Friday, October 23, 2009

The Curvature Of Nature

Here's a real lesson, I believe. Manifest reality works in ragged lines, often curved, never perfect. Human brains like straight lines, instinctively know that they are the shortest distances, and without sophistication will expect the flatness they see to the horizon is the truth of things. Humans want things in the world to work just like brains do. And they do, sort of, once you get past the illusions. But humans like to hang out and fool around and not take so much responsibility too if they can. In these matters they don't have time between getting food, fighting and fucking. Raising kids just like them. And all the other things they get involved in. They don't have time to see clear, would rather see straight because it is so much easier. Besides, it's close enough for government. You get a C on the test, you pass, even though the price may be high, but you can't have an omelet without breaking eggs, now can you? Often humans hate other humans who see better and will persecute them. We all know the usual examples of that. Especially in America, we like technology but not the nerds and geeks who produce it, like science but deeply distrust scientists who might be able to tell us how to live safely on the planet, and now we are paying the price as China and India grow better scientists than we have.

I like poetry. I think poetry is very often reminiscent of the true short lines of nature, the ones that curve all over the place and take us home more certainly than those God damned straight jacket lines of the people who think they need to run things.

The Curvature Of Nature

The best lines nature
offers are curved and crooked
like the veins in leaves,
and in our bodies,
like the paths that rivers take.
Why then should we think
that good lives are straight,
that good men should be upright,
I be an arrow?

February 20, 2009 8:09 AM


  1. Love is like that, too; everything delightful in life is a meander, not a straight-arrow course. It has to be. What a bore life would be if everything was linear, the shortest and easiest route from birth to death!

  2. :) hi there.
    Hmmm i first, before doing my own post, read your poem, and liked it very much!!! Now reading the whole thing, I wonder about the paragraph in between, why so harsh?

  3. Because passion is part of the song, Jozien. Harsh is sometimes required, just like some Zen Masters use bamboo canes on the students.

    Rachel, I can't get over seeing your face. :)

  4. Passion IS the song....the rest is just accompaniment. Before and after.

    I love this, why an arrow indeed. Why must we be crooked and then be straight?

    Ahhhh.....bugger it all :D


  5. I am beginning to like your paragraphs of explanation as much as your poetry......No straight lines except in desire for them

  6. i often have the same issue with my pointlessness in a world that demands a point. Oblio

  7. GHOST! Someone else who knows of Oblio! WooHoo....

  8. You see the hat on my head?? I am seldome without the hat, choose my company carefully, or else I am pressed by some asshole calling, "Where's your point??"

    Dammn, I really hate that.

    I'll say, "left it home, much obliged..." Once I carried a sign, portesting. It said, "My name is not Oblio!"

    Which I will maintain to my dying day, but carefully, without rancorous emphasis.

    Frances, my last girlfriend pointed him out to me. Heh. You won't find any slivers under my nails.

    Ghost, you hold a special place in my heart. I've furnished it from the Salvation Army store.

    Michelle, you may meet Ghost there, for tea.

  9. By the way, when I got sober, I was driving a Plymouth Arrow, which you may remember, was advertised by a little ditty called Me And My Arrow.


  11. I am a fan of the hat!

    The human mind can't wrap itself around something as beautifully complex as the fractals of nature, so it simplifies them. But at the same time, nobody wants a straight river or a square leaf. Maybe we just profess to like everything straightened out and "perfect", when deep inside we look around us and know that the actual perfection is that curvature.

    And space-time is curved. How about that? ;)

  12. The round of a baby's tummy, the curve of a woman's hip. The arc of a bicep that affords me protection. Like I said...big Big BIG fan of round. And nerds. Another great poem!

  13. Joseph, I can't resist a reply.

    Space time can be severely curved locally. Over considerable distances, gathering ever larger volumes, space time approaches dead flat. That's the reason the jury is out on whether there is enough curvature that everything comes back together eventually. At present, the best guess is acceleration is increasing, caused by the effects of dark energy.

    Curvature is another way of speaking of gravity, and gravity is a way of speaking of the presence of matter and energy, both of which cause gravitational effects. The amount and the distribution of both affects the curvature. Ordinary matter clots up. Dark matter tends to fog up around galaxy clusters. Energy tends to even distribution (entropy) over time. Dark energy is very hard to determine but appears to be most of everything based on some very precise but distant measurements.

    The end result appears to be not enough curvature that everything comes back together but it is very close and has to be, or we couldn't be here to notice. In other words, the flatness is so close to 0 that Newtonian flat physics is virtually usable over considerable distances as accurately as in our own scale except when you approach quasars and black holes and any other anomalies as may be out there.

    Of course it is obvious and has been since the early 1900s that Newtonian physics fails at very small scales near Planck's constant.

    Yes. Space is curved. It is curved enough to prove it locally, using the Sun as a lens to twist light around it and see stars that are not in line of sight, how it was prooved during a total eclipse about one hundred years ago.

    How about that.

  14. W&W, I love computers for being the best example of applied nerdy practice. For god's sake, we use the most advanced science as a matter of course. The non local nature of electron behavior (electron tunneling) is essential to the shifting from 1 to 0 and back in the binary actions of the computer gates. This means that something called an imaginary number is involved in the description of computer behavior.

    An imaginary number is one which is complexified by the presence of the square root of negative 1. It is necessary in equation solutions but otherwise cannot exist. In describing this, teachers point out that you can ignore that in the gloss over simplified descriptions because at our level what appears is the minus sign caused by squaring the number, and not the square root. They use i to designate an imaginary number.

    Am I showing off?

  15. My dad used to play this album for us when I was a little girl. I loved Oblio and the land of point. I still remember the album cover and the artwork for the story. It was so cool. I wonder if he still has it?

    I would wear a hat but my hair seems to do it for me :)

    'straighter than narrowwwwwwwww...'


  16. That's what my girlfriend did for her kids.

  17. Back in the late sixties I wrote in my journal something I called a fantasy in point cosmology. It was very different, but it came from another bunch of work around in those days. It was in the air. Nillson might have got his inspiration from the same places I did.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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