Monday, May 13, 2013

the walls move

The ability to focus by exclusion, dividing the world into "cheetah" and "not-cheetah," evolved in the context of finding and (not) being food. To identify a moving object, especially, you need to imagine a fixed background. The focused upon object is the inside, everything else is the indeterminate outside.

Humans use this sort of framing to understand politics. The inside of a house has animate objects like people and cats and videos on computers and it has a frame, the parts that remain still while the action happens. Acceptable political discourse is, at best, about where we should put the couch. It's never about whether we should move the walls around or knock them down.

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