2013

While Payne’s research via the Lanark Neon Inquisitions Panel never came to fruition, several documents were found in his room that suggest he was in the early stages of applying his suspicions about local phenomena to sustained analysis in the form of a report. The decline in Payne’s blog posts may be related to an upsurge in attention to the study of environmental chemistry. I can only blame myself for drawing him into the treacherous filigrees of that most nuanced subject, unforgiving in its demand of complex phenomena, not to mention aspects of particle physics. Payne’s background lacked the academic rigour I enjoyed from lifelong formal education, however his insights show a mind sharpened to a razor point. Unfortunately, sharpened upon the wrong materials. The following diagrams I have tried to decipher but with ill luck. The curious reader might draw successful connections between Payne’s annotations and their textbook sources. I recognise the books in question as those I lent him over a decade ago, before leaving for America. Despite the intellectual intrigue these facsimiles may provide, I cannot help but view them with a tinge of regret and sadness. If only I’d seen them at the time, perhaps I would have been able to discern the burgeoning madness that drove a great man into morasses of misinformation. Still, I partially hold out on the possibility of an insidious genius buried beneath the illogical semiologies of Payne’s notes. It is perhaps beyond my narrowly scientific mind to decipher their sense, and I can only hope for some future moment which might reconcile the hieroglyphs of Payne’s scrambled ramblings with my own experiences of Lanark’s environs. Some things, it seems, are beyond immediate reality; they have their own worlds buried deep beyond premise, appearance, text.
Figure 2. Page from Green and Lane’s Particulate Clouds: Dusts, Smokes, and Mists (1957)
Figure 2. Page from Green and Lane’s Particulate Clouds: Dusts, Smokes, and Mists (1957)
Figure 3. Subject Index from Snoeyink and Jenkins’ Water Chemistry (1980)