Archive for March 16th, 2009

More Slides

March 16, 2009

I had my assistant Kristin scanning slides for me today.

Here’s my dad in his office at Temple Baptist Church in Sarnia ON, circa 1978.

I’m looking pretty scared of that frog my dad is holding. This was from 1984 at the cottage we used to rent for 3 weeks every summer up in Port Loring at a Christian resort called Woodland. I’m wearing a Zehr’s Grocery store hat. I used to collect hats back then.

Me with one of the ponies at Woodland.

Christmas morning 1986. I’m wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajamas that my mom made for me. She used to make a lot of my clothes back then. She made all 3 of the shirts I’m wearing in these pictures above. Looking at the expression on my face, makes me try and remember not having a care in the world, but I think I always felt I did.

Bible quizzing. The red thing on the table is the quizzing board. The stance of the girl in green is perfect. My sister Kathleen is wearing yellow.

Deep Thoughts by Stewart Smalley

March 16, 2009

I was thinking this weekend about how many hours I have, history, the amount of knowledge I can consume and process, and how accurately anyone can know the future, or understand anyone else.

I get 24 hours a day, like anyone else, and I have to sleep which takes away time from living, but the hours sleeping include time spent dreaming and processing thoughts, emotions and experience.

24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours per week
24 hours x 30 days = 720 hours per month
24 hours x 365 days = 8760 hours per year
8760 hours/year x 10 years = 87,600 hours in a decade
8760 hours/year x 30 years = 262,800 hours I’ve experienced so far (+ 5 months)
8760 hours/year x 91 years = 797,160 hours in my lifetime

World population – 6,706,993,152 people
United States Population – 306,021,000 people
Canadian population – 33,585,000 people
Toronto population – 2,480,000 people

The amount of experience and knowledge about the past, in the most generalized sense of the word that I can have during my lifetime is being simultaneously created. What I mean is, suppose I get 800,000 chronological hours in my life which I can spend various ways, but spread across a number of people, that amount of time is experienced in 20 minutes by the population of Toronto. Strictly in an hour, minutes and seconds based sense of things, the collective people of Toronto experience 3x what I will over the course of my life.

2,480,000 people x 20 minutes = 826,666 hours = more hours than I’ll be alive.

Those experiences are broken up into private thoughts and experiences, and different sets of shared experience like a baseball game that may have 15,000 people there, and then is broadcast on TV to god knows how many sports bars and living rooms and experienced by however many people are watching, or a family dinner experienced by 5 people. Or it could be from reading a book that was written 20 years ago, that has been read by 15,000 people spread all over the world over at different points in time since the book was written.

What we know about the past is only what we remember, what we relay to others and they remember, and what we document. How people receive, process and gather meaning or purpose from the messages we give them is based on what they’ve experienced in the past, which is likely to be extremely limited, considering how much information and experience is out there and the speed which we can receive, process and retain information is limited.

No matter what I or anyone else does, across different professions, countries, genres or subdivisions, everything that that’s happened in the last 100 years has happened in the same last 100 years as everything else. Sometimes I think certain people see Jimmy Hendrix, Napoleon Bonaparte and Homer as being from the same time period; “the past”. But the past isn’t just a giant jumble, it’s a conversation that takes a lot of work, listening, suffering, frustration, drive and concentration to participate in. There’s only so much one can take in and so much one can say or respond to.

If you read my journal regularly and haven’t figured it out, “Je Me Souviens” means “I Will Remember”, and “Total Recall” is somewhat of a reference to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie but more about the attempt access memories of everything that’s ever come across my path and assemble some kind of sense or story out of it. The answer to why I do that? “What else am I going to do?”

I first discovered Pete Frame’s Rock Family Trees on the inside of Generation X’s Greatest Hits cd when I was in highschool and I’ve found them entertaining and informative. I was born on October 19th, 1978.


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