On the Stability of Bridges - Poem by Marjan Strojan
The following must be said on the subject. Greek
bridges - as well as Sumerian temples and the water-
clocks of Egypt - were, in comparison, constructed
to accord with entirely different principles of thought.
Subsequently, it was found out that they agree in some
detail with the currently valid calculations laid down
for the soundness of buildings and bridges. But it has
also long since became clear - and from Poincarée's
lectures at Faculté de sciences at the latest - that today,
despite all the exertions of Byzantine cardinals,
Masonic traditions and the expertise of Babylonian,
Arabian and Indian books, we have no way to construe
even the simplest of gangways to comply with
the pristine laws of construction. Another set of rules
then governed the nature. According to our present-day
experience, the shimmering stars and the planets shining
all through the past systems, their rolling of balls,
their running of years and the fleeing of their peoples,
would have sunk to the hub of the galaxies if their
previously calculated ratio of forces had prevailed
(Lamaître, 1927). In contrast with music, poetry, chess, etc.
the nature of calculus has changed beyond recognition.
Triumphal achievements of mechanics have been thrown
into the wind. Nothing much can be said for the one-time
order of things except that it was, judging by the physics
of the day, completely beside the point and that many
even doubt its existence. It seems that our learning follows
the evolution of the natural laws with the precision of an
algebraic sequence modified by the conjectured constant
of deferral to the observed fact (Tomamori - Nakayama,
1958). But even here the calculations are consistently at odds
with many of the all-important details, and at the same time
subjected to methodological shifts, spawning time and again
self-generating mistakes (Cavendish, Hill et al., 1981).
So we can conceive of the two identical bridges, remote
in time but standing close by each other and sharing
the same oscillating frequency, being pounded into the depths
by the different pace of two marching legions: an incoming one
and one other which has already left (Blue Superior, 1996).
translated by Alasdair MacKinnon
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