Seven
"... seven is darker ..."

Seven dances so much now that it's beginning to become difficult to tell what it is or was, and where it begins or ends...

I remember that, as a child, I used to sit in church and mentally cut time and word into slices as I sang hymns - one word, then one line, which is one eighth of a verse - not out of boredom or disrespect, but from a deep fascination with the idea that maybe there's a point where time becomes indivisible, and maybe there's a point where meaning ceases. I mean, the hymn itself has meaning; and there is meaning in every line, and every word, and every semantic division of every word - and even a letter has meaning in it, even the serifs of the letters can convey some tiny portion of the mood of the piece as a whole.

To be honest, I don't remember much that happened before about 2002; that dreadful beautiful slow apocalypse happened over the four years previously, and everything was either baked in your flames, or twisted, or destroyed utterly. And the unity-obsession was hardened and, in its little way, further entrenched with paradoxes.

I think it was at this point that I began to get angry with computers and their static-ness; that, given two objects (I was programming in Delphi at the time, which I still hold has the most beautifully normalised object heirarchy I've ever used), it was impossible or very difficult to detect automatically how objects related to each other; and so I sat down with a good book on Plato and began to map his world of forms and absolute-language onto the computer's classes and machine code; and the root class of this self-perpetuating model was called Meta, and was the most beautiful object in the world, if impossible to actually implement; and discovered that it lurked at the bottom of each of our assumptions, like an egg but impossible to break, containing all the things that cannot be spoken.

Then I learned that there are sometimes friends who share our views and some of our preoccupations; maybe not rigorouslyforever but at least for long enough for those preoccupations to change. So we found a thousand ill-defined epiphanies in the works of Parmenides and Heracleitus and Jung and in the Bible; and two or three more rigorous proofs from Church and Turing; and two or three things that we hated. Some of us gained Issues about naming, and said that nothing should be named unless necessary; and some of us gained Issues about other things, like sets or integers or calculus. We named perfection, and called it 'LOGOS' after Heracleitus, although it was more like { Parmenides } cartesian cross { Jung } cross { Gödel } cross ...

And Seven was born.

It's been growing by shrinking, lately, which is beautiful and paradoxical, and thus the right direction. Trying to reduce it to one idea, only one idea, which is complete; plundering functional programming, automata, algebra, linguistics, psychology, music; one idea which can be applied across time or across space or across conceptual distance (my favourite fourth dimension). And Seven does not fit well with management; or software engineering; or capitalism; or, indeed communism. Seven is trying to be the ideal of 'being alone together', where everything is atomic.

Seven is darker.

Sometimes I rage at myself, telling myself to grow the fuck up and accept that there is no perfection and no ideal to aim for.

But I never do.

Rob Mitchelmore. 2004 and forever.