Embodying a Hypercomplex of Unhygienic Nescience


Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service

Questionable Connectivity Enabling Apprehension of Matters Otherwise

Reimagining a gathering of the Scientific and Medical Network (2014), themed as Envisioning and Embodying a New World, in the light of a presentation on Unsaying, Meta-discourse and Questionable Connectivity.


The challenge addressed here is how the future might have sought to imagine a gathering of a “Scientific and Medical Network” in the turbulent period of 2014 — a period of wars and rumours of wars, admirably characterized by the stanza of W. B. Yeats following the First World War (The Second Coming, 1919):

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity

As might be expected the gathering was characterized by silence — a quality of silence which honoured the existential dilemma and the paradoxical nature of action in a time of hubris. Everything could be said — effectively saying nothing. Nothing could be said — effectively saying everything.

The gathering recalled the Zen tale of the Rainmaker called to a remote village where drought was proving disastrous. He arrived, requested an isolated hut, and withdrew into it for a number of days. When he emerged, it rained. He explains that he did not bring the rain — he had taken refuge to balance himself, naturally balancing the outside world through that process — and it rained. From what insight does such understanding emerge? Is “rain” now to to be equated with “inspiration? Framed otherwise, what might be imagined of a gathering potentially to be understood as convened in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980) — as creatively presented by Douglas Adams?

Irrespective of the Adams framing, the question remains as to how the future, distant or otherwise, might choose to imagine the dynamics of a gathering at this crucial time. How is it that science fiction has tended to present possibilities as variants of meeting patterns of the present — with their own remarkable resemblance to those of the distant past, despite the extraordinarily rapid innovation in other domains?

The approach taken follows from previous exercises in imaginative speculation (Enacting Transformative Integral Thinking through Playful Elegance: a Symposium at the End of the Universe? 2010; Gardening Sustainable Psycommunities: recognizing the psycho-social integrities of the future, 1995; Aesthetics of Governance in the Year 2490, 1990).

The argument focuses on the unfruitfulness of global discourse in response to current crises — as exemplified by the political and religious doublespeak enabled by science (Enabling Suffering through Doublespeak and Doublethink, 2013). This leads to consideration of clues about how to talk about what cannot be effectively articulated — and which is therefore highly susceptible to problematic misinterpretation and misunderstanding. How then to envisage the nature of an appropriate container for discourse which renders any conventional container non-viable and unsustainable?



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Jul 2014.

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