Posts

Something About Size

Image
Something about size. If you use a microscope, telescope, or even climb to the top of a building, you’ll feel like you’re seeing more in some ways. But actually that’s not true, you’re definitely seeing things you couldn’t see without doing those things, but notice how what you gain in one dimension you lose in another. Looking from the top of a building let’s you see a wider extent of the city, but what you gain in width you lose in detail. Ditto for a microscope or telescope, what you gain in magnification you lose in width, dramatically. 

The point being, every point of view sees roughly the same amount of stuff. There isn’t a better one that lets you see more than another, it’s always a trade off between detail and width. And I think that’s also true for any part of life where we use ‘point of view’. A CEO looking at graphs about their company is not seeing more about the company than the employees, they’re just swapping detail for width. A government doesn’t see mor…

Occultism

Have lived this firsthand. Steiner was an occultist, and occultism was very big in the 19th and earlier 20th century. The term occult and 'cult' are related - occult thinking tends to produce cults, a word that has significant negative connotations in our era, because of what some cults have done, but the occult can be discussed separately to that as well.

The specific meaning of occult is 'knowledge of the hidden', of saying there is a deeper spiritual knowledge going beyond the physical sciences and pure reason. Steiner's Theosophy was just one of several occult movements that emerged in the 19th century. They're all marked by claims to access deep, esoteric truths that are separate to common knowledge - that's what occult actually means, as a word. It's why occult thinking produces cults, groups of people unified by their 'special' knowledge. All occultists have some common characteristics, including belief in ancient knowledge…

Is LGTBTQI a 'community’?

Image
More we. Often LGBTQI people are said to be a ‘community’. Think I’ve asked here before - are they really a community? Does sexuality define a community? Or is this just another way to marginalise people who are a bit different, by saying they’re ‘all the same’? Patrick White first made me wonder about this, when he criticised the Mardi Gras as not representative of him, as a gay person. Hanna Gadsby makes the same point ironically, calling the LGBTQI community ‘her people’.

There are however groups of people in all walks of life with overlapping desires and interests. That’s something a bit different I think. Similarly as a straight white male, I think it’s important to understand the ways in which that category is real, without necessarily believing that it's a community too. That’s what I suspect irks people most, to be linked to categories or communities to which they don’t feel they belong. But at the same time we need to understand in what ways categories lik…

Holes

Is a hole a thing? It’s nothing, an empty space, but then why give it a name? A hole in a bucket or donut or sock or road - part of the bucket/donut/sock/road, or its own thing? Is the inside edge of a donut part of the donut, or the hole? This stuff actually has serious implications. Another example would be ‘personal space’, it’s just empty space, but it’s ‘personal’?

Jealousy, not something to cure

Image
You can find a lot of advice about jealousy along these lines. Nearly all of it is like advice on how to look after your car. Jealousy may in fact be the essence of all love, and the fact we try to ‘cure’ it suggests again that we don’t really understand love. The essence of love because jealousy recognises that your partner is fundamentally unknowable to you, and even when they love you, they do so for their own reasons, not yours. Ironically, every tiny thing we introduce into a relationship to make it more special for us will make a jealous person suffer even more, because those special things will be things they can also imagine being offered to somebody else. 

I don’t think the answer is to try to regulate jealousy, as in these sorts of articles. I think it’s to embrace it, reframe it, recognise that those feelings are pointing to why you loved this person in the first place, because they weren’t you and something about that difference attracted you. You won’t take them for grante…

The fantasy of falsification

This was always a fantasy. I’m yet to meet a person who actively tries to prove themselves wrong.


https://aeon.co/videos/falsification-ruled-20th-century-science-does-it-need-revision-in-the-21st

Binaries and absolutes.

Love Aeon. This topic is one I cycle back to regularly - binary, absolutist thinking. Often linked with high stress, anxiety and depression (which it tends to cause, rather than be caused by it). Splitting things into this or that, no mixtures. In emotions too, sentimentality, everything being either the most amazing thing ever, or a catastrophe. A standing ovation or demanding your money back. Subjects or objects. Body or mind. Nature or nurture. Spirit or matter. Religion or science. Left or Right. It’s the age we live in.
Aeon and binaries.