Sunday, October 30, 2011

Does my optimism look big in this?

A comment by Bakker here

Few things more difficult (on a Sunday morning no less!) than trying to figure out why code that seems so clear to you is causing everyone else to gap. My guess is that it’s intentionality that’s the problem?
I’m saying fantasy is a stark cultural expression of the problem of nihilism – perhaps the starkest. What makes worlds worth dying for is their meaningfulness. What makes worlds fantastical (not at all worth dying for) is their meaningfulness. I’m saying the dilemma that confronts us on the question of consciousness (how can the experiential frame of right and wrong be wrong?) also seems to structure the competing cultural roles of scripture and fantasy.
Is the human soul scripture or is it fantasy?

My responce, which I now feel oozes more optimism than I would have expected from myself:

Look, you can pitch the idea of there just being a planet with very, very complicated waves of chemical reactions roiling across it’s surface (and airs) as much as waves of much simpler chemicals roil across it’s seas. And there being alot of evidence, so far, for there being nothing else to the picture. Though the big bang still looms as a big ?

I’ve thought about what if I were trapped in the matrix and knew it? For myself, it seems a matter of caring about something because this is where it’s happening for me. Perhaps if I were immortal I’d not bother, laugh and wait for it to break down around me. But otherwise, what, throw away caring at all because I’m stuck in a joke? Like as if I should chastely hold back caring for the real reality, even if that holding back is the rest of my life? That’d be the last laugh, surely? It reminds me of the christian I spoke to recently, when I asked him why couldn’t he live with uncertainty. His one word utterance of “Death” makes me suspect absolute honesty and direct person to person talking at that very brief point.

What makes worlds worth dying for is their meaningfulness. What makes worlds fantastical (not at all worth dying for) is their meaningfulness.

And the in between? Where you propose a fantasy that strikes someone as something they would like to care about in the real world? Particularly if we go back in time a bit and have the idea of female equality, for example. Suffragette fantasy eventually seeps into a reality people will, well, not die for, but sacrifice some of their finite lifespan for? Men don’t want to waste their lives doing the dishes, but now even my dad does a fair bit.

This is a choice because it’s ‘a fantasy’ so you can slowly ruminate on it all on how it feels or might feel, rather than jump to an immediate knee jerk responce dictated by actual circumstance because of darwinistic instinct to survive? You can even just forget it. As opposed to religious scripture, which seeks to dictate actual circumstance.

But all that’s a kind of wank. It doesn’t matter except on the apparent fact people dare to care about stuff to begin with. Millions out there, daring – it’s really hard to comprehend.

Too feel good an assessment?

Ugh! Cringe! Still, it's like turning over earth, gotta start somewhere even though after the first spadefull it still looks a mess of weeds and the spade just clanged against a rock anyway.

I rather like my chemical waves image. I think it's clear cut, helps start from a fresh sheet of paper. Oh, but why ever start if everythings that way? As I say, I think I'm bloody minded.

I would like to say that my 'make what you can of the matrix' comment actually has a backfire condition I think, in terms of living inside man made systems. As in, if you start treating capitalism (or heck, probably any old 'ism) as the natural order of things, then you start advocating for the choices of someone, while genuinely thinking your not because "it's the nature of things".

Occasionally I wonder if making what I can of this world is somehow advocating for some alien thingie or others intent. If I were a writer of some kind, I could flesh that out into a story. But I feel blank, maybe the N word* creeps up me in feeling no impulse to bang it out and certainly anyone who writes seems to be miles ahead of me. If I wanted to change someones mind, can't I just say? If I wanted to write entertainment, well I don't know how to and learning seems an exercise in not wanting to change someones mind.

I think there was more I wanted to give disclaimers for, but I'm A: tired of writing now and B: have given some impression of embarressment. Not that I think the structure has merit, but I feel a bit

when saying it.

* I mean nihilism? What did you...did you think I meant Nig...wait, we can't say that! Nihilism is fine to say in public but there is a limit...ah, the joys of this semantic landscape...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

If the other kids were jumping off a bridge...

Some highlights of a recent "Come up to you in a public space and talk about god" encounter. Cherry picked, of course (to save you the effort! ;) )

Me: "So, it's like jumping off a bridge then?"

Didn't see that one coming, I admit

"Why can't you live in uncertainty"

Followed with alot of rambling related to his god idea, but the poor guy had had a dangerous illness in the past. Were all cornered animals and sometimes when the corner shrinks in fast...

Me: "Basically if your god tells you to do something, you just would. So you've given up any sense of personal responsiblity?"
"Why wouldn't I?"

But you know what got me? After twenty minutes (I know it was twenty minutes because I had started my stopwatch prior, for another thing entirely) I said I had to go now. And he just grunted something and abruptly walked away. Now I looked after him as he went and...I wasn't there, to him, anymore. Like it was nothing? Or was it rage, like this account? Maybe I'm just being sensitive and making it up, but I felt a real severance of connection there.

Some older lady came past and during the convo said "God!? Bah!", which got a "How do you think god feels about that?". Good on you older lady, you've more gumption that me! And besides, supposed builder of entire universes is upset by a bah? It kind of becomes clear who is being upset and exactly where they are (hint: in a nearby three pound brain).