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A notebook

You do not need to read this. It is mostly boring thoughts.
But if you do look, you might find something of your liking.

Small aphorisms of small value...

... which came to me in a cold January of 2019 in Sweden.

  • No one is as willing to give as the artist just before he makes art.
  • Wrongly placed parking spaces.
  • Acid tastes like silicone lube; it is the silicone lube of the mind.
  • Few people have the tools to be gardeners of their own mind.
  • Metal is the brutalism of music.
  • Hell is paved with linoleum.
  • You don’t read War and Peace, War and Peace reads you.
  • Only through tediousness does one get to mastery.
  • (On acid trips) It’s a never ending dinner with new people coming in all the time.
  • (On acid trips) “I just want to go to sleep, instead… oh look at this triangle… no! fuck off!”.

If you do want to use LSD, and you do not mind advice, I would personally suggest the following:

  1. do it with great friend(s)
  2. go to a Museum of Art

Art shows us many things, most of which are hidden.

Being with you
Defeats horizons
We are together, always
And every cloud
Against the bright sky
Feels like painted perfection.

Retail therapy is the term the best applies to what is one of the issues with the economy. When we think of the relationships between humans and the environment, we usually think of a conflictual behaviour: people see themselves opposed to nature.

This conflict arises through the process of abstraction that is intrinsic in the creation of the idea of Nature. At a first step - at the same level of animals - man is fully intertwined with its environment. This stage is the survival stage: as humans live like animals, plants and all other living organisms, their only concern is immediate survival. Immediate survival is the form of zero-abstraction, and thus no-economy (somewhat at this point the issue of the economy is orthogonal to the issue of abstraction, but these phenomena are strongly connected). Without abstraction, humans feels no tediousness and bore as such - as emptiness of action and need - and thus are compressed in a space-time of ever-present: the past is merely useful on a practical level (to survive), but what really counts is the absolute nowness of being hungry, feeling cold, having dry mouth or being under attack from a pack of wolves. But as humans aggregate and develop ways to “remove” themselves - in part, initially - from this symbiontic hyperpresent, abstraction emerges as a process of coping. We create first mythos and deities to cope with our newfound realization of inadequacy: why are we in need? Why need we be hungry, but not fed, or cold and not warm? Why is danger constantly surrounding us?

The core programmings of our finely evolved survival mechanisms clash with the abstraction in such in intrinsic way that a rip is torn in the very fabric of reality: the first existential trainwreck of human experience - one which every baby has to face on a smaller, but not less relevant way - is that the concretazion of the concept of reality in our mind is automatically the understanding that we are unable to change it freely. Instead, we are somehow constrained by it. It dictates our pleasure and pains and we can not do anything to stop it, most of the time. We must live our human lives with this glass wall between us and reality, and we are unable to escape it: this is the emergence of Nature.

Surely not all human societies proceed the same way in trying to coexist with Nature. Some of them internalize this concept, and create a new mythos, incorporating it. This produces animistic cultures, which are, in some sense (but also, maybe in a more New Age sense now, and certainly with the smudge of colonialism) “closer” to Nature. On the other had, and actually by no means better, some groups create further layers of abstraction-on-abstraction and develop “structured” societies: large communities, states, nations, and so forth. The Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese, Roman, Middle-Eastern, Mayan and Western societies all developed from this strain of approach.

But the Western post-imperialistic and post-capitalist society has surged to prominence thanks to its impossibly efficient mechanisms of appropriation and repurposing of the abstraction process. The existential tear of reality, which abstraction can not cover but merely reframe - much like a fresco painted around a hole in a wall, is not merely analysed in a metaphysical sense and distilled in culture and art: instead, the tear is leveraged to force a fearful sense of ever-present-void onto each individual, proposing desaturated abstraction as the solution to this great evil. In this, abstraction is not declined in the ways of societal abstraction - such energy is not channeled in the advancement of art or culture - but it is instead directed toward the sustainment of the economy-state. Induced consumption is the prime example of this. We do not buy the body lotion out of an empirical need: the lotion must be bought because a wide net of abstractions has been put into place as to reduce the act of consumption to panacea to the existential void. Thus post-capitalism controls both sides of the symbolic exchange: it refines the need, creating and sensitivising people to the “consumer behaviour-lifestyle”; it creates the Product, which is both the mass-produced instance object (the lotion, the hamburger, the dress, the coffee table book, the expensive television, the music vinyl, the online service…) and the much harder to manufacture symbolic object (the prototype substance which removes or numbs the need).

While the instance-object can be considered almost accidental to the whole process (in fact, this is exactly what internet mega-companies have been able to show, the ultimately disposability of the physical element), the symbolic object took almost a century to perfect to the point of present day. Significant and painful steps had to be taken by the industrial supply side of post-WWII America and Europe (now replaced in large by China and India) to be able to concoct reasonable instances of Product. The product needs to be - for all practical purposes - of religious quality: it must be aesthetically and essentially refined (design); it must be exposed and narrated in an immediately understandable fashion which may never reduce its symbolic value (marketing); it must be proudly shown as available, clean, ordered, affordable and ready-to-use (production, packaging, and supermarket placement); it must have a (potential) scope; it must be replicable with scale and consistency. Look closely, and all these qualities apply to (or would be wished for) the best coping mechanisms for existential trauma that humankind has so far devised: religion and drugs. Of course, many recreational drugs have such high (chemical) design value that all the remaining fields become secondary to most consumers. So do a few religions, too.

Indeed contemporary space-age projects are anything but lofty dreams. Of course there was a time, from the 60s to the 80s perhaps, in which we knew no better, and had almost unlimited trust in the powers of mechanical technology and practical development that suited such kind of prospect much better than the present time. Now there are a few billionaires who are wealthy and hazardous enough to embark in such endeavours - unfortunately, to the probable detriment of mankind. This is not to take anything away from the relevance of Juri Gagarin’s first flight in space, or Cassini’s missions at the far edges of the Solar System, and neither to the Moon landings of the many Apollo missions. In a sense, these events are what is left that mankind can still consider imbued with an aura of magic and pure amazement; rightfully so. They remember us our natural tendency to be dreamers, and makers and travelers. And yet - as we said - there was a time for this, and there might be still a time in the future, but it now come a different time. The time is now that of a closer inspection at our own part of space.

When the extremely wealthy decide that space exploration is a reasonable goal for their personal riches, and that in fact there is some kind of “trailblazing” quality to being able to ship stuff out of Earth, then we should start and question why is it so. In the first place, these people seem to be wealthy in a way that does not really benefit the greater humanity: namely, they either exploit long chains of production-consumption that today do little to preserve the environmental equilibrium of our own planet; or they stash money away after distilling it from financial systems, taxation loopholes and ever-immaterial digital forms of corporations. Space is cool, so Earth must be uncool to begin with: Earth is only important in a hipster kind of joke.

But now, take a walk in a forest close to you, or on the beach, or another place of nature close to you: the Earth is not only an endless wonder, but also the most accessible - thus, democratic - one. Anyone can be so lucky as to find a flower in the grass, or a towering storm slowly rolling towards a flaming sunset. Earth is cool even more because it is so close. We should not let the billionaires claim that at some point (maybe soon) humans will need to space travel to survive because Earth will not be able to support us anymore - it would be our fault, anyway. Surely their way of living is not be the way that allows all of us, and future generations too, to live well in the long run. Little do the extremely wealthy usually do to help the truly needy, to alleviate the lack of real access to sanctioned human rights for all people, to avoid contamination of the ecology, to avoid exploitation of those in weaker socio-economical positions: these goals are of the people and they should be achieved by the people, and through projects of long-term, strong social welfare. Space is an expansive frontier, one that should be carefully explored in small steps, and only once bigger, more pressing old problems have been addressed. The idea that by just throwing money at any dreams eventually we will all be saved is ridiculous. Instead of shying away, procrastinating from the real issues in our world, it is our duty to look back to ourselves, and reflect on the next true development step. We can not move people to space to save them or to save us.

I wish that life
Was made of much kinder stuff
Than that of everyday:
Countless goodbyes,
Veins of pain and
Lots of fear.
Let the kinder times,
Those tender days,
Flood us with midsummer light
Like my kiss on your warm skin.

An element of irreducibility of existence is the sunset in the forest. It is incredible how such a simple phenomena, something that countless of us and our ancestors have witnessed since the dawn of mankind can be so fundamental, and contain so much truth. It is not less than incredible that a sunset in the forest can take place in its own right: recall how the short winter day - maybe after a long snow storm, when the sun has just shown itself for the last few hours of light - and the air is buzzing with cold spikes of ice and small ripples of wind. The light runs through the old, strong trees of the forest with reverence, shy of entering this place of sacred peace and unspeakable sounds.

I rhyme I'll sing,
A story of dream,
I met once
All flaws and sins.
Under a dome
Of lucid blue sky
An everyday
Spring morning
Of lost allure.
As I walked
All them,
All flaws and sins,
I comforted each.
To everyone,
Tenderly in fact
I said these words
I recall, exact:
"Each one of you
I love, I need
It's true.
For every single of
All flaws and sins
Makes life worthy
Of being truly lived."