Daily Archives: July 2, 2009

Algorithms & Superpositions, Hidden in Skirts of Despair


Enter a collection of sighs; enter the last time there was enough weight to press your eyelids down like the window to a grain silo.

Underneath minutes there hide skirts of things: a lost-friend’s letter, trunks of algorithms memorized and shelved in the brain under: useless.

I never thought I’d dream about math or numbers or algorithms. Wading though the necessary math classes with clenched teeth, I resisted the things that love me. But resisted knots swirl back into patterns from day to day, if there is attention to the strange attractors. The mystery remains in their corner, hidden, as I am to them, in deeper symbols.

So, crying in a car under the blankets of worry, hands gripped on a wheel, the thought of radius enters.

Enter into the mind a conversation with a friend.

And, rocking in the car, hands tight on the wheel, a rope thrown into the mind…in a different language than what it’s used to. A split mind sorting the world in new ways, ways that love to wrap their bodies in what is unknown, dancing in front of us each second, like grace.

Me: how does a computer communicate with itself?
For example, take this sentence and tell me if it can be applied to a computer
“The exchange is deemed “an explanation” when foreign symbols are converted into familiar ones. Upon this transfer, curiosity rests.”

Friend: well there are a lot of factors, like which operating system, hardware, etc
but let me try and say it in computer logic: what I am about to type is not any sort of actual language

Me: I like the “not any sort of actual language.”

Friend: it’s such an abstract concept that this wouldn’t mean anything to any computer:

Me:  if/then function? is that what that is?

Friend: well there is no “then” here

Me: is that your translation for the sentence I gave you

Friend: computers do not do undefined concepts
Me: wow

Friend: yeah you’d need some actual values
I mean the amount of code to define the indefinable,
only a human brain can even grasp that concept
it’s not too long ago that computers had trouble grasping the concept of zero
they really only know what you tell them

Me: zero

Friend: yeah

Me: that’s a good one

Friend: they didn’t get the idea of nothing.
now they sort of arbitrarily get it.

Me: how did “we” “make” “them” get zero?
do we even “get” zero?

Friend: if 1<2<3…etc then 0<1
We get it more so than any machine

Me: but don’t we “get” zero in the same way?

Friend: the computer only knows that zero is less than 1
we know it’s nothingness

Me: what is nothingness?

Friend: the absence of anything

Me: but we can’t know nothingness

Friend: we can conceptualize it

Me: isn’t nothing, by classification, something?

Carmon: we know it imperfectly
it’s conceivable

Me: I was reading Heidegger last night and that’s what he loves to talk about

Friend: I think the biggest difference is that a computer, currently, cannot partially know something
either it knows a value or it does not
it can’t understand something, in any real sense
they just store data, and that data interacts.

Friend: and this goes back to what we were saying about partially knowing the mind of some sort of “god”
that we can only know it imperfectly.
Back to how computers “think.”
I have another sentence.

“Curiosity rests in this technique upon our ability to find a familiar verbal coin of the same or similar value as the word to be defined. The synonym may or may not bring us “closer to reality.” It tells us how terms are being used by placing the definiendum, the symbol to be defined, in a context of familiar words.”

you don’t have to translate the actual sentence, but its concept within, into computer terms. How it applies to computer programs, how they “think.”
it is very computer-like anyway
don’t you think?
symbols and such
value, translation, transfer of symbol into action / thought / idea

Friend: well
curiosity is not computer-like

Me: ok, take curiosity to mean
an unknown command
which it’s trying to figure out

Friend: well you would find an unknown value
there are no unknown commands.

//This section defines the variables to be called

X = lim(*) //where “*” = Word to be defined
-X = lim(*)
Y = lim(*)
-Y = lim(0)

//This section declares global functions

(W = “?”) //where “S” is the synonym of “*” and “?” represents any present value in the dictionary of familiar words

//This section declares the values
//This section defines the variables to be called

X = lim(*) //where “*” = Word to be defined
-X = lim(*)
Y = lim(*)
-Y = lim(*)

//This section declares global functions

(W = “?”) //where “S” is the synonym of “*” and “?” represents any present value in the dictionary of familiar words

//This section declares the values


End Conversation.

End into the steering wheel. What the knots know is that the love of the strange-attractors don’t change their shape when we ignore them.

And tumbling into the day, something I thought I’d never adore, moves closer to me, knowing the mystery is deep and hides as many luminous things as a universe can stand without becoming the underbelly of another universe. When two galaxies collide, a sway into the other, and thus a leaning into mathematics when the questions lie under my closing eyes, when the steering wheel is all it feels I can hold onto until a further collapse.




Do not understand zero, or the knots as they stand 23023 feet tall today. Gathering this as one gathers functions or bits of conversations to repeat to the self, in the mirror, in the bath, in the car while gripping the steering wheel, wondering where the loves of things hide.

Move closer to the hiddenness of what loves you, what gets stuck in your mind.

Sing 3333333333 times when someone notices 33.33 buying ribbons, texts you to tell you they noticed 33.33 at the cash register because the other day, 33 followed you into despair and then, opened a box of joy. Numerically, emotions have various ways of sticking to your side, if you let them develop into chain-reactions.

So, despair follows me into the bath while I read books on things going on before my eyes that I cannot see, such as faith or atomic changes:

“Consider an atom that has absorbed a photon of energy. That energy has kicked one of the atom’s electrons into what’s called a higher orbital, and the atom is said to be “excited.” But the electron wants to go back to where it came from, to its original orbital, as it can do if the atom releases a photon. When the atom does so is one of those chance phenomena, the atom has some chance of releasing a photon and going back it it’s original state, within a given period. Thus the excited atom exists as a superposition of itself and the unexcited state will fall into after it has released a photon.”

Superposition, in which branches of outcomes grope for the mind’s attention. Watch. Listen. Mystery sweeps by in silence. Higher into a state of excitement, the mind has understood something-above, which is not dread. But dread is the kicking-out of inertia.

So the steering wheel holds steady my dread, gripped against the dark and recalling the math that loves to wrap the unknown in back coordidoors of my mind, as the knots glow into an-already-knowing-laughter. So many times, my despair is dressed in a skirt much like joy’s underbelly. Look at things differently; stare into what frightens the knots into finally, finally speaking. Singing. Singing. Singing.

What can account for zero? For unknowing, un-likely and strange attractors?

An atom in a superposition, waiting to exist in excitement and joy for a bit longer, or to fall, fall into the natural state which pulls, is like how it feels to sing out exactly when there’s nothing to sing about.

Look, the mirror and the steering wheel hold my despair in strings that can be let go, breathed into, let loose in the face of un-likely loves that tap on the back, courting with them, mysteries unknowable-kindness.

Up through my stomach, with the iPod in my ears, I stare at the mirror and sing. Loud. Loud because I am alone. I imagine the brain tries to process the feeling of singing through different pleasure algorithms. The mystery hidden in singing brings with it the underskirts of despair, but the color of each number the neurons assign is a flushed joy.

Breaking out of the pattern, letting the superposition hold as I sing things, vibrate song, though tired, though worries, though dread-of-unknown permeates things around, though earlier in the day, I gripped a steering wheel and cried, sounds, notes, outpour into the tea sitting by my bed. I can almost see the knots swirl, tiny galaxies themselves, crashing into each other in a dance of grace. And algorithms enter into the room. Things that I never thought loved me, in fact, do, and watch as I break out of my natural state into my superposition.

Hold me here, I say to the knots.


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