Does this foolishness (I’m holding back there) know no bounds? “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” Nice title for a pitch come launch come effort at SXSW but really, how stupid are we going to make ourselves? Yes, it’s only a title, but what story, I’d like to know, does the sun tell our planet? Do gravitational waves tell the Milky Way (hey, they’re the ones introducing physics, not me), the quark the hadron? What is the story that dopamine tells me as I write this? What is the story that I am telling dopamine as I write this (or is story and biology assymetrical), what particular story am I and testosterone sharing or participating in right now, and what story are the kangaroos a few kilometres away by the river having with the grass and their parasites? If any of this list is a story then story has become so diluted as a term that it can a) refer to nearly anything, and therefore b) becomes rather useless as a term. This is story become religion where if we incant the term often enough it can be used, like spirit, to account for all the gaps in our account. It is like as the human becomes more and more marginal (to this planet, to our importance to the universe – their terms, not mine – to nature) we invent a new heliocentric universe which puts story (and therefore the human) at its centre. As everyone uses their apps and GPS and 4G and wifi on their tantalum containing smartphones at SXSW, what stories are the code of their apps, their GPS signals, 4G and wifi packets, and tantalum telling each other amongst themselves? And if you decide these things can’t tell each other stories, then how the fuck is the universe made of stories?


This is the first day my head is not in fog. Ordering a macchiato is safer. Near a river is a joy, a city on a river (a working river) is even better. People are good, it is the ideas that are the contest. Old cities, low cities, are better than new cities, tall cities. I think Duncan Speakman is my shadow. The pace and cadence of an old river, an old city, a region. This wind teaches stoicism. It is a shock to see fields from a city centre. Riparian milieus. The forest here are weeds at home.