Category Archives: Philosophy

Wealthy dream of wealth?

When I dream I dream poor, struggling and oppressed. I’m floundering in some quagmire or combating assailants who are set to deride and abuse me. Not always mind you, but mostly.

I never dream I’m powerful. Or privileged. Or special in anyway.

Do the wealthy dream they are wealthy? Haughty and elite? Do they strut around in their dreams giving orders expecting them to be obeyed? “Remove that filthy animal from my sight — at ONCE!” “I would never be seen wearing THOSE shoes…” “Is it possible for me to get ONE GOD DAMNED SLICE OF CAVIAR TOAST WITHOUT SOMEONE SPITTING ON IT?!”

People’s life stations must surely influence their dreams. Their environment providing the context of who they see themselves as when they dream.

Or does media, their reading, their daytime dreams and hopes influence them more? “I vow to be the best TSA Agent in the airport today!” And then dream of foiling a bombing attempt…

I never seem to dream of success. There’s always contention with my efforts in my dreams. You? Do you dream of a life of luxury and ease? Or what?


Memento homo

Memento homo

Remember the man, for he is mortal.
Remember the man, for he shall pass.
Remember the man, for he tries valiantly.
Remember the man, for naught will last.


The Ultimate Bite

Humans are driven, in part, by their appetites.

And by that I mean their actual, “damn I’m hungry!” appetites.

The eating of food, driven by myriad biological, social and situational factors, is “supposed” to fulfill that single requirement of nutritional satisfaction. But, as we all know, it rarely does. Satisfy that is. Why is that?

We’re not, hungry, per se. But we’re not quenched, or complete, still a bit hollow. We, somehow, after countless bites of pasta, pizza, steak, seafood, cheese, fruits and veggies, and countless culinary offerings, are still unsatisfied. Unfulfilled.

Again, why is that?

Perhaps it’s because we’ve just not experienced, during our spate of hunger satiation, the ultimate bite.

What is the ultimate bite? Imagine a mouthful of a little sweet, a little sour, a drop of bitter, a dusting of salty, a shimmer of savory, a layer of unctuousness, all wrapped up in a instantly dissolving film of umami. Mix in a bit of chewy, a dripping of slippery, a crack of crunchy and skurr of silky smoothness.

That is the ultimate bite. The complete and total appeasement of our culinary desires. All of our food wants — bundled into a single life-affirming bite. True manna from the heavens.

Gulp!

Now, what if such a thing existed? What if we could create, or find or evolve such a all-satisfying sundry? How many would you eat? My thinking is that, although such a creation would fail to provide you that ghrelin suppressing sensation, with just a single bite, if you finalized your meal, ANY meal with a single ultimate bite, your hungers would be calmed, placated, your hunger would finally be satiated.

So often our desires drawn from the world twist themselves morphing into accessible solutions; food as a solution, not to dietary needs but to any lack in our lives.

But what if the ultimate bite could provide that perfect flourish, the last scrumptious morsel that would seal off our desires? In food it might be possible. In drink? What about in life?


YODO

I was thinking about that acronym YOLO (you only live once) and wondering if it actually embodied what most people who claim it as their war cry think it embodies. Sure, ultimately, we (theoretically) have just one life to live, but is that really what the emotion is when such people raise it up to drive them forward into adventure or adversity? I rather think that living is done in bursts.

“We really lived it up last night didn’t we!”

“That camping trip was really livin’ it!”

“Surfing those big waves I felt so alive, I truly lived that day.”

It seems to me that YOLO is rather misleading — at least in the way it is used — that is, like a charge into battle, a statement of resolve and commitment (or capricious surrender?). And so, I thought a more accurate acronym would be…
YODO: You Only Die Once.
Now THAT is accurate (as far as we know).

Hmm, then again, the Hindus might argue with me questioning who the ‘you’ was in YODO; is it you this single instance, or is it you the spiritual ‘soul’ or mystical entity that will cycle through this and then an infinite number of universes?

And so my mind began to wander, as it does, and I stepped back from the finality of YODO and considered the concept of Love.

What? Yeah, I know, cynical Anonymole, you think about Love?

Yes, off and on throughout the ages I have pontificated this aspect of humanity. From it, if I open up my mind to its widest possible extent, I can envision a threadbare theory where Love, that nearly inexplicable emotion or state of mind, supersedes the  Universe itself. Yeah, deep I know.

If the powers of the Universe, the four binding interactions of physics: gravity, electromagnetic, and the strong and weak nuclear, are the framework, the fabric on which matter and energy and life are sewn, Love seems, at times, to transcend these forces. Now, I’m generally of a mind that we’re just bags of chemistry bobbing and bumbling along with inverted chaos somehow coalescing some semblance of rational order out of the mix-up that is the Universe, but, for a moment I wonder what might extend beyond this wholly rational view. And the only nuance of existence that comes to mind is Love.

Love, it feels, can reverse entropy; can last for ages; can blast through all lost hope; can elevate us beyond existence. If anything in the universe might be a candidate for transcending the Universe I would have to pick Love as the one.

So, yeah, YODO. I’m 99.999% sure. But there’s that .001% that I just can’t seem to quit. I don’t know why. I guess I’m just a romantic at heart (at least a .001% of one.)


Complexic

We live in a world of opposites, black and white, up and down, in and out, over and under, but with an infinite array of variations between. Grey, the blending of black and white on a continuum of scale, is the perfect example. Things are rarely black or white, but grey.

What about simple vs complex? Is everything a mixture of the two? Something is rarely only simple just as it might be singularly complex. Or more accurately, something simple to you might be complex to me.

There’s a word we hear often which many people use incorrectly: simplistic. Often when people call something or some process ‘simplistic’ what they are generally applying is that they thing the subject is simple — to them. Simplistic is much more insidious. Its origins are strange, having to do with plants, but today, simplistic generally means that you’ve assigned a theory or answer that OVER simplifies the solution; so much so that that your solution is now wrong, or at least incorrect on certain levels.

I think of simplistic as ‘simplifying to the point of error.”

Today, as I thought on this for no other reason than my mind does such things at times, I thought that everyone’s interpretation of the world — everything in the world — contained a degree of simplistic reasoning. To make our way in the world we must assume much. It’s just the way it is. We assume carrots are good to eat and most people’s assumptions about that would be simplistic. When we think we know something we undoubtedly only know some of it, rarely if ever *all* of it.  At some point our understanding of a thing will drift into the simplistic realm.

As I contemplated this I imagined the opposite of this. If a thing had so much white in it and so much black then it was grey. If we think of white as simplistic treatment, what would be the black side? I went searching. Nothing came up. So I dreamed up a new word: Complexic.

If simplistic meant simplified to the point of error then complexic might mean complex to the point of perfect understanding.

If the world if full of opposites, simple to complex, and our understandings of the world fall on a continuation between those two, at some point our knowledge or beliefs shift from simplistic to simple to complex to complexic. That is:

  • Our understanding is primitive to the point of being wrong.
  • Our understanding is simple but not wrongly so.
  • Our understanding is thorough, absorbing the complexity of a subject to where we generally understand it quite fully.
  • Our understanding is so complete that, for this topic, we’ve reached what we might call a topical nirvana, masters of the subject.

Do you have a complexic understanding of something or some process in the world?


Back to Dystopia

http://www.whitenoise.city/articles/apocalyptic-london-wells-orwell
Lexi Mize
The author does a sweeping job of collecting dystopian references, but just one or two notes on /why/ humanity spends so much time and effort imagining the Apocalypse: 1) it’s easier to envision destruction than slow, methodical change. 2) we’d rather the world end with us than continue on without us (what will we miss?)

My personal favorite (not mentioned) is that the act (and art) of survival has been lost on us. Your book The Knowledge is a perfect example of this. Without the need to struggle to survive, we’re left to ponder the why of existence.

Let’s face it, surviving in the first world is not much of a challenge. In other lands, sure, the everyday acquisition of food, water, safety, shelter are struggles. They’re living in a dystopia — today. We facebook meanderers probably worry about other more mundane or trivial aspects of modern life. Worries that we know have no consequence.

Envisioning the End allows us to, for a time, picture and dream of a time when our every step, our every decision might result in tragedy or triumph. Being forced to live in such a precarious world would imbue an edge of excitement, stir our basic evolutionary skills at surviving, expose that frisson of living that our mundane lives fail to provide.

 


Speaking vs Writing

I can’t talk and think. But, I can write and think. Hmm, maybe it’s the other way around…

I can’t think and talk but I can think and write. Yeah, that sounds better.

Anyway, I know people who can think while talking and they sound really intelligent. They can come up with ideas and elucidate those ideas and well, not sound like me when I try and think while talking. But I wonder about this breakdown. I seem to have the ability to hear myself speak, in my mind, while I write. But when I try to voice, like, out loud, such thoughts it’s like my brain shuts down. Why I wonder?

Could it be that the feedback of my actual spoken voice conflicts with my brain’s ability to both listen for information AND create information simultaneously?

I can listen very well. I can parse and evaluate people’s spoken words and drill straight into the nexus of those thoughts, what they mean and what the implications of those thoughts might be.

I make a very good interviewer. But asking short poignant questions is much different than being the target of those questions.

“So, what are your thoughts on the democratic process applied to resource distribution?”

“Sure, let me first take on the concept of what resource distribu…, feedback, feedback, feedback…”

What do you guys think? Could one’s own voice interfere with your brain’s processing of information? Forcing your brain to listen and speak at the same time? Are some people better at tuning this out? Or maybe they just suck at listening…?