Tuesday, August 29, 2017
I received a thoughtful, generous and warm response to my book from someone I know only slightly who has been a patient in the hospital where the book is set, and went to hell and back there. When I wrote it and found a publisher I didn’t realise that one of the effects of publishing a book would be to hear from people who have read it, for who it resonates. It’s like manna from heaven. I am happy that my book is able to resonate with people, not for myself, to boost my ego, but because resonating is a thing - it’s a good thing. Ionly f there was more resonating! When something is resonating, something is happening. There is movement. Someone is being moved by something, in response to something. There is a connection. There are possibilities.
I am about to go to Berlin for a speaking gig. Each time I do a gig I ponder the question of the best way to get the message (if I have a message, which is moot) to resonate with people. What is the message? It’s always changing slightly. It needs to changes and adapt to the audience because each person, each audience, needs something different. It is a long way from science. And you can’t do that in a book, or for that matter, in a blog.
The person who wrote to me wasn’t afraid to express a reservation however, which I also like. It was about my references in the book to the ten to the power of 500 universes and the eleven dimensions. As an existentialist he thought that this takes people away from the here and now, which is where they ought to focus, to an Other.
You see the thing is, I don’t think of the ten to the power of 500 universes and the eleven dimensions as Other. And I guess this is my theology, if you will. Every second of every day, right here right now
trillions of neutrinos are raining down on your head. But these elementary particles go right through your body — and through Earth’s crust, mantle, and core — at nearly the speed of light. After they sail through the entire planet, they fly silently back into the cosmos. It’s almost as if they never existed. “They’re the most mysterious type of particle we know of,”so says Juan Collar, a physicist at the University of Chicago
At a subatomic level there are only possibilities. All we are, all that I am, all that you are is possibilities, infinitely complex sets of possibilities. And this is how neutrinos and photons, trillions of them can pass through each of us and every so-called ‘thing’ every second. We are porous.
I will need to start by orienting myself to where the audience is at. Who has read Barad, who has read Bennett, Deleuze, Foucault, Nietzsche? OR who has an inkling about these people’s ideas. Who has an inkling about quantum theory? But I am not going to mention any names or -isms after that. This is not posthumanism 101.
OK. Possibilities. So many. We shall see!
If you’re in Berlin tomorrow, come! Or go and see Chris Kraus. She is great.
R.I.P. Jeannie Rousseau
It was 1941: France had been overrun by the Nazis, Britain had been battered by the Blitz, and the Third Reich looked invulnerable. A young woman was riding a night train from Paris, heading south toward Vichy, when she ran into an old friend. There were no seats on the train, so they stood in the corridor, talking quietly under the dim light of a flickering blue bulb. Their conversation was understated, careful, dangerous.
The woman was Jeannie Rousseau, 21, had already been caught once by the Nazis and thrown into a prison on spying charges - and then released because they lacked proof. The rest, as they say, is history. Oh wait that was history too. She became an intelligence agent with the codename AMNIARIX and gathered information on Nazi rockets that could have destroyed much of London, which after all is the most important city in the world…
Shortly before D-Day, a plan to evacuate her and two other agents was foiled by the Gestapo. She was the first to be caught. But even as she was being captured, she warned her comrades and one escaped.
“AMNIARIX’s reports stand brilliantly in the history of intelligence, and three concentration camps — Ravensbruck, Konigsberg (a punishment camp), and Torgau could not break her.”
She died a few days ago, aged 98, in France.