“I sometimes think that the only real purpose of an initial design is to evolve some sort of of plan to get one started in an otherwise confusing and complex situation.”
Bill Mollison

Permaculture: A Designer's Manual

Living in a Fractal & Playing the Stereo loud & (what the heck do I know about) World Economics


During my recent visit to Tel-Aviv, a friend I met, (who lives in Tel-Aviv) asked if we (my wife – need to find a better word for that! – and I) would accept an invitation to join her for dinner some time. I replied that the chances were slim. I don’t get to Tel-Aviv often (and avoid it altogether when possible) and keep my travels to a minimum. I am trying to keep my life simple and inexpensive – two years ago I gave up the luxury of money for the luxury of creativity and happiness.

As I was driving home with my wife (that word again!) I shared with her an image that came to me right there and then. My experience these days is as if reality is squeezing me into a tighter and tighter spot. It seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Yet I want and need to experience life with plenty of space. So I am surrendering to this shrinking bubble that’s wrapping me and “shrinking” myself – so that I still have a sense of space within my perceived limitations.

This morning as I was sitting on the beach I had a glimpse of some clarity. I recalled a fractal image I read about and saw many years ago (Chaos: Making a New Science) and as I drew it in the sand the shrinking metaphor (and I) expanded …

Living in a Fractal

How can you get inifinite length in a finite area? an example of a fractal called the Koch Flake demonstrates this. The idea is to start with a equilateral triangle and then replace the middle third of every line segment with a pair of line segments that form an equilateral “bump”. You repeat this over and over again – infinitely. Everytime you do this the perimeter of the shape lengthens by one third – the result is an inifinite perimeter. Yet the area will remain finite.

Infinite spirit in a finite body (and very finite bank account). Though I am feeling very “compressed” and limited within the current circumstances of my life, I am also feeling an ongoing expansion. I still manage (with varying efforts) to find and create a sense of space regardless of any constraints. It helps me to remember this – otherwise I could wind up in a pretty miserable state. I waver – but I am expanding!

On a sidenote you might want to check out this interesting lecture on Fractal architecture in Africa!

Playing the Stereo to Loud

I used to listen to music very loud – and was rather picky about my stereo equipment (I was never quite an audiophile – but I was on my way). Today I am much less picky (maybe as a result of that compression) – though I still do appreciate good sound. Audio professionals know that their equipment (mainly speakers and amplifiers) works best when they are used well within their specified capabilities/limits.

For example – if I’ve got speakers (or an amplifier) that can go to 100watts (RMS for the picky readers) – the sound they produce is probably best when they are working at less then half of that potential. That means that if I want to listen to about 30watts worth of volume – I should get a 100w speaker. Once I go beyond a certain point the sound may get louder but the quality begins to drop (and then drops rapidly when it goes higher and higher). There is a “technological comfort zone” where it works best – beyond it, it will work – but with a compromise in quality.

I have been working (trying to be careful not to push) at my limits. I am doing all I can to advance SweetClarity – this includes photpgraphy, editing, development, testing, authoring, business development – what not. I realized this morning – that this is OK – it will work (as do the speakers) but the quality is compromised. Or if to rephrase that in a constructive way – things can be done better! This is something that I want to achieve for SweetClarity – I want to do it better! I don’t feel well when I work at my limits – I manage it – but it isn’t where I want to constantly be.

A sidenote on comfort zones – I have encountered people and theories that talk about “leaving your comfort zone”. Though I appreciate their insights – I find them to be half a truth at best. I am all for leaving my own  comfort zone – but I believe that my point of departure should be deep within my comfort zone. I operate best (creatively at least – since that’s what’s matters to me most) when I am inside my comfort zone. The better rooted I am in my comfort zone – the further I can catapult out of it into experiences I could never have dreamt about – let alone approached in a “safe and comfortable” way.

(what the heck do I know about) World Economics

I feel relatively isolated from the ongoing “global financial crisis” – that’s one of the benefits of being small and isolated – less strings between me and the world – so I feel less pull. Yet I feel that something good is happening – good is difficult – it is nevery easy. The world is (continuously) getting better.

I have shed many things in my life that I did not need – I am moving into a more basic and simpler way of living – a better one. Many people are losing their jobs – this surely creates much friction and suffering. But to me it also indicates that maybe a lot of those people (directly or indirectly) were doing things the “world” doesn’t really need. Apparently the “world” is shedding them – it can do without them. In Yoga – friction can be translated as Tapas – and tapas is an energy with which one can work to create change. It’s irritating – but without it… well… there is a sticky heaviness.

I can’t understand most of the dynamics of world economics – I never really took much interest. Yet I feel that something was(and still is) dysfunctional – there is a lot of misapprehension. I feel that the western world (the one in which I apparently chose to live this life) has been riding a wave of industrialization. That wave, like many other things, has been both functional and dysfunctional. It seems to have been gathering momentum and gravitating into the dysfunctional (which was part of the reason I left my career behind – I wanted to get away from this). So it’s time to move on, time to change… and change is never easy. Not too long ago – it was common social practice to chop off heads and to hang people. At some point that became an irrelevant practice – things have changed. Things are changing. The change occuring now is fundemental – hence the shockwaves. I also feel It is mostly about perpection, and perception tends to exaggerate – and so the perception of shocwaves is exaggerated.

But I don’t really know much about these things. I can barely get my head around my personal life… and if to be honest (with myself) – I really like it like that.

This entry was posted in AltEco, Featured, outside, SweetClarity. You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours