Gathering and Processing

An excerpt from popular culture:

“I understand now that boundaries between noise and sound are conventions. All boundaries are conventions waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so… My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.” –Cloud Atlas David Mitchell

A jump back to 1872:

“…Does anyone say that the red clover has no reproductive system because the humble bee (and the humble bee only) must aid and abet it before it can reproduce? No one. The humble bee is a part of the reproductive system of the clover. Each one of ourselves has sprung from minute animalcules whose entity was entirely distinct from our own, and which acted after their kind with no thought or heed of what we might think about it. These little creatures are part of our own reproductive system; then why not we part of that of the machines? But the machines which reproduce machinery do not reproduce machines after their own kind. A thimble may be made by machinery, but it was not made by, neither will it ever make, a thimble. Here, again, if we turn to nature we shall find abundance of analogies which will teach us that a reproductive system may be in full force without the thing produced being of the same kind as that which produced it.”
-The Book of Machines, Samuel Butler


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A point of departure

“It was therefore fated that philosophy degenerate as it developed through history, that it turn against itself and be taken in by its own mask.  Instead of linking an active life and affirmative thinking, thought gives itself the task of judging life, opposing to it supposedly higher values, measuring it against these values, restricting and condemning it.

And at the same time that thought thus becomes negative, life depreciates, ceases to be active, is reduced to its weakest forms, to sickly forms that are alone compatible with the so-called higher values.  It is the triumph of “reaction” over active life and of negation over affirmative thought.  The consequences for philosophy are dire, for the virtues of the (more…)

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