Friday, July 28, 2006


If you were to flash-freeze one moment and then somehow add up all the physical space as seen by every person on the plane (that is, perceptual space), what area/volume do you think there'd be? What do you think the average would be? Right now, around the computer, beyond the foosball table, inside all the empties, I've got about 1500 cu. feet in my head. Some of that is 'filled' in by my learnt understanding of mass. If I look out the window, I have a horizon of maybe 45-60 feet. I reckon that's pretty good for city living. Visit the park or walk in the middle of the street at night and you might find some restorative distance (to satisfy that pervasive 'my head's at the top of me so's to see over the high grasses and know when to hunt/hide' feeling.) Montreal's good like that, for all its angular, in-your-faceness, it does give you the opportunity to take a different perspective now and again. (Funny how humans went trees-to-caves/Bifteks-to-plains-to-boats/markets-to-cities. And also not funny.)

Next question: ownership of said 'space'... what percentile of the average person's headspace is 'branded'? What percentage is outright owned by someone else? Qualitatively, how much this cultural topology contributes to our own sense of well-being? Should we not be using our well-being to create our culture (are we stuck pursuing corporeal tokens rather the requisite skills necessary to create and impregnate our world with our own meanings?) Or is culture a type of residue? How much are we oblivious to how we are affected and thusly imbued with the want to own more of it ourselves (as an extension of the senses?) Memetically, I opine, we leak our values into/onto our surroundings, marinading the inanimate, finding our children rail against the values that ooze back out. Is this dysfunctional? How can we reclaim our space without upsetting (but, er, beneficiantly morphing) our conceptions of ownership? Is the will to do so a form of 'freedom'?
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If all is meat, then most of us are TV dinners.

1 comment:

Sir Stevalot said...

I am reading No Logo right now by Noami Klein. She is fascinated by what you speak of. She talks about how commercialization doesnt stop at products (like the Coke can you see to your right or on TV) but talks about the commercialization of ideas! That is the freaky part. I mean "Just Do it" or "Is it in you" are owned! Wild.
I think that the concept of "taking the power back" means litterally taking your mindscape (not to be confused with manscape...hehehe) back. The question is "once you've been there, can you ever go back?" or even "how do you know where back is, if you are from here?"
also Tom, i find it interesting how you say we have a visual space of a room or a horizon or what- have- you, but how much detail and how many objects are we observing or registering? i.e. We have a mindscape, but what is our consiousscape and how can we manshape it? hehehe