The sun was up.

That whole nightish thing…it seems like I only really write in this thing late at night, and there’s usually some kind of catalyst involved. In the middle of the average weekday doing all that usual daily-grind stuff, there’s really nothing much to say. As for right now…

Documentation or braindump? Hard to decide… I can’t really do both, for reasons (rational#paranoid?) I won’t get into right now… but that’s kind of what today was all about. Decisions, or the inability to make them. When presented with a set of options that all kind of feel the same, how do you pick one? I guess a lot of people would go by “gut feeling”, which can work sometimes (even for me), but there are so many circumstances where the ol’ guts just don’t really feel anything. Ordinarily our good friend Logic comes to the rescue (think I rely on him way too much; our shirttail-acquaintance Guts is never around when you need his advice), but when there is really no quantifiable difference between them, and logic also fails, what’s left? I had with me a comparatively professional decision maker who seemed to take care of them pretty well, but to me, it was kind of like keys….ok, those CAN be alike…snowflakes. (Unless they’re on boxers) Officially, no two are alike, one may have peaks in a spot where another has valleys, and they could mesh together not well at all…in fact, they could be pretty much complete opposites of each other, and yet average out the same; unprocessably alike in every way that mattered. It would be like looking at any two side by side and asking, “Which one would taste better if it landed on your tongue?” “Which is prettier?” “Which one would melt faster…and then which would be better?” Maybe these would be easy questions for some people. Maybe it’s a near instantaneous state collapse that depends on subtle inter-neural noise, or differences in propagation delay that depend on how recently each one fired last, to nudge a truly fencepost decision to fall one way or the other – one signal hits first and latches…the opposite conclusion also barrels in, a microsecond later, but is too late. I don’t know. That kind of bugs me a bit – listening to a pair of speakers in a debate with roughly equally-matched arguments, how many listeners would side with one or the other based on such factors as the ambient temperature, what they listened to on the radio that day, how closely each speaker’s voice matched their own, or which presented last? But not being able to collapse that fencepost decision regardless bugs me almost more.

When I catch myself in this state it often seems like I’ve been spinning and thinking nothing, until I realize just how much “stuff” I actually thought about, how much was ground through and how much data was generated, just with no net result.

At some point tonight I found myself sitting, breathing, inches away but frozen. A superposition of intertangled states that would not collapse. Do I dare?…kissed back or pushed back? So I vibrated, oscillating at the speed of whatever loop this was (13 Hz?), until I managed to distract myself away with something else. Or time ran out; I can’t really remember which, and it seems like I should. (Both must have happened, but the time sequence is all fucked) Why is it that so many times the good things we barely remember, but traumatic things are burned in as if by a laser, where you can rotate the scene and count every hair on every head, and read state right off faces as if they were books? If only the rest of life, people, were like that. Observable, readable. It’s all state, it’s only information and it’s only an inch away, but you still can’t see it or touch it. It seems like you should be able to, that internal and external state should match, that you could catch it somehow if you could sample and crunch all those points of information fast enough, but it doesn’t work that way.

Not very much later, my mind was running away with itself again, this time in “the circle” between my house and Davis. With the limits of what could be resolved in the darkness, it was almost like an island disconnected from reality; all cool humid night air and faintly visible broad leaves of nonnative plant life and long, thin and unlikely flower stalks, and a distant hiss from all around that could be tires on distant pavement or just as easily the echoes of a far-off waterfall refracted a hundred or a thousand times by trees and rock [the background noise of the indoor tropical monkey house at Brookfield Zoo], it was kind of like being in a rain forest, except not. It was no rain forest…norainforest…by the time I was halfway home…or maybe not even…at least across the crosswalk and back on a section of street that had sides (as in, a right side and a left side, as opposed to an inside and an outside) I realized I’d just had an conversation in my head with someone who wasn’t (any longer) there, to the effect of “just shuffle the whitespace around until you find the 4th way to parse it”… after thinking that character sequence would be a clever and (mathematically sound? Text and math are completely separate, but they don’t always feel that way) temporary title page for a particular picture site, at least to get rid of the telltale “Directory listing of /” Apache generates for any directory without an index* page in it, but before the recollection of asking my first-grade teacher “but why do all the letters have spaces between them?” as if it was the most ridiculous thing in the world, especially when just teaching kids to read, why they’d go and split up all the letters like that and make things difficult. This is kind of where I came to and realized I was halfway home, not entirely sure how I got there but entirely sure of the first sentence I ever ‘officially’ read, as in, in the official 1st-grade reader where they were officially teaching us to read text, as opposed to absorbing it kind of incidentally just by having it around the room**, or following my dad’s finger along a page as he read to me (out of books that also had those annoying gaps between the letters [I eventually figured out this was just for my benefit, since when reading just to themselves adults didn’t run their fingers across the pages, or talk out loud for that matter]) – “The sun was up.” Mrs. Jeffres explained that the spaces were there so that you knew where one word (what were they?) ended and another began…it would be hard to understand, she said, if it was written “Thesunwasup.”!. Wondering how I got from there to here…sun..rain..yeah, I guess that makes sense.

I should go to bed.

* .cgi or .php or .htm or .html or .sgml or .txt OR whatever filename and/or extension are specified in changes-as-often-as-my-underwear.conf, and I don’t remember which overrides which.

**in kindergarten, if someone was bad they got their name written on the blackboard. But every day, one kid’s name was on the board even if I was the first one there. Sometimes it would be in a different color, and sometimes it would have a box drawn around it. He wasn’t even in our class. I spent over half the year wondering what this poor kid did that was so bad he got his name on the board forever. His name was Warning.


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