Wednesday, 28 November 2007



Things are dull. The sky is grey and I've been working on gathering up research materials for an upcoming essay. ''Is the Posthuman a desirable future? Morality & Transhumanism''.

I've been reading:

The Birth of Tragedy
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
Nicomachean Ethics
The Cyborg Handbook
Poetry, Language, Thought
Pattern Recognition
Smoke and Mirrors


Outside my little third story 16th century apartment-house, whose construction lends itself perfectly to my worry-fantasy of a cholera epidemic incubator, there is a extremely expensive extremely middle-class mock-French patisserie/boulangerie. A single store in a UK-wide franchise.

The bread and tiny cakes are Delicious, but not in the same way that they are in France. Maybe it's the water. Maybe it's the grain. The people who work there are all tall, slim and clean cut. There is a Japanese woman who speaks perfect accented English, and a red haired smiling Northern fellow and another woman who does not smile. They will correct your pronunciation. Perhaps 6 or more additional people work there. It seems excessive. How many workers are required to tie delicious cakes up in ribbons?

They do not actually make bread and cakes there. Many mornings I am awoken from my third story room to the sound of deliveries happening in the alleyway that keeps our buildings apart. Sometimes it sounds like the world is falling down, and I hide under my comforter so I don't have to see the grey bowl of sky outside the window. On sundays they throw out the delicious breads, wrapped in plastic and placed within a paper bag then placed within the hard plastic square of the skip. On mondays they throw out the delicious cakes.

Three weeks of me living in the little third story 16th century apartment-house, observing the mock-French workers working outside my window, attempting to hear the scurry of rats at night and discovering none, and I started waking up early Monday and Tuesday mornings to pertain deliciousness with my housemate, the ageless-but-young Anglo-Italian girl with mild Aspergers who makes miniatures of sustainable buildings with total devotion. We eat cakes and talk about ancient Egyptian emperors and soy beans.

People seem content to buy from them, to get wrapped up like their cakes within the ribbons of supposed French-ness. English bakery's aren't as important as French ones, apparently, so they get away with charging £2.75 for a macaroon. It's a bit like Disney land. It's not a real castle, it's not a real bakery - nothing is baked there and nothing is French. Total simulacrum. We eat it all up. Eating fake French bread from a skip is no less delicious, but it certainly lacks the spectacle of sophistication.

Monday, 5 November 2007



Reading a book the other day -- it may have been Sexual/Textual Politics, or an introduction preceding one of Lacan's seminars in a literary criticism reader, that was speaking about Language and what it means to us. It was describing language as the processes of not describing what is, but on describing what is not.

You and I can speak of a polar bear on the moon drinking ice tea with the Princess of the Amazon, and we can piece together a picture. Pretty elemental stuff.

So I finished reading I Robot in one day, and paused to dwell it over in my 03:33 insomnia, and thought about the Machines. I don't know if I got it. Human beings are always sad and in crisis - we are hardly never content. What separates us from other mammals is our Language, which is essentially our imagination - our mental timeline.

Shit. I read an excellent abstract of an scientific paper a year+ ago, which was arguing that consciousness can be defined by human beings ability to mentally conjure the future and the past as well as the now. It's written down in a sketchbook from last year. I must investigate this further.

Back to our imagination -- our great gift, I suppose. We can create, make things, theorise and express abstract metaphysical ideas. We can imagine that utopia -- and in doing so, we are constantly striving -- but unlike ants or bees or other social insects, we do not have a chemically suggested mass goal. Where is our altruistic swarm theory mechanism? Instead we all constantly strive not as a mass human body, but as individuals working perhaps in tiny groups - clashing with others, causing conflicts of interests.

And our personal ideas of Utopia, our imagining how things could be improved, keeps us all sad. Often our lives do not live up to our imaginations, and the longing that helps us create and also stop us from improving at all. Sadness, depression and apathy all from imagination.

If I was a better person, I'd of read Proust by now -- but I haven't. All I have is snippets from Monty Python, Thomas and films. Did he really say that the years he spent suffering were the most important? I can't agree with that for face value, but I wonder about the cause of suffering (our imagination & future/past sight causing longing/anguish & creativity) as being what is most important to consider in being human.

I'm just not sure.

Humans are malicious.


When I was 11 or 12 I knew this girl. Virginia. My friends and I once misread her name as Vagina and got hysterical. We were probably very mean, in fact I know we were. She was odd looking and acting, which isn't saying much - as I was odd looking and acting, but worse I was judgemental in that typical adolescent girl assimilating herself within the group sort of way. Her eyes were big and she had curly blonde hair. I can't remember anything she liked; I just remember that thick plastic tag on her Jan Sport backpack, hanging in the coat room, spelling out her name in big multicoloured letters. She stole stuff, now that I think of it, from that coat room. $20 from that kid Brian Macaulay's bag, or maybe it was that tall blonde kid that looked like a Viking and laughed at me once when I got pastry dough on my t-shirt when we were cooking pies for an apple-harvest celebration. I can't remember. Virginia had it rough. She was a rich kid whose mother made crafts in their kitchen and sold at local fairs, and whose father did something or another I never cared much about. Someone once called her wide-load, Max Morningstar I think, and she got all upset and I did nothing because I didn't care. She wasn't even fat, she was just big. Once I had a dream where she, myself, and my friends were all walking down the road in Wellesley Massachusetts. There was this big pickup truck with some weird guy who asked if we needed a ride. We all had wet feet, or missing shoes. Myself and my friends said no, but Virginia jumped on inside and they drove off. Somehow, although I was no there, I knew there was some awful altercation going on in the truck with Virginia and the weird guy. Although I remember it as a dream, I can't be too sure that it wasn't a story that I was told happened to her. I don't think it happened. The last time I saw her I was 13 or 14 - she had been kicked out or had left school, for stealing from people or something. I was in a Star Wars flight simulator at the local cinema, cackling wildly with my sister Leah as we were jerked around in this mass of plastic on hydraulic gears. Virginia and her friends were near by. She must have said something to them about us, because they were calling out our names in some attempt to start a fight, and we didn't really notice over the din of simulated pod racers. Once it stopped, we saw a sheepish looking Virginia tugging a friend by the sleeve, while the others were glaring at us. I couldn't think why they were all so malicious, until Leah and I got more quarters for the other grand prix game, and I remembered laughing at her name tag hanging in the coat room.