Nov 3, 2013

ZC, halfbaked

There is trouble when trying to understand myself and the world around me, I end up wrapped up in my own head.  Can you be a mystery even to yourself?  Or better yet, would you want to be?  Given that you could. That you could be a self-knowing mystery.

Quick, she asked, tell me a secret.  A real one, no cheating.  What does it take to make a secret?  If no one knows, then it is a secret.  If everyone knows, then it's just a piece of life.  Segredos.

Gredos.  Like Grecos.  Gregorian.

The year was 852 ZC. (wouldn't it be cool, she thought, if this were a novel of a novelist writing a novel.  she feels her brain skim along like happiness and the bottom of her soul pick up, ,for the first time in what may be months.  perhaps even a year).  Cameron relaxed back into his captain's chair, really just a seat in front of a terminal, but he called it his captain's chair.  From there he regaled the universe, one piece at a time.  Or rather, one screen at a time.  (Pixel refresh rate on a modern Mac is obsolete.  They're now measured in clock cycles of your GPU -- graphics processing unit).

(What are you afraid of? So many things.  The novel that will never get written.  The novel that does.  The one thing, he said, that sets me apart isn't that I do things.  It's that I finish them.)

ZC stood for Zone Counts, a strange telexscoping calendar that was created by the small sect of time warriors that Cameron belonged to.  Fed up with the homogenous nature of Gregorian calendars, and unwilling to bend their sleep schedules to fit the hegemony of the central mandate of a Monday to Friday, instead the time warriorites switched to a metered telescoping time.  Hazel, the main instigator, or as the collective liked to think of her, time architect, based the system on the concept of spiral springs.  Moments oscillated, said Hazel, and so should the way that we mark time.  To base our understanding of our universe on an orbit of the sun, while practical in terms of crop raising and god praising, makes no sense in this time less, metered meritocracy that we call modern life.  My time is no longer ruled by the sun, why too must the way that I mark the days?

Hazel sat down in the front of the group.  They had been called together tonight to discuss what Hazel wanted to term time scoping.  Cameron picked up the telephone from the wall, plugged it into his cell, and phoned his mother to let her know that he was going to be home late.  The conversion of time from ZC to Greggers (as they termed it later), was not yet necessary as they were about to create it.  (Is it better for a system to already be in place, or would it be better for the reader to be there in the process of seeing the system take place?  It's far easier for me just to describe how the system works (though to be honest I'm not quite sure yet, I'm just typing things out as they come to mind, as semi-compelling as that is).  Every thought is a token that I spend, on you. On me.  On all of us.  If we argue about a thing, how much do I need to be right?  See a doctor about the throbbing in your head).  Cameron phoned his mother.  Well, how late do you think that you'll be out, she asked?  Cameron gave a number, arbitrarily.  21 hundred hours, Mom.  He said.  Did she want to know because she was worried about him?  As a way to judge his allegiance to her love by clocking his arrival against the promise that he had made?  Or was it merely a way for her to mark her own time in the evening, to give meaning to the passing of her own moments?  (Selfish, selfish.)

Cameron returned to the small knot of people gathered around Hazel's bedroom.  There were about six all told, friends from uni.  They had graduated or dropped out or never started together about four years ago.  None of them had regular jobs -- they were all contractors or free lances or just plain unemployable.  Time oscillating, Hazel was saying.  Remember when, she said, you were just a child.  How does your mind understand time?  Or rather, isn't your understanding of time telescoping all of the time, as a function of your having lived it?  At one minute of life, your entire frame of reference for what "time" is, is exactly one minute.  At an hour, your concept of how time passes is just that.  An hour.  Can you imagine living for longer, for putting your time at any different amounts?  What is it to only have ever lived an hour?  Or a month?  Or a year?  Does time seem to pass more slowly for you, each moment drawn out as a pebble in a brook or a stream?  Is this why as a child, an hour television show is murder, it's the longest thing that you've ever experienced, and as you get older a three hour lecture is merely another way of spending a day?  The child sits then, at one end of the spring of oscillating time scopes.  They can imagine what time would be like a month or a week out, but to expand that into a year, or a decade -- there's no basis for the extrapolation.  Children, with their telescoped understanding of time, experience life more real.  In a moment to moment basis, spontaneously.  And so they see life not as a set of months to be conquered or weekends to be enjoyed and treasured or afternoons to set aside and enjoy and escape from, but as an endless plateau of existing.

Hazel had all of our eyes now.  Time wasn't standing still, but just by hearing the words that she spoke reality seemed a bit clearer.  The urgency of leaving, of meeting his mother, at least for Cameron, slowed down.  The ticks of the clock seemed less fatal.  (Fate. Fatal.  Fatalistic.)

So how would ZC even work?  How can you replicate a telescoping time with a calendar?  Answer, you can't.  Should time be divided up by (Expostion! I write, she said, to show off.  I am a tease.  I am a performer.  ANd in performing I need others to see me as in movement.  I need validation of the movement, of the thinking.  I need you to see that I am.  I AM.  am i?)

We can't replicate moment counting as telescoping, but by altering our calendar from a metered pace to something that is more fluid, as we experience time, we'll reinstate an ability to live every day for the sake of it being a day, and not for the sake of it being an event on the calendar.  Celebrations will happen when we feel that they should -- as time and experience dictate.  Zoned because rather than days, we'll live in zones  Each person gets his or her own zone, to cycle through as you want to.  There'll be no metering.  At the beginning of a morning, when you wake up, the units of the day will be decided by the first song that you play on the radio, or that you choose from the banks of the ZC server hub.  Since everyone will be on a different clock, they'll all have to be managed centrally by the time share server that we all use.  You can discover what a person's day is to be filled with based on their personal home page on the site.  It'll also take care of marking engagements with the person on their personal calendar.

But we're a community still, Joa piped in.  If we're all on different time clocks, will we not all be lost to the sands, each man in his own individual world and understanding of that?  Is that not antithetical to the way that we live, as friends, as a community?  (Common unity.)

Hazel sat silently for a moment, realizing that Joaoa had a point.  They were in a meeting altogether presently.  How could she forget about that?  She agreed with Joa.  Alright, then, she said.  How do you propose that we all stay on the same time, and yet still manage to escape from the hegemony of the time clock Gregorian?  Jao hesitated for a moment, visibly thinking.  (Time stood still.  The writer flexed her feet, yawned, felt the lumps in her throat. Sore for the past ten weeks.  Most definitely cancer, she thought.  How long do I have to live?  Four decades, whispered back the fates.  Count them with me. One. Two. Three. Four.)

Alright, said Joa, what is we each meter days to our own liking.  Each day will still be composed of 24 hours (sun we cannot shake you) but instead of weeks, we'll do days in zoned pods.  A year will consist of one complete revolution of the moon.  So instead of tracking time by years and the sun, we'll track our months on the lunar scape.  A week, instead of 7 days (7 is so long! 7 is lucky. 7 is strange), we'll divide our time up into pods of 3 and then 4.  One day off at the end of every pod.  So two days of work. One day off.  Three days of work.  One day off.  (Could I swing it, she thought?  Is this even possible?  What would that look like, in line with the lives of others.  If it helps me to keep my understanding of the world in check, I think that there is no problem with it.)  It needs to be, they agreed, at least analogous to what others do and did, but They should be free to set the rules as they saw them.  Days would have different names, just to break up the monotony of living in tightly bookended days.  (3 days on. One off. Two days on. One off.)  (It's not about being different, it's about living with a different set of eyes.)  Days will be called by whatever you want them to be, and instead of being numbered, they'll be symbolified.  Each day within a cycle will get its own symbol.  So that instead of things in a series, we'll be encouraged to think of each day as separate and unique in its own right.  No order given, no numbers on the calendar.  Count downs will be considerably more difficult to do.  The end of days will be nothing more than a sunset.  (Marking time not so that you may mark the number until you are done, but to keep track of how and why and when a life has been lived).

(What is metaphysical?)

No comments:

Post a Comment

sound reflecions: observations from SF MOMA's Soundtracks exhibit

karthik and i went to the SF MOMA today to check out the last few bits of the soundtracks exhibit. we saw this great video work that i can&...