Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Rejecting Descartes

I have been having more meditations on Descartes and "Cogito Ergo Sum", and I am still convinced that it is not a good intuition. I am not only convinced that it is possible that my entire existence and consciousness is not real in any meaningful sense, it is also not a particularly meaningful question if it is or not. In this sense, anatman comes full circle -- it seems like it is outside the reach of reason to touch reasonably on such a fundamental question, and given my sequence-state definition of intelligence/being, intelligence can be realised in an abstraction, a sequence of math, and all its experiences also part of that sequence. We need no reality for intelligence, nor a being. Distinctions between beings becomes meaningless, as every single pattern that could be, and the subset of all thinking beings and the subset of that of all sane thinking beings, all lie in the totality of all mathematical patterns. It all folds inward. Solophism becomes initially a basis for our new understanding, and then is discarded as understanding surpasses and deconstructs its definitions. If we and our environment are part of the same dream against endless variations of all kinds, then the order we seek's corrispondence to what is mirrored in us is just another second-order variable.

I am feeling very mellow. I know what I should do, or one of the things, at least. There are some parts in my life that must be pruned because they're tempting me to destroy things I care about, and others because they embroil me in desires that I now understand cannot be met by those means. Other parts are familiar in a very good way.

I remember...bobbing for apples at a halloween party ages ago when I was an undergrad in Columbus, and later everyone singing muppets songs. I remember a conversation with someone I once lived, in a pizza shop in columbus, being excited about eventually having enough data to disprove prayer and miracle in a statistically rigourous way and cutting the last strands for some people in society, angrier days.. I remember going with a friend to watch him argue with union workers, and realising that while I disliked the atmosphere the union rally had, I was also becoming uncomfortable at the emotions and attitude I saw in my friend on the issue. I remember the way when I first met someone on the OSU oval, months later and 20 feet away, feeling my heart thump as I saw they were really cute and really cool. I remember singing with food stand people, and putting in late nights doing tech support, feeling useful, and that time a coworker carefully explained that my cockiness and attitude were putting people off. I remember feeling that intellectual connection to so many professors because I was damned interested in learning what they had to teach, and I remember arguing in Ethics and Women's Studies classes because I wanted to... debates... and coming to OSU for an engineering summer academy for 3 months while in high school. Endless nights at Insomnia, endless nights at Outland, watching people, solitude and punctuation.and that was all Columbus to me...

I rememberstanding in a corner of a classroom, upset and trying not to cry, with a garbage can on my head because my fingernails were dirty, and again for some other excuse. I remember doing gymnastics, jumping over the horse and pulling myself up on the rings.. and cross-country running.. trying to keep up with Paul Bucalo and Jim McDade. I remember going to boy scout camp with my Uncle Mark and my dad, the rain and cots and fire.. I remember girl scout camp when my mom took my sisters and I came too because it was fun, and cutting myself on a nail on a bridge. I lost a lot of blood that day.. And babysitting.. and fixing computers for people in the neighbourhood, and the pride of being the assistant technology coordinator. I remember Dan Perttu, and his fixation with beards, and our endless philosophical discussions where I spoke as a kind of proto-Objectivist, and he doubted everything. I thought it was all so simple. I remember being taught that we were smarter and better than most kids in Brecksville, and that they in turn were better than people outside in general. I remember Mrs W telling us that we would grow up to be the great people of the nation or the world, and I remember an embarassed pride when I beat everyone else in a math aptitude test when the teacher hadn't grouped me with the people who got extra work because of aptitude, and I remember being taught statistics by the principal of my middle school. I remember pretending that the logpile in the back yard was a time machine, and the endless sticks to turn were its complex controls. I remember also all the beginnings of sexual desire, initially detached from people in general, self-centred in the self-physical and detached from aesthetics and concerns about life. I remember listening to nothing but classical and rag until sometime in high school, and feeling that I was losing something when I realised that I was starting to like other kinds of music one of my friends played when I visited his house. I remember playing Sonic at Janis' place, and later disapproving of her path when she joined the Navy instead of going to college, and I remember not skipping school with some cute girls, and half-crushes on girls and guys back then, and service trips to west virginia, and being confirmed in something I did not believe in, and dungeons and dragons, and fixing endless computers, and programming with my dad, tri-ominoes with my grandparents, and visiting texas every so often, and family vacations to north carolina, to log cabins with two other families, and yellowstone and england. I remember walking the dogs... That was also me. It's hard to believe.

I've been almost an objectivist, a libertarian, a liberal, and now a communist. I've had many pets, and participated in marches, demonstrations, and some rather illegal things. I've lived with people, had a few relationships, and spent a lot of time alone, lonely or not. I've volunteered to help society, debated, and dome some things that I would not now. Endless paint has mixed between me and others and places. An interesting journey... for me at least.

I feel that I've been hiding myself recently, at least to some people, and I can't quite remember why. Now I'm ready to prune dead limbs, if I am sure they are dead.

This all may be inspired to listening to "Rainbow Connection", a song that always brings out the memories like "Memory" from Cats brings out the emotions.

I'm feeling reflective..


  • CMU, the First Amendment, and Indecent Exposure

    Earlier on my G+ stream, I commented on the matter of a CMU student who protested the Catholic church's coverup of sexual abuse by dressing as the…

  • Dilution

    I've been thinking about an issue that's been raised in the secular community; I'm not sure it's a good issue, nor a bad one. Let me lead up to it…

  • Commentary on the Human Rights Campaign

    I recently was pointed at a blog post suggesting people reject the Human Rights Campaign, a large social justice organisation that focuses on…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded