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preamble

on being heard

Setting out.
Beginning at the end, I set out with a goal in mind. It was a tiny virus that defeated the Wrath-of-god: you don't need to be pretty to kick-off a storm, there's always hope. This then was my preamble. "If you want to feel better take a pill; if you want to get better face the truth."
edited: 24 Nov 2021, written: 1 Jul 2017.
1.

Wittgenstein, despite being so skilled, wrote of the difficulties he had writing his final work. I was surprised to find his description of these so perfectly matched those I struggle with here - I mean no other comparison by that, only that I found it a great comfort:

After several unsuccessful attempts to weld my results together into a whole, I realized that I should never succeed.  The best that I could write would never be more than philosophical remarks; my thoughts were soon crippled if I tried to force them on in any single direction against their natural inclination.  (And this was, of course, connected with the very nature of the investigation.  For this compels us to travel over a wide field of thought criss-cross in every direction.) 
2.

Each time the end of my ramblings has appeared it proved to be a mirage. My thoughts slipped out from the lines I tied them to, and diagrams I drew along the way illustrate a journey I didn't know I was on. The task was recursive; words are illusions - subjective maps not actual territories. This is the Red Pill.

My words tell stories about me. I cannot find their start yet stories have beginnings. This then was my start.
3.

I arrived in Finland from London, enchanted, with no thought of being tripped up by culture. The country felt soft, the people seemed kind, and unlike Greek or Chinese, Finnish is legible. I'd fallen in love. When my love died though the society I'd been part of died too, and alone I found I was incomprehensible.

Words are just noise or marks on a page. Meaning is social and personal.
4.

As a child I felt lost; simple logic became my safe place. Back then it seemed the perfect guide. Together with maths and science, I searched for a world of black and white, but instead found that what appears to be simple logic, although fundamental to describing chaos, is often powerfully misleading.

Three million unemployed; three million immigrants. There is no equality here.
5.

Facts are unhelpful in themselves. We've not dropped far from the trees. Leaders know bravado and gibberish sway us more than courage or reason, and although scientists imagine their facts will change the world only the stories that are told with them do that. Meanwhile, the investments we've made in the stories that we know keep it the same.

Meditating heads did not stop bullets, falling towers did not end faith.
6.

The internet provides new ways to criss-cross wide and disparate fields - and new ways to become lost - but having neither the wisdom nor the humility of Wittgenstein, I have ploughed on, encouraged by that passing virus which killed the Wrath-of-god, trying to complete my account of stories - on being heard.

My father's life now mine, my work humbled by the tyranny of code dimly comprehended and clumsily grasped, is quiet, surrounded by cultured sounds, while your imagination wonders on the page, dwells in words, breathes and pauses, expecting itself.

  next:  Unfolding Expression

"Philosophical Investigations" : Ludwig Wittgenstein; Cambridge, January 1945, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe.

From the preface to: Philosophical Investigations,  by its author: Ludwig Wittgenstein; Cambridge, January 1945, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe.

the wrath of god


The last great nomadic emperor, Timur, known as the Wrath of God, invaded Baghdad in June 1401. After the capture of the city, Timur ordered that every soldier should return with at least two severed human heads to show him.  When they ran out of men to kill, many warriors killed prisoners captured earlier in the campaign, and when they ran out of prisoners to kill, many resorted to beheading their own wives; 20,000 citizens were massacred... Scholars estimate that Timur's military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people. Wikipedia. citation: Ibn Arabshah, Timur the Great Amir, p. 168

In 1405, in the city that is modern-day Shahrisabz, as 'the Wrath of God' was preparing to invade China he was killed by a virus.


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