Bigsley the Oaf

Beauty and Capture

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on March 12, 2010

Just a warning – this is all super-rough. I’m kind of thinking out loud, here.


Beauty exists, surely, and just as surely we are but dread nets set here to capture bits.

So systematic S, let’s let there be a beauty B, and we’re E lying in wait:

So B has arisen, as it does, as all things are risen, as all Buddhas and all Patriarchs, as waves on a windless ocean.

But before B there was shadow(B). So systematic E says: “B!” regardless of B or !B.

SO systematic E, alas. Can’t he tell? Oh well.


How does beauty arise – have you asked that? What is the process by which you judge, have you asked it?

What’s a law, as in law-of-the-universe law? “Just try and break me,” says God: type-of-law.

But people aren’t so interested in questions, these days.


Look, there’s all this random crap, and something pops up out of it (because it has to), and something else sees it and captures it (because it has to), and that symbiosis of create & capture is beauty.

Beauty is something arisen from nothing. I’m talking tautologically, here.

A beautiful thing X has to be arisen from nothing. If it arises from some thing Y then Y must have had X’s imprint in it. We cannot draw a picture we do not understand – we cannot write a novel we did not conceive of.


I just had a vision of something enormous.

Let’s conceive of a system with two components: M and S.

M is the model – it is the bits and pieces which interact via fixed laws. It evolves through time – let’s call the state of M at any point M(t).

S is a space of patterns – it interacts with M by imprinting itself on M. Like, M has some particles which get aggregated into objects with essences which interact via different rules – agh!

This isn’t what I meant at all. Let me try to be more concrete. Here’s what I envisioned (the enormous thing):

Like – let’s say that I draw a picture. OK, so if I conceive of every facet of the picture it will be boring and rigid like Thomas Kinkaide’s work. But if I allow randomness then it will ruin the picture, right?


What I can do is create a system and allow some degree of randomness/jitter/play within that system. For instance, I can concentrate only on local details and see what evolves globally. For instance, I can drizzle paint on a canvas at semi-random, letting it be the imprint of my emotions. I can let myself go down a long narrative path and draw what I see.

But how do I do this? How do I create randomness, but direct it? How can I make randomness adhere to rules, result in structure?

My vision was of a spirit – you can think of it as a pattern if you like – inhabiting my mind. I create a state in which I can be inhabited, I am inhabited, and my picture results.

Now, this isn’t so crazy as you think. We already exist as massively self-referential patterns. We know of our physical presence, we can refer to our thoughts, etc. We are very much a describable system, a pattern, inhabiting a body (Ghost in a Shell). This is not to say that the pattern or the system has form, is “real” in the sense of being palpable, having location, etc.

So why can’t we take on other patterns? People act, for instance. Actors aren’t so self-aware as it might seem – they simply concentrate on a feeling, a presence, an essence, and become it. They put themselves on auto-pilot and let another spirit fill them for a time. They lay down some ground-work and run some different software.

What I’m saying is that we are software. Damn, that’s cliche.

Fuck, I hope I’m not becoming a Platonist.

Ugh! I wanted to say this all differently. I had something different to express. I guess I didn’t capture the spirit.



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