Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn


I really like writing in metaphor or similie. Perhaps it's just creative urges -- I enjoy painting a scene, attempting to evoke emotions in others that are complex and nuanced. I have no idea if I succeed often, ever, or whatever. It pleases me, and the thought that it at least theoretically might interest others and is available to them is pleasing to me. It is sometimes difficult, or at least a lot more wordy, to get an impression across without using these tools. Anticipation, for example, can kind of be understood in the abstract, but there are many different kinds -- anticipation of gift, of danger, of change, of opportunity, of dangerous opportunity, and so on. I wonder, is it a deficiency of language that makes metaphor so relatively expressive, or would it be unwieldy to create a language which is that expressive all the time? I think that we always feel with more depth than we can easily convey, and that our ideas are often more nuanced than we can easily write(1). Perhaps they are infinite in a sense -- recall(2) my essays on 'lazy knowing'. A viewpoint of human progress -- we work on so many different levels. Science so far has kept to the small, easily defined and contained ideas -- it is easier to be rigorous there and it needs less framework for progress. Our more complex, nuanced work talks about the individual experience, the subtleties of our experience, drives, emotions, psychology, etc. It is without much rigor. How does it work then? Simply, it doesn't, or rather, it doesn't work well. It works 'well enough' for many things -- we can counsel each other, just lending an ear, as psychologists, with training or not. But unlike science, it's fuzzy for what we normally use it for, too fuzzy to do the things we would have it do when the bricks provide us with a foundation for a complete understanding. Some people claim that the human mind will never be understood. Why?

They're afraid. Belittlement. False divides. Manipulation. We have a certain vanity. We love to put ourselves above other things. 'just an ape', 'just an animal', witness how in ordinary speech we've created a second meaning of the term 'animal' which allows us to hoist ourselves out of our biological classification. We'll lose that false divide once we understand ourselves. People fear losing their strong grip on their philosophy. That loss of grip, however, is the price they pay when they don't have honest foundations. It's like how the lack of absolute moral foundations scares some religious folk. We are mechanical. We can tinker with the brain, and observe the effects. We can debug the bloody thing. It's no longer reasonable to believe we're so different from the other critters. It's time to rejoin the animal kingdom. Manipulation? People are afraid of being manipulated. With the concept of 'free will' destroyed, they feel we must become, or be, simple entities.

Boy am I tired from moving. And I regret making this entry from work, while I'm supposed to be programming, but heck, I work over 9 hours a day, and on weekends like this, I often work until 2AM, sleep, wake up at 7AM, and work until 4. Given the amount I work more than I'm asked to, and that I'm asked to work 45 hours a week instead of 40, I don't feel that bad about it. I need a break from coding anyhow -- my eyes hurt and my brain feels mushy. If I were less tired, I could've been in 'deep hack mode' and worked straight until maybe 2AM, but all that moving wore me out. I should've taken this weekend off to get settled and to move all my books. With the two vacation days I have saved from christmas and new year's eve, I'm up to 16 unused vacation days for this year. Some of those are going to go towards the O'Reilly conference this summer, maybe 6. I don't know what the other 10 will be used for.

  1. Depending on who 'we' are, of course :)
  2. Or can you? I don't know if they're up
Tags: philosophy

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