Coded green.

Sunday 12 May 2002

Candle inverted

Pic of the day: Dark light, cold heat, time traveling thoughts.

Reality reversed

Yesterday I walked to the shop to buy food for the weekend. As I walked, I started to think about how it wasn't obvious that bicycles should dominate instead of tricycles. Tricycles are inherently mores stable, at least at moderate speed such as pedal biking. (Pedal triking?) You'd get less accidents when children learned to bike (or trike, as it were). After all, tricycles are what most kids start out with. If not for an accident of history, tricycles could have been the norm, and bicycles would be reserved for balance acts in the circus.

So strongly did this idea set out to build nest in my head, that I quickly started to compose a short fiction story in which the protagonist uses a really really alien device to cross over to an alternate reality, one where among other things tricycles became a common means of transportation in Europe. (I think they are already quite a bit more common in the Far East than here.) Anyway, I had kept this up for some minutes and was in the midst of fleshing out a scene when a woman with a small child came out from a side road and pedaled past me. Only as she was receding at a leisurely speed did I suddenly notice that she rode an adult-size tricycle.

Now these are truly unusual here, while bikes are quite common. While I have surely seen one before, I wouldn't have sworn that I had seen them used by seemingly healthy people. Now I did. And with the terrain (hilly and forested) there was no way I could have seen her when I started to think about adult tricycles, or even for the first few minutes. What I experienced was, so it seems to me, effect before cause. Causality reversed.


Today I found once again my small minidisk player, which had been forgotten among old worthless stuff for many months. The rechargeable batteries were quite empty after all this time, but I recharged them for a few minutes and took a walk. I was playing the disk that starts with sad country and ends with upbeat tech-dance music a journey through emotion. Anyway, I have mentioned once before how I accidentally had a bad connection to the headphones and somehow this caused the songs to sound very different. I intentionally did the same thing today. That first time it gave me a "slider moment" a feeling that a familiar thing was not what it was supposed to be, as if I was suddenly in a parallel world, almost the same as my own but not quite.

Today I knew what it was, but it was still eerie. I have no idea how simply half disconnecting one of the two headphone jacks can do this, but somehow the usual foreground grows much weaker the lead vocal, most noticeably. In contrast, the supporting vocals are suddenly very distinct. On one song, I had not even noticed that they existed before this happened. Now I tried it on some other songs too. On one song with Infinity, there was a rhythm in part of the song that was very different from the rhythm of the actual song. I guess this is what they call a counterpoint. Anyway, it was timed such that it actually countered breathing with the song. This explains why I had always felt the urge to hold my breath during that part of the song, causing a strange but pleasurable tension in my muscles, like a build-up to ecstasy.

Quite interesting it was, to listen to familiar songs with foreground and background reversed.

And after I came home I was still wearing the headphones and still listening, while the sun was setting at the end of the valley. And the rays of the setting sound lit up the middle of the valley in shining gold, while the side was dark green. Usually it's the other way around the bottom of the valley lies in shadow while the north side is bathed in sun. Now the colors were reversed, and I watched it while listening to the reversed music.

If I keep this up, I may not need the pains in my hand to get a disability pension. I may achieve it through the sheer power of my mind...

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Of pointing devices and men
Two years ago: Payday
Three years ago: Body & sole

Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

I welcome e-mail:
Back to my home page.