Wednesday October 14th
I went to Writing Night tonight!
Things have been busy for me!
- I’m giving or have given several talks, submitted a paper, and am applying for fellowships and interviewing for internships (I have one offer already). So yeah..a lot going on. I’m discovering I’m really enjoying this cryptography class…a lot. It’s super cool!
- Anyways, that is not the point of this post.
- I have a lot going on, and it’s tiring, but I’m pushing through. I’m also really grateful for the opportunities. I don’t now if I can post photos (yet), but some of it is really exciting!
- I realized based on what I wrote tonight that I was thinking about it more in terms of data points more so than say, the idea, or writing, which is quite different. I wonder if it’s because I’ve been looking at so much data? I’ve also been looking at cartography recently, among other things.
- Prompt (not putting the entire paragraph): The danger of nostalgia = confuse the actual home and the imaginary one? Where do you find difference between the actual versus the imaginary?
- One of the songs I heard regularly growing started “bring back the old time days, bring back those old time ways”, sang by Nappy Mayers. It was a song that spoke about the nostalgia of the old, as typified by values that seemed to exist in the past but did not seem to be emphasized in the world in which we existed today. In retrospect, it’s a very strange song coming from a singer in a postcolonial country. But people really love the song there, and it’s catchy musically.
- This reminds me of Ruha’s talk in which she speaks about an ad which claims that “soon we will have slaves again…not human slaves, but robot slaves”. She mentions it because by its very construction, it tells us who the intended reader is; the demographic who were not the enslaved, but rather those who benefitted in some way from slavery.
- The nostalgia for a past utopia can be misleading. Memory is not trustworthy; it can skew our sense of temporal space and cause us to remember details inaccurately. Trauma is often lengthened in temporal time, and moments of delight and optimism seem to have a shortened existence. We want to delay the pleasures in our life, because they are often brief. Therefore, when we think about “nostalgic desire”, it draws upon this false representation of time as it exists in temporal space. If we think about representations of time that are optimistic as defined on a scale in comparison to times of trauma and negativity, those that are optimistic have a smaller ratio. Therefore, if they could be quantized (as a digital signal process would be), they would be compressed into a smaller space, so their representation does not hold as much data. Therefore, by its very definition, they are scalably inaccurate, even more so than those quantizations of trauma or negative experiences. It is strange how in the present people want us to forget the negative.
- To associate one’s nationalism and a sense of home by something that measures temporally less space comparatively, then, creates an even larger margin of error, therefore creating a representation that is even more erroneous in comparison to the reality of events. Therefore, to want to claim superiority based on that premise is folly.
- I think that we want to create identity because it grounds our sense of being in the now. It allows us to interpolate between what we want the future to be and our present existence. However, that is problematic, because even our most accurate attempts of interpolations cannot be extrapolated to the past or the future. There are too many variables for which we cannot account. We can make predictions or suppositions, but there are various degrees to which these suppositions may or may not hold. We are building on extrapolations of false suppositions in either direction. We cannot predict the future, and the past is shaped by those who are the conquerors, whose stories will be told because they were the survivors.
- If the past is shaped by those who conquer, and we want to use the past to extrapolate on the future, we start with a degree of bias that skews towards those who conquer, who have power over others. If we extrapolate from this nostalgia, we continue with a nationalism that has supremacy over others, led by a particular group with a particular identity, and that uses the past to justify its position over others.
- But what about those who have no power, and historically were conquered? They have to extrapolate the future from a past in which they were not the victors; they have to recreate a different imagination of the past than that that is lauded over them, to project into the future points that can imagine a different alternative. I believe that this is more powerful, because it does not attempt to mire itself by building upon inaccuracies and errors believed to be true, but rather attempts to rebuild a new extrapolation into the future by the now, the present. It is forming an identity where anything can be possible, where anything is possible, and where we are the dreamers of our own future.
I’ve also recovered
- I was feeling a bit sick over the past couple fo weeks, but I cranked up the heat in my place and got some rest, and I’m feeling a lot better! But things are very busy for me! But I’ll try to post some stuff upcoming (I’m also working on a game in my spare time, and bought myself a sketchbook, so maybe I’ll post some prelim artwork for the game I’m building at some point, or some sketches. I’ve been writing a fair amount and reviewing a fair amount of Academic writing recently, presenting, and writing some code. Oh, and I think I may pretty much know what the direction of my thesis will be, and of all things, it may involve a couple unexpected programming languages :)
Written on October 14, 2020