online: 28 november 2004
modified: 28 november 9 december 2004

25 november 2004 the collective mind

15:24 Seated by a playing field on a cool still afternoon at the beginning of so-called winter... Winters are becoming milder and our inherited lore and perceptions of the seasons are gradually ceasing to be true to events.

Sitting for lunch at the outdoor cafe, and sitting here to write (with gloves on) the experiences and memories of this afternoon, i notice and re-imagine the warm colours of fallen leaves, the elegant mechanics of some still unfallen yellow leaves and their almost invisible branches just above my head (each in some mathematically-correct size and position to its neighbour), the exact yet incalculable* spaces made visible between the bare branches of whole trees, the subtle colours of moss and bark on a tree-trunk, and my peace and contentment once back in this city forest and suddenly out of the harsh sounds and crude movements of a bus journey up the Caledonian and Holloway Roads, past two prisons, noticing the worn faces and shaky movements of some and the adaptiveness of everyone to such poorly designed conditions that we so passively accept ...

These contrasts between pre-human nature and the so far unnatural works of human nature provoke in me a ... sadness, yet a conviction that one day, perhaps in centuries distant, there must surely be a designed world embodying life as it can be... (even now, even now, say the impatient thoughts behind the fingers in my gloves and in these words).

...And now i can feel some insects stinging my right temple and i can hear crows cawing to each other and distant voices shouting to each other, as i look up from writing these memories to see the grey sky growing darker and the early sunset disappearing over the trees...

...As i walked to up a steep slope and across a plateau beneath trees i heard strange voices, calling, almost yodelling, from somewhere above - i looked up and eventually saw that two people had climbed a tall beech tree in the dusk... One was half-way up and the other near to the top... I'd imagined that the skill of tree-climbing had been forgotten but more and more i see that it has been revived or re-invented - and that is an encouragement is it not?

*I realised later that spaces too complex to be described in words or calculated by conscious algebra or arithmetic can now indeed be calculated by automatic computer. Given that, we must expect quite soon to see human works as complex as naturally-evolved ones - as is beginning to happen in architecture, at least, though so far without any improvement of life as we live it... But patience, patience, the collective mind is very stupid, very slow... perhaps fortunately?

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