I don't know what this post is about.
by phil on Tuesday Dec 20, 2005 10:34 PM
Everything is derived from the past.
This is the standard deterministic axiom, and I think this is not an explanation, but a justification of why I like, at least in a technical sense, what is called progressive rock, or why I like long mixes of techno.
Because they're based on layers that come and go, layers that were always there but just are beginning to emerge, and they fade in and then they fade out.
There's that point.
Another point I want to make. I'm trying to piece together something...
I like this idea of retroactive understanding of what you meant. Because if you just explicate a concept, put out a thesis--sure, you learned something when you do the research to get to that conclusion--but I like the idea of, because I'm self-aware and you're self-aware, that we cannot help but find ourselves present to ourselves. I remember--I'm getting nostalgic here again--that when I was younger, I would behave in whatever way for an hour, and then I'd look back on that hour, and ask myself "why the hell did I do that?" "where did that come from?" "what does that mean about who I am?" And this was a problem for me in high school because I would end up saying things to people that I wish I didn't say.
This was a problem for me when I was in high school, because I would say a lot of things without thinking and it would get me into trouble. A commonly cited fault that is thrown back to me is that "phil, you have a dangerous mouth." And I agree with them, and so I tried really hard to, as they say, "watch my mouth," or think before i say things, but now i'm finding now that what I say sometimes is too calculated, and even my calculations aren't that good, and that i should learn to accept that i'm the faux pas master (I don't know. I excel in other areas. why can't I excel at not saying stupid things?).... Maybe its because i don't care...
What i'm trying to say is that i still like this idea of having your head under water and not knowing you are underwater until after you come out, and then going "ohh, whoah i was just underwater and i didn't know that." And i think, well you can obtain that i guess if you do recursion. by which i mean (well if you aren't like familiar with the way recursion works in computer science), but if you take the idea that every impulse is preceded by some previous impules. For example my impulse to keep talking is preceded by my momentum in my speech, which is preceded by my desire to maintain continuous flow, which is preceded by ... well i don't think precedence is the right word. i think that maybe there's a hierarchy of motivations which is basically saying that there's narratives in one's life, some that are more fundamental than others. Maslow would say that the most fundamental motivation is to actualize ourselves. so within that motivation there's other sub-motivations, motivations for love and what not.
what i'm trying to get at, for example as an artist, let's say, federico fellini is a famous artist, i saw the movie la dolce vita, and he could sit down and ask himself in an interview "why did you make this movie," "well i ,uh, i wanted to convey or bring attention to decadence in high culture". but then the interviewer could then ask "why did you really create this movie," and he could say "well , why why why, i duunno, i wanna be a successful artist," no "why. why was there these themes on your mind, why did you pick this topic, you could've picked an infinite number of topics, but you chose this one." what i want to get is that this guy federico gets pinned down and then he realizes, "maybe i have an obsession with the rich, or maybe i have my own insecurities about my own internal decadence or maybe because i'm a tool for what's popular and this is just the wind where's it going." i don't know if that conveys exactly what i'm getting at.
i'm trying to think. it's like you back up into the corner and you bump against the wall and then you turn around and face that wall and are like "oh hello wall," and then you back up some more and you fall down the stairs and you look up at the stairs and say, "oh hello stairs," And as you get up, you slip on a banana and are like, "oh hello bananna." Because it goes back to this idea that all that is in front of us is the future, yet all that we can see is what's behind us. so we try to, even tho we are ultimately forward facing, we try to control the present. but it's just nice sometimes to think totally in the yesterday.
Okay here. I had a friend. He told this story to someone else: "oh i'm getting this thing now when i go to bed, and in the ten minutes before i go to sleep my whole life in the day passes before my eyes." And the listener said, "oh, watch out for that stuff!" And I was surprised, because i go through that stuff every hour.
And i don't know if that's normal. as an aside here. i like how adam sandler in punch drunk love (this is a movie done by the same guy that did magnolia--paul thomas anderson, it's one of those pseudo intellectual, but you know a lot of pseudo-intellectual stuff has a lot of depth). And adam's character tells a psychologist, or actually a dentist (because the dentist has some medical credentials). His character is trying to explain what his problem is and he says "I don't know if there is anything wrong, because I don't know how other people are."
But anyways, going back to the other guy, the guy who has the flash back of his whole day as he would go to bed, and how this is something new for him or something novel for him, and for this other person, it was so alien to her that she was afraid of this rapid reminiscence at the end of the day. What is that like? to have your whole day go through and the only time you are aware of what's happening is at end of day? your whole life must be a surprise to you. what if that was your whole year, like, "oh, i had no idea i was going to be a liberal. i had no idea that i had a taste for salsa dancing. i had no idea that i'm addicted to gambling." i had no idea that i had this in me, and i really like that feeling, i guess you can still obtain that feeling when good things happen to you that you didn't know you were capable of getting.
If you've ever won a contest before, it does come as a revalatory surprise, it's like oh, i had no idea that it was me, that i was the one, that i was chosen in this situation. i didn't know i had this in me.
Or like, here's the perfect example, when i had my first girlfriend. it was like in the inital stages, and it kept occurring to me that i had no idea that a female might, could, or at least appear to, love me. that I had a loveable characteristic in me somewhere. and those kind of moments of surprise don't happen often.
Sometimes they happen in a negative way, like i remember, one time there was a moment in my life when I became really chubby. i had a double chin and my legs were huge (this was a short-lived time. for people that know me i'm a very skinny person.) but this process of fattening, yes it was gradual, but i only gained a glimmer of recognition of it on a particular day. and when i looked in the mirror and saw myself and didn't recognize myself, i thought wow, i had no idea that this was in me that this was in the cards.
i mentioned before that less and less novel events are happening to me, but i think that even as we age, you can still be privvy to that feeling of, "i had no idea that such and such was in the cards for me."
I wonder if some of that is just a perspective.
i'm a very goal oriented person, i wonder if that inhibits my ability to acquire things for myself or experience things for myself that I didn't envision in my head beforehand. Well I guess a simpler way to put it is if you don't expect anything, then anything that happens to you will be a pleasant surprise. i guess by having a goal, by imagining what you want, you create an expectation.
but that's not always true. it's not exactly certain that if you have goals in mind that you expect them. I remember having certain goals like winning a contest or something and then I actually won it, that was still a great feeling, that was still like "I had no idea that this was in the cards for me." I guess you get that good feeling when, to be honest you really get that feeling when you're trying to reach a goal, and for the longest itme you're frustarted and it doesn't seem like you're ever going to get there, and you start to love that goal even more, and when you achieve it, and it's already been ingrained in your head, that you're not going to get it, and the odds are against you, then it is a surprise when you get it.
But this dialog here is not really about the pleasure of winning, but more back to this idea of moving forward by walking backwards and seeing your life unfolding in front of you, and going "hmm, that's curious, I didn't know that this was an expression of who I am."
And that's what the previous post was about, the post that's titled "I have no idea what this is about." what I had actually done, I just opened up my sound recorder and just started speaking without any preconception about what I was going to say. And just waiting for the idea or whatever I'm going to say to unfold, the paragraph's there, I wrote it all out, and now this is a piece of myself that I didn't predestine. And so it's up for interpretation as curious behavior. It's like "oooh, so this is what the phil produced at six forty-five PM on tuesday. Let's see here" And I'm saying this in a funny voice, like I'm some sort of psychologist. "Hmm, that's interesting, it seems like he means this or he means that."
And I think it's an interesting perspective to put oneself in. like imagine you're a fly in the corner of the room, looking at yourself, what would you think? How would you find yourself? Would you be happy?