Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Drift

I think I have my answer to the riddle I posed in this post. What is to materiality as rules are to society? The answer is, in one sense, drives—tendencies, inclinations, urges. But we need something less anthropomorphic, something less animated, if we are not to beg the question. I've settled on the general notion of drift, which is, of course, sometimes expressed in our drive towards something.

Keeping in mind that we began with a search for a supplement for the "rules that govern society" and got as far as "_______ that question materiality", it might be useful to imagine a paradigm case of drift: the sand in the desert. The materiality of a dune is forever and immediately in question, and this is because the sand drifts. Life itself, the way the human body, for example, continually questions its own materiality, emerges from this underlying drift of matter.

Update (09/01/2020): There's probably something to be learned from the comparative etymology of "rule" and "wave". The first means "to move in a straight line", the second, "to move to and fro".

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