The organization of sounds over time. That’s what John Cage is concerned with. Or rather, he is perturbed by the organization of sounds; randomness or “indeterminacy” is his deity. Order and sequence is intrusive. He sees no need for it. But just as music needs beats and rhythms to communicate a feeling, so do his words, or they become meaningless. And thus they are structured with sentences and grammatical form.
Is randomness, being futile, really his objective? Or is it mere perversion of order? “On Indeterminacy” is written in tiny letters, with little leading, in columns way to wide to facilitate readability. Does Cage want a reader to lose her place and repeat a line or two here and there? It seems that what he is truly interested in is not the arbitrary but the accident.