November 22, 2013
November 11, 2013
I’m sitting in Starbucks. Day after day. This fellow comes in and reads “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. I’ve read parts. I’ve listened to interviews with Ayn Rand. I’ve watch a couple of films based on her work. She is no doubt one of the most unattractive people I have ever heard interviewed. It is this unattractiveness that has made her career. People think she must be a serious thinker.
Anyway this guy comes into Starbucks everyday. Reads his Rand. Piece by piece. He is only the second person I have met who reads Rand. The first was a very attractive woman in her 40s who swore that Rand was our Plato. She was starting a new business and Rand was her inspiration. The guy who came into Starbucks every day and read was an actor, trying to get discovered. He was also in his 40s. I think Rand’s philosophy (Nietzsche gone rancid) suits those who are desperate and need a ‘rationalization’ fix.
I’m sure Rand is very popular with the ‘tea party’ clan.
October 25, 2013
October 20, 2013
I’m back on this reality bit again. I realize that metaphors can cloud the issue, but imagine that you have entered a department store. You walk over to the elevator. The main floor is our everyday life. The elevator goes down as well as up.
If you go down you hit the level we’ll call ‘molecules’. The floor below that is ‘atoms’. The third floor down is called ‘sub atomic particles’. The fourth floor down is very dark. It could be ‘string theory’ or any of the number of possible explanations for a basic law of the universe. And then of course there could be floors below that. You have to take the stairs.
If you go up from our everyday experience, there is the second floor which might be called ‘life in our galaxy.’ The third floor is called ‘the universe’. The fourth floor is ‘parallel universes’, or ‘multiple dimensions’. Above that is ‘beyond time’. The sixth floor is ‘non-existence’. Perhaps Plato’s forms find a home here. Or for theists, God.
I’m trying to get a handle on where we are. Trouble is I hate elevators.
October 20, 2013
This is not a great insight. The impressionists made it. But I am sure someone noticed it much sooner. The closer you get to a photograph the more the image disappears into dots. You cannot see the image until you pull away from the picture to a certain distance. So the real image exists neither in the picture (photograph) nor in your perception. But some place in between. (Perhaps my logic is flawed but you get the meaning.) Reality is like that as well. The world as we perceive it does not exist at the atomic level. Our perception is our reality. (That of course is a contradiction.) Reality cannot be subjective. We as individuals or a species cannot own it. Perhaps it does not exist…
August 26, 2013
Couldn’t sleep. Forgot to take meds. Stayed up too late. Watching movies. Drank too much. Leg cramp. And then there was this nightmare. An argument really. A man is trying to find out if he can find out what is really behind everything (lets call it reality for short) by himself. For years he steels himself against all diversions. No emotions (that he can help). No deep commitments. And then he comes to this conclusion. Schizophrenia is natural to human beings. In fact schizophrenia is being human. But there is a caveat. And now your eyes may glaze over. A must reach B. A is equal to B. A is B. We are all schizophrenic. Those with mental health problems are those who cannot reconcile themselves with the other. They can’t see that the other is them. A is B. (Okay, I’ve written it down. Now I can go and get some sleep. Where did I put that bottle.)
August 19, 2013
We like to feel as if we have made a difference. Are we being honest? The greatest or the worst of us may make some difference in the ant colony we call earth. But its a big universe. This is not despair. Or even pessimism. The ancient Greeks knew that when they rebelled against the gods. Looking at reality takes courage. Something very few of us have in abundance.
July 25, 2013
I saw an accident. Two cars. Looked like one car had cut in front of the other and slammed on its brakes. On overpass. Fire engine. Ambulance. A guy leaning against a guard rail. A woman in white hair rushing around. Medics taking a younger woman out of a car and putting her on a stretcher. Whiplash. I walked my bike passed. A few moments later on the other side of the overpass a young woman dressed to the nine’s passed me. Heading toward the accident. Without a care in the world.
June 15, 2013
June 3, 2013
My wife tripped over a stone. In trying to safe herself from falling she stepped forward. Her speed increased. She smashed into a parked car. Broke her shoulder bone. A terrible accident.
In the argument between determinism and free will what is an accident? Between order and chaos, what is chance?
Are we, homo sapiens, an accident?