Wednesday, April 10, 2013

as a young person,

I was encouraged to spend quite a bit time on what might be termed "the computer."  it was a different time then.  another word for that might be "era."  you know about the pleistocence, cambrian, mesozoic, etc- solid and memorable eras, no question.  we'd all like to learn more about them, undoubtedly, but ironically, there isn't quite enough time in our schedules.  it's a difficult era!  we simply do not have enough information.  try as we might, we simply cannot get our hands on the requisite amount.  or if thru some sort of miracle we do or at least dream or imagine we do, invariably it's not quite the right category of info.  it might be close- oh, indeed, it might be a single cell organism away- nonetheless, it's irrelevant, and we're forced to return to what in those days was termed "wikipedia."   

as a young person, there was a certain degree of confusion. and to make matters worse, the universities were offering degrees in confusion!  yes, confusion itself was an official field of study back then!  we were told to do research without having even done an initial search!  we rode the bus just like everyone.  we ate canned goods just like everyone.  we made our clothes and our homes and our computers from scratch, just like everyone.  if there was even more confusion than our education could handle, we logged onto "wikipedia" or "yahoo" for a sense of direction and sometimes even purpose.  the raw facts were always available, the raw meat, the raw data- terms like convectional rainfall, existential psychology, cofferdams, ornithology, boundary friction, etc.  simpler times, simpler questions, simpler discussions and answers.  partial coherence, molecular field theory, etc.  good times.  good professors.  we enjoyed the pleasures of learning.  even if every now and then it appeared to be for its own sake entirely.

after school some of the neighbor kids and I would often play in what we called, for some bizarre reason, "the gully."  this was nothing other than a simple ditch filled with water.  it was part of the drainage system, but that didn't matter to us.  we could pretend it was the amazon river, and that we were early human explorers discovering an unpeopled district for the very first time.