topic: virtuality

Galactic Vertigo

When I gaze up at a starry night sky, struggle as I might, I am unable to see it as other than a great dome patterned with stars. In spite of the knowledge that I have that what I am looking at is a large portion of the universe, and that each prick of light is a sun or a nebula or a galaxy a vast distance away, I still see the same curving ceiling […]

the human virtuality

The greatest danger facing the human race seems to me to be how our collective ‘idea’ of what the world is is progressively moving away from what the world actually is. Without wanting to open up the whole can of worms that is the ‘mind-body problem‘, I think it is not too contentious to state: that the impression we have within each of us of the ‘world’ is only an approximation of that world. After […]

domestic katas, time and freedom

Eastern martial arts – and other ‘physical motion disciplines’, Kabuki for example – are taught through forms, or katas. These are ways to train the subconscious so that it assimilates a particular linked pattern of motion – a pattern that is a distillation of a ‘system’. If we consider T’ai Chi, a martial art I studied for years, there are a fixed number of these katas that appear to be a complex dance, performed solo […]

vitruvian lobster

Thank you Darwin for liberating us from the absurd notion that Man is God’s ultimate and most beautiful creation. When this notion was generally believed – at least in the West with its obsession with Ancient Greece’s perfect white marble nudes (that we now know were painted as gaudily as the carvings that smother Hindu temples) – did no one actually bother to look at other living things? Did no one see butterflies, birds, mammals, […]

perspectives…

The bulk of this was written the day before yesterday, but I was unable to post it then. I have also added an extra paragraph just now, from my hotel in Yazd that happens to have wi-fi… I have just returned from five hours at Persepolis. This ruined palace is probably the single most important reason I came to Iran. But now I have that feeling of exhaustion that I comes upon me (I’m pretty […]

arrival in Istanbul

I hate flying. I hate flying for several reasons. For one being transported like sheep in a truck. For another the being processed like a parcel – moved around on conveyor belts, weighed and stamped, shunted from one tedious wait to another. The apparently glamorous ultra-modernism of grand airport terminals is hardly a compensation, saturated as they are by advertising and all the vulgar excesses of rampant consumerism. Worse of all is that, like the […]

the retreat from reality

sanna, ardnamurchan, summer solstice 2011

For most of human history our facsimiles of reality were very clearly man-made representations: no colour we could produce or use could compare in subtlety or vibrancy to those in nature; no fabric could approach the glossy texture of a rose petal; nothing, not even the finest acted mimicry, could hope to capture an animal in motion. Reality in all its splendour remained unassailably enthroned beyond our attempts to emulate it. This hierarchy has, more […]

tablets and the cloud…

iPad being used as portable TV...

I’ve been hankering after a tablet computer for many years (I hope not as a result of having been brainwashed by Star Trek!?). Specifically I was wanting Apple to produce one. I have been using their computers since 1984 and supported them through the hard years before Steve Jobs returned – much in the way other people support a football team that keeps losing. Now that they are becoming masters of the galaxy I find […]

50 in New York

ricardo in Time Square...

Something I’ve rabbited on about before is how the world is homogenising – the more I travel, the more it seems to me that everywhere is becoming the same. If this is even true for Sri Lanka, then how much more so is it for travelling between the UK and New York? But before I go into that (I think this is going to become quite a ramble, but hopefully you will forgive me, now […]

manners

Moctezuma meets Cortez

When Cortez first met Moctezuma, the emperor of the Aztecs advanced towards him half-carried by a couple of his relatives, as if he were some fragile invalid. This affectation was one that Moctezuma could allow himself, lord as he was of the conquerors of Central America that, to its inhabitants, was the navel of the Earth and the greater and best part of the world. No doubt this kind of posturing was copied by lesser […]