New zine release! "None of the Monitors Are Asleep"
In this issue, Nicole deals with a complicated logic puzzle—and creates both a syllogism and a template for happiness.
The fourth installment in my quarterly zine series, WHAT IT IS AND WHAT TO DO NEXT, is now available through Shortwave Publishing.
"None of the Monitors Are Asleep" continues the story of my attempt to understand reality through practice, logic, and programming.
It also continues Larry-and-my love story, which (I've been told) is the best part of the narrative.
This is a print zine, made of paper and staples, that you can hold in your hand and read without distraction. Here is the introduction, in case you want to know what to expect:
I am writing this, at half past seven, in the breakfast nook that used to be a mudroom. I spent a day, when winter was at its darkest, clearing out the junk that had been allowed to accumulate when we had no specific purpose for this space. Cardboard boxes; glass bottles; a nozzle attachment for a thirty-year-old vacuum that we tried to get working again, before we bought a new one.
We kept the parts of the room that served their purpose. Muddy boots belong, so we put down a mat for them. The washer-dryer can’t be moved, so the accordion door that keeps the noise down is always kept closed. The little wooden worktable got a placemat and a fruit bowl and a teapot. We built two stools from a kit; we complained that they weren’t half as well constructed as the thirty-year-old worktable, which is now being used, for both its original and its current purpose, by me. We washed the Humpty Dumpty cookie jar that Larry’s mother bought on layaway when Larry was a baby. A dollar a week, for ten weeks, and then it was hers—and now it is ours, and I filled it with freshly baked ginger cookies just yesterday. We put up a print of the Jack Sprat illustration that had been in the Mother Goose I read as a child, since I eat my steel-cut oatmeal with nuts but no butter and Larry eats his with both butter and milk (and then he toasts a piece of homemade bread and butters that as well). We added a rug; we framed the Frank Lloyd Wright puzzle that I bought Larry to help him organize his thoughts.
Larry uses images to connect ideas. I use words. This may be why I was able to turn our mudroom into a breakfast nook, even though it seems more like a spatial-organization project than a sentence-organization project. I saw the story that could be told, after the room had been transformed. Holiday party guests, gathering around nuts and dates and chocolate and cheese, as Larry poured wine. My parents, waking up on New Year’s Day, as I baked scones and brewed coffee. Me, sitting down at the worktable to eat my oatmeal and watch the sunrise and write to you.
All of these stories have come true.
They became truth—zero to one, off to on, imagined to reality—because I programmed them into understanding.
This is where I would share a picture of the breakfast nook, if I were telling the same kind of story that I began writing at the beginning of last year. But that story has also come true—I asked Larry a question about whether a person could program themselves to understand reality, then studied logic until I was able to answer it—and so it is time to start writing a new one.
It’s also time to clear out the junk (the [nested] parentheses, the [unnecessary] images) and make enough space for a worktable.
This table will contain three statements:
To be efficient is to be mindful.
To be mindful is to be happy.
Therefore, to be efficient is to be happy.
As a logic puzzle, the solution is obvious.
Which is why I will spend the rest of this volume explaining, in words, why it is also true.
If I write a program, in and of the process, and if that program changes the way you understand reality, well—don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Say, instead, that you are happy.