Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 20 February 2009

Meet my better half

My 195th post and I’m experiencing a sense of self-persecution. If I renounceed my blogonym a perfect replacement would be: The Man in the Iron Mask - Outside, Tungsten Carbide; Inside, Liberal Arts Jelly-Baby.

Despite this blog’s aims, I have read fiction, some hardish (eg, The man without qualities), listened to music (including Alban Berg’s violin concerto), watched subtitled films and looked at paintings. All potential epiphanies but rejected as grist for this mill. For one thing culture blogging is competitive, for another most people regard the arts as a likely source of “perceptions of the essential nature or meaning of something” and I doubt I could add anything new.

Hence technology and its siblings. And here’s a techno-epiphany. At age 12, in the Monster Puzzle Book, I came upon this: a will is divided so that Jack gets half as much as Jill while Humpty’s portion is equal to… etc, etc. With an insight that has not visited me since, I recognised it as an expression in prose of a pair of simultaneous equations. Gazoing! Although to appreciate that Damascene moment you need to know what a wretched scholar I was. Two French adjectives say it best: débile (feeble) yet têtu (obstinate).

Anyway I decided on a blog which touches on such moments, on the delights of well-cut gears, the neatness of some software and the excitement which motorbikes generate. With each post an additional part of that iron mask was created and the visor descended some months ago. I am now a figure held together by cables, pistons and printed circuits despite pathetic attempts (like this) to re-establish my membership of the intelligentsia. Ahead, the dump.


Plutarch said...

Glory be to God for metal things-

For gears, ground and grooved, toothed and twisted,

For hinges, which hold, hang and

Engine blocks, pistons and plugs, oiled, trimmed and tuned;

Nuts, washers, bolts and threaded screws,

All spannered and wrenched and tight.

All things cranked, curious, cast,
pivotted, bright.

With aluminium, steel, tungsten, copper, zinc.

He manufacturers without fault.

All right?

Sir Hugh said...

Why the guilt complex? Revel in being an all-rounder.Just think of Gregor Mendel and the tedious life he must have had looking at his peas.

Barrett Bonden said...

Yup. That's an epiphany, all right.

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: It's not quite a guilt complex, rather a sense of irritation at the lopsided view I'm projecting. On the other hand, there are opportunities for artiness when responding to other blogs. And later rather than sooner I'll be publishing my poem (four months on the hard disk and still no end in sight) which attempts to express the techno world. Rather in the way Plutarch has just pre-empted me.

Avus said...

Oh God! you brought back dreadful memories with your mention of simultaneous equations...despised only slightly less than the quadratic variety...maths was never my subject, although I loved the analysis of geometry.

Don't worry, BB, there is no division on the line between art and science in my opinion. Think of Einsten's humorous philosophies and watch the incomparable Bronowski perform in "the Ascent of Man".