Sunday, March 23, 2014

Think it matters really?

I get myself into all sorts of trouble with this blogging malarkey.



If you follow my twitter feed you might have noticed me mention that two days worth of writing had disappeared into the ether. I still have the boulder of a piece from which I'd hewn something that at least looked like an essay on Money, Language and Value on the one hand, and the symbolic significance of salt on the other. But honestly, I really need to muster before I attempt to chisel away at it for a second time (if that ever happens).

In the meantime, I've reminded myself that 5K word blog posts aren't necessarily the best way to explore and communicate weird ideas. I'll try to keep 'em shorter and sweeter. I'm building up quite a stock of long form abandoned blog posts.

Every random thing I've read since my words went, seems related to what I was writing about. This is one of them. I can't remember the source of it, sorry.

The opening sentence to the piece "In quantum theory of cognition, memories are created by the act of remembering" is;
The way that thoughts and memories arise from the physical material in our brains is one of the most complex questions in modern science.
When I read that, my mind immediately went to the opening sentence to Marc Shell's The Economy of Literature;
Those discourses are ideological that argue or assume that matter is ontologically prior to thought.
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I read John Wyndham's Chocky as a kid - its the book I remember most of all from my childhood reading. I wonder now how much of an effect it had on my thinking about the universe and the nature of reality and all that.

For all you Discordian popes, and sychronicity freaks...... I've mentioned on here before about seeing the solar eclipse in 1999. It was a very special summer. The book of that summer was Glyn Davies' A History of Money - I talked about it in this post on Freud. Anyway, on the morning of the eclipse we were on a beach in Jersey. We were there with two couples, one of whom had put us up in their place on the island - something I remain grateful for to this day. As we were relaxing on the beach in anticipation of the coming cosmic show, and the birds were beginning to act strangely as the light began to change, I turned to discuss the weirdness of it all with our companions. The husband of the other couple looked up from his book. He was reading Chocky.

I haven't read the book for about forty years but I remember a question being posed in it, about what is faster than the speed of light? The answer given is - a thought. This of course acts as a nice device to tell the story and gets around all those problems of time and space. It also made me think.

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Its vital to consider these 'underlying-structures-of-reality' things (to use a phrase from scientific realism) when you're discussing Money and thought. In one of those abandoned blog posts I mentioned, I complained about how Money is put in time and space without considering (at least explicitly) if that's a good way to think about it. The relationship of Money to thought and being (as explored by so many of the writers and thinkers whose work I discuss on this blog) needs to be either un-tethered from time and space - or the tethering needs to be specified.

I've been thinking about my own axioms (a conclusion about one of them was where my 'lost piece' was supposed to end up). I've been worried about the first part of the first one - 'Money is an aspect of reality'. Although I'm happy with that as it stands, there is a problem with the logical inference - i.e. that money is not unreal. I'm not sure about the whole real/unreal binary. And I'm wondering if they are very useful terms to apply to Money and Value.

The reason I'm thinking about it now is because I've noticed some stuff about Money being 'just bits of paper'. The idea that Money is unreal seems to be in the ascendancy - David Graeber wrote this for the Guardian and there was this follow on piece from Philip Pilkington. The basic theme can be summed up with the phrase the money is 'nothing really'.

Whilst such ideas on the unreality of money may indeed be sound rational conclusions from open-minded investigation into the technical process of currency creation in the modern world, they are also utterly at odds with our experience of the world - which I guess you could sum up with phrase 'money matters'.

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I had a brief twitter conversation this week with @CatVincent(Ian) whose tweets I very much enjoy. In discussing the Graeber article just mentioned, Ian said that Robert Anton Wilson had got money right. For an entertaining three minute video of RAW on money and his magic wand theory see here.

I've only really come to RAW lately, largely as a result of John Higgs' brilliant book on the KLF (if you haven't read it, you should). With due respect, I'm not sure that I agree with him on money. I mean that due respect bit, RAW mentions he been thinking about money ever since, as an eighteen year old, he read Ezra Pound. Well, that's a very good place to start.

Anyway, I don't want to get into RAW's money here. I think its better that I actually read what he wrote directly prior to commenting further. I'm going to pull the Cosmic Trigger on my holiday in May. (I did say I might re-read Simmel, but he may have to stay on the back burner for now as I have Cosmic Trigger and a brand new academic work on money to read while I'm breathing the ocean air). I just thought of RAW because of his Sirius channeling. He says that on the 23rd of July 1973 he began channeling extra-terrestrial messages from around the Sirius system. From what I can gather, he discussed it in the 23rd issue of the Fortean Times on pages 22-23 when discussing the number 23. When asked about the reality of magical entities RAW said they were “real enough” – although “not as real as the IRS” since they were “easier to get rid of” (source - Fortean Times)

I daren't look to see if there is any relation between Chocky and the number 23.


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