the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new

June 12, 2009

From a 1978 essay by Philip K. Dick: How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later:
However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe--and I am dead serious when I say this--do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.
I think I should add this to mortality guide quote page.

In the essay, he toys with ideas like sneaking into Disneyworld and replacing the fake birds with real ones. Bill the Splut pointed out a 1999 article that thought Marcel Duchamp's "Readymades" may be just that - rather than manufactured items being rebranded as fine art, they may actually be hand constructed things pretending to be manufactured items being rebranded as fine art. What an odd hoax that would turn out to be!

One my favorite bits of readymade art is performance art: when I see one of those vending machines with the glass front and a "nestled spinning spirals" dispensing mechanism, and one of the slots is empty, I'm always tempted to put in money and select the absent product in order to turn the act of trying to dispense a snack into a bit of lovely and hypnotic-- if brief-- mechanical dance, rather than a crass act of commercialism.

But, most of the time I end up just buying a Snickers instead.

"If you understand what you're doing, you're not learning anything."
-- - Slate on how the recession can put a strain on friendships. Money can be so annoying- especially in its absence
Biased against because I have much more "kirk israel" Google Juice than Bing Flow-- stupid other kirk israels! (And my résumé is more interesting than my site? Bleh.) - charming typography animal fun
Thinking how I like writing haha rather than LOL; a bit of old school snobbery, but also you can write "HAHAHA" vs "hehe"- some nuance there
My informal "cold call emails from recruiters" barometer is pointing way up this past week or so. Good sign?