Wednesday, September 26, 2012

That’s So….

So I’m working on a piece of artwork, and suddenly I’m thinking about what frozen saliva looks like. Maybe it’s because a couple years ago I read a piece by Jack London that began by saying the temperature was seventy below zero so cold it made spittle freeze. That has always bugged me. How does it do that? Does it turn into little globes of glass that shatter as they reach the ground? Or are they just amebic globs that get ground into the snow? Random, right? So then I start thinking what exactly is randomness? There are random number generators. Sometimes used at airports to determine who gets a full body scan and who doesn’t so that TSA cannot be accused of racial profiling. But are they really all that random? These machines are limited to numbers and usually a small set of numbers. What would TSA do if the generator spat out a cat face or a leaf instead of a number? How useful is that? People are creatures of order except maybe brothers (never enter their rooms)! People can make use of only a limited portion of random, like the specific set of numbers in the generator. But technically random extends beyond numbers and cat faces and even leaves to include everything in the universe. But we haven’t yet discovered everything in the universe, so our concept of what random is expanding as science does. Random is growing! Crazy thought, right? But is it so random? Now, back to that painting.


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