Coming Attractions

September 15, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Uncategorized

Slowly my mind is moving in the direction of a video presentation.  Yesterday, my son Elia and I discussed some features of a video that would outline this multiscale, multidiscipline theory of evolution.  Elia composes music and is a photographer.  Listening to some of Elia’s compositions yesterday, I could feel shifts in scale while in my mind’s eye I was watching visual shifts in scale as a narrator described multiscale evolutionary theory.

For example, there is the classic circuit board blending into a city street, or leaf veins becoming a river system becoming a path of stars.  I’m seeking to layer these visual images/metaphors, superimposing similarities of structure while changing scale.

I read somewhere that there are 22 scales or levels between tiny super strings up through atoms to molecules to genes, individuals, species, up through ecosystems and solar systems all the way to galaxy clusters and our universe.  I’m now imagining Elia’s music taking a listener/viewer up and down the scales of experience, leaping from one scale to the next through imagery that metaphorically connects the levels, sometimes pausing to describe a particular process.  Patterns that I specialize in that operate on several levels will be described.

A fundamental pattern that I’ll explore will be orthogenetic evolution, evolution that unfolds along encouraged pathways.  This is heterochronic theory, specifically neoteny and acceleration, described as transformations manifest in biology, society, ontogeny and individual experience.  Conjectures regarding their impact on cosmology and molecular biology can be brought in.

Central to this interlocking series of theories is the premise that perhaps at all scales there is a process, neoteny, which is characterized by a prolongation of ancestor infant or early features into the adults or later stages of descendants.  The reverse, acceleration, is characterized by the withdrawal of ancestor adult or later-stage features backward so that those features appear in the infant or early stages of descendants.

At the foundation of this ebb and flow, waxing and waning, is the tendency to take that which is characteristic of creation and bring it forward, over the course of time, into later stages of particular processes within a scale.  At the same time, it will be revealed that the reverse occurs.  That which we call experience, what has been learned over time, will move backward over the course of a particular process, within a scale, to appear earlier and earlier, approaching creation.  In a sense, what exists is attracted to two polarities manifesting those attractions in particular ways.  There is that which is new, just created.  There is that which is experienced, before transition, its transition (death) to be reintegrated into that which ends up appearing as the new.  The two great attractors.

This is a cosmic, biological, societal, ontogenetic, personal, molecular, teleological interpretation of evolution based upon a particular pattern of multiscale evolution and transformation.

Beck, who is producing a Flash video showing how this occurred in our species, is using the chimpanzee as a stand-in for our approximately five-million-year-old progenitor.  Forebear infant features will be animated to appear later and later in the ontogeny of descendants until five-million-year-old infant features appear in the adults of modern humans.  This Flash production will be integrated into our video with visually changing scales, Elia’s music, my narration and various examples of the processes that I’ll be describing.  Beck has been working on this particular piece, on and off, for several months.  There is literally nothing like an animated explanation of neoteny on the web.

Perhaps, finally, my decade of experience as a comic panel and strip artist will come into play.  This video will involve my thinking in a narrative format, combining pictures and words, searching for ways for language to complement imagery and imagery to complement language over a period of time in a narrative frame.  Comics are like story boards to the video I want to produce.  Only the words will not be written; they will be spoken.

Last weekend, I finished a 30-page piece describing how a series of dreams revealed hidden childhood events.  This weekend, I begin a presentation of my theory that concentrates on the social aspects of the processes.  That may take a while, because I’ll be writing only weekend mornings.  I’ll be considering also which narrations may serve the video presentation.  When this piece is completed, I hope to begin work on the video.

I am seeking to integrate a unique integrated theory of human evolution into a multiscale, multimedia presentation.  This sounds like a fun winter project.


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