My life has taught me the power of entropy. Chaos only looks chaotic from a certain perspective; if you can zoom out far enough, you can always see a bigger picture. Connecting life’s dots means being open: to learning, to syncretism, to unusual coincidences, to too-good-to-be-trues.

Our perspectives as fallible humans are warped; we see what we want to see in the world. Conscious experience is biased to the things we’ve been acclimated to, after all. We can will ourselves to see our own subconscious patterns, the better to address or avoid them with. But everybody has a blind spot.

I like to conceive of these blind spots as a kind of reciprocal consciousness, borrowing from fractions. In physics, a reciprocal unit of, say, time, means a per-second as opposed to an actual, measured second. Shear, a measure of the forces acting between two surfaces, is measured in per-seconds: as imperceptible as it may be to us, every membrane in and out of ourselves is in constant motion. When that motion is lopsided or imbalanced, shear accrues per-second. By pushing materials past breaking points, shear causes everything from nerve pain to hurricane weakening to plane crashes to tornadoes.

Shear goes unnoticed, usually until it’s too late. However, someone who knows what to look for and where to test by which means might just figure out that something is succumbing to shear stress and intervene before everything goes to hell. The same is true about “history,” as the party-line pablum of public school patriarchies calls itself. It’s full of blind spots, and there’s much more to learn.

The funny thing is, history does seem to repeat itself, at least cyclically. Power imbalances accrue and are settled with violence. Corrupt systems accrue wealth and privilege while subverting the health and equity around them. Nature, pushed too far, lashes out unpredictably. Much remains to be understood about the pasts which have been excluded from historians’ conscious minds; I revel in blind spots.

How Jay does wholestorical work

Want Jay’s help on a historical project? Reach out.