Thursday, May 30, 2013

What next?

  Sethren, that’s the Jeroan taxonomy dealt with.  So what? you will say.  Just stood up like that, it don’t amount to a can of beans.  Why you should say that in an American accent, sethren, I do not know, but you do, you do.  And I have no quarrel with a can of beans.
  Taxonomies are powerful things.  None more powerful than Linnaeus’s, who gave us the whole kingdom of biological life, laid out just so.  And from the other end of the telescope, Mendel, who gave us something just this side of nothing, but an infinitesimal so powerful that it can anatomise all that Linnaeus named.
  And then there is Jorge Luis Borges.  Here is his taxonomy of animals, which I’m sure you know, but has that strange quality, that every time you come across it, there seems to be something there that was not there before, while the list is no longer, and nothing is missing:
(a) belonging to the emperor,
(b) embalmed,
(c) tame,
(d) sucking pigs,
(e) sirens,
(f) fabulous,
(g) stray dogs,
(h) included in the present classification,
(i) frenzied,
(j) innumerable,
(k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,
(l) et cetera,
(m) having just broken the water pitcher,
(n) that from a long way off look like flies.

  This may at first seem unscientific.  However its purport is to demonstrate that a constant of all taxonomies is fallibility.
  I have suggested
Demon    thing    act    concept    map narrative    praxis    Culture
and you, sethren, could well ask, but then, what kind of thing in your taxonomy is a scientific law, or a mathematical proof, or a rule of thumb such as that of a good man of Cork, John Punch: “entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”.
  I could try, sethren, like the scholasticists of old, or like Procrustes, to fit these succinct, recognisable, bounded and coherent cells of the metaverse into the Jeroan taxonomy, thus:
  A scientific law is the sequential coupling and obligate linkage of  a series of concepts, any of which may and probably will themselves be composed of a series of concepts, possibly recursively until, once you get down to simple enough concepts, demons begin to appear; ergo, a concept (in the sense of the Jeroan taxonomy).
  Same goes for a mathematical proof.
  And for a rule of thumb.
  But that is all trivial circularity, sethren.  What we need to do next is to explore the ways in which the descriptees of this taxonomy, collectively evoculture, co-exist with and within the collective of human organisms.  The space that they configure is the metaverse, which is continuous, through the nexus of all functioning human neural substrates, with the rest of the universe.  Evoculture must account for not just stone knapping and sewing, but family, friendship, art and science, agriculture and warfare, love and hate.  All right, all right, sethren, do not flee.  Quite right, this is the work of ages, and I do not intend to even attempt it, especially as summer has now been deferred until at least July and we may all die of vitamin D deficiency before the sun shines again.  While our fuckhead Prime Minister talks of more wars and his soft pink lust for fracking.  Evoculture must account not only for the wonderful in humankind, but also for the criminals who have superseded bankers, and the political class.
  What I shall try to do, sethren, and that very briefly, is to delineate, not with a fine camel hair brush, but with a yard broom dipped in road grime, some ways in which evoculture might account for human nature a lot better than sociology or religion does.  And I am too pessimistic (though not about the political class), for tomorrow the sun shines.  A pic-nic, maybe, sethren.  Away with you, while I call up Fortnum & Mason upon my phone.

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