Commentary: From An Artist’s Perspective:
Things That Puzzle Me
by Ted Seth Jacobs, Artist-Painter
Mes Illusions, La Maison-Musée de l’Artiste
Les Cerqueux sous Passavant, France
When I was nine years old the family rented an
apartment on a farm in Stroudsburg
I was a whiz at math, adding, multiplying, subtracting with lightning speed.
After we moved again to
It occurred to ask myself if it were possible to measure, for example, the area of a circular disk, using a conceptual straight measuring stick. In more recent years in my art school, one of the students had a university degree in Mathematics, and I put that question to him. He said that Calculus dealt with that problem. I asked if he could explain how it worked. He drew a circle on paper. Then he filled it as much as possible with squares. This obviously left spaces between the contour of the circle and the square boxes. He then drew smaller squares, and progressively smaller and smaller, but the problem always remained, just with smaller empty spaces. Square pegs in a round hole syndrome. I would imagine with Nanotech the empty spaces will be small indeed, but just a smaller version of the same.
Another of my puzzlers. As far as I can imagine, any system of measurement can be infinitely subdivided into ever smaller units. To me, that would amount to saying that the method is not measuring the phenomena, but rather the acuity of the measuring device. I may be far out of my depth here, but if there is a continuum, can it be measurable in discrete units? It feels as if there is an incompatible couple in play here.
This next has squeezed my brain for a long time: The so-called arrow of time, and the flight of an ordinary arrow from its bow. Well, if it is moving, is it travelling by separate discrete units, or in a continuous trajectory? If it is by separate units of time, how des it get from one unit to the next? If the flight is continuous, how can it have a starting and ending point? Wouldn’t it have started with the Universe, eventually been part of a tree, waited for someone to cut it down and fashion its arrow form, and so on. Again, if continuous, wouldn’t its arrival at a target be only a moment in its passage to the next state? I mean, if it is continuous, how can it have a start and ending?
You can understand how these things keep me awake nights.
In my simple and uninstructedly layman’s mind, as I understand the famous Heisenberg prncope, a subatomic particle only exists when it is observed. Ok, but to my Neanderthal mind that allows only two possibilities: One, that to be observable, there had to have been a prior existence to be observed, or two, if there was no prior existence, then that is the same as saying that we are creating it, in order to observe it.
This last seems to me an entirely plausible possibility, that we are constantly creating what we think of as reality, unconsciously making up our own movie as we go.
Am I a man dreaming I am a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I am a man? Looks as if there have always been types who have had trouble getting to sleep…
Maybe this will seem a bit picky, but…the function of the eyes is to see, sense of sight. The function of the fingers is to feel. Ok, how can we be absolutely sure that what the eye is looking at is the same object as what the finger is touching?
Hope I’m not giving you a headache.
Out of the womb and into the world, for
me was into an English–speaking world. The usual, learning words as I grew. In
High school, I did pretty well in Spanish. In my early twenties I had a close
older friend of Peruvian ancestry, educated in her youth at finishing schools
It further seemed reasonable to suppose that as each human being was a unique individual, so too must their associations and reactions to each word they knew, be also, unique and individual. That too comes down to a question of scale of observation. If examined very closely then, the same word meant something different to each person on Earth, what then was being communicated by speech? Strictly speaking, it was certainly not the verbal contents in one mind to another’s. Perhaps the communication was more of an intuitive sense of the other’s nature, personality.
Are we just making reassuring animal noises at one another? Quack quack, woof woof, cheep cheep. I really don’t know, but as the saying goes, “The Greeks had a word for it,” translated as Breck-a-kek kek, coax coax, Breck-a-kek-kek, coax coax.
[ BWW Society Home Page ]
© 2013 The Bibliotheque: World Wide Society