Filing Systems of the Right-Brained

Kage Baker practiced the stratalogical method of filing. She employed piles, heaps and towers of reference material. Continental drift moved information around; sometimes where she could find it, sometimes where it could ambush her with a new idea. Ritual objects, bibelots and souvenirs topped most of the stacks, acting as paperweights and marker buoys.

Sometimes a whirlpool or information sink would form. It didn’t seem to happen on purpose. Kage didn’t decide to keep all her information on carbon fiber production (which, by the way, is stranger in origin than you might think) on the window sill under the raven static gel sticker, next to the lamp shaped like a pile of pirate skulls … but that’s where it would end up. Searching for one reference paper would lead to finding another just under the first; then a string of newspaper clippings right next to them, and a copy of someone’s highly pertinent graduate thesis on the British textile industry in Farnborough, Hampshire in a manila envelope nearby. Apparently  the pile would heat up like peat forming, and convection currents would carry all the related material together.

How did the relevant material self-identify? I have no idea. Neither did Kage. She was aware of the process, though, and favoured the theory of quantum entanglement to explain it. Quantum phenomona and string theory were an absolute mystery to her, but she had no problem dealing intellectually with things only perceived via faith. I am not sure most physicists are doing that much different – just with better math.

But then, Kage has left me notes for a short story where quantum entanglement and the vibrations along cosmic strings account for all those middle-of-the-night shoes that appear to lucky cobblers in the faerie tales … also one where the the mythical infinite monkeys with typewriters are actually Higgs bosons preserved in racial memory. They do something amazing. Actually, they do everything amazing.

So for all I know, there are half a dozen infinitesimal dimensions coiled up in this desk. They must spread out through all the boxes and Tuppers and envelopes and re-purposed styrofoam coolers I packed Kage’s notes into, as well, surrounding me with a macro-universe of references. They resonate to the vibrations of Google searches, and call up connections and cross-references beyond the ken of mortal man. The vibrational nano-energies then stir all the notes and photocopies and lists on cocktail napkins (there are a lot of those) and form eddies like the stellar nurseries in distant nebulae.

Where I find them. Not in distant nebulae, but in the inexplicably re-arranged stack under the purple lava lamp; the one that last week had nothing more significant than a Spongebob Squarepants notepad but today has a conjecture on Permian-style extinction on Mars that I have never seen before.

The only other likely explanation is that Kage is haunting her own desk, and is carefully re-filing things when I am not looking. I’d like that. Mind you, she never bothered to re-file anything when she was here, but you never know – people can change. Maybe she’s gotten tidier, now that she partakes of eternity herself.

If the energy of the universe is pouring through me, I think I would rather it was Kage.

Tomorrow: ships and seals and sealing wax. Some crunchy casserole, anyway.