Posts from ‘July, 2012’

Rotted

When humans are young, life appears as a path because there are hoops to jump through on the way to adulthood and only one passage that goes that way. As life goes on, life begins to resemble a tree, with every choice leading to a branch. The biggest choices often do not announce themselves as…

Future consciousness

Because most people do not know what they want so much as what they do not want, people frequently ask what type of society is optimal. This interesting question shows up in the most contemplative writings through history, from Socrates to de Toqueville to Huntington. The question of how we would like to live is…

Gentle

As citizens from after the demythologization of nature, we recognize that evolution gradually makes smarter, stronger, and healthier creatures through natural selection. If we are honest, we acknowledge the same in our society. Generally speaking, the more intelligent, attractive, capable, stronger and healthier rise and those who are obstructed by lower ability or ineptitude fall….

Equality

Since the year 1789, when the French Revolution changed European politics with a decisive stroke, the West has been exclusively the province of democracies. Democracies take many forms, but in their modern style, they all share certain tenets: everyone can vote and every vote counts equally; people have certain civil rights; freedom of association is…

Pouring out gasoline

Right before the most recent depression hit, the West was engaged in full-on manic “green” behavior. It has fallen off somewhat, since there’s no point showing off your wealth in a recession. During hard times, you show off your humility, which is the way you saw you’re wealthy and hip enough to not have to…

Relevance

The average modern person knows clearly what he or she hates — it’s a modern obsession — but what is most detested is obligation. Obligation, like jobs or family, gets in the way of personal expression. Personal expression in turn is a way of remaining relevant. As we age, this becomes increasingly important. Our time…

Infection

All things converge on biological metaphors, because biology is the vessel the universe chose to hold its autonomous parts. The metaphor of infection applies to many things, and we learn more every year how behaviors and ideas spread like infections. Information travels between forms and media, even boundaries between individuals. Behaviors spread this way in…

Defensive personalities

Often life is paradoxical because appearance is a result of underlying structure, and not equal to it. The best way to think about this is the example of a tornado, which does not form itself. Winds of different temperatures cross under the right conditions, and create a tornado. In the human world, there is an…

Surrogate reality

We live in a time of confused cause-effect because, since the Enlightenment, we have made ourselves deciders of reality based on our whims and the collective popularity of ideas. Equality as a political concept means that each person is valid, whether their ideas/views are realistic or not; since each is valid, all must be accommodated,…

Saps

From greetings cards to presidential speeches, we live in a sappy time. Sentiment is no longer bold, honorable and stirring; it’s quasi-ironic, saccharine, self-deprecating and “uplifting,” which means a combination of distracting and momentarily pleasant. Underlying this style of expression is a fundamental negativity. Only if life itself is fundamentally not uplifting do we need…

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