вторник, 9 октября 2007 г.

treebrain: Aiding In The Survival Of An Internet Meme

"If you'd like to play along, let me know. I'll pick 7 interests of yours that I'd like to know more about, and you will write a journal entry about them in your journal and invite your friends to comment and so on and so forth. Don't just tell me about your interests in a comment to my journal...you've got to play fair and put it in your journal, so others can play along." I stole this meme, illegally, immorally and without permission, from . Gravity's Rainbow: This is the most intense book I've ever read. It took me about two months to slog through it, reading a bit every day. It's a long book, but so's the Illuminatus! trilogy, and that I've read through several times. Gravity's Rainbow is a completely different experience from any ordinary book. I consider it less a book and more a form of psychic parasite. For months afterwards I found my general mental state skewed markedly toward the surreal, and even such things as my word choices and writing style took on a Pynchonesque affectation. I felt basically like I was married to the book for as long as I was reading it. It was during a very strange and unpleasant period in my life as well. I was psychically raw and vulnerable, which further facilitated its parasitism on my mind. In short, I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone who wants something more than light reading. Especially if you like massive debaucherous orgies on the decks of cruise ships, lovingly-rendered descriptions of sexual coprophagia, characters randomly and unaccountably bursting into song, and a giant Godzilla adenoid which can only be appeased by having shovelfuls of cocaine heaved onto it. Moral Relativism: I think the idea of inherently right and wrong actions is one of the most detrimental ideas in history. I would call it a prerequisite for complete self-knowledge for one to understand that no such designations exist except as conventions. Not saying I've achieved complete self-knowledge, but as one seeking it, I like to tell myself that throwing out traditional morality was a good move. Of course, once one has rid oneself of the pernicious myth of right and wrong, one can go about constructing a working moral code for oneself, and that is fine and dandy. Snails: I've always had a particular affinity for snails. I like the fact that when mammals are huddled in their dens to get away from the damp and cold, snails make their way out to attend to their important business. I occasionally let them crawl around on my hands, having made sure to wash off any offending salt. I enjoy the feeling of their feet and their rasping mouthparts as they try to make food of me. Whenever I see them out on the sidewalk, I pause to move as many as I can to safety. Most people don't think twice about stepping on them, so I've taken it upon myself to be their protector. When I was three or four I peeled one, not understanding that its shell was part of its body, and felt terrible about it when I learned I had killed it. Since then, I've been working off my snail karma. This is the reason why I'm such a weirdo. Forgiveness: I try not to hold grudges. I think it's a bad habit. If I actively have something against a person I've ever been at all close to, or even a person who someone I'm close to is close to, I feel like something is wrong. Most slights simply aren't severe or important enough to harbor animosity about. I see enough social strife between people, and I prefer to stay Swiss about it. Unfortunately I've found that even this preference can get me into trouble. Pain in the ass, that. General Aimlessness: Everybody seems to be rushing around all the time, trying to stay busy and upwardly-mobile, in order to justify their existence on the planet. I say, fuck that. I didn't ask to be here, more than half the time I'd prefer not to be anyway, and so I see no point in making a space for myself in the world. I think that most ambition is mere ego-noise... or at least, it would be for me. Other people might have good reasons for doing what they do, but I know that if I were doing the same things, it would be out of some vain desire to conform and appear as less of an anomaly. For me, aimlessness is the only sincere option. Anything else would be a damnable contrivance. Superdeterminism: Put simply: determinism is the stance that the order of things is determined by the order of prior occurrences, and that the current state causally and predictably determines all future states. There was one past, there is one present, and there is one possible future. This is, as far as I see it, a patently idiotic hypothesis. Superdeterminism then, is basically the idea that things are as they are, however that happens to be, because they could not be otherwise. This may seem to contain a contradiction, but it is one easily assimilated. If an infinite set of possible states exists in superposition, then the current observable state is a statistical inevitability. I think it's a very elegant idea. It allows free will and chance to mesh amicably with notions of fate or destiny. It imagines the universe as a clockwork mechanism, but one so vast and complex that its motions cannot be reliably predicted. Tardigrade: Tardigrades are amazing. They've been around since the Cambrian, they are their own phylum and not related closely to any other extant life forms, they live on all seven continents, they can survive in extreme conditions that would kill other life, and they can be completely dehydrated and blown around as dust, to be reanimated upon contact with water. The fact that they are also known as Water Bears and Moss Piglets only makes them more awesome. There are tardigrades on you now.

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