Monday, August 11, 2008

260. Formatting the Question Reality Manuscript via Lulu: Introductory Comments, Why Question Reality

Here is the pdf file:
The Starbucks coffee cup I always wished I had published, but of course, I am a nobody so MegaStarbucks did not consider what I had to say. My Ph.D. thesis is called "What's the point?" aka Question Reality. It's about time somebody asked that question!
Here is the pdf file:
The next thing I have to do is overlay an aerial photograph of the UC Santa Barbara campus with a unified and broken Rubik's cube. Anything that represents fragmentation! Julie Ekstrom's diagrams are beautiful! Representing spatial fragmentation of ocean management!

Pdf file for the query letter:
A very short one I wrote. I will discuss this more when I talk about how to write a "book proposal" in a future blog.

Pdf file of the poem:
It's ironic that this poem is so dense, but I only ask to "take a moment and consider." The question is "how long is the moment?" Question Reality is not a light, sleezy airport novel you read in a distracting airplane while being mooshed in the middle isle. Question Reality is dense and is one of those books you read straight for a week in isolation. Much like Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine. Writing the above poem was also a very low moment for me in the fall of 2005. I just got off the phone with an editor from the University of California Press and basically the guy was telling me that "I was too young" (24 at the time) and that I needed to wait and get some credentials if I wanted to consider publishing anything. He was absolutely discouraging, and that was the last thing I needed to hear, especially after a year of very hard work in relative isolation. It was the first time I was discriminated opportunities by the University of California based on age. I am still upset to this day.

After this phone call, I was alone in the house in Riverside, California, and I started crying out everything I had in me. All my tears. I must have lost at least 2 liters of salty fluids from my body from this incessant wailing and moaning. While I was crying, I started writing this poem, in one of the most intense emotions that I have ever felt. It was definitely a form of "organized yelling." It was of lament and torment and shock and feeling trapped and wanting to scream, "Don't you understand?" Everything became unfair, unfair, UNFAIR! All the rules of the game of society started to change and I didn't understand. At first. Like publishing rights goes to seniority. I need 25 more years to suck up to the system before I hve the right to say anything. I sucked up till age 17, and if I sucked up any bit further, I would have been literally DEAD. I am figuratively DEAD from the experience. And I am not WAITING for the system.

Besides, if Paris Hilton can distribute her easy read Hieress book, then I myself, in similar age, can publish and distribute Question Reality. Talk about society's priorities!

It's ironic, I went to my good friend Lauri Green's wedding in Los Angeles soon after this painful incident with the UC Press editor (and I was even very politely rejected by the University of Chicago Press, publisher of Claude Combes' parasite books) (anyway, at the party, I really hit it off with Lauri's brother from Texas!), and this guy at the wedding told me that I was lucky that I am so young and figured all this out thus far. I have a lot of time to kick and scream. Lots of other people figure things out late in life... when it's kind of too late....

Anyhow, there is a LOT of pain behind the poem above. A LOT. I had to convert my mind from being "getting-A+-savvy" to "how-to-send-a-message-to-society-and-make-a-buck-while-I'm-at-it" mentality. From school geek to economic freak. Whatever.

This sheet of quotes above was not included in the Question Reality manuscript, but I created it after an acting session with a very kind actress, Barbara Niven, at the Scientology Center in Hollywood. It was a sheet of paper that served as the hub of potential "taglines" for QR, in which some taglines I used. That experience at the Scientology Center was perhaps my most favorite time there, when everything was at first new and exciting. I had just signed up to Central Casting to become a Hollywood extra (which means I sit on a big movie set all day and get paid 100 bucks for sitting around and eating junk food while Patrick Dempsey occasionally passes by).

Some additional key words: (1) epistemology, the study of the organization of knowledge of humans relative to the environment, (2) ecosystemology, study of relationships between system components and overall systems, invented by a professor at UC Berkeley, Julie Ekstrom (post doc at Stanford) has an original book, (3) double bind, denial, confusion, multiscale bind, cognitive dissonance, koan in Chinese philosophy, Ecology of the Mind, Gregory Bateson, a series of contradictory statements that shock the mind into thinking (e.g. "catch 22" situations), paradox, oxymoron (e.g. spacetime order of university disciplines, fragmentation and inconsistency of the university in term of logic of human-environmental relations is a "double bind" or "multi-scale bind," overall inconsistency in the summation of knowledge, leads to several high schools students having a "ritualistic bonfire at the beach" burning all their schoolwork and summarizing their education as a "pile of crxp" or a "pile of shxt" and walk into adulthood in a state of gestalt confusion. Technical term is AMERICAN EDUCATION OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. Nontechnical term is the SCHOOLWORK BEACH BONFIRE. I am a biologist epistemologizing, "I collected my schoolwork just like Darwin collected dead organisms from all over the world." Computer model abstract knowledge or pragmatic, practical knowledge.

No comments: