Fiction. Fractals. Filosophy.

The WHYs of them:

“semiotics is not about the ‘real’ world at all, but about complementary or alternative actual models of it… an infinite number of anthropologically conceivable possible worlds.  Thus semiotics never reveals what the world is, but circumscribes what we can know about it; in other words, what a semiotic model depicts is not ‘reality’ as such, but nature as unveiled by our method of questioning.  It is the interplay between ‘the book of nature’ and its human decipherer that is at issue.”

-Thomas Sebeok-

“the forms and laws in our worlds do not lie ready-made to be discovered but are imposed by world-versions we contrive – in the sciences, the arts, perception, and everyday practice.  How the earth moves, whether a world is composed of particles or waves of phenomena, are matters determined not by passive observation but by painstaking fabrication…Constable urged that painting is a science, and I suggest that science is a humanity.”

-Nelson Goodman-

“a mobile unsteady structure…with all the bits always moving about, fitting together in different ways, adding new bits to themselves with flourishes of adornment as though consulting a mirror, giving the whole arrangement something like the unpredictability and unreliability of living flesh…The endeavor is not, as is sometimes thought, a way of building a solid, indestructible body of immutable truth, fact laid precisely upon fact…Science is not like this at all.”

-Lewis Thomas-

“Perhaps the best way to think about post-modern self-referentiality is not as a denial of language and literature’s connection to the world but as their self-consciously pointing to themselves trying to point to the world.”

-Robert McLaughlin-

Nathan Portrait

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Charting Change

“the rare scholars who are nomads-by-choice are essential to the intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines.”

-Szolem Mandelbrot-

After 12 nomadic years of self-study, retail labor, marriages and parenting, I am now in my second semester of graduate studies in Library & Information Sciences.  As my coursework progresses and evolves toward more specified researching, the organization of my passions and values, interests and desires do as well.  Over the past year my blog manoftheword and the other blogs I participate in have primarily been creative instigations and outlets.  Places where my ongoing work in art and literature can find some audience and I can process and work through ideas and conceptions as they fumble their way toward something more finished, hopefully one day publishable, perhaps useful to others.  Most of my poetic efforts I have exposed through Spoondeep along with the work of a dear friend of mine.  The works my wife and I set out to do and continue (not nearly as often as we desire) can be witnessed at Combinatory Art in Motion, where we attempt a contemporary and relational ekphrasis as an open and intimate artistic endeavor.  

As the demands of schooling, parenting and marriage bundle and thicken, my focuses also need to sharpen and grow more efficient.  In accord with this, I have changed the title and some of the goals of keeping this blog active and vital.  The discipline of Library & Information Sciences is proving to be a wonderful practical theoretical grounding of the majority of those aspects I love most about our world:  language, art, relationships and learning, and I am focusing my investigative work in the program on semiotics, human-information-behavior, Information Retrieval systems and tools and design, and the function of language in our acquisition of knowledge and interpretation of the world and its data.  This is nothing new for me, and I have attempted and practiced many of these same methods throughout my life – reading, writing, and communicating with others.

All this to say that The Whole Hurly Burly will become a place for me to work out my creative life in language and symbols (or images) as it has been, but will probably have fewer posts and hopefully entries that are more fully developed.  Research takes time, and so many hours of reading and interpretation, and as elements arise that I can only work out for myself poetically or in imaginative prose, if they seem to have some merit or I need feedback I will post them here.  There may also be more theoretical hypotheses as I struggle to make sense of the many lines of thought rubber-band-balling my brain.  I will keep up with Friday Fictioneers so that there will be at least one fiction exercise a week and will continue to pass on crucial inspirational quotes/music/arts/ideas as they flood my desk.

It has become very clear to me that I want whatever I do to be drawn up from the whole messy complex background texture and tangle of being a living human being among other humans and the larger matrices of the world – it is this untangleable complex and network of social and natural, individual and corporate, intimate and estranged, abstracted and imaginative realities that I take Wittgenstein to be referring to when he refers to it as “the whole hurly-burly” of our goings-on.  And the sinewy, grueling and challenging process of attempting to refer to our experience semantically, in language, in symbols, in sounds and shapes is the most rewarding activity I experience – and when we come close to our desire it feels in me to be what David Foster Wallace signifies “making the head throb heart-like.”  

These, then are the goals of this blog moving forward.  To engage and investigate the “whole hurly burly” and to offer it to you  in hopes it might cause your “heads to throb heart-like.”  I cannot thank you enough for whatever time you give my process and work, your kindness in engaging and insightful comments.  Here’s to development and change —

and what is currently infusing me:  Currently Reading