Thursday, July 13, 2006

One Stitch Cannot Stand Alone (or, Knitting Ontology 101)

I was considering getting a counter for my blog. I’m curious how many people out there surfing cyber space, stumble on my blog each day. Are there four? Fourteen? Forty? How many people are there?

Counters count things. They enumerate concrete particulars; they take individuals and convert them into numbers. It is a magical process, like knitting. One stitch cannot stand alone. It depends on other stitches for its existence. One must begin with a foundation: a cast on stitch will do nicely. That foundation must be solid so as not to unravel, but flexible as well. From there, each individual stitch is created from the one below, the one before and the one next to it. It quickly becomes part of the one above it until each individual stitch is indiscernible from the fabric. Only the keenest eyes can tell one stitch from the next. Even still, the stitches are not safe. Without a strong but flexible bind off, the whole fabric risks unravelling. Only as a complete whole, do the individual knitted stitches fulfill their function. They flourish as fabric, but alone, they perish. They are incomplete without the other stitches to support them.

An idea cannot stand without strong foundations. Without historical antecedents, it unravels and breaks down in time. Yet, it also requires future generations to carry its essence onwards. An idea exists as an indiscernible stitch of fabric, reliant and relied on by the stitches that surround it. An idea that does not contribute to this fabric fails to fulfill its potential; and thus, falls into obscurity.

Somehow the idea of converting individual people into abstract statistics revolts me. It is a perfectly acceptable way of collecting and converting data, yet by doing so, we loose the value of the individual.

1 comment: said...

a sari is a big piece of cloth that when folded properly somehow magically becomes like a dress.

about people as numbers: 1,000 people could come to your site a day and be unaffected or 2 people could come and have some life altering experience. so what does a counter do? not that much actually... but it is fun to see cool flags from around the world and think "Whoah! someone in estonia just read my blog. how weird!" plus, a counter also often says what words they googled/yeahoo searched and thus stumbled onto your blog.... my favourite from last week on mine was the person who googled "phone numbers of indian prostitutes in mumbai". uhm, yeah. i don't think i have those on my site, but come have a look anyway :) oh yeah, and then there are people who know you who are obsessive compulsively googling their own name because you mentioned them once... and i am thinking, 'why are you googling yourself every week!" haha. if only they knew i knew.... hahah.