Sunday, August 19, 2012

The presence of absence of presence....

Camels in Koran
Luis Borges in 'Argentine writer and Traditions' responds to Edward Gibbons doubts overs Koran being an Arabian work, "Gibbon observes that in the Arabian book par excellence, in the Koran, there are no camels; I believe if there were any doubts as to the authenticity of the Koran, this absence of camels would be sufficient to prove it is an Arabian work", and further elaborating that camels being a part of everyday life, it may have never occurred to an Arab to mention it, and thus the absence actually is a stronger evidence than the animal being mentioned.
Canary Wharf

Trailing along this narrative we can say that the role of industry in Britain may have been such that it never felt any necessary need to invest energies in branding (a strategic word that comes into effect when people try to sell shit for more than what it is worth) itself, its role and relevance was rest assured within the bigger scheme  of things, say as against banking which comes across as a more abstract entity with people clueless about why banking is more precious to British economy than Industry that it gets a state intervention (bailout) when in need...or what is it that they produce? or make? that makes their presence in the middle of urban areas more legitimate than industry or agriculture especially in an era where the image of transaction of numbers with light speed can be done from and to any place on this networked globe.

Pages of record
In Tomas Alfredson's film, 'Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy' based on a book by John Le Carre, the audience is introduced right in midst of 1970s cold war era's British intelligence suffering through enemy infiltration and its efforts to purge this enemy within. This plot further layered with signs, symbols and dialogues that only arouse suspicion of every character, including the lead detective on the case George Smiley played by Gary Oldman, the audience by the middle of the film looks at every occurrence as a plot. But there is only one moment in the film where, both the audience so well trained in suspicion and the detective are absolutely sure of the evidence, which is the absence of pages that record Ricki Tarr's (played by Tom Hardy) message sent on the stated day. This absence of pages is a stronger evidence of his innocence than say them finding the pages with his stated message, wherein there would had always been doubt if this record too is a part of a bigger plot! 
Maybe it is this absence of industry that provides a stronger evidence of its sincerity to put it naively (In "Extracts from L'Organisateur" 1819, Claude-Henri de Saint Simon (1760-1825) having baptised by the French revolution in his lifetime makes a sharp distinction between the idle and the useful in society through the sincerity of effort of production/making). 

Einstein forward
In a viral anecdote that everyone receives sometime or the other as an email forward, an atheist professor trying to explain his students the absence of God through presence of evil, is proved wrong by a young student who replies back that the presence of cold is purely the absence of heat or presence of dark is only the absence of light, just as presence of evil is purely the absence of divinity. Maybe the absence of industry purely proves the absence of much needed state interventions of Olympian proportions to encourage industry, which instead were going towards development of special economic zones for the service industry?

Maybe all this tirade is only a reaction to my recent visit to the Olympic Park. Its landscape changed beyond recognition, having successfully turned into a place with no memories..a clean slate, we don't know the industry that existed here, the people who used to work, the inventions that took place here, nothing. The confidence provided by the massive investment of global capital is so strong that it was never felt at any point in time that maybe somethings could reflect the history or some idea of the pastThe surrounding area which once was strongly integrated with people, their livelihood and the community is reduced to artificial manicured background landscape of canals, canal side walks, jogging tracks and bridges for the urban bourgeoisie content with having a matchbox house within a sketchup building surrounded by an equally sterile landscape devoid of any complexity/contradictions, to finally feel at home....smells like a rotten cat to me.