'The scope of signs in human culture is vast.... Diachronically, signs may be identified as originating at least by the time we have the first human-made cultural objects possibly 200,000+ years ago. Synchronically, signs are manifold across the globe, including what one has on one's shelf and what appears in one's dreams.'
XJ, p. 110
'Indeed, it is a strange-disposèd time. / But men may construe things after their fashion, / Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.'
-Julius Caesar, 1.3.33-35
'Living systems are made of the same chemical elements that make up the rest of the universe, running according to physical principles that extend also into the inanimate realm.'
'The hard part of the mind-body problem is explaining that last side of our mental lives, explaining in biological, physical, or [computational] terms how felt experience can exist in the world.'
-P. Godfrey-Smith, Metazoa, pp. 11, 13
'What's a desirable life look like for you (you plural and you individual)? That's a quality question. Some talk about a good life, a meaningful life, a purposeful life, a you-name-the-desirable-quality life: happy, productive, useful, enjoyable, honorable, faithful, beautiful, you-name-it.'
-Memento Vivere project notes, 4 Oct 2020
'I understand the "transformative" in a number of ways, including the less dramatic. As I use it, a "transformation" may be not only profound but also momentary and temporary.
On the one hand, it could occur as a dramatic change with effects for a lifetime. One the other hand, it could occur for the duration of a performance, within a defined encounter, or a portion thereof.
In regard to memento mori items [items that bring about awareness of mortality and human life], including texts, objects, and performances, the transformative experience could take place on the spot or, alternatively, at a later time, through memory.
The performance/art/work/event is recalled, and the individual's organization of reality and meaningful narratives are reconfigured temporarily or for longer duration, in some cases becoming permanent, but not necessarily. I want to maintain the value of "temporary" and "momentary" because even these become permanent in memory, history, and empirical fact.
[Along with dramatic transformation,] I emphasize these humbler senses of transformation....'
-DD, p. 23, adapted
'...our house is our corner of the world. ...it is our first universe, a real cosmos....'
-G. Bachelard, Poetics of Space, p. 3
'"Memetica ecologica" is a way of describing where we live now. By where, I don't mean America or China or any particular place, although it includes places. By "where we live" I mean a composite of the material and social worlds along with the "world" of our minds, individually and collectively.'
-Memetica Ecologica project notes, 4 Oct 2020, adapted
'...the scope of human systems from an individual's perspective is massive. Historically, one may look to human origins at what has thought to be approximately 200,000 years ago in East Africa, around what is now Ethiopia (although now researchers are also looking toward Morocco at the 300,000+ year mark [Hublin et al. 2017; Richter et al. 2017]). One may run through the long history of hunter-gatherer societies to the rise of agriculture and large state societies such as at Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico, or at Chaco Canyon in what is now New Mexico. One may carry this history forward to the rise of modern science, transnational economies, and the "information age." Today (or at any point in history) one may also span the globe to take in the full scope of human systems, from what today is Canada and then to Mali, to Bangladesh, and back again. Or to anyplace you might search on Google Earth. We live in an era of the "glocal": a mash-up of the powerful reach of globalization with the idiosyncratic particularities of each of our localities.'
-XJ, pp. 110-111
'Human thinking is such that it transcends the present and [consciously relates to] the absent; the absent, what is not there, is given to us as such.'
-R. Sokolowski, Phenom., p. 217
'What gives us life? And what takes it away? Those are most basic questions for how anyone would live.
-Memento Vivere project notes, 4 Oct 2020
Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter teaches at a public university in the Great Lakes region of North America and coaches at Sollars & Associates and independently.