A few weeks ago, a student was made to stand up in class for being too keen. He called out. But he had his hand up and was being ignored for ages. He tried to help other students who were being called on. Why don’t we let kids excel?! It’s as if to be fair we’re dragging back the talented students. I felt this when I was at school. I got in trouble for being smart. It was actively discouraged. I guess he learned his lesson…
I’m a thinker, a theoriser. Not so big on facts as on ideas, possibilities. Developing a vast knowledge of all kinds of things. Not taking anything too literally. My style’s not big on referencing. To clarify. I like dropping names and mentioning things. But I don’t like using “reputable” sources as evidence or justification. It’s a little insane, really. Since when were there any reliable authorities on anything anyway? They often falter. Name a news program or newspaper that’s never had a major stuff-up. Or countless medium-size errors strewn throughout their output. And the thing is, we tend to use “fancy” references and then never question them, which is fundamentally stupid and naive.
People criticise Wikipedia but considering its age, size and the way its “democratically” edited/updated, it’s the best encyclopedia the world has ever seen. I think we see the best side of people when they’re truly free and they realise it. We critique Wikipedia so harshly precisely because it’s right there, clearly the best and contradicts our prior assumptions about what people do in their spare time. In terms of sheer data, how big is Wikipedia? How many citations per article? Compare that to Britannica, which isn’t even free. Now place your bets.
There seems to be this movement to the appreciation that all things are “relative”. Space and time aren’t absolute. Gender roles are blurring. Cultures are blurring. There are counter-examples to everything. Overall, I think this is very healthy.
Cars 2 might actually not be a great movie even though it was made by PIXAR (I haven’t seen it yet). This came as a shock to my very core. Brave looks to be another comparitively disappointing effort. Not living up to the standards of yesteryear. Alas, only time can tell.
I think we know better than we realise (or admit to ourselves) about the truth. About how the world works. All we need is to hear it. We can tell. That’s why I like ideas. The notion that there are absolute truths or reliable sources of information is ancient. You have to question everything (in principle). It isn’t healthy to stay in the same spot for too long. But having said that, everyone’s different, some things have a long half-life. You may find yourself drawn to one thing for a long time. Some things really do last. But you will understand this in irrational terms. You can’t prove it, but you get it. If you just say the way it makes sense to you, other people will get it to. But buying into pretentious stuff is dangerous.
It’s never good to complain. It shows off your egocentricity. It says I can’t handle pain. Pain is natural. It shouldn’t defeat you. A life without pain isn’t a life at all. It’s not so bad really. But I never liked the advice to suck it up. The best advice is when they don’t give you any advice. They just cheer you up, they make you laugh, they remind you of something, they talk to you. Nobody needs advice. All the logic, all the rules of life are incredibly simple and obvious. Sometimes, it’s very difficult. How patronising to explain to someone what they need to do. Like they don’t know. Like they accidentally got into this mess and just need a pointer or two. Why don’t you make a sacrifice and get them out of this situation. Don’t “try” to help, actually make things better.
It’s important to keep back-ups right? Not always. Sometimes starting from scratch is the best thing that could happen to you. I often do it. In programming, it’s a natural process for me. I’ll keep adding, tweaking things, improving things. But eventually, I’ll have learned so much that the original overall design is weak compared to what I’m now capable of. Finally, it’s actually more efficient to start all over again. There’s a small period of being behind, but then I’m way ahead. The same is true of buildings and businesses, all kinds of things. Do they die with dignity? Or do they stubbornly cling to their pale imitation of life? At a certain point, it’s cheaper to completely replace them.
This doesn’t mean that destruction is ever a good thing. But sometimes it’s kind of harmless, if it’s getting rid of stuff that’s already dead. It’s the difference between outward appearance and the actual situation. A building that’s about to collapse is worse than no building at all. But that’s the point, it all depends on how useful and healthy it is, not on its age or style. It’s the same with classics. A recent film can be a classic and an old movie can be shit.
Okay, so I’m working on this theory of the natural state of things. It’s always to “freedom” over “control”. Or something. Chaos over order. Consciousness, I think, has a very interesting quality and plays a very important role in all this. There are these forces in the universe. I guess you might almost say that some are “unthinking” while others are thought out in some mysterious way. Anyway, the main implication is that any attempt to control things is in some way self-destructive. You’ve got to go with the flow. You have power but you have to understand it at a deeper intuitive level. Don’t let it obsess you. When you play tennis, the racket is an extension of your body. Just like friends might kind of be extensions of your personality or your body’s an extension of your soul or mind or some shit. But once you become too aware of it, it goes off! When your focus ends up somewhere it “doesn’t belong”, things start messing up…
But to be clear, I strongly believe we are “meant” to have this ability. To create and change things. We’re meant to feel guilt and regret and sorrow. To see the pain the world can cause and know that we have some responsibility to make a positive difference. We’re built to use everything we’ve got. But it’s still in the moment. We’re not supposed to master any one thing, but just live well. Be gods to the other plants and animals. To the people younger than us. We have these wonderful feelings and culture that the universe has never seen before. Nobody can tell us what to do with it, we just have to “know”, to figure it out somehow.
Acronyms. I *love* acronyms. SOLO = solo often leads (to) outcomes. TEAM = teamwork eventually arrives (at) madness. Well, there’s also “together everyone achieves more”. But yeah, all these contradictions can be confusing. Same with famous sayings and advice. Philosoraptor asks if actions speak louder than words, then why is the pen is mightier than the sword? For example.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (oh yeah, spelled it right first go) seems pretty cool. This video is a good example of how science doesn’t have to be patronising or boring or annoying. An engaging, entertaining and educational (the three Es as it were, what do you know) half hour. Apparently, he’ll be hosting a sequel to Cosmos (the greatest TV show of all time, as I’m sure you’re all well aware). Interesting news, hopefully it’ll be great. I can’t remember being very excited about astronomy any time recently. This could be a welcome change!