a coin with me...
Take a moment to experiment with me. Spin a penny
on a wooden surface, such as a table or desktop. Another coin would
probably work, but use a penny if you can get your hands on one.
Usually this is accomplished by perching the edges of the coin betwixt
thumb and forefinger (of the favored dexterityHand)...and then quickly
turning the thumb outward, and finger (in a sort of mimic of a finger-snapping
motion) inward while releasing the coin. This would be clockwise
movement...at least...with the rightHand.
It’s interesting (meaning secretly useful) that
it is often extremely difficult to describe the complex dexterity
of hand-and-finger motions in text of any sort. Even person to person,
this is and has long remained one of the most difficult things
to learn and transmit — this ‘very personal’
knowledge relating to ‘complex integrations of hand and finger
movement’. Writing is such a skill, and it is probably amongst
our first complex experiences (and trials) with this domain in our
own persons. The thing that makes it useful, is that if we can see
what was difficult during the many ladder-steps of the cognitive
development of our species (hopefully in the correct order of precedence
and value simultaneously) we can utilize this perspective to vastly
more adeptly understand our tools of understanding — and the
dangers and opportunities inherent in their deployment as well as
our agreement with them.
But back to the coin. I’m going to presume you
can get it to spin, at least a bit. Once you’ve managed to
get it to spin, experiment in order to try to produce the longest
and most stable standing spin.
While you’re experimenting, watch what happens
as the spin ‘declines’ toward its most likely outcome:
the coin laying flat against the surface it’s on.
As the coin’s spinRate drops, its spin begins to warp, and
thus the ‘pole’ of the spin begins to cycle ever more
dramatically toward its lower bound, and (we presume) eventual stillness.
As this proceeds, you are seeing and hearing an example of a kind
of scalar phenomenon: the coin’s spin will change speed, duration,
and other features in phases that riseGrow in one domain as they
shrinkFall in another. This happens in something like a spiral,
which is a rounded or perhaps more organic example of a set of scalar
leaps. Each ‘ring’ in the spiral would represent ‘a
scale’. The addition of hearing to what you are seeing makes
this a ‘scalar’ model, since there are two entire domains
in which this is occurring, sight and sound, and they are synchronously
demonstrating each domain’s expressions — generating
a third domain of expression. We could go on...but we’ll stop
the loop there for now. Notice that the whole process, regardless
of how we divide or direct our perspective — is a single thing.
It is not essentially, in itself divisible — though we might
agree upon allowing a division between a coin in motion, and a coin
not in obvious (local) motion.
As the coin’s momentum and vectors of momentum change, the
speed of its spin is also changing. Due to the contact of the coin’s
edge and the surface, tones are emitted from the coin (while in
motion), and amplified to some degree by the surface. As the spin
decays, the baseTone and the harmonics emitted by the coin undergo
a series (or smooth set of transitions) of leaps toward higher pitches
— in part because more of the edge of the coin is in contact
with the table, and the rate of spin/wobble is increasing as the
Try this experiment a few times, and then try it with
your eyes closed. Listen to the changing sound as the spin decays
As an aside, I might ask you to wonder a few things
about this event — presuming your’re experiencing it
with an attentive awareness. Which of you cells is unaffected by
the event? Can we really say there is a group or assembly with(in)
you — or a scale of participant — which is entirely
unperturbed by your experience with the coin and it’s endless
connectivities and echoes of reFlection?
Our classical understandings would lead us to believe that all realistically
useful observations about this event cease with the cessation of
the coin’s movement. We can no longer see or hear anything,
and our common logics demand that since no evidence is available,
we must generally (and sometimes thoroughly) disregard our speculations
on the matter. There is an interesting paradox here, however. This
is actually a portion of the human imagination demanding that all
other portions be silenced, and that none other than itself shall
be authorized. The interesting thing about this is that observation,
interpretation, and models of logic or even metaphor cannot be assembled
without imagination. Foundationally, all of language, communication
and science — all of human ideation — is utterly imaginary.
So bearing this in mind, we might ask what happened to the energy
we imparted to the coin, and all of those sounds emitted during
spin, and decay. Immediately we realize that in the domains of the
extremely tiny — it is going to be exceptionally difficult
to imagine the cessation we clearly see evident before us in the
(potentially final) stillness of the coin.
But is the coin that rang so musically only moments
ago still with(in) and around us? How many participants at how many
scales were ‘disturbed’ by the vibration and general
connectivity emerging from our coin-spin? How fast is that ‘set
of participants (at every possible scale)' growing while we read
or think about it?
When will the echoes in the media that the coin was
in contact with utterly cease to be present or active through
echo of connectivity? At which scale of size should we define cessation?
Only the one we are commonly used to? Only those which our scientific
instruments can pretend to test? How many scales should we examine?
In how many domains?
We begin to see an invitation to further cognitive scalarity, which
is really the result of our response to the novelty inherent in
the spinning-coin toy we are crafting together. We can see that
change and signaling and reception of momentum happen in many domains.
We commonly attend the physical to some degree — or at least
some shaved portions of it — but what happened to the movement
in your mind that was your experience of reception of sound and
relation with the coin as it sang or fell? How many ‘particles’
of you were touched, at how many scales, and did they then touch
others? Just how significant is this little coin, once we’ve
spun it a few times?
The answer is not an answer. It’s an experience — and
if you were born human, you were born to seek, explore, and express
it — in every possible domain.
With(in) such experience, you will have contact with
sentiences so different from anything we understand that there is
no record of them outside the annals of what we commonly consider
If we can translate what we learn from the spinning
of the coin to the realm of our relations with metaphor —
we get the opportunity to explore one of our most common and most
inaccessible of birthrights: cognitive scalarity — a game
of connectivity beyond anything our human stories have accurately
Games of this nature lead to experiential access a living library
older than the Sun. Directly. With nothing more than a ‘way
of thinking about things’. This library is more amazing, useful,
and powerful than all the knowledge humans and their machines could
ever hope to produce or otherwise assemble.
You were born with a library card.
My mission is to see you get to the door, and to insure
you meet the librarians — with or without me.