Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How I see

[[Something written a while ago in a more playful mood, but it should help lay out my beliefs and goals. And for the record, I do not understand poetry, poets, or have any inclination that I am in that ballpark, whatever that may be.]]

A Dream of a Constructionist

I can write stories that bite sharply the bitter thoughts of young girls’ brows.
I can sing words so darkly that boys are awed in wonder.
And I will tell you of all that we once knew,
Of selves we disavow.

Sitting still there was nothing to do,
Truth was based on fractious reviews
Of thoughts unseen and worlds submerged.
But through heuristics our eyes anew;
Seeing the mechanics of seeing.

But, still, too many ran and screamed:
How dare you endanger the mind so sacred!”
And of their selves they refused every reflection.
Our characters ensconced,
Our desires unblemished.
Give us a world and the selves we see,
Only the edges curtailed, please.
But of the heart of humans (which reside in the head),
Do not touch, “Who I am.”
No again: Do Not Touch,
The human condition.

But your self, your world, is not made of stone.
At the cleft we cleave, ho.
Of such a cleft not knowing its presence,
Your dismay, your disgusted reaction,
Kept others abreast of your silly condition.
And still others you abjected to frivolous poverty,
Of poor institutions and normalities.

So to the ground we took,
Opening cracks not before seen.
Reification was performatively strewed,
Only in repeated words had your beliefs held.
Only in sights that appeased could your ideas be confirmed,
And characters believed to simply be, who one is, unconditionally.

But, alas, we can give to each mind something new.
We can grant skills and knowledge unanimously,
If only we are shrewd.
If only first we tear asunder our institutions, our norms, our selves,
To see the baby swimming as the ape that she is,
And the woman that she is to become:
Because we make her and that brain that is one.

It is simple, I know, to program. But of humans and self-programming,
It is surprisingly difficult,
At least in the finest ways—and universally.

So, to the labs we set again, like the rats of our forefathers,
The misguided Skinners.
But this time we cut deeper, we use better words.
With Foucaultian cleavers we are better weavers.
With neurotools we may avoid neurosis.
The mistakes we make will be new,
But yet we just may prove that all machines are capable of manufacturing.
And of that “I,” it is only an inward representation.
Of those feelings, there is something baser,
Something deflated, of simpler properties,
Something without quite so much meaning,
As the qualia that we place so high.
These simple things can be quarked.
They can be understood, or at least rebarked.

And selves of strength will rise impetuously.
Knowledgeable beings created by our own hands.
Skills laid at the feet of every child.
And the world of our desires, first recreated, then consumed.

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