online: 20 september 2010
modified: 6, 20 september 2010

6 september 2010 writer as postman

Sandy Heath cake in the woods... after struggling with the business of packing and mailing and writing to people who've responded to John Thackara's notice of the internet and everyone and wish to buy some of the copies i've got left...

...this kind of job is almost too much for me: understanding bureaucratic procedures... finding ways to simplify the rules and demands of post offices and banks and online payment methods... most of which impose obstacles and charges which are enough to put one off mailing and getting paid for small packages... (for to me this is more difficult than writing)...

...and now i feel the first drops of rain that was predicted in yesterday's forecast... and with this part of 'the system' (so-called) i am agreeably surprised... though with other uses of mathematical modelling i have only distrust... as some who use computer models seem not to know of 'the theory of (the weakness of) models'* ...which i thought was well known but i fear it is not...

*for instance: if a mathematical model is based on inadequate knowledge of how a system operates the model will not predict the future operation of the system... this is my interpretation (from pages 249-250 of Design Methods) of what Stafford Beer wrote in Decision and Control, John Wiley and Sons, London and New York 1966.

...but i've long ago asked myself not to criticise the system but instead to do anything else i can think of that is the 'collective right doing' that is not happening...

...but here i am in the woods digesting teacake and writing this and getting ready to depart as soon as the rain spots become a threat to the bag of mailing packs that i've just queued for and bought at the post office after extracting the mailing costs for UK, EU, USA, all the other countries... (now reduced to these four categories thank goodness)... Indian lady passes walking slowly into the wood with a new baby in a sling... she says hello as she passes (perhaps not realising that she may appear in this record of what happens)... the wind speed's increasing and i mention this to another walker... at which she demonstrates a very long dog lead that she hopes will prevent her dog from chasing squirrels, she says... i wrote that, a small squirrel ran close by as if were not present... is it that i've been still long enough for the animal life of the place to resume as i become one with the trees and the wind and the ground and the insects... (but not with the post office etc.)..?

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