Where to begin?

Cosmic microwave background radiation, -270oC

Here, in the middle.

Take a human hair, the width of which is about 0.1 mm.

The smallest measurement of length that means anything is the Planck length, roughly 1.6 x 10-35 m – below that size and space and time seem no longer to exist.

There are roughly 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Planck lengths across a human hair

… and roughly 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 human hair widths would span the observable universe.

So we are somewhere in the middle.

In 1921 Marianne Moore wrote, in the poem The Grave “it is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing”.   Moore goes on to say “but you cannot stand in the middle of this”, referring to the sea.  But I sense that we stand in the middle of everything we can conceive.  That despite efforts to take the being out of place, time, and understanding, you can’t take the sentence out of the sentience.

In his critique of Graham Harmon’s Object Oriented Ontology Andrew Cole makes the argument that the theories espoused by Harman do little, if anything either advance or contradict the ideas of Kant (Cole 2015).   Cole writes that Kant understood, indeed made clear, that “the problem of relation is exactly the same as the problem of the thing-in-itself: There are relations in the noumenal world, but we cannot think them directly because we have access only to phenomenal relations, the imperfect representations of noumenal relations“.  The “weird realism” of Harman “is a point of view about the world—a human point of view that requires the world to be accessible to us and structured in such a way we can think it“.  Cole argues that Harman’s ten modes of relation are already correlated in our minds, his thought experiments to think what cannot be thought, to adopt the bridges of allusion, art, language, poetry, mathematics to get us to the objects world we cannot experience directly all rely on the sovereign subject to make the decisions as to what qualifies, and what does not.  The modes of Harman’s relations, fission, fusion, allure, sincerity, theory, confrontation are inevitably human centred.

So I wonder whether we are in the middle, always in the middle, and can’t escape?

Cole, Andrew (2015) Those Obscure Objects of Desire: The uses and abuses of object-oriented ontology and speculative realism. https://www.artforum.com/print/201506/the-uses-and-abuses-of-object-oriented-ontology-and-speculative-realism-andrew-cole-52280

Moore, Marianne (1921) A Grave, in Poems (Egoist Press, Adelphi, London, UK)

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