A Philosophy of tic-tac®-Dragées

Contemporary developments in society that operate across a range of historic-cultural ‘layers’ usually form a tangled or rhizome-like network whose degree increases constantly with the number of nodes, which makes it difficult to establish a singular origin. And, the more randomly generated nodes (points in space) and links (line segments connecting nodes) are displayed, the sharper, and, paradoxical as it sounds, the more blurry the image appears; until it becomes impossible to transfigure the fragmented jigsaw pieces into a clearer picture. Yet, it is a high degree of precision and clarity which is much sought after in philosophical writing as elsewhere. Sorting through this overwhelming quantity of information is like assembling a thousand-piece puzzle from a billion possible pieces; to be able to do so, one needs to master the subtle art of reductionism – and is there anything briefer and more brutal than a ‘point’? Making a powerful point is the matter of drawing a line (infinite sequence of points) through the liquid layers (strata) of history. Here, the (philosophical) writer acts as “silent” compiler selecting, arranging, juxtaposing and reformulating “material,” in order to make coherent palettes and schemes. At its most basic level, the “voiceless” model of contemporary and pointillistic writing is akin to the blank page – or the all-white canvas –, first thoughts, fresh, pure and undefiled by use, leaving no gap/critical space between himself and the source of information, while functioning as primer for further creative work.

However mundane it may sound, pointillistic philosophy certainly can be compared to the small plastic box of “tic-tac® fresh orange” dragées that we see so often on our supermarket shelves. In this regard, pointillism’s variable is a kind of tic-tac® box; its plot [sujet] is the label, or flavor, written on the flexible lid. Opening the box with a single click – achieved by the ‘magical act’ of reciting its underlying “symbol character” as some sort of ‘keyword’ – grants access to the many dragées that had been placed ‘inside’ it: here, the pointillistic value of the variable consists of but one dot/point, however. The unique aspect of this philosophy’s variable (symbol character, SYMCHA) is a transparent, strongly tinted box stripped of top, bottom, and sides, abstracted away from any particular “art” of optics and geometric “science,” of no specific size or form, nor situated in time or place. So, while the box’s hue might gradually change from one color to another according to the flavor characteristics of the content, the actual tic-tacs are, or at least were, always ‘spotlessly’ white, like a laboratory – and therein lies the key to pointillism: at the core of it, each dragée (dot/point) is engineered to the point of sterility. A small, simple (or neutral) particle/molecule that catches our eye, either because of its ‘hypervisibility’ (displaying itself where it is not expected to be) or its obvious absence (disappearing where one may have expected it) – moving randomly along various zig-zag paths within the transparent box in an entirely unpredictable manner.

Dotting Down the Blind Spot

When viewing the Hermann grid, one can ‘see’ an optical illusion of dark spots at each intersection of the grid, except for the one directly looked at. In a similar vein, pointillism makes the case that absolute philosophical certainty (accessed through scientific objects, tools, methods, and activities) is as illusory as the non-existent “dots” of the grid, and that our need to ‘connect’ these, therefore, does not bring forth a state of auspiciousness. The absence of vision – a “blind spot” –, on the other hand, may reflect a state wherein certain aspects, though real, cannot be captured by simply “putting them into words,” because there is this “sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection,” as Einstein once said. In putting the pieces together, the same pointillism-like approach can, however, indicate the areas which contain breakdown spots and complex singularities at their centers; the ‘balls’ pointillistic philosophy ‘foolishly’ tries to juggle with are akin to black holes or dark matter and, indeed, appear rather mysterious to many. The “black hole” is described as a “region of space-time from which nothing, not even light, can escape. A typical black hole is the result of the gravitational force becoming so strong that one would have to travel faster than light to escape its pull” (Byers) – and if we think of it as a point in time, it is a good way to think about the concept/practice of pointillism in ‘new’ writing.

While the ‘systematic’ mind is loth to accept this ‘blind spot’ for a piece of reality, at the same time, it seems rather bizarre that our visual perception is deficient, fragmentary, and even lacking entirely like this: It goes against our better judgement that an overall perception of an object (rationally processing on one consistent whole rather than the parts/dots) may be incoherent and nebulous, thus leaving its readers confused about the actual meaning. Yet again, as far as pointillistic philosophy (mosaic writing) is concerned, there is an awareness that uncertainty and unknowns are the price one pays for creative expression – in fact, any type of imprecision can be viewed as a source for new artistic impressions. In this regard, absolute certainty, if it exists at all, always leaves a ‘bitter aftertaste’ of scientific generality and rigor on the tongue, as it represents a disfigurement of ‘pure’ philosophical writing. So rather than creating synthetic islands and “floating piers” (Christo), that is, models of reality (which is so typical of art and science), pointillism is constantly searching for a technique to dissolve the rigidity of a state of ideal, or complete, coherence into partial equilibrium, or non-coherence. Here, pointillistic philosophy adopts a more open and flexible approach to art and science, which makes formal and, finally, physical space for the indescribable, swift, brief, punctual moments of senseless in-seeing. Pointillism is literally and figuratively pointless – a pointlessness that allows for a dynamic world of open-ended possibilities.

Scattered Across the Chessboard

Continuity and coherence, as mentioned above, are well-known proponents of law and order (or other related variables such as clarity, reason, logic, ‘making sense,’ and even power) which denote aesthetic qualities that identify the text pieces as a contribution to a larger whole where everything fits together to form a solid room (with no empty space inside) of limited dimensions. Because the room is so small, our general expectations for narrative unity and meaning – which involve a seemingly endless amount of lexical-semantic repetitions and recurrent multi-word clusterings – make it quite stuffy inside. Here, a unified spatial whole with its own density-connected cohesion may exist; however, order should not illude us into thinking that this ‘trash-filled’ apartment with its damaged walls and broken windows is, in truth, a sight to behold. … Let’s be honest – it is not. Now, it is perfectly true that pointillistic ‘mosaic philosophy,’ as presented on Mavorswenera®, defies ‘normal’ principles of writing, intention, goal, or closure, therefore lacking common law or ‘common sense.’ Also, it may fail to elicit a response and be judged sketchy and disjointed by readers and, if so, I plead guilty; but such methods or deviations from the norm, singly or jointly, do not intend to create incoherence, at least not on the conscious level. In making use of ‘arrhythmic narration,’ the quietly heartbreaking chronicle, one might cause processing difficulty in reading, which however, even when extreme, does not correspond with reduced cohesion.

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