According to wikipedia, a fistula is “an abnormal connection between two hollow spaces such as blood vessels, intestines, or other hollow organs. Fistulas are usually caused by injury or surgeryL, but they can also result from an infection or inflammationL.”
I am writing this in haste, so there are lots of connections that I will leave for your imaginations to fill in (your own fistulas to proliferate, if you will). What I have in mind with such a visceral entitling is that the Internet itself, you could say, acts as a fistula in that it channels our devices into electrical connections with other devices networked in. What facebook has done to take this logic further—and prompt me to label it a fistula—is it has channeled many of us further into frequenting their site as a means of connecting, a fistula within the larger Internet intestines (or tubes!). However, the fistula which is usually an alternate minority pathway has become almost as large as the parent (the Internet) from which it is a deviant. The result for many of the old Internet pathways such as websites, has been their steady atrophying and alienation, with private website browsing way down, in terms of ratios at least.
The small beginning of facebook, before it had all of us migrating through it’s alternate intestines, was very enticing as an easy and practical platform to have all your friends organized in one place and share social experiences. We were bated in by an original platform that now has constantly changed itself to be more [attractive?], but also much more profitable to itself. Anyone who has been using facebook for a few years can tell you how they are always tweaking things, usually to the annoyance of the users. A parasitic fistula is an evolving thing, and this particular fistula wants to digest more and more of us, with our time (through advertisements), our money (turning us into advertisers), and other insidious ways I’m sure. It controls our rate of movement through it’s complex, assuring that it is to its own benefit. One issue that spurred this thought: the destruction of “reach”; it ends up being a particularly fitting term, reach relating to the notion of our bodily reach being reduced by our decapitated/disabled arms. We are made to socialize with the outer walls, covered with advertisements, that digest us methodically. Our mingling is reduced, as much of our surface area is taken up with unchosen, unfriendly interactions.
A last thought for your consideration: facebook has a similar historical trajectory as the United States; in the beginning both led people to believe they were joining a democracy, but over time you start to see the hierarchy become apparent.
L – As an asside, I find it interesting to note that of the four causes of fistulas, surgery and inflammation are both definitely products of the neolithic age, and a majority of the infections and injuries we face these days could arguably be linked to the stagnancy that is civilization as well. In that vein, I don’t think it would be too far reaching to imply all of civilization as fistula, but I’ll leave that for you to sort out if you wanted to, my dear reader! (thanks for reading! and shout out to Ray Dawson of GodGutsandGlory for his constantly keeping up on my posts, much appreciated!)
Matter composed into straight lines—or even more appropriately a three dimensional object with straight surfaces—is very rare in our world, if you exclude what humans have artificially pounded into existence. Nature offers a myriad of phenomena of almost straight continuous things that one could say tend towards straightness, such as icicles. However, one of a different mind could say icicles are essentially tending away from straightness, not towards it. Nature seems to abhor straight things, because of an obvious violence and simplification of what is so beautiful and complex. Regardless of this, lines have come to imply continuousness, with the concomitant inverse inference that if something is not linear, it is somehow less whole or less connected.
This notion of curvature—and any change in direction for this matter—as somehow being a break in continuity of the phenomena, is ingrained in young minds receiving a standard education across the United States, and probably in other Western and Westernizing states. A student draws a hexagon and he is praised, another student draws herself an image resembling a contour map and the paper is thrown in the garbage. Though both the students’ lines are contrived abstractions from something that may actually relate to the tangible world, the curvy terrain lines are scaled down versions of continuous lines in nature. Any man made straightness in the world is going to be unmade by forces greater than our efforts into something that isn’t so straight… something that has sporadic spatial changes… something that is alive! Yet we with our incessant maintenance efforts keep trying to impose hexagons, impose squares, impose closed loop circularity into the landscape, out of the landscape, and into our offspring.
We fail to sense the desires of our children (including that within us) to be non-linear, to be “out of order”, to be untameably free, and instead insist, in a rather neurotic way, that they line up straight, that they not experiment with their voices but use them as precise tools of communication (and occasionally as regimented tonal singers). What curves in nature, continues on—both in the spatial sense but also in the chronological sense of surviving; curving is much more internally continuous/harmonized than what fragmented-ness occurs when something is forced into straightness. That fragmented-ness is made visible when roads start to fall apart, when windows on skyscrapers break, when supposedly rational human beings become artistic, when dementia increases in likeliness (this is a loaded, nuanced topic that perhaps I will give opinions on later).
Anyways, this is the first post I am not going to go back and excessively (and obsessively) edit and impose my own twisted logic upon, and apologize for (philosophically speaking). Also, this is one of many contributory thoughts building up to a post on the ontology of violence (contrasted with the epistemology of violence) that I have been gathering towards.
I often live under a rock (a fertile place, see below*) with the Cascadian Independence Movement just entering my narrow radar screen. After some investigation, however, it seems the movement itself also dances between rock-roofed dormancy and active assertions of the human striving for freedom from unnecessary shackles. There are many humans in social media circles that give off revolutionary vibes, standing atop the rock as one would a soapbox, exuding that something big politically will be happening very soon; who am I to cast doubt and preclude such a future? I have a taste for their revolutionary energy, and all I wanted to do when I first realized this was a real movement within the American continent I occupy—where the political imagination is generally as fluid as a desert—was go hug the nearest conifer and have someone take a me and tree selfie, and photoshop that onto a Cascadia flag with the words “Solidarity With Cascadia”.
The Cascadian nation’s coming into existence is important beyond just those that it will include (I wouldn’t say “contain”, as that has a statist connotation and I think Cascadia is far more a free and open nation), as it could serve as both a model for emerging nations and a further disintegration of the overgrown, malnourished, obese post-imperialist empire euphemistically labeled “the United States”. Cascadia is another front against the sprawling Empire to help take it further off balance; another stronghold of a mountainous island to not be drowned out when the real threat to it’s residents—the one to its east (District of Columbia) not west—topples from within. Cascadia has a deep enough of a foundation in place that it cannot be faulted as being a mere reaction to the politically and economically decadent times. Cascadia is full of insight and foresight that put it in a different league of nations than most that have arisen in the last century; it will prove to be a one word poem, prompting other nations to arise before such a possibility is precluded. Cascadia is yearned for by the people within, not a convenience contrived by people without!
A blogpost on Cascadia could go into many different tributaries that wouldn’t lend itself to the linear writing style here employed, so I will return to the rock metaphor, as a matter of course. On this theme, the vanguard revolutionaries need to be prepared psychologically and not lose their far-sighted visions, when another winter comes and they need to migrate back underground to warm and nourishing places. Their thrusting efforts to birth a new sovereign nation may likely be averaged-out and watered-down by their spermicidal, prudish, conservative “let’s stay put” neighbors that don’t have the same lust for an open-ended Cascadian future. However, I have a sense that the number of winters between their hopes of an unoccupied Cascadia nation and its reality, are quickly thinning. The most important reason for this is the revolutionary zeitgeist: Cascadian pride is a phenomenon that might be comparable to a vine spiraling upwards, clinging to a cliff-side at times, but only to return and reveal more of its glorious self higher up, daringly exposed and awe-inspiring. The vine has deep roots that I cannot appreciate, that are larger and more fertile than Ecotopia even understood, though that book was immensely important in its current growth strides. For me, I am gazing up at the vine, rooting it on. I see more hope for it still because what might be the most important inhibition barring the Cascadian nation from bearing its first fruit (a fir cone baby) is a negative that may soon be negated. The Cascadia nation’s biggest natural predator averred to above—the United States, along with its global reserve currency status—is going to be having organ failures of all sorts that will put it in a hospital bed before too long. In such a state the federal government might become too impaired to grasp at a fledgling nation. One must wonder if FEMA’s imminent deployment in response to the fault line is a pretext for federal presence, “reminding” residents that they are not free to self-determine. In any event, at some point this governmental force will release the Cascadian land from its grip, enabling the people to put on full display the beautiful ideas informing their struggles.
Change before the Crisis: “Get ahead of the times with silver ParaDimes”. One triage tactic the region can take up (if it hasn’t already begun to do so) to further ensure it isn’t as injured by any American economic collapse, would be the encouragement of converting dollars into physical silver and bartering with it for trade. This transition to a silver backed currency will allow a more seamless transition when the need arises, as well as becoming another social glue between the Cascadian people. Even more to the revolutionary side of things would be a continued push for an organic economic method of sharing and mutual aid, which I know already exists locally in many different places over Cascadia where people are even further ahead of their times.
*I admittedly couldn’t figure a way to put in this further elaboration without further confusing the text, so I thought I would say it here. With regards to living in proximity of a rock: there is much bio-activity that happens during all seasons, as permaculture profounder Sepp Holzer has displayed in his “symphonies of nature”. A man ahead of his time is surely not unheard of in a place that is ahead of it’s time, and those familiar with his love of rocks would know that they regulate temperature, increase moisture to dry areas, clean and mineralize water, among many other talents known and unknown such as creating an appropriate pH for a fir tree sapling to grow strong and tall!
In an effort to create a single place to gather all the recent and future “subverbs” (political/philosophical memes) in a single place, I’ve created a tumblr blog and will also be archiving them here on this page.
Corporate Campus Crimes2
Fortunately or unfortunately, I live in proximity to several corporate headquarters, and have had to include their campuses to get in a variable trek for my lengthy dog walkings. The experience from these trespasses has afforded me to develop a fledgling academic field by the name of Comparative Corporate Campus Ruminations. I say trespass, but from my perspective there is certainly also an impingement on me—and other lives much bigger than mine—which I suppose is the prime mover behind this post’s existence. So far all the walks have been very tranquil, whether on a weekday morning or a weekend evening. The natural sounds from crickets and locusts emanate from the tree packed margins—the “wild space” separating one corporate kingdom from its neighbor. Tree packed? It’s a relative term contrasted against the spacious, breathable, un-claustrophobic lawns occasioned by small tree islands. The scope of corporate lawns alone is an advertisement that these corporations are economy-driving job creators: think about how much mowing there is to benefit the backbone landscaping industry.
Tranquilized Environments: No More Kidding?
Why should I complain about something so pleasant, like having a free visit to a country club1? Even the parking is free, that is if you can find a spot. So much of the landscape that isn’t lawn is taken up by an assortment of giant asphalt solar tarps, where to park the car? These passive solar heaters must have been installed to counter the air conditioning system that must make things inside oppressively cold. One good thing then, at least, is that the people that work inside the large five story building must be forced to walk through the greened campus from wherever they park their cars, or where public transportation drops them off. There are, of course, the occasional rebels that decide to park on the asphalt solar tarps, but I’m sure corporations have a means of dealing with people who break their rule(s), such as placing the offender in a south-facing corner office where they are forced to see a blue-tinted sunny landscape all day long, as opposed to a choice cubicle with four generic walls to keep them company.
Changing Registers: No More Kidding!
In witness to overwhelming tragedy humans will sometimes make light of things to obscure the horror, as I have attempted above. However, I would like now to shine light on this particular tragedy because the voice of the ecosystem, which humans are generally deaf to, has now been eternally silenced. It’s hard to think of the past voices of grave-less plants, fungi, and animals when things are so quiet and peaceful; for me it is a sickening peace, the peace that follows a successful genocide.
With a little imagination the crime becomes obvious: 15 acres of tons upon tons of accumulated biomass—also known as life—virtually annihilated so that a few dozen humans can spend their “productive” hours sitting in a 1/4 acre office building. The crime is not past, and it is not contained to the crime scenery. An actively intoxicated water source—such as the pond in the picture above—is sure to spread toxicity in ways that a criminal designer and property manager had no thought of, or worse, cared little about. Otherwise, maybe their thinking is much more subtle, and entirely anti-life, such as:
“If we let mosquitoes breed, we will inevitably let a whole aquaculture ecosystem spawn full of mosquito predators on up the food chain, such as fish and frogs, and that is absolutely not acceptable. We dare not let mosquitoes be part of an ecosystem that will control their numbers far more efficiently and regularly than our own chemical industry allies.”
Not all corporate campuses will attempt the false glamour of a perpetually poisoned pond. Usually they will contribute their dose of waste and toxicity by implementing a water projecting fountain and be satisfied with chemically treated lawns and deserted mulch beds. With precaution, visit one of these campuses to analyze the health threats for yourself. These crimes are actively happening around us, whether we see them or not, and whether the laws recognize them or not. Don’t hold your breath for any black-robed dishonors to rescue us and correctly judge this as a crime—we must be the judges! We must figure out what is appropriate remediation and justice before our own victimage becomes too great a burden and we need to rely on others to defend us. If not, the case studies will continue to pile up along with ecosystem carcasses.
Notes (correctly disordered):
2 – Concisely Conveying Cronnie Congressmen Cordially Condoning Corporate Campus Crimes (3C2) is an alternate title,though this article doesn’t remark on legislators and other representatives. However, this alternate title is still fitting, for it’s no lie that elected (and unelected) officials are implicitly involved in allowing particular industrial and commercial practices to go unchecked, practices ironically that they sign bills to outlaw private citizens from undertaking. I know some people are upset that corporations have the same legal status as actual people, but I think they’d be more upset if they realized corporations have a higher legal status than us. A two tier system has been created with individuals placed at the sewer level.
1 – Country Club (2C1)could be looked at as a euphemism for country clubbed down by modern industrial civilization. This relates to another, more sinister euphemism pointed out by Noam Chomsky: the Defense Department was the new title given to the War Department after WW2; the only thing that changed (other than the name) was the increasing amount of wars the USA would become involved with.
We cannot take for granted the human mental activity termed analysis, that is grouped, tightly or loosely, with rationality, logicality, and often Procrustean binarism. Where did such violent patterns of thought arise from to be a mainstay of the modern human experience? Thought patterns that have a curious mind pondering, and ultimately encouraging a body—or many bodies—to enact such blood spilling dissections of the natural world. To get at a plausible answer, I believe we must use another mental activity still afforded us (i.e. imagination?) that can have us walking in some earlier, less or even pre-analytical time. Perhaps if we use such an imaginative temporal transportation adequately, we can see the peculiar analytical flap of the butterfly’s wings that rippled into the hurricane of analytic violence that so consumes the human psyche and the wider world we have today compacted.
The Stark Natural Impurity of Purities
Purities are the fruits ripest for a mind to cling to and ponder to develop an analytic binary: that which is the pure thing, and the impure milieu defined as a background to surrounding the pureness. To get at such pure fruit, we could take our imaginations back temporally to the experience of an early migratory human in a forest gathering tinder for a fire. Such an activity is not unimaginable though it probably displays a crude understanding of paleolithic life; nevertheless, it will serve as a starting point.
We should pose the question: what in that forest environment was pure enough to stand out from the rest that she would take particular note to develop a discourse to pass on to others? The only “thing” that I can think of (but perhaps your imagination will afford you a better example) that is pure and startling enough to wrench her from her gathering task would be her stumbling upon a recently dead body of another human. Such a drastic encounter would probably force her, after much emotional processing, to conceptualize death as something other than life. The purely differentness of death from daily living would stand out to any having their first encounter. From this simple life-death binary it is possible that if she didn’t suppress the whole experience out of a traumatic response, that she would then be opened to seeing death in non-human entities as well, such as a fallen tree, animals she might eat, and so on.
This life-death binary is a possible beginning to the analysis we have inherited mentally, culturally, institutionally today, but I would like to problematize that such an event could actually have had the staying power to grow into the scientific and philosophical knives with which we currently dice up reality. I don’t think a single concept—even one as shaking as death—could pull a migratory people into developing a particularly divisive language and an educational culture dedicated to replicating such ideas in the minds of their children and grandchildren. I see such primal occurrences, if they happened at all, as likely to be ripples that returned to the ocean; carcasses left behind to decay as the migration pushed forward, away from a previous locale.
The Relaxed Acceleration of the Western Analytic Mind
The particular analysis we of the westernized world have inherited must have an origin of sorts, and one place I would posit as distinctly possible is in the Pre-Socratic philosophizing of ancient Greece. A sea such as the Ionian (or Aegean) offers itself as such an analytic purity to the mind of one not interested in empiricism, who is not attuned to the subtleties of catching fish or other nautical pursuits. Thales—a name for a thinking (wo)man or group of thinking (wo)men—was just such a person who had a privileged position, including the leisure time to gaze at water and conceptualize it as a purity. After finding this pure fluid mixed in with other substances—not least of which would have been fruit—Thales went on to posit that this purity of water was what made up everything. Though no documentary evidence exists, it is quite possible that among a small group there was a fervor of thought and activity exploring this idea that water composed everything, and there were many fruits and animals slain (blood would be evidence), and wells dug, in the search of proof of waters omni-presence. This idea of a purity certainly impressed itself on the minds of these specific characters, and their bodily actions were sure to complement their thinking patterns. Out of Thales came other ontological originary elemental positings (air, fire) by the Ionian school that favored different purities for different reasons.
Thus oneness was posited in the minds of a particular place that would genealogically endure, and a few generations later “twoness” would arise from Plato and any proto-Platonists on the scene. Again, empiricism is sheltered out for it is damaging to the rational categories so constructed by the philosopher. History tells us of a marching forward of these ideas that would not be stamped out by the Persian Empire, nor defeated by the Carthaginians, nor permanently lost to the middle ages. We are the inheritors of such a tradition, but we are also those who could freely choose a different path, and to let go of analytics if we so dared, not using paths blazed before us that direct our activities forward.
There is an ontological, non-historical explanation for binaries/analysis which is forthcoming.
Appendage of Scattered Notes/Ideas:
modern work doesn’t enable an excess of leisure, being of a particular class of efficiency that we can have leisure as a byproduct. No, it was during leisure time that modern work tasks were codified in the mind and then later put into practice that now have us all toiling in varying degrees.
analytics are not created/initiated in the brain. They are purities in the external world, like “blueness”, straight edges, create the idea of analytics. Comes from purities, from a lack of sensitization; but if we are just open to our senses…
violent slashings create an idea of objects and geometry that must have been somewhere available in the greeks. They must have been looking at the sky too much.
I added the picture and thought this was an appropriate time to revoice what’s really going on here, though it’s been made very obvious tonight!