Imagine being on a boat, looking out over the waves, waiting for the future to appear over the horizon.
Full show notes: https://www.thejaymo.net/2021/01/08/301-2101-in-the-archipelago/
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In the Archipelago, Paddling Toward the Future
Happy New Year Everyone.
20-21! Can you believe it?
Such a sci-fi sounding date. Unlike 2020. A date that when said aloud sounded like a meme.
Too wrapped up in its alliterative qualities to bother impressing anyone. 1991 was another year too smug sounding for its own good.
Unlike the muscular Chad energy of 2021 of course.
It’s a date that just sounds like it’s going places doesn’t it?
Of course the date might sound that way, but we certainly aren’t.
I’m trying to cohere my own thoughts today. So the first episode of this year has been cut and pasted from several things I’ve been writing. As it turns out that they are all about the same thing.
We are now embedded in the condition that will dominate the 21st Century. Indeterminacy.
When people say: ‘when things get back to normal again’.
What I hear is: ‘when the future feels further away’.
Unfortunately the future isn’t going away. It’s unfolding moment to moment. The sensation of the future’s arrival will only get faster and faster as more and more of it piles atop the present. The landslide is still ongoing and the distance and depth of its runout is still to be seen. So what is it like to live under the condition of Indeterminacy?
To do that we’ll need a metaphor. Imagine being on a boat moving a long and you look out over the waves for the future to appear over the horizon.
Our society, as a collection of ongoing beings, tends to imagine the future this way. It doesn’t work like this in practice – but I’m commited to the metaphor now.
We are all currently in little boats paddling through archipelagos of known knowns towards that future horizon. Some of these islands are birthdays, diary appointments, or familiar people and places. Others are visible obstacles or dangerous currents to be avoid.
Between us and the Horizon are also the acknowledged unknown unknowns of the deep. Sudden unemployment, an illness or the Kraken.
What has changed is that we can no longer continue to paddle with the assumption that the structure of the world today, will be the same as tomorrow. We can’t assume that anything expected *just* over the horizon will arrive on time or even in the right place.
If you are on foot then it is a case of hopping and leaping from island to island, securing ones footing before moving on. This can of course be done by an individual or a group. The islands we can see are all there is. The horizon is closer than ever before.
Maps that showed safe routes have become untrustworthy. They are as it were – relics from another age.
Charts are more useful. They demand close attention to ones surroundings and the stars.
But the even better, in this age of indeterminacy are recipes. With out boats pulled up upon on islands shoreline we are in a collective kitchen. Working towards a grand feast, or famine.
I’d like to re-share a clip from Episode 18-11 recorded June of 2018. It’s an extract from a long text written by a friend. The document had a huge impact on me at the time and continues to do so.
How to Live in a Time Like This
Cooking can be a solo or social activity, knowing that recipes are always transferable, elastic and capable of enduring time unlike almost everything else we pen to the page.
Remembering that recipes are always subjective, localised, open to interpretation and augmentation. Any good recipe begins with a set of preparatory tasks, the opening of mine reads;
1) Spend whatever you have available to you in this moment (all forms of capital should be considered for transaction) to acquire a safe and secure platform from which to work.
2) Ensure your working environment is free from any contaminants and that any personal abrasions or open wounds are seen to immediately. If you share your kitchen with others it’s paramount to your well being that they observe this rule.
3) Remove all omnipresent distractions and emotional absorbents from your immediate psychological terrain (e.g disconnect or dramatically reduce your intake of social media, and restrict your intake of news to select channels at fixed times)
4) Develop a consistent and disciplined daily practice of activities that ensures resilient self care, and which enables the building of core strength overtime (e.g meditation, krav maga, T.R.E, quareia, somatic technique, i ching, or whatever flavour suits you best)
5) Create and find forms of information transmission that circumvent the dominant and infinitely traceable modes of communication we use most often, the past can be ransacked for appropriate technique, and imagination will supply more. (e.g observe the use of the half arc of the ichthus drawn in the sand by christians during their persecution in the time of the Holy Roman Empire)
6) Build a strong network of trust offline
7) Reexamine the literature, research and most contentious areas of exploration that were heavily curtailed or shut down during or after the period of the 1960s. Re-perform the experiments done that evidenced the best and most intriguing results.
8) Internalise a new time horizon that accepts you may be dead and nothing but nutrients for earthworms before the effects of your contribution matters.
9) Treat the appearance and act of assimilation, as the most effective means to create for oneself a ‘cloak of invisibility’.
10) “Find the others”.
The script above is the original script I wrote for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in audio due to time constraints.