May 29th 2024

i've always found it so interesting that us humans are so deeply drawn to repetition of the mundane.

every religious practice i know has some form of it deeply embedded in its rituals. even in todays' painfully materialistic world, our fascination with the ancient ways of showing devotion finds its way into popular culture.

growing up we had these childrens classes where we'd learn about mediation, prayer, and the importance of virtue. one day, our teacher jokingly told us to try standing on a chair for as long as we could, just so that we would test our will power. i loved those types of things. hiking in the mountains does something similar for me. step by step by step by step, and in the end you arrive at the same spot you started out at in the morning (hopefully).

on some level all these activities seem so stupid. yet we're all drawn to them (be it religious, spiritual, mental, physical, or all of them).

but why? it seems worthless on the surface.

the repetition of the mundane shows something. that we can carry a burden. not only that, but that we willingly take it upon us. that we care. that there are things more important to us than the immediate gratification of our every need.

the mundane offers the creation of space – to think, and - if you believe in something like that - to receive inspiration. and to - through that - mold our character into something increasingly beautiful.

the above note inspired the following reflection on its inspiration...

"1 of 1 of ?" by Jack Butcher

there are so many interesting layers in this piece.

its technical poeticism – Proof of Work is the consensus algorithm of bitcoin. one of the fundamental problems of decentralized networks is figuring out who can "write" to the network. otherwise they drown in spam. the same is true for blockchains. who creates the next block? in the context of bitcoin literally by proving you found the solution to a mathematical exercise that one can only arrive at through brute force (repetition). proof of work attempts to prove its' creators worth to submit his creation to the network.

then there is this level of ancient archetypal significance to writing your own name. in the beginning was the word. "Be", and it was. the conscious "Be" is the literal act of creation.

"i am. i am notable. am i notable?"

we can only value what we name.

one dollar, my name on one dollar. am i notable?

i often have to think back to how Celia told the story about when Jack shared his dream of becoming an artist with her. in the beginning is the dream. yet a dream means nothing. it doesn't matter what one thinks to believe. their actions reveal what they believe.

for one, the exercise is mundane. for the other it symbolizes the literal act of creation. either way, the acted out repetition of it reveals something: care.

Jack wrote his name 35,262 times

then there is the play on (im)permanence. tyvek is very durable, compared to traditional paper. but "durable" is still "fragile" in it's nature. it's just "less fragile". its digital version strives to be antifragile. you can't break it, even if you tried. to break it you'd have to break the network. and the mere act of trying to do will make it stronger.

or at least that's what we believe. whether it's true, time will tell.

this artist may or may not be notable; consensus is temporary.