What people today do of fear of irrational elements in themselves and in other people is to put tools and mechanisms between themselves and the unconscious world. This protects them from being grasped by the frightening and threatening aspects of irrational experience. I am saying nothing whatever, I am sure it will be understood, against technology or mechanics in themselves. What I am saying is that danger always exists that our technology will serve as a buffer between us and nature, a block between us and the deeper dimensions of our experience. Tools and techniques ought to be an extension of consciousness, but they can just as easily be a protection against consciousness. […] This means that technology can be clung to, believed in, and depended on far beyond its legitimate sphere, since it also serves as a defense against our fears of irrational phenomena. Thus the very success of technological creativity […] is a threat to its own existence.

Rollo May

When a child draws a tree, a green mass sits atop a brown trunk, as if the basic shape were like a Popsicle. A child’s cloud is a smoothly rounded bulk, perhaps with wavy or scalloped edges. These are not the clouds we see. They are highly stylized forms, like the international symbols for Railroad Crossing or No Smoking. As children or adults, we own a repertoire of such stylized images, like ideograms in Chinese painting. First they help us see—for without such templates, our minds are powerless to sift the welter of sensations that bombard our eyes and ears. But they hinder our seeing, too. The rivers, the clouds, the snowflakes of our usual perceptual tool kits miss much of nature’s true complexity: the intricate recursion, the convoluted flows within flows within flows. Our mental lightning bolts are Z’s, our volcanoes are inverted and decapitated cones, our rivers are lines. Nature’s are not so simple.

Nature’s Chaos (Porter & Gleick)

It struck me that the scholars, together with the whole apparatus of the library, formed an immensely complex and constantly evolving creature which had to be fed with myriads of words, in order to bring forth myriads of words in its own turn.

James Gleick

Yusaka Kamekura, “Design Expo ‘89 Nagoya, Japan,” 1987

Yusaka Kamekura, “Design Expo ‘89 Nagoya, Japan,” 1987