How to Tell a Story

Every story begins with a noticing.  So for example in the story of Flippy and the Dust in the Beam of Light, the noticing is the way the dust dances around in a beam of light.

Every noticing conceals a yearning, because those who are self-satisfied and yearn for nothing, notice nothing.  In the story of Flippy and the Dust the yearning is to know what happens to the dust in the beam of light when the light goes away.

To explain the next part of a story you need to be familiar with the idea of “letting something have its head”.  Let’s say you have a young man and you want him to drive a car but he really wants to plant a garden.  If you let him have his head he will plant a garden.  You need to take the yearning and let it have its head and then you will see its disparate parts displaying themselves to your eager imagining.  In the case of the Flippy story this is Flippy’s journey.  He makes friends with a dust mote and learns to listen to its heart-beat, such a quiet heart-beat a grain of dust has!  And he sees where it goes when the sun beam is gone and it is not dancing with its brother.

Every story has a heart of night and in order to tell it you have to dip into your own heart of night yourself.  Don’t you know that the reflections of all the things in your life that you have seen and felt, all the hearts that have touched yours, all the people whose souls you have brushed against are reflected in that heart of night.  You might think you can’t see them because they’re like a deeper darkness within the darkness, but honey you can.  You might as well say you can’t taste honey just because you’re asleep when you taste it.  Oh sweetheart that’s the sweetest taste it is, that’s why the fairies won’t let us taste it while we’re awake.  They’re jealous of our waking life just as we’re jealous of their sleep, and that is why when we meet them and love them it is called the life of dreams.

The dustmote in Flippy’s story was in love with a night fairy who disappeared whenever the sun came out, but shone with a light that was too powerful for our eyes to see because it was a light of darkness.  And that’s the light you need to turn on to tell your story and to be honest that’s the light you boys and girls at home or remembering your home as you go into the world have to turn on to read a story, particularly a story about Flippy and the dust mote and the night fairy who lived happily ever after.


Good night!


Bad Ideas and Why They Are Bad

Life is a process of learning by iterated feedback loops between self and world.  As we try ideas and watch them fail, we learn to do better.  Practice discerning bad ideas and the source of their badness helps us achieve ideas that are good.

With these reflections firmly in mind, here are some bad ideas I have come up with, with in each case an explanation of why the idea in question is bad:


Idea: Re-write the play “Master Harold and and the Boys” but instead of Harold, Popeye’s nemesis, Bluto.

Reason It’s Bad: Who wants that?


Idea: Erotic parody of Wallace Stevens’s chestnut “13 ways of looking at a blackbird” but with black dildo instead of bird.

Why Bad: What am I, 14?  Grow-up!


Idea: Re-write classic romantic tragedy in a world where when people fall in love they merge their consciousness by means of a genetically altered MIND SQUID from the Planet Antares.  In this world there are exponentially more ways a love can end tragically, because not only could the two people be mismatched (in this case cause they come from duelling Italian families) but the Squid’s agenda is part of the picture. Maybe Grosvenor the mind squid’s squid hive was once done badly by the Montagues AND the Capulets and his squid-king wants revenge, but Grosvenor’s taking a liking for the Veronese pair of nutty sexed-up kids. The skies the limit!

Reason It’s Bad: Are you kidding me?  This idea is great!







Sideways Time

Of course there is sideways time.  We experience it as a moment having greater “depth”.  Depending upon whether streams separate or converge, each moment we may be several people or a single person experiencing a moment of greater depth.  During those moments we have the option of continuing in linear fashion or availing ourselves of the other directions opened up by the greater depth of the moment.  Unfortunately when we remember these  moments from a later moment that is linear, the depth is projected upon a single line and the depth of the moment is, in retrospect, flattened.

A linear present can neither remember nor look forward to a moment of sideways time.

And that, my friends, is the cause of oh so many problems!



Unity and Autarchy

Autarchy or self-rule is to be contrasted to heterarchy or rule of or by another.

Every entity to be an entity must distinguish itself from that which is other than itself.

The distinction between inside and outside takes the form of a Markoff membrane.  Events inside the Markoff membrane have a higher probability of affecting other events within the membrane while events outside it have a lower probability.

Only an autarchic entity is able to achieve unity.

Therefore the only way to achieve autarchy is to become part of something else.

The inter-relationship of the cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, and Golgi apparatus is an example of a stable unity of autarchy and heterarchy.  This is called organism.

Organism is the intermediate stage between autophagy and heterophagy.

Eating is the incorporation of the past by the present.  Sexual reproduction is the incorporation of the present by the future.

Economics is a psychologically-mediated hallucination of biological realities i.e. there is only free lunch.


Basic Principles of Political Ontology

The essence of an essence of an essence of an essence of an essence of X is the most rareified essence of X — it is called the quintessence.

The defense of the defense of the defense of the defense of the defense of X is the most ramified defense of that thing.  It is called the quindefense.

Everything maintains itself by building a defense, but these defenses inevitably cause counter-defenses.

Everything that has an enemy becomes like that enemy in order to defend against it.

Every empire sows the seeds of its own destruction because the power in the center allows for the growth of power along the periphery.

Elites are empires within a state.

Every elite creates a counter-elite.

Every elite is a cartel: of power, ability to reproduce, or information.

When you understand the quindefense of the quintessence you are well on your way towards autarchy.


Sandy and Marianne


If John F. Kennedy were alive today, do you think people would listen to his leadership?


No.  A living man with a blown-off head would freak everybody out too much.


I am trying to have a serious conversation and you are derailing it into some dumb thing about the semantics of counterfactuals.


I was trying to start a conversation about what we valued about our relationship and you turned it into a criticism of me.


What I value about our relationship is the opportunities it affords me to criticize you.



I like that too.



Important Considerations Regarding Lions, Men, Lion Men

  1. Austrian sage Ludwig Wittgenstein opined once that “if a lion could speak we could not understand him.”

  2. American thinker John Searle replied to (1) that that is not necessarily true “Maybe he could say “I like this roast goat better than this raw goat.”  I would understand that.

  3. Attican pundit Aristotle defined man as a living thing with logos.  Logos has been translated variously as the ability to talk and the ability to reason.  In example (2) above, a creature with a big mouth, and four huge paws and a mouth full of teeth but that could talk would not be a lion for Aristotle: it would be a human with the body of a great cat.

  4. Indian sci-fi novelist Vyasa tells the story of a demon-king slain by an incarnation of Lord Vsnu.  The demon-king achieves the boon that he will never be killed by man or beast, on land, sea or sky, at night or during the day.  Vsnu assumes the form of Narasimha, the man-lion and decapitates the demon king at twilight while he is standing on one foot.

  5. The lion is not actually the King of Beasts as beasts have no king.  There is no order of political governance among animals.

  6. American maitre penseur Donald Davidson once argued that if we do not understand what something else is saying we do not have reason for believing that it is saying anything.  He therefore considers the notion of radically alien modes of thought is nonsense, as if something can be called a mode of thought, it is not alien.

  7. Despite (2), (3), and (6) I find myself agreeing with (1) for the simple reason that I can not even understand what I am saying right now, and I would not want to deny that I am a human, much less a lion, much less a zoo in which lions and humasn run free, contending for the glorious title


What a Clumsy Attempt to Flatter the Doge

Ordelafo, you splendiferous one!

Ordelafo light of my eyes!

Ordelafo, the constellation Orion clad in flesh, the noble art of geometry in human form, the glory of the ancients reborn.

I will praise you.

You have done well to conquer Acre in Syria and establish the church of Christ All Ruler.

I am well impressed and duly pleased by your victorious battles against the Hungarians, as ruled by Coloman.

Your wife Matelda, cousin of his Royal Highness King Baldwin I of Jerusalem is the perfect DOGARESSA, a model of virtue and spousal propriety.

When you celebrate the mythological marriage of Venice to the Sea by throwing a ceremonial dagger into the ocean, not a heart remains unstirred.

Really, you are a tremendous Doge.

(The Doge remains impassive)

-What?  What is it?  Why is he leaving me on his gondola without acknowledging my tribute?

-Oh signore your flattery was terrible.

-How so?  My flattery was great.

–Not so.   You have sorely offended the Doge and he will remain deaf to your pleas forever.

(The gentlemen’s tears fall like rain into the canals.  Finally he is able to form his lips into a single word.)


-You neglected to mention that his name spelled backwards is “Faledro.”


—The Noble Doings and Fine Speeches of Regarding the Crowned Republics.  Ricardo De Romagno, Padua 1810.