Desire … and money

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Deleuze and Guattari saw desire split, not between necessary and unnecessary desires, but between the desire for production and the desire for acquisition.[i] For them the real revolutionary battle against capitalism had to take place by shifting the emphasis on desire away from mere acquisition to a less individualistic, more positive, creative desire for production.According to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus thesis, our desires have been geared in the direction of acquisitions since Plato’s dialectics made it the Ideal aim of desire: “From the moment that we place desire on the side of acquisition, we make desire an idealistic (dialectical, nihilistic) conception, which causes us to look upon it primarily as lack.”[ii]

Subsequently we see lack where it did not exist, or a lack in which anything that is not in our grasp needs to be obtained. In this way the logical outcome of desire/acquisition is greed, and it also now becomes perceived as a positive element. How can greed be a vice or a sin, if it is the essential force behind all motivations?

In our anti-human civilisation desire has become desire for the acquisition of that which allows us make acquisitions. Or, in other words, the acquisition of money. All acquisitions become filtered through an accumulation of figures, because the money one has is nothing but a figure in a bank account. Reality flows in the world of these abstract figures. Not only does our dignity, self-esteem and gratifications depend on those figures, but even survival itself.

The world, they say, revolves around these figures. They represent hope – often encompassing all hope, and all desire. In the world of acquisition there is very little time for the production of anything which is not related to the figures that allow everything to operate. Greed is the most logical virtue in the acquisition-driven world. As that greed grows stronger, generosity diminishes. In the world of acquisitions the individual who would rather be productive in a creative rather than in an acquiring way is regarded as a parasite or a freak. Only a certain amount of money is necessary to ensure survival.

Survival is not enough for the citizens of the anti-human civilisation. We are also expected to desire possession, especially of that which is hard to get. Life must be seen as a lusting forward toward that which will give us plenty to show for it.

But what we have acquired is not as fulfilling as what we have created and produced. Because of this the acquisition-desire life can lead to spiritual dissatisfaction and emptiness. The Prozac society is born, where lack and the lust for acquisition is planned and organised. The whole basis of our civilisation is the struggle to make others want, need, and perhaps even lust after what we can offer them, and by so doing acquire an exchange of figures that will swell our own figures considerably. That is what we desire – a considerable swelling of figures.

[i] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, UMP, Minneapolis, 1983, p. 48

[ii] Ibid

How to keep writing when time is scarce – 6 tips and video chat at #IndieReCon15

Planning your creativity…

Nail Your Novel

clocksmWe all have periods when our creative time is nuked. Day jobs, family responsibilities or out-of the-blue crises can make our writing goals streak away into the impossible distance. Even if writing is our chief occupation, there are platforms to build, decisions to mull. And if we self-publish we can add more exacting tasks to the list.

This year I’ve become more aware than ever how scarce my writing time has become. As well as editing work, I’ve got invitations to speak and run courses. I’m thrilled, and happily surprised as I never expected it. I consider myself fantastically lucky to be able to build a career on this art I’ve practised quietly for decades. But if my own novels take a back seat, my soul will shrivel. So this is how I stay on track.

Micro-sessions

You don’t always need big chunks of writing time. Instead, schedule micro-sessions. Can…

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Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms – RSA Animate video

This conference is now a classic, and, like a classic, it gets better every time I watch it. We HAVE TO change the paradigm.

Guyanese Online

Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms | Talk Video .

In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools’ dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. An important, timely talk for parents and teachers.

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Best Sentence in English Lit

shakemyheadhollow

From Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews (1742)

The scene is this. Parson Adams walks through the countryside with a chance-met traveler who is holding forth to Adams on the virtue of courage, when a woman cries out in distress. The gentleman discoursing on courage takes to his heels poste-haste, much to the amusement of the reader, whereas Adams responds thusly:

“He did not therefore want the Entreaties of the poor Wretch to assist her, but lifting up his Crabstick, he immediately levelled a Blow at that Part of the Ravisher’s Head, where, according to the Opinions of the Ancients, the Brains of some Persons are deposited, and which he had undoubtedly let forth, had not Nature, (who, as wise Men have observed, equips all Creatures with what is most expedient for them;) taken a provident Care, (as she always doth with those she intends for Encounters) to make this part of…

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Scientific Research: from a quantum physics perspective

How to see beyond the bubble … according to Richard P. Feyman.

Small World

We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or to describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn’t any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work, although, there has been in these days, some interest in this kind of thing. Since winning the prize is a personal thing, I thought I could be excused in this particular situation, if I were to talk personally about my relationship to quantum electrodynamics, rather than to discuss the subject itself in a refined and finished fashion. Furthermore, since there are three people who have won the prize in physics, if they are all going to be talking about quantum electrodynamics itself, one…

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KNOWING THE LIE – CONSCIOUSNESS (2)

unconscious-mind

We have seen how Identity and its ideological masks is in essence a separating force, dividing humanity.[i] In the same way it shackles consciousness and freedom by enclosing reality and restricting the progressive need of movement, of becoming. Becoming also needs consciousness so we get a circular situation in which becoming depends on consciousness as its motor and consciousness needs becoming as a car needs a road. Becoming is the space that opens up in existence, allowing us to move freely through it, changing it, and being changed by it. The very act of knowing that consciousness performs is at the same time an act of becoming. Reality is therefore transformed by being known into something else. Knowing and consciousness are themselves the prime movers of human reality, whilst ideology and identity are static elements continually slowing reality down. In this way we can link ideologies and identity to consciousness’s antipathies, i.e. unconsciousness and false-consciousness.

Identity and ideology, of course, are kinds of consciousness. A very strong self-consciousness. So, does this mean that we are essentially always deluded when we tell ourselves that I am this? And yet, if this were the case, how could we possibly exist in society without defining ourselves and the world around us? Doesn’t language, the basis of all Sapien knowledge, imply the necessity for constant naming and definition? How can this apparent contradiction or paradox be resolved?

In order to do this we must remind ourselves that identity/ideology is a separating process whereas consciousness and language are communicating, uniting mechanisms. Again we see that the two categories are opposites. The difference lies in what ideology does with language: it encloses it, making it immobile. Consciousness, on the other hand, tries to open the landscape up for language. The problem therefore is not the process of naming, but the ends to which the naming is carried out. To separate (identify) or to bring together (consciousness). Knowing implies a break down or transcendence of secrecy and privacy. It implies there has been communication. Ideology/identity is a misapprehension of taking part for the whole, whilst consciousness is an awareness of the whole, or at least a striving for such an awareness.

[i] See articles on Identity as Ideology: https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/sapiens-in-the-iron-mask-identity-as-ideology-1/ ; https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/making-the-mask-identity-as-ideology-2/ ;

KNOWING THE LIE – CONSCIOUSNESS (1)

pinoceo

One cannot be free unless one has the power to change one’s circumstances in a positive way. One cannot change one’s circumstances unless one can see what needs to be changed. Consciousness is therefore an a priori necessity for freedom. Dictatorship can be achieved by simply making the people it oppresses unconscious of the reality that really dominates them.

Consciousness has to be an alert force, if it is not alert it cannot be consciousness. Its power lies in its ability to see through the veil of systemic mystification. Consciousness allows us the right to be critical, sceptical, or even cynical.

Of course consciousness can also be false. False consciousness lacks clarity as it is muddied by its own ideologies: ideologies that stem from identities. For consciousness to be clear it needs to transcend all ideology-mask identities.

False consciousness could also be called misguided consciousness – a consciousness looking for a reality which is simply just not there, and probably never will be, is a misguided one. Consciousness needs to see through the masks, but that does not mean it must cut through all still surfaces. The cutting open can have negative results if the process itself does nothing but churn already clear waters and makes them no longer transparent.

Can we say that reality should be that which needs to be? What about want it to be? If we accept the validity of both possibilities, which is stronger: want or needs? Desires must be subject to needs. Desires can only be gained when needs are satisfied. Likewise, in order to uncover reality and therefore find truth, consciousness must be guided by needs at first and desires only when those needs are satisfied or safeguarded. The first thing consciousness must look for is necessity.

Time Travel Simulation in Lab Using Particles Solves Grandfather Paradox of Warped Identities

FIGHT BOREDOM, SPREAD HAPPINESS

Michael J Fox in Back to the Future Experiments with quantum particles that travel a time loop to turn on a switch on a machine that then creates the particle seem to indicate travelling in time may not be impossible

Quantum particles have boldly gone where bigger objects have hesitated to tread. A recent experiment using photons has proven that time travel without drastic changes to the traveller’s identity is possible.

The present simulation was to test an earlier model dealing with the “grandfather paradox,” a hypothetical scenario in which someone uses a closed time-like curve (CTC) to travel back through time to murder her own grandfather, thus preventing her own later birth.

Einstein’s theory of general relativity describes gravity as the warping of spacetime by energy and matter. In theory it allows for this spacetime fabric to bend back on itself under an extremely powerful gravitational field, making time travel possible.

Experts have frowned on any practical…

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THE HOW AND WHY OF WRITING LITERATURE?

literature

Literary authors don’t sell and finding a publisher for a well-crafted book can be a nightmare. So, why bother? Why write literature?

Italo Calvino answered this question by analysing another interrogative: Why Read the Classics?[i] In that essay Calvino presents 14 definitions of what the classics are. If there is a reason for having the Classics there must be a reason for trying to write a classical work of literature. We are going to borrow Calvino’s definitions and transform them a little in order to work out why some writers (like us) still bother to persist with the literary genre, while giving special relevance to the drafting of our latest novel When Sirens Call[ii].

  • Writers of literature have to want to write books that people will want to reread. The first encounter with the book is immaterial, the aim is to create a product which will find a permanent place on the reader’s bookshelf.

How is this achieved? The literary writer has to create complexity through detail, levels of interpretation and depth of meaning. For the literary writer the narrative is less important than the message. Non-literary works are a meal, but literature is a recipe book as well all the meals that can be made from that book.

In the case of When Sirens Call we began with a complex folding and unfolding of forms. Our book is a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey via Joyce’s Ulysses, transforming Harold Bloom back into Odysseus but now in the body of a young Australian girl on her own odyssey in the Mediterranean. The link is through form: syntax mostly. The syntax of Ulysses pushed back into the epic voyage home of the Odyssey. Right from the first sentence the readers of literature will hear echoes of distant books, seeping into and flowing through the unfolding narrative of Belinda Babchek. The depth in literature lies in the depth of literature itself.

  • Writing literature means writing books that want to be treasured by those who have read them. But readers will only treasure a great book if they encounter it in the best conditions.

As Calvino says: “reading in youth can be rather unfruitful, due to impatience, distraction, inexperience with the products instructions for use, and inexperience in life itself.”

These negative barriers between the reader and the writer have to be expected by the literary author. It is also the main reason why so often agents and publishers fail to see genius when great works are presented to them. What this means for the literary author is that he or she must persist with his or her attempts to get their book to the readers. Once it is read in the right conditions the book will find its place … and there is always a place somewhere for great literature.

But it also means that the writer of great literature must have: patience, good concentration, and a deep experience with literature and life itself.

  • The literary author wants to write a book that will exert an influence on its readers: “both when they refuse to be eradicated from the mind and when they conceal themselves in the folds of memory, camouflaging themselves as the collective or individual unconscious.”

Again this is managed by creating depth, both in form and meaning.

  • Writing literature is about making the work so complex that every rereading “is as much a voyage of discovery as the first reading.”

And hence …

  • “Every reading of a classic is in fact a rereading.”

Or …

  • What we are writing is a book that “has never finished what it has to say.”
  • When writing we must always bear in mind that we are not trying to create something out of nothingness. The writing is a bringing forward in a new way what has always been there, and we must leave traces for the reader pointing to readings of other great works. Literature is an accumulation of literature. When a reader reads When Sirens Call that reading will be enriched if they have in mind Homer’s text, or Joyce’s, or both of them.

How does the writer achieve this? By carefully reading the classics and absorbing them.

  • The literary author does not necessarily write things that teach us anything new. Literature is about origins, relationships and affinities. The writer of literature has to be prepared to (and must want to) crawl through the labyrinth.
  • Write books that will always be found fresher, more surprising and more marvellous each time they are read. And the key to this again is “complexity”. When one writes literature, one is creating an entire universe.
  • Desire to write the total book. Establish a “strong rapport in terms of opposition and antithesis.”
  • Be the kind of author to whom no one will be able to feel indifferent.
  • Great literature flows through us like a river over which we stand. The ultimate aim of your writing is the future and never the now. A future built on the accumulation of all that flows with it, and carries it forward. Your work needs the river to carry it forward.
  • Remember this point by Calvino: “A classic is something that tends to relegate the concerns of the moment to the status of background noise, but … this background noise is something we cannot do without.”
  • And: “A classic is something that persists as background noise even when the most incompatible momentary concerns are in control of the situation.”

[i] All the quotes in this essay are from Italo Calvino’s “Why Read the Classics?” published in English in THE LITERATURE MACHINE, Picador, 1989, pp. 125 – 134.

[ii] WHEN SIRENS CALL by Paul David Adkin, Threekookaburras, 2014. http://threekookaburras.com/pages/when-sirens-call

Music and Mathematics are Apolitical

Math Online Tom Circle

This “Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto” (梁山伯与祝英台: 梁祝 小提琴协奏曲 ) composed 50 years ago by 2 Chinese music students, now played so lovely by a Japanese lady violinist: 诹访内晶子 (Akiko Suwanai), who is the current user of the violin ”Dolphin”, one of the top 3 violins in the world made by Antonio Stradivarius

Only in the kingdom of Music (the other one is Mathematics) where human political hatred does not exist between countries due to past wars: Japan and China, Germany and the Allied Nations, … Just only yesterday China President Xi and Japan PM Abe both showed awkward “poker face” hand-shake at the APEC Beijing meeting; contrast to the 20th century’s greatest mathematician David Hilbert from Nazi Germany was welcome  in America to chair  the inauguration of the International Congress of Mathematics.


If more students love Math and Music, the world of tomorrow will be more…

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