When is zen, beyond my ken

Often when people want to express that a “photograph” or a “specific thing” in the photograph is fake they will say its been “photoshopped,” meaning the image  is not a true representation of some “reality” that a photograph claims or is supposed  to visually represent.


Generally people think of a photograph as being an image where light reflects off a “thing,” goes through a lens, makes an impression on a chemical film or a digital recording, and the “impression”  is an accurate, a  “real.”  representation of that  “thing.”


This separates  photography from other graphic arts—a term which means a process of reproducing  multiple identical images.

Wood block— cut the wood, ink the wood, press a paper on it, and  basically no matter how many times you do it, the image comes out the same as compared to  drawings, or medieval monks making multiple copies of a manuscript.


Same with etching, silk screen, or a computer which prints an image on the screen from electronic data and on the WWW, wherever in the world are people looking at a computer, the same image appears—is printed—on everyone’s  screen. The graphic arts means a process which prints the same image multiple times.


The graphic arts brought into this world a common standard for legitimacy of written information.

This is more than just  people accepting that a common  visual symbol means this and this combination of symbols mean that, and this combination of the combinations means another thing.


In McCluhan’s theory during  the previous “stage” (pre-print) of human development people used a balance of their senses—sight, hear, taste , touch and smell—for knowing, a more integrated process of knowing not over dominated by the visual experience.


Print, and basically “mechanization” of society  the fragmentation of work)  generated a dominate use of sight with a reduction in the use of our other senses to “know.”

People know reality and communicate with each other through senses and “human tools ” are extensions of our senses.

Along Alameda Creek

I live about 100 yards from the entrance to the creek  and this man lives in a area just before  the entrance. Sometimes we meet, walk together and talk.


In McCluhan’s theory  in the previous “stage” (pre-print) of human development  people used a balance of the senses—sight, hear, taste, touch and smell— as tools for knowing.

Print generated a dominate use of sight and a reduction in the use of other senses. People know through their  senses and “human tools” are extensions of our senses—a telescope is an extention of the eye. Media is how people communicate what they, or we, know.

I meet this gentleman generally Saturday morning just on the other side of the Decoto St bridge. We meet and talk awhile about things we have in common and sometimes express opinions.

Once I saw him with his dog walking along the sidewalk  when driving near the bridge,  honked the horn, waved, he recognized me and waved back.


The print era created a mechanical world where the standard for knowing is  logical linear relations establishing  cause and effect.

We have talked for many years, she and her husband have lived here for many, many years.


Abstract uniform units gradually pervade all aspects  of life. The mechanical clock generates a common sense that the universe is a bunch of quantitive units happening one after another, in some kind of order and science is a search for that order.

Time becomes a common standardized measure of quantitive units separated from the individual’s unique experiences and  the  electrification of the world creates  a common time where the unique personal experience  is separated from reality of the common time.

We meet on the trail at least twice a week, often more,  usually I walk with them for awhile, and they are wonderful conversationalists. They emigrated from Portugal, as did many people in Fremont.


The electric light is pure information, a medium without a message . . . or the medium is  the message  . ..

But soft! what light through yonder window  breaks? 
It speaks, and yet says nothing.
(from Romeo and Juliet)

I might have written  “It speaks and says knowthing.”

Generally he wears something Army,  he was a career soldier in the US Army  and proud of it. He likes unusual theories which explain things.by using “facts” we people do not commonly know.


People in print culture  separate the content of the media from the form of  the media—technology brings us good and bad things, it is neither good or bad, it its the people who use it that make it  good or bad.

One day,  never saw her again.With her were two younger men, a son and his friend.


A bird watcher and photographer, another one day never saw again. I like the visual of his sun glasses raised up to appear as his eyebrows, they create an interesting  visual tension with the thickness of his lips


We often meet on the trail usually Sundays or sometimes  Saturdays, weekdays she is usually working as an administrator and educator, and rides the bike for exercise and to reduce pollution.


In San Francisco,  constructed buildings  in the background are seen through a construction site fence, a view in the future  to be no longer be available.


How well do we in our daily lives pass by the embedded memories that at one time a different peoples lived on this land, and then God told a bunch europeans that if they got in their boats, crossed the big water, they would arrive at the  promised land;  there be people already living there, but its alright to kill them and steal their land, they are just savages, the “proof”  being  they use violence to defend themselves  against our violent invasion, defending  their families when the Europeans killed them and stole their land, and besides  they were not christians.

“Only our footprints do we leave and the wind takes them away.”


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