384 L'unica cosa «real» is a spooky W.I.P. entangled D.O.A. to heights-driven hypocrisy (or how the hippies ruined fysiks)

escalating ahead of ourselves (432 Park under construction)


where we're writing from (ever under reconstruction) ...

Ma non ancora ...

10.11.14. Still 100% chance of «hard rain» in the forecast + it was indeed pouring when we woke up so weren't sure what we'd do ... but around 11 it cleared up a bit so we drove to Laglio, on Lake Como. We've been to Bellagio + other places around lake Como, but hadn't been to the western shore ... + the recently hitched George Clooney lives in Laglio, so must be nice, right? Unfortunately we decided to take a scenic route + follow small roads ... which is usually not a good idea in Italy ... usually it's just unsightly strip malls + roundabouts going thru little towns + there was tons of traffic + took 2½ hours (even tho it took < 1 hour on the autostrada (2x the distance) coming back) ... + this is the off-season, can't imagine what a pain it must be in the summer. Rained while we were driving but sort of lucked out + it cleared up a bit once we got to the lake. Found a decent restaurant right on the water.

Lake Como, from Laglio


downtown Laglio


driving thru Laglio

Came back + ran to Ispra (the next town north of us on Lago Maggiore) ... thru Sasso del Cavalazzo + Parco del Quasso along the lake, probly about 10K.

10.12. Not as rainy as they predicted, so set off north along Lago Maggiore thru Laveno + Luino across the border into Switzerland, to Lugano. Walked along the shore + around the town ... nice but a bit boring, as u'd imagine.

Lugano + Swans


più cigni


Lugano street art


Retreated back to Italy, by now traffic worse + lots of cars xing the border. Ate at some rustic place along the road forget the name of but great mussels + clams + bread to fare scarpetta con il brodo.

Continued to Villa della Porta Bozzolo ... yet another bourgeois palace.

Porta Bozzolo


in the cellar


view out the window

Then stopped at Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro ... i'd seen it a few days before, but our better ½ hadn't. This time parked above + walked the 200+ steps down the mtn (stead of coming by boat) + this time there were loads of tourists, whereas a few days ago we had the place to ourself.

frescoes they discovered in the 70s which i didn't show last time cuz photos didn't turn out

Pain in the ass filling the rental car since it was sunday ... won't bother to elaborate ... suffice to say memories were resurfacing (also in regards to the driving habits) of how perplexing + infuriating it can be trying to understand the stubbornly provincial + fossilized Italian logic. Then again (as Alan Watts said): «If a culture cannot afford an area in itself where pure nonsense happens, and where it is not practical, it has no objectives, it was for nor no reason whatsoever ... then this culture is dead.» ... if u can't beat 'em, embrace the chaos.

Next morning flew back to NYC ... read How the Hippies Saved Physics by David Kaiser on the plane ... should've known by the title + dumb-ass cover that the book woud be stupid, but the other day we got to thinking about quantum entanglement + whatnot + was looking for a retrospective book on it (especially in light of more recent advancements in quantum computing + encryption) + this seemed to be the 1 most suggested. As w/ most of these pop science books, it was more about the fame-seeking egos than the ideas ... trying to infuse real-world drama into it to make it palatable to a general audience.

Back in the late 80s/early 90s when we were studying math + physics at UCSC (just in the wake of the «chaos cabal») + then U of AZ, there weren't courses offered on things as quantum information ... even in the philosophy department (besides, generally, the philosophy of quantum field theory). Most physicists didn't take ideas such as quantum entanglement + «spooky action at a distance» seriously (probly for good reason) ... hence why Kaiser says the hippies «saved» it ... which is a stupid thing to say, but sure it helps to sell books. The hippies didn't save shit ... they ruined quantum physics is what they did ... commodified it as self-help new age bullshit.

Most of these new tangled developments in quantum consciousness happened in the 70s (back when every 1 was into ESP, telekinesis, naked yoga, etc.) so the dust hadn't really settled yet to figure out what it all meant, at least not that made for a good human-interest story .... + most of the drama unfolded at UC Berkeley + Santa Cruz + in the hot tubs of the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, mostly under the influence of copious psychedelics + eastern philosophy. We've read Tao of Physics + The Dancing Wu Li Masters which regurgitate these findings (a lot better than Kaiser's book anyway) + general vibe of the scene (tho in a nauseatingly new-age way), but we thought maybe there's been more to the story since ... but apparently there's not, save for some fine tuning + further questionable experimental verification. The gist of it remains more philosophical than scientific ... as John Wheeler put it in 1975, our universe is «a self-excited system brought into being by 'self-reference'» ... we never really objectively observe, but subjectively participate.

Anyway, u're better off just reading Wikipedia to learn about such things. What we wanted to learn more about is how quantum entanglement is being used to instantaneously + discretely xfer information over vast distances ... + its application to encryption such that if some 1 intercepts or eavesdrop on the signal the wave function collapses rendering the signul void.

10.14. series of jet-lagged induced dreams ... all having to do w/ information ... like measuring the informational content, of say, a wall, or a fishing reel. Was hanging out w/ James Gleick even (the author of The Information), watching Al Gore give a speech (to mostly a bunch of kids) ... + Gore was pointing at his podium + saying even this podium was information + we turned to Gleick + said «strange that he didn't acknowledge you?» + Gleick shrugged like what are u gonna do. As Gore left the stage, Sly + the Family Stone's «Everyday People» came on the PA + these cheesy interpretive dancers started bouncing all around.

10.18. After a 2-week hiatus, got back to the Maphattan project ... now that we're past Central Park, getting into the long lattice of mid-town. Touristy + crowded.

10.18 route—59th thru 56th


real horse + a statue of 1 (ridden by General San Martín) + porta-poddies (presumably) for the upcoming marathon


end of 59th street under the Queensboro bridge


1 of many new developments (looking more like it belongs in London than NYC)


Alwyn bldg on 58th + 7th ave


Time Warner Center


view from inside The Flame

Stopped + had an omelet at The Flame diner, which even tho we lived a block away from think it was our 1st time eating there ... lived in Parc Vendôme on 57th + 9th for 2 years + also worked in the Comedy Central bldg on Columbus Circle for a year or so ...

the Con Ed bldg (right) + a new development

Seems ½ the city is under construction or re-construction ... scaffolding + cranes everywhere. Even our own building now (see 2nd photo) + all around below us ... a constant din of jackhammers + heavy machinery. A perpetual work in progress.

the brand spanking new One57 ... currently the tallest residential bldg in the city, tho 432 Park (visible lower right) will soon surpass it




Warhol meme on 57th


the Fuller Bldg (+ tail of a pigeon that happened to be flying by)


back in 2000 we spent our 1st week in NYC (at the Habitat Hotel) staring at this bldg on 57th + Lex


300 E 57th ...where J.D. Salinger lived before he dropped off the planet + moved to NH


444 E. 57th ... where Arthur Miller + Marilyn Monroe lived ...


«Seal of the City of New York» ... funny how York ('Eboraci' in Latin) sounds like the verb to get drunk ... seems it all revolved around whiskey kegs + beavers


56th + 3rd ave


432 Park under construction


back of Carnegie Hall


Hearst Building (which we lived a block from while they were adding the lava lamp tower)


yet another new fancy condo development (Bjarke Ingels Pyramid)


the old (left—Con Ed steamplant) + the new (right—Bjarke Ingels pyramid)

Got back to 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' this week + finished the 12th «Oxen of the Sun» episode (what we're calling Heliotropism). We keep oscillating, but now we're back to thinking we'll publish it in 2 volumes... so we're finished with the 1st volume ... xcept for going back + editing it as a whole. Shooting to have it available Jan 2015.

construction worker out our window 18 stories up enjoying the view

 > 385 > Ever on the fringes of ivy-leaf changes in the backwoods princely otherness of The Other City


[  (ɔ)om.Posted 2014  derek white  |  calamari press   ]