Original Profile Archive
So I'm almost 40 as I write this (August 30) and 2014 has been a year of learning and seeing and growing. I'm a pretty happy, calm person. Nothing special, I just enjoy my little life. I've completed a lot of painful self-examination. I have been a student of reality, consciousness, self, mortality, and how to be a good biological citizen. I've pared down a lot of the pretenses and expectations and masks and illusions. I've realized what it means to be a good person. I like people who are just out there to be happy, to make things right, to let others be, to work together, to understand the way things are. Sometimes good people make mistakes, but we can forgive good people who learn from them and do better the next time.
I like people who understand what's really going on. I don't like control. Fear and hate. There are too many people who want to control other people in this world. I don't want to control another living creature. I have resisted getting a pet because I question the control systems. A companion animal, a partner in molecules and cells existing in mutual existential aloneness and mutual self-sufficiency would be nice though. I'm really only in it to learn about art, reality, and science, and to talk about these things with other people who like these things. We're each bizarre little collections of perceptions and memories and an illusion we call our "selves," meat robots and digestive tubes who've realized we can look back on ourselves and form these made up lines and ideas. Science is the answer. I like a child-like sense of good and wonder and innocence. It's how I try to approach every challenge now. Assume people are good. Work toward making it okay, or making it better. Work together. Enjoy the clever things we do. Good people. Good animals. Good plants. People trying. I think sarcasm and pessimism are a form of control and fear. I'm not really impressed by the species overall, but we have done some good things (science, art) while expanding to the current population. Here lately I've tried to distance myself from traditional concepts of left and right, and to distance myself from politics in general. Perhaps a little distance from the world in general. That's not bad sometimes.
I try not to take very much or use very much or make noise. I really only have four people I consider to be my soulmates. Two of them are close relatives, my father and my youngest brother, and the other two are friends. These are people I trust with every cell in my body, who I have no secrets from, who I can be who I am with, without any daytime ego masks, who I would do anything for, and whose well-being I consider as important as or more important than my own. I like it this way. I like the orbit of my world to be kind of small. I like to think before acting. Humble. I like to listen.
I dislike religion because I think it's used to hurt people, control people, and keep them suppressed. And it just doesn't seem like the right thing we should be doing with our time. Yes, it's really weird that we're here, but I think we should work on better ways to figure out what that means than these stories and these hopings and sayings. But as long as you're not trying to control or hurt people I won't stop you. When you start to make it more about spirituality and a celebration of what particles and cells and time have wrought (a universe of stars and planets, and a planet of plants and animals including people) rather than any specific "god" person then it starts to be that we're all talking about the same thing anyway, atheists and deists and scientists and buddhists. We can call it love or astonishment too. I'm kind of an anthropic mechanist myself. I think we're biological machines. I think every time we've ever felt glad, or content, or satisfied, or relieved, or proud, it's been due to chemicals in our brains that are making us feel that way. I think the entire universe as far as I know it exists just inside my own skull. Sometimes I find the concept of us as separate entities startling in its arrogance. Sometimes I find the idea of all the different pieces of my brain coalescing into a single "me" a dubious conceit at best. And there's nothing wrong with any of that, but we have to understand what we really are and what is just illusion. I feel that life is senseless and has no meaning, and that that's wonderful and liberating. I like the truth.
I've been thinking about football lately. Sports in general I guess. Racing and fighting too. I think war is in our nature. Tribalism. Human apes have been warring on each others' tribes since before we had the ability to write about it. We contrived lines like religion, skin color, nationality, and the like to be mad at each other about. We developed technologies to fight each other better, like guns, airplanes, bombs. We even figured out how to use atoms to fight each other. But then you have football. It makes no sense, really. Who cares what this little blue team or this little red team does? It makes no difference in the universe. But football is a way for us to say "we acknowledge our warlike nature, but we're going to stop actually killing or fighting or oppressing other people, and instead we're going to have teams play a game on a set schedule that acts out our warlike nature." So our teams are our tribes. They are our proxy war parties. They wear their war uniforms. We paint our faces. We shout. We have a need to get behind a side that will go to war and kill another side. Instead of killing, though, we use "points" to determine our winners and losers. When "our team" loses it feels bad, because in some part of our brain our tribe has been killed and defeated. Some people use something else besides sports to be the proxy, in fact it seems modern life provides no shortage of things to be angry and tribal about. It's all very civilized.
I have decided I'm going to keep working for another 8 years or so. When I turn 48, in the year 2022, I'll retire. That's the year the consulting firm PwC recently used to talk about the future of the working life (24 hour surveillance and stuff). I don't want to work much past that, as I find it turning into a system of increasing control toward some dystopic end that we're not going to like very much. The internet is a great creation that may eventually be part of the salvation of the species, but it's going to get a lot worse before we finally figure it all out (trans-humanism and all that). The unsustainable, holographic monstrosity we've all created that we call the Economy isn't going to last. The government is a reflection of our fear. Anyway, at 48 I will get out. I haven't really aged much if at all lately. I should be able to live without worry for myself then for about 12 more years. I will then, at about age 60, end my life, in about 2034. I should be able to do some good for people in my final years. Help people. Be intellectually curious. I won't continue my life for sentimental value. I have lived and will have lived a decent life, and then it will be time for my cells and molecules to supply the next generation, and for my shell to stop taking up space. I will look forward to the moment before I cease to exist. Plants and animals have been living and dying on this planet for billions of years. Let's see the big picture. Let's understand that life has an end. It's nothing to be afraid of.
I like soft surfaces in my home. Carpet. Rugs. Couches. Areas to exist comfortably, read, think, meditate, be with friends. I like a refuge that's cozy, warm, dimly-lit, quiet, acoustically damped. Often alone and peaceful. Sometimes with one or two friends and also peaceful.
I like sport motorcycles and small, light little no-frills sports cars. Things that don't take up much room or burn many resources. I don't care what other people think of them. I like them because they feel like extensions of my own muscles and tendons, and my own senses and decisions. I don't want a computer making some of the decisions. I don't want something soft or comfortable or big or wasteful or insulating or overpowered or numb. That is for being at home. The idea for me with these things is to feel more, feel harder. Feel the reality of accelerating fast and turning quickly and stopping hard. Balance. Sense. Motion. Efficiency. Quickness. Physics. I like them to only make as much sound in the air as they need to. No extra noise.
Music euphoria is one of my favorite things in the life experience. As an amateur musician, huge music enthusiast, and hopeless audiophile, music euphoria fills me with happiness, calm, and productive energy.
Me: Modest needs, simple pleasures. Emotional openness. Noble earnestness. Courageous confrontation of self-truth. Intellectual honesty. Rigorously non-judgmental. I have no agenda. I don't trust agendas. I'm not passive aggressive, or aggressive. Or passive. I strive for indifference. I don't have really much respect for laws or authority, so I just do what I want and know I'm a good person, and work with others, and make sure I don't ever hurt or wrong another person. I'm not really very concerned about appearances. I care about people. You must realize there are other ways of thinking, and not only that, those other ways may be YOUR ways of thinking at some point in your future. Learn to embrace variety, difference, dissonance. Let it engulf you and turn you into something else. Let it grow you. Don't hold too rigidly to what you think you know about this existence, lest you lose out on all the colors and flavors. Immerse yourself in the lives and perspectives of others. Take extended thought experiments and thought vacations. But then don't ever apologize for who you are and what you like. Don't ever take a back seat in your own existence.
My name on the internet is usually either Nepenthe or Sinuous Grace. My name in other places is Kevin, but I find the other names resonate better in my head. I'll update this a little as better ways to express ideas occur to me.