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Space, Matter, Cities, Sausages

22 February 2001
Matt will mind the gap.

You lie at 45 degrees propped up by the earth swelling massively underneath and behind you. Looking from above, the Uffington White Horse is frozen as it has been for thousands of years, on the verge of crushing you with its front hooves. Ahead of you the landscape drops away, a basin walled on three sides by hills, and open ahead into valleys, trees, fields, the world.

Your arms stretched out to the sides you are drawn into one with the hill, together you cup this enormous space and suddenly everything turns upsidedown -- space becoming tangible, a mass around which your world is molded. One of the imperfections in this space flies over your head and you can hear the steady beat of a gull's wings as the push displaces the space and the space displaces the feathers. You have never heard this sound before.

If this reverses the way you regard your universe, go to paragraph 2. If the insignificance of your self against the canvas of reality terrifies you, go to paragraph 3.

Your totem is the electricity pylon, an infinity of these nails drilling into the weighty sky, fixing the earth to the heavens, holding it aloft.

Do you feel that the City, so deep rooted in the psyche, is part of the earth - a snag point upon which the flow of humanity has caught and accumulated? --or reaching for the sky, a bridge between the two towards a higher spirit. Go to paragraph 5 if earth; paragraph 4, if sky.

Rather than regarding the universe as a perfect reality with humanity as but imperfections on its surface, you concentrate on the detail implicit in every atom of this material world. You observe the way particles cling together making more and more complex structures, the move towards complexity happening as with the move towards intelligence, and the move through time.

You notice: That products are gradually merging, cf the clock, the radio become the Digital Clock Radio; the fork, the spoon become the spork. That this trend can only continue until there is a single item which replaces a whole class, or even classes, of previously separately acquired goods, and that the inventor of this item will carve a place in history.

Go to paragraph 6.

You see the city as a solid mass in which there have been carved narrow grooves, criss-crossing this stone block thousands of times. Each groove you see as a beam of light shining down into a dark cave, the line at which it strikes the floor as a street, and yourself on that street, walking through the city in these carved channels which are almost alien to its presence.

On the street, you see a dead man in the street, flat on the ground, flush with the pavement.

Move on to paragraph 8.

You feel that cities have grown to be what they have become, fractal messes of rock, fractured boulders, scree. They pile and heap, lumpy and irregular. You walk over the top of them, scrambling.

You live in a similar mess of humanity. All these people, so mishapen, so irregular. They have nothing in common. There is strength in their number much as there is weight in a bathtub full of sand.

You will die, friendless and alone, just another imperfection in the vacuum recently expelled.

You invent Pork(TM), half pig, half fork.

If the fact that you've created nothing more than filter-tip sausages (but with good marketing) offends you, go to to paragraph 7. Otherwise, go to paragraph 9.

Complexity astounds you. You ignore the gaps between things and concentrate on the things themselves: there is no space, it's full of connections. You are continually taken aback by the beauty of the structures that you create.

Economics is one such creation. Drawing on all aspects of nature, it is a wholly social construct that we have no hope of understanding. Particles, fluids, pure maths are all to be found here. The staggering population of Pork(TM) creates whole new field of economics, drawing your interest with only sheer academic wonder. If you feel like this, go to paragraph 9.

If not: There's an enormous amount of money involved, go to paragraph 9.

The dead man you passed intrigues you. You feel all solid matter is but bubbles waiting to pop in the mass of space that surrounds us. Solidity, angles, lines, walls, obstructions: These are something to be celebrated. The way they interact has a magic for you; they way they split, tumble, combine. Any form of joining grabs your mind. Eating is the ultimate in uniting matter, and you are drawn to it, philosophically.

If you pass a sausage vendor in the street, go to paragraph 6.

Pork(TM) is only the start of the great accumulation. All products are merged into one another, and it is only a matter of time before it is out of your control and there is one single super-product left. By various manipulations you control this item to perform all functions necessary to modern life.

Having reduced humanity to nothing more than large snails, society turns on you, imprisoning you in your own shell. You remain there for over a decade.

Eventually you emerge into a world joined into a single sphere covering the entire earth. Technology and humanity have united into a continuous object displaying all the complexity you could desire and all the interaction with space you could ever want.

Silently, nothing happens. Go to paragraph 10.

You step forward and snap a piece off.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
23 October 2003. Matt writes: Topology
2 October 2003. Matt writes: Haunted
8 September 2003. Matt writes: The Gardener's Diary
21 August 2003. Matt writes: The Starling Variable
31 July 2003. Matt writes: Two stories
14 July 2003. Matt writes: What is real?
23 June 2003. Matt writes: Mapping and journeys
29 May 2003. Matt writes: Extelligence
5 May 2003. Matt writes: Religious experiences
17 April 2003. Matt writes: Seeing the Light
27 March 2003. Matt writes: Flowering
10 March 2003. Matt writes: Climax state
10 February 2003. Matt writes: The Role of Cooperation in Human Interaction
20 January 2003. Matt writes: The same old subroutine
2 January 2003. Matt writes: New beginnings
9 December 2002. Matt writes: Packet Loss
18 November 2002. Matt writes: Wonderland
31 October 2002. Matt writes: Having and losing
10 October 2002. Matt writes: Trees of Knowledge
19 September 2002. Matt writes: The online life of bigplaty47
29 August 2002. Matt writes: Divorce
8 August 2002. Matt writes: How to get exactly what you want
18 July 2002. Matt writes: Eleven Graceland endings
27 June 2002. Matt writes: Listopad, Prague 1989
3 June 2002. Matt writes: Engram bullets
6 May 2002. Matt writes: Sound advice
15 April 2002. Matt writes: How it all works: Cars
21 March 2002. Matt writes: Proceeding to the next stage
25 February 2002. Matt writes: Spam quartet
31 January 2002. Matt writes: Person to person
7 January 2002. Matt writes: All for the best
13 December 2001. Matt writes: Life
19 November 2001. Matt writes: Giving is better than receiving
25 October 2001. Matt writes: Ludo
1 October 2001. Matt writes: Gifts, contracts, and whispers
6 September 2001. Matt writes: The world is ending
13 August 2001. Matt writes: The Church of Mrs Bins
16 July 2001. Matt writes: Things I Don't Have
25 June 2001. Matt writes: Fighting the Good Fight
31 May 2001. Matt writes: Code dependency
7 May 2001. Matt writes: Up The Arse, Or Not At All
5 April 2001. Matt writes: The increasing nonlinearity of time
19 March 2001. Matt writes: Hit Me Baby, One More Time
22 February 2001. Matt writes: Space, Matter, Cities, Sausages
29 January 2001. Matt writes: Truth in Advertising
1 January 2001. Matt writes: Six predictions for tomorrow
7 December 2000. Matt writes: You must reach this line to ride
16 November 2000. Matt writes: The truth about the leopard
23 October 2000. Matt writes: Shopping mauls
28 September 2000. Matt writes: Heavy traffic on the road to Utopia
4 September 2000. Matt writes: Sixty worlds a minute
17 July 2000. Matt writes: You, Me, and Face-space

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