Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Intellectual Spectatorship: Why I Hate Critiquing Films, A Bug to MAKE Them

I have a very difficult time sitting around and "critiquing" films for class. I feel like this standoffish "intellectual spectator" who has nothing better to do than bxtch about what's been made than make something myself (Pardon my crassness, but I am a bit moody this morning).

I met a guy who bxtched to me for a long time about this physicist who wanted to study his skateboarding. What's the point? I mean. Just learn to skateboard yourself, would ya? Do all the tricks. "Physics intellectual spectator" is a little bit different than being a "film intellectual spectator" because well, not everyone has the malleability, testosterone-levels, and resources to become a skateboarder. So why not study it? And through this process, innovate through engineering?

Why I hate critiquing films for class? Because I have so many ideas I need to just go out and MAKE films. I want to be INTELLECTUAL MANIPULATOR of reality, not the spectator. Just like this guy who found his center of mass early on his life before he became 6 foot tall (as myself), I am a person who finds great ease in putting two-and-two-and-two-and-two together to make some multi-correlative representation of Reality (well, at least to my mind).

The worst part is that when I watch a movie, I am analytical, but not only that, I get an EXPLOSION of ideas. I become vulnerable and go through this competitive ego fest with the invisible film-maker (who I just see his or her film and not meet the real-live human) by exploding with 101 new ideas for the films I could make that would be a unique spin-off to whatever you did. I just got majorly inspired to do something REALLY WEIRD with my crab project based on watching Koyaanisqatsi (and to let you know Godfrey Reggio is now TOP of my list for film-makers, I felt like my teachers exposed me to a buried treasure. I plan on tracking him down in my one-day trip across the country. He is in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the SAME location as the "other CCS" that houses outside the box physicist Brian West, spearheading universal scaling laws in biology).

God, I mean, the Koya-blah-blah movie (I should just call it "the K movie") had no direction, and it was intentional, but I DIDN'T LIKE that, and thankfully since no one knows me, I am going to make something similar but ENTIRELY based on the concept of the ARTISTIC/QUALITATIVE/PHILOSOPHICAL meaning of scaling laws in geology, biology, ecology, and human ecology. AND perceptual relativity. I am already racking up a VERY GOOD COLLECTION of PHOTOGRAPHS. Just keep compiling that, and then start stitching stuff and then "filming." Will have to talk to Martin Kennedy about this. This is pretty big. I have to do this. The movie will have DIRECTION, but that same creepy gothic music (church and primal and arabic all at the same time) (more Rite of Spring directionalish, story-tellingish) time lapses, precise "seeking the pattern and breaking it" composition, spacetime warps, distant-observational to being manipulative and "on the human factory treadmill" rather than "watching the treadmill from the distance").

(See? It's not apparent on a daily basis--I just dress around and go to school as a slob--but I have my competitive ego too. It's bowerbird related. Reality-constructionism-related. It's the "evolutionary arms race" in who's more outside-the-box creative than the other person. My neurons fly and connect at the speed of light after a movie, you know... which makes it very PAINFUL for me to watch movies in the first place.)

So, now you know my weak spot. I have an ego too. I'm not sure it's the size of Katmandu (as perhaps that of Dr. Milton Love), but I try to make my bower as big as Katmandu. I try to mentally consume everything. So my mind has a huge understanding of Reality, but my place in it is so small. I realize I am relatively small, but at the same time, since I as a Geobum wannabe, realizing that I am so small, it makes me feel that a person holding a calibrated geological viewpoint is so... sooo... grand... Hopefully, no one reads this. It gives away a good chunk of my own mystery. *sigh*

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Flock of the Dodos: Written and Directed by Randy Olson, Scientist Gone Film-maker, THE WEEK IN REVIEW

There is nothing like the sense of "completion" and coming together. How so? I was missing two sheets of paper last week: one sheet describing the Green Screen project and grading, the other sheet describing the weekly "reading logs" in which the undergrads of the course must critique the readings from the "green book." That was subliminally bothering me, to a point that I called Cheryl Chen last Wednesday asking her what those sheets were about. I usually don't like bugging people. I even dropped by Scott Bull's office to get Cheryl's number. Subliminal haunting number ONE, solved. Subliminal haunting number TWO: that being getting 596 units with Dr. Walker for the course. It had been a long discourse, which lasted for over a week. It started last Wednesday, never ended, and finally resolved yesterday during office hours, and after the Inconvenient Truth. At one point, Dr. Walker asked to deal with it tomorrow, and I told her that it would be nice if I could sleep better tonight (finally, today I received the add code from Melanie Miners), and so we took care of things then. One way or another, I am responsible for 12 pages of traditional "scholarly" writing (I'm not used to being it called "scholarly," moreso "scientific"), and basically "scholarly" writing in the social sciences and the humanities takes in the form of my essays from Miss Flory back in the 7th grade (flashback to my A+ for aggrandizing her frequently pooping toucan bird). That was the first time Miss Flory recognized that I had the ability to write. And we were in good terms for the rest of the year (despite the B+ first "trimester"). So, the point is: you have a central thesis. Then you dissect the thesis into several supporting subtheses (say, three points), and then which each subthesis, you have several lines of evidence to back up the statement (e.g. three forms of evidence to back up the statement), so in science we would collect masses and masses of numbers and data points to support our hypo-theses and our predictions (subtheses), but I guess in social sciences, it's only 3-5 lines of evidence. I shrug my shoulders. Why is it this way? Don't ask. It simply is. Dr. Walker didn't want all my projects to be "free-associative" (inventing new writing structures, creating new theories without citing lots of papers), but I told Dr. Walker that my writing in Question Reality is based on casual conversations with scientists. I cite them through "interview" just like Al Gore. Not necessarily through literature. Well, 12-pages of a longer essay it shall be. I'll be a bit more rigorously citational in twelve pages.

I guess "scholarly" is defined as play the hyper-association game with peer-reviewed, highly cited references. Compare "what you think" with what "everyone else thinks." And that's how things build.... But it's soo slow, this process. And my mind makes up things sooo FAST... I told Dr. Walker that I have two phases: I belch out creatively and invent my own structures. Then I calm down and take my creative belches and adopt them to whatever writing structure that needs to be adopted to.

Subliminal haunting number THREE: meeting and connecting with the Green Screen participants of the Goleta Beach project. I mean, I have been stressed out since the beginning of school, ever since I found out that I missed out on the Green Screen party/gathering because I wasn't informed by email. Yuck. But today was good. I finally met several players in the film around 11am Wednesday morning at the digital editing lab. Some familiar faces: Nicole Star---ski (sorry, don't remember), Ryan Bowles (editing guru). And the key new players I was able to meet was "el heffe" of the project--Lauren Wilson--who has a most agreeable, open, welcoming, supportive personality and pro-active attitude, I am already motivated and excited to work with her and the project--and Alexios Monopolis (mispelled?)--the "greekislander" email that Vic picked up a month ago. I finally broke ice with Alexios toward the end of the meeting and told him that I was the one who sent him an odd-ball email over a month ago about his situation in grad school with Bren, because I'm trying to transfer. Alexios is very athletic, and based his attire, I take it he was a soccer player for Dartmouth college. He speaks fast and in a hyper tone (but he may be hyper because he just came from the big Jacksonhole-Wyoming International Wildlife Film Festival). And he has a New Englandish hybrid accent such that it tremendously reminds me of Kuba (I think he's still at Harvard). I am glad he said he would be able to meet with me. I found out he's doing a "double" MFA in arts and a Bren Ph.D, which is gnarly shxt (in a good way), though he's right handed, which is cool. So I'm relieved, because he can send me in the right direction of things. It's rare enough to find a scientist who is also superb in art.

There is a comical, scripted movie going on about the development of Gaviota Coast, and I wanted to applaud the writer (Steven Ray Morris) for his good work (though he is missing key elements, such as the shifting baseline effect in development, a.k.a. "creeping development"), but since I initiated script writing and helped contribute to the script and already did a Goleta Beach photoshoot, what can I say? I'm pretty deeply "rooted" in this project, and the best part is I found out today that there are lots of things unresolved (such as stylistic effects, e.g. tripod or hand-held) and a little bit of a slow start in general. So, there's still lots of flexibility in terms of how the movie can look like, and what can be done.

So, anyhoo. Three stressful subliminalities now delt with. Those things are done, but as usual, I'm in a huge rabbit hole, so as soon as I elminate some stresses, more stresses creep or crash back into the "top of the line" of priorities of my pre-frontal cortex.

Okay, as for this week, what's happening? What happened. I will say briefly, I was a bit "understimulated" and depressed on Monday and Tuesday, because Monday Dr. Walker went over a lecture that was review for me from Blue Horizons: "Define Documentary." I chose not to participate because over the summer I had a huge mouth about it. But what I did tell Dr. Walker (on the second time around) that I am creating this "Matrix" of parameters, called "photoshopping the definition of documentary," where to "classify" a movie as a documentary or moreso fiction, that you have to manipulate "where along the gradient" does the movie lie in terms of a particular element. E.g. Was the movie free-filming, staged, or scripted? (from highest degree of freedom to highest degree of constraint) E.g. Were the people "real" and "in situ" or were they "actors"? E.g. Was it the "real setting" or was it an "animated simulation"? And most importantly, "was the film-maker's goal to portray Reality or Fiction?" or "Reality with a more specific message?" And then you have to look through all the factors and all gradients, and then do a PCA analysis (principle components analysis) to assess the degree of realism and degree of fictionalism the movie held, and then see whether it's good to label a movie as "documentary." Because I think the existing 3-part classification of documentary (as opposed to WHAT OTHER classifications? "I can only know what a documentary is, given that I know what a documentary cannot be.") Monday was also good because I bonded with the "Back Invaders" of class--those students who occupy the plentiful open space of the back of class--most importantly Sean and Aimee. We can cover each other's xsses just in case we miss class.

Tuesday is the day I talked with Dr. Walker before and after class, in addition to watching the Inconvenient Truth for the THIRD TIME. Somehow I didn't shoot myself. I started to feel sad in class, simply because I am in a classroom and not experiencing anything in the outdoors to bring into class. So starting up with some shooting for Goleta Beach is cheering me up A LOT, so I can bring real-world experience to a class loaded with information. I am not going to talk about Inconvenient Truth right now, because I could rattle on about that movie for quite a while... not to mention that a whole bunch of science-media programs are blossoming all over the country due to this movie, including Blue Horizons. I owe Al Gore my respects. I hope one day I can meet him in person and shake his had--say thanks for opening doors for me in my education that would have otherwise NOT existed.

LEAVE OFF FOR A LATER TIME. A RANTING ABOUT AL GORE AND AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. One tidbit that struck me in class today: Al Gore has two generations of politicians in his family. Davis Guggenheim has two generations of documentary film-makers in his family. Al Gore Senior knew Guggenheim Senior, so I guess maybe Al Gore Junior and Davis Guggenheim were little kids playing together. Just like how Ray, Bub, and I have three generations of California ecology. I think such multi-generational effects creates a level of how to carry on the legacy of your parents, in addition to "how to break outside the box" of your parents. Al Gore went from politician to scientist side. And Vic is going from scientist side to treating human policy as science... So in traditional definitions, Vic is going toward a political realm with a very twisted perception of what policy is: a scientific experiment with humans being the guinea pigs inside the ratbox.

Well, today in class Dr. Walker went over An Inconvenient Truth, and a few terms (e.g. "self-reflexivity" and "interactivity") that describe techniques used to make the movie "successful." I honestly don't know what the term "romantic" means when they say this movie IS romantic. Honestly, everything from Hollywood IS romanticized. (In the back of my head, I hope Al Gore comes to UCSB or Santa Barbara sometime soon. The best part about Santa Barbara is that when you invite a guest speaker out here, it's VERY HARD to decline because even if they could pass another guest-talk, you can't exactly pass up a Santa Barbara utopia of climate and environment and people. Same with Dr. Steven Pinker.) Hmmm. I feel awkward calling Al Gore "Honorable." What kind of intro is that? I would rather just call him Dr. Gore, though he may not have a Ph.D., he very well deserves one.

In terms of the knowledge regimes of "film studies professors," I am slowly figuring out "what they know and what they don't know," and where I fit in, and am extending. For example, today when Dr. Walker discussed An Inconvenient Truth, she barely touched on the science, except for saying that it was highly visual and aesthetic (for me, was like an "art showcase for science" an art installation that I would love to do, and am planning to). She made note that she is not in the position to critique the science (where I fit in), but then went to look at techniques of movie-making. She focused on style, not content. So, then, Dr. Walker and Dr. Szaloky keep referring to Kant's essay on "aesthetics, beauty, sublime" (three frequently used words) in addition to a new philosophy essay by a female British philosopher who wrote a book called "what is nature" and explores the defintions and origins of these definitions and viewpoints. Separatist "versus" as man versus nature, or Integrist man as a part of and interacting with nature (honestly, the word "nature" and "culture" is SO bad it's like worse than cus words like fxck and bxtch, I feel like spitting every time I use those words). I went to Dr. Szaloky after class to ask her what her definition of aesthetics/beauty/sublime were, just to refresh and clarify. And I realized at that moment, to screw what Kant thinks. What matters in this course is "what Dr. Szaloky thinks what Kant thinks," because ultimately I have to communicate with the profs, not some dead guy who has his writing kept around and referred to by people to this day. So, in the eyes of Dr. Szaloky (I still probably am getting this wrong), she thinks that Kant thinks that there is this realm of "aesthetics" of a human's response to his or her environment. Under the umbrella of "aesthetics" there is "beauty" and "beautiful," which an object in one's environment can be tagged if one's pleasure center is stimulated just by its present (so, you are at this point emotionally stimulated but no rational thought). Beauty is a pleasure-center stimulation of the object itself with no further development. An object becomes "sublime" if that object (whether present or becoming a state of "abstract concept") becomes dissociated from the tangible reality of the object of "beauty" and the human mind creates this fractal branching network of intellectual thought and imagination and "trance enlightenment" all revolving around that object itself. But sublime is all a construct in the human mind, but beauty refers to a primitive mammalian pleasure center response to the object itself. It's almost as if Kant literally dissected these these two neurological programs in our minds. Good job, dude. You probably didn't even have to physically dissect a human brain to figure it out. Just enough self-introspection can do it :-). So, there, I think I understand.
This is a later add-in. When I was 11 year old, I stared at the paintings of Christian Riese Lassen. I enjoyed them for the sake of "beauty" itself, for I was a stupid kid back then who knew jack about the ocean and marine life. I developed a pleasure-center association with his images without extrapolating beyond that. I had close to no cerebral cortex development at that point. But now, I have constructed the ideas of "evolution of art" such that I have established a level of neurological association and construction beyond this primal pleasure-center stimulation of Lassen art. That, I do believe, in terms of extrapolating beyond the tangible entity into abstract concepts in my mind, and association with grander viewpoints... I guess over time I have transformed Lassen's art in my mind from "beauty" to "sublime." So... this is how I understand these terms now... This was entered November 23, 2007.

But you see. Here I go. I am analyzing dead guys' philosophical essays and I am teasing apart their own neurobiology of enlightenment. When you analyze a movie and just go based on the notion of aesthetics, sublime, those assumptions to me are SHALLOW, as shallow as Hollywood itself. It's surface value judgement, to me at least. So, as I told Dr. Walker before. We can't just stop at aesthetics, beauty, sublime. We, or at least I--as a biologist with a huge streak of evolutionary psychology personality in me--we as biologists have to ask why do certain images or elements of our environment come off as "aesthetic" as opposed to other elements as "repulsive. What is the biological basis of perception of human attraction and repulsion towards elements of one's environment? What elements of composition of an image that the human mind has "hyperfocus" over other elements of the environment? So... digging deeper in the biological realm of things...

I couldn't wait for the QandA component of Inconvenient Truth. I think the course is skewed towards consuming knowledge than equal feedback and exchange of ideas. It's like 5 hours of lecture and movies, and only a 15 minute question-answer session where students get to voice their thoughts... That is a bit skewed. Many people were cool with the movie, and the most imporant thing is that Al Gore "broke outside the box" for scientists, because he is a politician deeply tied with science in his experiences. A point that I made in class is that Al Gore was so eloquent and clear and very selective with his choice of words, and there was a lack of confusion in anything presented--WHY? BECAUSE AL GORE NEVER USED THE WORDS NATURE OR CULTURE! He talked about humans and environments. Bingo. Vic's type of talk.

And the other most dangerous component of global warming is that it is a DANGEROUS BLAME-ALL ECOLOGICAL GHOST due to the level of "intangibility" of climate, in addition to its ENVIRONMENTAL RELIGION properties, where it's a HYPERASSOCIATION PIGEONHOLE where you can blame nearly everything on global warming, which then masks and distorts thorough regional analysis of issues, which may be related to OTHER MORE RELEVANT ISSUES other than global warming (e.g. development patterns, erosion, landslide patterns, fire ecology), and then global warming taints politics because it is a MONOPOLIZED AGENDA for university research funding, so scientists purposely go through this association game of their pet pea hypothesis with global warming simply to APPLY and GET funding. Science becomes tainted because people are CHASING GRANT FUNDING and not making associations in pursuit of TRUTH. Hence my thesis "what's the point?" because science is the pursuit of individual truth under consensus and trial of others, and this pursuit of truth is now being so skewed and tainted by the bureacracy surrounded by science.

There are several other problems coming to think about it, but such is the quibbling of a scientist who has worn this scientist hat since she was a little twirp, playing in the hallways of UC Riverside's Earth Science Department. You have to take a step back, and remember that few people experience the lifestyle of a scientist, and that all this they are exposed to is all new and shocking and convincing to them. And it's beside the point for all science to be true and accurate because science undergoes constant change and revision, so the moment Al Gore gives a talk... is the moment that some of the work he presents is already out of date.

Due to the large size of the class, everytime there is a lecture with QandA, I make a point to ask AT LEAST ONE QUESTION, and say something that is INSIGHTFUL and challenging. So, at one point, there was a guy in the back of class who said that everything made sense in the movies except for Al Gore's griping after losing the elections in 2000 to George Bush. "There was a level of disconnect." And after that, my hand shot up close to the speed of light because (1) I had something to say and (2) it was unique, thouhtful, and challenging. I was the second to last person to talk, and finally I was called on (I'm in the back, remember?). I talked very confidently and loudly, not exactly in these words (but you'll get the gist): "I'm responding to the commentary on how there is a level of disconnect between the entire movie and Al Gore's presentation of his failure in being elected in 2000." Here are the points below:

This blog remains unfinished....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Films of the Human and Natural Environment: Syllabus and Reader

Here is a miniature photoessay documenting the upcoming topics to be discussed in the course of Films of the Human and Natural Environment.

Putting Stuff Away Mode: Readings for Films of Human-Natural Environment posted on ERES / UCSB

An Inescapable Reality: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat: What is RATIONAL, versus what is BUREACURATICALLY CONVENTIONAL versus what is the LAW, are just entirely distinct entities. What is rational in the mind is so deviant from the bureacratic structure of society, it is why we have all these human-environmental problems in the first place.

Below is a list of readings that are not in the reader, but are posted in the UCSB / ERES website, which I think is, but I am making them accessible through this blog here. Ummm. I can say that... I read Kant and the properties of "aesthetic" and "sublime," and I thought I understood what he was saying, but Dr. Szaloky confused me, so I have to go back and check it out... *sigh* It's frustrating, this is all frustrating speaking English in a Spanish Department, but all of this, given that I stay open-minded is a familiarization of the "conventions" and "literature citation habits" of film studies professors, which is shocking to me to be mostly social science / books / philosophy docs. What about scientific references? Dr. Walker said that many departments use "film" as a method for research, but different departments have different "habits" and different "approaches" to film, and it seems like my way of doing thing is more of a Communications Department thing. But, but, but... Ack!!! Why does that have to be that way? (I guess I'm being like Jenny, my sister, who asked me in high school, "Why do French people say it like this? This phrase here. That's stupid." And I was more accepting of the time. I told her to consult the international French Language committee in France. Ask THEM why it's that way. They institutionalized it. They make and modify the rules." I guess that is a good point to ask Dr. Pinker about. Institutional conventionalizing of language promoting the irrationality and quirkiness of language.)

Last night, my father said I wrote a "philosophically brutal" email to "a professor" (best not mention names). The first thing he asked is, "Are you getting a GRADE for this class?" And I blatantly stated, "Yes!" He said I was "politely vicious" and that perhaps I should have been on xx Ph.D. committee for xx final dissertation approval: ripping it to shreds, that is. Emotionally I don't like pinning profs to the wall like a black fly being chased by a huge swatter, through my own firing squad of ideas. But it must be done, for the sake of betterment of this human system. I watched the movie "Yes-men" in Constance Penley's class, and when I asked my question in Dr. Walker's class, and same for Dr. Steven Pinker, I yelled inside myself: "I'm a Yes-man!" though I am a female. I am the living entity of "Fight Club" except it is a battle of the mind, not a battle of fists! Because of my yes-man identity, I have established 4 or 5 friends this way after my public questioning of societally pedistalized individuals (nothing against them at all, it just is how it is). These conversations MUST take place one way or another.

Dr. Walker stated that I was taking a unique approach to analyzing human behavior. I didn't go to a "social science department," but I am re-analyzing the world from ground-up. I first ran to the "fuzziologists" and some "precisiologists." I learned how I worked through the systematic study of animal behavior. And I am taking all that I know from the hard sciences realm to re-project this knowledge onto human ecology. You know what? That's good. I am really glad that she is seeing this. Being "spiritually" holistic is just not good enough for me. As a scientists in quest of holism, and remaining artistically, scientifically mechanistic, I feel I am a practitioner of "SYSTEMATIC HOLISM." That you can reduce the "whole" to parts, and put them back together again for everything to make relative sense.

This quarter is about clearing my mind. Laying demons down. You can do it!

Okay, here's the list, I'm sure this will be even good reference for myself! Ha!

You're Almost Standing on the Board, You're Almost Riding the Wave, Poem called Intellectual Barf / Mental Metabolism

Okay, Vic. I woke up this morning feeling more "mentally free," so I have to keep organizing all my thoughts relative to films of human-natural environment. Don't give up. I am going to dump some things which I created into the blogger. First is this poem I wrote called "Intellectual Barf / Mental Metabolism." I wrote it earlier this week, Monday in fact, as a byproduct of an attempt to focus on the class. Here it goes. Please click on it. :-)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Vic's Letter to Julie [housemate] in Her Interest in STAGE competition
My Goodness! I am ELLIGIBLE!

Hi Julie! I'm confused. Is it Julia or Julie?

Ya, I just checked it out. This competition is like a perfect match for my brain. Sometimes I feel like my mind finding the right university program is like a dating game. Mental compatibility, in this case, I suppose.

Thanks for telling me! I am so excited, I am going to do this STAGE competition, or so I am claiming right now. Cross my fingers I follow through this time.

I'd love to talk to you about it, if you have any time, I know you are busy. I think I'm going to scoop out an outline this weekend. I am talking with the film studies prof for my class, and it looks like I'm going to shove back the crab project a little bit, and work on a "script" for my last chapter of my book on the ecology of size. The basic point is that when you look human systems and all ecological systems in terms of biomass and energetics, "it all starts to look the same, even though it seems different." But it will basically continue this mental/car trip journey that I started in my long book, with Terra the biogeek and Buz the geobum, who explore the qualitative meaning of universal scaling laws in biology from early biological ooze to dinosaurs to now... and how fractal-based mathematics may actually serve as (not as predestination) a guide to optimally constructing and managing human-environmental ecosystems for the long-term. But the cool thing is that this conversation and series of epiphanies will all be done through dialogue, combined with a series of images/pictures I will design. I think this competition--though obviously I'm not going to win anything--will give me an excuse to FINISH old ideas. Amen. More on the graduate student psychology of arbitrary deadlines, woohoo!

I have another option for a script called "The Elephant and the Oak Tree," which is a "children's story for adults," that questions whether science is all about blind men feeling the parts of the elephant, or whether if you put all the parts together again, and take a step back to see the big picture again, whether it actually is an elephant after all. Because somehow, after all this writing, I am seeing an oak tree.... But then again, perhaps one script at a time.... Then back to the rock crab....

I must thank you so much for telling me about this. You really made my day. I even woke up my dad to tell him, I am so hyper! Sorry for the long email. ~Victoria

An Email of Questions and Concerns to Dr. Melinda Szaloky

Here is an email about three questions I had for Dr. Szaloky, after the Wednesday lecture and discussion. Hopefully she talks about these things in class! In short, (1) I challenged her about the use of the word "nature," (2) I asked about her point of view of biological properties of males and females, and how these biological properties dictate how we construct and interact with our environments, and (3) questioning her inaccurate representation of scientists as "domination" and "exploitation" perspective of the environment.

Vic the Scientist is Speaking English, and Film Studies Department is Speaking Spanish (or Visa Versa)

Swimming in the chaos of existing philosophy and social theory. Man, did I feel it today. That is why I enter the Humanities and Social Sciences "Fluffology" centers of the university with my head screwed on tight: viewing humans and their constructs (human ecosystems) as a leaf-cutter ant system. As encrusting networks of bryozoans. Like bacterial scum encrusting planet Earth. Humans are ecological, biological, resource-acquiring-excreting, fornicating-replicating beings. So, my head is screwed on--or partly so. And swimming in the chaos of social theory, I can quickly grab the mental jewels and scrap the bullshxt.

Okay, department hopping to the film-studies department today was like a trip to Baja California. It's not as bad as hopping from United States to Greece to China. Not that bad, but it felt like it. Two or three leaf-cutter ants trying to put out their feelers and talk but not so successfully. I can't help to think about Waking Life and how the movie maker cheated in novel philosophical ideas. I am now drowned in a perfect-storm ocean of recent philosophical harangue, and I hope I can GET OUT of it as fast as possible.

I don't understand. I talk to intelligent Joe Schmuck of the outside world about the university and what I am trying to do for my research, and then I talk to a professor in the university and they just are so immersed in the language of their own discipline that they don't have that "think outside the box" and "take a step back" perspective that drives me nuts. So, what does that mean? It's best to balance the outside and the inside world. I just wished if professors took a mental break and took a step outside the university and tried to decipher it in its whole. *sigh*

All right. What happened, Vic. Calm down. She did a video log, to show her emotions. She did a "running with mirrors" thing: a reflection of herself on the computer screen with stars overlaying. She just wants to dream in her 8th continent.

What disturbed me today is Dr. Walker's high appraisal for a philosophical rant on A Perfect Storm and Brother Sun, Sister Moon that made close to no sense to anyone. People were leaving early. Alex and I were shaking our heads. It was referring to the work of philosophers, but it had no practical communication abilities in our everyday experiences. And afterwards, Dr. Walker said the lecture was "brilliant" and will "connect" with all the other upcoming lectures--"I see where you're going with this." Somehow, brilliance has two meanings. "Brilliance" can be defined as someone who is talking big words and strange phrases that no one else understands, and since the victim of this talk has low confidence and relatively assumes that he is stupid and that the lecture was "brilliant." And then there are few people (most particularly science writers, like Sarah Simpson, who state that "brilliance" is truly a person who is able to be creative and create new things and see the same system in new ways, and have the ability to communicate for people and that I left feeling... upset.

I think this class is a bit of a one-way street in terms of communication. Just rain down the information. And especially if the information is disorganized, it feels like it's raining down "bullshxt." Not to be mean or rude or anything to anyone, but this is how I feel emotionally. And how other students feel. Somehow, as Michael Hanrahan said in an email, somehow I seem to represent "The Silent Majority." Just keep writing, Vic, don't give up. But I can't blame them. Two back-to-back films Monday and Tuesday. Lecture on Wednesday, some audience input. And too many students in class, not to provoke meaningful conversation and connections with others. And even hard to have time to talk with profs either. But I can't blame them. I can't blame anyone for this. It's the system. The system gestalt of inhumanity we live in. It's like this environment as a whole is the way how it is because of intrinsic byproducts of ecological patterns and physics theory.

Though in the end, I did have the opportunity to talk to Sean and Alex (who's applying to USC Film production, already has an interview, wow, producer for a music video for the Old Souls, largely on his budget, whoa). All I do is bxtch-bxtch-bxtch. Do I have anything better to do? Well, you have problems? You bxtch about them. Don't leave them inside. That is BAD for your health. Like deathly to your health, your life.

So, today, put all this effort compiling all this information to Dr. Walker and what to say to her (she didn't know that Marion passed away, though I sent her an email). And I jogged very late around our neighborhood (a good half-hour jog, nice timing) being oblivious that I was far from UCSB. I had to call Nicole and we talked over the phone. I signed up for the first interview with Scott Bull. We briefly talked about meeting times. Dr. Walker thought I wasn't going to work on the project at all. My god, what lack of communication. I bet mostly or entirely my fault. I am just trying to stay in one piece here. Went to class, did a vlog, was 7 minutes late. Sat next to Alex the Old Souls music video producer. Missed receiving a couple of sheets of paper, which I then forgot to ask Dr. Walker for, and THEN? Dr. Salocky started talking... lecture... it was philosophy and how The Perfect Storm and Brother Sun, Sister Moon were similar. She talked about deep ecology, nature, sublime, aesthetic, harmony, subjectivity, objectivity, complexity, chaos, order, connectivity. Ugh. Words of questioning. Language issues. Ambiguous language. Okay, to get this straight, this is how I see it. When I read Kant's papers this morning, this is what I thought: something is "beautiful." It can be intrasubjective or intersubjective. It stimulates an emotional pleasure center, but that is about it. You don't think any further. Your cerebral cortex is non-operational. But if something is "sublime," that the system itself may be "beautiful" to stimulate the positive emotional center, but not only this, that this pleasure emotion opens the gateway of imagination and exploration and connection of the system, and its abstract concept of the system far beyond the system itself--extended in space and time and in imagination. *brain fart* shifting gears?

Kant (was this really written in 1790? Oh my godzeekybazooka). Kant said that systems that invoke negative emotion and fear are not sublime. Obviously, because fear suppresses and stifles creativity. Dr. Szaloky said that Brother Sun, Sister Moon was "aesthetic" but The Perfect Storm was "sublime." That, to me, was... well, I still don't get it.

The other thing I have to consider here is, when I am talking about films, is that there is this FILM TRIANGLE or POINT OF VIEW or FRAME OF REFERENCE ISSUE. "Mutual knowledge" issue that Dr. Steven Pinker talked about. There are several camps who have different perspectives and different knowledge regimes of the film itself, and it's very important to decipher from which frame of reference you are making your analyses.

So, here are the camps:
(1). The people who construct and produce the film in the first place.
(2). The people who are in the film. The artificiality and delusion of the system that the film creates. Boxing a system of Reality in space and time. Inside the spacetime of the story and the main characters of the story itself.
(3). The main character(s)' perception of the environment constructed within the movie.
(4). The audience, the outsider, the "intellectual spectator." I consider many film professors to be "intellectual spectators." Analysis through observation, not necessarily participation.

So, perhaps it's more of a "SQUARE" rather than a "TRIANGLE" of perception. Where would I like to be in this square? I have seen and experienced all four angles, quite recently through Blue Horizons, but from this square of frame of reference, in terms of analysis and construction of my theories, I work with point 3. In terms of understanding the "niche space" of Hollywood and the mental exercising of ancestral neurological programs no longer useful in our modern environment, that is me being from point 4. This is SO important to understand because I had this issue with talking to Dr. Walker today. Now you know. It's just like when asking Constance Penley about "agents" in Hollywood, and how they work. Now I know it's, well, talking about "agents" is a no-no question for Constance Penley. Don't ask again. In short, agents are middle men. They are like the "agents" in the Matrix. They have no purpose really, and they only exist because in a system of interdependence that becomes over-sized you have to invent overspecialized jobs that don't need to exist. Like being an agent. It's like a blood-sucking leech to the system. There are people who play valuable roles, and then there are those "extra people" or "leeches" who are responsible for gestalt "diminishing returns" of this system. Same for American pharmaceutical companies.

Now that I don't have to write 1.5 page respones to the journal articles (I wonder whether Nicole had a role in that), I guess I won't do that. I guess my focus is to continue my Biological Incorrectedness.

One last thought. I gave Dr. Walker copies of the film Flock of the Dodos, by Randy Olson. I knew of him retroactively from my own personal development, but it's the same line of reasoning. Not a film-making trying to understand science, but a scientist gone film-maker. And not only we portray and reflect upon the scientific byproducts itself, but we explore and even mock at the absurdity of the modern state of science! Scientists taking a step back and looking at the circus of scientists... We run to the social sciences for help. Maybe they'll take us in for a little while.... Scientists now dressing up and consulting with Hollywood movie stars. How amusing. Monopolization of "fame." Ugh.

I'll stop there. Need to put stuff away.... This computer is a frickin' mess!

key words: chaos of social theory, leaf-cutter ants, bryozoans, Dr. Janet Walker, Dr. Melinda Szaloky, ambiguous language, intrasubjective, intersubjective, sublime, aesthetic, film triangle, film square point of view, mutual knowledge, film-science-spanish-english, agents, leeches, Dr. Randy Olson, Flock of Dodos, Hollywood Ocean Night

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Blog in Attempt to Focus, Fall Quarter 2007: The Shxt Literally Hit the Fan... The Clash of Information in My MindSpaceTime

I literally just saved my 1300-dollar Nikon camera from crashing to the floor--that was a close call, as I had just seen a Hollywood-hype flick, finishing off "The Perfect Storm." I vaguely remember watching that film, or more-so half that film with Dr. Anderson was performing a root canal operation in downtown Santa Barbara, perhaps about 4 years ago. Oh ya. There's no harm in watching George Clooney... eh ya... Apparently this class is now being co-taught... by a film-philosopher--from another country? Spain? Hmmm. Dr. "Melinda Szaloky." (wow, what a name, makes me feel the abruptness of my own last name Minnich," pronounced Minnick," nothing soft and slurry and gentle about it, like my mom's last name "Davaris." She seems cool. Yes, I'm being very descriptive and detail in resolution. I just met everyone. They are little stick figures in front of class, goodness sakes! Of course, I say "she seems cool." What ELSE can I say? I think I am battling myself from the new world view given to me from Dr. Steven Pinker (cool Harvard pop sci prof). I think Dr. Pinker literally gave me the gift and inquisition to probe my entire left cerebral cortex. My brain of language. Play games with it. I think Dr. Pinker literally trained me to be right-brain creative with my left brain. How fun. Lots of more questions to think about now. So now, I'm very self-analytical of the words I use, particularly cuss words. And now? You can see there is a clash collision of random thoughts from the past to the present, and I don't see a clear future as a result, and I am supposed to be writing an article on Dr. Pinker for the Daily Nexus, and right now since I have been bombarded with my first official class of the quarter, I am no where near this goal, though I can attempt to turn it in... late... sheesh.

Let's see. Where am I? I am in the fourth floor of the UCSB central library in a room all to myself, a very nice temporary office, and I had been going through this ritual of collecting all data and supplies needed for me to stay put and focus, and march through the tunnel hole. I am surrounded by my own chaos and crxp, and the goal is this quarter to channel and integrate all my thoughts related to this film studies class. How can you actually do that? Well, it's simple. Film is the Language of the Right Brain. It's SpaceTime Reasoning. It's beautiful. In film, and in the fabric of spacetime, as portrayed through the helpful technology of a camera, everything integrates to everything else. Everything relates to everything else, just like Ecology, as I have stated in my film. Aside: I told Dr. Walker I would see her tomorrow afternoon during her after hours. Need to prep.

So, I have been going through this ritualistic preparation and this realm of geographic isolation in the library so I can focus and build a solid baseline to have the capacity to focus in this class. It took me a little over an hour, which is shameful and understandable at the same time, especially since I just came from Riverside in the Subaru aka "Talei's Car," which is, as of this moment, literally full of crxp (crxp is transformed into discrete bodies of useful materials once this crxp becomes "organized" later on in the evening). What did I do right after class? Well, at first I tried to talk a little bit to Nicole, Cheryl, and I forgot her name--a grad student of Dr. Walker's--*random thought: asking a professor to be an advisor for a grad student is like asking for a temporary marriage, a few years long, but ultimately mentally scarring for your entire life* but the conversation was cut short, and I think everyone is a bit overwhelmed, lots of stuff to do in the beginning of the quarter--faintly hinted by other people's expressions. Then, I was walking across campus, I couldn't help to notice all these people, all these humans... I mean relative to the baseline of summer of 2007, the whole Blue Horizons stint. Like Humans raiding the bike paths, to a point of threats of being runned over. Humans eating food, making lines in stores. Ugh. I liked it when the campus was bare naked. When the residual population were just the true structure of university intellect: profs, grad students, post-docs, staff on half-time, and maybe a few undergrads. Ahhh. Summer. I guess you only appreciate things once they are gone or temporarily removed.

So, I spent maybe 10 minutes walking over to Associated Students, waited in line for a couple of minutes, only to realize I LEFT MY WALLET IN THE CAR. Grrreat.... So, I was frustrated, having to walk all the way back to north campus, where I illegally parkd in a faculty-staff spot (though ironically for the 10th time in a row of illegal parking, I STILL haven't gotten a ticket, and I still haven't had the need to cuss off a parking service person, as Dr. Pinker advised to tell them to "kiss the cunt of a cow"). Though I never would. I would probably just puppy dog and cry. Forty dollars. Parking tickets aren't cheap around here. So, I drove and moved my car around campus to the other parking lot near by the library and AS. Waited in line. Got the book. It's a green book. We have to read six articles. Great. Well, let me check out this green book, while I'm thinking about it.

DISCLAIMER: THESE STREAM-LINE LIKE JOURNALS ARE USEFUL FOR SEVERAL PURPOSES. TO UNDERSTAND THE LOGIC OF RANDOM STREAMLINE THOUGHTS. TO BERID OF SOME OLD-STALE IDEAS IN MY MIND, AND TO CREATE NEW ONES. AND ADDITIONALLY TO DOCUMENT THE COMICAL ABSURDITIES OF UNIVERSITY CAMPUS-LIFE AND THE INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS (MY BEING THE GUINEA PIG) OF BEING A PART OF A MASS-PRODUCED UNIVERSITY EDUCATION SYSTEM. I GUESS, THE ESSENTIAL GOAL OF "BIOLOGICALLY INCORRECT" ANYWAY. I am only saying this again because people may think this randomness is close to useless. They can think that way all they want. P.S. Out of randomness, I want to create a film on the psychological abuse of individuals in a mass-produced system. Like interview random freshmen who come out of Campbell Hall: "how do you feel about the experience?" Huh. I left all the time feeling like SHXT!

A short list of other things I did. Went back to the car. Slowly extracted useful things from a pile of crxp in my car. Black folder. Punch-holer. Or, I mean hole-puncher. Mouthwash to compensate for the werther's original. Camera. Computer. Went to the library, used the slow elevator, went to the fourth floor, and MIRACULOUSLY found a room, free and open to use for myself. Lucky, lucky me. Hit first time. I felt like I won the lottery. Slapped down my few thousand dollars of crxp (camera + computer + amateur digicam) and left the building, like a stupid mentally-chaotic student would (honestly, I value my stuff, but when my mind is on ADD mode, I can hardly see ANYTHING). Then I plough through my stuff. Call Oscar to relieve my anxiety and isolation in the room. Thinking about calling Bub. Then looked around. Have nothing to drink. Went downstairs. Paid 1.25 rip off for a diet coke 20-ozer in the machine by the 24-hour reading room. Ran back up the stairs than the elevator, for more exercise, and then went back to the room, only to realize that I didn't have my alarm to psychologically and hypothetically an endless perception of space and time. I just tell my housemates and everyone else that my alarm is broken and pretend to be frustrated with it (truth is it's not), and even Julia (one of my housemates) and I had an interesting conversation about how graduate students play all these pscyhological tricks and mind-games, all in attempt to create arbitrary temporal deadlines, just to get things done, and work on a daily basis. I do this all the time, and it's the first conscious conversation I have had on this subject. I think the psychology of graduate students on a daily basis, trying to finish Ph.Ds is a very valid and useful Ph.D. dissertation on its own. So, other people would not usually make a trip back to the car just to get an ALARM, but I panicked and literally went back to the car to get an alarm. Not only that. But an extra t-shirt. Blue. NASA on the front. And my beanie (managed to retrieve from Riverside, it was cold up at UCSB last week). I have to deal with convection issues. Honestly, if I am cold and consciously bxtching about being cold, I would have failed to become successful to create an environmental buffer zone for optimal studying at the library). And before that, I took a picture of some environmental messaging about biodegradeable tampons. It was a picture I had to take. Women's restroom. Fourth floor. Unfortunately, the machine to purchase your biodegradeable tampon souvenir was unfortunately... broken. Through these strings of behaviors, you can honestly detect how my mind is partially resisting this annexation of this course, and fall quarter in general, but I am starting to accept that the shxt is hitting the fan, and if I process the shxt fast enough, maybe it will turn out into something as good as a wilted rose, because I'm not sure if I right now have the capacity to transform shxt into a rose in full bloom. It's due to the rapid speed of the quarter system. Mental metabolism that is too rapid does not render optimal products... unfortunately....

Here, I am, it's amazing! I am actually focusing! Ha ha. Now to get a sip of over-priced diet coke. I am happy Dr. Walker acknowledge my existence in class today.

So, what happened BEFORE class? I will say, in many ways it's quite arbitrary how a human mind cookie-cuts, organizes, and decides to RECORD space and time, so I decided my code-language-based high resolution starting pointis when I enter the 217 highway, zooming past cars over 80 miles per hour, making sure not to be late for Dr. Walker's class. Before that, I left late. Before that, I was scrutinizing the lecture of Dr. Steven Pinker in the car, figuring out where all the juicy quotes were located. And also I was experiencing mental interference because I had some superb ideas about tweaking certain elements of my 1-2 page proposal for my interdisciplinary Ph.D. My dad over the phone, combined with reading Dr. Brendon Larson's Acknowledgments in how certain professors "oiled" and "lubed" bureacracy (or as Shine Ling stated, "Bend Bureacracy" as if you are bending spacetime rules) (in which the nuts and bolts of existing bureaucracy and convention are fastened a little bit too tight), and that ultimately, a Ph.D on my side will come from support of the trenches of the professors, and that I should mentally release any constraints of bureaucracy imposed by the Graduate Division. Their rules are arbitrary anyway. Any rules constructed by humans that are distant from any rules that dictate organism's behavior on the basis of survival... is essentially ARBITRARY, and more than likely, at least in this day-in-age... silly. ("What is rational versus what is bureacratic are two ENTIRELY different entities"). So, I was going back-and-forth in my mind (given lack of sleep, one element I am not in full charge of, though I feel fully charged from returning to Riverside for a mere 12 hours). Did I mention I had to pay 86 dollars for a new AC adapter for this computer? Dxmmit. That is what I say. An unexpected billing. The other AC adapter was so "twisted" (literally) that the plastic-like insulation broke, and you could see the broken electrical neurons coming out of the gaping technological wound. I assume it's the mass accumulation of many days and years of "my fault" for not appropriately handling my ac adapter. Oh well.

So there you go. Lots of mental conflict and turmoil in the car. Now highway 217, checking out the ocean, and the salt marsh, and the new "European Circle" in the car entry to campus (WAY better than a traffic signal, amen), and then zipped to the north parking lot, near by Miriam's office at Summer Sessions SAASB Building (Did I ever tell you that I felt like the university is like this super-organismic structure, designed all around one individual student's need? It's brilliant. If a student has a problem, there is a matching building and institution that has already been created to deal with that problem. Exercise? Gym. Tuition? Fees office. Really bad problems? Ombuds office. I might need to use that. Hmmm. Rental dispute problems? See Community Housing Office. Food? Store. Rip-off restaurant and campus catering. You're bored and want to volunteer instead of sitting on a couch smoking weed all day in front of a television? Okay. Go to CAB. Community Affairs Board. Volunteer hub for Santa Barbara.)

(To me, the university is matrix gestalt of the byproducts of human minds across several generations. It's like exploring every possible dimension of the human mind, and I just run through the corridors, going through windows and doors, trying to find the keys to unlock them and see what's on the other side, and try to figure out how the elements of the University Matrix are all related to each other. And I run, or moreso Terra and Buz run all over the Matrix trying to solve and put the pieces together of the ultimate jigsaw puzzle: MindMirrorsSpaceTime. Yep. That jigsaw puzzle. The Matrix of Science and Art. The Matrix of Human Ecology. The univeristy is riddled with bits and pieces, and Terra and Buz forage for them and collect them all the time, and try to put together their own new Matrix--all for their own survival. It's a fun hobby, perhaps for Buz. For me, a fun necessity.)

Wowee, that was a MAJOR aside, but a long-standing thought in my mind I am absolutely happy to relieve, to intellectually belch out, because it' s been stagnant, and I have now discussed it, in addition to creating a quasi cartoon about it at UCLA.

It's frustrating to think that this quarter will be interference, resurrection of old Demons from my Book of Questioning Reality. I hate having repeat ideas, but the thing is I must be patient to re-tell the story of Question Reality all over again, and listen to people's responses, and hence, which will subliminally (if not consciously) tweak my story again and again and again, modify and strengthen my arguments through the public, through people's responses. As I told Sarah Simpson, the first time you write a book, you are essentially communicating to yourself. The second time you write and revise your book, you are learning how to communicate with the broader society, and that takes a LOT of time to do that... It's like a chronic dialogue with society in general. But I have a base, that I figured out in relative isolation (with the support group of the UCR Geobums Anonymous (GA, aka Geoholics Anonymous)... he he... nah... just the Earth Sciences Department). I can't claim myself to be a geologist, but I do claim myself to be a Geoholics Anonymous member. Still not good enough to wear a geology t-shirt. *sigh* Looks like I will have to create a Geoholics Anonymous t-shirt to suit my current knowledge state.

So, this quarter, as happened today, be patient, and work with your repeat thoughts, look at them again, write them again, revise and build on them again. Why? Because in the end, you will publish writing that is not only your brain, but the summation of your brain communicating with myriads of other brains in society. The more you do that the more universal your intellectual, creative byproducts become. See? There. Now, through isolation, I understand the significance of speaking, giving public lectures. I find it therapeutic to talk to people, simply because I am belching out previously quarantined demons and people give me feedback! Amen! It seems like I am eager to discuss anything but the class itself. One second here, while I reassess mentally "where in the hxll am I at."

Yes, I parked illegally in a professor's spot, north side of campus (as predictably usual), and thankfully police records don't count parking tickets, because I would be notorious (I had this idea to collect parking tickets from every UC campus and make a public piece of artwork out of it). Hmmm. I think I already mentioned this. Sorry, mentioned it to Matt as well. Oooh. Matt. Sore point. Ouch. He never called back. When I'm in the mood, I am going to call and harangue him, or innuendo him as Dr. Pinker stated. Time? Where's my cell phone. 1:56 pm. Close call. Bell rang before entered class. Same as Blue Horizons. Buchanon 1920. I am desensitized by the classroom now. At first I felt cold and dark in that class in Constance Penley's environmental media course, (coming to think of it, if I watch "An Inconvenient Truth" one more time, I think I'm going to shoot myself. I need to talk to Dr. Walker about that. I will tell her that I have old critique notes from Constance' class and I will write a critique on my blog instead of re-watching it again. Dr. Pinker subtley stated that he detests Al Gore, as he is portraying himself as this "prophet" and attacking our morals and values about our decision-making, man, Pinker rubbed off on me immensely! it's like this form of intellectual sex with people that it can be of any age and size and shape, most oftentimes males, and I am so mesmerized by their intelligence that I am on this mental high as I like to call it "intellectual sex" since I am in rational disgust of the physical kind, though evolutionarily that's just how it is, my rational brain is well... uh... always in questioning of my primal components... and I guess that's why people dope up and booze up, to hush their cerebral cortices while expressing their primal animal components of their minds, I myself have to be exceptionally brain-dead and tired to express primality. But intellectual sex is like kissing ideas, consuming abstract concepts of another male mind and it's just so... sooo... perverted that I am writing this way, I am ashamed, but there are so few males who just shake me off my feet and make me re-look at who I am, e.g. Seth gave me the whole Earth, and Dr. Pinker made me go back and question my left-brain, which I have been giving little credit to, and claim it to be largely the PA for my dominant director right brain, but god man). So, I enter the class, and based on statements of Film Studies staff from the previous week, I assumed the course to be relatively empty... uh... Not exactly quite so. More like getting quite full. I am not sure how the beefed up the attendance like that. MTV commercial across campus? I'm sure. Ha ha ha. Well it's good, but it's bad and overwhelming at the same time. Because it provides less opportunity for meeting new people and promoting social interactions. It's just starting from scrap. Meet new profs. New students. Not necessarily new course material, but well, I think it will be a class that will allow me to express myself. Well, there were other things that crossed my head when entering class. I strategically positioned myself in the back, so I could detecte the dynamics of the entire class, where I had a nice electrical plug for my computer, as sharing the outlet with another student. No good internet access there. And? The two profs (at first I thought one of them was a TA) were passing out syllabuses (syllabi, whatever). I think I acknowledged mentally: this is it. The quarter started. The shxt officially hit the fan, and I am going to have to start processing it mad into a wilted flower, AT LEAST. One day I will raise the bar to a full-bloom rose... I already can't wait for the weekend, things are THAT bad.... in my mind.

I mean, I haven't even mentally annexed where I live. No pix of the two story house out in the boonies of Goleta, off of Cathedral oaks, 3-4 miles north of campus. Never really blogged about my now assigned "cool" housemates, who chose me over dozens of people to be a roommate. Though Karl said there was hit hot chick 20-year old who came by the house. She was hot, but not exactly a person to room with. I told Karl that there are friends and there are housemates, and it's rare to have both. Found out that Karl had been living with Kyle nearly all four years in college, so it kinda makes sense why Kyle strategically positioned himself in Santa Barbara though he is officially enrolled for a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon, doing research on climate and energetics and policy and such. And Karl? Remote sensing, modeling snowpacks and run-off in the Sierra Nevada. Long-term indications of El Nino, not global warming evidence. and Julie or Julia, sorry. As interdisciplinary as I am. Using some software and mathematical models to "match management plans with ecosystems" though the math does not account for shifts in ecosystems and the concept of adaptive management. But for her, at least it's a starting point. And ultimatley I think her work should have been more of a philosophical work rather than giving the project the illusion of science since you add this extra filter and mask of dumping numbers into a software program, just so scientists have enough confident to connect their neuron A to neuron B, which equates to component A to component B of their pet pea microcosmal system of study. Scientists use a psychological crutch of statistics to process their data they think their minds can't do. Not to blame Julia at all. Just a general phenomenon. And? Statistics is good, but WITHIN REASON. As Matt says, "Everything in moderation. Even moderation itself." But I think statistics and models are being heavily abused at this point. That was just a cliche run-on of mine. I have nothing against Julia's research at all. It's a great problem. I would just wonder how she would approach her questions if computers and models and statistics never existed. If indigenous people can manage their systems without computers, why can't we? Is it a scale thing? A data volume thing? A psychological crutch thing? Or the difference between an indigenous society and the modern human matrix of interdependence that spans the globe simply is SIZE. So a computer and modeling would kind of be necessary since the volume and scale of information is nearly impossible for one single human mind to grasp. So... we have computers. So, I suppose I should talk about my new house and roommates and my last couple of weeks there, just so I can focus in class. As you can tell, partially so, I have three housemates. I apparently interchange"housemate" and "roommate" a bit too much, so beware. Karl. Julia. Kyle. Character profiles? History? A bit to talk about. Will spare you now. Place where we live? Very cool two-story house. Divorce individual rooms versus the common rooms by a flight of stairs. It's brilliant. Common social rooms are downstairs, and upstairs are rooms of individual privacy. Couldn't ask like a better layout. It's almost like a design for a brothel or strip club. Social happenings in the downstairs. And the extra pay jobs upstairs. Sick design. Wonder who the hxll is the architect of this semi-old house. The architecture of many houses in Goleta remind me a lot of the architecture of houses in Riverside, primarily in the Ellwood area. Just had to say that.

The ceiling of Buchanon 1920 is riddled with overlapping squares and there are regions of black that have no covering at all. Now that I am mentally tired and display no emotion, I can barely recall a sense of tension being in the room, full of so many students--unexpectedly. This environment forces me to play autistic again. No humanity. No knowledge of others. Yet. All shallow human transactions. Such is the norm. But hopefully some time-depth soon enough.

Very swiftly after I had my computer set up, Dr. Walker and Dr. Szaloky (did I get that right? It's the first time I didn't loo at the name) started talking about the class in immense enthusiasm, and in trade-off conversations. You feel warm, and welcome by their presence, particularly Dr. Walker. There are so many subtle elements my mind has detected in the past that makes me scoff upon finding out that Dr. Walker received a distinguished teaching award. Well, DUH!!! I suppose it would be appropriate to describe the static appearance of the two high-energy profs, but I was in the back, and they were WAY in the front. Dr. Walker has blackish hair, of average height (well, I'm biased, I'm close to six feet tall), perhaps in her 4os? What can I say about her. I don't have her facial appearance detailed and resolved, but all I know is that when you stare at her, you know her eyes, her mind is OPEN. When you talk to her, she is LISTENING and she is OPEN, to as much as she has the capacity to be so. And OPEN and humorous people are, well... people I like being around. Simple as that. I have to get used to Dr. Szaloky. Honestly, she is still a complete surprise to me.

Out of spatial-temporal randomness of this blog, I don't know why this popped out, but there is this girl in the back of the class (quite a few chairs away from me, to my right) who bellowed "Are you vegan?" in response to Dr. Walker's asking of the class "Do you have any questions?" People laughed at that. Nearly simultaneously, Dr. Walker and Dr. Szaloky said flatly, "No." She was randomly out of context. And I? Speaking of this occassion out of random context. "Chaos and order are all a matter of perception." And I say this quote in random locality of this page.

Though the shxt hit the fan, I am relieved the quarter started. As long as I am able to associate everything I do with this class, then I think I will be fine. As long as I have PRODUCT by the end of the quarter, I think I will be fine.

The Green Screen folks were there, more towards the front of class. Lots of familiar faces. It's nice to have a class with a merging of grad students and undergrads. It's better that way. Unstratified and collaborative, rather than this ridiculous "dominance hierarchy" as Dr. Pinker talked about "dominance" in human relationships. If I had full capacity to focus on the GreenScreen project with Goleta Beach, well, it would be outlandishly crazy Michel Gondry prism of place crazy, and I am not good with bossing people around, so I would do the film by myself. People only get what I am doing retro-actively, not pre-treatment, not any.... I don't know, I just fear that since in human groups I am adaptive and consensus-oriented and sensitive to what other people think, that if I participated in that project, it would just end up conservative, and? Conservative sucks in a time for the need for immense creativity and radical change. Who knows? Maybe the group ends up with an outlandish director who can pull off a twist of my own extreme radicalness of creativity.

I say "so" a lot. Just as Vonnegut says "And so on." "So it goes." And so it does go, this stream of information from the class....

I can only WATCH so many films. They are so overwhelming in information to me, I really need a friend by my side when watching. The entire time I really wished Maria de Oca were there so I could talk to her about what I thought of the movie after class. Other people are film people. Other people are scientists. But Maria and I have made personal decisions to be "science communicators" with solid science backgrounds, and due to this tricky and slight deflection in perception (mental tweak, I suppose), we have more in common than just yapping with the typical film person and scientist. They chose to wear different hats.

There seems to be quite a few film studies students into environmental issues and the Environmental Affairs Board (EAB) and all that. Film Studies going "green." Goody for me.

I think my mental metabolism has gone down. I am mentally deflated and mentally fading. Not a good thing. Need to finish stuff. I think I need to ... Lost a thought. DISCLAIMER: I think the rest of this blog will be... uh... more choppy and inclomplete sentences. Just because my brain is getting tired, and my neurons aren't connecting the way how I would ideally like them to.

Ya! I got some good techno going here. Whew. I'm going to get a crush of coffee downstairs. One moment.

Biologically Incorrect: Super Survey and Movie-Filming Question: What do students do to slip drinks into the library without the staff noticing? He he he. Just did the sweater trick. Not really a trick. It's lame-ly obvious.

You look at random students, and you stare at them, and you don't know what to say. Because you have no association with them, except they are evolutionarily perceived in your mind to be "good-looking" and they have the appearance of wear-and-tear of a graduate student. But you just long and continue to stare at them, and longed to have a medium or a device to open the door of conversation. Dxmmit. Where is my film camera? Where is my cute black lab that everyone wants to hug and pet and cuddle? (Kristin Hepper trick :-). I have a long road of writing ahead of me before I can jump to a film camera. And a long road before my door is wide, wide open and free again, like with the rock crab project...

The powdered chai from the Arbor (the new Arbor near by the front of the library) is very good, and is warming me up in this cold room in the library.

Time lapse allows chaotic randomness to subside and the larger, bigger picture ideas to emerge. A Size Sorting of Thoughts. But I will have to deal with the detailed resolution of recent memory. Just so I can get things done and not procrastinate.

I guess, all in the end, all of this was just a mental exercise, just so that I could start focusing in the class. It's been a painful process, but I think I'm getting there.

Finding keywords for blogs is FORCING ME TO REFLECT and SPELLCHECK all this crxp I wrote!

KEY WORDS: random thought, chaos, order, size sorting of thoughts, Dr. Janet Walker, Dr. Melina Szalocky, perfect storm, context of class, zooming in, focus, Dr. Steven Pinker, creative with the left brain, campus ambiance summer versus school, value of streamline journals, alarm clock, psychology of arbitrary deadlines in graduate school, buffer zone environment for optimal studying, oiled and lubed bureaucracy, bent bureaucracy, rational versus bureaucratic, individual psychology in mass-produced bureaucracy, denial of fall-quarter, university matrix, mindmirrorspacetime, matrix of human ecology, context of class, isolation, Geoholics Anonymous, intellectual sex, Question Reality, question langauge, left brain, right brain, brothel house, Karl, Kyle, Julia, housemates, adaptive management, moderation, open-minded, deflection in perception

KEY WORDS: random thought, focus, size sorting, Dr. Janet Walker, Dr. Melina Szalocky, context of class Dr. Steven Pinker, streamline journals, psychology of arbitrary deadlines, buffer zone for optimal studying, individual psychology in mass-produced bureaucracy, university matrix, isolation, intellectual sex, deflection in perception, mental metabolism