Monday, December 8, 2014

TheTurnings of Apple's Soul

Vassar College's Mitch Miller at St. John's College in Santa Fe, Being the Wetness
Dear Mr. Cook:

Another loss on this first day of the Week of Outrage, it's only right. Down $2.60. The chart was one of struggle, a jagged line trending downward. It was moving to see, an unsteady declining heartbeat fighting for survival.

We don't have to think about numbers solely in that way anymore, as tools of calculation, counting our gains and our losses. Since hearing Mitch Miller's lecture on Friday night: "The 'Turnings" of the Soul: the Five Mathematical Studies in Plato's Republic VII", I'm reminded that they're also representations of perfection. For Plato, perfection is the orienting concept--it's an event, a coming out of hiding, a happening.

Mitch Miller's talk wasn't about math after all. I didn't ask him for his reflections on trillionness, it would've been crass. His insights were all about movement. Movement and sequence. Movement from arithmetic as calculation to plain geometry to astronomy (solids in motion) and to harmonics (pitch); movement from figured arrays to figures to forms to perfect circles to ratios. Movement from being to becoming. Movement from the sensible (as expressed in the sensible simile--ascending out of the cave to the light, to the brightest part of being) to the intelligible. And when we make the turn from sensibles to intelligibles, then we're no longer dependent on the simile. We're departing from the sensible in order to return to it in the intelligible structure of the sensible. At that point the simile's a choice.

It's a process of purgation, he explained. A moving away from spatiality, letting the spatial go--two dimensions of the figures, to three dimensions of the forms, to the ratios which are three dimensions in Time. Every time we add a dimension, we're reconstituting the whole spatio-temporality of the world, in becoming.

His next big insight was about reality. We have to be sensitive to deviation. Mitch said it's fundamental to the philosophical education. Normative order is a miracle (not explainable), and is always in jeopardy. It is crucial to see that determinacy is always paired with indeterminacy, and to deny this is not to see reality.

Mr. Cook, I'm wondering if you've thought of reaching out to the protestors in the streets, many of whom are doing their media justice work with tools purchased from Apple?  Apple Stores as activist sanctuaries--breathing rooms. There are two in Berkeley.

If Apple Inc. would extend itself in that way, we might all get through this week a bit more intact and whole. You could even put it out there on the DL, you know?

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

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