Week 8: Response (A Brief History of Everything)

As I started this week’s “reading (listening)”, I was so confused as it had a very philosophical approach. I was about to take notes but I thought I should listen to the end of the chapter to see how Ken Wilbur would relate the topic to interactive media, artwork, or shaders. I finished listening and noticed that this wasn’t the case and the connection was left open-ended. This made me realize that it is now me, an individual, a part of the class, that should think through what was said and make the links for myself, or it was just for general knowledge.

The idea of the talk relies on the idea of how a whole is always a part of something bigger. My first thought about this idea was how one each individual working separately or taking action towards a cause helps in the overall effect towards their goal. Current real-life examples would include, for example, voting for the US president, where each whole individual puts their vote in and ends up being part of a change on the wider spectrum. Not only that, but there is also the move to veganism, individuals minimizing pollution, students in a class, and the list goes on and on. We could relate this to the domino effect, the butterfly effect, and an enormous number of well-known quotes.

He also elaborates on the 5 tenants with a focus on how the “cosmos?” (I couldn’t hear the word) all share similar characteristics. He breaks them down into the horizontal and vertical capacities of agency and communion. The horizontal capacities mainly focus on how the wholeness and partness are maintained, with the wholeness being autonomy, identity, and agency and partness being that it fits in as a part of something else, with communion, and that it ceases to exist if it fails at either one. I gave myself the chance to think if I know anything in this world that is not a whole or a part, but I couldn’t think of a single element, activity, action, person, object, nothing. This shows that literally, everything that exists has the same horizontal capacity, else, it wouldn’t exist.

The vertical capacities were more difficult for me to understand, however, with a focus on the higher level of self-transcendence and a lower level of self-dissolution. He speaks about how evolution, one of the broadest and most general topics that we know is a process of transcendence as it is beyond what we know and could ever comprehend and this shows that there is a unity to evolution.

Relating all such ideas to our class and assignments is very convenient. As I look at my breadboard and everything connected to it, I can see how all of the whole components are a part of a larger technological artwork or piece in general. They all have their purpose individually but when put together can create projects that intrigue hundreds and thousands of people. The same goes for the shaders, tidalcycles music, and pixels, all of them are wholes and they’re tiny bits and pieces of memories, but as we know, they can all be connected together to make huge projects.

One thought on “Week 8: Response (A Brief History of Everything)”

  1. Its really interesting to see how your brain pieced together or related the reading to the moon landing, I think its a really nice connection you made !

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