A fashionable idea in technical circles is that quantity not only turns into quality at some extreme of scale, but also does so according to principles we already understand. Some of my colleagues think a million, or perhaps a billion, fragmentary insults will eventually yield wisdom that surpasses that of any well-thought-out essay, so long as sophisticated secret statistical algorithms recombine the fragments. I disagree. A trope from the early days of computer science comes to mind: garbage in, garbage out.
The flimsy little protestations that mark the front gate of every novel, the solemn statements that any resemblance to real persons living or dead is entirely coincidental, are fraudulent every time. A writer has no other material to make his people from than the people of his experience... The only thing the writer can do is to recombine parts, suppress some characterisitics and emphasize others, put two or three people into one fictional character, and pray the real-life prototypes won't sue.
The flimsy little protestations that mark the front gate of every novel, the solemn statements that any resemblance to real persons living or dead is entirely coincidental, are fraudulent every time. A writer has no other material to make his people from than the people of his experience ... The only thing the writer can do is to recombine parts, suppress some characterisitics and emphasize others, put two or three people into one fictional character, and pray the real-life prototypes won't sue.
faith is the recombination of matter in such a way as to change it into energy directed into open space in the hope that it will connect with matter.....Hope is energy derived from faith that "flares" or arches out into open space. while smaller in size, hope allows faith to project energy in many directions at once in order more efficiently recombine matter.
In sum, then a conservative tech writer offers a really attractive way of looking at viewer passivity and TV's institutionalization of irony, narcissism, nihilism, stasis. It's not our fault! It's outmoded technology's fault! If TV-dissemination were up to date, it would be impossible for it to "institutionalize" anything through its demonic "mass psychology"! Let's let Joe B., the little lonely guy, be his own manipulator or video-bits! Once all experience is finally reduced to marketable image, once the receiving user of user-friendly receivers can choose freely, Americanly, from an Americanly infinite variety of moving images hardly distinguishable from real-life images, and can then choose further just how he wishes to store, enhance, edit, recombine, and present those images to himself, in the privacy of his very own home and skull, TV's ironic, totalitarian grip on the American psychic cajones will be broken!" E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction" (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 1993)
David Foster Wallace
The repetitive phases of cooking leave plenty of mental space for reflection, and as I chopped and minced and sliced I thought about the rhythms of cooking, one of which involves destroying the order of the things we bring from nature into our kitchens, only to then create from them a new order. We butcher, grind, chop, grate, mince, and liquefy raw ingredients, breaking down formerly living things so that we might recombine them in new, more cultivated forms. When you think about it, this is the same rhythm, once removed, that governs all eating in nature, which invariably entails the destruction of certain living things, by chewing and then digestion, in order to sustain other living things. In The Hungry Soul Leon Kass calls this the great paradox of eating: 'that to preserve their life and form living things necessarily destroy life and form.' If there is any shame in that destruction, only we humans seem to feel it, and then only on occasion. But cooking doesn't only distance us from our destructiveness, turning the pile of blood and guts into a savory salami, it also symbolically redeems it, making good our karmic debts: Look what good, what beauty, can come of this! Putting a great dish on the table is our way of celebrating the wonders of form we humans can create from this matter-this quantity of sacrificed life-just before the body takes its first destructive bite.