When leaving my residence I have to use an electronic keycard to exit the lobby. This means that upon locking my apartment door behind me, I have to go to to the elevator, push the proper keys to call it and tell it where to go ("first floor please", I usually say under my breath. It's not actually voice operational, but ever since reading The Intuitionist a while back, I can't help but see the time in elevators as being somewhat detached from my current timeline. Meaning that the possible outcomes while in an elevator are unbounded.), and then walk to the electronic pad to tap my key to exit the building. What agitates me on every expedition from my apartment is where to put my keys while waiting to reach the lobby. In my one pocket I have my wallet, in the other an iPod and spare change. Throwing my key in the iPod side causes a tangle with the headphones that I don't really appreciate, and throwing it on the wallet side can cause it to be tucked in between various folds -- almost as if my wallet has become a particularly heavy subject of a Lucian Freud painting -- requiring removing everything from that pocket in order to rescue my key. As a small side note about the iPod/Change pocket: my change in general is usually an unhelpful tag-a-long to my iPod pocket, spilling out when not needed, and remaining hidden when bills are not the type of money needed. Change is basically the friend that offers advice to watch out for a puddle after already stepping in it, or staying silent on the bus as you accidentally pass your usual stop.
Let me be the first to acknowledge that merely holding my keys in my hand for the journey to the lobby is an option. But it makes me feel like I'm on a date and being forced to hold a drink for a partner that has decided their trip to the bathroom also requires countless social niceties on both legs of their journey.
To the bigger point of all this!
This made me start thinking about things that are in parallel versus things that are in serial. I mean this in a pretty loose way, but, for example, with my pockets they are pretty serial: dump some things in the left pocket until it's full and useless, then move on to the other pocket and dump some things. There's no simple modification of my pockets that allow them to take on a new role. I mean this in a very serious way. Take for example a Murphy bed. In a room with a Murphy bed, I can literally have a dance party where people would not have the sensation of being in what is essentially my bedroom. The room acts in parallel. This is a stupid example, but if you think about the idea in a more subtle way it allows for two different ways to approach how we interact with a created stimulus and more importantly how we create objects (art, buildings, roads, etc) for others. We can either choose to create serial objects -- those objects that step someone through the experience of using it -- or parallel objects -- objects that take someones expectations and offers a facet of itself to that experience. I don't necessarily think one is better than the other, but I think we often think in a serial manner to what we create. Take a painting that is made using a very structured technique: it is only reasonable that as a viewer I will approach this in a serial fashion; my brain will fall in line with what it sees as part of the foundation of the object.
Oh. And the picture that goes with this is because I've been reading a lot about the possible proof to the ABC conjecture and this whole loose serial/parellel idea struck me like addition and multiplication where there seems like there should be this deeper connection between the two if I could just look at it the right way.