utopian sherman oaks

November 24, 2008

i wake up with the sun and check the plants.  grab some chamomile off the lawn for tea, maybe see if there’s some coffee left.  the animals are already awake, running back and forth trying to keep the squirrels out.  the crops sedate the air, from the low-lying peppers and sqaushes to the regal marijuana and corn plants.  the trees hold sway over the still hot dryness of the morning.  i grab an apple and a fig and head out to get some water. 

the DWP has since converted into a desalinating nanofiltration system, but they lack decent delivery methods, so they’ve set up stations at five-mile increments.  for me, that means i have to grab my bike and head out daily to grab my 15 gallons of water.  the paths are set up for this, tho, there’s an electric rail going through the center, and wide paths where hazeltine used to be.  these are lined, too, with crops of all kinds, plots set up and maintained for the commonwealth.  it’s a struggle to keep homeless people out of there, but the need for that is declining as housing stabilizes.

i haven’t seen a car or airplane in 5 years. 

i get my water, grab a chicken sandwich from a stand.  the chickens come from 4 miles away, in a communal run where they are tagged genetically.  that stands where the 101 used to be.  all that highway was converted into pasture. 

people look at each other, compare methods of growing things.  the seasons are understood.  the power is local and we don’t want for anything.  the world is overflowing with intellectual energy focused on how to solve the lasting problems of the last three centuries.  the powerful are in the street laughing and arguing with everyone else, their money has been totally replaced by wealth.  discourse and public discussion is at an all time high.  there are no slaves or wage slaves, because technology has replaced them.  new technology is weighed for its contribution to the totality of a susatinable human race, and debated and voted upon locally.

algae is grown for fuel and scrubs the air.  we make degradable plastics from it, which creates our computers.  the computers of the 20th century, with their toxic monitors and energy guzzling fans and lights, are a thing of the past. 

nature is recovering.  travel is done for spiritual enlightenment.  science, art and technology have become the same thing.

i ride home and make some soup, am surrounded by my wife, my friends and animals.  we check our batteries and algae tanks to see if we can record in the night.  there’s enough for us to stay up until dawn growing and evolving our genres.  we program, learn parts, argue, take drugs and drink.  i fall asleep between the rows of bok choy and wake up with ant-bites all over my leg.  i take a quick shower and play some video games.

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bad neighbors are like a constant rain of piss, drizzle enough to make little rivers in the street stinking and steaming yellow in the night.  it never rains heavy, it’s not your life, but you can even hear it drip through the walls,  you can hear the tires outside sticking to the pavement.  you know that you have to go out there, to smell it and have it seep through the soles of your shoe.  you have to see that sad face, that angry alcoholic.  that failure festering and exploding beside you.

they would start screaming at night, at 11 at night, and not stop until the early morning.  like a fucking idiot i’d go over there and explain that i was trying to help my fiancee get some sleep, that we didn’t have the consitution to lay awake listening to their loud obvious tragedy.  that worked a couple times. 

the time it didn’t work, the woman came out and looked up at me with her dead sad eyes.  “he’s verbally abusive”.  but all the humanity was gone out of me.  i felt like a meat packer must feel like looking at a PETA video.  “yep that’s it”  and then see the bolt slam through their head in your mind, another day, another death, and nobody blinks an eye.

someday maybe there will be too many fucking people finally, and the hungry will eat the sad.  perhaps the sad will then have the good sense to take care of themselves.  i have hope for the human race.

so now we live a few miles away.  we don’t share a wall, there’s a garden, there’s more animals and plants and less sadness.  it may not last forever, but it’s nice for right now.

i want to break my brain apart, so that the constituent neurons must reform in a wider web. 

i want to upgrade my goddamn ram. 

 i can feel, tangibly, the limits of my intelligence.  they translate into patience, memory, and speed.  when i solve a problem in my head, i’m always running up against these things.  one has to be able to appraise the entire problem with speed, have the patience to hold the whole problem object in the brain, and have the memory to remember the benefits and limits of solutions one has explored.  expanding these capabilities must be possible.  drugs, maybe, but i’m going to say that i think we have much more capacity for use than we are ever aware of.

so can sound be a way of transforming the mind? 

they say mozart makes you more intelligent, concentrate harder, etc.  this must be the tip of the iceberg.  in mozart and beethoven, you can ‘hear shapes’ such as themes, or harmonic structures that are then manipulated and turned around, making visible intangible thought processes such as ‘seeing something from a different angle’, or ‘stretching an idea’.  these are common facets of music.  in bach, the parsimony of the theme becomes something that often creates the entire foreground and background of music, the equivalent of, say, having a statue of an ant made out of ants.  not only that, but he builds cities of ants, civilizations, theories and languages.

sadly, there is a limit to what the mind can percieve.  with very complex music, the inner workings can get lost to the listener.  it’s arguable that nobody can really hear the inner workings of serial music.  there’s the famous story about a musician misplaying schoenberg in rehearsal and confronting him with the fact (ps.  what a douchebag).  schoenberg said (paraphrasing) ‘i couldn’t tell the difference, but perhaps your children will be able to’.  that’s some eugenics at work.

we almost have absolute control over sound at this point.  we have the ability to create perfect dynamics, perfect timbres, perfect manipulations in time, dynamics, and timbre.  we can sample, resample, and synthesize pretty much anything.  there’s a bit of space left to explore with resynthesis and digital hacking of sound, but those are quickly being chewed through with love and vigor.

the next advances in music will not be in these areas.  they will instead be in the areas of structuring sound,  finding and creating meaning through the interplay of change in timbre, dynamics, and time. 

with computing, you can in essence create a brain smarter than your own in order to appraise a problem and then solve it.  you could make models of life, growth, chaos and death, and show how a consciousness (a theme, for instance) would be changed by death.  you can create a way to make yourself smarter, by inventing a small problem, abstracting it, structuring a decision process, and then solving a bigger problem via the computer, and then studying the result of that. 

hacking the brain.

so first off i don’t actually have anywhere close to a billion dollars.   i hover at any one time around the 4 figure mark, with heady ascents into 5 figures that quickly become depressing slogs through 3 figure doldrums.  but that won’t stop me from robbing and murdering, raping even, to get a billion dollars for the person who solves this puzzle.

we need to consider two things:  the pacific ocean garbage patch and nanotech.  the pacific ocean garbage patch (google it, i’ll wait) is a massive, texas-sized patch of plastic trash floating in the middle of the pacific ocean.  it’s replacing a significant portion of the food chain, and basically insuring our demise on the planet.  now before you go and hang yourself…

the other consideration is nanotechnology, which promises riches such as molecular sized filters that will scrub water of their toxins, creating the next revolutions in manufacturing, war, food, etc.

so will someone plz make a atom-machine that we can dump in the goddamn ocean and degrade the plastic quicker?  THX  for my part, i promise to bone up the dough.  who cares how i do it.

5 pet household

November 23, 2008

1. gordon.  the aleph of our marital pet lexicon.  he’s big, too big for some, small among rotweilers, who gave him half of his genes.  he is a human in a dog suit.  we ask him with utter sincerity ‘when are you going to take off that dog suit?’ and he looks at us with a humor borne of tragedy.  because he knows it can never be.  he can listen to all the stockhausen in the world, but he is stuck at the apex of dogdom-domesticated to be sensitive like a ten year old child, confused while lustily indulging in his dogness. 

2. oliver.  sheltie.  the foil to gordon’s sardonic superego.  the id turned ego who has become a vivid representation of our marriage.  he backs into ariel when i raise my voice, and vice versa.  he was like siddhartha, a perfect reflection of a questioning soul, and then he was bitten badly by a coyote.  now he’s not so sure.  he never liked skateboards. 

3. wozniak.  a very beautiful, very fat cat.  not bright, but cunning and sure of himself.  fat man with a little voice.  a god among cats.  we inherited this little guy from our college days of sex and depression.  he was born, fucked his mother, and gave birth to a never-ending supply of fairly retarded cats in olympia, all of whom bear his happy-go-lucky attitude, and all of whom trace the fading slump of an intelligence bell curve.  at around generation three, we started to see some genetic defects.  one kitten even died for no reason after about 3 days of life.  that’s not wozzie’s fault.

4. ct27.  wozniak’s mom, lover, sister, probably daughter.  came delivered in a set of two with her son.  lives for cuddles and to appraise the current condition of her larden kin.  they are almost the same cat, react to each other like the two ends of a bolo, gyrating around a common will.  she’s the more socialable to humans, but can’t be bothered by the coterie of assorted mammals we employ here.  very soft.

5. plutarch.  cat.  abyssinian.  the newest, most chaotic member of the family.  he is young, but has recently gained a set of ever growing testicles between his little yams that will be shortly snipped.  he excels in sleeping, swiping at my bare ass when i’m trying to take a dump, and brutalizing oliver.  i have seen that little bastard jump three feet sideways just to inflict some hurt.  he’s sure that eventually he’ll wear oliver down, and take him to the ground like the sad wooly mammoth he is.   he is forever confused by his poop.  why does oliver pick it out and put it on the floor?  why do i pick it out of the litter tray and throw it in the toilet?  these questions will someday be answered.

limes!  everywhere more and more limes, dropping from the sky like green gobules of bitterness and caught by these opportune, verdant trees.  i pick them off and put them in my pockets, my bag, wash them of dirt, squeeze them on chicken and into sangria.  these are my bright green power pills.  they are fucking omnipresent.  they are the tears of a futuristic johnny appleseed.  i call him jesus limebarca.  hey soos.

figs.  some fucking bag of dogshit PRUNED MY FUCKING FIG TREE.  well, it was on his rental, but wtf.  i was waiting for those to ripen.  there’s another one down the street on someone’s lot, never been pruned, sagging to the ground under the weight of thousands of black figs, falling and rotting on the ground like a sodden baked pie.  glorious.  i will hop that fence soon and take my tangy hostages. 

persimmons!  not the good kind, but the very astringent kind (as my friend gregg informed me). i grabbed about three of these shiny sirens and tried each.  they dried my mouth out so bad that i had to wipe my tounge on my sleeve.  they kinda were sweet at first, but turned out rather gnarly.

apples.  yeah apples and oranges everywhere too.

1.frozen bread piece with mayo

2.a nice scented candle

3.a picture of a sandwich

4.handshakes

5.the sound in the air