Monday 21 June 2010

Story 2

Ten degrees of freedom in a bicycle

If I am supposed to be writing an autobiography there is a fundamental flaw in the contract which my publishers have hitherto not noticed - there is no real ‘I’ to autobiographize. Although it is true I use this solitary symmetrical construction on a habitual basis. This ‘I’ of which there is no solid empirical evidence represents a vast number of un-useful habits – the continuous construction of un-resourceful representations, self destructive symbols, phobias and fear. Taking a small stroll through Borough Market will expose a cornucopia of such fears, the fear of not having material things and sensuous experiences, to name just two. You may retrace these steps yourself; beginning perhaps by the ship of avaricious cruelty we currently call the Golden Hind. A boat that represents every malignancy you can care to name. Start there, at this mendacious centre piece of Thames-side reverie.

Have I lost you yet? Who are you anyway? Those of you who are expecting to read a scientific treatise should already be dismayed by the subjective slant of my writing today. Others may be wondering what on earth I am doing using such resources – as the phobia, the displacement, the un-resourceful representation. Are these theoretical resources? Are you interested? Do they fit into a programming language as remotely valid entities?

My goal may once have been to make you all say a resounding communal ‘yes’ following a meticulous submission to the elegance of my logic. But there is no longer an ‘I’ to either persuade or be persuaded.

We are largely sets of unobservable relations, to even use that term implies an anthropocentrism I cannot support, nor yet can I support any form of essentialism. This is the world as I encounter it today. Tomorrow I plan to write a chapter on differential geometry and group theory that will clarify my slippery realism. I will present the case for manifolds, transformation groups and vector fields as fitting processes for a differential morphogenesis that works across both time and space, a philosophical terrain that consists of both the singular and the ordinary. In short a multiplicity, a set of relations and a rate of change.


Walk from the Golden Hind to Borough Market. You will surely become increasingly aware of gustatory representations. Can you resist them? What happens if you do? After 20 minutes suspend resistance, now what do you do? Write down exactly what happens. Describe before, after and during. Describe urges, flavours and regrets. Next time you come here do the same exercise. Note carefully any differences between each visit. In this way you will understand your own degrees of freedom.

1 comment:

  1. I come each week to shop but still my resistance ebbs and flows. I will have the ostrich salami. I won't have that bread. But I yearn for bread and find it in other places.