual toy of one kind or another might be marketable as a sort of trinket or novelty without patent protection. The urge to tinker with these materials is not inherently an urge to find a windfall of cash (some might say the opposite. For me the materials have a value similar to ink, that in certain forms an art object is produced, which seems valuable to me apart from its saleability. Maybe this points towards a hobby or career direction as I mature).

News or photos hopefully when this takes a sufficient form, however until then science indicates there's nothing to get excited about. I'm suppressing notions that some government agency would appropriate it into the "secret" energy program, as part of an effort to promote the foolish urges of future pseudo-inventors. To some extent my lack of interest in this sort of approximate delusion suggests that there are things wrong with the world, if only because free energy has been so much a pipe dream, that laws can be taken for granted outside of philosophy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I have sent

A revised introduction to a reporter who has offered to assist me in marketing my work. Otherwise there have been few obvious strides in Motism lately.

I continue to operate a Motist art gallery at Machina Artistika: Part of the Impossible Machine

The photographs in Cycle 2 (most often updated) are now ordered according to the most recent appearing.

I have a few potent projects which depend on signs of success to grow.

I've considered forming a website called The Terrapinian as a platform for authorship, with Motism in mind. However, its so contingent now its a little irrational to think its of the greatest importance. But how to plan ahead in these endeavors?

When I consider the Terrapin who would sell books, I feel like so much more of a person. Life in cafes and little bookshops could begin to mean something. I'd be a smeller and breather of ink. I'm even working at a library. I'm so contented with bits of my introduction, part of me is apprehensive that I'm just setting myself up for unexpected failure. The same feeling has existed to various degrees for several years. The things that are gold to me! To think it isn't folly!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Logical Generalizations

Its interesting sometimes to look at logical statements in how they refer to themselves. There is a popular belief that if you look deep enough, nothing is there. However its my view that this is a mistake based on the notion that to look at something exclusively in terms of logic is to avoid content. This is not to say either that logic is empty or that any content that might appear is empty because of logic. Instead, logic is a context for finding meaning in statements which have substance, even while logic itself may seem colorless and tasteless.

For example of this (what led up to this posting) I'll present a simple series showing what statements imply about themselves, and some things that may be deduced, according to a series of degrees of qualification, the first (degree 1) being solid by assumptions, the second (degree 2) by clear analysis, the third (3) by extensible or contingent logic (still logical, but perhaps by multiple premises), and the fourth (4) completely baseless. As you will see in these cases I may discard degrees 2 through 4 within my conclusions.

Premise 1 (P1): This statement makes sense
Premise 2 (P2): It would make sense if we knew it
Premise 3 (P3): Knowing knows it knows
(Q1): This statement (P1) is a basis for knowledge if it is true (if we premise it)
Degree 1, vis. to not know it makes sense is not sensical.

(Q2): Thus, the statement only makes sense by a higher degree if we know and the knowing makes sense.
Degree 1, vis. those who consider are more sensible; knowledge reflects consideration.

(Q3): Vis. just because the sensical leads to or promotes knowledge does not mean that all knowledge is sensical, speaking logically.
Degree 1, vis. knowledge is knowledge; it would make sense even if the sense was that it didn't make sense ('{p} knowledge' that doesn't make sense is often assumed to be qualified by the senseless, when in fact it may have a senseless logic apart from the individual, for example inequality or differing pragmatic imperatives); hypothetically there are objects as truths that do not make sense even to extreme discernment; in a certain sense finding them may be equated with discernment, but not to the undiscerning.

This sort of thinking could be summarized within a Venn diagram within which the sensical (equated with conscious analysis) is a small part of the knowable/knowledge (equated with experience). In a more discerning fashion, the same situation is expressed in a cross-like diagram in which an axis unreason-paradox passes through a scaleable "datum of the sensible", with an axis ignorance-antiparadox passing diagonally, demonstrating how a trend towards confronting paradox is reasonable, however unreasonable a paradox may seem in itself.

Although by comparison to unreason philosophy is then not strictly reasonable, in the context of the datum of the sensible it becomes quite definitive in relation to ignorance, (esp. if ignorance is equated with unreason or death-by-paradox, the latter being only half a joke since speaking dramatically fatal flaws and ironic unexpected turns are themselves somewhat paradoxical, and not always yet archetypes).

"Impertures" a Motistical ink drawing



"Impertures". 5 X 7" Unframed, Ink on Acid-free Paper, 2007


You can always click on the drawing for a closer view.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interpreting Glyphs

A view of glyphs of a cross or key construction



A kind of compass rose formed of keys:

News lately, and apologies

I failed to follow up on my blog activity in October, due to hiccups and developments of various kinds, however I'm returning to it now. Partly I was responding to the limited results of press activity.

My latest pursuit concerns the symbolism of glyphs, which suggest a geometrical nature to categorality. I'm not at the point of interpreting Mayan, but have clear and sudden impressions of the nature of line variations, within certain set forms.

The Motist has not yet been published. I continue to correspond with Phil Hall about eventual suitability, most currently about revising the introduction.

Perpetual motion has taken a backseat. Unless some virtue is seen in my posted designs it doesn't seem like anything will come of them. I'm still interested in automata, which play a special role as expressions of enginuity (e.g. Rube Goldberg devices, self-executing series, machine-as-metaphor, toys as thought experiments, etc.) but lately my concepts have remained concepts without resulting in anything commercial or demonstrative.

It was a jealous dissapointment to find an artist's wire structures in a boutique; one device operated by a crank was made to look fancifully like leaping fish, mounted on a wooden stand, pricetag $300. I was amazed I hadn't seen these before, yet also fascinated at the design. Its simple enough, and yet has such wonderful effects. True perpetual motion might aspire to be equally precious and rare. Even without a patent, maybe such devices could be sold in mass as curios. Building a miniature model might secure my name, even if it didn't secure a large income. I identify with these things so consoledly, I don't see how they would not be a greater part of my life.

Corruscated Rind



An ink drawing of the "second cycle" of motistical ink. The second cycle is indicated by distance from strict architectural forms in favor of a landscape that covers the entire page; the mythology becomes less one of fables and closer to futurism and objects of the psyche. Instead of a wire-frame or stone surface studded with holes, I approximate it to a garden or curving sheets of iron.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hartford Courant

Nov. 1st, 2007:

TECH/SCIENCE, "Nutmeggers on the Net: Essences and Sentiments"
by Phil Hall


...

Motism Made Easy

Also in New Haven is 24-year-old Nathan L. Coppedge, who is bringing motism to the Net masses via The Motist Agenda (motism.blogspot.com). Coppedge defines motism as "a movement based in philosophy, manifest in art and applicable to literature, described in the unpublished book "The Motist: A Free-Thought Manifesto" by Eucaleh Terrapin.

Eucaleh Terrapin is a nom de plume for Coppedge, a librarian during the day and digital philosopher/artist. Beyond his espousal of motism, he has used the Net to present his abstract art (nathancoppedge.com) and link the concepts of perpetual motion with artistic expression (impossiblemachine.com).

The Motist Agenda represents Coppedge's platform to blend art, philosophy and theories of motion into a new intellectual school.

"For the most part, I needed an 'official venue' for the ideas I've been sheltering for several years", he says. "A reason to keep going, and breathe life into the dream. Partly it's an acceptance of a more strictly academic role, even in absence of conventional qualifications."

It's been something of a tough sell though.

"Overall, I've found it difficult to advocate a philosophy," Coppedge says. "The majority of forums I find are caught up in old arguments. There is resistance, perhaps even by law, to the notion of perpetual motion. People would rather criticize the physics of the situation than consider the metaphysical side of what perpetual motion would mean."

Though his web traffic is on the low side--Coppedge diplomatically notes his May-launched blog is "still picking up"--he believes he can make motism matter.

"Because of the explorative nature of the art, and the diagrammatic nature of the philosophy, they interrelate to such an extent that I've begun to see artwork as almost an axial structure, a bigger but less careful metaphor than philosophy," he says.

"Art is a view, but not always a view of the real or even desired. Yet the goal is to make it real. Philosophy, insofar as it attains knowledge, is a system which describes something that can be trusted, something I would rather call a machine than a zero."


This article marks a major point, even if the view understandably accounts for the plight of the ideas.

[Later Commentary: Motism became Modism in later editions, but I still seek publishing]

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Two drawings



Borraging, ink on acid-free paper, 5 X 7" unframed



Openings, ink on acid-free paper, 5 X 7" unframed

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Recent Drawing


Play House, Motistical Ink drawing interposed with notes approx. 5 X 7" unframed.

My primary art gallery may be found at The Impossible Machine: Machina Artistika

Requests for sales may be forwarded to terrapin@impossiblemachine.com

Virtually all the drawings are currently for sale.

Five (incl. Leaning Towers, Snickety, Shambles, Life Beside a Tree, and Tumult) currently have attractive metal frames and professional matting.

By request, I would be glad to mat and frame any other drawing shown at the gallery, with a one to two week delay.

Paintings are also for sale, in a more limited quantity.

As of yesterday

the article has been postponed to November 1st. Hopefully its a fixed date.

Whether this indicates that the material has been expanded or was under question I do not know.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Article to Appear in Hartford Courant

Phil Hall, an independent reporter has indicated that the article he authored, drawing in part on an interview he requested, will appear in the October 25th edition of the Hartford Courant, as a blog review.

Clearly this is a major coup when it comes to attracting interest in Motism, as a philosophy interrelated with the arts.

I will provide excerpts or a large body of the article here when it arrives.

This is exciting, the more so because there are a wide array of projects I may now take up, under the assumption that they will be of greater value to a community.

That my web-published materials and perhaps other writings are being considered suggests that I have a responsibility in shaping my work under a legitimate system of values. For this I am grateful.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Uncertainty

Have found difficulty continuing with the new book idea, a few roadblocks. Partly nervous about the news article and prospects in publishing. Certainly things could get worse before they get better, or new prospects may fade. Its difficult to tell.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hyper-Cubic Drawings




A recent drawing, "Puzzle Bridge". Apologies for the poor image quality.

I have taken time away from art towards writing projects. My mother doesn't approve of the work titled "Untitled (Waxen Image)", claiming the colors are too bright. I think parts of it are spookily good, while other parts lack in coherence. I hope to work towards larger pieces, but this depends in part on establishing my identity apart from family.

My current project

Over 4800 words. Pushed through a section I have written on twice before.

The fine art of examples.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Update

My new project is going fairly swimmingly. I have over 3500 words in a little over two days, counting a two page contents-outline I had made previously.

Although the material is familiar, this new extended and rational approach reinforces my belief that Motism is something very real.

I continue to look forward to the article in the Hartford Courant, the date of which is not yet certain (sometime this month). I have mailed a manuscript, but have not heard back. I have no major relationship with a publisher at this point. Its possible that I will write another book before I reach an editing stage with any of it.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A New Project

In an effort to shift the focus of The Motist towards strict philosophy, I have begun work on a new book based partly on the first.

I won't go into details, since it is a work in progress, but I have made an outline which has given me courage that this may stand as a work of philosophy, even apart from literary qualities. The structuring seems eloquent. I simply want to write it!

There's so much that can only be said if it is said clearly.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Developments

I've sent The Motist manuscript to be reviewed. This is the nearest I've been to the writing life. I have the feeling that a great deal may hinge on this, but continue to remind myself that readers need a book that is considered through and through, so I should look over all materials with great care and revise wherever it might improve.

When it comes down to it, the effect on readers is far more important than the intentions of the writer, particularly if the writer's intentions remain vague. To some extent The Motist fulfills its promise in the present form, however I find it slightly disquieting that it doesn't remind me directly of any book I have seen on the shelf.

At least I can tell myself I am more prepared than ever to write.

Otherwise, I have posted a demonstration of the Coquette energy concept at Coquette.

I hope to create additional demos soon for other concepts, however these are not working models but slightly realistic demonstrations of principles.

Investigations 4 will be posted soon, if time allows.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Investigations 4

There are several very key points in the last summary, which may be reformulated as follows:

1. The categorical value of symbolism is actually independent of the mode of rendering (e.g. geometry, natural or poetic symbols, glyph-like or graphical symbolism), at least in the context of a specific metaphorical context, such as the way point and space define both circle and cross as opposites, in an opposite fashion to the way black and white define grey. What is compared then is not a graphical resemblance, but rather a difference in subtle properties which define the specified field.

2. The "center" of an ameliorative method in fact implies degrees of separation from a center of correspondence; in this sense the field is dimensional horizontally by coherence, and vertically by correspondence.

3. Categorical fields describe one reality, which coheres insofar as it describes one condition or field of conditions.

4. The combinatorial relationship of symbols in fact leads to a hierarchical ladder of correspondence reaching for elemental archetypes conceived as ideal cases or game states in which a paradoxical mechanic is continually resolved.

What is implied by 1 and 2 is then a vertical field of correspondence by categorical symbolism, and a horizontal correspondence by symbolic transformation. Thus the vertical element implies a hierarchy in which simple or original--eventually archetypal--forms join in an axis of conjunction. Horizontally identities relate in a field of similarity and interrelation that may be abbreviated as categorical elements of distinction from the vertical, describing distance of relation from a specified field of "original" interrelations.

Considering parts 3 and 4, the conjoining of categorical fields in terms of the vertical and horizontal is expressive of a sort of spacial architecture of situational dynamics within a symbolic counterpart to considered states of identity and relation. Moving beyond this, the logic of relation may in fact be determined in terms of archetypal modes of relation. In other words, like architecture, the architecture of distinct symbolic states, even in terms of multiple categories of relation, may be determined in terms of the approach to a room or the method of interpreting a state.

For example, there may be a categorality of travel as opposed to a categorality of structure or basis. The truth that originates from sheer reality is not necessarily the truth that originates solely from power, etc. By considering roots there is a travel from root to a changeable future condition or objective (deontology), and there is an ontological amelioration of considering dynamic or representative states of holism. Although the first case may yield more results, the second in fact informs the range of conceivable symbols. Out of the dynamics of the unity of symbols, identities of key states become evident.

Paradoxical dualism provides a door to reconceiving the primary state as one reflective of an entire breadth of perceivable realities. I will expand on these points in the following Notes & Summary.

Status of the media inquiry

I'm editing this entry from an earlier statement that my contact with the reporter has gone stale. In fact there is little reason to be nervous. He thinks well of my website, so judging by his authority the article in the Courant will go through. Sometimes its easier to anticipate doom than prepare for every kind of success.

Feeling optimistic.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Addressing Life

Its easy in a dissociated age to forget how to live. Mystics may ask us to forget the body and its limitations, but this can be a conflicting message to those for whom a body is the highest personal reality.

It then becomes important to address what is the self and the higher self, not as something apart from body, or bound up in figments of a promised alternate reality, but rather relating directly to what has import to the individual.

One may ask, even, what is the body? Am I caught in a notion of body that is self-limiting? For example, a skeleton strung together by wire, or a cloud that can barely feel itself? Is the body forgotten, or does it move when the mind moves? Should it move? In what way does the body accommodate the self? Is it configured in order to appease the self, or is it always speaking of an escape from itself?

In order to solve these questions, I would like to ask, is it a body insofar as it is a body (a self-evident closed loop) or is it a body insofar as it is, insofar as it has being? In the first case we take the body for granted, even when it is a question. This has the effect of marginalizing the importance and reality of its sensations--even in thought. In the second case we are asking, of what does it consist, in what way may I realize it?

By looking into the meanings of sensations, presence, personal space, and related modalities, we are also asking what it is to be, and expanding the notion of self-as-life.

These notions are worth touching on, simply because while they have great bearing on the nature of experience, they are rarely the subject of western philosophy as it is known to me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hyper-Cubic Drawings

Something I have not posted here is the prevalence of ink drawing to my concept of Motist art. In fact this is where it began. As an example, here are three recent Motist ink drawings, titled "Puzzle Bloom", "Snickety" and "Tangle":



Puzzle Bloom, 5 X 7" unframed, ink on acid-free paper.



Snickety, 5 X 7" unframed, ink on acid-free paper.



Tangle, 5 X 7" unframed, ink on acid-free paper.

[Snickety--middle--is recently for sale at Jojo's Cafe in New Haven for $40 framed]

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Notes and Summary on the Third Investigation

1. There is a life to the mechanics of categories, in part through the categorical nature of taleology. One useful way to look at this is in terms of analogy. The opposite of a given symbol or object is not always intuitive. Although a circle is made of a line, the opposite of a circle (a cross) may not oppose lines so much as the returningness of circles. This is because circles are defined within a certain context through which they gain metaphorical import.

2. Paradox is a high form of combining opposites to reach a truth inbetween. The use of a paradox is a high standard in reaching truth statements. More on this in The Motist manifesto.

3. The nature or "second center" in the midst of categories implies a dynamism amongst related ideas, that focusses reasonably on what is being defined rather than in building connections amongst clearly distinct realities. In this respect I share somewhat in the correspondence theory of truth. A link is provided at my less recent essays page at Philosophical Essays, listed under Coherence theory (I have not adopted a pseudonym at this earlier page).

4. Although there is a temptation to belittle this method as standing on no firm ground, in fact the categorical field is no one place; to change terms is to choose another field. This does not imply that any given field is meaningless, but rather that insofar as one field is distinct from another, there is some degree less overlap in what they describe. By starting in a different place, a different solution, not a different reality, is provided. Any statements derived are necessarily non-conflicting insofar as they relate.

5. There are also overlaps between larger notions of justice, identity, intelligence, beauty, etc. which may be compared in a similar fashion to arrive at a sense of the relatedness between ideal types and the system within which they may be organized or considered. At the very least, considering the combinatorial relatedness between categorical types and functions results in a broader view of the field of potential thoughts or roles. Finally, individual identity may be considered as existing within the context of such relationships, such that that life of inter-relevance becomes the life of mind.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Investigations 3

Based on the notes and summary of the Second Investigation, there are several points to bear out:

1. The bridge between the properties of things is a bridge of qualific similarity that may be called categorical.

2. Part of the reason of experience is the relevance of the outward to the inward, implying an imperative that experience cohere to a kind of aesthetic of the mind.

3. Individuals, defined as identities with roles, find value within this afforementioned field of qualities, even if indirectly, by apprehending objects which to the extent that they have value, cohere to such a system.

4. There is a relationship amongst properties through which there is a common sense of place, justice, beauty, usefulness, ethics, intelligence, and identity. Thus the aesthetic or composition amongst these properties may provide a map of other sorts of relationships.

Although I have written of the field of categories before (the Motist manifesto provides a means for discovering such relationships, which are many and varied), I'm taking this opportunity to chart new territory, thus I am focussing not on specific truths as the methods may formulate, but rather more general rules or speculations reflective of over-arching themes.

I haven't written much before on the qualities themselves, although this is implicit in the method. I myself have difficulty finding the place in my thought where I apprehend with deep feeling, other than by awe or fear. As I continue the trends of the investigations, I am seeking the life of the thought, not as fossilized categories, but fields or vessels within which tranformation may take place.

From the first statement is implied that there is a sense of layers; property : quality : category. One may shift while another remains unchanged. For example, if I substitute property for symbol, quality for qualifier, and category in terms of a field of dichotomic opposites, what may be compared is for example CIRCLE : UNIFIED : NOT DISPERSED. If NOT DISPERSED is defined more accurately within the same field as UNIFIED, creating two other intermediate categories, we may then elaborate on it within the axial definitions of the two terms.

Unified may be defined as ALL CONTAINING, therefore its opposite would be the opposite also of ALL and CONTAINING. Since DISPERSED would thus be defined as NOTHING OUTSIDE, we have two new categories, one defined in terms of ALL OUTSIDE, and another in terms of CONTAINING NOTHING. A deeper interpretation yields that CONTAINING NOTHING = SPACE, while ALL OUTSIDE = POINT. So both a circle and its opposite are defined in terms of space and point. Interestingly, I have already defined the opposite of a circle as a cross, in my pages on mystical geometry at Cross as Polygon Type 2

Obviously this sort of determinative logic has already proven that it has some legitimacy.

Focussing on the second point, the question in a categorical aesthetic is for special situations that have particular value, that can't be dismissed as coincidences or incidentals. What are some names of special convergences of categories?

Paradox: a paradox is always a convergence of two things which appear true, which can only be solved in a special case, or not at all. The paradox provides two truths, or categories, within which a solution must adhere to each: the solution must be categorical, but it must also be a special case. Since I have suggested that categories are important, this seems almost like an archetypal representation of "special convergences of categories", especially in an axial system of opposites.

Another is analogical, like
CIRCLE : UNITY : NOT DISPERSED :: CROSS : DISPERSED : NOTHING OUTSIDE
However, not every case is categorical. We might say that BLUE : GREEN :: SEA : TREES, but this might be reduced to COLOR : COLORED; overall the property defined is color, whereas in the case of "circle : cross" different symbols are being compared, hence axially different properties are produced. The first is a more discerning case, in part because an analogy was necessary simply to define circle as "unified". However this is not to deny that it is a property of circles, thus by extension there is a categorical logic operating. When we cannot deny a property, we cannot also deny that a true opposite has a truly opposite property. This is the strictest sense I have found that an analogy may be categorical.

If it can be proven that the opposite does not have an opposite property, the opposition comes into question. If the opposition cannot come into question, then the property of the first object comes into question. When the opposite of the property of the first object is a property of the opposite, this is evidence that it is a true opposite of the first object.

Returning to the notion of paradox, there are ways in which the relationship amongst categorical parts of an analogy may be paradoxical. In what case is a cross a circle? In what case is a point space? It seems that this could be solved through considering categorical relationships.

The properties of space in the context of circle and cross are CONTAINING and NOTHING, while the properties of point are ALL and OUTSIDE. Thus both the situation in which a cross is a circle and the case in which a point is space are situations where CONTAINING is OUTSIDE and ALL is NOTHING. However, in this example, nothing is what space contains and containment is what a circle does. Therefore we may interpret it to mean that a cross is a circle when there is a circle outside, and what the circle contains is space. In the point-space example, the circle must be zero or one; it is a matter of whether it contains a point. However this suggests a valuation of points that is not spacial; for when a circle is complete with a single point in it, it is as though the circle is a point, suggesting that space and points do not exist without infinity.

If the axis of point-space is infinity, and the axis of circle-cross is ascriptive in the sense that it implies manifestation (signifier or nature, represented by the cross) is possible within certain limits or boundaries (the outer circle) whereby there is a relationship, a higher paradox is formed between infinity and the ascriptive, which may be seen in terms of qualities of each.

If infinity is the opposite of ascription, a compromise or amelioration may only be found through the ascription of infinity. Either what is ascripted perpetuates within infinity, or infinity may be ascripted within a finite context. One way to interpret is that these are the same.

Bearing on the third point of objects conceived within this system that may ameliorate by paradox, it is a case in which independent of the personal valuation of the perceived object (an object I will assume exists in any perspective regardless of the nature of the object, since such an object is required as a context to understand that change is possible and in this sense prefigures time) there is a correspondence between the unity of the perceptive framework and the nature of the object perceived.

For example, within time any object may be perceived as a trend (relating to Aristotle's concept of ~Talos). When a given condition has a beginning, middle, and end there is a way where it may be defined in terms of the presence or absence of its former and future qualities. In most cases the future condition is not the same as the past condition, thus the present may be defined in terms of the opposite past and future cases. When the present, or more specifically the object's state in the present, is defined in those terms, its nature may be seen as an interpretation of meeting potentials and seeking potentials, a sort of volitional dynamics.

If the present case is an individual person, these might be seen as accomplishments or resources, and a capacity to meet future conditions such as through wilful action or preparedness. However, in a more abstract sense the focus may as well be on opposites, but not of dynamic situations. What Aristotle calls the soul of a thing may as easily result from unchanging conditions; oppositions which exist already, or simply opposite potentials. Life becomes a potential to make the most of a figure ground, or at least travel within the realm where this ground moves. So long as language consists of opposites they may be compared.

Even if there are disagreements as to what opposes what, their compromise is different insofar as their terms are different. Therefore these are really two different fields; one where one thing opposes another, and a second case in which a third thing opposes the first. Because the parsing is different, they cannot be considered as though they are the same. The question is not "what is the opposite", but how to solve the problem as one means to approach it.

The fourth point I'll touch on briefly here by saying that notions of general concepts such as justice, beauty, usefulness, ethics, intelligence, and identity may be assembled in terms of parsing oppositions from different standpoints. A categorical context for one of these might be compared to another, in such a way as to lead to a broader, richer view of the meaning of each. For example, there may be a relationship amongst the beauty of machines, the usefulness of machines, and the ethics of machines, such that it is understood that the mechanics is in fact something apart from, but operative within, each of those zones.

Or there may be zones of experience in which the archetypes of those machines belong, a sense in which zones are related categorically through the categorical relation of the machines themselves: their role and meeting of a more universal notion, for example, the beauty of usefulness (technological perfection), the ethics of beauty (a positive psychological role), and an ethics of usefulness (an efficiency in meeting the overall needs of a given system or population; also archetypal value in meeting its place within the categorical framework, partly following from the previous two, or other combinations).

Of course, here I am considering machines in a broad sense, as a metaphor applicable to visible or invisible systems (in part, notions of conceiving), as well as the aforementioned objects considered as expressions of identities with roles, or simply a circumstance considered dynamically as a place where opportunity and sustenance are reliable.

I will clarify and expand on this in my following Notes & Summary.

An Observation on the Context for Volitionism

Energy from?
Fuel from?
Energy.

Reinforces a kind of error that might date back to the 'Copernican revolution'

e.g. that life as we know it is in the middle of the energy universe: we do not create or destroy it, because it is immutable and timeless just as some say history was once perceived.

However, if it were discovered that energy could be created, this would indicate a role that is not only active in energy use, but more directly in the laws through which energy is channeled up to the point where it is perceived. For example, a river came from rain, and the elements and fuel of a power station must be consolidated before a single house has power.

However it is my view that there is something between burning and derivation that has more to do with the kind of grace that allows energy to be possible at all. This is more properly what legitimate volitional mechanics--if possible--would be about. For more on this, see my pages on Volition at Volitional Mechanics

Friday, September 21, 2007

Motism in the News -- Modism in the News

Some press on Motism is slated to appear in October through the Hartford Courant, written by freelance reporter Phil Hall.

The interview came out of the blue, the impetus being Mr. Hall's biannual commitment to write an article of approximately 950 words on websites and blogs. It will include three different website owners.

Obviously Motism hasn't had exposure like this before. It gives me reason to believe that Motism has some potential to become as big as it seemed at the time of writing the bulk of my as-yet-unpublished book on the subject, The Motist.

More on the article when more information is available.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Defense of Perpetual Motion

Re-posted from my perpetual motion page:
Based on a critical source at: A Critic:

They take a machine ( A ) and a certain amount of energy ( B ) and expect that somehow the combination will give rise not merely to the machine itself ( a ) and a total of energy ( b ) equivalent in amount to what they put in ( B ). They expect not merely a and b; they will look for additional energy c. If they get it, they will get something out of nothing; they will get an effect without a cause behind it

This assumes that the machine is only a machine. In fact machine is already an accretion on the concept of matter. By the same logic a more primitive person might argue that matter with energy cannot be a machine, for it is already a combination of two things: matter (A) and energy (B), which cannot equal a machine (C).~1 Interestingly, this is a similar reasoning to the physicists of today. Also, he assumes that every perpetual motion machine has energy input. In fact the concept of over-unity assumes minimal input.

My tilt motor design (I think cleverly) requires no energy input aside from construction. It is a simple product of slope transferred by leverage, without loss of vertical height. Any energy output comes out of transferring mass on a slope into a difference in directed tilt. In this case I am tempted to claim that the assumption or even foundational proof that all energy must be inputed is a fallacy.

For example, consider a pair of airplanes. Each carries a considerable cargo,
but one is far more aerodynamic. The one that is aerodynamic takes less energy to carry the load a particular distance, and to a particular altitude. If we consider this apart from the energy required to lift the cargo, it turns out that there is a potential to drop a considerable weight that only exists when we have an aerodynamic plane.

Now consider theoretically that a machine’s functioning is like the difference between an aerodynamic plane and a plane that can hardly take off. One device can lift its bulk until it would have force if it landed, while the other doesn’t get high enough to have much of a result. In the first case there is some kind of output, if we ignore input. In the second case, there is no output, since not having gained altitude, the plane is still mostly inert matter.

Now let me draw an analogy that, since sealevel is in fact an altitude in terms of gravity, there is energy potential of the matter even when it is on the ground. It is as if, compared to a canyon, for example, the plane has already taken flight, in terms of the potential of its own mass. Thus, a theoretical machine may be treated as though it has similar properties.

For example, if the machine loses weight, this would be like dropping ballast. Note that losing ballast has nothing to do with how far the ballast falls. For example, a helium balloon with a rock weighing on the string will take off if the rock/ballast is moved, even if the rock remains at the same altitude. The energy the balloon might have has little to do with how much energy it took to detach it from the ground. Similarly, if leverage is applied to two weights, one attached to the other such that the leverage is sufficient only to lift one, if one weight is detached, the other may be lifted, independent of whether the detached weight loses altitude.

Note, however, that in the case of perpetual motion the goal is not to gain more height than is lost, or to lose or gain weight, but rather to gain energy with a consistent average of height and weight values. Let’s say that a theoretical device is a like a flying plane. If it drops ballast at its altitude, it may then gain energy (instead of altitude), whereupon it acquires its ballast once more (at no disproportionate cost since there is no loss of altitude), whereupon it drops its ballast once more at the same altitude, thereby gaining energy. The question becomes not whether this is possible, since my reasonable examples give evidence of this, but what specific means would allow it.

Unlike an airplane, the perpetual machine is not attempting to leave the ground; it doesn’t need a huge energy input in order to take off. Sealevel always has altitude in terms of gravity, the exception being if there is no ground to stand on (we wouldn’t expect a pencil to hover somewhere in the middle of a one-mile vertical shaft). Therefore it is reasonable to expect that even at sealevel, mass has potential energy, energy that may be lost by loss of altitude, but which remains constant given a constant—or constant average—altitude.

If the energy used in a perpetual motion design is partly created simply from mass, this might be compared to a plane that flies by dropping weight. In the case of the plane, losing weight certainly would assist flight. However, the perpetual motion machine is not attempting to fly, it is attempting to generate energy. Consequently—given an equivalent to aerodynamics, a kind of volitionism—we might equate the mass it has as energy, energy it does not need in order to take off, (since sealevel has altitude in terms of gravity). Hence mass might be utilized for a consistent effect, the sort sought after in perpetual motion design.

Extended Footnotes

1. An anticipated argument, that matter and energy are the same (and therefore it is redundant to say that it is both matter and energy, yet not redundant to say that it is energy and machine) is mostly valid on an atomic level. In fact, the machine is physically made out of something that is not energy input as we understand it technologically (e.g. electricity or a mechanical input).

The machine is already more than the sum of its parts, since the parts are not in and of themselves a machine. If any energy is inputed it can be proven that it is more than the sum of its parts: material parts (A) + mechanical relationships (B) + energy (C) is necessarily more than the sum of material parts and mechanical relationships.

According to this reasoning it is illogical to think that there is any machine that is NOT perpetual motion. Afterall, the machine could not have energy, for the same things must always result: matter and machine do not equal matter, machine, and energy! To say that even inputed energy could make matter and machine equal to matter, machine, and energy is also to say that the machine has energy. Yet to say that it has energy is also to say that matter and machine have energy.

According to the logic, however there is only energy insofar as machine and energy are the same thing. Otherwise there is no use in inputing energy, and no correspondence between them. To get full energy output, according to physics, is to have no resistance, no mechanics, i.e. no machine. In other words, in a physical model energy is not mechanical. Yet if energy is not mechanical, how is it possible to have mechanical effects? It begins to look unreasonable.

On the other hand, if energy is in fact mechanical, if a machine possesses energy by taking on a property of being energized, even if we allow that output may not ever equal input in a given (non perpetual) device, the energy 'used' (from input) in a mechanical sense is the only energy used to continue movements. Therefore, by this reasoning no mechanical device has output, since insofar as there is output, it has not moved.

energy input --> energy output = consistent/ balanced

used energy--> sustainable energy -->continued energy = unbalanced insofar as
there is mechanical energy

material parts--> energized parts --> material parts = balanced

passive mechanical relations --> active --> passive = balanced

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Erratum 1: concerning ordinal symbolism

Numerous times I have approached the conjunction between one symbol and another, or between a categorical field and a different related field. However rarely have I considered symbolism in a numerical or even computational sense.

There are beautiful notions of an equivalent to "boolean operators" within such a field. One symbol may be operated by division, producing a sense that it is contains a multitude of forms which do not address that concept of unity with the same sufficiency; like saying "the world is a stage", or its a "ship of fools" or "a world in a grain of sand", or "a single written page that was the end of all things".

By contrast, in a completative method, one individual type by special virtue allows a pre-existing field to take a specialized role, akin to leadership or a piece-d-resistance. In a third type, "complementation" different symbols or identities interrelate co-dependantly, like a balance of power, the traits of animals, or components of a machine.

An extreme notion of division which I would like to believe is rooted in some literary norms (in part because of its deep irony), is the notion that the field of human action or even spiritual inclination is a division of a fool or separation of his qualities.

This is a theory based on the idea (related to Tarot perhaps) that half a fool is not in fact less than a fool, because of some sort of sublime failure where in some universal sense he is unconcerned with measure, unable to find the right field of behavior.

I observe in myself for example, that I haven't had an idea of what the right field is, even apart from whether I have found it under one standard or another. In fact, even upon such a field I might be a sheep.

This adds teeth to the notorious question of "what is real?", primarily by granting a kind of albeit abstract materialism to the condition of unreality.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Exploring Categorical Shifts

Following the trend of new isms--"volitionism", "devolitionism", "devescentialism" and so on as I have conceived them--I have an increasing sense that the human environment is categorically inhibited, that it doesn't provide a complete view, even of what a given set of people or participants ask.

Being bound to a single category, even a category of category-lessness, entails enslavement to a life without qualities, or at least breadth of qualities; caught in one name, such as "cafe" it is too easy to lose what a name means, so cafe is a place for life that, because its potentials are seen as fulfilled, does not fulfill the life of changing identity or potentials.

Even if life does not concern thought in a high-minded sense as a parsing of the environment in an active and interpretive manner, to escape the life informed by such an approach is to lose touch with the spirited life, or an environment that participates with the inner self.

Moving within such a field of categories (of which I have found scanty evidence, apart from philosophy and notions of networked environments), the self would necessarily become flexible and adaptive, yet to the extent that life takes the form it holds dear.

The conclusion then is that in a life without social networking there is a need for networks that in spite of this create a sense of locality, and hence individual reality. This is a step beyond internet-surfer as a kind of mind-body dualism, and closer to the notion of an engaging, transformative landscape. Ultimately in such a place, objects interpreted in a valuative sense, such as Motist artwork, poetry, and metaphorical machines, become like monuments or points of interest in a kind of metropolis allowing inter-modal transference or conduction.

In a simple sense, this is like saying that entire zones of the internet could be themed almost like today's popular PC games. In another sense there is a deeper implication that the systems of ordering and processing such zones may reflect the values of those who use them. This implies a more complex articulation, which does not take the interface for granted.

Even in the physical world, there are ways in which zones of a city could be networked to improve the experience. Much is lost by reducing buildings into simplistic blocks, that are not integrally related by function or in a way by which they participate with one another. Ultimately to improve the relatedness of the human landscape is to improve the value of the landscape to individuals.

There are simple ways to do this that are only surfacial; the way a given viewpoint sights down an avenue, the clustering of buildings with commercial purposes; or are simply about ancillary function, such as selling popcorn at a movie theatre. In a systematic sense currency has been universalized on different levels of community (both money and electricity). Granted, there are ways in which, for example, people at a gym would not appreciate generating electricity for a bookstore, but there are other more interesting ways in which one community can work more sufficiently for itself, or for another.

Although much writing and artwork is available on the internet for free, very little of it is used to change the human landscape. Too often what is on the shelf or the wall is a product, and not necessarily with intrinsically superior value. In fact, with the advent of digital paper displaying images or eventually motion, entire wall surfaces might be transformed to display an appropriate texture, landscape, or textual statement.

We should not even assume that the surface must be flat; curved or angular surfaces may have a different potential to utilize changing pictures. The paper or other digital material may even be produced with a different surface texture (for example as hairs, rough as stone, or with a strong gloss). This would improve the familiarity and authenticity of these structured zones.

Although some of this might be subsumed in the field of haptics, which relates more directly with virtual environments, there are benefits in considering the experience we take for granted in terms of considerations that oftentimes are relegated to entertainment districts. It isn't that life precisely should be a playground, but simply that some textures and structural considerations have an enormous psychological impact which influences how people think about their lives. There is evidence enough in avant-garde architecture; these buildings are valuable not simply because of radical structures, but because they make an impression.

It is my belief that moving away from unitary aesthetic into a kind of inter-unitary aesthetic would result in a landscape in which aesthetic values are appreciated in more empirical terms; the schism between great buildings and great art, and any human dissapointments would be reduced; experience would be more accomodating of what the mind implicitly asks.

On a higher level, a level where I feel I must tread carefully, aesthetics becomes associatively systematic and begins to derive inspiration from philosophy. I then begin to consider how systems effect the human landscape. If there is no conjunction between buildings, or even subtly related function, it becomes difficult to conceive of things as even related. Every location becomes a chasm that doesn't speak a common language.

Its true that the internet has done much to connect data, but it has failed to connect experience; people only gain association by the assumption of a second non-place where they coexist. What I am implying here is a renewed locality, not to information, but to the information experience. The flexibility of electronic format in fact permits reading to be lived. Just as the Chinese game of Go must have begun as a strategy game for the military, so too today's computer games and virtual environments may follow a reverse path and gain academic and everyday value. Part of this is recognizing that games are not something apart from life; if the individual has a sense of what is relavent to him or herself, there is a game that can accomodate this, and ideally, an environment that will accommodate the game.

Arguments against this are founded on the belief that life is more relavent as it is. In fact, media and a landscape that accommodates the media aesthetically and personally (in a way where it has relavence, and not simply commercial relavence), permit experiences in which writing, visuals, and networking would be accommodated, even according to an active and socially oriented form of living.

Embracing the two extremes of workaday life and global web suggest a compromise in which information becomes integral to the human landscape.

For related materials (an albeit less extreme but nevertheless radical approach) see XANADU.COM about possible futures of the web.

Its my belief that philosophy in relation to systematics, and some form of dynamic artwork, could play strong roles ultimately in such a place.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Notes and Summary on the Second Investigation

* The bridge of comparison between symbolic or otherwise apprehended objects is the datum of qualific similarity.

* Intentionality is rational by being distinct from the arbitrary. The presumption of a rational intention is founded in the notion of a context that is not arbitrary. If a context that is not arbitrary is one of qualific similarity, escaping an experience qualified by the arbitrary is a matter of subtlety, that is, finding intention that speaks of the unknown, or the known that is not arbitrary.

* When rationality ceases to seek the relevance of one thing with another, its only reason is that it is incapable of sufficient reason. The alternative is to hold that one or more of the objects makes no rational impression, but this is the same as saying that it is not real. In fact to say that an object makes no rational impression is to admit insanity on its account. By this logic there is an inherent reasoning in the coordinated relevance of things; correlation becomes almost synonymous with mind.

The question becomes is it most rational to have a rational object (an object that confers reason), or to find reason even without reason (to possess a quality without a tangible source)? Is it reasonable to have a rational object that does not defer for relevance, or a relevance that does not defer to objects? Although brain chemistry may be implied here, what may also be implicated is a rationality to aesthetic experience.

In a certain way it is important to create an arbitrary that is arbitrary, a figure ground within which relevence is a valid term. In another sense it is important to create a relevance about relevance, that is to pursue meaning as a conscious act.

Art as a metaphor for intentioned experience is actually an arbitrary context for relevance beyond reinforcing the notion that relevance has a role. Intention may be less directly concerned with the manifest of experience than with the qualific relation of relevant objects.

For example, a person's interaction with a typing interface is not with keys on which to type, or the display of the language typed, but with the relevance of the language typed, and the relevance of the typing process with a display also qualified by language and also language equivalent to intention. To type without intention or relevance is not actually to type, it could be no more than a demonstration; not of purpose so much as function.

* The only complete tool, or complete symbol for usefulness, is a field of archetypal properties for apprehended things, that by the extent of its relevance is real. Reason transforms amongst these properties--whether they be named or unnamed--by reason. They provide a sense of place, justice, beauty, usefulness, ethics, intelligence, and identity.

* Life that finds place, justice, beauty, usefulness, ethics, intelligence, or identity thus takes shape by finding relevance within that system of relavence. Within that system individuals, defined as identities with roles, are rewarded for seeking relevance on their own terms.

Proportional Thinking--Considering an Aesthetics of the Scale of Concepts

In my recent history I've considered forms--ideas in the limited sense as "in formation"--in terms of beauty, singularity, modularity, parallelism, and so on, not to make too much of it, but this leads me to a notion that in many ways thoughts in a symbolic sense suggest a particular proportion--closer to the original sense of relativity as I see it--and by extension scale.

There are numerous ways to look at scale. There is the scale of constructs which consist of similar units repeated, like an apartment complex. There is the scale of differences in scale, like a child standing over an ant hill, or Gulliver and the Lilliputians. There is also the scale of status or monuments which are in the same field but may rise twice as high or more--even as a statement.

Then there is what I would like to call the "meso scale" of proportions. I realize its often used in a basic context related to the root "middle". In my mind, however, it is more directly related to the scale of beauty, to the universalizable nature of the relationship between individual scale and functional scale.

It is the balance of proportions of various kinds that may make a given thing beautiful. For large populations nothing major sticks out, while for smaller populations special characteristics may take precedent. Ultimately what is beautiful for one is its balance amongst less balanced ratios in a larger context.

Similarly, there is a beauty to situations which depends on balance. There is one way who will always be hauling a 20-foot ladder, and his situations depend on that scale. For another there is always a microscope, so that things begin to look microscopic. For someone else it is inbetween--knife tricks, juggling, painting posters--and the act is somehow more amazing for being immediately apparent. It is as though the middlemost scale is really the primary performance.

Yet there is a point where scale is not meso, nor is it entirely distinct from other scales; instead it is what I call an "ordinal scale"; it is concerned with proportions yes, but within a greater measure. According to a proportional measure of what is finite or even infinitesimal, wires cross-sect a computer chip in a way that may not be relevant to non-experts, venetian blinds consist of a finite number of slats, complexity can suggest scalelessness in art, modules on a spaceship can be secondary to the mega-logic of its overall shape, bulk, and engineering.

Within this scale, proportions can be quantified modularly and not merely in terms of ratios; the proportion is not merely between the micro and the macro, but between the macro of the scope of the micro and the proportional theory or holism of the overall situation. The metaphor is not merely between the ratio of the small and the ratio of the large, but between the small's likeness of the large, and the large's accommodation for the nature of repeating the small.

Returning to the notion of the ladder, the microscope, and the juggler or knife-thrower, these are things that are still relevant on an ordinal scale. Architecture--and by extension, concepts of architecture--as a mentor proclaimed to me--is scaleless. That is, the metaphor of form is applicable on any level, so long as its proportion is not a metaphor. But insofar as its proportion is a metaphor, it has achieved relevance. The macro produces a ladder, creating the potential to gain and lose distance; the micro examines minutia providing an alternative to travel, while the meso is a knife thrower continually holding us in awe with its astounding relevance.

By extension, the value of ordinary thoughts is their relevance, the value of great thoughts is to shift the sense of scale, while the value of small thoughts is as an alternative to one's accustomed scale. Similarly, "middle-thinkers" are practical, great thinkers are philosophers or make leaps, and minimalist thinkers always understand that they are prefigured within the ordinary.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Investigations 2

There are several points made in the first investigation that bear particularly on the impetus of this writing; first, the importance of the physical as a basis combined with the special need for multiple categories (that is no consistent standard of categorization such as quantity, intensity, association, relatedness etc.), leads to the idea that the physical in fact consists of signifiers, not in a strictly literal or even symbolic sense, but in the sense of distinct properties which may be apprehended by the mind, through which multiple objects may be compared. (It goes without saying that these may be sensory properties such as heat and cold, or abstracted properties of mental objects).

Thus the landscape being considered is the landscape of meaning, which bears on the second point, that the intentionalism being considered is the intention of meaning within such a field, which cannot be considered as arbitrary for that itself is founded on the notion that life as a whole is arbitrary (since the intention necessarily is founded within reality), if we keep in mind that matter cannot be rationalized apart from meaning, and there is no import in a strict sense without some subtle sense of intentionality, intentionality generally being distinguished from the arbitrary.

Thirdly, although the field of categories is not limited by one consistent standard, the properties of these "apprehended objects" as separate from the outward aspect may be combined such that through intention the inherent reason of their physicality is categorically manifest as equally real. That is, if we combine the apprehended properties of two things that are recognized as having the capacity to make impressions, it is unreasonable to think that no impression would be made. In fact, it is more reasonable to think that the combination makes no impression insofar as they have not been combined. Intention becomes important in distinguishing between combined "masses" or fixed objects, and logically or categorically combined properties of (meaningful) objects.(~1)

What is implicated here is that essentially within a pragmatic system of categories partially defined by the available tools, life itself as it is understood rationally transforms amongst a field of properties, which insofar as they are rational have a consistent relatedness with one another. This isn't to say that anyone qualified by rationality would know everything, but simply that insofar as tools may be defined holistically (that is, their breadth known), within any system of interpretation the combinations may be considered categorically finite. This isn't to say there are not infinite variations within a category, or that all systems are holistic, or even that the sum of all systems is a holism. It simply implies that categorical reason is a shortcut to great leaps, and that the system of categories, insofar as it is complete, almost constitutes a metaphysics. Yet only insofar as it permits transformation, indicating that such a system consists not of fixed categories of populations or realities-as-they-are, but rather categories of properties themselves related categorically.

Footnotes

1. Intention becomes a means of apprehending in a direct way a mental situation in terms of available objects. Objects without intention tend towards the arbitrary. Yet the intention of the individual often conflicts with the contradiction of the intentions of objects, such that reason becomes concerned with an arbitration of the arbitrary; that is, qualifying the arbitrary as, in fact, arbitrary (and things without arbitrary qualities as not arbitrary).

Notes and Summary of the First Investigation

* An 'authentic' method may concern escaping excuses, or the substantiation of excuses, leading to a sense of locality, a landscape.

* Repeated themes are useful in that they accrete meaning.

* Since there are many places to start in terms of system, the best starting place is a very careful consideration for the value of the starting situation.

*Things to avoid: classifying the landscape under one consistent standard, since this limits the classes of the things within it, or absolutizes a state that by the nature of the investigation must begin mutable.

* The primary method is to consider the intentions of thought.

* Accepting truth is accepting reality. The physical world is part of this.

* The apprehending of objects is possible through a recognition of properties that may be considered apart from the outward notion of object.

* If one cannot escape the simple outer notion of object, it is fair to treat the mind as a simple sensory organ that responds to sharp objects with pain, smooth objects with relief, and so on. When the brain recognizes these things it also gains an increasing sensitivity to its own potential.

* The goal of thought is not to swallow tools and abandon life (pursuing study as an end in itself), but rather to engage with life in an increasingly sophisticated or dynamic manner.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Investigations 1

Not to clear the mind
the mind can have pleasant clouds

By what regression or return do literal thoughts entail themselves, without speaking of life?

Thoughts are sometimes a series of excuses. The first thought may even be an excuse for excuses to be relavent. Although this sounds embarrassing or condemning, it explains the character of futility that pervades many lines of reasoning.

It seems useful to bear in mind at this point that although it is important to return to a particular thought as a means of reference, a process of thinking that repeatedly returns is not necessarily a circular argument; very often arguments are accretiative, benefiting from an idea that lingers to the extent that it participates givingly in the process as a repeated motif.

It is easy to jump into broad categories in determining or abandoning determination towards the context for a line of reasoning. The starting point for metaphorical tools may as easily be existential identifications with the attributes of animals as it is a systematic method or code abstracted from experience.

Because of this difficulty it seems reasonable to be hesitant in beginning, to the extent that I may determine to investigate while withholding the intention to provide a foundation for excuses. The clear advantage of this is that even lacking what might pass for cogency, the process itself is more thorough and meandering, such that the landscape as I see it is in a real sense recognized; not mistaken as one class of thing, or a thing that is innately known or unknown. Indeed, the frequent insistence of human inadequacy in approaching free-will, practicality, and death express that this is the only path to follow; life already is trumped by so many hazards, it cannot claim to know the path.

Thus what I intend to address is the place in which I find myself, as I consider the intentions of thought. By observing the intentions it becomes clearer that there is a landscape of what might be considered or believed. Although it is difficult to see this place as anything other than material, it is not realized except through a thoughtful process within which one might say “material is material”. If one is unwilling to accept that there is a material reality, it is difficult to see the reality of things equally real, or equally significant, or more living that do not share the properties of hardness, heat, or dullness (ostensibly, properties of matter).

Then it is important, first, to recognize the mind as a participant. The brain may need sensations detached from the world; it is easy to overthink an object seen with the eye, yet part of this is the failure to see the object as an expression of numerous combined potentials. If awareness lacks feeling it may be a simple attachment to dull simple qualities of experience. There is an advantage to dull simple qualities; the brain is insensitive, you could imagine poking it with a knife and you wouldn’t feel a thing. To overcome that kind of fear is to recognize there is a huge gamut of sensations that are too often unavailable. Yet the choice at this point would be to ignore thought, or to work with the materials given. Refining tools is not only about testing oneself, but also entails an engagement to experiences participating with one’s own inner limits and strengths.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hyper-Cubic expression unveiled

The first true example of a large canvas work in the Motist style:



UNTITLED (FOLDED FLAME) 18 X 24", created in oil paintmarker on canvas.

The title of the work has been changed from Untitled (Waxen Image), since the first was not representative.

This blog is soon to be listed in a philosophy blog directory:

Directory of Philosophy Blogs

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Modist Poem 1

Modist poetry in its strictest form adopts a categorical method for transforming from one idea to another, leading towards a deeper and yet interrelated understanding. This poem, the first and only poem I have written and recognized as typically Motist, eschews strict categorality in favor of an interpretive method more native to the poetic temperament. Each line was considered as the most sincere translation of the previous line, in terms of individual elements. The pretext-prelude, a concept borrowed from e.e. cummings, allows time to become comfortable with the context within which the poem is prefigured.

Each of the individual lines after the pretext is composed of three elements, each comparable to the corresponding portion of the shorter stanzas in the pretext. For example, "waves crashing" is translated into "flirtatious wave" in terms of comedy, and "destruction" in terms of tragedy. "Flirtatious wave" and "destruction" are then translated into "Flirting with death" for tragicomedy. In this way there is a logic, perhaps a categorical logic, to defining terms such as "tragedy" "comedy" and "tragicomedy".

That set of categories becomes a context for each of the lines in the remainder of the poem. "Flirting with death" becomes "brinkmanship", "expecting the worst" becomes "default", and "tragicomedy" becomes "familiar territory". The lines that follow then try to refine towards a notion of meaning more as an experience than as an abstract contextualization.

Always within the poem, "movement" forward becomes more important than the absolute rationality of any given statement. Yet interpreted specifically in the context of preceding or proceeding lines, it becomes more apparent how much is intended.

MODIST POEM 1 modified from former post 6/14

PRETEXT/PRELUDE

waves crashing
or not crashing
the heart leaps

flirtatious wave
apprehension
this is comedy

destruction
desolation
this is tragedy

flirting with death
expecting the worst
this is tragicomedy

PART 1
brinkmanship default familiar territory
war peace deity
extremism reason answer themselves
madness the method of madness different things

singularity systems a ground for comparison
nature law compatible
self universe one
knowing becoming a knot

wisdom suffering intelligence
principle bleeding promise
soul revealing mystery
divinity past sight holy
gods infinitely good

archetypes immeasureably valued
meanings qualified by articulation
truth being intricate
motism living byzantine
mind sprawling labyrinth

reactor passages codex
heart verses secret
psyche written dark
wild annotated sublime

PART 2
liberated deep beauty
unfettered layers bloom
escaping onion flower

fugitive unity heady
lawless everything returns
laws are territorial again

justice categorical duplicates
order axes ennumerated
levels mapped hierarchy
existence concept ladder
book of qualities ideation transcendent

dreams history to walk above
heart story mind story heaven
parable theory answers
hidden truth, answers hidden, truth answers
secrecy scries socracy

hermeticism labeled rhetoric /evil symbolic (vis.
‘impressions’, ‘birth of distinctions and the
distinction of distinctions’)
metaphysics dubbed logical
philosophy declared reason
bookmanship swearing light


--Eucaleh Terrapin

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Semiotics 2

I'm writing the following with the understanding that when and if I attain academic standing sometime in my life, this may go into a book in one form or another. I'm only offering this free on the internet under the condition that anyone who uses it will cite the source (Terrapin, Eucaleh. The Motist Agenda, 2007) in the way they would with a book or other formalized manuscript. That said, here's a little more on my understanding of semiotics, and the implications of semiotic thinking:

Assuming perfection, simplicity is waste(~1). The exception is qualities.

To seek perfection in simplicity or singularity (in the sense of low dimensionalism) is to minimize waste, but only insofar as perfection in an absolute sense has not been achieved.

It is worth noting that in a categorical sense singularity is imperfect outside the context of a breadth of opportunities and manifestations. (I.e. it is useless to think of individual identity or symbolism apart from the lives it might live, or the field of associations for the symbol.)

Singularity without a context becomes impotent, or ceases to be singular. The being or reality that does not extend beyond itself must be simple, perfect, or a form of waste. Through consciousness, a being extends through the simple or wasteful towards qualities that do not change. The qualities themselves are simple, since they are the least wasteful and simplest presence of perfection in reality. However, this is not to say that qualities are most perfect, for the qualities themselves have an object without which no consciousness could perceive them.

In some sense, the object is a thought. Yet simply by being a thought this does not make it a conscious thought. The activity of thinking gives life to a thought as though the thought had been a fixed sign brought to life.

Often the fixed shape of a thought takes form prior to its consciousness in a thinking process. However, the process of "signing" may be adopted ona conscious level as a means of informing the direction of the cognitive process, specifically in corroborating diverse notions towards a new realization built upon the intentions and principles of previous insights. In other words, a similar system approaches one symbol and the next.

Thus in the context of this network of signs, each being itself a thought, thinking takes place through one of two actions:

1. A transformation is made between two previously existing signs or

2. Through a comparison of two or more previous signs, a new sign is formed.(~2)

In the sense that I understand them, the first type of thinking is constructive and is a less conscious form of sign building. The second kind is the mark of special intelligence and even genius.

Footnotes

1. This has implications, for example in the choice to build houses independent of one another. Designing a perfect conglomerate is far more valuable than divided simplicity because of the nature of hierarchies. It may also ultimately be more efficient, e.g. if there is only one plan there is less conflict. Nevertheless it may run against the grain of standardization, fair market economy, and minimal input from specialists.

2. For simplicity's sake we may do well to consider that a new sign is not a new graphical symbol, but rather a new understanding that comes through the association of two different symbols (either of which may in itself exist as an abstract understanding rather than a visually or tactically percieved object).

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Motism (MOH-tism)

A movement based in philosophy, manifest in art, and applicable to literature, described in the unpublished book The Motist: A Free Thought Manifesto, by Eucaleh Terrapin.

Semiotics 1

To say that a signifier is arbitrary implies that its context is arbitrary. Yet if the context is arbitrary it is difficult to see how it could have a consistent meaning to an individual, particularly if the individual has an awareness of the context, as presumably is intended by “Saussure’s dismantling of signs” (Wikipedia, “Semiotics”). If there is no consistent meaning of the sign, it is difficult to see how it might be considered a sign at all, since to define any given sign presupposes such a context.

The idea that signs are arbitrary amounts to the assumption that meaning is arbitrary. The way I see it, this is a naïve reflection of the unfounded conviction that the relationships between signs is not hierarchical within a given system of interpretation. To assume that the relationships are not hierarchical really only means that the system adopted in interpreting signs is flimsy and lacks rigor.

Considering the role signs play in the human landscape, it is reproachable to assume that the relationships between signs are arbitrary, if they figure so strongly in determining meaning for individuals. It is like saying that signs are arbitrary because people don’t care about them, or don’t think. Yet if signs are visually consistent for large populations, it is because they have value whether or not people think much of them. To me this indicates that they have been well considered by those to whom they have meaning.

Charles S. Pierce—system encumbered by technical language. It seems inadequate to approach meaning from an academic viewpoint, if it is ultimately the “reader” and “viewer” who experiences signs. Thus to define a signifier as a sign is in my view to move through notions of the signifier as reader. To categorize signs may not be adequate in categorizing the experience of signs.

For information on Pierce, see: http://www.helsinki.fi/science/commens/dictionary.html

Approaching the notion of formal significance is necessarily to approach the notion of formal experience. In this sense it is less important to “cogitate” the datum of signs, than to culture an awareness of the aesthetic of signs, especially as a system evokative of qualities running a spectrum from the merely provokative to the metaphysical and genuine (the evokative and metaphysical being two extremes which complement one another insofar as either is realized).

It is more meaningful to build a “black book” of meanings than to decipher meanings that have already been made. Sometimes analysis of signs is a step away from using them; by becoming conscious of associations it may be possible to develop a stronger system of associations, but more often than not a system is a simplification. Understanding signs is necessarily to use them. To know is to be, for every why there is a better how, the artist is one who paints.

It is my view that as with music, the greatest theory follows the greatest realization of form. Ideally, the theorist created the form. Thus exploring the theory is inhabiting every corner; to know language is to be a poet, to know graphics is to be an artist, to know systems is to be a philosopher. To not fear the exploration is to uncover nothing new.

The writer looks at the page, and blanches, and becomes the page. The artist’s inspiration takes the trundling, headlong form of life impinging on the unknown. The philosopher finds a system like an abandoned house he retrofits to his own taste. Every exploration is uncertain, yet the result is a new landscape, pushing towards new imprecations and hesitations. What is a special installation to one may become someone else’s new retrofitted house.

Yet I am not a subjectivist. The meaning for any given things comes about through reference to the universal. If there is a failure in specific situations or formulations, it is for lack of embodiment of a greater truth; i.e. the absolute and correlatory, that without which there is no being or relationship.

Concerning x-partate sign relations:

Considering the idea of the sign, the object the sign represents, and the interpreter of the sign it seems to me that a metaphorical and iterative approach would more adequately phrase the interpretive method. To recognize a sign involves a kind of “identifying”, a relation between self and other through the association of identity with identity. While the symbol, and by extension the object it may represent has a fixed identity conceived as an unchanging category, the interpreter has a mutable identity defined in the context of fixed symbols. Thus to identify with one symbol at a given time is metaphorically to take on that identity, to change form. Through the significance of that identity, one defines what one can become, a path of signification. This necessarily leads towards a transformation into another sign, which lends its own properties as alternate crossroads towards still further meanings. Thus while the symbol represents certain potentials and relationships, the interpreter of the symbol has a dynamic role in determining, or disambiguating, the path that is of greatest significance (or most pragmatic or utilitarian etc., if the pragmatic or utilitarian is seen as the highest significance).

What I see in this sense of a tri-partite relation is the many levels which spiral away from the initial concept of the signified and interpreter. For every new transformation from one symbol to the next, the identity of the interpreter has a “meta value” that is incremented to a new concept of self. Likewise, the most significant signifier is incremented to a new “meta value” which may reflect prior tranformations. Finally, whether the interpreter’s sense of meaning is changeable or fixed depends on whether the meta value has reached a stage where it has changed, and if so if it has reached a stage where it returns. Thus there is a kind of “Unity” value which increments based upon the breadth of the interpreter’s associative world. To have an infinite Unity value would be like being omniscient.

A new term:

“relative equilibrium”: the way a definition within one system is analogous to another definition within another equivalent system. The pragmatic value of a system may be conceived as proportional to the extent of its relative equilibrium. Essentially, the value of the system is to provide signs which are universally applicable within the known limits of the broader notion of system. A metaphysical system is one in which signs are extended beyond the known concept of system (signs conceived broadly may include categorical maxims, which possess an identity equivalent to symbolism within their context).

The preceding is copyright (c) 2007 Eucaleh Terrapin

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Things in the works

1. The Free Thought Manifesto. Latest draft has been sent to a publisher for review. *Fingers crossed*.

2. Crude model for the Coquette Volitional Energy Machine, materials bought but construction stalled for lack of assurance about workability (and the difficulty in cutting sheet metal with pliers and a wire cutter). Have yet to buy 2 or 3-in. diameter ball bearings. Device has special importance in the context of my Volitional Energy theory.

3. Art exhibit at Claire's Cornercopia slated for October with my photographer friend Wendy Felleter. Some level of publicity assured through a friend of Wendy's.

4. Starting to write poetry again for the first time since March of last year. Portion of impossible machine now devoted to the subject.

5. New blog here, and a link to it from Ask.com

A more public face...

Terrapin is a name known to few. He is a man sometimes of few words. He has been a man on the margins for some time.

He is also a man of various talents, talents which given time must earn a hearing.

First, he is an artist in ink and paints. The world he travels is not always the world he explores.

Secondly, he is a metaphysical thinker. His Free-Thought Manifesto is not yet in print, but it details a philosophy that is not merely rational, but confers with experience, mythos, archetypes, literature.

Thirdly, his eccentricities take form in concepts for perpetuum mobiles, devices he theorizes could run on their own reason, if his hands were only able enough to build them. Yet he knows that some concepts are better than others.

Fourthly, he is also an aesthete of words: from time to time he writes verses meant to accommodate the life of the mysterious.

His new website explores each of these areas, giving freely in order to permit the most hopeful and least decided of visitors--the most impressionable ones--to see with their new eyes the extent of his city of wonders, his Impossible Machine.

impossiblemachine.com