terça-feira, junho 20, 2006

Derivative (remember? calculus?)

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      "Well, it's a matter of continuity.  Most people's lives have ups and downs that are relatively gradual, a sinuous curve with first derivatives at every point.  They're the ones who never get struck by lightning.  No real idea of cataclysm at all.  But the ones who do get hit experience a singular point, a discontinuity in the curve of life—do you know what the time rate of change is at a cusp?  Infinity, that's what!  A-and right across the point, it's minus infinity!  Hows that for sudden change, eh?  Infinite miles per hour changing to the same speed in reverse, all in the gnat's-ass or red cunt hair of the Δt across the point.  That's getting hit by lightning, folks.  You're way up there on the needle-peak of a mountain, and don't think there aren't lammergeiers cruising there in the lurid red altitudes around, waiting for a chance to snatch you off.  Oh yes.  They are piloted by bareback dwarves with little plastic masks around their eyes that happen to be shaped just like the infinity symbol: ∞.  Little men with wicked eyebrows, pointed ears and bald heads, although some of them are wearing outlandish headgear, not at all the usual Robin Hood green fedoras, no these are Carmen Miranda hats, for example, bananas, papayas, bunches of grapes, pears, pineapples, mangoes, jeepers even watermelons—and there are World War I spike-top Wilhemmets, and baby bonnets and crosswise Napoleon hats with and without Ns on them, not to mention little red suits and green capes, well here they are leaning forward into their cruel birds' ears, whispering like kockeys, out to nab you, buster, just like that sacrificial ape off of the Empire State Building, except that they won't let you fall, they'll carry you away, to the places they are agents of.  It will look like the world you left, but it'll be different.  Between congruent and identical there seems to be another class of look-alike that only finds the lightning-heads.  Another world laid down on the previous one and to all appearances no different.  Ha-ha! But the lightning-struck know, all right!  Even if they may not know they know."

      Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, Section 4: The Counterforce. (Derivative, lammergeier)

"The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor."

      Leonard Cohen, Tower of Song.

"She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a simple twist of fate."

      Bob Dylan, Simple Twist of Fate.

This is another of those posts I will likely not finish, so it goes. The gist of it is that I sit here posting my thoughts and ideas such as they are and knowing what I do know about brutality and necessity, and I have been wondering ... I read the story below about teenagers in Palestine preferring Israeli jails to their own homes, and another about traffic in children in Nepal ... and quite a few stories in the last while where I have noticed feminism cropping up in situations where I just cannot imagine how it can be a priority ... noticing, for example, that IRIN regularly posts (implicit) pleas from lesser known struggles and wondering how it feels to the person making the plea ... ai ai, this is not coming clear at all ... there is something equivocal I can't quite get ...

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarI am wondering if I know anthing about anything at all? No, that's not it either. I am reminded of Chris Alexander and his 'quality without a name'. Yeah, maybe this is Camus' L'etranger coming home to roost, Scorcese's Taxi Driver, Francoise Sagan and her Bonjour Tristesse ... all derivative you see, literary, cultural, ideological even, but not real. Or maybe this is as real as it gets for a gouty old fart with nothing else to do eh?.

Feels like Entropy is settin' in, which brings us back around to Pynchon at least (Entropy - Thomas Pynchon).

Maxwell's demon became an intellectual thorn in the side of thermodynamicists for almost a century. The challenge to the second law of thermodynamics was this: Is the principle of the increase of entropy in all spontaneous processes invalid where intelligence intervenes?

Globe: Getting locked up to get away from it all, (Archive).
IRIN: More than a million child labourers.

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