Saturday, October 31, 2009

the Artist and Mechanic

In sixth from for systems of knowledge I had read a book called ‘Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance’. I’m sure many of you had read it. Besides narrating the story of a journey and some psychological journey as well, it discusses the dichotomy of technology versus aesthetics. At least it does, if I remember correctly and understood well.

Basically, for those who didn’t study this yet, or couldn’t be bothered during their years of studies, it’s the problem with technology that a person can usually either understand how a machine works, or appreciate the aesthetic beauty of it. In other words, someone is either and artist (or designer) or and engineer.

That is not to say that there is nothing beautiful about a machine working perfectly, and that there is nothing at least mathematical about aesthetic design.

If I remember well, the conclusion of the author is that there are people who can both understand a machine and appreciate the external beauty of it, but will be inclined one way more than the other. So, I can see a car has nice curves and the design is sleek and elegant and so on, and I know a bit about how it works. Or I can dismantle an engine and put it back together in minutes and look at the body work as a nice way to cover it up.

I am not going to discuss how true or false this is in humans, my thoughts are on how it’s definitely not true for our Engineer (as mentioned in the last blog).

So, God is the creator of all. Yes? Yes.

Moving on from there:

Now let’s look around, what do we see?

Well, I’m seeing my kitchen, so hold on…

Up on the roof…well, fine, the roof doesn’t help as all I can see is buildings any way. Hmmm…

Let’s imagine we’re in the country side :)

What we see is beauty. The sky, the clouds, the rain, the sun the rainbow, the stars and all the stuff out there in space. Trees, grass, rocks, plants, all beautiful, and then of course we, ourselves, yes, I don’t care what inferiority complex you have, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL.

Right, so we have to say that God is an amazing artist, and knows how to make things aesthetically brilliant. I mean seriously, from the totally unbelievable pinks, oranges and purples of a sunset to the beautiful grays, blues, and indeed purples of a storm cloud. From how the light shines through clouds, to how it reflects off drops of water on leaves after a rain.

He’s an artist, a brilliant one, and please let’s not forget, he works in 3D and is changing his masterpiece constantly.

Right, and we know that He knows how things work. Please refer to my last blog. But besides what I said then, I want to mention a few other little things.

Lol…little things… you’ll get it in a bit.

Now, I know that all of you know what I’m about to talk about, but think about it in this point of view, and it’s more amazing.

Everything is made up of atoms! No, seriously, everything from the nail on your little toe to the island we’re standing on (I live in Malta for any random reader) is made up of little tiny particles, which in turn are made up of even smaller things grouped together or spinning around sharing stuff and so on… simply put. But! The point is they’re there, and they work, and they’re still spinning or vibrating or whatever, and they hold together. They’re a googolplex googolplexes of little tiny universes right next to each other forming, technically, the universe we live in.

Universes inside universes, as Stephen King explains in one of the Dark Tower books.

Lets go a bit bigger, the human body. THE HUMAN BODY! Yes, you are one of those universes. A universe made up of organs and cells moving around one another, interacting, and, most of the time, working wonderfully. And please remember, everything in you is also made up of those tiny other universes mentioned earlier.

Ignoring all the other living things on our dear little green, blue and sometimes grey planet, lets go bigger to our actual universe. Meaning all those big balls of gas, fire, rock, metal and all that spinning around in an amazing intricate dance choreographed by physics and gravity. And it works!

It’s beautiful and it works.

The moon, a piece of rock that inspired so much science fiction, poetry and myths, is undoubtedly beautiful, both when it’s a nice orange or when it’s a cold mysterious silver. But there’s a lot of physics and science keeping it from crashing into all those poets. And the Creator made it beautiful, and knows how it works.

I'm not going to try go into all the galaxies and stars and other stuff out there. but just think, it's pretty and complicated.

For all the physics students out there. We say Newton or whoever discovered the laws of motion (inexact as they may be) but who wrote them? Who actually installed all the laws we take for granted, that make everything spin and dance wonderfully? HE DID! Indeed, our Engineer, our Artist, our Mechanic, our God.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the human machine

I typed this out during my lectures this morning, was fun:

The human body is a machine. Think about it. We are a wonderfully constructed, multi-purpose machine. We travel, fast or slow, we lift, we think, we do delicate work, we write, produce art, we can do practically anything. It’s amazing how many things any one can do.

Something even more amazing, is how one person can then turn the machine into a more specific one.

There are people who become faster than others, and I mean fast! There are those that can jump more than 9m in length. Do you know how long 9m is? Take a three story modern building and flip it on its side: that’s 9m. There are people that can pull another machine apart, and put it back together in a few minutes, there are people that can keep ten or more objects flying through the air in a dance against gravity. How can a brain cope with that amount of information? How can a body produce such forces?

I mean think about it, anyone can train their body to become better at anything. ANYTHING!

Besides the fact that each person, each machine, can be trained to make itself more efficient as some things, it does not loose it’s initial basic functions, keeping it a multi-purpose machine.

Fair enough, these people spend most of their time training in the chosen activity, so in a way, it’s less surprising how they manage to do this things. (Although they still are incredible, I mean 9m!). So, let’s move away from the extraordinary.

Our bodies, these machines, and more importantly, our brains, the computer running our machines, perform amazing actions everyday. Let’s ignore the functions of the body such as breathing, and blood circulation, and digestion and so on I might talk about that another time, and lets leave aside the whole wonderful process of learning.

I’m talking about the simple tasks we do everyday, and do not even think about. Writing, for example is simply amazing. We think up something in our heads, and produce is on paper for others to read. In the process, we’re holding a pen or pencil and moving that around on a piece of paper.

Let’s go bigger. Catch a ball. The amount of maths and physics going on in that simple movement would take me the best part of an hour to calculate on paper, and our brains, our computers, do it in split seconds. It tells us where to put our hand, how fast we have to do it, we usually won’t be looking at the point of contact when we actually catch the ball, think about it, and it even tells us if we have to jump. That’s all that calculation, followed by the control of practically the whole body. In less than a second! And we don’t even do it consciously!

For those of you who drive: you control a fraking vehicle, using… wait for it, all four limbs in synchronization with your eyes and ears, AT THE SAME TIME! I’m getting excited! While driving you’re seeing the road in front of you, using your hands and arms to direct the vehicle, pressing the gas and brake when needed with one foot, the clutch with the other, while at the same time changing gear. All this is being processed by your computer, which is also, processing the route where you are going, spatial awareness of the rest of the vehicle, the mental image of the other vehicles on the road and if you’re having a conversation, it’s processing the communication! ARE YOU AWARE?

Many of the examples are obviously learnt, and like I said earlier that’s another amazing thing we manage to do, but something I’ll leave alone for now.

What’s my point? Well, if we’re machines and our brains are computers, we have one amazing programmer and engineer. Do we not?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

full stop

that just about sums up right now.

Friday, October 16, 2009


i have begun buying books and stuffs ....
and have a metronome
and a new book
and two ordered ones

i'm in 106 for a change while matt and some other people rehearse for some mass,
pretty music
a violin man!!! there's a violin!

in other news, i'm really enjoying wearing shorts and long sleeves

need to get my ass down to filming office now
and have a bloody busy weekend and next weekend.

i know
very haphazard blog

met a friend :)
random and interesting meeting. and gave notes out


Monday, October 12, 2009

more trees

And I think i'm into winter mode.
Well, blogging is back into my schedule :)
I hope people get it back into their system to read and comment on them.
well today i went to my first Introduction to Drawing lecture.... well.... lecture... we sat in a field drawing stuff, in my case a tree, and will be drawing that tree till January, unless it's pouring.
other than that life is pretty much fantastically pleasant.
i just got a call cause two people are 'fighting' to give me a lift to my contact hour with Joe Maggi... and what a man he is! LOVE YOU JOE.
The unseen academicals is out and i can't wait to get my hands on it.....
freaking out sometimes....
gonna wait for it to come to Malta first....maybe someone surprises me with it (hardback, just in case)
tomorrow first bass lesson :)


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Anything we should know?

i still haven't gotten into my winter blogging mode...
but hopefully it's just until i get started.

i have started my first second year, finally, and really love it...
i have one of the most relaxed timetables i know of, and spending all the rest of my time in room 101, feels good, people coming in and having a look around. :)

next tuesday i'm going to start bass lessons :) yey... really looking forward to it :)

now...last night...
oh my last night
well, we'll begin with me praying for my life as Ang came for us late to go to mass....and it's not that I'm uncomfortable with speed, anyone who ever got in a car when i'm driving would know that, it's the lack of control she has when she's in a rush.
so praying worked and we got to mass,

the evening looked ready to go sour, when i started getting irritated at any little thing, and the anger rose and bubbled inside me.
thats when steve called and invited me to the sling shot.... those who've been to pv in the last months must have noticed the pink and yellow thing rising into the sky next to bay street...that :)
fantastic, but i must say, i was not afraid at all, and i think that takes some of the fun out of it....sigh.....but the acceleration as you rise and the being upside down and the looking at the ground as you fall.... great experience.

then off to bar native, where, the dancing began.....
now the dj, for some glorious reason, decided to go through the history of rock and roll... and i loved every minute of it... it was that atmosphere, the one where you dance like crazy and scream the words of the song as they pass by your ear.... and then the girls and drew got tired, so reluctantly we had to leave ...
out of the whole evening....i got, obviously wonderful memories but also a wierdly hurting shoulder.....
indeed... how can simon enjoy himself without getting at least a little injured.... well....
the right shoulder (the one i never dislocated) is hurting like a mother - .... and i'm slightly annoyed cause it feels like a join pain and not a muscle one....
ah well....
pain is weakness leaving the body.... so :)

in other news:
my photoshop work....some of it...i left out the posters for events, and work done for peoples business classes *coughstevecough* and some other stuff like the chap bookmarks and stuff....
but the others are all there.... except some of the old ones which are on a dvd somewhere....
only my friends can see them to try and avoid f*cjers using my art for their own pleasure, and well, if i see my friends with a printing of mine on their t-shirt, without asking me ...well.....just don't.
anyway... album is here
if any one wants something done for them in any one of the styles seen....let me know....
for a small fee of course :)

shout outs:
Bernice... since Barcelona, we really are getting to know each other well and i love it
Martina... yesterday i saw you move more than i've seen u move since i've known you
steve... that ball, your screams.... lol
G... relax girl... take it with a smile....
Angie... she lets me drive :)
Kai... always there wen i'm down.... which is kind of suspicious thinking about it
Ian... missing you pupu, we would have danced the night away you and i.
drew... how sweet he wanted to stay out and walk home
charlene... stand as long as you can girl :P
matt... you're getting old man
Mike... where were u last night bubu?
sister... lol...i know u don't like me not using your name... let's play music.

if i didnt give anyone a shout out... sry. but, hard to believe, I know, i'm only mortal.


PS: Sarah sat on a slug! Sarah sat on a slug! Sarah sat on a slug! Sarah sat on a slug!...
P.S.S: I removed the turtles to put in a meez :) i think he's cute playing his little white bass....if anyone wants the turtles back...leave a comment and let me know...