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William Hogarth: The Sleeping Congregation (1728)

" … one must just keep going."

Try as I might, and I have been diligently trying, I cannot yet imagine the final form for anything I've been preparing for Publishing. I feel I have exclusively been FirstDrafting rather than final editing, though I suppose that I have been final editing. The feelings of finality have yet to kick in. I'm picking and poking at the manuscript and have not yet stumbled upon any central unifying theme. I acknowledge that central unifying themes tend to emerge rather than get engineered into anything, regardless of how cleverly anyone might attempt to engineer one. The period between initial idea and that theme's emergence might seem infinite when one finds oneself in the middle of an effort. Still, the sense that I'm merely scratching at some surface rather than anchoring my effort in bedrock unsettles this scribbler.

This middle space seems vast and trackless.

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Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas:
Mounted Jockey (c. 1866)

"Self esteem seems over-rated, if not impossible …"

I find myself somewhere in the middle of the current controversy surrounding Artificial Intelligence. The purists stand steadfastly against it, insisting that resorting to its assistance will, over time, reduce the brightest of us into idiocy. The advocates don't see such threateningly sinister results. They figure AI's just another in a seemingly never-ending line of technology, an indifferent presence and nothing to get all riled up about. I stand somewhere in the middle, as I said, because I sense a clear and present danger of impending idiocy while at the same time figuring the suspected impact has probably been overstated. As my awareness of my own use of AI has increased, I have so far experienced more positive than negative results, though those positive outcomes have come with a price. My AI Grammer Checker, for instance, initially left me feeling like an idiot, for it clearly demonstrated just how little I knew about writing. Now, after a few weeks of continued use, I've come to feel as though I might qualify as an IncompleteIdiot, more like an idiot in training, and that AI has been serving as my teacher.

I had no idea how little I knew about writing before the AI Grammer Checker started parsing my prose.

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Vincent van Gogh:
Fishing in Spring, the Pont de Clichy (Asnières)

" … emergent properties, never properly envisioned …"

Assembling a manuscript feels like puppet work as if I can only accomplish it while suspended by strings and manipulated by a puppeteer. It seems slow and sloppy; each story pulled from its marinating emulsion where it's sat suspended since I first finished it, awaiting a second finish and probably a third. The work seems absurd compared to the hands-on immediacy I experience when writing. Assembling involves no out-of-body trance like writing does. Intuition, enormously satisfying when writing, does not for an instant enter into assembly work. It's measured steps in particular orders, pedantic to a fault, trying. I can't phone in this effort, and I can't for a minute doze through it, for the stories have changed since I set them aside. They disclose new meanings and promise fresh beginnings. Their flavor's changed.

I had been fussing over how long I'd let some stories set before finally assembling them.

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Integration: Symmetry

"It would be hardly too much to say that modern science began when people became accustomed to the idea of changes changing, e.g. to the idea of acceleration as opposed to simple motion." Arthur N. Prior

Changing the whole idea of change has occurred a few times in the history of science. Transcendent moments where some quiet, previously undiscovered truth emerged from an unlikely place. Those who were trudging the straight and narrow were surprised, often angry. Several of these game-changing insights were not accepted or even recognized until their discoverer was long gone. Slip over here for more ...



Intricate choreography rarely succeeds. The impulses that encourage you to split resources between projects, tasks, and goals usually overlooks an individual’s true divisibility. Following two masters consumes more attention than following one. Slip over here for more ...

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