Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tessellation of the Elementary School

The word "geometry" comes from the Greek γεωμετρία; geo = earth, metria = measure. As such it deals with questions of size and shape and the properties of space. It thus a way not only of defining space but an invented way of seeing.

This way of seeing the world has been with us so long that we've forgotten that we created it ourselves; when we see perfect geometrical forms they often don't register. They are taken for granted; they become like trees and rocks on the plane. The cultivated field seems as natural as the forest glen and people can say without irony that or going to the park or the golf course is a little taste of "nature."

That is why the jungle gym pictured above seems so discrete, hardly noticed in passing. But one day, when the moment is right, it registers.

The way we educate our children, even in play, prepares them for their place in the pyramid of society. There's nothing necessarily conspiratorial in this; it's just so integrated into our way of thinking we don't question it.

But in this particular jungle gym, perhaps with tongue and cheek, slightly bulging, a little cluck of the mother hen, we see an example of how we teach our children to climb the pyramid ladder. They unconsciously know exactly what this represents for them later in life. They will move in artificial stages towards an illusory goal, first reinforced on the playground and thoroughly beaten into them by the drudging "progress" "upwards" in a system of grades. This is called education.

"Reseau Pyramid" is the Réseau régional de formation à distance for the Midi-Pyrénées. (Regional distance-learning network). This is a network of centers which offers training and e-learning components designed to help the under or unemployed get back into the workforce with new training. Anything to help the masses find their proper place in the pyramid.

Just to keep us on our toes we are informed that there are 13 training locations....reminds of the thirteen layers of the Le Temple de la Sagesse Suprême or the unfinished pyramid on the dollar bill. There is an implication of progress to an unfinished goal in this latter. Development is assured. Nature can be perfected. The subdivision is a taxonomy of the land; geometry of the mind's eye; one hand washes the other, and with that, the mind. Perfect Thunder dissipated into a fart upon dessicated soil.

In representing a specific form of "natural" social organization, the pyramid implies a certain "natural" division of land. It's worth noting that there are at least three real estate companies in France called Keops (1, 2, 3). We found this out with a quick Google after seeing the following eye-popper on a sign in a vacant lot.

And since we're dealing with questions of real estate, we've finally got a place to put this next photo. Promologis is another real estate company whose signs feature a prominent pyramid. Metering the geosphere indeed....

Which brings us to a final point. Once a French friend told us that Freemasons in France were deeply entrenched in the real estate business in France. This may or may not be true. But it's interesting that in the real estate context, the pyramid shines forth. This is known as development.


  1. This is a beautiful post, so I apologize for a banal response, but is "13" unlucky everywhere, or just the US?

  2. I doubt it...but I'm not sure. I've read that Friday the 13th has been unlucky since the mass arrest of the templars by Philip le Bel on that date in 1307.

    Ok....Wiki cites some examples of 13 as a lucky number....


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