22 October 2005

Stories on the Tree of Life

so far we've visualised the Tree of Life
as a stack of yearly layers

and human consciousness as fireflies
on the tips of (some) treebranches

now we consider the six billion fireflies arrayed
on the topmost layer
almost blinding unless we
dim them to faint stars

and between every pair of stars we draw a line
that will represent the relationship between those two humans

so people with (almost) no relationship
can be connected by a line that's vanishingly slight

while a closely related pair
gets a thick/bright/crisp line

but relationships change

and when relationships change, we can start
telling stories

the language we use for telling stories
has hundreds of common words
and tens of thousands of uncommon ones
(not to mention the one-off improvisations
and unrepeatable onomatopoetics)

but to tell the basic story
of a relationship-change
the common-hundreds usually suffice

and can be broken down further into
descriptions of the state before the change
and the state after the change

so we might assign shades of color to
patterns of words
that describe common relationships

and visualise our linked firefly-stars
as linked by lines of those colors
with stories playing out
as changes in relationship-color

so the story of a lovers' triangle
has three stars in a triangle
with the colors of the sides of the triangle
flickering between love-color
and hate-color