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The Great Wave
or
Change is the Last Stability

Dreamed 2009/4/24 by Wayan

A CAUTIONARY NOTE...

Sorry, no three-eyed unicorn sex this time. This one's pure ideas. Live with it.

THE DREAM

I'm arguing with a friend, a literary sage
who says "All art reflects its natal age
and culture; how can your dream-art not?
Even dreams bubble from a postmodern pot."

I disagree. "Some dreams are timeless, for
they don't sail from any human shore...
And yet I know my fans to come,
human or not, will still share one

grand issue, change, til all community's severed.
And revolution won't end soon--if ever."
On a napkin I scrawl the famous wave. "See,
once the Progressunami reared visibly

and more as the steepening came clear,
our altitude hardly mattered. What's sure
is that the raving slope is always there.
We're all refugees now, inured to the grief

of exile from our past. On futurity's reef
we gasp, time-fish on the asymptotic strand.
But that's the new constant! Where we stand
is always exile, a steepening slope:

the Singularity's terror and hope
nears and rears evermore--but hopes and fears
speed up to match! In subjective years,
change feels the same, no matter if

you're just a laid-off working stiff
or a refugee from imperial wars
fed by sheer technological force,
or a webmind surfing that hyperbolic cliff.

We scramble toward faster; all of us face
tensions of fringe, core, web versus place,
core versus rival core, shame and worry--
are you au courant? A hastening scurry

birthing sweet luddites in cranky swarms
and young webspawn who hackerly fight
that pseudofriendly flood or mob
that e.e. cummings, that snob and thorn

saw long before our world was made, not born.
This landscape askew that we surf, the foam-face
of the change-wave--this my dreams address.
Not personal issues these days, unless

in the sense that I too get koaned and zenned,
bewildered and tumbled and stranded by
the great wave, Chaos! Thanks, Hokusai."
Then I wake; and find my scholarly friend

so sure current culture circumscribes
what dreams can see, what dreams can mean,
was himself such a circumscribed dream.
But then who was I, claiming change'll be last to die?

Hokusai's 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa'

THE NEXT MORNING

I don't think this dream symbolizes much. It's exactly what it claims: a dream commenting on our subjective sense of historical change. Yeah, the curve steepens, but our expectations do too. The result is a surprising subjective continuity, from the industrial revolution well into our future.

At least (he naïvely wrote, from the
comfy face of the Singularity)
for now. A longer now than we knew.
But once the Great Wave breaks, who
knows what'll brew in that fractal foam?
This alone is sure: it won't be home.



LISTS AND LINKS: the future - a second dream of the coming Singularity: "Just a few more years!" - dreams about dreaming - dreamwork in general - science and scientific method - evolution - climatology and climate change - population booms and busts - ethics - sociology and sociological dreams - OK, fine, back to the unicorn orgies - this is poem #52 in the Dreamverse Project - the next Dreamverse: Unghosts of China -

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