we live as our ancestors lived. millions of years ago.
raising the offspring,
feeding, oh, god, feeding...
and so, other aspects of that progression are not limited to the ancient past.
i will not hazard to answer if it is best to live a long , full life time with the same person, or if it is better to study quantom mechanics.
but i will say, that each relationship, is a wave that spreads indefinately. it may bounce against other waves, or continue dissipsting on it’s own. observing the geometry, is hazardous. it tends to disturb, and conflict with the symmetry, rather than lets things propagate unhindered.
but beware of setting things up, expecting to have things stay the same. change is in all things, and love and emotiinal attachment are dynamic. if you expect things to stay the same forever, then you clearly do not understand physics, chemistry or humans at all.
1) life is terrible, we live with misery and short snaps of joy. joy is admittedly scarce. but your suicide will definitely not result in joy. not for you, not for others. i have no doubt that many will say that the world is more miserable without you in it.
2) it could be worse. and if it could be worse it WILL get better. it’s a strange conclusion to make, but it does, trust me.
3) so much beauty and joy in the world. despite all the massive amounts of ugliness and hateful actions of others, the world is surprisingly beautiful.
4) you do not know what real effect you have on others. what they bother to show is often far less then they would like to show.
5) so many things haven’t happened yet. you will never know how things evolve, if you don’t stick around.
6) the fact that you are looking for reasons to stay around, means you are not certain this is a good idea. it isn’t, the worst possible choice.
7) you have constructive outlets to externlize pain, anxiety, frustration, and anger. they will in turn both bring you satisfaction, and possibly change how you view things. pain Doesn't go away easily, but it can be tamed.
8)food, humor, music and literature- i know i already mentioned the beauty in this world, but unless you are blind/deaf/lactose intolerent, there is sooo much to enjoy.
Wow, an easy one, finally
yes! there is objective morality. some things do not require socratic dialectics to understand. every culture will tell you that killing is wrong. exceptions are always made, but they are hypocrytical ones: the vikings knew well enough that massacaring villagers along the english coast was a baddy. they did it anyway, forecfully justifying thungs for themselves, so did every killer in history.
theft is also pretty obvious. you make take from others, but then you need to make some construct to justify.
a lot of justifying was done in history, for sure.
but the very fact that you need to come up with an excuse, says you know something is wrong.
now for moral dilemmas:
1) steal a loaf of bread, cause your family is starving?
2) what do we do in cases we need to weigh the benefit of the many?
3) what if god told me to do it?
4) what if it is something a bit more gray, say stealing from a neighbor’s wife, instead of coveting her?
and so on.
again, results of these mental gymnastics may vary, by culture, conditions, the neighbor’s wife , etc.
but the very fact we struggle with it, rather than come up with a desicion immidietly, and later on feel regret for whatever we chose-all these indicate there truly is objective morality.
so the question is; how do we define what is right and wrong?
how do we deal with complex cases.
the problem is, this- any law or rule that is codified , even under the best of intentions and the purest of hearts will come smack against the hard granite that is reality. sooner or later, decisions we take and others have taken, would lead us in a certain unwanted tragectory. we can’t avoid bad choices, because they are not only dependant on us. laws and norms also fail on a more formalist level. people just can’t put in words all possible conditions and subsequant restrictions and allowances. there is much that is wrong that is not illegal, and there is much that is legal that is.
a few days ago, i was walking with my baby. and along the sidewalk we saw a dog turd that was covered by a piece of paper, rather than picked up so either the person that was doing this thought that his covering of the ‘fact’ was enough civic responsibility, or that he failed to complete the task because he was then chased by a tiger.
i’ll be frank and say, that i didn’t take this opportunity to show my girl what being an urban resident means, and did not pick the stuff up myself.
kill me, i deserve nothing less.
but here again, even in this low, pathetic moment we see that there is morality. both the soon-to-be-tiger-meal, and yours truly thought of the moral implications of inaction.
the fact that neither of us took the right step, does not deminish it being wrong.
collective, pervasive malpractice is not equal to immorality.
lets look at history again. yes, it is true that much that was murderous, vile and hateful was commited. beside gross obsenity, there are a lesser mode of crimes against easthetics (rod stewart) , disregard for the wellbeing of orhers (anyone who smokes, or plays music too loud), and the spreading of false values (oh...don’t get me started..)
these are all things that hapoened , and will regretably continue to occur.
but there is so much good that is done in this world. why aren’t we analyzing the motives of a hero, while we do so endlessly with those that we lable villans?
because one is good and one is not.
there. i just proved objective morality from a few angles.
i am still not sure what to do in this world.
but that, maybe, is the true test of morality:not finding a way, but looking for one.
Good prosers, prosettes, proseters, prosaños, and prosittas, and of course, cool prosenicks, lend me your ears!
in a few days, the Jewish holiday of Passover will be upon us.
for those of you who do not know, Passover celebrates the emancipation of the Hebrew slaves from their servitude in Egypt. the opressed slaves were delivered onto freedom through acts of miracle(and great destruction ) by god, known as the 10 calamities. I am no serious follower of any faith, but I find that Passover and the exodus and subsequent events it entails are very interesting .
one of the family traditions of the holiday, is to tell the story of these events, and try to find similarities between it and current events. you may think it absurd that every year we 'succeed' in finding a parallel, but the events of the past two years are disturbingly similar.
last year, being in quaranteen in the city of Wuhan, i posted a commentary about the exodus of Egypt. as i mentioned, much of the happenings of that year, mirrored what was going on in the story. there was great confusion and pain, a leader of men who sees no reason, and listens only to his very falliable intellect and caprice. of course , there were the great blows that god had dealt the Egyptians, which were suffered by good and evil alike, much like the calamities we all had to suffer through.
of course the fact that i was trapped at the time, physically unable to even leave my small neighborhood had much in resemblance to that ancient story, or so i felt at least.
(if you would like to read further into that article, here is the address : https://theprose.com/post/346306/the-final-days-of-the-wuhan-quarantine-and-passover)
this year, I would like to pick at this story again. for though much has changed, our current condition still mirrors much of that great epoch.
You see, after the ancient slaves were freed, and the chriots of pharoah and his minions found their end at the depths of "the sea of reeds" (or as later translators mistakenly write : the red sea) ,
they found themselves in a new , hostile environment: the desert. it was a very alien
world for them. contrary to popular belief, Egypt is far from being merely a desert land, but rather has fertile valleys, and green fields, feeding off of the innundations of the great river Nile.
the slaves who were freed, were unfamiliar with living in these harsh conditions and looked to Moses and the tribal elders for guidance , leadership and above all else - a direction. they cried in despair as the hardships mounted. some even pleaded to be allowed to go back to the "flesh pots" of captivity .
" where are the vegetables we were used to?"
" the service here is terrible! why do we have to stand in line?"
"you know what, you guys? with all the persecution and oppression that was going on, things were pretty sweet back in the land of Goshen! "
"i know my rights! if i want to waste the water on a half-hour shower, it's none of your business! and don't tell me that there's not enough water to go around! FREEDOME!!"
and so on..
could you concieve of such a mess? we truly are lucky there's nothing like that today..
Moses pleaded with god for relief, he preyed and asked for guidance, He even offered to resign in frustration. he faced the harsh criticism that was ungratefully cast upon him. his efforts were not appreciated and perhaps sabotaged even by the 'Make Pyramids Great Again' faction, who still endlessly griped over those fleshpots they recalled so well. the sea of reeds, or better yet, "the sea of reads" was a divide for them separating the past with the present, geographically and symbolically or in today's climate: nostalgia versus facts and learning.
despite all these emotional hurdles and the actual hardship facing them all, they kept going, in their path through the Sinai desert, they had to face hunger, thirst, hostile natives, disease, and surly sun strokes and blistered skin on occasion.
much of what was needed was provided for the people. Mannah was provided to all who needed food, water was handed out of sheer rock. a logistical miracle, that still left everyone complaining that the food was too mealy, or the water had a slight aftertaste.
oh and and riots and brawls and fewds were rampant.
it took them all 40 years of wandering in the sands to reach the land that was promised them.
now, a question; why is it that it took them so long?! google the distance between the Nile river and across the Sinai desert to what is today the state of Israel. you will see, that they covered a distance of around 300 miles in forty years. I am no mathemarician, but it seems they travelled less than ten miles in each year?!
what a slow bunch they were! couldn't they have picked up the pace just a bit?! didn't they have a proper incentive to get a move on? it's as if they enjoyed this misery!
maybe someone at the top had an angle in the great tent or used camel business?
of course the answer to that is easy; the great length of time it took for the crossing , is the resault of "wandering" rather then "traveling". the freed slaves walked for years, making far better nomads than i had indicated previously. they just failed to walk in a straight line!
no, this is no question of Euclidean geometry, nor was it a preposterous error in navigation . indeed, resembling our own times, Moses by the time of the exodus, was no stranger to the desert, having traveled its paths in his youth.
no. there was no mistake in negotiating the terrain, it was all about the need for remaking the people. the people who left Egypt were torn between a sugar-coated memory and a hard uncertain future. their values were all wrong, they failed in many occasions to have a vision of how thing should be.
as that no man, even the greatest of leaders, can inspire everyone of the collective indefinitely, there were many terrible setbacks and relapses. it took much time and many travails until they reached their journey's end.
most of all, the former slave's values, were so warped, both by their lives as slaves, and later, by the expectation that they would be miraculously delivered to safety and taken care of, that they needed to have the ten commandments spelling out to them how things should be . a constitutional amendment to abolish the past within their hearts and move on.
do you need to have a written document, telling you it is wrong to steal? or bare false witness?
isn't that, something in later days, people called 'self evident?' it is because it can't be otherwise?
or was it the extremes of the times that caused everyone to lise their minds?
truly, so corrupted were they, by their experiences, that even as the new code of right and wrong was being delivered into the hands of Moses, the nomads, were making idols and golden calves!
or maybe they were having a massive going out of business party ..
by this time, dear friends, you might ask what is the point? why bother finding correlation between the past and our epic present? you may even say that these similarities are an illusion, that i am forcing things down , picking and choosing facts...
but here we are. mask mandates, vaccines, trump finally cast down from his perch on the branch, and tweets no more. things are starting to come around.
but are they?
Did we learn anything from this last year?
have we changed our ways, did we embrace a vision of a future rather than a sacchrine past, or a poisoned present?
Are we destined to wander aimlessly through privations and troubles that are intrinsically our own fault?
Will it take us forty years, till we start having focus?
will we eat too much, while others starve?
will we waste our breath screaming, when we could do better and listen?
will we do things rather than talk of doing things and expect that we did our part?
only time will tell.
I will close with wishing you all a happy holiday. be safe, healthy and strong, and keep wearing those masks!
If donkeys slept on satin sheets
there is an old arab proverb i’ve come across once: if we get what we deserve only rom our hard work, donkeys would sleep on satin sheets.
much beauty, much success, and equally so-much ugliness and failure are not a result of actual effort, struggle or pain. the world was not created with equality or fairness in it. the jury is still out if there’s even any justice in it.
i listen to beethoven, or john coltrane, and know with certainty that i will never create anythung equally beautiful.i live with the knowledge that such a feat of perfection is just nor within my grasp and never will be.
i can try my best, as we all should to both appreciate beauty and contribute to it, if at all possible.
both genius that i mentioned,were actually known for their unrelenting pursuit of beauty. each in his own way went to extremes in this search, and to some degree or another paid a great price for it. consider also, that there were some foul-ups, some setbacks , that would have disparaged many, but not them. so effort plays a part in beauty, but what of other forms of beauty?
a flower will sacrifice much of it’s resources for the sake of producing a flower. so does a butterfly, a spider weaving his web, a tree bursting into bloom. it all requires sacrifice and effort.
nothing will come out of nothing. there is no product without the materials to create it.
but is the actual effort that the flower puts in, the pain of producing, a component of the beauty?
it is not. donkeys on bedsheets again.
saying the opposite is dangerous both logically and morally.
what of all the beauty in the world that is not aquired through our effort?
what of all the effort and struggle that produce NO beauty at all? how about the effort to produce ugliness. even that doesn’t come easily at times.
would we be selfish in enjoying the beauty made by others, while doing nothing ourselves?
should we destroy or marginalize much of this world, because it came of it’s own?
will we let those donkeys on the bed even?
Calculus of the clueless
when you look at the function ,
you see dips and slopes,
troughs and peaks.
the trend means nothing.
but you find meaning,
with the integral.
how far things got and how much they amounted to,
from dead, depressing zero.
if you ask why all this happened?
how this mess was directed?
you need to analyze the derivative. what derivative intersected,
what point along the line of the graph did it cross.
what other graphs were involved?
what synthesised waves,
can be inferred?
by the cold juggling of equations.
and one day,
that graph will cross the X axis,
and we will know what comes next, does the line ever reemerge?
or does it go down forever.
So here it is...
I have travelled much,
seen many things ,
manipulated and finally disheartened.
and I am no expert,
but no one is, not at the truth biz.
it’s a depressing endeavor,
the truth biz,
more wrong turns than right,
more black and shadow,
and not a lot of certainty,
and for what?
and for who?
and what in the end,
we have to show for all that torture?
tone down your expectation,
you won’t get any E equals MC squares here.
not crisp equation,
that you can neatly,
put on a get well card.
in fact, for much that we can say,
us in the truth biz,
the more you try to shove things,
compacting, dismissing exceptions,
the more you stray.
perhaps this is what truth realy comes down to:
don’t expect to get a straight answer.
then again, in the truth biz,
we literaly wrote the book,
we generalize and stereotype the crap,
out of this universe,
it is mostly dark, you see?
and there are these shiny things?
i guess that in the truth biz,
we get a bit lazy sometimes.
it’s probably a cobtributing factor,
all those giants who lend us ,
nice shoulders to stand upon,
why, i’ll admit it,
we could’ve done a better job.
but that’s the bar that’s set here,
over here at truth biz,
you should see some of the bozos,
we got working on it,
but that’s what we get,
it ain’t pretty,
it’s sad and unsatisfying,
and we’ve pretty much,
just came around to the same conclusion, over and over.
so here it goes:
life is so-so. it isn’t good or bad,
it could be worse or better,
it comes to an end,
there’s some speculation,
about what comes next,
we’ll get back to you on that one.
so done with life.
reality is change,
it is constantly in flux,
if you caught a contradiction here,
so did Perminides, one of those giants..
so yeah, it’s all change,
but it's full of patrerns.
think of it as an endless roll of wrapping paper being pulled straight into a paper shredder.
well, you may find some,
although satisfaction is a fleeting moment.
though satisfaction is a fleeting momentis although satisfaction is a fleeting moment.oment.
and even if you get some,
it is not important,
in the grand scheme of things,
yeah, that’s right,
here in the truth biz,
we look at things on a cosmic scale,
at least sometimes..
god, my mouth is dry...
god. MY mouth is dry.
great, well...the big guy,
let’s tie it with reality, then:
the universe is in change,
and it is constantly being created,
it was not a one-off thing,
so god or the gods or the non-god ,
death sucks for everyone,
that can’t wait for it to come,
but we don’t know,
if the next stage gets one star or five,
zero...nothing comes from nothing,
what do you get? nothing!
oh, i’m sorry,
I got a flashback of ‘the life of Brian’.
always look on the...
look, i’m getting tired of this.
maybe this is part of the truth.
some guys over,
at the classics department,
say that everything is Logos,
or in other words:
everything has a deeper neaning.
oh..you liked legos when,
you were young?
why then and not now?
aren't you the same person?
i think you still do,
like Legos, i mean.
or you are possibly,
not the same entity, you recall.
here in the truth biz ,
keeping true to yourself,
and not hiding things is a big thing,
hey, i LIKE legos too.
i just feel bad,
that when you buy them today,
they come with a plan,
and in the end it looks so good,
that you don’t dare take it apart.
well..until some parts get lost,
and only then you start,
doing your own thing.
such is life , eh?
we make plans,
see our life on a nice track,
then the wheels start coming off..
i think you don’t want the truth.
you just want me to tell you,
it’s going to turn out great,
and give you advice,
about how to turn your life around.
you don’t care about the srars,
you don’t care about art,
you don’t care about love.
all you want is for me to be a ‘daddy’,
and figure EVERY thing out for you.
oh, and you want it to be,
an easy read!
go back to the start,
i made no claim that this,
is what i can give.
i’m sitting on a taxi now,
the website gives what i write,
all kinds of problems,
i’m dead tired and my day,
is just starting,
no amount of coffee,
is going to fill that hole.
you want the truth?
i can’t handle the truth!
i just can't!
it’s just a bug in the system,
a self-replicating annoyance,
that keeps popping up,
in my sleep deprived mind,
especially when it’s all gloomy,
which is why it often feels like a...
like a draining tub.
the truth is a draining tub.
there! I quit!
can you resist nature?
physical scabs are a product of millions of years of evolution. the itch and annoy, and so you hold yourself from touching, picking it. knowing and dreading the scars . in the end, you absentmindedly scratch, either opening them up, or exposing a well-healed wound.
figurarively- scabs are a peoduct of millions of years of evolution. we have a coping mechanism, that jelps us slowly move past grief. unfortunately we do not have a way to erase the grief, and so it irritates and hurts, and the more you think about it, the more it hurts more. emotional 'itching' is as unavoidable as the physical one, and as hard to restrain or distract. eventually tbough, one day, you absentmindedly pick at a memory, pissibly while restraining from touching a real scab. the result will either be a painful reopening of the injury or a revelation that you are moved past grief.
Are puns funny?
what makes something funny?
laughing and feeling something SHOULD be funny are two different things. one is an emotional reaction, one is a more cerebral, cognitive one.
now, to make things easy, i shall state that “funny” is ONLY for the emotional reaction (actual laughter).
what makes things funny, in my opinion is some clear lack of apprehention of reality.
it could be another person having an observable failure in that regard, or a passing thought that is markedly insane.
a guy slipping on a banana, gets a laugh, from almost every one and every age group. the poor fellow fails to be aware of banana peels and their dangers. additionally, his goofiness, might also be funny because he is not aware or is brazenly disregarding social norms.
great, that takes care of all of slapstick.
jokes May be funny if some element of the joke shows such a lack of awareness. i used to be a big fan of black humor. all kinds of dead kids’ jokes, dead starving people hilarity.
now, i will definitely not enjoy an actual even of death, violance at all. but having such an extremely evil thought is clearly insane and as such it is funny . (i realize that some will not agree, and since i had a baby of my own, i have not enjoyed this kind of humor either.)
what is funny about some jokes is not the details of the joke, but the lack of awareness and sensitivity which you purposely created.
perhaps at some level, humor has a way to show us what NOT to think and steer us clear of psychosis.
delivery seems to be a big thing with funny. you are funny because you act out some sort of insanity.
insanity and absurdity go hand in hand. we laugh at the absurdity of an increasingly alianting, complex reality, which causes us anxiety as we understand less and less of it.
my favorite example of absurdity is the Monty Python skit about the spanish armada (i hope it could be found on youtube..) the court of queen Elizabeth I is dressed in period costumes, the herald walks in to warn of the threatnong spanish fleet . only ALL of the cast are visibly sitting on Suzuki motorpads. of course we expect another historical drams, but this one is apprently directed by a japanese director, and so , Suzukis for everyone!! . (i believe both Suzukis and Kurasawa’s films were becoming widespread at the time).
irony and satire may be funny in extreme situations, but it is rare to find it causeing you to laugh outright.
the situation, delivery and the occurance are crucial to determin weather something is funny or merely amusing/humerous. sometimes a comedic situation will best be served by seeming to be failing at being funny, causing us to laugh at the orchestrated failure.
laughter in many people can be provoked by unintelligent means. slapstick will never be a great demonstration of the intelect. neither do sitcoms and canned laughter. indeed, many things that are funny are idiotic or even cruel.
which brings us to puns.
puns are complex arrangments of words that form a meaning that is contrary to what is expected at first.
thus ’see you on the flip-side will mockingly turn to ’flip you on the seaside.
there is a use of homophones to cleverly convey a contrary message.
in many languages, puns and other plays on words have been a common and even dominant forms of humor.
spoonerisms, a close causin of puns, the unintentional mixing up of syllables to produce a confused orgarbled message, are also very common. ‘are puns funny?’ will inadvertantly come out as ‘are funs punny?’ this is often used to convey an absent-minded, nervous, or even drunken mental condition.
And now for the argument at hand:
while puns may be very humorous, and witty, i have to say that they do not cause me to laugh. i know they may seem funny, i know they should be funny, but they are just amusing at best.
they do not cause an emotional reaction on par with other funny products.
it could be my own fault, maybe I’m too jaded, but a witty pun will not get me rolling, while my baby stealing my wallet would (Though not while i’m running after her..).
‘funny’ and ‘amusing’ are connected at some cognitive level. but while the funny occurance will provoke an explosive emotional reaction, amusing will not. i posit that puns are too cognitively complex to get an immidiate reaction, and because of that, other cognitive mechanisms will restrain a fullblown reaction.
Perhaps, if puns were delivered as part of a joke, or a comedy bit, and the comedian will exploit the fact that they are not funny, as an example of the aforementioned orchastrated failure, then they will be funny as a contextual element. i can imagine John Cleese, or Andy Kaufman deliberately failing to be funny, and thus succeeding in being funny.but as a direct attempt to raise a laugh, puns a not funny.
a hard core Warsian
it’s sad, that things had to be like this, that people could not tolrate each other's culture, just because their opposite, preffered vision of a futururistic society disgusts them.
defining myself as a Warsian is a product of the existance of Trekkies. if trekkies did not exist, then i would nor be a warsian. i would be simply a star wars enthusiast. i am saying this just so you will understand the unbridgable divide that exists in western culture since the late 70′s. perhaps in ancient Athens it was the same, people arguing over Sophocles and Eurypedes. but in our time it is THE rift. perhaps in a parralel uninverse things would be different and both narratives could be reconciled. but i am a warsian and we don’t do time travel. that is for trekkies.
no time travel. no doovers. reality.
it is hard and painful, and drives many to acts of violance. but it is real. there is no copout. things break and can never be mended, the dead can not be recreated on a different planet...
now, sure, i’ll admit that some aspects of the starwars universe is preposterous. i try to ascribe that to the commercial tensions that drive much of the entertainment industry. there are plot holes, there are annoying aliens, some of the acting is bad, some of the writing is bad, if you get caught up in the extensive novels that were written.
but what is art? what is fiction? is it some perfect moment that encapsulates all that could ever be without fault, without pain?
no. sadly, the human race is not capable of such a feat. all we may hope to acheive in our modern versiob of grunts, snorts, and fecal-flingung, is a glimpse of how things are. star wars holds a mirror to our face. it shows poverty, abuse, weakness, fear, corruption, cruelty. but it also shows the greatness in man. i am not talking only of jedi fighting it out with lightsabers. i am talking of existential struggles, of ordinary people that rise above their misery, even if it is just for short periods of time.
honestly, i have watched all the movies several times over. and though at times i find things laughable, i still go back for more. star wars has everything in it for me.
i’ll conclude by recommending Kurt Vonnegut to you. i have written several posts abt this amazing writer, but i feel that it is relevant. one of vonnegut’s charachters is a failed science fiction writer call Kilgore Traut. Kilgore writes insane science fiction stories that hardly get published. they are laughable, preposterous creations. but each one shows, something meaningful about humanity. they are an outlet for Kilgore to externalize the suffering he sees around him and his wretched state. such is star wars for me in many ways. i won’t leave anything out, even episode I and IX. watch them all and be aware of yourself AS you watch.