Author Topic: A rough draft  (Read 2704 times)

BADGE OF HONOR

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A rough draft
« on: December 04, 2008, 09:43:25 am »
As is customary for me, I went down to the desert for Thanksgiving.  Usually I go hiking and spend a lot of time outside, but sadly it snowed a lot, causing the top layer of dirt to become mud, and trapping me inside a cabin with ten adults and four toddlers.  So I split my time standing outside in the snow, to escape from the noise, and reading about South American religion, to distract from the noise.  So I had time to think.

My big book O South American religion started, naturally, at the beginning.  But the author was insistant in pointing out that while some begin with nothing, which is subsequently populated with the world by a supreme being, many do not.  Some traditions don't address the question of where we came from at all.  This started me wondering about the Big Bang theory, and whether the scientists who developed it would have thought up something else if they weren't so ingrained with the idea of something coming from nothing.  And if that theory would have been supported by different evidence.  But I quickly abandoned that, because I know shit-all about the BBT and I wasn't anywhere near a place to look it up.

Then I started thinking about nothing.  The concept.  The fact that, although it is completely impossible for a person to experience nothing (because the act of experiencing would create something), it's still there.  The idea.  It's not darkness, it's not quiet, it's not flatness, it's...nothing.  The closest we can come is during sleep, when time ceases to exist, and the physical world falls away.  All that's left is dreams, which, even if remembered, make no sense.  It can be argued that it's because dreams are merely the product of percolating brain juices, but I prefer to think that it's because dreams occur in a completely different universe, where time and space do not exist. 

Let me back up.

Many animals possess persistant spacial memory.  Squirrels, for example, depend on being able to remember where they stashed their loot.  Humans possess this talent in glorified truckloads.  Humans remember places.  They remember the names of places.  And, especially, importantly, they remember places they haven't even been.  Humans remember things that happened, and try to pre-remember things that will happen.  Humans weave an entire world, an entire universe, all tangled up with meaning and significance, overlaid over the rocks and sticks of the planet.  The very act of being conscious and observing things creates more and more layers, some shared, some unique, which all make up the tiny microcosm of the mind.  A teeny, tiny bit of the universe--but a fractal bit.  A subset.  Limited only by scale.  And what is left when you fall asleep and let go of the larger set?  Just yourself.  And what makes it still the same when you wake up?  Your memory, stubbornly insisting that today will be like yesterday, and the day before...
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

BADGE OF HONOR

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2008, 09:50:49 am »
Trailing off, because I'm practically paralyzed by the number of possibilities here.   :argh!:
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008, 01:53:50 pm »
I like it.

I will say that the last few lines skirt the edge of solipsism... but it also begs for resolution.

Are you saying that the concept of self only exists because of memory, or that the universe only exists because we remember it?
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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008, 04:05:51 pm »
I've said it before and I will say it again: Solipsism is at least honest.


Very nice piece, Badge.  It reminds me a bit of a part from The Widow's Son where the main character is thinking about his head, and realizing that because he is thinking about his own head he really has two heads... his physical head, and then the image in his mind of the physical head, which leads to another head in thinking about the image of the head, and so on, ad infinitum...
"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 07:28:44 pm »
I like it.

I will say that the last few lines skirt the edge of solipsism... but it also begs for resolution.

Are you saying that the concept of self only exists because of memory, or that the universe only exists because we remember it?

No, I would say that everything physical exists with our without us, but it only has meaning because of us.
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 07:29:53 pm »
And naturally, each meaning it is given is specific to the individual, right?


I like that.
LMNO
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The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 07:37:16 pm »
Very nice Badger!
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 07:45:20 pm »
And naturally, each meaning it is given is specific to the individual, right?


I like that.

Yeah, it's edging on postmodernist which makes me nervous, but as long as I don't devolve into obscure blithering about narratives I think I'll be all right.
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2008, 08:01:53 pm »
And naturally, each meaning it is given is specific to the individual, right?


I like that.

Yeah, it's edging on postmodernist which makes me nervous, but as long as I don't devolve into obscure blithering about narratives I think I'll be all right.

Actual postmodernism isn't particularly problematic... its the horrific interpretations that lots of internets people use that's scary ;-)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2008, 08:18:13 pm »
i enjoyed your post, Badge.

one thing to point out, is that i recently heard that squirrels don't actually remember where they stash their loot. they instinctively hide it in certain spots that somehow qualify certain criteria as "loot-hiding spots", and later on, they look for loot at spots that would qualify as such. they don't find loot always that way, but if they hide enough loot, it works pretty well.
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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2008, 08:43:56 pm »
Trailing off, because I'm practically paralyzed by the number of possibilities here.   :argh!:

I really like what you've got so far, and I'm looking forward to how you develop this.


One suggestion that has been immensely helpful for me when I have too many possibilities:

Start writing a direction out until you get a sense of where it's headed, then start on another thread of thought until you get a sense, and just keep doing that until you've exhausted your ideas.

This alone usually leads me to the best solution but if it doesn't, I start categorizing everything.
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BADGE OF HONOR

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2008, 11:59:20 pm »
going to make this a GSP piece
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

Nigel

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 02:11:26 am »
YAY

I really liked it, and somehow I missed it when you posted it.
Tiny and Terrible Strap-On Fuckhorde of Tonight's Wrong Turn.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

BADGE OF HONOR

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2008, 03:21:52 am »
Additional fragments



This is not about solipsism.  The physical world still exists with or without us.  But without consciousness to give it shape, what's the point?  It would be a dead mass of rocks and sticks.  It's the old riddle: if a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?  Well, yes and no. Obviously sound is made by the vibrations of the tree hitting the ground.  But if nobody is around to hear and remember it, it's just another random non-event that makes up the static background of existence.  And looping back to creation myths, God is the consciousness that gives the universe purpose and permanence.

If I were one for believing in God, I wouldn't say that He created the world for us.  I would say that He created us for the world.
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

Nigel

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Re: A rough draft
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2008, 03:25:08 am »
NICe ending!
Tiny and Terrible Strap-On Fuckhorde of Tonight's Wrong Turn.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku