Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Acting Solo

Through the most mundane of our means, we pursue the goal of collective existence. Our desire to listen to a piece of music, view a painting, or watch a movie or a show with a friend--or, in high modernity, to recommend it and know that our recommendation was followed--is an attempt to, through blended vicarious experience, share something. If Zeke is watching the same show as Adam simultaneously with Adam's first viewing, with a similar cultural and personal background, drawing upon a similar context of shows watched, and aware of similar or assumedly-identical personal anecdotes that make certain plot events more poignant or humorous, Zeke hopes that Adam will, contra indeterminacy, feel what he felt. Missed or fulfilled plans make us feel that we're ordinary (truly connected to everyone else by virtue of the experiment achieving no results), or one in a million (truly connected to a subgroup, perhaps more exclusively-membered, by virtue of the experiment achieving results), in our successes and failures, and therefore, successfully extant.

We pursue this siren song of connection in sundry and expensive ways, whether by sharing similar experiences, thoughts, or puzzles, and are alternately pleased and upset when we discover that the illusion has been properly perpetuated or admittedly disavowed. When a forty-minute rut or a forty-year marriage can be professed to have really meant the same thing or a different thing, respectively, we feel that it has been a mistake, a plan, or both--for ultimately positive or negative ends, depending on our perceived survivability and/or predilection for rationalizing.

Internet-metaphors are even more apt for beings of our current state (Terra 2017). What do we do on the internet? We share for good, share for bad, like and follow and block, and pursue "audience size" as a barometer for determinacy that may or may not reflect anything, yet which probably reflects our ability to accurately gauge whether or not anyone cares in the proper and true way as we would define that way. Whether or not we censor or champion proves statistically immaterial, for the facts as we know them will or will not appeal. Is it right to censor calls for violence against an occupation government? Whatever it is, it's neither bar against nor mandate for censorship.

As ever, there are creatures who do these things to be effective, rather than to discover anything true, and they will ever succeed in acing quizzes to which they already know the answers. Put them aside for now; we're discussing developing components, not completed ones.

We see some residual and/or growing awareness of this indeterminacy of interconnectedness in the ways that European Christianity, over time, revised its conception of Hell as deriving its primary punishment in the act of being separated from God--forever alone--rather than the material Jenomic revision of Zoroastrianism, wherein Hell was expressed as an inverted fantasy of sadism and masochism. Paradise was conceived of originally in purpose and togetherness, the kindred and offshoots of which--Nirvanas and the like--have become materially corrupted, and treated as the absence of suffering unfulfilled or inadequate material desires, or as the trans-fulfillment of desire, where you can eat mousse all day without getting fat, screw seventy virgins and seventy nubile boys all day, pray and reflect upon the perfect synchronicity of God's divine overmind in perfect synchronicity with God's divine overmind, or all of the above. Outside of such obviously perspective-influenced Terran fantasies, we see a common thread of togetherness, or at least non-alone-ness, in these dreams.

Redesign as you will. "If I'd been born in Virginia, 1820, would I independently arrive at the conclusion that...?" "If I'd been born in 8th century Arabia, would I still truly feel...?" "If He's really my perfect omnipotent all-loving buddy, would He really throw me into eternal lava if I'd choked on that straw at 29 before having a deathbed confession at 73?"

Let's Unpack That: Permitted Perspectives

Nu Euro academic voice: "What does 'perspective' mean to you?" Because imposing a question in a thoughtful tone means you've thought independently about it, come to the answer that there is no answer, but are a master of the dilemma, and therefore the apex of what can be understood here and now. When did all academic majors become "hospitality management"? Sometime during the twentieth century, probably. This is why so many academics end up employed on cruise liners. Despite the tax fasces, government firms can't afford to give them all anti-competing-firm sinecures, so private industry can step in and use them to kickstart discussions among older people who've only recently met.

This one said, "The powerful philosophies of our permitted perspective are all incorrect." Our self- and mass-permitted perspectives are extremely limited, consisting only of the handful of millennia we are considered reasonable to feel like we understand based on speculations which claim to be the progeny of such time periods. We place great stock in our conjured birth, whether via God's creation in personified or laboratorified form (Sotadic buttfuckery or Oparinesque work-camps, respectively), and we place an equally great faith in our understanding that all time since then can be dismissed, like a simplified abridged (sic) version we were too lazy to read anyway, based on our understanding of that glorious beginning. We do not know what happened before the Big Bang, and loudly declare our aversion to challenging our inability to know, yet we are highly confident that, since that illusory creation, none of the existential properties we have induced therefrom have changed. We are, therefore, quite confident in what our physical sciences, and then our social sciences, tell us about the next snippet of history upon which we are permitted to speculate, namely our rather personified version of the last few years before we ourselves were born. Be it by human-motivated demigods terraforming paradise into hardship, or by a void of matter designed but not-designed to create our pinnacled aspirations, we remain confident that, between "very long go" and "recently," one may generally understand what happened based upon one's belief in instantaneous but potentially enduring temporality. However we understand that, if we do, we may find that being able to fathom these concepts leaves us, nonetheless, with predicative assumptions about "thens" and "nows" that we cannot exactly dispel. Our base program, however designed, seems to include immutable self-references to aspects of order and process.


  1. When did all academic majors become "hospitality management"?

    A rhetorical Q certainly, but since I'm an awkward dunce, I'll hazard a guess: post-Vietnam War. The real "Sixties" was 1974-1979.

    1. Another book in there somewhere, about how calling it "the Sixties" retroactively over-empowered the too-young Boomers.

    2. By the time their power was entrenched, Tom Brokaw's book was published and their self-image was carved in granite.

      Puppets all the while, they soldier on today in their leisure, throwing money energy and rhetoric in service to the myths of Equality and We-Are-One-ness.

      Following generations slavishly adhered to the myths. Even Millennials or STEMmies or Avatar-Superiorities, or whatever you want to call them, will be found paying homage to the Sixties (artifact-wise) while blaming Boomers for the hard luck encountered when leaving college with a degree in Women's Studies/Social Media double-major. Or some software-related certificate.