by Cristóbal

from Rabelais’ Pantagruel

C—After paying a hefty sum to bring around 40 books to Brazil and then walking into three gorgeous libraries I have open access to, I’m starting the think back on the decision. I wonder how the discourse on American universities would be if they were like Brazilian universities—worse infrastructure, more communal, and free.

B—I keep thinking about buying a projector so I can watch movies at home more comfortably, but my calculus so far has been towards a lifestyle of going to the theater… Suburbanization is a sickness.

People are bringing weight into their life to avoid the public cinema. I’ve only liked going to the cinema since I realized the best films all played at a cinema near my house, where the box office is on the street and the atrium is only feet deep. Taking the train to the multiplex, and then going up three escalators to get to the screen? It’s starting to get heavier than the projector.

Part of the lightness thesis is that what cannot be made light should be made into public infrastructure.

On anti-consumption

C—Privatizing these dimension of life is a kind of bureaucracy, an unacknowledged weight.

B—I don’t like this usage of bureaucracy. I’m very pro bureaucracy, I’m anti-dross. A bureaucracy should be responsive, should lift responsibilities from you.

C—I think when I say abstraction without indirection”, it’s about bureaucracy without dross”, e.g. lumber production is a bureaucracy that enables you to make Enzo Mari chairs.

B—Another word for lightness is economy”.

C—“Economy of effort.” Both the exchange of labor, and the withholding of labor.

B—Another way to view this question is as one of what should be weighty in a life. I posit we should be held down by our commitments to others, but not by the task of living.

Aaron Straup Cope

S—Have you browsed /r/ultralight? They get obsessed with shaving mere ounces off their pack and end up with super elegant tent designs, where you reuse your hiking poles as the structural props for your tent (e.g.). Not being burdened by a pack (not bringing your bag with your gear everywhere) and its relationship to freedom.

There’s a way in which the ultralight people end up becoming heavy about lightness. Being light about lightness means being ok with taking a $1 bandana with you and using it to wrap a sandwich and then when you’ve eaten the sandwich using it to blow your nose. Being heavy about lightness is weighing the bandana on a scale and paying $70 for microfiber cloth that is half an ounce lighter

C—You can incur weight to become a public service to others.

I’ve enjoyed the information theory of meaning”. We’re trying to construct structures that can surpass us in space and time to propagate some information. The intersection is perhaps that bad weight” is form carrying no additional information, and good weight” carries unrepresented information.

Calvino on lightness

S—I wonder how levity of mood connects with freedom—something about playfulness meaning you’re not locked into a habituated or socially-mandated mode of response? Open-ended rather than closed.

The spiritual style of Bresson’s heroes is one variety or other of unself-consciousness. Consciousness of self is the gravity’ that burdens the spirit; the surpassing of the consciousness of self is grace’ or spiritual lightness.”

C—We should do a lightness” write-up.

B—You should do it—to me the concept is the process of production itself, the fundamental link between design and economics and engineering. Almost so large as to blot out the sun. Impossible to write up

Calvino on lightness

B—A lightness tip: travel only with one power adapter, and make sure it’s as small as possible. In this way, you will achieve enlightenment.