Tomorrow night I’ve got things to say about Obama’s delusion of godhood as evidenced by his speech tonight. And I have a few comments on some remarks made by Jeff Kuhner while he filled in on The Savage Nation tonight. His remarks are his opinions and he has a right to them, but I’m troubled by a few things he said.
But for now, I’m posting what I started last night and slumped over in the middle of. Yes, it’s philosophical and I’m probably so full of sh*t that I squeak when turning corners. If that sort of thing bothers you, go read something on Drudge.
You follow this blog any length of time and you realize that I’m weirded out by the idea of teleportation. Are you the same person you were when you went in or not?
Well, the idea that came to me the other day really screws with my brain. I probably heard it from someone else and forgot where. It’s exceedingly rare for anyone to come up with a new idea so I think it is ridiculous to believe that I did in this instance. The genesis of this line of thinking is no longer in my data banks, is all I’m saying.
You sleep every day, right? Sometimes more, sometimes less, and the quality can vary (me, it goes between crap and mega-crap).
But if you stop and think about it, for that period the conscious you is no longer you. “You” don’t exist.
And it is these “While you were out” moments that bother me. No, I can’t explain it any better than I can explain away a debilitating fear of spiders or fear of bad mayo when there’s no mayo within five miles. Perhaps a relative was killed by a marauding mayo packet when I was a kid or something.
We live our lives with a constant narrative where we build up the world in our heads, and concepts and thoughts aren’t really language as much as metaphor and our brains trick us into thinking that we just worked through something in an actual language. Go ahead, picture running down to the store for a six-pack of Dr. Pepper and a steak. Did you really just use the words “Yep, there I am driving to the store, purchasing sugary products for an obscene amount of money, and there I go, off to select a part of a bovine that looks delicious”?
No. You thought and then pictured the act complete with all of the nuances and feelings that make it an experience unique to you. In other words, good luck explaining to someone every last detail of how the thought of such an act seems to you when you imagine it – the feeling, the steps, the way you picture the lighting, the feel of the car seat, the exemplar of the classic squeaky-wheeled cart, the wrinkles in the fabric where the word “Juicy” is spelled on some chick’s butt, and the smell of the seafood display. When you picture that complex notion, it is like a faceted gem with many thousands of facets, and only you can see every facet of the metaphor as you spin it in your head. No one else in the world sees anything more than a 2-D projection of that faceted metaphorical gem of… uh… metaphor… that is in your head. Maybe they might see several if you are a good writer or talk a lot, and they care enough to try, but that’s about it. For example, they will never know the full shape of the metaphor in your head when you picture how you feel when a dog snarls and barks right next to you. We are born alone, live alone, and die alone - that is, when you talk in terms of total understanding of a concept between people.
You do this for the huge portion of your day, and your reality was formed out of that running narrative of metaphor. Then you go to sleep and reality collapses like a wavefunction between that moment and the next morning when you reboot. And you start a new narrative that might have recycled some of the previous day if your ocytocins were elevated, or perhaps it is a totally warpy/woofy world metaphor after all that stuff was partially sent through a biological wood chipper called dreaming while you slept, or perhaps it is totally subsumed upon waking if you have a newfound case of transient global amnesia or diarrhea. But most normally it is not something that radical. It’s the world around you that presents new information and you recycle the code (Object-Oriented-Metaphor alert) from the previous day and you build new things in your head. It’s exactly like K’nex only incredibly complex and totally different.
But you are really the operating system that the metaphor objects are constructed and destructed in… inheritance, polymorphism, subclassing. It all happens there, while you are doing brain things inside your head, nonstop and over and over.
My point is, when the metaphor that defines “now” goes away, and your consciousness re-sets it, when you wake up are you any longer you? Seriously, it’s sh*t like this that troubles me at times. Yes, I know the argument “Well, obviously you’ve gone to sleep and woken thousands and thousands of times and it made no difference”. Well, is that true? Would you know? Probably not, given the sense of humor in this perverse universe God set in motion.
Must go find some more dry-erase markers – I am running low and these don’t have nearly the fumes I require.
Ok, now go to this Cracked.com article and look up #4… “Hallucinate Like You Just Took LSD, Legally”
There’s a quote from Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams – where a character notes that in the name of knowledge an evil priest pursued intellectual avenues (and magical) that essentially twisted him by exposing him to malevolent powers, and he pronounces such methods as very unwise as basically it is:
…throwing your door open and letting whatever evil passes by to come in.
Well, I think there are instances where you can know that your brain ought not have control of you. You might not know why but you still might know that it’s just not something you want to f*** with. In sharp contrast with my high-school and college days I now have a deeper understanding of my brain and do not want to give up even the tiniest grip I have on reality. Hey, maybe it’s as safe as hits of nitrous oxide from a hefty bag but why take a chance if you have any doubts?
I’m curious though, and if you are inquisitive enough try the method above, let me know how it goes, m’kay?
A good friend (The Butcher of Lansing) told me once:
The mind is like a bad neighborhood – you don’t want to go in there alone.
He’s a schmot guy.
This is a totally random thought but it occurred to me that I really don’t like the notion of “tropes”. It strikes me as a vehicle to be as cynical as you want, about anything, no excuses.
That should be reserved for blogs.