Thursday, May 06, 2010

night note



Standing “under” the stars, at a jogging track carved into a hill
above the university, surrounded by Berkeley, next to the black Bay waters, and the pointillistic carpet of San Francisco lights in the black distance—so many lights, each for the little surround below each for its street. Only the likes of me and airliners see the metro array. It all
doesn’t exist for the surround of any given streetlight. Patterns among
the lights belong to the dead Gulliver mapmakers towering over little people’s future surrounds, designer gods of topography to be forgotten
by little surrounds because all the intersections are open, all the lights posted. Otherwise-emergent pattern in a night’s array belongs to happenstance irrelevant to any lit surround. But, if a madman’s carbomb exploded in Times Square, everyone in the array below could know within minutes; everyone in the planetary grid could know. So, to some degree, we’re a singular organism, quorum sensing (“we” being of the planetary Array). But stories written exemplify lives unaware of each other’s actual, largely “shared” privacies. The metro pointillism has no meaning but for an observer of a landscape unimaginable to Olone natives 200 years ago; yet, it means all there is, for whomever cares
to see. The nearest star that might have others observing us is 1000 light years away (they say), so those absolute Others (relatively real gods) would be seeing medieval humanity now. The Neandertal genome has been sequenced, reportedly enlightening “us” about our eonically modern nature. Melvin Konner’s milestone, The Evolution of Childhood,
is published this week. Another daily review has been emailed by Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, now Plato and Heidegger: A Question of Dialogue. “Contagion fears go global” (Reuters) in the wake of Greece’s debt crisis. Smog over San Francisco caused a gorgeous sunset, rare these days, thanks to environmental engineering. Volcanic smoke from Iceland is again hampering European air travel. (A local acquaintance may get stuck in Tuscany, poor dear.) The evolution of humanity is an exponential curve: A thousand years from tonight, another species may be instanced on this hill, connected to The Array that’s been galactic for eons.