Culture is like Traffic

I haven’t had a car for over ten years – I gave up my 1986 Volvo when I moved to Seattle and have been reliant on public transit ever since – but even I know how bad traffic has gotten in my city in the last few years. I mostly know because everyone is constantly complaining about it. Public transit is subject to traffic, too, though, so I also experience the rush-hour-levels at 1:30 on Sunday afternoons or at 8 o’clock on a Monday night. I was thinking about this on the ride home recently; it’s actually not that we “experience” traffic, we are traffic. And the same is true for culture.  Continue reading Culture is like Traffic

Comfortableness, Part 3

Objects in the MirrorAnd that’s what it means to be human. There are Christian-sounding things I could say about mystery and transcendence versus imminence, etc. But you don’t have to believe in God to track with this mystery business. Listen, friends, we do not see things as they are on the most basic of levels: visual perception. We see our three-dimensional world in two dimensions. When something is moving closer to or farther from us, what we see is that object getting bigger or smaller respectively. We learn to interpret size change as movement, but we still see an object moving away as getting smaller even though there is no actual shrinking of the physical object.

Continue reading Comfortableness, Part 3